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Stellar Dawn

Jagex pauses Stellar Dawn's development

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Stellar Dawn

Stellar Dawn
Word to the wise: Don't put "dawn" into any part of your MMO's name, or else it will get hit by the curse of breaking dawn. Just ask Dawntide, DAWN, and now, Stellar Dawn.

Yes, unfortunately it's true. Jagex announced that it's suspending development on Stellar Dawn to make sure the company is in the best position possible by concentrating on Transformers Universe and RuneScape. While the studio was able to shuffle most of Stellar Dawn's team around to new positions, the decision still resulted in the loss of 12 jobs.

In a prepared statement, CEO Mark Gerhard was highly complimentary of Stellar Dawn's team and progress. "Jagex has always been committed to developing the highest quality games and services. This is not a decision we have taken lightly; the Stellar Dawn team has achieved a great deal developing the game and should rightly be proud of their achievements so far."

Stellar Dawn fans might find hope in the language being used by the team in the forum announcement, as the title's development is described as being "paused" and a "temporary move" instead of being outright cancelled.

'Staunchly British' Jagex sets the record straight about its new ownership

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Stellar Dawn, Transformers Universe

Jagex studios
Jagex doesn't take kindly to being called an American company these days, it appears. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, CEO Mark Gerhard set the record straight about the recently reported deal that put the British game studio under the purview of an American investment firm.

Because the deal was made earlier last year, Gerhard sees this as old news and stressed that the company was trucking on much the same as it ever was. "The insinuation that this is a company that somehow now is run by bankers in the US again couldn't be further from the truth," he said. "Sure we therefore have some American shareholders, but the management and the culture and the ethos and everything else is the same people, in the same hands, and staunchly British."

He also clarified why the studio's profits were reported to be down: "If you look at our company's house filings, revenues are up but profits are down, and those aren't because we're doing a crap job, that's because we're consciously taking those profits and ploughing them back into the business."

Gerhard said that the company was "very, very selective" when it came to investors, and that it feels completely comfortable with the current board of directors. He said that the new investors were not interfering with the day-to-day development and operations of Jagex's ever-expanding library of titles: "I'm very excited for the year ahead and everyone in the studio is very focused on, not just making RuneScape and 8Realms a financial success, but our work on Stellar Dawn and even Transformers coming together to make truly great games for this year."

Jagex releases Stellar Dawn teaser

Trailers, Video, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Stellar Dawn

Jagex Games Studio, noteworthy publisher of the long-running browser-based Runescape MMORPG, has released the first trailer for its latest project, a sci-fi MMO known as Stellar Dawn. The teaser doesn't feature any gameplay footage, but does manage to conjure a nifty Dead Space-esque sense of dread.

Stellar Dawn, also browser-based, will feature a large, explorable world conducive to both cooperative and solo play. Extensive portions of the title will be free-to-play, with the remainder employing a version of Jagex's RMT offerings. You can read more about the title, as well as sign up for beta, at the official Stellar Dawn website. Don't forget to check out the trailer after the jump.

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Jagex announces Stellar Dawn: "biggest release to date"

Sci-Fi, New Titles, News Items, Stellar Dawn

The newest MMO to come from Jagex is an ambitious one. CEO Mark Gerhard calls Stellar Dawn the studio's "biggest release to date," adding that the team is extremely excited about the project.

The team is keeping the majority of details quiet for the time being, but we do know that the game is sci-fi, free-to-play, and set for launch in 2011. The first round of screenshots gives us a look at the world of Stellar Dawn through environmental scenery, and Mark created a short video to introduce the game.

Want to know more? You might have a chance to, because Jagex is currently accepting signups for the first round of (as yet undated) closed beta testing. Check out the art and video below, and visit Stellar Dawn's main page to apply for the beta.

Gallery: Stellar Dawn

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Jagex cancels MechScape at significant cost, restarts anew

Sci-Fi, New Titles, News Items, Mechscape, Stellar Dawn

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard has indeed confirmed the cancellation of MechScape, although you wouldn't quite know it from his comments, which seem excited to be working on a different title with a new direction. This isn't the first time an in-development MMO has been rebooted in favor of a completely new direction, although Tabula Rasa at least kept its original name.

Why the sudden decision? According to Gerhard, MechScape wasn't able to avoid the same pitfalls of RuneScape. Of course, making such a move is going to cost Jagex millions, but their current financial success will be shouldering the weight. The new game -- known as Stellar Dawn -- should be coming in 2010 and will be based on the MechScape graphics engine.

The big changes planned for Stellar Dawn are content and combat focused, although no specifics were given by Gerhard. It's a bold move, no doubt, and sometimes this industry favors such decisions -- other times it punishes them significantly. Whether you look at this as stalled (Tabula Rasa) or prolonged (everything Blizzard) development, you have to admit it creates a notable amount of interest in Jagex's 2010 game.

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