The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that game maker Presto Studios
is closing its doors, despite a string of big successes and a relatively healthy balance sheet.
Presto CEO Michel Kriplani told writer Kim Peterson that Presto is not able to fund its own game development. While the console market is booming, PC games — Presto’s bread and butter — have been languishing. And with top-tier game development running into the millions, game publishers are less willing to front development funds for less-proven properties.
It’s a conundrum that is affecting the video game business much in the same way that the motion picture industry has been shaped over the past decades. As the public anticipates more technically extravagant and sophisticated entertainment, development costs for today’s games have risen stratospherically. With such high costs, funding for projects is very conservative. Game producers prefer to invest in proven franchises and sequels than they are in more radical ideas. That leaves small but profitable companies like Presto out in the cold.
Founded in 1991, Presto Studios was responsible for the development of a popular 3D graphical adventure game series called The Journeyman Project, available for both the Mac and Windows. Presto continued Mac support when it developed Myst III: Exile for Ubi Soft. The company’s swan song will be a Microsoft-published Xbox game coming this fall called Whacked!