Motiga has had a rough ride developing their team-based fantasy MOBA-like game Gigantic. Motiga was founded by former NCsoft CEO Chris Chung, SOE’s Rick Lambright, and James Phinney in 2014 and Gigantic was supposed to be their flagship release.
Motiga had partnered with Microsft, and for a time the game was only playable on Windows 10. This was not a great move considering PC gamers were only starting to upgrade to Win 10 when they needed more users testing the game. In December 2015, Motiga was struggling financially and it was thought that was the end and staff were let go. Undeterred, Motiga ploughed on with development outlining future plans.
In February 2016, more layoffs were announced and this time is was nearly all the staff. The writing appeared to be on the wall.
“While the situation is far from ideal” said Motiga, “the sheer number of people that have enjoyed playing Gigantic has affirmed what we’ve believed all along: while we still have a lot of work to do to polish the experience for the players, the current closed beta version of our game introduces a legitimately fun gameplay experience with great promise for the future.”
In April last year, Motiga issued a statement saying the game was “very much still alive”. Development appeared to be back on track with the game releasing on Steam in July. Perfect World had stepped in to save the project in May 2016 after Microsoft pulled out.
In June this year, Gigantic finally launched but according to Perfect World the game has not proved profitable. This is no huge surprise considering how competitive the MOBA/team shooter space is currently.
Speaking to Destructoid, Motiga founder and CEO Chris Chung explained that the closure was a “budgetary decision” and Perfect World decided to cut parts of the company that were not proving profitable. Chung added:
“As someone that created Motiga from scratch, it’s a sad day for me but I am proud of the team we built and the culture we established at Motiga. I was hugged by everyone today and you don’t see that kind of reaction in most companies through an ordeal like this.”
This is sad news. Motiga had tried hard to get this game through development with many staff returning after the layoffs in 2015. The team wanted to see their vision through to completion, and although they managed that, market conditions have not been in their favour. If the game had been released in 2015 it may have stood a better chance.
Gigantic will now go into maintenance mode and will be looked after by “a few dedicated folks”.
Update: Runic Games have also been shut down by Perfect World.