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Comic for: April 2nd, 2008
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The Zapper!: "An Unexpected Result of Age"
Posted: Wednesday April 2nd, 2008 by

Stormfront Studios, a California based video game developer, confirmed yesterday that they would be shutting down due to "adverse business conditions" after nearly 20 years of operation. The company is probably best known for the 2002 PS2/Xbox/Gamecube adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers but is also considered to be the developers of the first graphical MMOG, the AOL version of Neverwinter Nights which ran from 1991 to 1997.
Source: Gamasutra [ more info ]

Yesterday was probably the worst day for news of a company closure to be released as many people looked cross-eyed at it and wondered if it was just an April Fools joke. Unfortunately the story was confirmed later in the day in a phone interview NextGen conducted with Stormfront. [more info]

Now, before I read the various articles about Stormfront's closing and doing some resultant research into the company... I didn't know who they were. What interested me was the idea that they were the first company to produce a graphical MMOG and I had NO idea. The Zapper was created to address the glut of disappearing MMOGs and here the very company that was first on the MMOG scene unexpectedly hits glowing blue tube of gaming destiny.

I'd like be able to blame Eragon on some level, because it couldn't be easy to translate such a terrible movie to game. But really you can look at the list of their titles and when they were released and see a slow down in production.

At any rate, the company has been around a while. So, I figured, when zapped, they wouldn't sizzle like the other flies. They'd just disappear in a puff of dust, discarded walker falling helplessly to earth. I know I've zapped older companies (Acclaim, Atari a couple of times) but hey these seemed to me to deserve special attention... even if I didn't know who they were before I decided to zap them. **whistles**

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