Thursday, April 06, 2006

So p!$$#d off...

This is is a dark day my friends. Microsoft has just purchased Lionhead Studios, residence of one of the most creative minds in game development, Peter Molyneux. Some of his titles include Populous, Fable, and the Black and White series. Development was well underway for a Black and White title for the DS, it is unclear at this point whether this game will be released for the DS at this point but my guess would be no.

What makes me so angry is the way Microsoft operates. Instead of coming up with their own ideas they find good ideas and buy them, which unfortunately, is a sound business practice. Well they suck at any rate. Out.


Blogger Chaos Incarnate said...

Dude, that friggin' blows. Microsoft hasn't had an original idea in their entire corporation's life. Now they capture and cage some of the best ideas in the industry, all to further their own gains. They need to get in touch with Lucas!

April 07, 2006 4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your going to bag on M$ couln't it also be said that LionHead Studios sold themselves??? Microsoft couldn't have bought them if they didn't want to partnerup.

April 08, 2006 3:35 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I think your comment about the DS title being canned is a little rash. I understand your fears about losing a potential game title but M$ IS allowing a MechAssault game to be produced for the DS. Correct me if I am wrong(however, I think I am right) but doesn't M$ have exclusive rights to any battletech/mechworrior related videogame?

April 08, 2006 5:34 AM  
Blogger Benjdude said...

To ANON, you are right, in that Lionhead had to agree, this was no hostile takeover. Your whole argument is in fact, completely and undeniably correct. The only mistake you have made in fact is misunderstanding why I bagged on Microsoft in the first place, which was solely on the point of supporting their wallets by buying ideas instead of being creative themselves. It is an oft argued subject that these companies will usually lose some of the individuality and uniqueness that made them incredible as a result of being conglomerates with any giant. In fact, look at Rareware, 2nd party developer to Nintendo. I hated to see them go but the fact remains they were taking longer and longer to release titles that were seeming less and less fresh. Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo are both titles that I would classify as regular, lacking forays into the unknown that set Rare aside half a dozen years ago. The only reason anyone touts Kameo as innovative is for the simple fact that there is nothing else like it in the Xbox lineup, not because the game is in fact, innovative. The reasons behind this are, no doubt, much more complicated than I could explain but much may have to do with the comfort zone they experienced as partners with a gaming god. Perhaps this trade will halp Rare to rise above themselves for a while, but I predict they will probably fall into the same rut. The fact is that 3rd party competition is incredibly intense while 2nd party publishing is assured, so while Rare had to do something right to become a 2nd party developer in the first place, they have to do less to maintain the relationship. I hate to see the same thing to Lionhead, if indeed thay are walking the same path. To Tim, the direct quote on Lionhead's site is "With this announcement, Lionhead Studios will immediately begin creating content exclusively for the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms." You are right in that it does not specifically mention stopping progress on competing platforms, but that is a stipulation that makes perfect business sense. I would be happy if I were wrong, and this may be the case. On the other hand, don't judge the situation the other way either. One look at Lionhead's lineup will reveal that almost all their recent cash flow has come from the Xbox and Windows platforms as it is. They may not feel any loss associated with ports for the DS that are still a year from release. I wish I was wrong about this and I will send an email to Lionhead for clarification. Thanks for your posts.

April 08, 2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger Benjdude said...

Also Tim, your comment about MechAssault is correct. Microsoft Studios owns the rights just as they owned the rights to the Age of Empires game that was released on the DS. Both titles were developed by Backbone Studios, which is a 3rd party developer to which Microsoft has leased their intellectual property. Which means that Microsoft can only benefit from the success of either title. And since Microsoft has no handheld market this is a good way to test the popularity of some of their titles before they decide to join the fray if they choose to create a handheld platform themselves.

April 08, 2006 1:42 PM  

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