Activision Blocking Brütal Legend Deal?

Activision Blocking Brütal Legend Deal?

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It looks like Activision is trying to make life rough for the guys at Double Fine Productions, who claim the company is actively blocking their quest to find a new publisher for Tim Schafer's latest adventure game oddity Brütal Legend.

Brütal Legend was one of many games slated to be published by Sierra that fell victim to the merger between Activision and Blizzard. Activision announced in July that it was only interested in five properties owned by Sierra/Vivendi, leaving games like 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust without a home. Most of those games have since found new publishers, but Brütal Legend is still without a deal.

According to Variety's Cut Scene blog, a big reason for that is Activision Blizzard itself. Sources at Double Fine say other publishers are interested in the game, but that Activision has been "blocking the process" and is "an impediment" to potential new deals. Naturally, Activision declined to comment on the matter, but even though details are scant it's an accusation not made lightly: Activision is a big player, and even though it may not be interested in Brütal Legend, poisoning the well without a pretty good reason isn't a smart way to go about building future relationships.

The obvious question is why Activision would do something like this in the first place. It's not difficult to understand why it'd pass on Brütal Legend; while Schafer has received widespread critical acclaim for his work, with games like Grim Fandango and Psychonauts to his credit, he has yet to come up with a major commercial hit. On the other hand, grass-roots interest in Schafer's games has been simmering, driven by the growing recognition of his creative talents, and perhaps Activision hasn't completely given up on the idea that the game could be a sleeper hit. Whatever the case, we'll no doubt be hearing more in the future.

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Brutal Legend is a guitar game? Bleh. Why were so many people excited about it...

Behold the Blizzard Failboys shall come in droves now. Ah well, maybe Activision is trying to protect one of it's own future projects. Does Activision have anything to do with Guitar Hero/Rock Star?

Brütal Legend is a guitar game? Like Guitar Hero etc.? I don't think so...have to check on that, from last I read thought it was to be an action/adventure game. It's not impossible to envision some kind of music based QTEs at certain points, but, I don't think it's intended to be like those other guitar miming games.

TsunamiWombat:
Brutal Legend is a guitar game? Bleh. Why were so many people excited about it...

Behold the Blizzard Failboys shall come in droves now. Ah well, maybe Activision is trying to protect one of it's own future projects. Does Activision have anything to do with Guitar Hero/Rock Star?

It's not a guitar game. http://www.brutallegendgame.com/us/images/screenshots/full/p3.jpg 3rd person action.

Brutal Legend isn't going to be a guitar game. Its going to be a game based in a Heavy Metal inspired world, you have to hack'n slash your way through badies invading the world of metal, trying to kil the metal. The pure definition of videogame concept awsomeness.

You are far from the first that have misunderstood it for a music game though.

*picks up katana* Anyone want to give me a lift to the Activision head offices? Seriously, I want this game.

Ooh I see, the Screenshot confused me. So it's like Kiss Pyscho Circus and Revolution X, except it doesn't suck. We hope.

Can't figure out why Acti would block it then...

Attention EA, you're "evil jackass of the game industry" title has been revoked due to your excellent behavior with the Bioware/Pandemic deal, Dead Space and the upcoming release of Mirrors Edge.

Activision will now be taking over your position through their extreme fuckwittery that transcends logic.

PedroSteckecilo:
Attention EA, you're "evil jackass of the game industry" title has been revoked due to your excellent behavior with the Bioware/Pandemic deal, Dead Space and the upcoming release of Mirrors Edge.

Activision will now be taking over your position through their extreme fuckwittery that transcends logic.

They prolly want to publish the game, but want to renegotiate the original contract so that Double Fine gets less cash. Given the grassroots heart throb for Tim Shaefer games it figures someone would guess this could be a blockbuster. I almost wish he'd tell everyone to rot in hell and just distribute it online.

But yeah, that sucks. Gads...I wonder what they're going to do to Blizzard before this is all over with.

TsunamiWombat:
Ooh I see, the Screenshot confused me. So it's like Kiss Pyscho Circus and Revolution X, except it doesn't suck. We hope.

Can't figure out why Acti would block it then...

It won't "suck" nothing Tim Shafer has made "sucks" some of it is just very flawed, yet still infinately playable, fun and charming. Brutal Legend will be no different.

I can't believe this. Why'd they want to block the Brutal Legend? if anything, that game is getting high amounts of anticipation from so many people, I don't understand why Activision can't just unblock it. It could be that the company has titles planned for 08 and the first 3 quarters of 09 so if anything, this could be coming out in Q4, im predicting. I'm upset at the merge though. Why Activision and Blizzard would merge is unthinkable. Blizzard was one of my favorite game dev studios and now they just threw their reputation in the crapper.

Domestic terrorism can't be far off now... : /

We've seen great games in the past and for Activision/Blizzard to be doing what the article says it is...is just stupid.

We all want to play Brutal Legend and as mentioned it's not very smart to go about poisoning potential game industry relationships.

Nevertheless...I am still a small fish dreaming of Scahfer's creativity and Activision's profit. Until we reach the "big fish pond" there's not much I can say. :)

This, in a nutshell, is why you should have Activision more than EA.

As demonstrated months ago in that whole 'developer war contest' thing we had on The Escapist, I am no fine fan of Double Fine. I find them to be exceedingly over-rated and Schaffer is only one man, after all. I cannot blame A-B for not being willing to publish a product that will only appeal to ~30% of all gamers. It is hard to market, after all and there's a real why Double Fine have this 'under-rated' quality about them; because they've limited spending with publicity enormously. This allows the funds to go into producing a better game, but also raises the question of 'who will buy it?'.

Who indeed.

Melaisis:
As demonstrated months ago in that whole 'developer war contest' thing we had on The Escapist, I am no fine fan of Double Fine. I find them to be exceedingly over-rated and Schaffer is only one man, after all. I cannot blame A-B for not being willing to publish a product that will only appeal to ~30% of all gamers. It is hard to market, after all and there's a real why Double Fine have this 'under-rated' quality about them; because they've limited spending with publicity enormously. This allows the funds to go into producing a better game, but also raises the question of 'who will buy it?'.

Who indeed.

I'm not insulting you, but We are from two different worlds. I believe that all games and companies should be given a chance. I don't believe that a games better if it profitable, it's just more profitable.

Melaisis:
As demonstrated months ago in that whole 'developer war contest' thing we had on The Escapist, I am no fine fan of Double Fine. I find them to be exceedingly over-rated and Schaffer is only one man, after all. I cannot blame A-B for not being willing to publish a product that will only appeal to ~30% of all gamers. It is hard to market, after all and there's a real why Double Fine have this 'under-rated' quality about them; because they've limited spending with publicity enormously. This allows the funds to go into producing a better game, but also raises the question of 'who will buy it?'.

Who indeed.

I can answer that.
Fans of Metal
Fans of Jack Black
Fans of Psychonauts
Fans of God of War
Fans of Guitar Hero
Fans of Real Time Strategy games

Seems like quite a list of gamers to me.

Indigo_Dingo:

Melaisis:
As demonstrated months ago in that whole 'developer war contest' thing we had on The Escapist, I am no fine fan of Double Fine. I find them to be exceedingly over-rated and Schaffer is only one man, after all. I cannot blame A-B for not being willing to publish a product that will only appeal to ~30% of all gamers. It is hard to market, after all and there's a real why Double Fine have this 'under-rated' quality about them; because they've limited spending with publicity enormously. This allows the funds to go into producing a better game, but also raises the question of 'who will buy it?'.

Who indeed.

I can answer that.
Fans of Metal
Fans of Jack Black
Fans of Psychonauts
Fans of God of War
Fans of Guitar Hero
Fans of Real Time Strategy games

Seems like quite a list of gamers to me.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the music come out on Guitar Hero *before* the game comes out, as it seems the music games are such an awesome promotional tool.

PedroSteckecilo:
Attention EA, you're "evil jackass of the game industry" title has been revoked due to your excellent behavior with the Bioware/Pandemic deal, Dead Space and the upcoming release of Mirrors Edge.

Activision will now be taking over your position through their extreme fuckwittery that transcends logic.

Too late: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.75513

TsunamiWombat:

Can't figure out why Acti would block it then...

Metalocolypse lawsuit mayhaps

*Twitch*

A FIFTY-CENT game got a publisher before this?

What.The.Hell?

LewsTherin:
*Twitch*

A FIFTY-CENT game got a publisher before this?

What.The.Hell?

Probably because the publisher is more interested in games that have commercial values. They don't give a crap about the game's quality as long as it sells loads of copies.

I was personally more shocked that they passed on Ghostbusters, since that had a recognized property attached to it. I had planned to play Brütal Legend upon its release; hopefully that day will come.

buy teh haloz:
if anything, that game is getting high amounts of anticipation from so many people, I don't understand why Activision can't just unblock it. It could be that the company has titles planned for 08 and the first 3 quarters of 09 so if anything, this could be coming out in Q4, im predicting.

I do believe you have the truth of the matter here, my friend.

This will be a showcase game, and even if it's not an immediate commercial success, it will be showcased as their "critic's darling" boutique title.

Undoubtedly the merger completely filled their release schedule through Q309, some stuff had to be dropped, and holding this title off until Q409 means that it'll be pushed as a '09 holiday title. Ka-ching!

Melaisis:
I find them to be exceedingly over-rated and Schaffer is only one man, after all. I cannot blame A-B for not being willing to publish a product that will only appeal to ~30% of all gamers.

Dude. 30% market penetration is good in most any industry, and particularly so in a market as varied as the video/pc game industry.

PedroSteckecilo:
Attention EA, you're "evil jackass of the game industry" title has been revoked due to your excellent behavior with the Bioware/Pandemic deal, Dead Space and the upcoming release of Mirrors Edge.

Activision will now be taking over your position through their extreme fuckwittery that transcends logic.

EA, meanwhile, enacts their final solution: any person who posts on their forums like an idiot (or even mentions DRM) gets blocked, not only from their forum account, but their single-player games as well. I think that EA gets the award back.

'Tis a shame, though. It seems like a cool concept, and Double Fine has a knack for making great games.

Actually though,

bkd69:

Melaisis:
I find them to be exceedingly over-rated and Schaffer is only one man, after all. I cannot blame A-B for not being willing to publish a product that will only appeal to ~30% of all gamers.

Dude. 30% market penetration is good in most any industry, and particularly so in a market as varied as the video/pc game industry.

I don't disagree at all. Just that the titles they've chosen over this have greater potential to be marketed to a wider audience. People in this thread are going '50 CENT GAME WTF!?' but can they really deny that the pseudo-gangsters of the world wouldn't buy it?

 

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