Jump, dev, jump!

2 min read

We should have sympathy for the developer out there. It’s not an easy gig and comes with a lot of pressure – specifically from the publisher who signed you. But we should also give a nod to the publishers that throw lots of money at potential big-hit games – and lose quite a lot when a game wobbles or folds.

So what are we supposed to think when this happens and the developer either just goes on with business as usual? Or perhaps they decide to form a new studio? This seems to be the case with Reto-Moto, coming to the world courtesy of the folks who made Hitman and the disappointing Kane & Lynch.

Granted, who really knows what the deal was and if the people behind IO Interactive are still liable for what was certainly a big loss for Eidos? K&L cost a lot of money (not to mention a decent marketing budget), but it didn’t sell much more than half a million units. Maybe the game failed due to publisher interference. But when I communicated my concerns with Eidos, after playing beta code, staff there admitted that the publisher was concerned about the very things that eventually kept K&L from blockbuster heaven. Unfortunately the developer wouldn’t budge on the suggested changes.

Perhaps this is why the new studio’s CTO said the team was “Fresh from the global success of Hitman.” Kane & Lynch didn’t work and from where I’m sitting that looks mostly like IO’s fault. I could be wrong, but say I’m not. What happens then? Who is liable? Can developers just up and open a new shop, shrugging off the expensive failures of the past?

Hey, that’s not a bad living, but then can we really complain that publishers resemble factory lines? They’re the ones taking the big gambles…

Hmmm, it’s been a while since ‘success’ was in the same sentence as ‘Hitman‘.

Last Updated: April 16, 2008

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