GRIN axes 160 jobs due to poor sales of Terminator and Wanted

dreamer3kx said:
Are you exaggerating? Two hours?!
Terminator Salvation can be beaten in 30 minutes. No joke. And a terrible game.
It consists of 2/3 firefights consisting of about 10 enemies per Chapter and there are 9 Chapters in the game if memory serves correctly.

B-Ri said:
there is an achievement/trophy for beating the game in an an hour and twelve minutes if im not mistaken.
Wanted yeah. Wasn't a bad game though. If you blow through it on "Pussy" difficulty it's pretty short.

Bionic Commando is awesome though. Go pick it up people!
 
HK-47 said:
I see. Tell me more about your fascinating insight into the entertainment industry.
I work in the animation industry. This happens a lot in film and television. You are hired for a few projects, and most leave when it's done.

You really think a job at a videogame studio is a job for life?
 
TouchMyBox said:
I don't get it, if this is true, how can one make a game that's short on content, release it at full price, move more units than the majority of games could ever dream of moving, and still not be satisfactory?
He's quoting a Michael Pachter prediction for a laugh. In reality I think it sold less than 500,000 units.
 
avatar299 said:
Massive layoffs are common in the entertainment industry. You hire a bunch of guys, steamroll through a few projects and then let them go. I don't see what the fuss is.

Oh and get that Peter guy on a podcast. Madworld outsold Wanted. LOL


Linkup said:
At least a few of the guys that made Madworld had already lost their jobs before back at Capcom, heck they may lose them again.
Bayonetta will make up for all the bombs...I wish.

Grecco said:
Poor Pete Wanat!
He must feel pretty embarrassed to say the least.
 
I think some of you guys are being a bit harsh on Grin when commenting on Wanted and Terminator.

Surely the blame goes to Warner for funding, and pushing for the tight deadlines? Compare those two releases to Bionic Commando which, with the right funding, is a fully developed game.

I've yet to play Terminator, but I will for the easy trophies, but I thought Wanted was OK. Not the best shooter, but most definately not the worst in recent memory. That accolade goes to Damnation.
 
That really sucks, but so did those games.

I hope the core GRiN folks don't get affected too much - Rearmed was fucking awesome and Next Gen BC shows a lot of promise for a sequel now that the base mechanics have been nailed down. I hope they get to make one.
 
Anyone got a job for a recently unemployed concept artist ? haha:p but yeah the mood in the office yesterday... soooo dark, it was very surreal. But yeah, we were always worried about how fast they were opening new offices and employing new staff even though it was all basically riding on the hope that 2 movie games and BC would pull in the money to float the now giant boat. Reputation of a company is more valuable than any revenue gained from movie games.
 
jrricky said:
It wont. A coworker even prevented customers from buying it because it got bad reviews.
Get him fired.

Why would you prevent someone from buying something, especially in this economic climate!? He's obviously not suited to customer-facing business.
 
pswii60 said:
Get him fired.

Why would you prevent someone from buying something, especially in this economic climate!? He's obviously not suited to customer-facing business.
Well, he did recommend better games to the customer, who woulda thought, eh?

Its also part of his job. Though I personally have taken to not interfere unless a customer asks; then I point them away from the crappy not worth the time $30/$50/$60 stuff
 
I reckon they should have been staggering their releases throughout the year as well.

Releasing BC:Rearmed, Wanted, BC and Terminator Salvation within the first 5 months of this year was a huge risk.

The tech they are using seems to be pretty good, but movie tie-ins are notoriously hard to make good and it doesn't help if the games are short.

It looks like they may have rushed the releases of Wanted and Terminator although BC looks like it's had a decent amount of development time.

As someone said before: Quality > Quantity unless they can create loads of small cheap games and sell enough to recoup costs and a bit more.

It doesn't look good for them considering now that they will be beginning the development cycle for new games and they may not appear for another year.

I fully expect them to push out a few cheaper PSN/XBLA games to make ends that is if they manage to stay open long enough.

This is a shame seeing as they looked like a pretty good setup.
 
Haunted said:
I'm not sure how you would go about developing one game across three different development studios located all over Europe.
CCP Games does it. They've people in the UK, America and Shanghai as well. They temporarily halted the development of their World of Darkness MMO and had all of their teams working on EVE Online at the same time. So yes, it's possible - but you have to be a very well-organized and dedicated group of people.
 
Grecco said:
Poor Pete Wanat!
I think he's not employed by Grin but he was the producer for the project from Warner Interactive. I could be wrong though.

I bought Wanted because I liked the movie - overall I think it's OK, but I was surprised how rough it was in some spots. It has the most annoying turret sequence(s) I've ever played. You're supposed to feel empowered when you mount those things - here you die much more easily than you would in normal gameplay.
 

McBradders

NeoGAF: my new HOME
gutter_trash said:
I bought both BC ReArmed and Bionic Commando next-gen,
I liked both allot

sad to see Grin let go people
This.

HD pricing is stupid, this is proof. Wanted and Terminator for $40 would have done a bunch better. It's time to tier pricing, especially during this economic climate.

jrricky said:
Well, he did recommend better games to the customer, who woulda thought, eh?

Its also part of his job. Though I personally have taken to not interfere unless a customer asks; then I point them away from the crappy not worth the time $30/$50/$60 stuff
Bionic Commando is worth the asking price.
 

SovanJedi

provides useful feedback
A couple of months ago I went to some Warner Bros. event in London to see these guys showing off Wanted and Terminator. They seemed pretty genuinely enthusiastic in making an interesting game out of the properties they were given. Of course being there it's impossible to know how short and shallow both games would be. I guess this is all down to Warner Bros. being doofuses with the deadlines on offer.

Sad to hear that some talented people lost their jobs.
 
Kinda worried that Bionic Commando isn't going to sell much and we wont get a sequel, which I really want :/ Didn't do well in the PAL charts on its launch week (PS3 version didnt even chart), and I doubt its going to do well in NA with its current massive downturn in game purchasing. Interested to see when the JP release will be and how it will fare there. Its a very japanese game, despite being made by a western dev.

Great game anyway, the games media has done the game a massive disservice downplaying it and just simply not talking about it much at all. Even GAF seems completely uninterested in it with the official thread being a ghost-town.
 

McBradders

NeoGAF: my new HOME
SecretBonusPoint said:
Great game anyway, the games media has done the game a massive disservice downplaying it and just simply not talking about it much at all. Even GAF seems completely uninterested in it with the official thread being a ghost-town.
To be fair, though, Capcom started the hype train about a year too early.
 
SecretBonusPoint said:
Kinda worried that Bionic Commando isn't going to sell much and we wont get a sequel, which I really want :/ Didn't do well in the PAL charts on its launch week (PS3 version didnt even chart), and I doubt its going to do well in NA with its current massive downturn in game purchasing. Interested to see when the JP release will be and how it will fare there. Its a very japanese game, despite being made by a western dev.

Great game anyway, the games media has done the game a massive disservice downplaying it and just simply not talking about it much at all. Even GAF seems completely uninterested in it with the official thread being a ghost-town.
Yeah, I had no idea it was out. Not that I ever cared. But I know that InFamous is out and that barely registered for me too.
 
McBradders said:
To be fair, though, Capcom started the hype train about a year too early.
Feel the same way. If Rearmed had launched much closer to BC, it would have been a nice boost. Even with the half off, it's not the same.
 

McBradders

NeoGAF: my new HOME
Aaron said:
Feel the same way. If Rearmed had launched much closer to BC, it would have been a nice boost. Even with the half off, it's not the same.
Yup, and when did those first screens release? Like 2 years ago?

Rearmed should have been a stealthier megaton release with marketing after the release rather than 3-6 months before and then the momentum should have been kept up until the release of the disc version.

I really don't blame people for being tired as shit of seeing and hearing about Bionic Commando before it hit leading to retail apathy.

If it wasn't the last game I planned to buy until the fall then I probably wouldn't have bitten either.

EDIT: This is, of course, Capcoms fault. Not GRIN, who are great devs IMO.
 
dogmanstaruk said:
I think some of you guys are being a bit harsh on Grin when commenting on Wanted and Terminator.

Surely the blame goes to Warner for funding, and pushing for the tight deadlines? Compare those two releases to Bionic Commando which, with the right funding, is a fully developed game.

I've yet to play Terminator, but I will for the easy trophies, but I thought Wanted was OK. Not the best shooter, but most definately not the worst in recent memory. That accolade goes to Damnation.
At least for Wanted, it actually missed the movie's release and was given more development time. That's breaking the number #1 rule of licensed games, releasing alongside the height of the tie-in's popularity. I think it's possible Peter Wanat (just remembered, he was the guy on the GTA episode of the Bonus Round... he reminded of a convicted flasher caught near my old highschool) and the other producers convinced Warner Brothers that the game would be commercial success on its own merits.
 
Shakespeare would have found rich grounds for a setting for tragedies in the videogame industry. Seems like a classic case of hubris leading to a fall. Hubris on the part of the owners of course, not the employees. CDprojekt did this same thing this year. My guess for the next development house to get in trouble will be High Voltage.
 
Can someone please answer me this... If a studio is hired to develop a game for someone else how can it's poor sales negatively impact them.

I mean if Halcyon/Warners hires GRIN to develop a game based on Terminator Salvation surely they then take the money and hire staff and begin work making sure to keep some of the development money as a 'producing fee' or whatever. I'm not sure on the correct terminology.

Unless it comes down to some bonus/sales performance structure that the developer was counting on I don't see how this works.

Surely GRIN didn't fund the development of these licensed games themselves?
 
Well future contracts would definitely suffer. So if they can only get funding for a 40 person team instead of 200 after releasing two bombs, it would have the effect you are observing.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
dionysus said:
Shakespeare would have found rich grounds for a setting for tragedies in the videogame industry. Seems like a classic case of hubris leading to a fall. Hubris on the part of the owners of course, not the employees. CDprojekt did this same thing this year. My guess for the next development house to get in trouble will be High Voltage.
I'm not sure about that. Both GRiN and CDprojekt expanded rapidly, as they were making games. Kind of like Brash, really. Taking more on the plate before anything else is cleared off.

High Voltage is a little different; they've steadily grown over a decade, they've banked cash from work-for-hire deals, and they're only working on two games right now at one physical studio.

Not to say HV won't get a backlash, it's just not really the same model.
 

Mario

Sidhe / PikPok
Busty said:
Can someone please answer me this... If a studio is hired to develop a game for someone else how can it's poor sales negatively impact them.

I mean if Halcyon/Warners hires GRIN to develop a game based on Terminator Salvation surely they then take the money and hire staff and begin work making sure to keep some of the development money as a 'producing fee' or whatever. I'm not sure on the correct terminology.
It is very likely GRIN received the full development budget plus some margin paid on a milestone basis across the length of the project. That budget would have had some margin baked into it, so GRIN would likely have made some money on the development with some possibility of royalties on the back end.

It is possible before release there may have been an expectation of rolling on to sequel or derivative products, but with the apparent low sales those opportunities if they existed will have disappeared leaving them with spare teams. Royalty payouts would be unlikely.

And in this environment, there are not a lot of licensed projects floating around that haven't been placed, and those that are available are hotly contested. Not an easy time to place spare teams in a hurry.


Unless it comes down to some bonus/sales performance structure that the developer was counting on I don't see how this works.
It is possible this was a factor also.


All speculation of course. There could be many factors at work here and the full story is certainly not known.
 

DarienA

The black man everyone at Activision can agree on
Anybody play Wanted? Was it a one trick pony as far as curving the bullets being cool for a little while and thats it?
 
speculawyer said:
Didn't you start a thread about this summer's blockbuster movie licensed games?

And you don't even know who made two of the bigger ones? :p

DarienA said:
Anybody play Wanted? Was it a one trick pony as far as curving the bullets being cool for a little while and thats it?
Hated it. And "a little while" = 3 seconds. The curved bullets were so utterly gimmicky, especially since it was so easy to just switch from cover to cover perfectly with a couple button presses and shoot them from up close or do a melee finisher.


I AM JOHN! said:
FUCK FUCK! :'(

And shut up jerks, Wanted was cool and BC is fucking amazing. Easily my GotY so far. :(
Who are you and what have you done with the real john? You know, the one who had good taste?
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
DarienA said:
Anybody play Wanted? Was it a one trick pony as far as curving the bullets being cool for a little while and thats it?
yeah just first 3 levels or so , but man the game is short , and man , GRIN themselves put an achievement/trophy to beat the game in less than 1 hour and 12 min :lol
 
TheEastonator said:
That's what happens when you price a 2 hour game at $60.
That, and they should have included moviecash to the new Terminator movie (or a coupon for the DVD of Wanted). Then, spending $30 on a relatively short game and a movie ticket doesn't sound so insane.
 
Arcipello said:
haha:p but yeah the mood in the office yesterday... soooo dark, it was very surreal. But yeah, we were always worried about how fast they were opening new offices and employing new staff even though it was all basically riding on the hope that 2 movie games which no one wanted to work on and BC would pull in the money to float the now giant boat. Reputation of a company is more valuable than any revenue gained from movie games.
Sorry to hear! But it felt like it was bound to happen at Grin, I bet it is hard to get new contracts these days.