Stainless Steel Studios appears to have shut down. Despite lack of official announcement on the closure, a number of employees have spoken of the developer's demise in a forum thread on a website dedicated to its RTS, Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War.
Reasons for the closure are vague to non-existent, although Stainless Steel's Daniel Higgins (game AI programmer on Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, Empire Earth, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World) has spoken in the forum thread about how "not all factors are under your control" when making games.
He adds that "If one of those uncontrollable [sic] factors are important to your company and product, and fails you, bad things like this can happen. It's an unfortunante [sic] part of life. You can only learn from the experience, hopefully educate others on your experiences, and everyone in the games industry gets stronger as a result."
Sad indeed, although there's hope that its current project, Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, will still see the light of day. Apparently the game is "just a few bugs from finishing", according to Higgins, who describes it as an "RTS evolutionary game". It would now have to be handed to another developer for completion, however, which Stainless Steel's lead graphics programmer Greg Seegert reckons would lead to a reasonably hefty delay.
"...the work left on the game was about two weeks for us. For another developer jumping in to a completely unfamiliar code base, it could take them several months to finish this work," Seegert said in a post in the thread.
Seegert continued: "One of the most upsetting things about this turn of events is that great, loyal fans like you may not have the opportunity to play this great game, at least for a while... All I can say is that I hope this game sees the light of day since it would be a shame if it did not."
Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War is being published by Midway, but the company remained unavailable for comment on the game's future at the time of writing.