Overview edit · view history
Foundation and development
Flagship Studios was a short-lived US development studio that released one game, the MMORPG Hellgate: London. The company was founded in 2003 by a number of former Blizzard North employees such as Bill Roper, Max Schaefer, Phil Shenk, Dave Brevik and Erich Schaefer.
It soon expanded with the establishment of Ping0, LLC, a joint-venture between the company and the Korean company HanbitSoft. In December 2006 a secondary development studio was opened: Flagship Seattle.
When the game was released in October 2007, it had a rocky launch mostly because of the scope of the title. The company was working on a second title, Mythos, when it was announced the studio would close down on 12th July 2008.
Despite the announcement that the company also lost its IP, that secured lender Comerica received Hellgate: London as collateral on the loan, while Mythos went to HanbitSoft, CEO Bill Roper confirmed that the company owns the rights to all its technology and IP, and that the core management and founding team members are still with the studio.
In August 2008 T3 Entertainment claimed control of the IP of both games as they had acquired a controlling stake in HanbitSoft earlier that year. They announced to continue development on both games and established a new studio in San Francisco to continue development on Mythos.
In August 2008 it was announced the company Runic Games had been founded, consisting of the team working on Mythos, to start development on a new MMOG.
In October 2008 co-founder Dave Brevik and Jeff Lind joined Turbine, Inc. when the company opened a new studio in Redwood City, CA (USA).
Co-founder Bill Roper joined Cryptic Studios in November 2008 as Design Director.
Co-founder Phil Shenk announced the development studio Gravity Bear in December 2008 and took along senior software engineer Kevin Klemmick.
Games Released (2007 - 2018)
|Hellgate: London (2018 on Windows)|
|Hellgate: London (2007 on Windows)|
- October 2003
Company is founded.
- December 14th, 2006
The company establishes a new development studio, Flagship Seattle, led by Travis Baldree, Project Director.
- July 12th, 2008
Most of the staff is laid off, only the core management and founding team members remain with the company.
Founded David Brevik, Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, Bill Roper and Kenneth Williams, all former executives at Blizzard North. David Brevik served as President while Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer and Bill Roper held Vice President positions within the company. Ken Williams was Blizzard North's Director of Business and Operations.
Additional co-founders are David Glenn, Peter Hu, Philip Shenk, and Tyler Thompson. David Glenn and Philip Shenk served as art leads on the games in the Diablo series, with David focusing on background artwork and Philip leading the character artists. Peter Hu and Tyler Thompson were senior programmers at Blizzard North and held lead positions on Diablo II and the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion set.
In a blog entry that was later pulled, Flagship programmer Guy Somberg admitted the existence of the term "flagshipped" used among gamers, "meaning where a company basically overpromises and then screws you". This was due to the rocky launch of Hellgate: London. In a later rebuttal, he put the bitterness into perspective.
Company location and contact information (Feb. 2008):
221 King Street, Ste. 224
San Francisco, California 94107
Company phone: 415-489-1445
Related Web Sites +
Captaining The Lifeboat: Runic Games’ Max Schaefer and Travis Baldree
Interview about the demise of Flagship Studios, on GameCyte (14th August 2008)
- 9 games with Ping0, LLC
- 8 games with Shanghai ArtCoding Co., Ltd.
- 8 games with Massive Black Inc.
- 8 games with Hydrogen Whiskey Studios
- 8 games with Sonic Mayhem
- 8 games with Liquid Development, LLC
- 8 games with Blur Studio, Inc.
- 8 games with Sony DADC Europe GmbH
- 7 games with Electronic Arts, Inc.
- 4 games with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.
Add your expertise to help preserve video game history! You can submit a correction or add the following: