According to an official statement, German-headquartered AquaNox
and Archimedean Dynasty
developer Massive Development, wholly owned by Austrian game publisher and developer JoWood, is to close, with an unspecified number of job losses, as part of the company's continued cost-cutting measures.
After JoWood's recent disappointing losses
from its first quarter financial results earlier this month, the company indicated that it would be embarking on a radical restructuring and process optimization drive. Massive Development, based in Mannheim, Germany, and acquired by JoWood in December 2000, seems to be the highest profile victim of these cost cutting measures, although JoWooD’s promise to release and market the developer’s current games will ensure a release for sequel AquaNox: The Angel's Tears
on PlayStation 2.
Apart from simply cutting costs, JoWooD’s management has also stated that the company wishes to concentrate development on projects with greater international appeal, and Massive's titles seem to have been the first affected by this. Instead, the first step along the internationalization may have been the signing of action adventure Legend of Kay
, created by JoWood-owned Neon Studios, for release in the U.S. and Japan by Capcom.
In the last quarter JoWooD reported a loss of €3.7 million ($4.8m), citing no new releases for the traditionally slow quarter, as well as back catalog titles failing to bring in the same proportion of revenue as in previous years, at which point the company also announced it would cut back as far as possible on its use of external freelancers, which previously accounted for nearly a third of all the company’s employees.