Today is just one of those grim days in the video game industry that no matter what happens will just be a sucky day. There could be double rainbows across the world or some newfangled tech development and things will still be crappy. The reason for such a grim attitude today is because reports are coming in that Propaganda Games (Turok, TRON: Evolution) has been closed by Disney Interactive.
As of now nothing is 100% official as no press releases have been issued, but the Twitter-verse is exploding with members of the Canadian gaming scene talking of Propaganda’s demise. Several members of the Vancouver gaming community, which is where Propaganda is located, are posting messages which point to the studio joining the ranks of Bizarre Creations and the many others that have been shuttered over the past year.
The potential closing of Propaganda isn’t a major surprise as in October Disney Interactive laid off around 100 employees along with canceling Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. Since then, Propaganda shipped TRON: Evolution for the PS3/360 and things have been quiet until now. I’m sure the reason Propaganda has been closed fall in line with Disney Interactive’s reason for canning the Pirates of the Caribbean game: the company is going into a different direction, more suited towards younger audiences.
Say what you will about the quality of TRON: Evolution, but the game showed promise and don’t even get me started on the crime against the video game community that was Disney’s cancellation of the POTC game. Disney tried to do something different with their video game label but now it appears that they’ve either gotten cold feet or aren’t satisfied that their projects aren’t raking in copious amount of cash so “trimming” like closing an entire studio such as Propaganda is required from a company standpoint.
I’m probably the only one who may really care, but what in god’s name is going on with Black Rock Studios? Since Split/Second shipped in May there hasn’t been a single word from the studio let alone a vague rumor or mention of what their next project would be. Split/Second performed ok at retail and there was a set up for a sequel but you would think we would’ve heard something about it by now. This news concerning Propaganda has really made me worry about the fate of Black Rock given the new direction of Disney Interactive.
With all these firings and studio closures I think everyone, gamers included, need to look at things and re-examine where the industry is going because right now I really don’t like where things are headed.