Established in 2004 and previously known as 'Phoenix Freeware Online', Phoenix Online Studios began as a fan group of King's Quest fans coming together to create an unofficial sequel to the series.
Their first project, The Silver Lining, got the attention from publications such as PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, GameInformer, Edge Magazine, GamesTM, Kotaku, Mtv News and Joystiq. Today, we've been granted an IP license by Activision to publish all 5 episodes free to play.
Phoenix Online Studios is currently working on their first commercial endeavors - Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, recently released Episode 1 last October, and Episode 2 is about to be released Jan 30th, 2013. The game follows a Boston FBI agent, who lost her brother years ago to a serial killer who was never caught. With post-cognition abilities, Erica Reed is able to see the past of the objects just by touching it, adding a twist in this paranormal adventure game.
More information about Phoenix Online Studios or any of our projects can be found at www.postudios.com
Today I'm breaking norm from our regular blog entries to bring you a very personal story of an Indie Studio who's struggling, no, I'm talking about Phoenix Online (though we do have our fair share of struggles), this is the story of CBE Software, creators of J.U.L.I.A. and J.U.L.I.A. Untold.
Last January, CBE Software announced it had terminated its publishing agreement with Lace Mamba Global, citing a breach of contract relating to payments owed for the previously mentioned games, to which LMG claimed these accusations were "false statements" and "inaccurate", at first it seemed this would delve into a "he said, she said" sort of argument.
Check the back of your box, does it say Lace Mamba Global?
As it turns out, CBE isn't the only developer feeling cheated by Lace Mamba Global, as now we have Amanita Design (Botanicula, Machinarium), Daedalic Entertainment (Deponia, The Whispered World) and Colibri Games (The Tiny Bang Story) announcing they've also failed to receive payment due from Lace mamba Global.
Banding together, all of the developers have written an open letter as a cautionary tale to all those who wish to do business with Lace Mamba Global, I'm not going to copy and paste the letter, instead,I'll link it to where I first read it.
The world indie games is fraught with dangers, sometimes from those who we least suspect
If you've been reading the gaming news and media you might think this is where the story ends, but I'm afraid there's more to it, you see currently CBE software is on the verge of closing down and is currently its fans to support them through crowdfunding on Indiegogo, asking for the humble sum of $5000, to which I'm glad to see they've nearly reached 90% of the target quota.
As you might have guessed however, $5000 is the absolute bare minimum they need to stay open and every little bit helps! We here at Phoenix Online have been doing our best to spread the word and support our indie friends.
We believe that games can and should be considered art and J.U.L.I.A. is as much of the former as it is the latter and we can only hope that this isn't the last we've heard of it or the studio behind it.
Social Media Intern, Phoenix Online Studios