Murdered: Soul Suspect, Quantum Conundrum Dev Closes

By Nathan Grayson on July 3rd, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Murdered: Soul Suspect was about a ghost detective trying to solve his own murder, but there’s not a whole lot of mystery steaming off developer Airtight’s color-drained corpse. Recent games like Quantum Conundrum – while by no means bad – weren’t huge hits, there were layoffs, QC lead (and former Portal designer) Kim Swift took off, and Murdered never really built up much buzz. Times were tough all around, and it looks like Airtight wasn’t quite able to keep its head above water.

Geekwire first sent word of the closure, which the publication confirmed by physically going to Airtight’s offices and looking at a sign on their door. “COMPANY CLOSING DOORS,” it read. “OFFICE EQUIPMENT BLOW OUT SALE.” The developer’s old office equipment was being sold nearby.

The company has yet to respond, but the writing appears to be on the wall. Or sign, as it were. Meanwhile, a recent series of tweets from Airtight are about as final as it gets.

“Thanks to all of the fans, family, friends and colleagues who supported us and made the last 10 years possible.”

“Thanks to all of the amazing people that worked on Dark Void, Quantum Conundrum, Murdered, Soul Fjord, Pixld and DerpBike.”

That’s probably that, then. So long, Airtight. Seems like it was a bumpy ride, but I hope it was also a good one.

It’s a shame, given that Airtight often had great ideas, even if they weren’t always the best at realizing them. Any fond memories, RPSfolk? Or, for the sake of fairness, less-than-fond memories?

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19 Comments »

  1. melnificent says:

    Quantum Conundrum was a good game, not great. But that theme tune, just sticks in your head…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HXCf_Gqd8I

    Good luck in the future to all that lost their jobs. Hopefully the journey to renewed employment won’t be long.

  2. Frosty840 says:

    Quantum Conundrum had one of those “80% there, 80% of the time” vibes. John de Lancie did what he could with the script and managed to perform most of it well, but it often flagged, or felt forced. The levels were mostly okay, the puzzles were often alright, the platforming kind of worked for the most part.
    The ending was utter bollocks…
    Not a game I regretted getting for “free” through PS+, but not one I’d've been glad to have deliberately spent money on, had I done so.

    • Fenix says:

      I have exactly the same opinion. I also want to add that the game tried to be humorous quite frequently, but left me shaking my head almost after every attempt.

    • Yglorba says:

      More than anything else, I think it demonstrated why Portal 1 benefited from being a short game. It felt like Quantum Conundrum had a few good ideas, stretched far too thin over far too many levels. There was way too much “alright, I already demonstrated I completely understand this mechanic three times already — why are you still testing me on it?”

      And the plot / script problems were partially a result of that. There’s only so much cleverness you can manage when the structure of your game is basically just a bunch of mostly-contextless repetitive puzzles.

      (From the sounds of it, this was also the problem with Murdered: Soul Suspect — it feels like they really wanted to make really big AAA titles, but they didn’t quite have the budget or workforce to do games of that size justice, and they often focused on offbeat or experimental ideas that weren’t really suitable or safe for such a massive treatment on the first go-around anyway.)

  3. Keiggo says:

    It’s OK! You don’t have to close! I just bought Murdered: Soul Suspect. For £8.

  4. Dale Winton says:

    Shame , soul suspect was not that bad it is a pity that more people did not buy it

    • Baines says:

      By most accounts I’ve seen, Murdered: Soul Suspect was indeed “that bad”. At the least, “not that good.” Your comment might be the most positive description I’ve yet to read or hear for it.

    • rpsKman says:

      Seemed bad to me, but maybe I’m just not into ghosts. Perhaps ghosts are into me.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      It’s hardly been out long though and I’m sure it comes across to lots of people, me included, as a “pick it up in a sale” game. It’s a shame that will be too late for the developer though. I find the idea intriguing but not for full price.

    • UncleLou says:

      It sounded reasonably interesting to me despite the reviews, but I would have liked to get it for the PS4 for a number of reasons, where they had the nerve to ask almost 70(!) € for it, although the PC version wasn’t even a full-price title. That’s where they lost me.

    • HadToLogin says:

      It is really uneven piece of software. It barely has any gameplay, it’s just a bit more complicated/with-more-gameplay Gone Home, where you mostly just run around places looking for stuff that will give you a bit more of a stories (just with less grace than GH).
      But unlike Gone Home it’s big which makes it get way too big price tag.

  5. Ninja Dodo says:

    I liked Quantum Conundrum. Sorry to hear they’re gone.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    I never played Soul Fjord, but I bought Austin Wintory’s soundtrack on the recommendation of someone else here and have had much enjoyment from it. I guess the game will be trapped in Ouya limbo forever now.

  7. Michael Fogg says:

    NO! These guys made DerpBike!! They don’t deserve this!!

  8. Pie says:

    That picture with the awards on the desk is just sad.

  9. Tei says:

    I did not liked Quantum Conundrum, but maybe was a game for puzzle fans, and I am hardly that. But I loved portal, so is possible to sell me a puzzle game that I wil lenjoy if theres other elements.

    I considered buying Murdered: Soul Suspect, but all the reviews seems in agrement that is a mix of disjounted pieces that don’t fit togueter, …. it try many different things, and fail at most of them. One case of the sum of the parts being shit.

    The moral of the story is KIDS, DON’T GET INTO GAME DEVELOPMENT, it stinks.

  10. megazver says:

    There’s was an interesting comment on Reddit from someone who was friends with an (now former) employee. Apparently they totally got screwed by Square interference:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gamernews/comments/29n0sp/airtight_games_closes_just_weeks_after_debut_of/cimvlhn

  11. cthulhie says:

    Playing through Soul Suspect now, and feeling like it got a bad rap. A lot of the common criticisms leveled at it hold for every adventure game ever (highly predefined interactivity, valuing atmosphere over gameplay, lots of ideas toyed with but not fleshed out, lack of progress gets tedious), and none of them is a critical fault that overwhelms the interesting aspects of the game. I didn’t see the marketing campaign, but from reviewer expectations I’ve read it appears to have been mistaken for Dishonored, rather than L.A. Noire via Alan Wake. Not as good as either, but any distinct experience nets a game bonus points in my book.

    I like to follow studios that eke out a living pushing out flawed but unique games, so I’m kinda disheartened by this news. Dark Void, Quantum Conundrum, and Soul Suspect are not my favorite games, but they made a promising portfolio.

    plus srsly possessed kitty sim omg yes