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Old 10-25-2017, 07:37 AM   #1
BeardedSonOfNel
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EA: Where Studios Go To Die


Via Forbes

Quote:
If there’s an independent video game development studio with a unique creative vision that makes games that you love to play, you’d best hope the studio doesn’t attract the attention of Electronic Arts (EA). EA has overseen the development of some very good games and they’re very good at making money, but they also have a long history of acquiring and then shutting down successful and creative development studios. They’re a place where game development studios go to die.
...
Studios EA has shutdown
  • Visceral Games
  • Origin Systems
  • Bullfrog Productions
  • Westwood Studios
  • Mythic Entertainment
  • Maxis
  • Kesmai
  • Pandemic Studios
  • DreamWorks Interactive
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:42 AM   #2
Cranium
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Always about EA, never about the burnt out founders selling out. They shop around look for the highest bidder once they've reached their creative goals and can't work silly hours anymore, and its usually EA with the cheque book. EA's more the undertaker than the murderer in most these cases, I suspect. Doesn't reflect positively on the "art" in "EA", but there you go.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:44 AM   #3
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EA & SOE should partner up.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:53 AM   #4
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Well just remember that when they buy a studio, it's normally very profitable for the owners of the studio.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:10 AM   #5
excalibur1814
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But.. But... Surely Command and Conquer made money?

So why try to destroy it with the balancing act of C&C 4 and then the F2P generals (That was cancelled)? EA truly can suck at times.

Just look at Plants Vs Zombies... A grind fest of f2PAY madness. Sim City Buildit wasn't that bad but still a pain in the rear.



Dear EA,
Bring back C&C. You can add micro-transactions straight away but leave the core game alone.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:17 AM   #6
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I would like to see a piece written about Zenimax and their failed tactics trying to buy out Obsidian and Human Head Studios.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:58 AM   #7
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I think they are doing it intentionally to destroy competition from talented studios that might actually compete with it and get published by rival pubs. Literally, they are a monopoly in the worst sense the word. Thank goodness we have Activision, Ubisoft, WB as a counterbalance.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:00 PM   #8
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Well just remember that when they buy a studio, it's normally very profitable for the owners of the studio.
Yeah the owners. The poor devs and artists usually end up without a job though.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:21 PM   #9
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:17 PM   #10
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Lol. I haven't watched Evil Dead in years. So much fun.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:35 PM   #11
Nighthawk
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They copied the idea from Microsoft and then took it to the next level.

Last edited by Nighthawk; 10-25-2017 at 07:36 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:58 PM   #12
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The real question is: "Why does EA do this?" By now they have surely realized that they cannot capture lightning in a bottle and once contracts are up and non-competes expire, the staff is just going to leave them and they'll have another studio house, its magic stripped, sucking up money and waiting to be folded. Considering the main complaint for everyone who works there is the lack of creative freedom, followed closely by obscene working hours and a corporate mindset rather than an artistic one, it would have to make more fiscal sense to just build "EA game churners" from the ground up.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:27 AM   #13
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I'm sure it makes some kind of financial sense on some powerpoint pie charts. But this is the straw that broke the camel's back for me. FUCK EA. I'm finally in an "avoid EA games" mode after years of putting it off. Visceral was awesome. Dead Space and Dante's Inferno were some of my favorites from last gen, and the devs always seems humble and cool.

Regardless, this is an assault inadvertently directed at me. Visceral and DICE were all that was left there. Bioware seems lost. DICE seems to be stuck on a treadmill. Fuck EA, I'm over it, at least until I see something to change my mind.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:38 AM   #14
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It's not just EA...From my experience (Microsoft). All the publishers care about is getting there hands on the IP rights. Once they have that....they shut the studios down, even if the games are super profitable, because they can do it "cheaper".
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by LordSoth View Post
It's not just EA...From my experience (Microsoft). All the publishers care about is getting there hands on the IP rights. Once they have that....they shut the studios down, even if the games are super profitable, because they can do it "cheaper".
As someone who worked in a big publisher this is a double-edged sword. Once the studios get the huge infusion of resources available to first party or near-first party they change a lot too.

They start building out of their scope which means more space and hires and all the things that go with a studio which is now two or three times the size what they used to have and are used to managing. They start taking on two, three, or even try to stuff four projects into an overly ambitious pipeline. They finally don't have to live on the edge of boom or bust.

The games suffer feature creep, lack of adherence to schedules, and their own type of corporate philosophy of complacency begins permeating the studio. They lose the hunger they had as someone who needed to get a great game out and make a lot of money to keep living. They know they can suffer a few failures before being at risk. At least where I worked, studios were often given full product cycles before they were shuttered. That could be 5 or 6 years; up to and including giving them work they might be able to outsource for cheaper.

Then, if they're successful, they get a primadonna attitude not realizing they would have never lasted long enough on their own without the backing of the publisher to begin with.

As sad as I am to have seen some of those studios close, their games were intergel to my development as a gamer and professional, Publishers aren't the only people who get to be branded with Scarlet letters here.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:12 AM   #16
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I get that is the case with some studios that are purchased prior to game releases and having there own budgets and means for paying them. But not all studios fall under what your stating. And is why I am only speaking from my experience (Microsoft/Ensemble Studios). Some studios were already producing games and had staff prior to any "buy outs" were on the table. The hires we had after our "buy out" we very minimal to what we could afford. So what your stating isn't always the case for everyone and thus it falls back to the publisher going after IP's and putting more money in there own pockets.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:26 PM   #17
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What game studios see:





What gamer see:

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Old 10-27-2017, 06:43 AM   #18
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Very nice Paranoia. I was hoping someone would photoshop that photo into a graveyard.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:49 AM   #19
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And is why I am only speaking from my experience (Microsoft/Ensemble Studios).
The closure of Ensemble was a tragedy. They ran afoul of the transition to MGS' mandate to put all support to Xbox and Xbox Live.

It was a numbers game to Ed Fries, Peter Moore, J Allard and the rest of the leadership at the time. Why finance a studio which made great games which sold well... for PC games in the hundreds of thousands of units, instead of plowing the same amount of money into making "ok" console games which sold a million units AND supported the "all in" Xbox Platform mandate?

That's one of the biggest problems with Publishers who are platform owners. They often make stupid decisions because they feel the need to push the platform over the smart decisions for the games and studios.

But I'd argue there are very few exceptions to the rule. For every Ensemble there's two or three Digital Anvils.
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