Castaway Entertainment had been founded on 2004 by ex-Blizzard North employees. Castaway president Michael Scandizzo recently announced the studio is about to close operations after failure to secure a couple of projects with a publisher. (More at Gamasutra).
On September 6, 2005 Rick Seis—former Blizzard North employee who led the studios after the 2003’s mass-resignations had joined Castaway Entertainment as its Technical Director and lead programmer. Mike Huang, who I interviewed a few years ago, during his eBay sale, was part of Castaway Entertainment.
A look into their background at Blizzard North according to their “About Us” Section:
Michael designed and built the Diablo II Battle.net game server network, supporting hundreds of thousands of users around the world. In addition to architecting the structure of the code, advancing random level generation, writing a custom windowing system, and creating all the character creation and chat screens, he was also behind many of the popular skills in Diablo II , such as corpse explosion, necromancer curses, and firewall. Michael worked at Blizzard for five years.
The name of the Diablo-inspired game Castaway Entertainment had been working on these past years since 2004 was revealed to be titled Djinn. It is disappointing to see a good set of developers disband like this. Best wishes, and hopefully a publisher is able to inject some resources to keep the wheel going. Hopefully, Activision Blizzard gets the “cue” of my drift.
Check out their concept art section.