Stolen Pixels #37: Part One of Infinity

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Stolen Pixels #37: Part One of Infinity

If your game can't spawn a franchise, Activision doesn't want it, no matter how good it is.

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Not sure about the others, but Ghostbusters and Riddick were just picked up by Atari a few days ago.

http://www.variety.com/VR1117994909.html

Just letting you know, but the link on your site goes to the post here instead of the actual comic.

I was wondering what happened to the Jack Black game. That's too bad. Effing greedy bastards.

People still play Crash and Spyro ?

"Schindler's List V: The Schindling"! It is to laugh.

I can't believe they're doing this to Brutal Legend

:(

Hm. Let me experiment.

Brutal Legend II: Totally Metal

Brutal Legend 3: This One Goes to 11

Nope, the English language seems to allow for sequels to Brutal Legend.

Awwwww man! I was so looking forward to that game! I hope it gets pick up by someone else like Ghostbusters.

Wow... I remember when Infogrammes was the "bad guy". They dressed themselves in Atari's dead skin and danced around to cleanse their shoddy public image with american gamers.

Now they're picking up Activision's scraps.

If this guy is really so bottom-line oriented (and I don't see this as evil, just short sighted and greedy), what is he going to do about Blizzard's legendarily long development cycles? Blizzard puts out games "when they're ready", and fans are always prepared to wait because they're worth it. Someone who refuses to publish games because he can't resell them the next year may not be so philosophical about it.

I'm sure someone else will publish Brutal Legend; it happened with Psychonauts. I just hope it doesn't take too long, because it looks awesome.

I don't wonder how these people managed to end up running multinational games megacorps, I wonder how they dredge up the requisite synaptic activity to remember to breathe.

This is the reason why I'm actively boycotting all Activision products... sorry people if you want Brutal Legend, don't buy Call of Duty or Guitar Hero, send a message that they shouldn't be asshats like this.

Unfortunately, sequels make much more sense for the bottom line. To use a music analogy, a band's bestselling album is often the one AFTER their best album, because everybody was excited for the sequel.

Tim Shafer is good at making interesting, critically approved games, but not at making games that sell millions of copies. Neversoft is good at making games that sell millions of copies. Which one would you can, if you had to cut one game? The choice is obvious from a business perspective.

Of course, a company as big as Activision should be rich enough to fund some original IP development to stay ahead of the curve. Maybe they're not making as much money off of Guitar Hero and Call of Duty as we thought they were.

As someone who owns GH3 and Rockband, I can tell you which one we end up playing now. And I think a lot of people might just be buying rockband(2) now.

DaveMc:
"Schindler's List V: The Schindling"! It is to laugh.

Ditto.

Excellent comic Shamus, although I believe that Ghostbusters and Assualt on Dark Athena have been picked up again.

I'm really glad that Ghostbusters lives again.

I really hope Brutal Legend gets another chance as well.

This is just another example of how originality doesn't sell in the video game market. Franchises sell and publishers are only too happy to give (sell) us a franchise. We can talk about how video games need to evolve as an art form until we are all blue in the face, but until every major publisher goes bankrupt and is replaced by a dozen or so small time publishers, we can all just keep looking forward to Call of Duty 22 and Spyro 200.

When I started seeing lots of developers saying their high-budget new IP was "the beginning of a trilogy" I thought it was a combination of greed and hubris. Now I'm beginning to think it's simply survival instinct.

ShadowKirby:
People still play Crash and Spyro ?

Yeah, this is partly what got me thinking. Activision releases plenty of games that must barely get the cash back sunk into developing them.

Brutal Legend is a guaranteed seller to anyone that plays Tim Schaffer games, AND to anyone that has ever been a fan of 80's metal and plays video games. I mean, put an ad for it in Heavy Metal Magazine and you got yourself a market. It's already a better destined seller than the latest Spyro or Crash game.

I'm hoping the fact that it is Tim Schaffer, a man that many in the industry have fond memories of, and the fact that it has big names like Jack Black and...well, Ronnie James Dio isn't exactly a big name, but you get the idea.

Interestingly enough, if EA wants to continue trying to look like they've turned over a new leaf (completely disregarding all of this DRM stuff), they'd pick up Brutal Legend and then stay hands-off, allowing it to be just as Schaffer wants it to be.

Ugh, they cancelled the Riddick sequel? It has a two in its name!

Damn bad, the original game was a really great shooter!

If they get return on investment (which they would), who cares if it doesn't outsell the next call of duty or whatever? It's not like they've lost money : P

So true.

Also, the ROOOOOCK! AGAIN!

Part was hilarious.

I have no idea why, but "The Schindling" had me burst from the seams. BRÜTAL!

:(... so.. no tenacious d game? :( sorry thats what the game looks to me, and i dont mean that in a bad way, have you ever heard wonderboy? or tribute? ... i wonder how the soundtrack would be? :(

Blizzard is in no danger. The MMO genre in general thrives on "more of the same", and the whole company was already based on sequels before WoW. Sure, they did make games like Rock n' Roll Racing and Lost Vikings, but now there's only the Big Three: Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft. Their whole upcoming game catalogue is sequels: Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 and WoW: Wrath of the Lich King.

No.. Brutal Legend canceled? Could someone please place the one who did this in front of my foot? I want to kick him in the shin repeatedly.

Shamus Young:
I'm really glad that Ghostbusters lives again.

There's sort of an oxymoron there....

What can we, the public, do?

Simply not buy any sequels. Ever.

Give Atari all of our money and say "Up yours" to EA and Activision. They will learn. Oh yes, they will learn.

Carra:
Ugh, they cancelled the Riddick sequel? It has a two in its name!

Damn bad, the original game was a really great shooter!

Actually it's merely a rerelease of the original with some extra stuff...which makes me wonder why it has been taking so long.

Also, technically the titles weren't cancelled. Double Fine is still working on Brutal Legend, they just lost their publisher.

WTF!?!?!?!

Ok thats it, I say everyone here needs to boycott these bastards.
I mean brutal legend was gonna be so sick godammit!
Fuck you Activision, fuck you sideways!

ccesarano:

I'm hoping the fact that it is Tim Schaffer, a man that many in the industry have fond memories of, and the fact that it has big names like Jack Black and...well, Ronnie James Dio isn't exactly a big name, but you get the idea..

Woah woah woah... DIO is a HUGE name! I heart that tiny little man and his big sword. Dio is a metal god and anyone who wants to buy this game should know him!

ccesarano:
I'm hoping the fact that it is Tim Schaffer, a man that many in the industry have fond memories of, and the fact that it has big names like Jack Black and...well, Ronnie James Dio isn't exactly a big name, but you get the idea.

Ronnie James Dio not a big name ?
let me be unpleasant, but you must have no idea of the history of rock and heavy metal to say this, given his influence and the quality of his records... Either that, or you're 16 (not you specifically, but you catch my drift).
Do you know the song Love is All from Roger's Glover Butterfly's Ball ?
He is the singer on this song, for instance.
Holy Diver ? probably one of the best classic heavy metal albums

Otherwise, good job Shamus, I think it sums it up perfectly, just liek when you take the piss on EA.

Cyclomega:

ccesarano:
I'm hoping the fact that it is Tim Schaffer, a man that many in the industry have fond memories of, and the fact that it has big names like Jack Black and...well, Ronnie James Dio isn't exactly a big name, but you get the idea.

Ronnie James Dio not a big name ?
let me be unpleasant, but you must have no idea of the history of rock and heavy metal to say this, given his influence and the quality of his records... Either that, or you're 16 (not you specifically, but you catch my drift).
Do you know the song Love is All from Roger's Glover Butterfly's Ball ?
He is the singer on this song, for instance.
Holy Diver ? probably one of the best classic heavy metal albums

Otherwise, good job Shamus, I think it sums it up perfectly, just liek when you take the piss on EA.

You tell them!

Personally I think it will be quite easy to boycott ea, I dont play sports games anyway!

Last time I bought an EA game it was second-hand, so I have no shame in owning EA games, I even plan on getting a used copy of Army of Two to play with a friend.
In fact, 85 to 90% of my video games are used.

I am so evil I am sure the VG industry sekritly dreams of hiring a hitman to get rid of unpaying scums like me...

I'm afraid with the Blizzard deal, Activision totally has most of you by the balls, how many of you would be willing to tell Activision to fuck off when they control your intake of Diablo and Starcraft.

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