Read the second to last sentence. LOL. 3D Realms took 12 years to make an unfinished Duke Nukem Forever and went out of business, and Remedy;s last game (Alan Wake) was pretty much a flop commercial wise. Neither of those companies could afford to hold the "purse strings", as Geoff Keighley (Now Gametrailers douche) said.
Beleaguered indie publisher GodGames will close its Texas operations at the end of the month. Founder Mike Wilson explains what happened and talks about his next venture, a DVD magazine titled SubstanceTV.
It's often said that success can be bittersweet--just ask GodGames founder Mike Wilson. On one hand, the recently released Max Payne has quickly become GodGames' most successful and critically acclaimed game to date. But on the other hand, earlier today, Wilson confirmed the rumors that GodGames will close its Texas-based offices at the end of the month and hand its operations over to Take-Two Interactive's New York office. While Take-Two is expected to still publish games such as Myth III and Duke Nukem Forever under the GodGames label, the closing of GOD's Texas headquarters signals the official end of Wilson's crusade to unite independent studios and prove that game publishers are unnecessarily greedy and coercive in their dealings with developers.
While rumors have been swirling for weeks about the future of GodGames, today's news doesn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with this troubled independent publisher--including those inside the company. After all, this year's Promised Lot, GodGames' carnival-like showcase of debauchery across the street from E3, carried a telling subtitle on press passes and T-shirts: "The Farewell Tour."
In fact, while the pole dancers gyrated and the transvestites checked IDs at the Promised Lot, Mike Wilson was cooped up inside GodGames' VIP RV trailer planning the company's final chapter. "Kelly [Sumner, CEO of Take-Two] came to me the first day of E3 and asked very bluntly what it I was I wanted to do [with GodGames]," Wilson said. "So I told him that [co-founder] Harry Miller and I wanted to leave very quietly, and we wanted to get a new company started and bring all the GodGames staff on board." Wilson said the decision was partially based on the fact that he no longer considers himself a gamer. "I'm not a gamer now and I haven't been for a long time," he admitted, suggesting that he's not sure what caused his change of heart. "I always told myself if I ever hit that point I would get out."
Founded in 1998, GodGames was supposed to be an indie publisher fueled by some of the best and brightest developers, pumping out triple-A hit after triple-A hit. But the reality was something quite different, in part because of a lack of financing and a strange brew of games that never really delivered on the promise of making GodGames the Rolls-Royce of publishing labels. While there were certified hits such as Railroad Tycoon 2, other games like KISS: Psycho Circus and the Blair Witch Trilogy seemed to be a far cry from the blockbuster and seminal games once promised to be GodGames' mainstay.
In reality, the concept behind the Gathering of Developers was a pie-in-the-sky ideal that never got the funding it needed. GodGames initially wanted $25 million in venture capital, but it ended up settling for what eventually amounted to an estimated $22.5 million in advances from Take-Two as part of a 20-product deal in exchange for 19.9 percent equity in GodGames. That might have been enough money if all the games arrived on time and were hits, but when the titles started falling behind schedule, the money quickly dried up. "We ran out of money three times," Wilson said, explaining that the sale of GodGames to Take-Two in June 2000 was the only way to stay afloat. "GOD was always hanging by a thread, but when it had to sell to Take-Two, that's when the whole downward spiral really began," said 3D Realms' Scott Miller, one of the founding developers.
Next Page: Wilson Looks for Substance
Avalanche Studios co-founder says developer's ambition is for action, not moments that make players cry; steampunk-style game on hold. Full Story
- Posted May 15, 2013 11:33 pm AEST
4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get." Full Story
- Posted May 17, 2013 5:44 am AEST