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RIP United Front Games

Apr 1, 2013
27,140
4
510
Kent, England
How long left for Eidos Montreal? Square are awful at managing studios
Unless this is just a general comment, Square Enix did not own United Front, and they had nothing to do with SE Montreal. As for Montreal, I'm sure they will get the chance to make Deus Ex: People Sheeple, but if that game isn't a strong success I can see the studio being in trouble.
 

jackissocool

Member
Oct 24, 2013
4,911
0
0
Cleveland, OH
That's a goddamn shame. I never played Sleeping Dogs but Modnation Racers belongs in the upper echelon of kart games. It's tough to be a late incitement studio. There's less than ever now.

Hope all the workers find a good place.
 

YaBish

Member
Aug 13, 2015
1,164
0
0
Anyone else think it's crazy coincidental that we had that thread on Sleeping Dogs possibly being the best open world action game ever made, and then this news pops up soon after?
 

arbok26

Member
Sep 6, 2009
8,275
3
725
Malaysia
boingbb.wordpress.com
It's funny how people keep going on about Sleeping Dogs and not about our new (and IMO better) game. Smash + Grab was a really original and fun concept that still had some hitches in execution but they were hoping Early Access would give them the time/funds to fix (I've clocked well over 1000 hours and still found myself yelling profanities when I died).

Unfortunately people were too busy with Battlefield#15 and talking about COD#22 :/

I'm a little bitter, the studio was a wonderful refuge from the crappy mobile/AAA swamp most of the rest of the industry has become. Full of wonderful people (management included).

People here always talk about how they want original games from bigger studios, but unless you've got a gigantic marketing budget and a corporate presenter talking about it on stage no one cares.

I hope the best for everyone else who worked there, I know the city is full of other hopeful-employees right now (what with Roadhouse recently closing) but everyone there was outstanding and I'm sure they'll find employment soon.

(sorry if this is a little moody, I'm still kinda drunk)
Sorry to hear about UFG. Sleeping Dogs is a top 10 game of all time for me, and I've been gaming since NES days. I really hoped Triad Wars and Smash and Grab found some success but I personally don't have the time for multiplayer games, I don't know about other people but that's why I didn't buy it.

I think people are too ingrained in their typical multiplayer games and just play the one shooter or the one moba they like. Perhaps Triad Wars and Smash and Grab was just a bit too different for people to want to get into. It's a fickle market. I think people judge games too quickly these days. Besides Smash and Grab clearly didn't have any pre release hype or marketing. I think at the very least it needed a bit of a push from traditional online press before early access.

UFG had extremley talented people and I hope they get picked up by other developer's soon. I'm playing through Sleeping Dogs again now and its astounding to me how good everything is technically still (a 4 year old game) and how much artistic flair is in the game. It's weird, you see something like Demon's Souls get a moderate niche following and the Souls brand become successful, but the same thing doesn't happen with Sleeping Dogs.
 
Absolutely crushed by this news. While I can't speak for Sleeping Dogs (though given its wide acclaim, can sympathize with fans of that game), I believe the studio's ModNation Racers was a great LBP-inspired UGC game and kart racer; and one of the PS3's most underrated new IPs. Really saddened neither that title, nor their official LBP Karting spinoff adapted from MNR, never caught on with audiences.

Really talented bunch, I hope they all land on their feet. RIP. :(
 

deadscreensky

Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,329
31
0
Illinois
I mean, the truth is that the majority of the forum have not played Smash & Grab, and even if it had released as a finished product, still most of us wouldn't care - as we're not generally a forum that cares about F2P games. Sleeping Dogs on the other hand released on five (?) platforms and many of us have played and loved it.
Are you thinking of a different GAF, maybe? Because I see plenty of love here for games like Dota 2, Hearthstone, Pokemon Go, and many, many more games. On the first page of Community right now I see somewhere around 14 active threads for F2P games.

Also Smash+Grab wasn't free to play in the first place, though perhaps they would have shifted to that model for the final release?

But it's true that very few people have played Smash+Grab, and while I personally think it's currently a ton of fun it definitely needed a lot more work too. It's a shame the studio closed down, as they had a very promising, well-designed game which just needed a little more time.

Hope the developers land on their feet elsewhere.
 

Tecnniqe

Banned
Feb 3, 2015
16,501
1
0
Relic Entertainment ‏@relicgames
So sorry to hear about Vancouver's @UnitedFrontGame closing. All affected, feel free to check out our openings at http://relic.com

Relic looking for some peeps
 

privitsan02

Member
Dec 28, 2014
2,521
0
0
Sleeping Dogs and Modnation Racers were the only two worthwhile games that they had made from the ground up but in both cases they deserved more support from both Square Enix and Sony. They could've been successful new franchises.

Now it makes a lot of sense why they were doing so many port jobs as of late and its a shame. I don't think United Front Games were to blame for the way things were going. If their projects didn't get lit by Square Enix or Sony, there's only little they could do.

Best wishes to the rest of the team in Vancouver.
 

Irishonion

Member
May 31, 2016
1,694
0
220
Ugh.

I remember starting sleeping dogs back then knowing nothing about it, was playing because I was bored and turned out to be such a fun experience.
 

ItsTheNew

I believe any game made before 1997 is "essentially cave man art."
Mar 26, 2013
1,582
0
470
USA
It's funny how people keep going on about Sleeping Dogs and not about our new (and IMO better) game. Smash + Grab was a really original and fun concept that still had some hitches in execution but they were hoping Early Access would give them the time/funds to fix (I've clocked well over 1000 hours and still found myself yelling profanities when I died).

Unfortunately people were too busy with Battlefield#15 and talking about COD#22 :/

I'm a little bitter, the studio was a wonderful refuge from the crappy mobile/AAA swamp most of the rest of the industry has become. Full of wonderful people (management included).

People here always talk about how they want original games from bigger studios, but unless you've got a gigantic marketing budget and a corporate presenter talking about it on stage no one cares.

I hope the best for everyone else who worked there, I know the city is full of other hopeful-employees right now (what with Roadhouse recently closing) but everyone there was outstanding and I'm sure they'll find employment soon.

(sorry if this is a little moody, I'm still kinda drunk)
Sorry to kick you while you're down. But that line of thinking (not following up sleeping dogs with a proper sequel) was probably the reason why the studio was shut down. If you think AA devs making a AA or AAA game is hard to market, a AA dev making a f2p game was a dumb move and frankly none of it looked interesting. Guys had a good IP, the next could have been a breakout hit like Saints row 2 was to SR1. Sorry to those who lost their job.
 

StereoVsn

Member
Nov 14, 2014
5,047
0
0
Sorry to kick you while you're down. But that line of thinking (not following up sleeping dogs with a proper sequel) was probably the reason why the studio was shut down. If you think AA devs making a AA or AAA game is hard to market, a AA dev making a f2p game was a dumb move and frankly none of it looked interesting. Guys had a good IP, the next could have been a breakout hit like Saints row 2 was to SR1. Sorry to those who lost their job.
To be fair SE had the IP, not the studio. That said, yeah, going F2P or even Buy 2 Play is hard to break out.

Edit: Also realities of today's game development are such that an Open World game like Sleeping Dogs is a multi-year project at $20-30 mil minimum cost, probably more. That's not something that an independent dev studio can shoulder.
 

Tiktaalik

Member
Aug 6, 2004
12,871
0
1,430
I don't know why but it always seemed to me that NeoGAF in particular was a very big fan of the Sleeping Dogs franchise. This is especially clear in this thread with so many regretting that SD2 never appeared.

Sleeping Dogs may not have hit its sales targets, but it's a real shame that SquareEnix never noticed the base of fan support that had been created over time. That is something that could have been leveraged in a sequel.

I think unfortunately a lot of this is timing and circumstance. SD came out at the awkward end of a generation. If it had appeared a year or so earlier, SE/UFG could have whipped up a Yakuza2 style sequel with the same assets and could have recouped a lot on their investment.
 
Dec 8, 2008
6,085
0
0
England
Sorry, but that is an ignorant statement to make. Sleeping Dogs did not set the world on fire in terms of sales and with how saturated open-world games have become, they probably thought the risk was too much. Say they went ahead anyway, and the contract stipulated the game must sell x amount of copies so they get bonus payments, that could mean the difference between going bankrupt or staying afloat. They could've gone under far earlier if that was the case.
You're wrong, it's known in the industry that the first title in a franchise is a loss leader. The payoff is in the second or third game in terms of sales. Remember we are talking about Squinex here who have a long and detailed history of fucking not being able to read the market. Exhibit A I'll present Assassins Creed 1 and Saints Row 1.
 

BTA

Member
Jan 30, 2014
4,253
0
315
Y'all made a great game. I hope everyone manages to find good work elsewhere.
 

adversarial

Member
Sep 30, 2015
788
10
295
Didn't understand the direction they took with Triad Wars / Smash & Grab. Assume it's just because those types of games suddenly became very popular. After I beat Sleeping Dogs (bought it day 1) I was stoked and believed there'd most definitely be another one. Can't help but think a SD 2 would have sold really well.
 

Kyrios

Member
Aug 11, 2015
2,787
0
0
That sucks, loved Sleeping Dogs. Hope those affected have an easy time finding a new place to work.
 

vypek

Member
Dec 11, 2013
10,139
0
0
Didn't understand the direction they took with Triad Wars / Smash & Grab. Assume it's just because those types of games suddenly became very popular. After I beat Sleeping Dogs (bought it day 1) I was stoked and believed there'd most definitely be another one. Can't help but think a SD 2 would have sold really well.
At least for Triad Wars, I'm guessing that was just at the request of SE so that was all they could do for the moment
 

jackal27

Banned
Jun 29, 2012
5,278
0
480
Joplin, MO
Just popping in to wish them all the best.

Sleeping Dogs is still probably my favorite open-world game ever. So lovingly crafted with so much personality. I love Dragon's Dogma as well, but Sleeping Dogs wins out.
 

Fjordson

Member
Jul 5, 2010
34,917
1
605
California
Damn this really sucks. Sleeping Dogs was an amazing game.

I feel like a sequel done right could have been a decent hit with all of the positive word of mouth Sleeping Dogs got. Like with Saints Row, I'd say that didn't really break out until Saints Row 2. Same with Just Cause with JC 2.
 

diamount

Banned
May 26, 2012
9,547
0
0
You're wrong, it's known in the industry that the first title in a franchise is a loss leader. The payoff is in the second or third game in terms of sales. Remember we are talking about Squinex here who have a long and detailed history of fucking not being able to read the market. Exhibit A I'll present Assassins Creed 1 and Saints Row 1.
I think comparing Sleeping Dogs to games released 10 years ago is a flawed comparison from the start, the market has matured since then. Game development was also significantly cheaper at the start of last-gen. Publishers very risk averse now and funding an open-world game in a sea of open world games just means disaster, fatigue will set in and customers will stop buying those games except from Rockstar.
 

Megawarrior

Member
Feb 7, 2015
2,778
0
0
No I blame us, I bought two copies of the game, met the devs at NYCC after the game released, opened a twitter account to get the word out, spent alot of time on the forums with a full I me job, family, etc, because I knew this was an amazing game and team... We as gamers who didnt support the brilliance of a game which was way better than GTA IV in my opinion and just about any modern open world game at the time..

So damn shocked that a game set in overseas like a lot have asked for, best hand to hand combat, can use trunks, doors, etc for combat and many other great mechanics didn't sell well..

A Fucking shame and Fuck me if you dint buy this great game and support some of the coolest Fucking devs ever... So damn pissed...
I bought the game new at full price day 1 on both ps3 and ps4 so I did my part. It really bums me out when things like this happen. *sigh*
 

Kadayi

GIF PIMP
Oct 10, 2012
8,023
6,781
1,065
theconclave.net
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn it. Sleeping Dogs was great.Was hoping they'd do a sequel at some point.

Best of luck to those involved. :(
 

joesiv

Member
Jun 7, 2012
849
0
0
Vancouver, B.C.
Sadness!

Independent developers have a hard gig, they are made up of employees that need to support families, so they look for publishers to take them on, work extra hard to meet milestones and unrealistic expectations, and then get laid off/shut down for their efforts.

I left the industry for exactly this reason (from this studio of all places). It was a great company to work for, I had the privilege of working on ModNation Racers and Sleeping Dogs with some great developers!

My heart goes out to those affected!
 

Vibranium

Banned
Feb 20, 2013
5,927
0
0
It's funny how people keep going on about Sleeping Dogs and not about our new (and IMO better) game. Smash + Grab was a really original and fun concept that still had some hitches in execution but they were hoping Early Access would give them the time/funds to fix (I've clocked well over 1000 hours and still found myself yelling profanities when I died).

Unfortunately people were too busy with Battlefield#15 and talking about COD#22 :/

I'm a little bitter, the studio was a wonderful refuge from the crappy mobile/AAA swamp most of the rest of the industry has become. Full of wonderful people (management included).

People here always talk about how they want original games from bigger studios, but unless you've got a gigantic marketing budget and a corporate presenter talking about it on stage no one cares.

I hope the best for everyone else who worked there, I know the city is full of other hopeful-employees right now (what with Roadhouse recently closing) but everyone there was outstanding and I'm sure they'll find employment soon.

(sorry if this is a little moody, I'm still kinda drunk)
Sorry man, good luck. I would have given Smash and Grab a shot to support you guys, though I am mainly a single player sort of person. Would have loved a SP IP by UFG too.

I am pretty hopeful everyone will find new jobs.
 

BstnRich

Member
Sep 1, 2013
282
0
330
No fucking way.

I just enjoyed my weekend playing Smash + Grab for free. In fact, I was trying to purchase it tonight but couldn't find the purchase button on Steam. Guess this is why.

Fuuuuuuuck I want more Smash + Grab!
 

funkystudent

Member
Apr 3, 2010
29,270
0
0
Mod Nation was cool as hell. I was bummed it never got a sequel.


LBP karting was a bad idea and was probably Sonys choice but still. I felt Mod Nation managed to overcome the early "why not just make it a LBP game" comments that dogged it early on.

Heck part of me was kinda wishing UFG might have gotten a chance at making a Crash Team Racing with Activision bringing Crash back.



Also I completely forgot about Sleeping Dogs starting out as a True Crime game for activision.
 

Zoloft Sonic

Member
Apr 1, 2014
493
0
0
Huge condolences to everyone effected, I hope the Vancouver industry moves as quickly as possible to help folks get new jobs.
 
Aug 7, 2015
197
0
0
Damn shame. Sleeping Dogs is one of the only open world games I've platinumed. Would have been there day 1 for SD2.

Best of luck to all of them.