You may have noticed that there’s been a bit of controversy surrounding the recent Ghostbusters reboot. But while the movie seems to have received more positive reviews than negative ones, everyone agrees that the video game tie-in is awful. Now, it’s been revealed that just three days after its release, the development studio behind the game filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
As reported by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Fireforge Games’ Ghostbusters title was released alongside the movie on July 12 to overwhelmingly negative reviews, receiving an average rating of 41/100 from publications and a user score of 0.3/10, according to Metacritic.
The fact that the twin-stick shooter was developed in under eight months is likely one of the main reasons why it turned out so bad. On July 15, Fireforge started bankruptcy proceedings, but this had little relation to Ghostbusters’ poor reception and sales.
The studio, which was founded by ex-Blizzard employee Tim Campbell in 2011, had been embroiled in several lawsuits. Fireforge had worked on two unreleased MOBAs over the last five years. The first, codenamed Zeus, was to be published by hardware company Razer; the second, this one codenamed Atlas, was funded by Tencent. The Chinese publishing behemoth, which owns League of Legends developer Riot Games, has a 37 percent stake in Fireforge.
The bankruptcy filings show that Fireforge owes around $11.3 million to Tencent, and is also involved in a lawsuit with Min Productions - a company owned by Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan.
Tan says Fireforge used the money it was given to complete Zeus to work on Atlas, though the US firm claims it only started working on the Tencent title once Min Productions stopped paying it.
Additionally, Fireforge was sued in 2015 by lawyer Richard Land, who was selling off the games and IPs of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developer 38 Studios. He claims Fireforge signed a contract to license 38 Studios’ social media platform, Helios, for $3.7 million, but instead used the money to hire former employees of the defunct company and develop a similar platform of its own.
So while the Ghostbusters game’s failure wasn’t directly responsible for Fireforge’s bankruptcy, it may have bought the studio a little more time had it been successful.