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Report: Hellgate: London To Close January 31

Developer Flagship Studios is all but defunct and Hellgate: London's subsisted on Namco Bandai's life support since July -- but now the publisher reveals it will pull the plug, planning to close the game's servers on January 31, according to media
Hellgate: London's last day will be January 31, 2009, says Namco Bandai, writing the closing chapter on near-defunct Flagship Studios' embattled MMO. Namco Bandai, who co-published the game through an agreement with EA Partners, had sustained responsibility for Hellgate's operation since Flagship Studios "for all intents and purposes" closed down in July, and now confirms the closing date to consumer site GameSpot. Veterans of Flagship Studios, including chief visionary officer Dave Brevik, recently revealed they'll go on to play key roles in Turbine's West Coast expansion. Hellgate generally suffered from quality issues and struggled to maintain a sufficient fanbase. David DeMartini of EA Partners recently discussed the game's troubles with Gamasutra when we last spoke to him in August. "We were co-publishing with Namco. I'm not going to dodge a bullet -- we had people who were actively working with them on the title," he told Gamasutra at the time. "We thought it would have been slightly higher quality than it turned out to be, and I think the problem with the game was that by the time it got really good, we were four to six months post-release. That was too late; we'd lost the fanbase." Hellgate: London will continue to be available to play for free until its servers go offline on January 31.

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