Some people may have already found the news elsewhere that ESWC is to be closed down.
From their parent page, www.games-services.com:
Paris, April 5, 2009
Games-Services SA ceases all activities. Its liquidation has been pronounced by the Commercial Court of Paris March 30, 2009. In consequence, all the employees and managers have been relieved from their duties and laid off April 2nd, by the adjudication. The process of liquidation, which is starting this week, will notably organize the potential trade-in or resale of the company’s assets including the Electronic Sports World Cup and Overgame.
As most of you know, TrackMania Nations has been a regular fixture in recent ESWC events and so, while we appreciate that, for the people directly involved, there are more important issues than TrackMania, we thought we should talk a little to Nadeo about what this can mean for TM and in fact for them, and for the future.
We managed to gain a few moments with Florent Castelnerac, Director of Nadeo:
TMX Blog: How does this news about ESWC's problems affect Nadeo, if at all?
Florent: It affects Nadeo emotionally. We like the team behind ESWC and even had a great lunch at the company with all of them once upon a time. It is a long story that ends with this news. It is sad. Otherwise, it does not affect Nadeo. It reduces the potential to share ideas, vision and projects for the future, but we are totally independent from the ESWC. It also affects me if some players can not get their money or enjoy this years final.
TMX Blog: Trackmania Nations Forever is built on being a part of world tournaments, are there other competitions or organisations that Nadeo is looking at for TrackMania (and maybe future 'Mania games) to be a part of?
Florent: Yes and no. We would be glad for other world tournaments to grab TM as a key game. It could help to multiply the stories among the community, and we like community stories. Otherwise, we think that future of TrackMania competitions will be what they will be. If esports want to be strong, it needs more games like TM. Sincerely, I think TM is the best game designed for a wide audience esport discipline, but it does not mean it is still enough. The fall of big events or powerhouse bring the fall of an established world of esports, where violence issues, difficulty to watch matches and rights issues are real limits. We hope that TM is one game for a new generation of esport games. Other Mania games may or may not enter in this category one day.
TMX Blog: We are living in tough ecomomic times, its the first recession for a generation of young people and young companies. How is this for Nadeo? Do you see problems or opportunities, or is it 'business as usual'?
Florent: The fall of the economy is first the fall of a fake economy. I think TrackMania and VirtualSkipper players are real and really want to play it. It makes us stronger than others to go through these difficult times. If our partner were in difficulty, it could makes us some, but Nadeo has a good reputation, the team is quite small and we would probably find a way to finance future projects if we would be in bad shape. At the moment, the company can only congratulate itself for staying solid on a solid platform such as PC online games. The drop of the shelves are largely compensated by the increase of digital distribution.
We would like to wish those personally affected by the situation our sincere regards. We also wish to thank Nadeo for letting us take even more of their valuable time in answering a few questions about a difficult subject. Hopefully many of you will have found this of genuine interest.