Re: Oh great...now this...
Doh!, my mistake. Still, from what I heard, they were supposed to work on followups/ports of Alice for EA and it didn't happen. Then, they were supposed to work on some stuff for Valve and same kinda thing happened...suckage.
For those that don't know, EA also cut a LARGE portion of the Ultima Online 2 staff in one shot. And, from what I heard, they turned around and hired a new (read: cheaper) staff to finish the project. Hmmm...gotta love modern business economics. Close to a quarter, lay everyone off to decrease expenses...turn around and re-hire them (or new labor) at a decreased wage for the next quarter...lather, rinse, repeat.
I have to disagree with you a bit here. I understand it's "normal" for publishers to do this sort of thing in today's gaming industry environment.
However, in the long run, it can only "help" the industry on the whole (quality of games released as well as proper treatment of developers) if I only put my money where I see the best of both sides (publishers treatment of developers as well as the quality of the games from developers).
Usually "telling" publishers you don't like something does little good...if this were the case then the "ship now, patch later" lesson would have already been learned. Most gamers HATE this, yet, it still continues. Why? Well, the gaming community is often as "fickle" as they are "stuck in their ways"...lemme explain.
Looking at what is popular one minute and not the next helps to show what publishers are seeing. For example, Deer Hunter does good and every publisher thinks that means we ALL want hunting games. So, what do we get? Several months (years) worth of every quality (good to REALLY bad) hunting games. The next thing you know, gamers are not buying hunting games, now it's The Sims or such. The publishers can't really be blamed for trying to keep up with this (with the exception of being willing to rush any crappy "popular" title type to market just to cash in on the craze).
As for gamers being "set in their ways", most gamers are worse addicts about "gimme, gimme, gimme NOW" for a new game to come out than a crack head...they need their "fix". They are unwilling (or unable) to wait until at least a few reviews are released to see what the pro's and con's of a game are before they rush out and purchase it as soon as it hits the store shelves.
By doing this sort of thing, they "tell" the publishers that what they are currently doing (even if it's rushing products to market before they are "ready for prime time") is OKAY by them. This current state of the industry will ONLY change if the purchasing public changes it's methods.
If gamers were willing to wait (instead of "having") to purchase a game, the publishers would be more careful about their business practices...or they would not be in business for as long.
I know too many ppl working in the industry that have told me story after story of how their company was treated poorly by publishers. I'm sure most gamers don't "really" care (or just don't know) about this aspect of the industry. Perhaps if they were educated a bit about it, they would be willing to put some pressure on the publishers (speaking via their purchasing dollars) and the treatment of developers (the actual ppl that PRODUCE the games we love to play) would get at least a little bit better.
Also keep in mind, that when games are reviewed, it's the work of the DEVELOPER that is often the target of the review...with little to no thought/comments pertaining to the amount of time/money allowed by the publisher for the development of the project. For example, the final work in SiN was SO well done. Yet, because of Activision pushing it out the door too early, many of the reviews had negative comments pertaining to things that would NOT have been (nor were after the 1.01 patch) in the released product.
While releasing the project in that state did cost Activision some profits, it hurt Ritual to a greater extent (IMHO)...if for no other reason than we have yet to see SiN 2 to this very day. Had SiN been released bug free, more copies would have sold, and quite possibly, Activision would have felt it was "worth" giving a sequal to SiN a chance...
Can't we all just SiN along... [img]/forums/images/icons/grin.gif[/img]