Syndicate reboot a “lost battle from the get go”

Wednesday, 20th June 2012 01:04 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark is proud of his team for tackling Syndicate despite the shooter’s underwhelming retail performance and critical mauling.

“I’m still proud of it. To have the courage to reboot the franchise – We knew from the get-go that there was going to be a small but very vocal [group] of gamers and journalists that was going to hate us whatever route we took,” the executive told EDGE.

“If we didn’t do an exact copy of the game, they’d hate us. If we did do an exact copy, they’d say we didn’t innovate. They were never ours to win; it was a lost battle from the get-go.”

The developer said Syndicate cost “substantially less” to produce than it would have at a larger studio/, but EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau admitted recently that the game was a commercial flop, describing it as a failed gamble.

“I don’t have any response to what Frank said. I think both EA and Starbreeze can look back at it and say that we could have done stuff differently,” Nermark said.

“If you ask anyone about any game in production they probably would say the same thing.”

Syndicate, a co-op-friendly sci fi shooter rebooting a classic tactical IP, arrived on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 early this year and sank without a trace.



  1. Golden

    I enjoyed it, I thought it was a good shooter. Better than the mundane call of duty. The co-op stuff was tough though which was not made any easier with no one around to play it.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Talkar

    I like how they did try to innovate as he says himself, but they did it so much that it isn’t a Syndicate game anymore. Like Rockstar did with Max Payne 3. The only thing about that game making it a Max Payne game is the bullet time.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Stardog

    Another dev with the mental capacity of a child.

    How does he explain me, who has never played the orignal Syndicate, not being slightly interested in playing this game?

    It looked generic.

    And as far as people “hating it from the get-go”, knowing this, why did you call it Syndicate? It couldn’t have been to piggyback off the name of another game to try and sell more copies, could it?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    I’m not a big Starbreeze fan, and I’m not really buying it either.

    @2 Exactly. I’m not opposed to reboots, but they have to be done properly. Firaxis are rebooting what’s possibly my favourite game of all time, and while that makes me anxious, I don’t think it looks bad.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. GwynbleiddiuM

    The issue here is using an IP to your advantage and taking a complete different route to reboot it, one does not simply reboot a strategy based tactical game into a pure shooter. TBH using the reboot was your own undoing, you could just name it a different thing and claimed it’ll take place in the world of syndicate. And if we were as small group as you say we wouldn’t have any impact most of your current target audience weren’t even born then yet or were very very tiny, small and little at the time of first Syndicate. So a minority can’t change anything, you tried and failed to deliver. You didn’t even take the tactical shooter route. Just an FPS game which wasn’t half bad, had some ideas but didn’t really do any justice to Syndicate IP.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. roadkill

    It’s good that Deus Ex Human REvolution developers didn’t think the same about their game. But what can you do? Some people are awesome while other people suck.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Gheritt White

    @ #6: EXACTLY!

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheBlackHole


    No campaign co-op, no split-screen = NOT co-op friendly.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Freek

    Firaxis is rebooting X-Com and not doing an exact copy either. They’re making the game more accesable and more modern. But crucialy: without loosing what made the original great. There’s allot of really good buzz around that game and it’ll likely be a big succes.

    It’s not an automaticly lost battle: you have to do it right.

    Fallout 3, also a reboot and a change, but again: they kept what made the original great: it was still an open world RPG.
    Also a super succes.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Talkar

    I have to disagree with you on the Fallout 3 topic. While Fallout 3 is a great game, which i still enjoy to this day. It had lost a lot of the essence of Fallout 1 & 2. They changed the combat, to focus more on real time, they changed from top down view, to over the shoulder or 1st person view. They gave you the option to kill HAROLD!!! Why anyone would even think about doing that is beyond me.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. silkvg247

    Well you may remember I said it was a shit idea to make the franchise into a FPS, before it came out..

    .. and I was right! For a change. :p

    #11 3 years ago

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