• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

What happened to 12 of gaming's biggest studios after they were sold

Oct 26, 2018
17,433
24,251
795
Doing on a money basis, is one way. They could have just done it on relevance.

Other good examples to do would be EA buying Origin, MIndscape buying SSI, Sony buying Psygnosis.
 
Jan 16, 2020
170
228
240
I can just about smell the fear from here.
Don't worry you'll still get your one year exclusive games you can brag about in list wars.
 

Evangelion Unit-01

Formerly 'Thicc Team Six'
May 18, 2020
1,969
5,352
820
Some of those, particularly Mass Effect, aren’t Mattrick, though, are they? It’s been so long.

He joined in 2007 before Halo 3 came out. So all of that was while he was there. His predecessor would have signed the Mass Effect contract, Mattrick would have been the one who elected not to acquire BioWare right before the game came out and EA made their bid.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX and -Arcadia-

Rikkori

Member
May 9, 2020
2,222
4,104
410
The Ensemble one hurts me the most, even though Bioware should be even higher but I feel like Bioware killed themselves rather than EA gutting them. AOE:O could really have been so much better if Microsoft wouldn't have hamstrung them so badly with all the MTX requirements.

Shout-out to Project Celeste for keeping the dream alive.
 
May 8, 2020
3,835
9,297
640
Zenimax is too big for all of those studios acquired to go bad all of the sudden. Some of them will produce great games. That's more an indictment on poor management and EA is gawd awful at that. Granted MS has been too.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX

Zannegan

Member
Feb 20, 2018
1,472
994
505
Holy carp, EA's track record for acquisitions is poison. Respawn is the only one that doesn't seem to have gone down the tubes.
 
Oct 26, 2018
17,433
24,251
795
Holy carp, EA's track record for acquisitions is poison. Respawn is the only one that doesn't seem to have gone down the tubes.
Apex Legends saved Respawn. And oddly it was a quietly revealed game that got unleashed as F2P. I don't think anyone at EA/Respawn knew it would be such a hot game, and suddenly a gazillion people jumped on.

EA's handling of Titanfall 2's release sandwiched between BF and COD has to be the most desperate anti-COD move ever. Everyone knows EA always has to release BF before COD for their early sales win, but to toss T2 into the fire when they should have released it early in the new year to spread it out goes to show how EA management is so desperate to get COD gamers.

Made no difference to COD sales.
 
Last edited:

Alphagear

Member
Mar 13, 2018
618
780
380
Going to blow your mind for a second:

...Fallout 76 was a commercial success.

Despite the shitty launch, the mind-bogglingly bad design decisions, the terrible microtransactions, the legion of bugs and the multiple fuckups...it is financially successful. Now, maybe that's because of brand recognition, maybe it's because it cost them absolute peanuts to develop or maybe it's because gamers are dumb. Who knows, but there you go.

Fallout 5 and Elder Scrolls 6 could literally be a 15 frame GIF of a dog pooping and they'd sell. Jesus, imagine if ES6 has online play (which is highly likely given the beta for their online tech...aka FO76). It will print money.


Fallout 76 was a commercial success?

On what planet?
 

Ozzie666

Member
Jun 27, 2020
353
313
250
I think the major difference, hopefully, is Microsoft can handle a flop/poor performer or under performing title, financially. I believe they will have more patience and provide better support than anyone like EA or Activision. The sum of their parts are greater than anyone studio and under game pass, even less than stellar releases, are still content. Microsoft seems to be displaying a lot of patience and buy in to their long term goals, they know it will be bumpy, but they can handle those set backs.
 
Oct 26, 2018
17,433
24,251
795
I think the major difference, hopefully, is Microsoft can handle a flop/poor performer or under performing title, financially. I believe they will have more patience and provide better support than anyone like EA or Activision. The sum of their parts are greater than anyone studio and under game pass, even less than stellar releases, are still content. Microsoft seems to be displaying a lot of patience and buy in to their long term goals, they know it will be bumpy, but they can handle those set backs.
I agree.

I don't know what year it was, but that 2010-2014 era was all about being lean and focusing on Kinect and an all-in-one media gadget. Although for naysayers I got to say that cable in feed was awesome. Playing a slow paced game while watching a baseball or hockey game at the same time with tunable volume was awesome.

So maybe it was around 2014 that is when MS said fuck it. We're going to reground ourselves for the future. One X will be a start to take the power crown. EA Access, tons of OS functionality, more studios. Its unlikely One will ever recover, so it'll be a long term process. Then, Series S/X, tons of Gamepass shit, more studios, and opening up the corporate coffers with Bethesda.

So unless Nadella suddenly wants to now stop the moneybags after Bethesda, Xbox will have the money and freedom to gun for holistic gaming from a powerful system, services and multiplat on PC and Android.

To me it seemed that 2010-2014 era had this narrow focused family gaming vibes which seemed low budget, and they had to release some games in progress that were never fleshed out like the 360 era games. But for sake of filling the catalog in the mid 2010s had to get some games out there.
 
Last edited:

RevenantX

Member
Mar 15, 2018
2,017
2,681
685
Aside from Mojang and Treyarch, almost none of those acquisitions have really panned out.
Sea of thieves is very profitable now for MS. Game doing really well now on Steam and Live.

Rare has more creative freedom what they had under Matrick.

Studio is still alive and kicking and working on Everwild.


I know what op trying to do with thread. Creating fear in minds of fans that MS will kill Bethesda now. Forgetting that fact its not same MS now.
 

Barakov

Member
Sep 30, 2006
8,214
6,484
1,520
I think in the grand scheme of things Bethesda and their games will be ok. I can see why people would be worried given MS's track record(Ensemble JFC, that one still hurts) but I think Bethesda will bring hype to the next gen Xbox, when the games release anyways.
 

mcjmetroid

Member
Feb 11, 2019
2,956
3,956
510
Limerick, Ireland
Just a reminder that Sony fucked nearly every UK based studio they have , i believe Phil Spencer will do the right thing with those studios .. and some fans just have to accept that MS hit Sony hard with this acquisition

What people still can't seem to understand is that they likely bought Bethesda to fuck with Amazon and as a bonus Sony. This was bought for streaming. You couldn't justify the price otherwise.

If rumours are true then Amazon was looking to buy them as well. In fact Amazon may buy another very large unsuspecting publisher soon if they're serious about the streaming game.

Who knows it could be amazon that end up buying sega.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX

mcjmetroid

Member
Feb 11, 2019
2,956
3,956
510
Limerick, Ireland
Rare has more creative freedom what they had under Matrick.

Studio is still alive and kicking and working on Everwild.


I know what op trying to do with thread. Creating fear in minds of fans that MS will kill Bethesda now. Forgetting that fact its not same MS now.

I think rare always had creative freedom bar the times when they were doing kinect games.

There is way MS would ever ask rare to make Viva pianeta for instance. At first glance it looks like a game to troll Microsoft haha
 

jigglet

Member
May 18, 2020
1,618
3,304
545
Fck me Treyarch was only 20 million, WOW.

Infinity Ward was purchased for $5 million:

 

mcjmetroid

Member
Feb 11, 2019
2,956
3,956
510
Limerick, Ireland
My guess here is that the units were low intentionally to give it that " pre orders" sold out buzz.

Sounds good in a headline doesn't it? Preorders sold out.. wow so it must be popular right.
 

FeiRR

Banned
May 22, 2013
3,533
6,388
820
Poland
Takeovers of smaller studios by huge corporations are generally a bad thing. People who celebrate them are simply idiots.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roxkis_ii

Laptop1991

Member
Apr 3, 2018
185
104
325
I still miss Westwood, they made great RTS games, especially Red Alert 2. EA just ruined so many game franchises, i can't remember the last time i played an EA game it was that long ago.

I bought Age of Empires 1 and 2 at the time, i thought Microsoft already was the publisher or owner, their name was on the box, i know Ensemble made it.
 
Last edited:

captainraincoat

Gold Member
Nov 15, 2010
5,038
7,480
1,240
Wait so Sega's studio is developing Age of Empires? Hmmmm

Also Sony and Psygnosis was pretty big one no?
i forgot about them until i saw the list...their best games were pretty much the games that shaped the ps1

And if you go further back they were a juggernaut in the 80s/90s...especially as an Amiga Fan
 

martino

Member
Apr 25, 2013
6,020
3,844
705
France
Multiple acquisitions from multiple publishers at multiple time period
i understand why there is no conclusion drawn in the article.
But i see the point when it comes to licenses or studio being in the same hand.
We can fear they will not put enough effort into them if they own X others doing well. (but at the same time you can also take more risks with licenses)
Also MS can have a different approach producing content because of gamepass. Individual maximization of profit per game is not necessary in this case, it's global appeal of the subscription service that counts.
Time will tell.
 
Last edited:

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,319
1,454
455
i forgot about them until i saw the list...their best games were pretty much the games that shaped the ps1

And if you go further back they were a juggernaut in the 80s/90s...especially as an Amiga Fan
Everything was fine untill they were merged into SCE in 1999 and relegated to only F1 and Wipeout games. Wasn't Jim Rayan responsible for European branch then?

Sony are also not on that list...they aquired a number of studios and have also shuttered them

Nowhere near ea levels though

But Psygnosis is more painful than any other.
 

lpking2005

Neo Member
Oct 29, 2013
35
24
390
The one that hurts the most is what Microsoft has done with RARE.

RARE was considered Naughty Dog level of greatness in the N64 generation.

They produced hit after hit on that system!

It does make me laugh when Halo is credited for the success of bringing FPS shooters to mainstream success when I'm pretty sure that should easily go to GoldenEye.

Then Microsoft gets salty when Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero doesn't find a footing on the 360 and puts forces them to work on crappy Kinect rubbish.

Sea of Thieves may have eventually found an audience but it's nothing like the greatness they used to create.

Such a damn shame! 😥
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Roxkis_ii and EDMIX

dezzy8

Member
Aug 21, 2008
2,298
225
1,070
Microsoft closing Ensemble really broke my heart. Same with EA and Westwood. I've always sucked at RTS games but always had an appreciation for them. Sucks these publishers don't feel the same way. Even after these studios really didn't put out duds.
Another acquisition that's not up here is the Bizarre Creations by Activision. I know they released 007 Blood Stone and Blur (which is the fucking GOAT of arcade racers). Then Activision shut down the studio.
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,775
2,090
970
The tragic thing about Ensemble is that its shut down wasn't even justified by commercial failures.
The studio was very successful and the Age of Empires series was one of the closest points the RTS genre reached to be a mainstream thing at the time. They made a series that even "computer dads" used to have installed on their PC.

No, they literally closed the studio just because it didn't fit their shitty focus on the console market and Xbox brand at the time.
 
Last edited:

Airbus Jr

Member
Aug 12, 2018
4,889
8,240
750
The only sucesfull one and the one that keep pumping top selling game on that list are Treyarch
 
Jul 30, 2009
8,349
866
1,055
So basically: some are doing really good, others not so much.

Guess what? People are pulling shit out of their asses as usual.
 

trikster40

Member
Dec 12, 2008
2,193
2,524
1,345
Now write up about the studios Sony purchased. While some have gotten better, even Sony has had its woes. Evolution, Psygnosis, Zipper, Incognito...

Going for a major corporate environment with stricter deadlines and atmosphere can be constricting. You’re bought to make a particular kind of game, so hope you don’t mind monotony!
 

martino

Member
Apr 25, 2013
6,020
3,844
705
France
Last edited:

RevenantX

Member
Mar 15, 2018
2,017
2,681
685
Fallout 76 was a commercial success?

On what planet?
it made lot of money at launch thanks to brand name. Its improved a lot now, though..I went back to it, Still not perfect but man they worked hard to improve that shit game lol
 
Last edited:

Alphagear

Member
Mar 13, 2018
618
780
380
it made lot of money at launch thanks to brand name. Its improved a lot now, though..I went back to it, Still not perfect but man they worked hard to improve that shit game lol

It was a commercial failure considering it had a budget of 100 million dollars.

2.5 million copies is pretty poor by Fallout standards.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Laptop1991

Bryank75

Gold Member
Jan 12, 2018
9,358
21,424
960
Ireland
Microsoft isnt taking Bethesha in house. So it shouldnt face the same fate. The next elder scrolls and fallout probably will be better.
Yes but you also have to consider how things will work when 120 million + customers are cut off and all those day 1 sales are gone. Do MS just give them the money they would have made?
 

duhmetree

Member
Aug 10, 2014
1,047
1,041
580
Atlanta,GA
Microsoft dropped the ball.

They should have been all over RESPAWN... for a measly $350M... Could have given them lead for Halo
 

Bryank75

Gold Member
Jan 12, 2018
9,358
21,424
960
Ireland
Westwood was a tragedy, I loved C&C Generals.

It's usually that the publisher doesn't understand the culture of the developer I feel and push what they think is the best workflow and new hiring standards or move HR out to a centralized office.

Ruins the cohesion of the team, the efficiency, communication etc. Maybe bad project management too.

We have seen companies been criticized before by former partners like Obsidian and Platinum games for acting like they knew more and being overbearing and demanding.