Technically we’re still dealing with a rumor, but a very reliable source and fellow Nintendo fan whom I trust has heard from “the inside” that Rogue Squadron developer Factor 5 is closing down. The source I’m talking about is none other than IGN Wii Editor Matt Casamassina. If you’re too lazy to click on the N4G link above, here’s the email that Casamassina got from his source:
“How have you been? Haven’t seen you guys since E3. I hope that you’re doing well! [Redacted] wanted me to contact you with some late breaking news. We just learned from inside sources that developer Factor 5 has officially closed their doors as of today. That’s some pretty big news considering that those guys have been around for quite a while. It’s definitely a real shame! I hope that this information is helpful to you. Take care, and please say hi to Bozon for me.”
This is especially bad news if you were excited about Factor 5’s upcoming Wii project. Based on the success of the Rogue Squadron franchise, Factor 5 would have been a great candidate to carry Pilotwings into the 21st century. It’s really a shame that we likely won’t see the game they were working on. Rogue Squadron II, which launched with the GameCube in 2001 still looks better than most Wii games. I’m sure Factor 5 would have gotten the absolute most out of the Wii’s hardware the way they did with the GCN.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the economy’s impact on the videogame industry. However, an entire studio closing down is a big deal. In times like these, it’s important not to lose hope.