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Firefall studio Red 5 couldn't make payroll on Christmas Day

MMO studio quiet on rumored financial troubles

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Firefall developer Red 5 Studios couldn't pay its employees last week, according to reports from staffers at the Laguna Hills, California-based studio. Employees expecting a paycheck on Christmas Day learned after the fact that they wouldn't be paid via an email from the company, which cited financial difficulties.

News of the financial crunch at Red 5 was first reported on Reddit and by A memo sent to employees said that the Firefall developer and its Chinese parent company, The9, were working to pay employees. That memo reads:

I regret to inform you that Red 5 currently does not have the funds necessary to meet our payroll scheduled for today Friday, December 25. Due to this, there will not be payroll paid this week. Red 5 and The9, our parent company, is currently working to resolve this, during the holidays, as soon as possible. We are hopeful we'll be able to resolve this and will update the team immediately.

On the Firefall subreddit, an anonymous poster claiming to be a Red 5 Studios employee is addressing questions from the community, saying that they weren't paid as expected on Dec. 25. According to that poster, Red 5 Studios told employees today that they'd be paid via direct deposit on Dec. 30.

Polygon has contacted Red 5 Studios seeking comment and will update with any new information we receive.

Firefall, a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game, officially launched in 2014, after more than four years in development. The game is currently available through Steam. A PlayStation 4 version was announced at this year's ChinaJoy game expo. Last month, Red 5 reportedly laid off about 40 employees.

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