8 Terrible Decisions That Doomed Popular Gaming Companies



the world of video games is a precarious one building a release is costly time-consuming and difficult hell getting a game made at all much like my hair is a mini miracle in itself and that's before it even sells well consider if you will myself and jewels as consoles I have a sleek and backwards-compatible one and he's a lumpy mess with Sega CD expansions plugged into him like life support machines his machine probably wort sells well is mine that's what I'm saying however you might have a case where again using josh and i's examples might see my catalog of games much like my list content being a true cavalcade of smash hits in his lineups looking like well much like his career choices after this job pretty bloody empty chalk one up to me what i think we're trying to say is that in this swift cutthroat nature industry sometimes companies are only one bad decision away from throwing away all the hard work they've delivered into a complete garbage fire committing to a bad idea that can either result in the entire studio going under or at the very least reduced to a shell of their former glory either way the results aren't pre so let's take a look at the writing on the wall and then write those into notes for your consumption as i'm jules and i'm josh and these are eight terrible decisions that doomed popular video game companies number eight wasting a huge loan and nearly dooming a local economy 38 studios to say that Kingdoms of Amalur was a game with ambition is like saying that a burning building might affect the ice cream inside it a massive understatement we actually covered this story of this games rise and fall in full on our gaming channel but i'll give you the cliff notes of what went down here it all began with a massive loan given by the Rhode Island Board of Economic Development to Curt Schilling an X picture for the Phillies Red Sox and the Diamondbacks this seventy five million dollar loan was to help kick-start a video game industry within the state and Kingdoms of Amalur was going to lead the charge the problem was that the money was spent but not spent well good choices like hiring acclaimed fantasy writers and setting up cross-promotion events were balanced by terrible decisions on company bonuses PR events and technical changes it all led to a nasty situation where the game itself fairly well for a new IP but it was a self-fulfilling prophecy there was literally no way to recoup this 75 million no matter how well the games sold in fact someone broke it down that for 38 studios to even come close to chlorine back this money it would need to release hit after hit without any mistakes or missteps for years to come not even current triple-a publishers can maintain that sort of consistency talk about a bad investments on behalf of the Rhode Island Board of economic developments right number seven sticking to a formula and not changing their engine telltale the demise of telltale is undeniably tragic and it stings so much because pretty much everyone other than those inside the company saw the warning signs four years after shooting to success with the first season of The Walking Dead the studio quickly put another season into production alongside a whole host of other licensed adapt Asians quickly expanding their focus they went from juggling a single project to multiple at the same time which led to an immediate if not drastic decrease in quality across the board it didn't help but their newfound success meant that they couldn't get away with the imperfections that their engine caused either which resulted in games that crashed employed wonky animations and all-around felt a little amateur when compared to even over indie games this resulted in fans and critics alike becoming sick of having to wrestle with the games themselves in order to find the enjoyment but there was a much more insidious problem that was driving the studio into the ground according to a lengthy report on the verge into the studio's final days at bunch of former employees all pointed towards one reason for the closure the fear from those in charge over taking any creative risks at all allegedly Telltale's higher-ups demanded that every future game follow the same structure and formula of the original season of The Walking Dead which led to all their releases feeling familiar and franchise fatigue setting in across the board number six trying to sue and then being sued Silicon Knights too human was a game that on paper sounded amazing a game that could have assured in a new tech no North trilogy which could have been as big as Mass Effect hell it aimed to be even bigger however as with most games that try to gorge themselves and ideas and features and wash it down with lavish budgets to human became a bloated mass which fans simply shrugged into obscurity actually that last sentence is a little false as the fans didn't make to human disappear epic games did after sales of their game didn't hit targets Silicon Knights tried to sue Epic Games and their Unreal Engine claiming that they didn't receive the proper support and issues with the tech led them to missing their launch date and releasing a still to be polished title this was their first mistake as Epic Games took the matter further and investigations began on both sides what they found was Silicon Knights second and most terrible mistake that they had decided to make games with the Unreal Engine sue the makers of said engine all without having a legitimate license the court went in favor of epic games and to human was pulled from store shelves production was cut and it was effectively expunged from history much like that video tape of medium um and that rubber truncheon until Microsoft made the game free and backwards-compatible much like your mum as well in 2013 and yes that was my 1 per list number 5 thinking peripherals were the future never soft back in the late nineties and early 2000s never soft were the coolest developers around from their 6 spike through the I log or to the games they created the studio role of the cultural zeitgeist in a way others only dreamed of it was the Tony Hawk series that was their bread and butter though with the team overseeing the amazing Pro Skater titles into the edgier era of underground and American wasteland which by the way were also very awesome as skateboarding in general lost its cultural standing and franchise fatigue started to set in activision brought the studio in to create Guitar Hero games instead for the most part the titles never saw produced were pretty decent but their talons were arguably wasted his activision simply try to ship as many expensive plastic guitars as possible in a three year period the devs produced no less than aired Guitar Hero related games before Activision made the company defunct and shifted the employees over to Infinity Ward to work on Call of Duty ironically peripheral best games wouldn't only want to kill Neversoft but eventually tank there Tony Hawk's franchise is well under the control of another developer number four terrible marketing for big is mondo Tiger telematics target telematics might not be a name that conjures up any meaning in today's industry but in all honesty it should be held up as an example of how best to nose dive into concrete from great heights not to be confused with Tiger Electronics Tom Attucks decided to create a video game handheld unit that would compete with Sony and Nintendo and launch vigas mondo in 2005 here in the UK it was a disaster partly because they unit lacked many of the features it promised but also because of how funds were used to advertise the console in order to drum up interest Tiger telematics paid music artists like Pharrell Williams and sting to appear in a custom-built launch store to celebrate the Giz mando's release they also made a custom Ferrari that raced in the LeMans 24 which also set back the company a ton of money this wouldn't have mattered had the console sold well but it didn't and holds the record for the lowest selling video game console of all time on top of that they were sued by pretty much everyone imaginable because of ludicrous contracts put in place only eight games exist for this console and one has to imagine how anyone thought this was a good idea number three selling out to jump on battle royale bosky productions boskie productions were supposed to be the next big creative force in gaming headed up by forum an epic veteran Cliff Bleszinski the new team quickly got to work on their first blockbuster title the hero shooter lawbreakers the multiplayer title set two teams against each other the law and the breakers across some genuinely well-designed maps and game modes the actual game player perhaps unsurprisingly is well considering the people behind it was very solid packing a real punch sadly it sold poorly thanks in part to comparisons to overwatch and boss keys on Moodle messaging and was a financial failure though it was criticized as being a lifeless blatant copy of blizzard shooter that description was actually quite reductive and undermined the actual great concepts lawbreakers really hat however the same defense can't be you for the next game the battle royale fiend radical heights jumping ship from lawbreakers to chess the luxurious market of Battle Royale the studio pushed out their take on the genre mere months into development dubbing the release extreme early access and completely tanking as expect that everyone saw it is a blatant cynical attempt to cash in on a beaming idea and the studio as a whole shut down a single month later number two huge over estimations of ET selling power Atari Atari were once the giants of the gaming industry throwing their weight around like bloody sweaty in knackers it was like the Wild West for the developer and with some Smash Hits under their belt they procured a certain swagger it's a shame then that because of their decisions and overestimation on the selling power of ET the video game that they inadvertently caused the video game crash of 1983 now of course there were other factors but et has become synonymous with the industry's failure and it is not hard to see why priests on the game was a literal cash grab with it being commissioned and rushed through production from July until September 1982 in time for the Christmas holidays this meant that it skipped playtesting because of a crush time schedule and was messy from start to finish worse still was a Terry's decision to commission so many units that they would have needed to sell a copy to every single Atari 2600 owner and then on top of this an additional 1 million units to clear stock that's insane anyone could have seen that this was a terrible decision except of course for Atari who went ahead lost a ton of money and tried to bury their shame in the New Mexico desert number 1 trying to create a halo killer free radical when you come at the King you better not miss no bigger words of warning curbing said to both developers free-radical and publisher Ubisoft when they got to work on creating hairs a first-person shooter which was pitched as being a soar call hello killer pretty much since its first day of production at the time bungees franchise was still the biggest name in the FPS scene though it would soon come to be succeeded by Call of Duty and every developer was wanting to dethrone then and reap the rewards if there was any studio that could potentially challenge their ran it was free-radical who were pitched as gaming's best underdogs after delivering the stellar time splitters gams the problem was while free radical did indeed have an ambitious title on their hands Ubisoft were more concerned with telling journalists how it was absolutely definitely for sure were going to make halo look like a little baby rather than you know solving the problems the studio was bringing up during development as a result the game shipped as a complete mess taking extra flak because it was giving it the Big bollocks and contributing heavily to free radical going under a little while later and there we go those were eight terrible decisions that doomed popular video game companies I hope that you enjoyed that and please share any more stories that you've got about this or anything else down in the comment section below because who knows we may revisit this subject because who you know what misery loves company and it was great to see all these people fail obviously I don't mean that if they can cost anyone their jobs and they had a sound time about it in fact that's not true at all surely yeah yeah yeah you can go follow me at retro J with a zero over on Twitter if you'd like to and you can follow Josh at I believe it's Josh broom with two O's yes that's it hope you enjoyed this guys and we'll speak to you soon thank you very much bye

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