Spark Unlimited shutting down?

Mar 1, 2011
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#3
I'm surprised it hadn't happen sooner. One can only make so many stinkers. Turning Point and Legendary are some of the worst shooters I've ever played.
 
#12
I'm surprised it hadn't happen sooner. One can only make so many stinkers. Turning Point and Legendary are some of the worst shooters I've ever played.
I don't know about you but I liked Yaiba, it's no masterpiece but it's fun. The biggest problem it had was attaching the name Ninja Gaiden to it. People should have treated it like it's own IP instead of being part of the NG series and that includes it's publisher.
 
Dec 31, 2012
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#15
Well their last project was Yaiba, which was over a year ago at this point and bombed. Before that was Lost Planet 3, which also underperformed. Honest surprised it didn't happen sooner.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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#17
The only game I played was CoD Finest Hour on my OG Xbox (first CoD I ever played too), but I played the crap out of that game. My nostalgia says this is a bummer, but their track record isn't great.

Also, I came in here expecting Project Spark. Glad to see it wasn't.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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#19
When the phones, fridge and range are part of the auction that isn't good.

Could mean they have downsized and are moving into a different space, but that auction doesn't look good for the health of the company.
 
Jan 14, 2009
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#20
I don't know about you but I liked Yaiba, it's no masterpiece but it's fun. The biggest problem it had was attaching the name Ninja Gaiden to it. People should have treated it like it's own IP instead of being part of the NG series and that includes it's publisher.
Truth. And this is why it is a shame if it's true. I appreciated Yaiba for a lot of reasons... and while I haven't played LP3, I've heard it was a solid game overall.

Don't be an ass.
Too late.
True story: I was once banned from GAF for a week because a mod didn't like that I said something in a similar tone about the possibility of NT closing... will it happen here? I'm betting on no, since I don't know of any mods that are Spark Unlimited fans.
 
Jul 26, 2013
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#21
That's sad news. I think Lost Planet 3 is a hidden gem. You can tell it was written by the same creative team behind Anachronox (sans Tom Hall).

I understand it was a huge departure from previous entries (I never played them), but Spark managed to tell a seriously great story that totally subverted my expectations. It's worth picking up in a Steam sale.

http://www.gamefront.com/lost-planet-3-is-2013s-best-game-you-didnt-play/

Legendary: The Box (lol!) had such a cool premise. Shame that it couldn't live up to its potential.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
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#22
Oh man, they have some of the newer Mac Minis.

I'd buy that for a dollar.
 
Dec 12, 2010
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#23
I enjoyed Lost Planet 3. Was a better game than Lost Planet 2, but Capcom hardly put any marketing into Lost Planet 3 when it released. It was sent to die.
 
#25
I'm surprised it hadn't happen sooner. One can only make so many stinkers. Turning Point and Legendary are some of the worst shooters I've ever played.
Surprised they lasted this long honestly. Thought they were toast after Legendary.

I enjoyed Lost Planet 3. Was a better game than Lost Planet 2, but Capcom hardly put any marketing into Lost Planet 3 when it released. It was sent to die.
Still gotta try that.
 
Jun 9, 2011
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#26
CMA auction makes this sounds like bad news alone. And yeah, you don't sell off appliances if you're just downsizing, unless you can't afford a new office.

I'm actually surprised they own(ed) their own fridge and range and they didn't belong to the building.



That bottle looks like it could tell some stories
 
#29
I enjoyed Lost Planet 3. Was a better game than Lost Planet 2, but Capcom hardly put any marketing into Lost Planet 3 when it released. It was sent to die.
PFFT what?

Naw son. LP3 was a nice Dead Space clone, but it wasn't a lost planet game. It was a game that fans of the series didn't want and didn't do enough on it's own to be interesting enough to coax new players into it. That's something to blame Capcom for more than them, but yeah, no.

And while it's sad that this is happening, putting out subpar title after subpar title doesn't bring in money. I hope every lands on their feet, but let's hold off on the rose tinted glasses yeah?
 
Jun 8, 2005
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#31
Sad, but not surprising - they had their last project pulled from them a few months ago.

I don't know specifics, but they typically only ever got to do one project per publisher because they went poorly. And I guess publishers had a lot of issues with their upper management.
 
Jun 26, 2013
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#35
Sad day for the employees, definitely. But in terms of what they actually put out - every single one of their games sucked. From that angle indeed nothing of value was lost.

Just hope that the employees find a new job soon :/
 
Jul 26, 2013
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#37
http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/4/8548145/spark-unlimited-closure

John Butrovich, chief technical officer at Spark Unlimited, confirmed to Polygon that "it's the end of Spark as a game developer." Principal members of the studio "have decided to move on to other things," Butrovich said, and confirmed that Spark Unlimited co-founder Craig Allen resigned as president and CEO from the company late last year "to pursue other ventures and interests."
 
Dec 15, 2014
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#43
Sucks for the employees and I hope they find work quickly but I am honestly surprised Spark unlimited managed to stay alive for so long.

And according to glassdoor their management had issues.

Damn, Polygon was fast picking this up.
 
Mar 1, 2011
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#44
I don't know about you but I liked Yaiba, it's no masterpiece but it's fun. The biggest problem it had was attaching the name Ninja Gaiden to it. People should have treated it like it's own IP instead of being part of the NG series and that includes it's publisher.
To be fair, I loved the art of Legendary but it did nothing with the cool premise. It has some awful gameplay and was just rough all around. I heard LP3 was decent but never gave it a shot due to their track record.
 

Big_Al

Unconfirmed Member
Feb 15, 2013
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#45
Spark Unlimited's best game was Lost Planet 3 and it was mediocre, saved only by the compelling narrative.
I very strongly disagree with this, Lost Planet 3 was an excellent game and one of my favourite games of the last few years. Extremely underrated, loved it. I've written a lot about LP3 before and why I like it so much but I won't now :p

Sad to see any developer go bust, hope they all get new jobs soon.
 
#46
Good god, who the hell designed their tenant space? Exposed ductwork, what looks like an old and probably noisy air handler right out in the open in a room with no apparent sound dampening acoustical...anything, and a single, glary, open reflector pendant light over each set of tables? Surprised they got any work done at all.
Have you been in any modern offices lately?

Exposed ductwork is pretty much a requirement, it seems. As well as a pushbike hanging on exposed brick wall.

I don't get why people need silence, either. Headphones. Done. Lights? Turn them off at night (which is when the best coding is done.)

Seems pretty close to perfect, to me.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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#47
I was always floored by how much business they did with Japanese third parties.

They likely accepted really low bids.
Glassdoor comments:
Didn't manage expectations well with the publisher. Seemed to underbid the contract and then hire a team made up almost entirely of junior people to try and cut costs. Many of the mistakes made were due to there being too many junior folks who were given no direction for what they were supposed to do.
Management is its own worst enemy. Burns bridges with publishers, juggles money between two teams when it can really only afford one, etc.
Only a tiny, core group of employees survive project-to-project -- everyone else gets "rolled-off," usually beginning at alpha. Management swears this is the only possible way to survive as an independent developer.
Great games ruined at the end by management missteps, roll-offs and plunging employee morale.
Spark burns every bridge that they cross. The number of publishers that they have not biblically pissed off is moving to zero.

Has no capability to effectively manage publishers expectations.
Dose not possess the project management skills to polish the product before it goes in the box.


Till February they were working on a mobile title.
 
Apr 19, 2011
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#48
Good god, who the hell designed their tenant space? Exposed ductwork, what looks like an old and probably noisy air handler right out in the open in a room with no apparent sound dampening acoustical...anything, and a single, glary, open reflector pendant light over each set of tables? Surprised they got any work done at all.
Ubisoft

EA

Microsoft

It's just a thing offices do...I don't know why. Smaller companies have less resources to make the interior look pretty but since these pics are clearly after everyone lost their job and moved out it's going to look a little...cold. :(