Switzerland is not known for its video game industry. Swiss studios are few and far between. They are mainly oriented towards the creation of games for tablets and mobiles. The Swiss video game industry, however, is developing and trying to catch up with the best example "Farming Simulator" designed by a team of 75 people based mainly in Zurich. This farm simulation has sold more than 25 million copies.
In the early 2000s, a star tup named Komodo, had tried the experience. She had chosen Sierre, one of the sunniest cities in the country, nestled in the Valaisan Alps, a curious choice since most of the country's economic life is located in cities like Geneva or Lausanne for the French-speaking part. The company was co-founded in January 2001 by three partners. A friend living in the region remembers very well the studio installed at TechnoArk.
«When I would drive by after class, you would often see a big American car parked out front.»
Olivier Morgane, he lives 5 minutes from me, was leading a team of about ten collaborators, all of them big names in the business. They were working on two projects, One Online for PC and Flame Busters for Xbox Classic.
The studio's finances did not follow. Some press articles mention a search for 20 million CHF. All developments had to be stopped and the star tup closed.
«We ran out of cash. Our main partner (http://Butterfly.net) who provided us with the network engine for both games has given up its development and support.»
One Online, a cancelled MMORPG from Komodo :
«One Online» was to be a role-playing game that could gather tens of thousands of players simultaneously on the Net. The 3D game was inspired by the Lord of the Rings, with its medieval-style tribes.
The planet Axiom was a virtual world where thousands of characters populated the planet. Like any MMORPG, players would have to help each other, survive and fight each other.
The fantastic creatures were drawn by Didier Crisse, famous comic book author of «L’épée de Cristal».
The game wanted to stand out from the others by not offering a written communication system. The players would have to speak orally. The voice was going to be compressed, transported and recomposed once at the destination, in the form of synthetic voice while keeping its emotion, its intonation.
«We had started an MMORPG (OneOnline) that had reached the prototype stage with a playable demo whose main purpose was to illustrate the technological choices of the game.»
Flame Busters, a cancelled Xbox Classic game from Komodo :
«Flame Busters» was a cooperative multiplayer game where firemen had to stop fires on different islands.
«This one was almost finished and ready to be marketed. We couldn't even get this little fireman's set out.»
The final word :
The story, the universe of the MMORPG will be ported into a novel. We'll have to make do with this little information. Olivier Morgane is reluctant to let videos spread in the wild. We must respect his choice.
«I kept KOMODO, our company, dormant until today to protect the IP we had created.»
My other articles about cancelled games : Planet of the Apes (dreamcast) - Shenmue 2 Us (dreamcast) - Stampede (dreamcast) - Dee Dee Planet Dreamcast - Riders (concept) - One Online for PC and Flame Busters Xbox Classic