Not as dramatic as the Gamasutra walkthrough, but it sticks to the certainties of what happened.
Great stuff on 38 Studios(8 posts)
SOrry but that is not completely accurate especially the part about EA 38 studios got a 35 million deal to provide for the developer making KOA in exchange 38 studios keeps the IP which if you read Gamasuta is great deal usually publishers take the IP with them. Not only that the writer doesn't source his info where Gamasutra does.
THe writer writes his "facts" with "probably" and "maybe" shows that he is just guessing or he is unsure of it himself along with the fact that gamasutra's article has comments from people that work in the industry and know more than this article.
The article actually spans the length of development, not just the last 12 months of it. In my opinion it provides a much better explanation for the company's implosion, to not only to cover the development time (read: money) spent, but also considering the time in which it began.
I don't really see how that fact serves to undermine any of what he's saying. Keeping the IP meant nothing if it failed, which obviously served to make the deal a miserable bet on the part of 38 Studios, just like the Rhode Island-backed loan probably was to begin with.
Once the game failed, they were left without a publisher to back them, without any dividends to cover their losses, and with a vastly worse position to negotiate with the rest of the publishers.
It's great that they can keep the idea, but obviously that didn't do a whole lot to payroll the company, or attract anyone who could.
Conjecture has to be guarded if you're doing it in public. He can't rightly say that all investors would indeed be repulsed by 38 Studios, or that publishers would be less than thrilled to take sloppy seconds from EA. But most people will be able to do the math on that themselves, by judging the likelihood of that.
If there was no "maybe", or "probably", then you'd start to have a problem with the journalism.
As for the actual facts, they're not exactly hard to source from the news, which seems to be what Gamasutra are also relying on.
The sources in the Gamasutra article are all anonymous. Obviously that means they can perjure themselves, or commit libel as wildly as they want to without any fear of being held accountable.
The Gamasutra article is fine in it's own right, but it's a lot more limited, and seems to focus more on the blame and the aftermath, than the events that came before them.
"Keeping the IP means nothing if it fails, which obviously makes the deal a miserable bet on the part of 38 Studios, just like the Rhode Island-backed loan probably was to begin with."
This is where their ill management comes into play they were hoping KOA would sell so it could be the flagship for the MMO. 38 studios was betting the farm on KOA and it failed horribly thankfully the only good part about that studio was snatched up by Epic.
No argument there, but I think it's pretty solid reporting.
If anything it's putting the responsibility on 38 Studios. No one forced them to take the EA deal.
Well the EA deal wasn't their killing shot it was taking the money from RI if they had just stuck with one game, KOA, took the EA deal and focused on that instead of developing two new games at once they would have been in a better place. 35 million for a game that does 1.2 million isn't a horrible. Who knows, if they weren't splitting their focus maybe they could have come out with a far polished game. EA was going to give them a deal for the sequel if all that shit didn't hit the fan because of them focusing on the MMO.
Fair point. It's far from a disaster, but 1.2 for a AAA production isn't going to open a lot of doors, and I don't think it's crazy to say that it put them in a worse position with regards to the MMO.
At the end of the day, I think it's obvious that the MMO just ran away from them. The EA deal and the Rhode Island backing was just too little too late.
Which again makes it really interesting to look at what the heck that (former) Rhode Island governor was thinking. Either 38 Studios prettied up their financials, or the state just didn't show due caution.
To be fair, EA are shit with IP - they run it into the ground (like Activision) and generally don't care about its image (see Mass Effect 3 ending damage control).
If I recall correctly, West and Zampella went with EA instead of THQ purely because THQ wouldn't let them keep the IP rights when they founded Respawn entertainment.
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