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View Full Version : Prototype Developer Radical Entertainment Closes


K&AJones
07-01-12, 10:39 AM
Looks like another DEV bites the dust......

Per Teamxbox...

Best known for the Prototype franchise, the Vancouver developer credits also include Hulk:Ultimate Destruction and the open world Scarface game. Kotaku confirms the reports of the studio's closing.



Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience. Radical is a very talented team of developers, however, we have explored various options for the studio, including a potential sale of the business, and have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff. As such, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, but the studio will cease development of its own games going forward.

Jay G.
07-02-12, 11:40 AM
Here's an interesting article on Radical Entertainment, and why AAA game development is causing so many lay-offs and studio closures.
http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/lay-offs-and-studio-closures-the-high-risk-world-of-aaa-game-development-of

fujishig
07-02-12, 11:56 AM
I don't think this game (Prototype 2) had any buzz (at the very least no discussion on this forum) and I'm not entirely sure why. Sure it was more of the same from Prototype 1 (and to some extent, the previous Hulk game) but it was still pretty fun.

For me, one of the "problems" is the fast discount. I see no reason to get any of these games at launch for full price, unless it's got some online component that I need to play right now, or it's something that I can't live without. Giving out skins and stuff to preorder victims and early adopters is one way to mitigate that, but at the end of the day they're just, well, skins. For this and for Kingdom of Amular, within a few weeks they could be had at a pretty hefty discount.

Jay G.
07-02-12, 12:00 PM
For me, one of the "problems" is the fast discount... For this and for Kingdom of Amular, within a few weeks they could be had at a pretty hefty discount.
Wouldn't the fast discount be a symptom of low sales, not a cause? Obviously, if a title is selling well at a higher price, the publisher is likely to keep it at that high price longer. If a title isn't selling well, the publisher is more likely to drop the price sooner in order to drive sales.

fujishig
07-02-12, 12:16 PM
I'm saying that the consumer is used to fast discounts, what's the incentive to buy anything at retail unless they know for sure that it's not going to drop anytime soon (like most Nintendo games, for instance)? This is especially true for games which pack a lot of game in a fairly small amount of playing time, like say <10 hours.

Decker
07-02-12, 12:50 PM
I think the problem is that new IPs are doomed to fail this generation -- at least those that are from outside companies and not given the special TLC and promotion that console-exclusive IPs like Gears of War, inFamous and Uncharted can get.

Think about it : How many new, non-console-exclusive new IPs have been huge hits this generation? Borderlands, Skylanders (though it can be argued that's not really a new IP), Mass Effect (though that started as console-exclusive). Anything else? I can't think of any. If moderate, but not huge sales can sink the developers of Prototype, Kingdoms of Amalur and Red Faction Armageddon, what incentive is there for any new company to make any new games or try anything new or different? No wonder we get such hype for whatever the annual Call of Duty, Halo or Madden game is -- they're the only ones that seem to make money.

That said, however, it didn't help that Prototype was so similar and yet inferior to the recently-released game inFamous. Ditto the sequels.

Jay G.
07-02-12, 12:53 PM
I'm saying that the consumer is used to fast discounts, what's the incentive to buy anything at retail unless they know for sure that it's not going to drop anytime soon (like most Nintendo games, for instance)? This is especially true for games which pack a lot of game in a fairly small amount of playing time, like say <10 hours.
But then the question is, if nearly all games drop in price quickly, why is it that only some titles are failing?

For example, Prototype's price dropped quicker, and had more fluctuations than Prototype 2, but likely sold better (enough to inspire creation of a sequel):
http://camelcamelcamel.com/PROTOTYPE-Xbox-360/product/B000WQWPOQ
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Prototype-2-Xbox-360/product/B004FUL9YW

Likewise, the first Uncharted game saw faster price drops and more price fluctuations as well:
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Uncharted-Drakes-Fortune-Playstation-3/product/B000UW21A0

It's been well known to video game consumers for decades that prices eventually drop for games. There are those that wait for the price drops, but plenty others still buy on day one, especially if it's a major title. So it's not the pricing scheme alone that is causing these games to fail.

chuckd21
07-02-12, 01:10 PM
I don't think this game (Prototype 2) had any buzz (at the very least no discussion on this forum) and I'm not entirely sure why. Sure it was more of the same from Prototype 1 (and to some extent, the previous Hulk game) but it was still pretty fun.

The studios still think that no one plays games from January to June.

Kedrix
07-02-12, 01:19 PM
The studios still think that no one plays games from January to June.

Indeed. This is true of big time movie releases to disc as well. Doing the reviewing thing, I am always most busy from late August to November, early Dec. Then its pretty blah the rest of the time.

Apparently we only have disposable cash in August to December 24th. I actually have more disposable cash in January to June as you suggest than closer to Christmas since that money is already spent for Christmas gifts (and oddly enough more birthdays).

Sure, I pick up a lot of $5-$10 titles during the later months because games often get clearanced out. However, I'm way more liable to buy $15-$30 titles during the rest of the year. So therefore if you did the math, I probably spend more $$ wise in January through July than the rest of the year. But yet, more games come out in Late Summer through Fall months. I guess I'm not the norm.

Groucho
07-02-12, 01:21 PM
The studios still think that no one plays games from January to June.That's a bingo! There are many many titles that get lost in the holiday shuffle, that might have been great sellers if released in a dry spell.

fumanstan
07-02-12, 01:30 PM
The studios still think that no one plays games from January to June.

Which is a shame since no one is bothering to play games like Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, and Diablo 3.

Groucho
07-02-12, 01:36 PM
Which is a shame since no one is bothering to play games like Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, and Diablo 3. I don't know about Max Payne 3, but with the other two...who has time to play? We're all too busy griping on the official forums!

fujishig
07-02-12, 01:43 PM
But then the question is, if nearly all games drop in price quickly, why is it that only some titles are failing?

For example, Prototype's price dropped quicker, and had more fluctuations than Prototype 2, but likely sold better (enough to inspire creation of a sequel):
http://camelcamelcamel.com/PROTOTYPE-Xbox-360/product/B000WQWPOQ
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Prototype-2-Xbox-360/product/B004FUL9YW

Likewise, the first Uncharted game saw faster price drops and more price fluctuations as well:
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Uncharted-Drakes-Fortune-Playstation-3/product/B000UW21A0

It's been well known to video game consumers for decades that prices eventually drop for games. There are those that wait for the price drops, but plenty others still buy on day one, especially if it's a major title. So it's not the pricing scheme alone that is causing these games to fail.

Prototype 2 released in April of this year, didn't it? I have no idea why that graph goes so far back (was it solicited then delayed for a long time?), but in less than a month it was on sale. I seem to remember Uncharted taking a while to drop in price.

How did Infamous 2 do, anyway? It didn't seem like titles like Darkness II, Ninja Gaiden 3, and others had that great of a shelf life. And I think it was Crackdown 2 that broke me of the habit of paying for sequels on release because I liked the original game.

fumanstan
07-02-12, 01:56 PM
Which is a shame since no one is bothering to play games like Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, and Diablo 3.

And to expand on my own post...

Last year also had games like LA Noire, Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, inFamous 2 and Fable 3 out in the first half of the year.

Next year we already have Devil May Cry, BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and God of War all on tap for the first 3 months of 2013.

The idea that all the big games only come out for Fall and Christmas doesn't seem accurate :shrug:

Groucho
07-02-12, 01:58 PM
You don't agree that the holiday periods are not over-saturated with games? Nobody's arguing that there are NO games coming out other times of the year.

Tarantino
07-02-12, 02:03 PM
Most do.

chuckd21
07-02-12, 02:36 PM
The studios have conditioned the market to believe that the only games that "matter" come out in the last four months of the year. The mentality is now out there that anything that comes out before then isn't worthy of anyone's time.

fumanstan
07-02-12, 02:45 PM
The studios still think that no one plays games from January to June.

You don't agree that the holiday periods are not over-saturated with games? Nobody's arguing that there are NO games coming out other times of the year.

I know chuck's post is hyperbole, but that's exactly what he's insinuating isn't it? :) Are there a a couple more big titles out for Christmas? Sure. I don't think its over-saturated though, a few more games are out when there are more people buying or have more free time to play them. Makes sense to me.

Groucho
07-02-12, 02:49 PM
All I know is that every holiday season there's at least a few titles that I skip because I don't have time to buy them all, and then later on in the year there's a big gap where very few titles look interesting. It would be nice if there were a more consistent flow of games.

dsa_shea
07-02-12, 02:57 PM
I think what smart consumers are tired of is going out and buying something during the release week to then get shafted by a sale the next week. If it is a game I want now and think there might be a discount then I purchase it from somewhere I know I can price match over the next month or so. If I buy from Amazon or some other retailer then I could be screwed by a price change over the next week or so and that makes me more hesitant to buy games unless I'm ok with the price change. Case in point is that I had ordered the Lego Batman 2 for 49.99 plus the ten dollar credit a week or so before release and lo and behold the week after release they had the game for 39.99. Now, I can live with that since I got the 10 dollar credit but it still pissed me off.

fumanstan
07-02-12, 03:02 PM
The studios have conditioned the market to believe that the only games that "matter" come out in the last four months of the year. The mentality is now out there that anything that comes out before then isn't worthy of anyone's time.

I don't think this is accurate at all, else publishers would be far more strict in letting games slip into the following year. Unless you think EA had zero faith in games like Mass Effect succeeding in the first 3 months of the year. Plus, didn't we have publishers and studios flat out admitting they were moving games to avoid having to release the same month as Call of Duty?

All I know is that every holiday season there's at least a few titles that I skip because I don't have time to buy them all, and then later on in the year there's a big gap where very few titles look interesting. It would be nice if there were a more consistent flow of games.

Which makes sense, but for the consumer the game you were interested in doesn't go away, and isn't it to your benefit that you can buy cheaper 6 months later during a lull?

For what its worth, if the argument was that more minor games should be released in "off" months of the year and would find more success, its ironic because we're talking about the demise of a studio that made a decent game in Prototype where it still didn't do that great. The first game came out in June and was enough to warrant a sequel although wasn't a huge seller, and Prototype 2 just came out in April. I saw commercials for Prototype 2 as well, so the marketing was there too.

foxdvd
07-02-12, 03:17 PM
the AAA title is thrown around way to much...

Prototype 2 did not look or seem like a AAA title to me. It is almost like a parent with a ugly kid trying to convince everyone their angel with a C average in school is good looking AND smart...

Price your game game right...and budget it right if that means a 39.99 price point.

Decker
07-02-12, 03:18 PM
I think it could be risky to make a sequel to a modestly successful game -- especially after 3 years have elapsed. Too often the developers or publishers go into the sequel with unrealistic expectations for higher sales that never happen because while there is some novelty in a new IP, there may not be a significant consumer demand for a sequel. For every Assassin's Creed 2 that knocks it out of the park, there are far more that turn out selling like Prototype 2, Red Faction Armageddon, The Darkness 2, DJ Hero 2 or Viva Pinata : Trouble in Paradise. It'll be interesting to see how Darksiders 2 performs, but I wouldn't expect much.
Rule of thumb : If the general response of gamers to the announcement of your sequel is "Oh, they're making a sequel to that?", you're probably not looking at a blockbuster sales for your sequel.

chuckd21
07-02-12, 03:22 PM
the AAA title is thrown around way to much...

Prototype 2 did not look or seem like a AAA title to me. It is almost like a parent with a ugly kid trying to convince everyone their angel with a C average in school is good looking AND smart...

Price your game game right...and budget it right if that means a 39.99 price point.

If it had come out the same week as Call of Duty 6 it would seem like a AAA title.

dsa_shea
07-02-12, 03:35 PM
If it had come out the same week as Call of Duty 6 it would seem like a AAA title.

Unfortunately, COD 6 will sell millions and people will continue believing that it is a AAA franchise.

fujishig
07-02-12, 03:50 PM
I think what smart consumers are tired of is going out and buying something during the release week to then get shafted by a sale the next week. If it is a game I want now and think there might be a discount then I purchase it from somewhere I know I can price match over the next month or so. If I buy from Amazon or some other retailer then I could be screwed by a price change over the next week or so and that makes me more hesitant to buy games unless I'm ok with the price change. Case in point is that I had ordered the Lego Batman 2 for 49.99 plus the ten dollar credit a week or so before release and lo and behold the week after release they had the game for 39.99. Now, I can live with that since I got the 10 dollar credit but it still pissed me off.

Imagine the guys who bought Starhawk for retail.

I actually don't understand why anyone would buy, say, Assassin's Creed at launch. It's Ubisoft!

Groucho
07-02-12, 04:02 PM
I actually don't understand why anyone would buy, say, Assassin's Creed at launch. It's Ubisoft!I keep doing this because I love those games. The exception was Revelations, which turned out to be a mistake because in that game the tutorial is nothing more than "I hope you remember every tiny game mechanic from Brotherhood, and if not FUCK YOU!"

MoviePage
07-02-12, 05:00 PM
the AAA title is thrown around way to much...

Prototype 2 did not look or seem like a AAA title to me. It is almost like a parent with a ugly kid trying to convince everyone their angel with a C average in school is good looking AND smart...

Price your game game right...and budget it right if that means a 39.99 price point.

Agree completely. I liked the first game, but I absolutely hated every minute of Prototype 2. It's one of those games where I probably would've bitten at a lower price on release day because of the hype. But when I later rented it, I was very glad that the temptation wasn't even there to begin with.

Decker
07-02-12, 05:39 PM
I wonder if the fired game developers plan on spending their unemployment time masturbating and watching Community (http://danharmon.tumblr.com/post/23339272200/hey-did-i-miss-anything) reruns.

dsa_shea
07-02-12, 08:31 PM
Imagine the guys who bought Starhawk for retail.

I actually don't understand why anyone would buy, say, Assassin's Creed at launch. It's Ubisoft!

:wave:

However, I did get the Limited Edition version with some extra stuff plus the old school Warhawk game.

MasterofDVD
12-14-12, 01:41 AM
I hate to bump a somewhat old thread but after playing Prototype 2 the past 24 hours I can certainly see why the studios had problems. The game is easy and rather boring. I'm sure on other boards the word spread super fast that this game was a rental only type game. I'm curios to finish it but I'm skipping most cutscenes since I could care less about the story.