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Daniel Golding
13 Dec, 2007

Auran development team in liquidation

PALGN News | Auran confirms the bad news to PALGN.
The rumours of Auran's demise have been thick and fast recently, with Sumea citing "very reliable sources" and claiming that Auran, an Australian games developer and publisher since 1995 had closed its doors forever at 3PM today. This was followed up by Gaming Blog Doolwind which also reported that the company had gone into liquidation.

PALGN has been in contact with an Auran employee who has told us the rumours "are true". This employee has told us that Auran Developments is in receivership. Auran Developments is the team that hires the developers at Auran. All Auran employees will be sacked / have been sacked and a select few will be rehired to work on some continuous updates on Fury.

Auran isn't completely dead though and will continue to publish titles in Australia such as Trainz. Fury will continue to operate and is set to expand into the Asian market next year.

Our previous coverage of Auran can be found here.

UPDATE: Tony Hilliam, the CEO of Auran has forwarded through the following comment on Auran.

"Auran: the facts
The Directors of Auran Developments, the company that employs all the Auran staff, have today called in a Voluntary Administrator (like Chapter 11 in the US). All the staff were dismissed today. Despite earlier reports, staff will be paid for all their work to date, their annual leave entitlements, redundancy payments and long service leave.

Whilst this is the end of Auran Developments, it is far from the end of FURY and Trainz.

Trainz is the world’s leading rail simulator and has a community of more than 250,000 registered users around the world. It is published in dozens of countries and there are many products in the market today. The bulk of the Trainz team will continue to work on current projects and these projects will be released next year.

With Fury, we built up a team to make a world beating game and sadly we have not reached our goals – yet. Our performance to date has meant we could no longer fund the 70 strong dev team. However, FURY: Age of the Chosen will be launched as planned Friday 8pm GMT. We have put together a small but committed team to continue developing FURY on an ongoing basis. This core team, as we announced last week, are a passionate group of people committed to making FURY a success. We will be releasing bug fixes, content and feature updates on a regular basis and in fact they will be more frequent with our new agile team.

I believe that once people hear about F:AotC and the new Free to Play business model, we’ll start building up the player numbers and revenues that will make the game successful.

I expect the naysayers will have different thoughts, but they haven’t played the new build…yet"

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38 Comments
6 years ago
I hope this is BS. Really really hope this is BS.
6 years ago
Sounds like fury was more of a failure than first thought
6 years ago
It would be a shame to hear this... We need the Australian Gaming Industry to grow strong.
6 years ago
I have spoken to Auran, it is true.
6 years ago
NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! I've died alittle inside. icon_sad.gif

What does this mean for Fury?
6 years ago
Very sad news.

As a game artist hoping to enter the commercial industry, I can only imagine that the number of job vacancies will dramatically drop as a result of this also.

All the best to the employees. icon_sad.gif
6 years ago
Wow. After all the reports of them going downhill I'd always hoped they would pull themselves out of it.

This is a real disappointment and a real shame for the Aussie games industry. Fury definitely wasn't as bad as most critics led people to believe and to hear that Auran has now shut down really does suck. I mean, the company really deserves better than this...
6 years ago
Now i have spoken to Auran I have updated the article accordingly, very disappointing.
6 years ago
You'd think if Atari is somehow still operating after all their problems, Auran would hang on for a little while longer
6 years ago
Man this is really disappointing news especially considering how they were such an active company, they tried so hard to promote and satisfy people with Fury. I actually saw them at two events I attended and it looked like they really did have something special. Like everyone knows its so rare to find Aussie based company like Auran. And now there giving free play? Man I really hope they figure something out.
6 years ago
6 years ago
This is indeed bad news. It's going to affect a lot of people and having it happen this close to Christmas is quite a shame.
6 years ago
I posted this story in your Fury comp thread about 3 days ago...
EDIT: I mean, I thought it was pretty clear in the fin review story that the company was on the way out, staff layoffs, outstanding loans...etc...
6 years ago
No, you posted the developer was cutting their team, this is different.

EDIT: We cannot report on "implications" that the developer is on the way out, otherwise we would be reporting that Atari is in liquidation.
6 years ago
Maikii wrote
I posted this story in your Fury comp thread about 3 days ago...
What you posted related to staff cuts (see this article), not liquidation which is much more serious.
6 years ago
It's not uncommon for companies to have service agreements like this where a fully owned subsidiary (or more commonly a service trust) hires all of the general employees, and has an agreement with the main company to provide said workers, though this is typically more common in service oriented businesses.

Going into administration is a pretty serious matter and very tightly regulated, so I'm sure the exact cause of the company's apparent demise will come to light soon.
6 years ago
Don't want you misunderstand me, just meant that when I read :
"$15 million was spent over three years in developing the game, with the Queensland company securing additional funding from the National Australia Bank to assist in the international marketing of the game." hence, after reading that, I'm not surprised about today's official news. i can see i used the wrong words in the above post. apologies icon_wink.gif
6 years ago
^ I see where you're coming from, but securing funding from the NAB is a positive thing, not negative. It's common business practice - and to be expected with a game like Fury that has a long tail. Clearly there was too much pressure from creditors for debts to be paid now that pushed them into liquidation.
6 years ago
I'm really saddened at this news. I followed Fury since the alpha testing stages and really liked it (I was eventually going to get around to buying it) and now I feel really dirty for winning a copy of the game through PALGN.

The sad state of video game development in Australia I think..
6 years ago
James wrote
^ I see where you're coming from, but securing funding from the NAB is a positive thing, not negative. It's common business practice - and to be expected with a game like Fury that has a long tail. Clearly there was too much pressure from creditors for debts to be paid now that pushed them into liquidation.
I'm betting it was this 100%.

Still seems pretty rash, though.

And if anyone from Aurun is reading this, thanks for letting your last (?) hurrah be giving away games to PALGN users - very cool.
6 years ago
sad to see the guys from Auran go, I was a big fan of Dark Reign back in the day
6 years ago
Passa wrote
now I feel really dirty for winning a copy of the game through PALGN.
I felt exactly the same, even before the news about them now coming to this. I thought the fact that they were giving away 1000 was moreso alarming than being an incredible competition- It's just unheard of to give away that many Retail games to a single website.

I really want Auran to pull through with this, I really do.
6 years ago
Sad days indeed, and it's good to hear the employees are getting their entitlements. It's a shame that what seem like their two biggest titles are real niche titles. Trainz might well be the sort of thing that will retain a sweet little income stream from die-hard train buffs, but it'll struggle in the general marketplace against Railroad Tycoon, SM's Railroads and MS Train Simulator.

And as for Fury - PvP MMO's are always going to be a tough sell I think. So many balance issues to get right, no PvE content, plus they are already competing against Guild Wars and have the looming sword (warhammer?) of damocles in the form of Warhammer Online floating ominously in the future. Without a strong IP behind them, it's hard to see new MMO's succeeding (at least in the new definition of success WoW has introduced).

Still - I used to love Dark Reign, and we played a heap of it multiplayer when I was at uni. Hopefully their staff will find new gigs and keep churning out great games.
6 years ago
Yeah, the 1000 free copies certainly took me back when i first saw it.I haven't seen blizzard give away 1000 free copies of WOW for example.

Pretty bad, like a poor christmas holiday special, the story of the games company folding right before christmas....
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