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Some (small) Devs we should know; and some devs to mourn
Topic Started: Feb 26 2010, 06:29 AM (2,091 Views)
sheath
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I have been, and remain, non-sequitur
I figured I'd start this thread to see what developers we know out there that nobody is talking about. If the Video game industry follows the course of history set by the Movie and Music industries, they will all be gone soon, either gobbled up or shut down by a megacorporation. In the meantime we can enjoy the creative efforts of a startup company that simply wants to make money (read: not dominate the top ten charts) entertaining us.

Here's my first: Judobaby

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/former-sony-sega-devs-form-new-judobaby-studio

Former developers from Sony and SEGA have combined to create a new studio in California called Judobaby.

The studio's first title - a family game for the Wii - has been in stealth development for a year, and the fledgling company has said that work on it is now nearing completion.

Judobaby's management team is comprised of president and CEO Dan Mueller, a 15-year industry veteran formerly of Sony, who has worked on The Mark of Kri and ATV: Off Road Fury, among other titles; and CTO Richard Anderson, also formerly of Sony and also SEGA.

Finally Ben Harrison, who has worked as a game artist on titles including the Tomb Raider series, has taken the role of the company's art director.

"Judobaby is committed to creating a line of fun, humorous, 'pick-up and play' products to entertain the entire family," said Mueller. "Our focus is on providing top quality entertainment that brings the whole family together through gaming experiences that have yet to be offered."

The privately-funded company, which has headquarters positioned in Redwood City, says its first Wii-exclusive title will launch in Q4 2010. And it adds that, "with discussions of a live-action motion picture tie-in, the game may be set for additional momentum during first quarter 2011."

That's a good one too! Thanks. For posterity I'd like to list the great devs that have fallen by the wayside, disappeared, or otherwise ceased to be their former selves during the excessive revenue grab of the Playstation era (1997-2006). I'll need help to complete the list.

Ancient
Argonaut
Bignet
Bizarre Creations
Bullfrog
Compile
The Code Monkeys
Core
Creative Assembly Australia (Sega Australia)
Crystal Dynamics
Factor 5 GmbH (Cologne, Turrican Dev)
Factor 5 Inc (San Rafael, Rouge Squadron Dev)
Falcom
Hudson
Interplay
Ion Storm
Lucas Arts
Melbourne House
Maxis
Origin
Propaganda Games
Psygnosis
Secret Level
Sega
Sunsoft
Taito
Technos
Technosoft
Toejam & Earl Productions
Westone
Westwood
Working Designs
Edited by sheath, Sep 8 2016, 10:06 PM.
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DarcSeven
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I choose you... Ska Studios!
http://www.ska-studios.com/
Ska studios is James Silva. He made the Indie game, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1 and my pick for the best pure action game of 2009, The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai. He's currently working on the sequel, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile for XBLA.

So, yeah. I like this guy.
Just call me Steve. ;)
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sheath
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That's a good one too! Thanks. For posterity I'd like to list the great devs that have fallen by the wayside, disappeared, or otherwise ceased to be their former selves during the excessive revenue grab of the Playstation era (1997-2006). I'll need help to complete the list.

Ancient
Bignet
Compile
Core
Falcom
Sega
Sunsoft
Technos
Technosoft
Toejam & Earl Productions
Working Designs
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DarcSeven
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I remember Westwood and Origin becoming defunct around 2003-2004. Both of them were with EA at the time. Westwood was acquired in 1998 so I think it was around the time where EA got compared to the Borg, but I was young then so I'm not really sure on the details.

There's also Bullfrog's assimilation in 2004. Geez, EA was hungry. There's probably more than this but this is all I remember.
Edited by DarcSeven, Feb 26 2010, 01:01 PM.
Just call me Steve. ;)
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sheath
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Added Westwood, Bullfrog and Origen to the list. Man I loved the last two of those.
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benstylus
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Taster's Choice
it was Origin, not Origen (unless you're thinking of a different company)
Electronic Arts - We put the 'suc' in success!
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sheath
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You're right, I just typed it and didn't pay attention. ;)
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sheath
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Lessee, I'm thinking about whoever made Chakan the Forever Man... I would have sworn it was a 2nd party company to Sega of America, I guess not though. Nevermind.
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sheath
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Majesco should be remembered for a few things. Keeping the Genesis alive longer than Sega did, and releasing Cooking Mama. I'm also fairly certain that they released something last generation that was fairly risky, I'll have to figure that one out later though.
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sheath
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Pipework Foundation

For making Deadliest Warrior on XBLA, here's a snippet from Joystick's quipy preview.

"Think Bushido Blade; but instead of being stuck with controlling boring ol' samurai, there are ninjas, Spartans, Apache, knights and four other yet-to-be-announced warriors (Including, hopefully, wizards)."
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sheath
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So long Secret Level, you made better Sega games than Sega can.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/sega-studios-san-francisco-to-close

Sega Studios San Francisco to close

Sega Studios San Francisco, developer of Golden Axe: Beast Rider and the previous and forthcoming Iron Man movie tie-ins, is to close - according to a statement from Sega of America.

Rumours of the closure first emerged last week, before apparently being corroborated by other US sources and finally confirmed by Sega on Friday.

"Sega of America is sad to announce the closure of Sega Studios San Francisco," said the company in a brief statement.

"It is an immensely talented studio and we wish all the best to all of the staff in all their future endeavours. Moving forward, Sega will continue to pursue external development opportunities all over the world and will continue to grow the renowned Sega brand."

The studio was originally founded as independent developer Secret Level in 1999 and was responsible for a number of original Xbox ports for titles such as America's Army: Rise Of A Soldier and Karaoke Revolution.

The company was acquired by Sega in 2006, with then president Simon Jeffery commenting: "We looked long and hard at building an internal studio from scratch, but were so impressed with the team at Secret Level and their next-gen technology that we decided to create our internal development infrastructure through a direct acquisition."

Renamed as Sega Studios San Francisco, the developer's reboot of the classic Golden Axe franchise was a critical and commercial failure, with the tie-in to the original Iron Man movie also receiving poor reviews.

The second Iron Man game is due for release shortly, to tie in with the new film, and is believed to be already complete.
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sheath
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Here's hoping we get a true localization of JJ and Jeff, not to mention an uncensored DJ Boy.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/former-hudson-president-founds-monkeypaw-games

Former Hudson Entertainment president John Greiner has started a new company dedicated to releasing Japanese games in the West.

Greiner, who has worked in the industry for over 20 years and helped launch the TurboGrafx-16 platform, said that he believes there's a viable market for Japanese games that are deemed "culturally different".

"Japan is a mecca of gaming lore and a crypt for many of the best games that MonkeyPaw is going to resurrect," wrote Greiner on the company site. "Companies tend to underestimate the fervour that fans possess toward cultural idiosyncratic art, especially in overseas game markets. MonkeyPaw will finally give these games a chance to shine."

MonkeyPaw plans to make its first games announcements at E3 later this month.
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sheath
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Atlus is gone. No more mediocre JRPGs for you!

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-31-atlus-dissolved-by-japanese-parent-company

Publisher Atlus has been dissolved as an independent entity by its parent company Index Holdings as of yesterday, a decision which the company has attributed to financial pressures.

A statement by Index Holdings on its website, cites a need to refocus it business efforts on "profitable core areas", reports Gamasutra. The statement indicates that the label's current projects will be unaffected and that the Atlus label will continue in some capacity for the time being.

Atlus was primarily a publisher of Japanese RPGs, with its most famous properties being Trauma Center and the Shin Megami Tensei series. The company had also seen recent success with the critically feted core RPG Demon's Souls. Atlus was acquired by Index Holdings in a 2006 stock purchase.

The highest profile project the company currently has in development is controversial PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 horror adventure Catherine.

A statement on the game's development blog by director Katsura Hashino said that the team "will endeavour to continue to work for a long time".

Atlus has been contacted for further information.

Update

An administrator for Atlus' official US forum has posted about the future of the company, reassuring fans about the company's projects.

"This is what Red and I are saying, over and over. Atlus is not becoming a mobile games company. The original story doesn't even say that. This is purely a corporate manoeuvring so that Index, which is a mobile games company, has easier access to Atlus IPs. That's all," he said.
Edited by sheath, Nov 22 2012, 01:42 PM.
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sheath
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I had no idea that Square-Enix were such hopeless tarts. Properly called Squenix by Sega-16's denizens, we can count on this horrible conglomeration to never allow another Legacy of Kain or Deus Ex to exist.

RIP
Crystal Dynamics
Ion Storm
(did I miss any other Eidos casualties?)
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They canned Crystal Dynamics!? I thought that Tomb Raider: Guardians of Light was a huge hit!?

Bel
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DarcSeven
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Woah-wait-what? Crystal Dynamics is gone? I knew Square-Enix were idiots, but not by this much. 0.0
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sheath
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They didn't close the studio, it is just unrecognizable from what it was. Squenix is making some seriously stupid moves with, for example, shutting down the Legacy of Kain homebrew project when they have none of their own. Eidos was already a worthless developer, Squenix is inordinately worse. I would not be surprised to see *every* franchise they now own turned into some sort of ill-conceived RPG or action RPG. But, maybe the kiddos will like that kind of derivative nonsense.
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sheath
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Say goodbye to Propaganda Games, Disney would rather make mobile apps. Actually, aside from them being former EA Canada employees, I can't make myself care about any of the games this studio or its founders are responsible for. Def Jam Vendetta, NBA Street, Tron: Evolution and Turok (2008). These games are pretty well the portfolio of stuff I ignore.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-01-20-disney-interactive-closes-vancouvers-propaganda-games

Disney has announced that it will be closing Propaganda Games in Vancouver, after the studio's latest project failed to reach sales expectations. 100 staff had already been laid off from Propaganda late last year.

The developer had most recently produced Tron:Evolution, a tie-in game for the recent Disney film reboot, and had been working on an RPG based on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise - since cancelled, but Disney confirmed to Gamasutra yesterday that it was pulling the plug. "The studio has completed all work associated with its most recent project," read a statement.

The move seems to reflect Disney's new direction of social and mobile development, which began with a statement to press last November that the corporation would be putting less money into console development in order to maximise profit.

"We've seen a pretty big shift in games from console to what I'll call multiplatform, everything from mobile apps to social networking games, and by putting John Pleasants in to run games, not only will be the focus on turning those businesses into profitability, but diversifying our presence in the business," said Bob Iger, Disney CEO in November.

Pleasants had previously been CEO of Playdom interactive, which Disney acquired for $763 million in July, 2010.
Hudson will never be the same.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-01-20-konami-takes-100-percent-stake-in-bomberman-dev-hudson

Japanese publisher Konami has confirmed its intention to make Bomberman developer Hudson its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Konami already owned a 54 per cent stake in Hudson, a majority share it's held since 2005.

The move to 100 per cent ownership will be made via stock swap, reports Andriasang, and is due to happen on April 1.

Hudson boss Michihiro Ishzuka will step down in favour of Konami's Kazuhiko Uehara. Konami has yet to decide on whether the subsumed developer will keep its name.

The publisher intends to use its new acquisition to move further into mobile and social games.

Konami has also revealed plans to absorb another Japanese developer, Digital Golf.
Edited by sheath, Jan 20 2011, 08:01 AM.
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Belpowerslave
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Got this in an email today, thought it'd be a fun read for some:

Originally in reference to this post in the "Game Shopping" thread:

http://s4.zetaboards.com/Whip_Ass_Gaming/single/?p=16206&t=452774

"Soul Fighter Dreamcast- an odd pick. It gets roasted in reviews but it is the "sequel" to Legend for PSX. Heck, why not..."

"Hmmmm, Legend on the PSX? I wonder if this is a port or version of the SNES version? Will have to look into this one. At any rate, let us know what you think of Soul Fighter. I've always been kinda interested in it..."

This was the link I was sent about it:

http://usajap1.livejournal.com/904.html

"The Pretentious Case of Carlo Perconti"

I think Scott and Ben will dig this one...

Bel
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sheath
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Wow.
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