Factor 5 Inc. Shuts Doors, Wii Game Probably Still Coming

By Ishaan . May 14, 2009 . 8:16am

After months and months of Kid Icarus and Factor 5 speculation, we finally have some concrete info on the company’s situation after the Brash Entertainment fiasco. Unfortunately, it’s not very good news.


Factor 5’s USA division (Factor 5 Inc.) has officially closed its doors.Needless to say, this is extremely unfortunate, considering Factor 5 made some of the best games we all played on Nintendo systems. We wish the company’s former employees and their families the very best of luck and hope they manage to land on their feet.


However, there is some solace to be gained in the fact that the company’s main division in Cologne, Germany (Factor 5 GmbH) is still in business and will continue to make games.


A couple weeks ago we reported that there might be hope for Factor 5’s long-rumoured Wii game despite the difficulties the developer was facing after Brash Entertainment pulled its funding and contracts for their Superman game. While there’s still no official news on the game(s?), there is this message on the Factor 5 website, which now points to www.factor5.de:


We are sorry to announce the closure of the San Rafael-based Factor 5, Inc. studio, but the obstacles created by the sudden bankruptcy of Brash Entertainment for the continuation of operations have turned out too great to overcome in the current economic climate.


Factor 5 GmbH, which has been creating games since 1988 with its headquarter in Cologne, Germany, is entirely unrelated to Factor 5, Inc. and the circumstances surrounding Factor 5 Inc.’s recent challenges. Although we are saddened by Factor 5 Inc.’s situation, our corporation will remain unaffected by these developments and has partnered with both old and new friends in the industry who will reveal our upcoming projects over the next months.


We would like to thank everybody on the publishing and development side who have supported us throughout the last 20 years and continue to do so. The current transition of the games industry is challenging, but as with transitions prior there is more opportunity than ever for independent development out there.


Achim Moller, CEO Factor 5 GmbH


Let’s look at one line closely “…has partnered with both old and new friends in the industry who will reveal our upcoming projects over the next months.” Nintendo counts as an old friend…right?

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  • daizyujin

    This is a sad day. Factor 5 has always been a good developer. Even Lair had quite a few good points. As for who these “old friends” are, could be any number of people. They have done work with several companies, Nintendo, Sony, Lucasarts, Konami. It could be anybody or even many. They had a game in development for the PS3 as well. At least unlike many other studios that have folded in recent years this one still remains in some capacity. Perhaps in a few years we will see them make gains again.

    I guess this kills those rumors of Kid Icarus ever being under development by Factor 5 to a large extent. Had Nintendo been backing a major title from them I would have found it hard to see Brash’s closing having that large of an impact. Only time will tell but it would be nice to see the German studio pick up Pilotwings again. That series has been gone too long.

    • Factor 5 was definitely working on or trying to pitch a Kid Icarus to Nintendo. There’s evidence of this all over the place. Hold on, let me see if I can find it…

      Found it. So, the rumour, if I recall correctly, started with IGN’s Matt Cassamassina, who’s very much in-the-know when it comes to Factor 5. Then, this popped up:


      Then this:


      Sooo, yea. Perhaps Nintendo turned the project down or asked them to work on something else instead (like you said, maybe it’s Pilotwings). I just hope it isn’t another Star Wars game for Lucasarts…I’d really like to see Factor 5 (whatever is left of them) continue doing original stuff.

      • daizyujin

        Sounds like it might have been more of a pitch to Nintendo than a request from Nintendo to develop it. Like I said, I would think such a game would have allowed them to weather Brash’s closure a little better. Then again, Lair was a commercial failure. I doubt recovering from a failure like that is easy.

        Pilotwings makes more sense to me in regards to Factor 5. They have a very large pedigree in the flight genre. Now might be the best time to bring it back if it was ever under development to begin with. I am sure Motion+ could give the game the precision it needs. Thinking about it, perhaps the lack of said precision is the reason the game was canned in the first place.

        I agree with you in regards to Star Wars. There is no doubt they made some awesome Star Wars games but there is so much more potential there. I hate to see such talent wasted on the same title over and over. Like I said, Lair had a lot going for it, there was just some problems with it that kept it from greatness. For one it should have shipped with the regular control scheme that was added 6 months down the line. The games presentation, in particular its music was great though, it just needed a little more time for bug fixes. That is water under the bridge now though.

  • Mazen

    Factor 5 Germany is where the talent was since the Amiga days, they are the ones who made Turrican. I didn’t like a single game that the US division was involved with.

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