Krome Studios releasing new game but officially winding up?

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Yes, it's all getting a bit confusing.

Cast your minds back to mid-October last year when news had spread rapidly that Australia's largest games developer, Krome Studios, were closing their doors and letting go of their staff. This meant the end of Krome Studios Melbourne as well as their main hub of operations in Brisbane. The rumours concluded that a small amount of contractors were continuing on to finish off remaining projects. All the following corroborating comments from ex-Krome staff and those in-the-know implied that it was indeed true.

A month after the news had circulated, Andrew McMillen for IGN AU conducted an interview with Krome Studios CEO, Robert Walsh, on the demise of Krome Studios. Remarkably, Walsh countered the circulated reports that Krome Studios were closing up by saying that they were still seeking projects and even had the potential to expand up to a hundred staff. They were down to 40 staff for the time being, however, and were now "focusing more on social, casual and digital stuff" rather than developing console titles aimed for the shelf which they're more known for. The company at this point was renamed from "Krome Technologies Pty Ltd" to "Fortitude Technologies Pty Ltd" but was still trading as Krome Technologies.

Some may have noticed that Krome Studios was listed for a few products after their 2010 mid-October "closure". There were three Game Room Game Packs (011, 012, and 013), released during mid-November to mid-December of last year. And surprisingly, Krome Studios is also credited for a soon-to-be released new game called Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp. From the blog of Microsoft Xbox Live Director of Programming, Major Nelson, on the Xbox 360 related releases shown at last week's New York Comic Convention 2011...

"Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp" – shipping this fall by Signal Studios and Krome Studios. Wage war on a tiny scale in "Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp" which brings the fun and addictive shooting gallery mini-games from "Toy Soldiers: Cold War" exclusively to your Windows Phone! Additionally, earn bragging rights in Cold War on Xbox 360 through an integrated mobile leaderboard

Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp looks to be the mobile version of the XBox Live Arcade title, Toy Soldiers: Cold War which was developed by Seattle based Signal Studios. We're guessing that Krome Studios was given the project to port over the shooting gallery mini-game aspect of the original title to the Windows Phone platform. With its release date fairly imminent (Fall in the U.S), we're assuming that development for this project is practically done.

So what does this all mean? Is this a sign that Krome Studios is still kicking around and trying to secure and complete projects as their CEO had indicated late last year? Unfortunately, maybe not. We had a search on Fortitude Technologies on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website to see what their records are. Here are some of the details from the resulting page.

18/10/2011 027767795 Not Imaged 524J Presentation of Accounts & Statement Accounts of Creditors'
11/02/2011 027502758 2 506E Notification of Change of Address of Liquidator
05/11/2010 7E3278074 6 5011A Copy of Minutes of Meeting of Members, Creditors,

It would appear that, apart from being assigned a liquidator sometime earlier this year, Fortitude Technologies (trading as Krome Studios) submitted today a 524 Presentation of Accounts form which is used specifically by an administrator, liquidator, or controller. Searching the "524J" code brings up many results on esearch.net.au describing this as a "Voluntary Winding Up" procedure.

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