Frontier's 'The Outsider' on hold, but not canceled

It seems The Outsider's inability to gel with a publisher has finally forced Frontier Developments to put the game on hold, according to statements made by studio head David Braben to Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Develop. "We have had to change priorities because of requirements on other unannounced projects," Braben told RPS, implying that development on The Outsider had ceased in favor of more promising ventures.

"There is still publisher interest in the project," he later clarified to Develop, "and we haven't canceled it."

The Outsider was first announced by Frontier in 2005 and billed as an action thriller designed to offer "genuine freedom" in gameplay and narrative. Players would assume the role of a rogue CIA agent in "an immersive, dynamic world and storyline" set in Washington, D.C. "This gives the player genuine freedom to change the story outcomes in a way not seen before," promises an ambitious game description on Frontier's site, adding, "each player will get a truly unique, sophisticated experience."

Following a failed courtship with Codemasters, it seemed the title had found its suitor in EA, but the publishing deal fell through, according to RPS's source; who also said that 17 Frontier employees had been laid off this week, in addition to a reported dozen staffers that lost their jobs late last year. "Some people have been moved," Braben confirmed to RPS, "and we are very sad to have made some people redundant."

Frontier's other known project, Elite 4, was put on hold last May. In November, the studio released Kinectimals to generally positive reviews, though there has been no indication as to its sales status.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.