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RIP United Front Games

AgentOttsel

Member
Mar 14, 2016
70
0
220
Haven City
What a shame...
Thank you, UFG, for creating ModNation Racers, I have soooo many great memories of playing that game.

I've never played Sleeping Dogs. Would you guys recommend it to someone who likes 3rd person action/adventure games (e.g. Uncharted, inFamous, Assassin's Creed), but isn't a fan of GTA?
 

Kilau

Member
Dec 12, 2013
2,327
0
355
Awful, I wish the best for everyone at the studio.

Guess I can stop waiting for Sleeping Dogs 2 now.
 
Apr 26, 2012
1,757
0
0
Victoria, BC
What a shame...
Thank you, UFG, for creating ModNation Racers, I have soooo many great memories of playing that game.

I've never played Sleeping Dogs. Would you guys recommend it to someone who likes 3rd person action/adventures games (e.g. Uncharted, inFamous, Assassin's Creed), but isn't a fan of GTA?
Yes. I think the combat is unique enough to sway you. It's not as open as GTA.
 

Some Nobody

Junior Member
Aug 8, 2013
7,489
3
365
We gotten some amazing indie games that were made by small teams.
We have. Banner Saga is good, I'm looking forward to Battle Chasers and Bloodstained and if its any good Red Ash (lmao) and if it makes it to PS4 I'll definitely play BattleTech. But who knows how long they can continue to produce games like those. (Plus the vast majority of indie games are too "gameplay" focused for me. I like well-developed worlds you can interact in--I got into gaming because of J-RPGs, not 'cause of Super Mario.)

We still don't seem to have an answer for the fact that all the people putting major money into gaming are getting more comfortable with the idea of gaming being a premium experience.

No it sold 1.75 by March 2013.
I was ready to come back and call you wrong so I had to triple-check lol. 1.5 by September, 1.75 by March, yeah. My bad.
 

Shambalakan

Member
Sep 16, 2015
1,858
0
0
What a shame...
Thank you, UFG, for creating ModNation Racers, I have soooo many great memories of playing that game.

I've never played Sleeping Dogs. Would you guys recommend it to someone who likes 3rd person action/adventures games (e.g. Uncharted, inFamous, Assassin's Creed), but isn't a fan of GTA?
Yes. I like GTA series, but not a fan and didn't even finish Vice City and San Andreas. But Sleeping Dogs was one of my favorite games of 2012. It's open world, but it's not a GTA clone and has its own style and atmosphere. Don't know about it's price these days, but I think you should play it.
 

so1337

Member
Aug 16, 2006
4,894
0
0
Welp, I guess making the best open-world game is not enough to survive in today's market.
 

arbok26

Member
Sep 6, 2009
8,275
3
725
Malaysia
boingbb.wordpress.com
What a shame...
Thank you, UFG, for creating ModNation Racers, I have soooo many great memories of playing that game.

I've never played Sleeping Dogs. Would you guys recommend it to someone who likes 3rd person action/adventures games (e.g. Uncharted, inFamous, Assassin's Creed), but isn't a fan of GTA?
You don't need to be a fan of GTA. Sleeping Dogs has a good story that will take you from mission to mission as needed. There's a lot of variety in the mechanics. Bonus if you want to explore an open-world city like Hong Kong.
 

KyanMehwulfe

Member
Aug 26, 2004
10,843
175
1,345
Huntusk
www3.telus.net
First game sold two million copies. I don't see the sequel selling less at all, so why are we making excuses for SE?
People probably didn't see a sequel to DX HR selling less either... sometimes things just happen tho.

Plus, didn't SD need to sell like at least half that more to be a base line success for S-E? They sunk a lot of money into it I guess... Emma Watson don't do media circus rounds for free.

Triad Wars was probably S-E basically saying: 'sorry, SD wasn't profitable [enough], so we're not funding SD2.... but hey, why not re-use the SD1 engine and assets to get a higher ROI -- you make this game, get us the mobi money with far higher ROI margins, and maybe then we'll consider a SD2'

I'm not sure if UFG just overspent inefficiently on marketing or production, S-E overspent on marketing, the spending was reasonable but S-E's standard for success was too high, but whatever the case, it's clearly a case not of sales or revenue but profit.

I mean, SD is amazing but it's production values are not that high -- should it really have needed 4 million sales just to be 'profitable enough'? Could they have kept costs lower and still developed mostly the same game? Maybe... I mean, did it really need Emma Watson for basically 10 minutes? She probably spent more time doing media circus interviews than actual voice acting. Did it really need Edison Chen or quite as many licenses for its radio? Did those awesome live action trailers really turn a profit in terms of their expenses versus how much they increased sales?

I mean, who knows... and who knows who's really responsible for various expense decisions.

Really wished they'd been able to have kept costs down tho because they probably could have cut a few expensive marketing or voice acting/licenses things, and it would have still been 99% of the amazing game that is -- probably in my Top 5 favorite games of the last 10 years. And if they had delivered pretty much the same game but only had needed 2 million sales to satisfy S-E's investment, maybe we'd have a SD2.

Hindsight and all that though... I'm not blaming anyone -- I'm thankful we got the first one. But there could be some lessons to learn. I'm sort of worried about Deus Ex in the same way... I was a bit worried about the new Hitman, too -- or whether S-E would ever fund a new Kane & Lynch.

It'd be nice to find a happy medium where a sort of SD2, Deus Ex MD2, even Kane & Lynch were maybe a little less AAA in funding to maybe try keep costs down because I think those sort of games could still be awesome as AA and it'd be a lot safer financially in terms of securing sequels. I'd rather have had a AA SD1 and SD2 than just a AAA SD1, and games like Deus Ex or Kane & Lynch could work awesome with AA budgets too.

Anyhow, again, not criticism, just lamenting since Sleepy Dawgs is such a gem IMO.
 

Blam

Member
Jun 7, 2016
6,091
1,070
770
Sad that this has happened. But alas. They will be bought out without a doubt.
 

iavi

Member
Jun 8, 2010
13,180
0
0
Last generation was Pandemic and their little Jewel The Saboteur

Now UFG with Sleeping Dogs


Sad news
Pretty much. UFG really is this gen's Pandemic


R.I.P among giants UFG. Sleeping Dogs is top three open world ever.
 

Cleve

Member
May 2, 2014
3,779
0
0
Such a shame. Sleeping Dogs was easily my favorite open world action game last gen.

I hope they all land in good places.
 

ScaryShark

Banned
Mar 6, 2015
5,975
0
0
Made one of the games I've truly loved the last few years. My friends and I still reference and talk about that game almost weekly. Sleeping Dogs set a standard in a lot of different areas that I wish more open world games strived for.

I hope the employees land on their feet quickly. Some very talented people there obviously.
 

Mario007

Member
Dec 26, 2011
6,999
1
590
People probably didn't see a sequel to DX HR selling less either... sometimes things just happen tho.

Plus, didn't SD need to sell like at least half that more to be a base line success for S-E? They sunk a lot of money into it I guess... Emma Watson don't do media circus rounds for free.

Triad Wars was probably S-E basically saying: 'sorry, SD wasn't profitable [enough], so we're not funding SD2.... but hey, why not re-use the SD1 engine and assets to get a higher ROI -- you make this game, get us the mobi money with far higher ROI margins, and maybe then we'll consider a SD2'

I'm not sure if UFG just overspent inefficiently on marketing or production, S-E overspent on marketing, the spending was reasonable but S-E's standard for success was too high, but whatever the case, it's clearly a case not of sales or revenue but profit.

I mean, SD is amazing but it's production values are not that high -- should it really have needed 4 million sales just to be 'profitable enough'? Could they have kept costs lower and still developed mostly the same game? Maybe... I mean, did it really need Emma Watson for basically 10 minutes? She probably spent more time doing media circus interviews than actual voice acting. Did it really need Edison Chen or quite as many licenses for its radio? Did those awesome live action trailers really turn a profit in terms of their expenses versus how much they increased sales?

I mean, who knows... and who knows who's really responsible for various expense decisions.

Really wished they'd been able to have kept costs down tho because they probably could have cut a few expensive marketing or voice acting/licenses things, and it would have still been 99% of the amazing game that is -- probably in my Top 5 favorite games of the last 10 years. And if they had delivered pretty much the same game but only had needed 2 million sales to satisfy S-E's investment, maybe we'd have a SD2.

Hindsight and all that though... I'm not blaming anyone -- I'm thankful we got the first one. But there could be some lessons to learn. I'm sort of worried about Deus Ex in the same way... I was a bit worried about the new Hitman, too -- or whether S-E would ever fund a new Kane & Lynch.

It'd be nice to find a happy medium where a sort of SD2, Deus Ex MD2, even Kane & Lynch were maybe a little less AAA in funding to maybe try keep costs down because I think those sort of games could still be awesome as AA and it'd be a lot safer financially in terms of securing sequels. I'd rather have had a AA SD1 and SD2 than just a AAA SD1, and games like Deus Ex or Kane & Lynch could work awesome with AA budgets too.

Anyhow, again, not criticism, just lamenting since Sleepy Dawgs is such a gem IMO.
To bw fair this is Square Enix Europe, formely Eidos, we're talking about. They can't market a game to save their lives. They absolutely burn money on ancillary marketing while not at all focusing on the actual primary marketing like game trailers, playable builds at conferences, preview events etc.
 

dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
Jun 9, 2004
51,547
1,459
1,970
www.eurogamer.net
Oh no, awful news to wake up to. Sleeping Dogs was one of the only open world games I was compelled to finish over the past decade. I feel terrible for the staff. Some real talent over there. Hope they land on their feet.
 

Mr. Tibbs

Member
Jul 26, 2013
1,971
1
0
Very sad news and a huge loss to the Vancouver development scene.

I loved my time with Sleeping Dogs. :(
 

ElMexiMerican

Member
Aug 25, 2013
1,663
0
0
Damn, hope everyone at UFG is able to find work, that's awful =(. Sleeping Dogs is perhaps still my favorite game of all time, if not within my Top 10.
 

KyanMehwulfe

Member
Aug 26, 2004
10,843
175
1,345
Huntusk
www3.telus.net
To bw fair this is Square Enix Europe, formely Eidos, we're talking about. They can't market a game to save their lives. They absolutely burn money on ancillary marketing while not at all focusing on the actual primary marketing like game trailers, playable builds at conferences, preview events etc.
ooops yeah, should have made that distinction. did the same thing in that deus ex/uk thread maybe.

but yeah, it sort of seems systematic. the leaked budget for DX MD seemed crazy too, as did some of its marketing and its eventual impact on [a lack of] sales.
 

Matt

Member
Jun 7, 2004
10,828
1
1,320
People probably didn't see a sequel to DX HR selling less either... sometimes things just happen tho.

Plus, didn't SD need to sell like at least half that more to be a base line success for S-E? They sunk a lot of money into it I guess... Emma Watson don't do media circus rounds for free.

Triad Wars was probably S-E basically saying: 'sorry, SD wasn't profitable [enough], so we're not funding SD2.... but hey, why not re-use the SD1 engine and assets to get a higher ROI -- you make this game, get us the mobi money with far higher ROI margins, and maybe then we'll consider a SD2'

I'm not sure if UFG just overspent inefficiently on marketing or production, S-E overspent on marketing, the spending was reasonable but S-E's standard for success was too high, but whatever the case, it's clearly a case not of sales or revenue but profit.

I mean, SD is amazing but it's production values are not that high -- should it really have needed 4 million sales just to be 'profitable enough'? Could they have kept costs lower and still developed mostly the same game? Maybe... I mean, did it really need Emma Watson for basically 10 minutes? She probably spent more time doing media circus interviews than actual voice acting. Did it really need Edison Chen or quite as many licenses for its radio? Did those awesome live action trailers really turn a profit in terms of their expenses versus how much they increased sales?

I mean, who knows... and who knows who's really responsible for various expense decisions.

Really wished they'd been able to have kept costs down tho because they probably could have cut a few expensive marketing or voice acting/licenses things, and it would have still been 99% of the amazing game that is -- probably in my Top 5 favorite games of the last 10 years. And if they had delivered pretty much the same game but only had needed 2 million sales to satisfy S-E's investment, maybe we'd have a SD2.

Hindsight and all that though... I'm not blaming anyone -- I'm thankful we got the first one. But there could be some lessons to learn. I'm sort of worried about Deus Ex in the same way... I was a bit worried about the new Hitman, too -- or whether S-E would ever fund a new Kane & Lynch.

It'd be nice to find a happy medium where a sort of SD2, Deus Ex MD2, even Kane & Lynch were maybe a little less AAA in funding to maybe try keep costs down because I think those sort of games could still be awesome as AA and it'd be a lot safer financially in terms of securing sequels. I'd rather have had a AA SD1 and SD2 than just a AAA SD1, and games like Deus Ex or Kane & Lynch could work awesome with AA budgets too.

Anyhow, again, not criticism, just lamenting since Sleepy Dawgs is such a gem IMO.
This post is actually a great example of how most consumers misunderstand modern AAA game development. Everything you pointed to as an example of budgetary excess on SE's part were incredibly small expenditures compared to the cost of developing the game. Removing all of them wouldn't have really moved the needle at all in terms of sales expectations.
 

LazerRanger

Member
Mar 7, 2009
531
0
0
Thank you UFG for Sleeping Dogs one of my fave games of last gen (I genuinely enjoyed it more than the GTAs from last gen).
I hope everyone from team goes on to other jobs in the industry.
 

FunkyDealer

Banned
Mar 9, 2015
4,723
0
0
Thank you, United Front Games, for making Modnation Racers and Sleeping Dogs. Two great games of the last generation.

I hope everyone affected lands on their feet.
 

Bronx-Man

Banned
May 11, 2015
27,009
0
0
The Palace of Wisdom
Damn, I remember how much I loved ModNation Racers when it came out back in like 8th grade. Now that I think about it, it came out the same week as Blur and Split/Second. 2010 was a damn good year for arcade racers.

R.I.P to UFG, I hope everyone there can land on their feet.
 

Tainted

Member
Jun 20, 2014
2,254
0
315
RIP Sleeping Dogs 2. Hopefully the United front peeps find work at other studios quickly, very sad.

Will raise a pork bun in remembrance...a man who never eats pork bun is never a whole man !
 

arbok26

Member
Sep 6, 2009
8,275
3
725
Malaysia
boingbb.wordpress.com
People probably didn't see a sequel to DX HR selling less either... sometimes things just happen tho.

Plus, didn't SD need to sell like at least half that more to be a base line success for S-E? They sunk a lot of money into it I guess... Emma Watson don't do media circus rounds for free.

Triad Wars was probably S-E basically saying: 'sorry, SD wasn't profitable [enough], so we're not funding SD2.... but hey, why not re-use the SD1 engine and assets to get a higher ROI -- you make this game, get us the mobi money with far higher ROI margins, and maybe then we'll consider a SD2'

I'm not sure if UFG just overspent inefficiently on marketing or production, S-E overspent on marketing, the spending was reasonable but S-E's standard for success was too high, but whatever the case, it's clearly a case not of sales or revenue but profit.

I mean, SD is amazing but it's production values are not that high -- should it really have needed 4 million sales just to be 'profitable enough'? Could they have kept costs lower and still developed mostly the same game? Maybe... I mean, did it really need Emma Watson for basically 10 minutes? She probably spent more time doing media circus interviews than actual voice acting. Did it really need Edison Chen or quite as many licenses for its radio? Did those awesome live action trailers really turn a profit in terms of their expenses versus how much they increased sales?

I mean, who knows... and who knows who's really responsible for various expense decisions.

Really wished they'd been able to have kept costs down tho because they probably could have cut a few expensive marketing or voice acting/licenses things, and it would have still been 99% of the amazing game that is -- probably in my Top 5 favorite games of the last 10 years. And if they had delivered pretty much the same game but only had needed 2 million sales to satisfy S-E's investment, maybe we'd have a SD2.

Anyhow, again, not criticism, just lamenting since Sleepy Dawgs is such a gem IMO.
I'm just going to throw a number out there and someone correct me if I'm wrong. Sleeping dogs took 5 years to make. As a mid tier developer I'd estimate they had 50 staff? I think I recall them saying they had 100. On an average salary of $60k for 50 staff that's $3m a year. That's $15m budget not including things like marketing, voice acting, publishing, distribution etc.

You can double that budget for the sequel. So you can see why SE probably decided against it.
 

CertifiedFP

Member
Mar 25, 2013
5,385
1
0
Even in death, Eidos is still killing promising studios with publisher mismanagement. Amazing. Though I ask that someone please call an exorcist before Eidos's specter exacts its vengeance on Eidos Montreal and IO Interactive like it did to Ion Storm many moons ago.

RIP.
 

KyanMehwulfe

Member
Aug 26, 2004
10,843
175
1,345
Huntusk
www3.telus.net
This post is actually a great example of how most consumers misunderstand modern AAA game development. Everything you pointed to as an example of budgetary excess on SE's part were incredibly small expenditures compared to the cost of developing the game. Removing all of them wouldn't have really moved the needle at all in terms of sales expectations.
how much were they?
 

Shock32

Member
Jun 10, 2016
774
0
0
US
What a shame. I'll never forget getting this for Christmas and playing while the PSN was getting attacked and enjoying every second of it.

:(
 

InfiniteBento

Member
Mar 25, 2013
6,978
0
405
Just read about this :( Really bummed we won't see anymore content from these guys.

Im thankful for such a memorable unique experience tho.
 

Tabasco

Member
Nov 22, 2013
2,013
0
380
I'm sure Sleeping Dogs was a staple for the company, and is a game I need to finish playing.

ModNation Racers had a great concept and was very enjoyable.

Smash+Grab is a game I really enjoyed as well, and was looking forward to the content they were going to release for it. The game seemed to have a promising future, but the player base was not there. I got about a day's worth of playtime of it, and it was one of the only games I would play on a regular basis. It is definitely sad to see the game's future go away just like that, and I will miss the fun I had with it.

I wish the devs good luck and that they can recover from this downfall.