Shacknews - Steve Watts

Eden Studios, the developer of Test Drive Unlimited and 2006's Alone in the Dark, has officially been closed. This comes as the end of a long closure process that began with layoffs in 2011.

Most of the staff was laid off in the summer of 2011, causing the rest to go on a (largely symbolic) strike and subsequently move on. Atari signaled the studio's closure in May of last year, when it was being prepared for "divestment," but said it hadn't been closed yet.

Eurogamer reports that it was finally closed in January of this year. Its final game, released in 2011, was Test Drive Unlimited 2.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Update: Atari has provided Shacknews with a statement, saying that Eden Games is not closed. However, the company does confirm that it has "divested" from the studio: "Our earnings statement contained a report about the divestment of Eden Studios. We want to make it clear that the studio has not closed and that we will continue to support the console and PC games of Eden Studios, notably Test Drive Unlimited 2, while this process is underway. The divestment is in line with our previously stated strategy of exploiting our popular intellectual property library on mobile devices, where he have seen strong initial success, and via online games and licensing."

Original Story: Test Drive Unlimited developer Eden Games was as good as dead after owner Atari laid off most of the staff last year, but now it's official. In its financial results for last year, filed this week, the publisher confirmed it's been selling off what assets remain.

The results (via Edge) tell the sorry truth, if you want every last ounce of financial jargon.

It's all been downhill since Atari fired 51 of the French studio's 80 employees in May, sparking a symbolic strike. Test Drive Unlimited 2 wasn't received at all well, see, and Atari had ended up issuing free DLC in apology for its many "issues."

The Test Drive brand lives on, though. Atari has tasked Slightly Mad Studios with track-bound affair Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends, which is coming soon to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

A small number of former Eden members went on to found indie studio Blossom Mind.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Eden Games, developer of the Test Drive Unlimited series and Alone in the Dark reboot, is on a "symbolic day strike" today to protest parent company Atari's plans to lay off a whopping 51 of the French studio's 80 employees.

"Eden Games pays now for Atari mismanagement," charges a statement posted by one of the strikers on the Test Drive Unlimited 2 forums.

Eden's Test Drive Unlimited 2 and Alone in the Dark reboot

The statement claims that "We had anticipated the problems faced by the company last year... For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties."

An anonymous Eden member has told Gamasutra that the studio decided yesterday to strike after making no progress in two weeks of talks with Atari, and that the layoffs are expected to occur "around June."

The unnamed employee claims that the compensation being offered "is basically half" of one that was offered to victims of a 2009 restructuring at Atari. One of the striker statement's wishes is to "be sure that an employee of Eden Games is compensated the same way as an employee of Atari."

Curiously, Eden also wishes to receive mysterious "financial records" its accountant has requested. The Eden employee mysteriously told Gamasutra that "Unfortunately we cannot give you the detail of the missing documents, this would break the confidentiality agreement." Missing, you say?

Eden's latest game, Test Drive Unlimited 2, received a lukewarm response from critics but the mystery employee told Gamasutra the studio expects it will sell 900,000 copies--an estimate, as Atari won't reveal numbers. "We believe it can be a long-time seller," said the Edenite, as "players continue to play and enjoy the game" even though "there were several issues at TDU2's launch."


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