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Developer Woes

Are they right for my game?


Following on from various news posts in the excellent PA Report over at Penny Arcade, I find myself increasingly concerned for some of my fondly remembered games of old.  After the horrendous IP brutalizing that Sim City suffered at the hands of +Electronic Arts, i cannot help but wonder if this is how games will be treated entirely from now on.  Is our only hope that eventually they sell so badly, that they are released from their bonds, only to be found years later on Kickstarter or such?  Perhaps then we can play the sequels we've always wanted.

I mean no offense to those who have worked on such games.  I am sure there are many reasons as to why games such as this are not complete, or could not house all of the ideas desired, but the fault must fall to somebody - and it certainly is not us, the consumer.  Given polls, Q&A, player feedback and such, there's plenty of opportunity to find out what your customer base wants to play. 

I suspect it is self defeating though.  You do the research and discover what the consumer wants, you bring the idea to the board, and they tell you to get it done in 4 months.  Of course you argue, you attend deep and heated debates, tell them that given more time you can make the game people will love.  You wait with baited breath, hoping that this time it will be different, but invariably the phone calls and you should be pleased, because they've managed to negotiate you 4 and a half months.  Then you get to speak to your team, and tell them to forget half of their ideas.

The more I think on it, I realise it is the fault of the few, the high up, but we can only have so much sympathy.  In the end, we paid the money and got nothing anywhere near expectations.  The blame has to fall somewhere.

By the same token, though, the more I think on it, the more I think...  For the love of god +Gearbox Software, please take your time with Homeworld.  Please do it justice, because if you do it right, the community will make you filthy shitting rich, buy up all the ship or map DLC you can pump out, and then thank you for it.

~sal

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