Has Microsoft Just Killed This Xbox One Exclusive?
Reports are surfacing today that the release of Xbox One exclusive Phantom Dust is in jeopardy following the closure of developer Darkside Game Studios.
“Microsoft partnered with Darkside Game Studios in the development of Phantom Dust, but our working relationship has now ended,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We have great respect for their studio and their work in the industry.”
Darkside had been hard at work on the next-gen revival of Phantom Dust – it was formerly announced during Microsoft’s press conference at E3 2014 – though Microsoft has today pulled development away from the studio, forcing it to close its doors.
Darkside has allegedly made 50 people without a job and the status of Phantom Dust is unknown.
“The executives who saw it were impressed and as late as this morning gave our team every indication that the project was on solid ground,” said an anonymous former Darkside employee to Kotaku. “Yet we got the phone call today that someone up on high who in all likelihood wasn’t even aware of the game in detail shut it down.”
Darkside had previously delivered contract work on titles such as Borderlands and Sunset Overdrive, Phantom Dust was due to be its first solo title.
So, where does this leave Phantom Dust? Microsoft has said that development of the game still continues, though it stopped short of confirming who was picking up development, whether any of Darkside’s work would carry across to the new studio and how this effects the projected 2015 release date.
“While we do not have anything new to share on Phantom Dust at this time, we can confirm that development of the title continues,” confirmed a Microsoft spokesperson. “We look forward to sharing more details on the game as we get closer to release.”
Phantom Dust was always likely to be a niche title – the card-infused brawler released in 2004 on the original Xbox certainly was – so whether this has sealed its fate remains to be seen.
More info as it drops.