This interview on Examiner.com
carries the inflammatory, though tongue-in-cheek, title "The man who killed Starsiege: Tribes (part 1)." This speaks with Chris Mahnken, who didn't actually kill the franchise, though he served as producer on Tribes: Vengeance
, the near-fatal installment in the sci-fi shooter series released in 2004 by Irrational Games. The conversation covers the troubled development of Vengeance, and the obstacles they overcame along the way. Here's a portion:
All through the development of the game Sierra was slowly being shut down by our Vivendi corporate overlords down in lovely Culver City. It was unfortunate, because we were actually making a profit, while they were losing money hand over fist. They closed Dynamix, Papyrus, Impressions, and about 10 other smaller studios over three or four years in an attempt to stem the bleeding. It was kind of like somebody with a gunshot wound to the chest trying to heal themselves by cutting off hands, feet, arms and legs.
For our team it started with marketing and PR being moved to LA, and my Marketing manager being laid off. That left me with a marketing guy who didn’t have any idea about first person shooters in general, much less tribes. His suggestions were that we should make it much more like Counter-Strike, and we should definitely add “bullet time”.
The end result was a game that had no support from the corporate offices, and ended up with one magazine cover about 8 months before it released, and one single magazine advert and not even any web ads.