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.