Fireforge Goes Cold, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Fireforge Goes Cold, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

It’s been three weeks since the newest Ghostbusters movie was released, being received to several mixed reviews. While the majority (myself and CGM film critic Phil Brown included) agreed it was pretty good, one thing it seems everyone agrees was terrible was the tie-in video game. Oddly enough, only three days after its launch, developer Fireforge filed for bankruptcy.

According to Kotaku, the company had been liquidating its assets throughout July in order to pay its 12 million dollar debt. When the game released on July 12th, coinciding with the movie’s release on July 14th. One day later, Fireforge had filed Chapter 11.

While it’s unknown if the new Ghostbusters‘ poor reception was a major contributor in the company’s downfall, it’s worth mentioning that one of the games developers told Kotaku the game took eight months to complete.

However, it’s more than one bad game that brought down Fireforge. Since the California-based company was founded by ex-Blizzard employee Tim Campbell in 2011, Fireforge has been tangled in two stuttering projects and several legal battles. The first of two MOBA’s: Zeus, was due to be published by the hardware company Razer; the second: Atlas, was funded by the Chinese publisher Tencent; which also owns a 37% stake in Fireforge, and to whom Fireforge owes around $11.3 million.

In addition, Fireforge has been entangled in a lawsuit with the Singapore-based private company: Min Productions, owned by Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan. Tan alleges that Fireforge used the money they received for Zeus to work on Atlas, breaching their contract.

However, according to Fireforge, they only started working on Atlas once Razer had stopped paying them. The lawsuit has been put while Fireforge sorts out their bankruptcy proceedings.

And it doesn’t end there. Lawyer Richard Land, who was supposedly responsible for selling off the IP of 38 Studios following their closure, sued Fireforge in 2015, claiming Fireforge signed a 3.7 million dollar licensing deal for 38 Studios’ proprietary social media platform “Helios.” Fireforge supposedly then reneged on the deal, hiring several ex-38 Studios employees to build their own version.
The closure of Fireforge is also causing confusion for the Italian based tabletop miniature company of the same name. On the Fireforge Games Facebook page, they posted, “For who is thinking we are closing: we are fine thanks.
The story: some years ago a guy created a Fireforge Games company in US to develop videogames. We didn’t know that until some weeks ago.”

Pixels and Ink Podcast: Episode 213 – The Killing Ghost

Pixels and Ink Podcast: Episode 213 - The Killing Ghost

This week on CGM’s Pixels & Ink podcast Phil and Cody discuss 2016 Ghostbusters. We cover SDCC trailers news and the rumours that Nintendo’s NX might actually be a portable console. Melanie saw Holidays, a horror anthology rotating around holidays. Phil also gives us the low down on Killing Joke animated movie.

Bustin’ Doesn’t Feel Good in the New Ghostbusters Game

Bustin’ Doesn't Feel Good in the New Ghostbusters Game

The highly-anticipated Ghostbusters reboot releases in about a month. And in the very same week a twin-stick shooter that takes place after the film will be available. None of the main characters from the film are in the game. Instead, original recruits made up of two guys and two girls fill out the cast, each with unique weapons and upgrades.

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I’ve played many similar shooters to this, and this is easily one of the dullest ones. Each level consists of going from one point to another, shooting ghosts, zombies — which as far as I know were never in the original films– and flying flaming skulls in the face until they die, while capturing others. Why do you kill some ghosts and capture others? I have no idea, as it wasn’t explained.

Despite what Ray Parker Jr. once told us, busting certainly doesn’t feel good here. The capture process is tedious, boring, and happens far too often. When you come across a ghost that needs to be captured — which is a constant threat – you’ll have to switch from your character’s primary weapon to the proton pack. From there, you and the other Ghostbusters must all focus the beam while pulling in the opposite direction of wherever the ghost is trying to go. Instead of having confidence in its players to figure this out, a large onscreen graphic spoon-feeds you the direction in which you need to hold the stick.

Bustin’ Doesn't Feel Good in the New Ghostbusters Game 3

Every so often during the capture process, players must pull the left trigger to slam the ghost on the ground. Doing this three or four times will eventually bring the ghost’s health down low enough that it can be trapped. Once a trap is placed for the ghost, all players must mash a button until it finally goes into the trap. The faster players press the button, the more ectoplasm they receive to use on upgrades between levels.

This method of busting wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t happen every few moments in a level to the point of being actively anti-fun. It was tedious to the point I was even dreading it during my short time with the game on the E3 show floor.

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I shouldn’t dread busting ghosts in a Ghostbusters game, and you probably shouldn’t buy this game unless you’re a Ghostbusters obsessed masochist.

Ghostbusters: the Board Game II Launches on Kickstarter

Ghostbusters: the Board Game II Launches on Kickstarter

Chryptozoic launched its Kickstarter for Ghostbusters: the Board Game II today, building off of last years successful campaign. This stand alone expansion promises to deliver new miniatures, campaigns, powers, entities, gear, and of course, ghosts.

Ghostbusters: the Board Game II Launches on Kickstarter 1

Ghostbusters: The Board Game II features and original story by IDW Comics’ Ghostbusters writer Erik Burnham. Vigo and his minions return to the city, causing rioting and earthquakes to break out all over New York. Players take control of the beloved Ghostbusters team and partake in a variety of cooperative, customizable scenarios. Cryptozoic have incorporated a modular design that will surely appeal to newcomers and veteran board-gamers alike.

Last year, Ghostbusters: the Board Game managed to raise over $1.5 million on Kickstarter, making it an overwhelming success.

You can check out Ghostbusters: The Board Game II on its Kickstarter page here.

Ghostbusters reboot incoming: Ghostmaids?

Ghostbusters reboot incoming: Ghostmaids?

Rumours have circulated around a possible Ghostbusters sequel for what feels like ages at this point. First, Bill Murray didn’t want to do it, then he said he would. Dan Aykroyd appeared super keen on the project but seemed to lose interest when his writing partner and co-star Harold Ramis passed away early last year. Even the director of the 1984 film and its sequel, Ivan Reitman, decided to “pass the torch” to a new director following Ramis’ death.

It would appear the torch has been officially passed. This Wednesday, director Paul Feig posted to his Twitter feed saying “It’s official. I’m making a new Ghostbusters and writing it with @katiedippold & yes, it will star hilarious women. That’s who I’m gonna call.” Katie Dippold teamed with Feig to write last year’s female buddy cop film, The Heat, starring the foul mouthed and ostentatious/potential future Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy.

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Feig likes to cast and direct women. The hugely popular Bridesmaids featured an all-female cast, and the aforementioned The Heat was also centered around main characters who were women. With that in mind, Feig’s desire to reboot Ghostbusters with four women doesn’t come across a shock. But damn if it doesn’t come off as gimmicky. Feig addressed this during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying: “Some people accused it of kind of being a gimmick and it’s like, it would be a gimmick if I wasn’t somebody whose brain doesn’t automatically go to like, I want to just do more stuff with women. I just find funny women so great. For me it’s just more of a no-brainer.”

Before you applaud him for standing up for feminism and bucking the trend, let’s take a minute, as fans of the franchise, and analyze that last bit. “…it would be a gimmick if I wasn’t somebody whose brain doesn’t automatically go to like, I want to just do more stuff with women.” It would appear that his immediate goal for rebooting the franchise is first and foremost to star an all-female cast, and figure everything else out later.

So yes, Mr. Feig, that is pretty much the definition of a gimmick.

The major issue here isn’t a misogynistic outcry of “OH MY GOD, YOU CAN’T MAKE THE GHOSTBUSTERS WOMEN, THAT’S SO WRONG”, it’s building an entire movie around this idea and trying to make everything else fit into this mould rather than writing a fantastic and funny supernatural comedy and then looking into who should play whom.
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At least Mr. Feig can rest safely knowing that should his movie suck, there will be legions of vocal Tumblr users that will applaud him merely for taking such a huge step in the fight for gender equality; a good chunk of which probably won’t even go see the movie.

That isn’t to say this idea has no potential for success. Feig comes across as passionate about the franchise and clearly has high hopes in bringing Ghostbusters to a new generation saying: “Everything’s got to live on its own merits. It would be terrible if we just go, oh we’re just doing an update where we use the same dynamic and scripts. If we just flop four women into the exact same personalities and roles as original, then that’s lazy filmmaking on my behalf, and who wants to see that?

However, we’ve seen this type of thinking before. Internet pariah and poster boy for shitty reboots, Michael Bay, tried this with Transformers, and while any six-year-old will gush about his favourite scene, older fans who grew up with the Autobots felt differently. The incredibly shallow, poorly scripted Transformers and its three equally unwarranted sequels felt like a spit in the face to 80s kids who remember the shock and heartbreak of Optimus Prime dying in the original feature film. The messy and convoluted redesigns looked more like alien insects than robots, and aside from featuring the fantastic Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus, there was little depth or personality to any of the other characters.

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The Transformers aren’t the only victims to fall to the axe of the Hollywood reboot. This summer, we got out first live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in over 20 years, but things took a turn for the terrible when fans discovered the new iteration would be attempt to mimic the dark and gritty Nolan-esque style modern filmgoers have come to expect. This could have worked, as the original Mirage Comics series was a lot meaner and more violent than the goofy cartoon that followed. Unfortunately, other factors were at play that continued trends found in the Transformers reboots: The redesigns were hideous, the Turtles were bulky, muscle bound Hulk-lites, and the movie focused more on the terribly miscast Meghan Fox’s April O’Neil than the titular turtles.

All these issues aside, there remains one question that rises above the tiny details like casting and plot.

Do we NEED a reboot?

Well, no, not really. If you had asked this 15 years ago I would have jumped at the idea. Call it getting older and more bitter, but after seeing two of my top three childhood franchises robbed of their magic and personality in order to sell more toys to a new generation (I am well aware that is also what the 80s cartoons were designed to do) , I’m not stoked on this news. The term reboot used to conjure up warm feelings of nostalgia; when I hear it now it is with dread and trepidation. Especially when the person in charge of doing it begins his mission with the mandate of “Wouldn’t it be awesome to just totally ignore the original movies and make it hip by focusing on the genders of the characters instead of everything else?”

Just let it be. We had something special in the original. Dan Aykroyd was passionate about the supernatural world, Bill Murray was in his prime, and New York in the 80s had this special grime to it that was the perfect setting for the world they were creating. This new version doesn’t need to be made, nobody is asking for it and Feig is trying to fill some pretty big shoes. The movie could turn out great, and I’d be more than happy to eat my words, but the whole idea feels cheap right from the start, and that doesn’t bode well for winning the hearts and minds of people who grew up with this universe and the quirky characters found within.

 

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