Mark Long
Mark Long

Meteor Entertainment, publisher of the PC combat game Hawken, has closed its Seattle office and is consolidating operations into its Los Angeles studio. Meteor’s former CEO Mark Long confirmed to GeekWire today that he stepped down late last year, and that the company’s chief product officer, Bill Wagner, is now running things.

The changes are a swift reversal for Meteor Entertainment, which has raised roughly $28.5 million in two rounds of funding to financially support the development of Hawken (in partnership with Adhesive Games in Los Angeles). Investors included Rustic Canyon Partners, Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital.

Long, who is a 20-year-plus veteran of the video games business, said the consolidation of the two studios has been happening for awhile. “Two studios got us to market fast, but inefficient in the long run,” he said, in an email.

infiltrator-screenshot-2We hear the closure of the Meteor office in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood is so final that even the furniture is for sale. Wagner did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

It’s not clear how many jobs were affected by the closure of the Seattle office.

But the executive changes and the office closure are not the only change. The PC game is now being distributed through Valve’s Steam platform after an initial attempt to market the game directly to consumers.

Video game site Kotaku said that despite strong initial interest surrounding the first-person shooter, the game was “missing in action for the majority of 2013.” It’s now getting a second chance after being released last month on Steam, where it cost $30 in the beginning. The cost was intended on keeping participation low while the game’s kinks were worked out. More recently, the game became free-to-play with a number of bundles for sale, according to its community posts.

Meteor's Chief Product Officer Bill Wagner via GamerHubTV.
Meteor’s Chief Product Officer Bill Wagner via GamerHubTV.

Since the company has not released any metrics, it’s hard to know how the game is performing, however, it’s unlikely it has lived up to expectations if it is switching platforms to seek a wider audience. In an October 2012 interview, Long told GeekWire that he expected the game to earn more than $100 million in revenue, and gain between five and 10 million players during its first year.

But all hope may not be lost. Reviewers gave the game a score of 73 out of 100, based on the assessment of seven critics, who applauded the game’s graphics, but criticized its free-to-play system.

Other bugs remain. In a letter released yesterday on the game’s forum, a spokesperson said voice communication isn’t working all the time for its players. “It only works some of the time and we are working to address that,” Meteor said.

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  • Guest

    Dead man walking.

  • sunnyhell

    The game is a blast to play, try it if you haven’t.

  • AustinK

    I REALLY enjoy this game. I’ve never played any type of mech fight games, but after beta testing TitanFall, I gave this one a try and was thoroughly impressed. My friends and I are even holding off on TitanFall because we’re enjoying this game so much. (TitanFall is another amazingly fun game, don’t get me wrong).

    • Loyalty

      What is your name in Hawken? How to find you in games Austin? :)

  • John Shrader

    Check out Meteor on Glassdoor. If half the stories are true…

    • Dave S.

      I think you might be confusing Meteor Games (seemingly shut down in 2011, made Flash games, has a Glassdoor page full of ex-employee horror stories) with Meteor Entertainment (shut down in 2014, made Hawken, doesn’t seem to have a presence on Glassdoor at all.)

  • Chris

    how do you make an account?

  • T Sheehan

    Still a fantastic game, and a darling for those of us who are current Oculus Rift early adopters. The pace may be too sedate for the Call of Duty Crowd, and too fast for the Mechwarrior stalwarts, but for the VR faithful & those who fit in between, it’s a god send with wonderful art, competitive gameplay, and a bare minimum of hackers (for the PC world). Be warned: progression can be a real grind.

    • barbzilla

      And that is the real issue, had they not made progression so damn slow, many people might of stuck around that didn’t otherwise. The F2P model is one of the most lauded reasons for the score being as low as it is.

  • ryancool

    im cool

  • Alex Diamantopulo

    One of the best mech games I’ve ever played…

    • Agent Rockstar

      It just needs new maps. I wish I knew how to program or whatever, with new maps it could be revived. Or at least if the ability to submit maps would have been possible.

      • Alex Diamantopulo

        Eve if you’d know how to program you couldn’t do anything. You need rights to do so, you need sources, UDK tools and pretty big team…

        • Agent Rockstar

          Well, I’m……game.

          • Alex Diamantopulo


          • Alex Diamantopulo

            I’m sure you are

  • ilxter

    Today i have noticed that the Hawken website forums and Support have been demolished. The game has lasted surprisingly long without the devs. Didn’t know the facts of this article until googled around tonight. It is a big shame a game such as Hawken dies – I have thoroughly enjoyed every single battle since the beta-phase when I got onboard. If you can still register, give it a go. Like someone on the Steam forum said; “…there is no feeling like teabaggin a giant dead robot with another robot”.

  • JaTu

    I am currently playing Hawken and it is great fun. Much better than MWO. I hope it keeps going. There is a big Hawken following on Reddit but it’s true the official forums seem to have been shut down althought the rest of the web page for signing up and playing the game still work fine.

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