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UC4 Game Director Justin Richmond Leaves ND (And famousmortimer leaves GAF #1393)

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Mar 27, 2013
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Keep in mind, also, it was restarted 3 times. So lets say the number is 75 mil (i will never be able to find out the exact number, i just said the estimates I was given). Lets assume they get about 3/4s of the game done each time. The vast majority of cost is upfront (building the engine. assetts, voice acting, etc) and then marketing. Marketing never happened. But 3 projects coming to 75 mil at a studio that has delivered the god of war franchise isn't really that much money. 25 mil per reboot, or thereabouts.

And this is why I said Stig was "fat" that needed trimming.
 

UnObtainium17

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Jan 4, 2012
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Damn. If you leave ND for Riot something really bad is going on. I just read the first page... I will be shocked if someone here is still in denial about the fact that there is a rift in U4s development after this news.
 

Vire

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Aug 16, 2009
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Seems insane to me that they couldn't salvage anything out of that SSM project. I cannot even fathom how many art assets were wasted. At least decrease the scope and release it on PSN for some kind of monetary return.

In some respects, Sony's commitment to only releasing quality products is kind of impressive.

Didn't stop Knack from being released though... ;)
 

zhorkat

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Jun 25, 2013
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Keep in mind, also, it was restarted 3 times. So lets say the number is 75 mil (i will never be able to find out the exact number, i just said the estimates I was given). Lets assume they get about 3/4s of the game done each time. The vast majority of cost is upfront (building the engine. assetts, voice acting, etc) and then marketing. Marketing never happened. But 3 projects coming to 75 mil at a studio that has delivered the god of war franchise isn't really that much money. 25 mil per reboot, or thereabouts.

So what, they just threw everything away and started from scratch everytime they rebooted the game? Sounds terribly wasteful.
 

SteveO1683

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Jul 29, 2013
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Well of course they can say this. We dont know when the release is, so cant judge it against anything

I am sure Sony/ND internally had a quarter in mind (this year or next) that they would like to target the game to release in.
 

MavFan619

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Sep 9, 2013
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Connecting dots where they don't need to be connected.



Stig and his team spent almost 100 million dollars on a game that failed every QA test that took. The game sucked. They shitcanned the game and a lot of the people involved. They offered stig a spot on barlog's project - he didn't want to go from game director to something lesser so he quit.

This makes sense, right? Shitty game, money wasted, people fired, head guy leaves out of ego? I mean that all makes sense.


Amy Hennig has creative differences about the direction that UC4 should go in. Egos swell, she leaves. She's happy, she will make another studio much better when she gets there. Justin Richmond, an ally of Hennig's, gets an offer he can't refuse from Riot. He leaves.

These things happen. Naughty Dog is going to be fine. UC4 will still be awesome. Riot will be better with the pickup of Richmond and whoever gets Hennig will be better off. The sky isn't falling.


Guerilla Cambridge is working on a vita game that is shit and won't sell. They slim down as they retool for another project.

Again - this isn't new. This happens a lot.


The director of Driveclub doesn't deliver the game on time. Given more time the game still needs work. He is replaced.



Wouldn't you replace him? Wouldn't you shitcan stig's project that cost them almost 100 mil and had nothing of value to show for it? In fact they should have done it two years ago. The fact they let it go this far is a testament to how much they believed in him after GoW 3.


And all of this is happening before the fiscal year ends. Is sony trimming fat? Of course. Sony corporation is not in a great spot. So they are tightening up a bit. But a lot of people are connecting dots that don't need to be connected. Hennig/Richmond is about creative differences and ego. Stig is about wasted money and time. Col Rogers (driveclub) is about failing to deliver. Taken on their own they all make sense. Combine them together and you get glenn beck with a chalkboard.


And Jack Tretton was about money and inability to move up. He will make more money and have more power somewhere else - something Sony simply could not offer him. Shit happens.


It's the same with the xbox department guys. People move around. People leave for other companies. Shit happens.
This puts it all into some perspective. Makes all of this much more understandable.
 

SolidSnakeUS

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Aug 1, 2013
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Keep in mind, also, it was restarted 3 times. So lets say the number is 75 mil (i will never be able to find out the exact number, i just said the estimates I was given). Lets assume they get about 3/4s of the game done each time. The vast majority of cost is upfront (building the engine. assetts, voice acting, etc) and then marketing. Marketing never happened. But 3 projects coming to 75 mil at a studio that has delivered the god of war franchise isn't really that much money. 25 mil per reboot, or thereabouts.

Why would you allow the same guy to keep booting it that much?
 

VanCityGamer

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Jan 11, 2013
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i have to laugh at all the doom and gloom. as if this type of thing doesn't happen all the time.

Doom and gloom isn't constructive, but neither is brushing the events off. This does NOT happen all the time. How often do you see the two leads on a project take off months before the game's release?
 

iceatcs

Junior Member
Jul 9, 2007
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I always disappointment with their first party titles apart from Last of Us. But this one is quite big one.
Maybe they need a massive refine every studio to make the game cheaper and quicker.

I feel that no one want to pay someone for $100K+ a year for a multiyear project.
 
Feb 17, 2010
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www.doddscientifics.com
So you're saying they had a full team the whole time?
Pretty much, yeah. They started concept on it before GoW 3 shipped. Once GoW 3 shipped the moved to Darkside. They didn't have online or DLC or shit like that to worry about. They jumped right into the next project.


The game initially was supposed to be out this year. It's been clear for a couple years now that wasn't gonna happen... but it does explain the giant hole in their fall lineup. Thankfully for them... Driveclub will be there to attempt to fill it, a bit.
 

Loudninja

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Jul 30, 2007
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SCEJ was a complete mess as well and it got cleaned up.
Getting there, however, won't be that easy. Becker, who has been at the studio for two and half years, inherited something of a mess. "The thing I was shocked by was the number of titles in production," he said of when he first arrived. "That completely blew my mind." At that time, there were 40-something titles in production, and the environment was, what Becker called, "a free-for-all."P
http://kotaku.com/how-sonys-most-creative-studio-rose-from-the-ashes-1458030068

Things are getting cleaned up everywhere now.
 

repeater

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Jul 22, 2012
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I had heard it was some sort of kid themed "party game" as the vita is actually doing decently with kids in europe. It wasn't good and wasn't going to sell... so they canceled it and slimmed down the staff as they figure out what they're going to do next.


Honestly... after KZ:M on the Vita I thought they earned a shot at something big. I personally thought KZ:M kicked the shit out of KZ:SF in everything other than MP (and that's mostly because MP on a handheld is gimped to begin with).
Thanks a lot for the info, much appreciated.

I agree completely about the quality of Mercenary in relation to Shadow Fall. That's why I was half expecting Sony to promote them to handle future console releases in the Killzone franchise as well. The lacking quality of Shadow Fall together with the rumours of new IP indicates Guerilla Amsterdam want to move on to other things, and Sony generally seem pretty good at letting their first-party studios follow their hearts (see Media Molecule not getting stuck with LittleBigPlanet for life etc.), so it'd be a very natural move.

I really hope Guerilla Cambridge land on their feet. I feel sorry for those guys - first Mercenary didn't review even nearly as well as it deserved (though a majority of players seem to have enjoyed it a lot), and now these news about downsizing and cancelled projects. Ughh.. Personally I'd prefer to see them do something other than a kid themed party game, but whatever they do I just hope they catch a break and attain the success they deserve.
 

gundamkyoukai

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Aug 30, 2009
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940
Keep in mind, also, it was restarted 3 times. So lets say the number is 75 mil (i will never be able to find out the exact number, i just said the estimates I was given). Lets assume they get about 3/4s of the game done each time. The vast majority of cost is upfront (building the engine. assetts, voice acting, etc) and then marketing. Marketing never happened. But 3 projects coming to 75 mil at a studio that has delivered the god of war franchise isn't really that much money. 25 mil per reboot, or thereabouts.

I totally forget about things like voice acting and such so yeah that could add good amount to the cost .
 

Castcoder

Banned
Jun 21, 2012
1,494
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Connecting dots where they don't need to be connected.



Stig and his team spent almost 100 million dollars on a game that failed every QA test that took. The game sucked. They shitcanned the game and a lot of the people involved. They offered stig a spot on barlog's project - he didn't want to go from game director to something lesser so he quit.

This makes sense, right? Shitty game, money wasted, people fired, head guy leaves out of ego? I mean that all makes sense.


Amy Hennig has creative differences about the direction that UC4 should go in. Egos swell, she leaves. She's happy, she will make another studio much better when she gets there. Justin Richmond, an ally of Hennig's, gets an offer he can't refuse from Riot. He leaves.

These things happen. Naughty Dog is going to be fine. UC4 will still be awesome. Riot will be better with the pickup of Richmond and whoever gets Hennig will be better off. The sky isn't falling.


Guerilla Cambridge is working on a vita game that is shit and won't sell. They slim down as they retool for another project.

Again - this isn't new. This happens a lot.


The director of Driveclub doesn't deliver the game on time. Given more time the game still needs work. He is replaced.



Wouldn't you replace him? Wouldn't you shitcan stig's project that cost them almost 100 mil and had nothing of value to show for it? In fact they should have done it two years ago. The fact they let it go this far is a testament to how much they believed in him after GoW 3.


And all of this is happening before the fiscal year ends. Is sony trimming fat? Of course. Sony corporation is not in a great spot. So they are tightening up a bit. But a lot of people are connecting dots that don't need to be connected. Hennig/Richmond is about creative differences and ego. Stig is about wasted money and time. Col Rogers (driveclub) is about failing to deliver. Taken on their own they all make sense. Combine them together and you get glenn beck with a chalkboard.


And Jack Tretton was about money and inability to move up. He will make more money and have more power somewhere else - something Sony simply could not offer him. Shit happens.


It's the same with the xbox department guys. People move around. People leave for other companies. Shit happens.

Can this be on the front page of GAF? Please? This made me feel relieved to read through.
 

SniperHunter

Banned
Mar 18, 2012
18,021
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I don't know what cambridge is working on. I don't think they know. I think they slimmed down as they figure out what they are doing next. If/when that's approved, they will hire people again. Many studios operate like this. Especially lower-tier ones like GC.





I heard various numbers between 75mil and 90 mil for stig's game. I said "almost 100" because, well, both are almost 100 mil. They restarted the game, from scratch, THREE TIMES! And it sucked every time. The whole "it was too much like destiny" thing is bullshit. It was more horror-ish and like Dead Space than Destiny. That whole thing was sony jumping on the grenade to help stig save face. And help themselves save face as they wasted a fucking TON of money.

HOLY.FUCKING.SHIT

I can't believe Sony gave 100 million to Stig. God of War 3 was simply an ok game. I am glad they got rid of him. But that is A LOT of money damn

thanks posting that
 
Feb 17, 2010
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www.doddscientifics.com
Why would you allow the same guy to keep booting it that much?

Because God of War 3 made them absurd amounts of money and some of the stuff in that game, specifically the first 30 minutes, were some of the best moments of the entire generation. They thought he was going to come through. He didn't. I do agree though, the plug should have been pulled much earlier. Sony is very lenient with their studios, which gets us stuff like The Last of Us and Puppeteer, but it also can bite them in the ass. Stig bit them in the ass.
 

dragonbane

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Jun 27, 2012
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You say that as if that's a bad thing. I enjoyed every single second of TLoU's cinematics - as opposed to those in UC3 or those from Cage's games.
Oh I love them too. LastNac doesn't (if it is too much). I was playing with him, he knows it. To be clear though UC3 and Beyond render most of their cutscenes in real time. Even though this is about interactivity, the comparison doesn't work to begin with, because I mentioned pre-rendered cutscenes.
 

kpaadet

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Jun 22, 2013
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Riot have done more to popularize a new genre and to push forward the bounds of what's possible in mass community management than any company in a decade.

So they have the most innvative people in marketing, game design not so much.
 

EL CUCO

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Oct 31, 2013
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This should say "JUST REBOOTING"
 

StuBurns

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Jan 9, 2008
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Pretty much, yeah. They started concept on it before GoW 3 shipped. Once GoW 3 shipped the moved to Darkside. They didn't have online or DLC or shit like that to worry about. They jumped right into the next project.


The game initially was supposed to be out this year. It's been clear for a couple years now that wasn't gonna happen... but it does explain the giant hole in their fall lineup. Thankfully for them... Driveclub will be there to attempt to fill it, a bit.
What a fuck up.

I really like that Sony seemingly gives their teams a long leash, but that's absurd.
 

Vinc

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Mar 8, 2014
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Thank you for the explanation. You're right, they all make perfect sense on their own. The timing was making it look like a bigger deal than it actually was, and said timing is probably largely related to the end of the fiscal quarter, with a little help from sheer coincidence...
 

VanCityGamer

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Jan 11, 2013
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Pretty much, yeah. They started concept on it before GoW 3 shipped. Once GoW 3 shipped the moved to Darkside. They didn't have online or DLC or shit like that to worry about. They jumped right into the next project.

The game initially was supposed to be out this year. It's been clear for a couple years now that wasn't gonna happen... but it does explain the giant hole in their fall lineup. Thankfully for them... Driveclub will be there to attempt to fill it, a bit.

Yeah, it does explain the hole in their lineup. The good news for Sony is that they likely won't need anything to fill it. I suspect they can ride The Order: 1886, third party games, and positive consumer sentiment through the remainder of 2014. Plus, TLOU on PS4 will excite people. I don't think DriveClub will fill the void for many people. It really would've been awesome if Sony had one more great game this fall.
 

RoboPlato

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Oct 29, 2006
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What a fuck up.

I really like that Sony seemingly gives their teams a long leash, but that's absurd.
Hence why a lot of this restructuring is happening now. They need to have a reliable production pipeline at all of their studios moving into this gen.
 

a916

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Jul 10, 2013
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Stig and his team spent almost 100 million dollars on a game that failed every QA test that took. The game sucked. They shitcanned the game and a lot of the people involved. They offered stig a spot on barlog's project - he didn't want to go from game director to something lesser so he quit.

This makes sense, right? Shitty game, money wasted, people fired, head guy leaves out of ego? I mean that all makes sense.
.

What studio would throw 100M at a project, when it continuously failed (3 times by your accound)? Shouldn't only a select group of MAYBE 10-25 people prototype the thing to make sure it was good/fun/working before throwing 100 people behind the project?

How did it make it out of pre-production is the question... 100M is a LOT of money for a game, let alone one that never came out.
 

Wynnebeck

Banned
Aug 5, 2012
13,020
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Nothing better than seeing people running around like it's the end of the world for things they shouldn't even be worrying about. I don't want to sound like Baghdad Bob, but things are really not as bad as they look. A whole bunch of you are missing the forest for the trees.
 
Nov 10, 2013
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haha u can always rely on gaff to blow something out of proportion. now if drukman left then i would be worried.

also holy shit at around 100m, thats a shit load of money, game must have sucked hard for them to can it. honestly i think sony is more determined on quality than quantity this gen because they can afford to be. if this leads to more uc2 & tlou than mag/resistance/killzone garbage than im all for it

and for some reason sony exclusives pale in comparison to ms in terms of multiplayer so hope this gen they can put much greater focus on that
 

Vire

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Aug 16, 2009
26,233
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What a fuck up.

I really like that Sony seemingly gives their teams a long leash, but that's absurd.

They probably should have canceled it after the second reboot. They would have been where they are now about a year ago.

Now we are going to be waiting quite a long time for the next SSM joint...
 

Anung

Un Rama
Nov 13, 2013
11,656
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All this happening in such a short amount of time is so perplexing.

Keep on Druckin'
 

Pennywise

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Jun 20, 2009
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Because God of War 3 made them absurd amounts of money and some of the stuff in that game, specifically the first 30 minutes, were some of the best moments of the entire generation. They thought he was going to come through. He didn't. I do agree though, the plug should have been pulled much earlier. Sony is very lenient with their studios, which gets us stuff like The Last of Us and Puppeteer, but it also can bite them in the ass. Stig bit them in the ass.

I'm stunned that stig didn't take the position offered then, I know it's a step back for him, but he just wasted an insane amount of money...
 

Vinc

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Mar 8, 2014
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Wow. Though I agree ND and SSM will be okay. That enourmous money that was wasted on stings project has got to impact ssm next big project too.


It sucks for sure, but this kind of stuff happens in any creative industry really. It looks like a bigger mess when it's for projects with really high budgets...
 

Kerned

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Sep 25, 2013
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Don't worry guys, people are just leaving Sony-affiliated studios ahead of the Facebook buyout.
 

SolidSnakeUS

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Aug 1, 2013
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Because God of War 3 made them absurd amounts of money and some of the stuff in that game, specifically the first 30 minutes, were some of the best moments of the entire generation. They thought he was going to come through. He didn't. I do agree though, the plug should have been pulled much earlier. Sony is very lenient with their studios, which gets us stuff like The Last of Us and Puppeteer, but it also can bite them in the ass. Stig bit them in the ass.

If they realized it needed to be rebooted a 2nd time, I think the Stig should of been sent off by then, not after 3 full reboots... but yeah, to certain extents, more freedom equals the better and more unique games.
 

Salex_

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Sep 13, 2013
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0
Nothing better than seeing people running around like it's the end of the world for things they shouldn't even be worrying about. I don't want to sound like Baghdad Bob, but things are really not as bad as they look. A whole bunch of you are missing the forest for the trees.

That's what happens when you have a bunch of people fishing for bad news and trying to play detective.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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What studio would throw 100M at a project, when it continuously failed (3 times by your accound)? Shouldn't only a select group of MAYBE 10-25 people prototype the thing to make sure it was good/fun/working before throwing 100 people behind the project?

How did it make it out of pre-production is the question... 100M is a LOT of money for a game, let alone one that never came out.

It happens. Prey 2 was in production and publicly revealed at E3, to a positive response. Shitcanned, dev closed, restarted elsewhere. See also 2K and XCOM FPS.

Some pubs have a tendency to burn money more than others.
 

Chamber

love on your sleeve
Jan 31, 2006
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The news about Stig and SSM blows my mind. I would figure if you gave the GOW3 team that much time and money, magic would happen. I guess Sony thought the same.
 

Jachaos

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Dec 18, 2012
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$10 says that Sony will only have Driveclub ready by the fall.

With The Order: 1866 + a marketing and exclusive content deal for Destiny, that's not too bad. And probably some more stuff too. I hope stuff like Edith Finch even though it's not a AAA big title for marketing to push.
 
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