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Report: Independent studio Terminal Reality has shut down
Report: Independent studio Terminal Reality has shut down
December 11, 2013 | By Christian Nutt

December 11, 2013 | By Christian Nutt
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    6 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Recruitment



Terminal Reality, the Texas studio best known for titles including Nocturne, BloodRayne, and Ghostbusters: The Video Game has apparently shut down.

Jesse Sosa, a former employee and 10-year veteran of the studio, today wrote on Facebook that the studio "seems to have finally shut down."

The studio, based near Dallas, Texas, most recently shipped The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U this past March. It also maintained a business licensing its Infernal Engine technology to other studios.

It is unclear how many employees were affected, or even exactly when the company shut down. Its current website is a placeholder which directs visitors to its Facebook page, which has not been updated since October.

No official details seem to have been released by the studio. Gamasutra has reached out to its former PR agency and employees to find out more, but has as yet been unable to corroborate this news. Comments from employees on Sosa's Facebook do not refute his assertion, however.

If you have any details about this shutdown, please send them to news@gamasutra.com so we can update this story.


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Comments


Daniel Lau
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I'm really going to miss TR. I feel in love with video games after the release of Resident Evil 2 on a friends PS1, and that led me to Nocturne. Now I know that Nocturne doesn't compare with any of the RS series and has major issues with controls, etc, but I still found it incredibly enjoyable and had always hoped TR would bring back the stranger in a future sequel. I mean, how many people not deeply involved in games remember their publisher GOD Games?

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Merc Hoffner
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And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust. Hey, they're gonna get you too, another one bites the dust

In all seriousness this has been a terrible generation for studio closures. But I fear that with ever rising costs, ever greater risk aversion, ever greater corification of the remaining market, ever greater competition in oversubscribed genres, and the uncontrollable complexity of attempts to diversify through computer vision, the large and medium studio situation will get worse and worse and worse in the next generation.

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Merc Hoffner
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Sure all those costs of doing business are real significant factors, but I guess it just underlines the point that the games industry is dysfunctional - plenty of other industries throughout Europe have been able to operate profitably and sustainably for decades while tolerating those higher costs of doing business, and the societal benefits of proper workplace and home social support typically ends up paying socio-economic dividends in the long run anyway. But the games industry in its infancy didn't afford its workers proper balance even during the years of milk and honey.

But I think this is distracting from the main problem in terms of scale, because the proportional rise in production costs simply dwarfs the proportional rise in worker support expense. The general industrial rule of thumb is that if you pay a worker X money, you have to spend 2X money to pay them and their related support expenses (national insurance, shift work, rent, insurance etc. etc.). So going from running a business with basically no responsibility to basically full responsibility should roughly double your costs. But we're expecting a minimum of a doubling of costs across the board just for upgrading to a new generation of hardware. And that's under absolute best case circumstances. The generational norm has been roughly a quadrupling/quintupling in dev costs each generation, from NES to SNES to PSX to PS2 to PS3. We've gone from production costs of hit games from $10,000s to $10,000,000s in 25 years. But we've seen the (traditional) market only increase from 70,000,000 to 260,000,000 in the same period. The geometric rise in costs has simply caught up and exceeded the arithmetic growth of the market.

Jeff Hanna
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This is a shame. While I wasn't a big fan of TR's later products I owe a lot to their FLY! and FLY! 2 civil aviation simulators they released in the mid '90s. They were the best (only?) real competition to Microsoft's Flight Simulator, and better in just about every way. I can attribute my ability to get my private pilot's license in just about the bare minimum number of hours necessary because I would spend many an evening just shooting landings at a virtual simulation of my local airport that I built in FLY. The one/two punch of the product's champion, Richard Harvey, dying of cancer and Microsoft signing exclusivity deals with aviation companies like Cessna and Jeppesen was something TR wasn't able to withstand. MS all but stagnated Flight Simulator development soon after FLY! was no longer a threat.


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