Paradise Lost: Test Drive, V-Rally Dev Eden Shut Down

By Nathan Grayson on April 13th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

Truth be told, things at Test Drive Unlimited, V-Rally, and Alone in the Dark developer Eden Games haven’t been going particularly well for quite some time. The sorry saga began with a gigantic round of layoffs and a nice, breezy Sunday afternoon strike in the park, and now – two years later – the final nail’s been hammered into the coffin. Atari, as it turns out, quietly boarded up Eden’s doors back in March, ending a fairly loud, messy state of affairs with barely a peep.

Eurogamer first caught wind of the shutdown, and sure enough, Polygon discovered that any emails sent to the company prompt the following message, translated from French:

“We regret to inform you that the studio is permanently closed since 1 March 2013.”

Even after the strike, Eden was kept afloat for some time to support Test Drive Unlimited 2. Apparently, however, Atari decided that was no longer worth the necessary time or resources. Eden is now going through liquidation, which presumably means assets are being sold off. Could we see some of its franchises land elsewhere? Time (and hopefully, some form of comment from Atari) will tell.

Meanwhile, a number of former Eden developers took up root at Blossom Minds back in 2011, which announced promising-looking platformer Walter (starring a gushy droplet of water, because geddit) only to recently encounter serious financial troubles. Sadly, I suppose you could say it runs in the family.

For now, though, the sun has officially set on Eden. But, instead of getting all weepy, what’s your favorite memory from their games?

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18 Comments »

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  1. Innovacious says:

    So, does this mean TDU2 servers will be going down? Nobody is going to take it over? I was thinking about reinstalling it recently

    • Chizu says:

      I’d like to know this aswell, I wanted to get back into it as I’ve not been able to play for quite a while.

      It was flawed, but it was a pretty fun game.

      • daniyaalseeq says:

        If you think Charlotte`s story is incredible…, 1 weak-ago my friend basically also broght in $8335 just sitting there seventeen hours a week an their house and they’re classmate’s sister-in-law`s neighbour done this for four months and brought home over $8335 in there spare time online. the advice from this address, http://bic5.com/

    • Issunsaki says:

      I really hope the servers stay online too. While I always preferred the original, TDU2 was great fun.
      I guess I can lay my hopes of a good TDU3 to rest now, though :\

    • Premium User Badge

      Henke says:

      I liked the TDU games too, especially the second one had some great landscapes. If you just wanted a game you could drive around in and go on a roadtrip in, it was one of the finest.

      Alone in the Dark had some nice ideas too despite being a very mediocre game overall.

      Can’t say I’ll mourn Eden’s passing too much though. There are probably better devs Atari can pump their money into.

    • Nova says:

      Yeah, I also liked TDU2 a lot despite its flaws.

      Since the “single player” also runs on their servers it would be interesting to know what happens with them.

    • NormanTimbers says:

      TDU2 went on sale; shortly after, the servers went down for a few days, nothing on their website or any twitter accounts etc. updated. Now I know why.

      It is possible to play this game purely offline. However it is a bitch, and you would have to d/c your internet or firewall the domain to get it to launch in offline mode.

      For the moment servers are still up.

      If the servers get shut down they better patch the forced online bullshit out. Though I doubt anyone will bother. When the servers went down it took them a full week to get them back up without comment. (hilariously the game will launch when the servers are offline, but will not allow you to play since you have an internet connection- leaving many on the forums thinking that playing offline is impossible)

  2. Klarden says:

    I loved Alone in the Dark (2008/Inferno) it had 99 problems, crashed constantly (on PC and it still does), but good ideas weren’t one. I was hoping Atari would request them to update the game and put it on Steam and other digital distribution services, but oh well.
    It’s a shame, that it’s the second Alone in the Dark developer to go, last year it was Darkworks – The new Nightmare developers (who also did rathersimplistic but really fun Cold Fear).

  3. Jason Moyer says:

    Porsche Unleashed and Test Drive Unlimited were great. I also had fun with V-Rally 3 on the xbox. It’s a shame they were never given the resources to really finish TDU2, and that they ended up falling on the Infogrames pike.

  4. engion3 says:

    Test Drive Unlimited 2 was tits. I don’t know what it was but something kept me playing that game.

    • Premium User Badge

      cqdemal says:

      Both TDU games are far more enjoyable than they have any right to be. Massively flawed but also endlessly mesmerizing. I played TDU1 until the in-game time counter broke (it stopped at around 740 hours for me), and probably dumped another couple of hundred hours into the sequel despite the general failure to address the original’s problems.

  5. ass wasp says:

    That’s a damn shame, the TDU games were pretty damn fun although the presentation int he second was a little irritating.

  6. SuperTim says:

    TDU was one of the best car driving game I’ve ever played. Nice tropical setting, beautiful area.

    So sad they’re gone. Well, I can still play off-line.

  7. Thany says:

    Porsche Unleashed for the PC was made by EA Canada proper, not by Eden.
    Eden made a crapy PS1 port that sold badly and was shit, which is the reason console gamers hate the Porsche Unleashed/2000. That lead into canning the 2001 title of Need for Speed Ferrari Unleashed.

    While TDU2 is a better game then the TDU1, TDU1 brought then next-gen racing to the PC’s in 07. Race Driver: Grid was still a year away, CM:Dirt was a few months out and Need for speed’s up to 2009’s Shift just had jumped up PS2 graphics and physics.

    It pushed the hardware and ideas what can an online racing game could be. Everybody expected TDU2 to do the “Assasins Creed 2″, polish the original game and reel in the money, but afaik the team changes so drasticly, they pretty much started from scratch learning wise.

    • fredc says:

      So these dudes are responsible for NFS Porsche Unleashed not having a sequel?

      What complete bastards. My nerd rage is palpable.

      That was the best driving game ever created, the story mode making up for any deficiencies in the game engine and the limited (by present-day standards) number of tracks.

  8. Parrot says:

    Spent 4 years playing and chilling TDU1. Good times. Too bad it’s not Atari in the coffin…

    Well, all the good devs left Eden after or during TDU1 anyway… no wonder the sequel was so crappy and death followed quickly.

  9. botonjim says:

    I thought Alone in the Dark 2008 was a great game despite its problems. Once you got to Central Park it allowed for a great deal of non linear exploration with plenty of fun, *real* puzzles to be solved.

  10. Shiny says:

    Any decent French developers left? Arkane and maybe Ubi? Please don’t say Cyanide.