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GRIN founders blame Square Enix for the studio’s demise

Saturday, 28 May 2011 18:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The founders of GRIN are blaming Square Enix for a significant portion of the events leading up to the studio’s bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent closure.

Speaking in an interview with Aftonbladet, Ulf and Bo Andersson said Square not only made ridiculous demands of the firm, but it also reneged on $20 million contract for the firm’s Final Fantasy spin-off game, codenamed Fortress. Square also insisted, according to the Anderssons, that the firm fax it the game’s code and music files.

“It is as silly as it sounds,” said Bo Andersson. “It is an impossible requirement, you can not send ASCII or binary codes on the fax. It is backward. Really retarded. It was almost a criminal activity.”

According to the developers, Square also claimed the firm was not delivering its work to the correct departments. It should have, instead, been sending all its work to Square’s legal division, and furthermore insisted it didn’t like the game’s Nordic style, which it specifically requested from the beginning and was one of the main reasons it chose a Swedish firm in the first place.

So, to test the waters at Square a bit, and to see if it was even paying attention, GRIN sent it some concept art from taken straight from Final Fantasy XII .

The Anderssons were told: “It does not look like Final Fantasy.”

“Then we realized that whatever we do … they have decided,” Bo Andersson said. “We wanted to come in and revolutionize Final Fantasy, which is exactly what they need. The latest version sucks of course.”

We’ve mailed Square to see if it has any response to these rather harsh allegations.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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24 Comments

  1. pukem0n

    well, hes right with Final Fantasy sucking big time now

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Telepathic.Geometry

    I can soooo believe it…

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    “It is as silly as it sounds,” said Bo Andersson. “It is an impossible requirement, you can not send ASCII or binary codes on the fax. It is backward. Really retarded. It was almost a criminal activity.”

    WHat?! What moron thought that was a good idea. It seems like they wanted the studio to fail especially faxing code.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Anders

    This’ll be interesting.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    Japanese corporate management types are full of fail.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. absolutezero

    I think one of the largest deciding factors in the death of Grin was the amount of crap they pumped out.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DSB

    I’m inclined to agree with absolutezero.

    Regardless, this is just going to descend into he-said-she-said.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. WFMMK

    Both Bionic Commandos they made were amazing especially the 3D one.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    Yeah, but face it Bo, Wanted: Weapons of Fate, Terminator: Salvation & Bionic Commando sucked terribly. Maybe you should have gotten off your arses and made some original content rather then relying on contracts. Nearly all of these ‘contract only studios’ have closed now, we’re just waiting for Slant Six…

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Clownbabyalbino666

    The first half of the 3D Bionic Commando was good and then, I don’t know if they had a deadline or something, but the game falls apart in gameplay, story, and general execution. Not only does the story have a ridiculous plot twist with no explanation behind it, but it doesn’t even have a real final boss battle. Rearmed, though, was solid.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. hitnrun

    I can’t disagree with absolutezero and DSB but c’mon, those bits about demanding files be encoded in a fax (those still exist?) and rejecting actual lifted FF art as “not like Final Fantasy” are uproarious if true.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Zana

    How would a mediocre developer like they were would be able to revolutionize Final Fantasy? Especially by making it a bland looking Western RPG. Current FF developers have chosen their own path and whether you like it or not, at least they are doing their best to fulfill their ideas. FFXIII was a brilliant game…in its own genre.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Bloodyghost

    @12, I agree with some of what you said. GRIN was rather bad as a company. They had some ambitious IP’s and some shitty ideas for gameplay and Story.

    Also I feel that XIII was too ambitious, which is why people declare it as shit. I liked FFXIII but it got old…fast.

    Also Me dont like idea for FFXIII 2

    But I do like the direction Versus 13 is taking. So I am still on the board about the series. If Versus is anything like FFXIII in being ambitious then falls flat then I think the serious is going to start to tank big time.

    Square….why the hell are you making FF MMO’s!!!

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Espers

    this what the western devs are good at blaming others for a rip-off. How old is grin and how old is S-E ?! this question answers everything. Just because you didn’t like Final Fantasy XIII it doesn’t mean it isn’t a successful game so don’t generalize.
    What games should be awesome for you ?! the same old shooters, with nothing new but more textures, smoke and visual effects ?! is there anything new about gameplay ?! Hell No !! Crysis 2 is the same as the old Medal of Honor 2, point and shoot ?! anything else ?! Oh yeah promoting their cry engine so official government and sciences labs can make use of it.

    I love S-E work and if there’s something I hate about them is the re-releasing of old titles again and again with minor changes. I look forward to FF-XIII 2 now that I finished FF-XIII yesterday, of course if you play such game in a linear path, then you don’t know what FINAL FANTASY is about. Oh well since most of the US like silly point and shoot they will find FF-XIII not good

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Espers

    @ hitnrun

    See, don’t play a game if you don’t know its History. When you are in ROME, you do as the ROMANS do !!
    The Japanese are traditionalist and they all have a code of conduct and the same goes for Final Fantasy, it has some guidelines that are unmodifiable. So either you abide or you don’t.

    The Japanese are serious about work and thus when you need to work with them, you will have to visit Tokyo, Japan so you get used to the nature of work. The same as Kojima did with MGS Rizing staff.

    How the Hell would a Final Fantasy XII spin-off have a nordic style ?! stupid grin.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. xxJPRACERxx

    @15 Can’t you read: “which it specifically requested from the beginning and was one of the main reasons it chose a Swedish firm in the first place.”

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Telepathic.Geometry

    @Espers: The Japanese are more serious about appearing to be serious about work than they are about work.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. GwynbleiddiuM

    Well, more reason for developer studios to remain independent and sell themselves out. from afar this might look like a really good idea we join a new firm and they will pay our expenses but they really wont just make things complicated. Publishers always had ridiculous high demands from studios under their wings and will always had. I for one always thought GRIN is doing well and it really upset me when I heard that sad news.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. galaxy366

    Really? Because from what I know, GRIN made horrible movie games / and games.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. TheWulf

    That’s BS, 19. GRIN were responsible for Bionic Commando: Rearmed (which I bought on the PC, just to say that as a preface), which was only disliked by some butthurt 360 fans because the game looked markedly worse than the PC and PS3 versions due to smaller textures, which they had to do to meet a size requirement imposed upon them by Microsoft regarding the XBLA.

    The game itself though was a magnificent reboot and was a joy to play from beginning to end. It showed that GRIN could shine when they were allowed to do their own thing. If there’s one thing that this proved to me, it was that GRIN absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt needed to sign up with Paradox as a publisher.

    Who’s Paradox? They’re a very small scale publisher and developer also based in Sweden who tend to work with independent developers. They were responsible for publishing/helping with the development of the likes of Sword of the Stars and Magicka, to name two. Considering that both are located in Sweden, it’s an idiot’s move not for them to hook up.

    See, this is the only place where GRIN failed – they kept wanting to make mainstream games for the consoles, where they could’ve been making indie titles for the PC. And Rearmed proved conclusively that when they were doing smaller titles, they shined. It was only when they got too ambitious with a mainstream title did they ever fail.

    They just kept shooting themselves in the foot instead of taking a new approach. I really hope that some of the creative people from GRIN leave to form a new studio, one that will work with Paradox to realise their potential. I want to see and buy the games they’d want to make.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Phoenixblight

    “They just kept shooting themselves in the foot instead of taking a new approach. I really hope that some of the creative people from GRIN leave to form a new studio, one that will work with Paradox to realise their potential. I want to see and buy the games they’d want to make.”

    The studio is dead and with that the members formed several studios.

    Former members of GRIN have formed a new development studio, Might and Delight, which will focus on small, downloadable games. The former lead engineers of GRIN started the studio BitSquid together with the owners of Fatshark. Former quality assurance members formed a separate studio called Trinity QA Studio in June 2010.

    Designers and artists went to Might and Delight, Programmers went to Bitsquid to make game engines, and QA made their own studio. And none of them are with Paradox.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. DSB

    One of the main things to remember about Paradox and their line-up is that often the people who sign to them don’t have a lot of other options.

    I love the democratic side to Paradox, and I certainly appreciate the fact that Paradox are almost singlehandedly keeping old PC virtues alive, and putting out great niche games, but they’re still catering to a very specific audience.

    GRIN obviously had entirely different ideas in terms of what they wanted to do.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Espers

    @16, they are liars, it’s not necessary to choose a nordic developer to make a final fantasy in the norse … what does it have in relation to FINAL FANTASY, have you seen a character in Final Fantasy that has a name that ends with “ssen” like “anderssen”. When S-E says it doesn’t look like Final Fantasy it means it doesn’t and that they should try again !! I already mentioned that Japanese are traditionalist so when GRIN says we wanted to revolutionize Final Fantasy, that was their mistake !!

    @17 you watch too much manga and anime. If they aren’t serious enough, they wouldn’t become the 2nd and many times the world number one economy. Who could sustain such an earthquake other than them if they weren’t a serious country ?

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Jarlaxle

    @20 The Wolf: The game looked the same on the PS 3 and Xbox.
    Lensoftruth gave the PS 3 a slight non because the lighting was inconsisten in the Xbox version http://www.lensoftruth.com/head2head-bionic-commando/

    FYI the 360 wins most of the mutiplatform comparisons.

    #24 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: lowdown on Inferno Crucible, Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]