UK development group Argonaut have, as many predicted, collapsed, with several high profile resignations from the board, and the placing of the company into administration. The fim recently warned the London Stock Exchange of financial troubles, and even warned two weeks ago that cash was running dry amid failure to sign new deals. The new deals hoped for did not arrive, and the poor sales of Carve and Catwoman most recently can hardly have aided the embattled developer - once one Britain's most successful.
Not that Argonaut is the first firm to feel the bite of the harsh financial, several other firms having already fallen by the wayside, an impact partially blamed upon publishers moving development abroad and in-house. Nearly 100 staff have been made redundant at the firm thus far, with the Sheffield studio the first to close up shop. "Jeremy San and Aaron San have resigned from the Board of the Company with immediate effect," a statement today read, adding "Administrators have been appointed by the Directors of the subsidiary companies to facilitate a restructuring of the business. The companies will continue trading under the Administrators' control whilst a buyer is sought. Interest has already been expressed and the Administrators are confident that an early sale can be finalised. An early sale is always desirable in this sector to minimise any disruption to ongoing games development, to the staff and to the customers."
Particularly strong hope remains for Cambridge studio Just Add Monsters - who could be sold as part of the administration process - who have the strongest recent Argonaut title to their name in Kung Fu Chaos. More soon.