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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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    Star Wars characters are coming to Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits. Disney says it will contain “many favorite characters and include more gameplay content and variety than ever before.” There will be three Star Wars Play sets: Twilight of the Republic set in the Episodes 1-3 timeline, Rise Against the Empire set during the […]

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]