Sections

Gas Powered Games had “multiple projects” canned at the last minute

Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 21:50 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Gas Powered Games boss Chris Taylor has said your face will melt off if you ever see publishing contracts which were axed at the last minute, leaving the studio in financial crisis.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Taylor said Gas Powered Games had multiple games “almost to the finish line” when they were unceremoniously dumped by their respective publishers.

“We got a phone call from the publisher and they said, ‘We’re terminating.’ And we’re like, ‘Yeah but we’re only a month away from beta.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah we’re still terminating.’ And we’re like, ‘OK,’” he said.

“One of these days – and it won’t be from me – you guys will get leaked through some anonymous source. And you can read a game development contract, and you will – it’ll be like the Nazis when they opened up The Ark: all the flesh will melt all down your face.”

Taylor said this kind of sudden termination happens all the time, partly because the industry is going through such a transitional phase. Combined with staff turnover, projects are often left without champions inside funding bodies like publishers and will be axed as soon as some extra room is needed in the budget.

As a remedy, the developer said the industry needs more executives who genuinely believe in products.

“You need people to really slam their fist; guys like Steve Jobs, you know, who are assholes because they believe so vehemently in what they’re doing they will fucking – fuck bending the spoon with their mind, they’ll just snatch it out of your hand and bend it in half and stuff it up your ass! Take that! Let’s get back to work!” he said.

To be fair to publishers, Taylor did also say that the reason companies are so wary and quick to cancel projects is because years of “naughty developers” have left them over-protective, but did not explain what this means.

Last week, Gas Powered Games laid off the majority of its staff and considered cancelling its Kickstarter for new action RPG Wildman. Taylor has spoken to Reddit users about how Gas Powered Games go into such a precarious position, said lay-offs with full severance pay were something of a relief to staff, and indicated the studio is already in a much better position after media attention.

Wildman’s Kickstarter has gathered over $300,000 of its $1.1 million goal.

Breaking news

4 Comments

Sign in to post a comment.

  1. DSB

    I’m not sure Kickstarter will still be a thing in 10 years, but I don’t think there’s any forgetting these little bursts of honesty, in an industry that tries so hard to control the narrative of everything it does.

    On one hand you have an army of well rehearsed robots that are reduced to the banalities of football players, because being honest about what they do would freak out the suits too much.

    And then you have all these guys who suddenly aren’t recieving man coverage from PR jerks and NDAs, and suddenly following their games and listening to what they say is genuinely interesting.

    That’s really one of my most favourite things about Kickstarter.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Noodlemanny

    These kick-starter things do worry me slightly. I mean I’ve backed several projects but how do I know the devs/producers can actually pull though? The financial problems Gas Powered have been having don’t exactly fill me with confidence in their ability to stay afloat long enough to finish and distribute the game I’ve pre-paid for.
    On a side note, what would actually happen if that did happen? Would I get anything back like my money, or just an apology (or even a material apology)?
    Not that that would really defer me, if I like the concept I’ll back it no matter what the risk… Within reason.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. manamana

    This business is a mess and a crying shame for sincere game developers. There goes the money! Sink it all in unreleased projects! And while you’re at it cut the staff, they cost too much! Such a fucked up business. And its always the suits. Always.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. DSB

    @2 Isn’t that the whole idea? You’re not buying a game, you’re buying the hope of a game.

    At the end of the day, if you don’t trust the people behind the Kickstarter, then the obvious impulse is not to fund them.

    I see it as charity. Whether it works or not, you’ve traded that money for a warm fuzzy feeling.

    I funded Project Zomboid, and I feel very ambivalent about that. I don’t think they’ve handled it half as well as other projects that I am very satisfied with (like Xenonauts) but at the end of the day I accepted that risk, and that’s on me.

    #4 1 year ago