Firefall is an upcoming free-to-play MMOFPS from Red 5 Studios, with highly stylized artwork and an emphasis on tactical combat. The game sets players in a world torn apart by the Melding, an energy storm that has spawned monsters called the Chosen. Players must now band together to collect resources, build weapons and vehicles, and utilize special nanotechnology armor suits called Battleframes to fight against the Chosen and reclaim the earth. Firefall is set to have PvE and PvP play, across a virtual game world spanning some ten square miles. Request your beta access over at the main website now!
The Firefall site has suddenly gone dark, perhaps indicating that the game itself has shut down. Players on Reddit are claiming that they game is still functioning with a few players in it. While perhaps not yet completely gone, the site's demise does not bode well for the longevity of the game.
Late yesterday afternoon, Reddit user reecej101 reported on the Firefall subReddit that a major round of layoffs had gone down at Red 5, development studio behind the game. A few posts later, user bdsmchs, reportedly a former employee with Red 5, confirmed that layoffs had occurred, reiterated on Community Manager FadedPez's Twitter account.
In a short post on the Firefall site players and fans have been informed that the team has plans to bring the game both to mobile devices and PlayStation 4. The post also indicates that there are further plans for Firefall, but that the current focus is the deployment to mobile devices and PS4.
Red 5 Studios has revealed the contents of the next FireFall update that is scheduled to hit live servers on January 20th. There is a massive number of changes and new content coming to the game.
In unsurprising news after earlier reports of financial difficulties, Red 5 Studios has sent word that it is undergoing "strategic reorganization.
To celebrate the launch of Firefall in China, The9 CEO Zhu Jun is gifting players "red packets", up to ten million of them, contents of which remains unknown though it is not out of the realm of possibility that real world cash will be included.
VentureBeat.com has obtained a statement from Red 5 that says that all employees have been paid what they are owed. The statement does not indicate if they were paid on the date expected j(December 24th) or, as we reported this morning, earlier today. Regardless, it is good to hear that employees have been paid.
UPDATE: (DEC 30): GOOD NEWS! According to Gamers-Haven.org, Red 5 employees will be paid on December 30th after the company missed last week's payroll deadline. However the same report indicates that "according to reliable source inside the company" several employees were let go last week and, as with layoffs at the end of November, did not receive severance packages.
We are hearing various reports from several anonymous sources that major layoffs have occurred at Firefall's Red 5 Studios. We do not know the amounts, or what will happen to the sci-fi MMO, but we'll keep you posted as we learn more.
To say Firefall has had a long and controversy filled history would probably be an understatement. There was a time when developer Red 5 Studios seemed destined for a fate similar to that of Flagship Studios. But problem child founder Mark Kern was ousted, Chinese company The9 invested 20 million dollars, and perhaps most telling... Chris Whiteside was brought on to lead the studio and future development of Firefall.