In an interview on GI Biz Lorne Lanning, the creator of Oddworld and Abe’s Oddyssee claimed that at one point, EA tried to acquire his little studio, bandying some pretty colourful language about the mega publisher.
Lanning hinted that big publishers like EA use the profits from games to buy Ferrari’s – instead of pumping the money back in to games development. The company served as publisher for Just Add Water’s Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, and odd blend of 3rd person action and first person shooting – but cancelled the planned PS2 version, resulting in the game being a bit of a commercial failure.
Lanning believes this was all planned, so that EA could then swoop up and take over just Add Water when it was facing difficulty.
"When you say that to us we go ‘f**k you very much’, quite frankly. That’s not a sustainable model, that’s a hostile acquisition," Lanning said of EA’s supposed takeover plans. "That’s why we had to strive to get independent. Rather than get into bed with someone we knew was a horrible bed partner we said ‘let’s stay virgins for longer’."
Sounds like a great way to “stick it to the man,” right? Only it might not have happened at all.
In response, Jeff Brown, corporate spokesman for EA, has flat out refuted Lanning’s claims – labelling him as a bit of a loon.
"We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome. Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company," he said to GI.Biz.
I honestly have no idea who to believe. Lanning does seem a tad unhinged – and EA isn’t in the business of underhandedly taking over smaller developers right? Right?
Last Updated: October 2, 2012