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GRIN on Square Enix

This story on Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet has thoughts from GRIN co-founders Ulf and Bo Andersson about the closure of their studio. Translating the story reveals some remarkable allegations about their dealings with Square Enix, including word that the publisher did not pay any of $20 million USD owed to GRIN for Fortress, their canceled Final Fantasy game, and that at one point Square Enix demanded they be sent game materials, including music files... via fax. Perhaps the most shocking story is how after being told their art style did not suit Final Fantasy, GRIN tested their tormenters by sending a shot from Final Fantasy 12, which they were told also did not fit the series. Thanks Kotaku.

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12. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 08:44 Verno
 
Jerykk wrote on May 29, 2011, 17:47:
It's hard to believe that Square requested all that code and data through fax. Publishers often do stupid things but not that stupid.

It's quite believable that some suit demanded this IMHO. Ignorance of the technical side of the industry is part of what drives this ludicrous situations.
 
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Playing: South Park, Dark Souls 2
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11. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 07:00 ViRGE
 
Esoteric wrote on May 30, 2011, 04:53:
Based upon how many stupid things Square Enix has done recently (FF 13/14), I'm inclinded to believe the GRIN makers. They seem to have become an incredibly inept, naive company.
That seems to be about right. It's exactly the kind of thing SE would do these days, it seems.
 
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10. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 05:33 Jerykk
 
Wanted came out a LONG time after the film

Yeah, that was a bit odd. I wonder if WB just delayed the release or if the devs actually continued working on it up until it was released. Apparently it was a really short game, which suggests the former. In any case, I'm sure they still had the creative limitations inherent to any movie tie-in.
 
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9. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 05:18 neilmike
 
how lame !!

This comment was edited on Jun 26, 2011, 14:39.
 
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8. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 04:53 Esoteric
 
Based upon how many stupid things Square Enix has done recently (FF 13/14), I'm inclinded to believe the GRIN makers. They seem to have become an incredibly inept, naive company.  
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7. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 01:15 swedishfriend
 
Square killed this studio. Square had decided to drop the project and never paid Grin a dime but they kept approving milestones and telling them everything was fine for over half a year while the studio was bleeding its own money. The crazy demands started towards the end when Grin became more and more worried about why they weren't getting their promised money and started pressing Square for the by then very late payments. I guess Square was hoping the studio would survive long enough to finish the game without their money but then when Grin couldn't afford to let Square slide anymore on its payments They started to come up with ridiculous reasons to not make the payments for milestones that had already been approved by Square's producer. Grin apparently has an email trail to back their side of the story up. After they realized Square had no intention of paying them it was too late and the studio was out of money. BTW Wanted got plenty of good reviews and quite a few people really liked the mechanics of the Bionic Commando game once they got good at it.  
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6. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 30, 2011, 01:04 Lorcin
 
Wanted came out a LONG time after the film  
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5. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 29, 2011, 23:00 rocketship
 
That was smart of Square Enix, they didn't have the money so they did it this way...

 
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4. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 29, 2011, 18:28 Jerykk
 
I think you have some serious misconceptions about movie tie-ins. They don't receive AAA budgets, nor do they receive tons of hype. Movie tie-ins are what studios resort to when they have no other options. This is because movie tie-ins usually have extremely short dev cycles and excessive creative limitations. Every creative decision has to be approved by the publisher and the movie studio. If the movie is based on a comic or any other license, decisions have to be approved by them as well. There are many ideas that won't be approved because they don't "fit" within the franchise, even if those ideas would improve the game. Similarly, publishers/franchise-owners will often demand features or mechanics that simply don't play well, even if they do fit within the context of the IP.

Bionic Commando did suck, I do agree. However, GRIN also made the PC versions of GRAW and GRAW2, both of which were solid tactical shooters. They also made Bionic Commando Rearmed, which was also well-received. I think the guys at GRIN had talent but it's hard to fully utilize that talent when you have short dev cycles and limited creative flexibility.

This comment was edited on May 29, 2011, 18:33.
 
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3. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 29, 2011, 17:54 Lorcin
 
I don't really care what they claim - they produced a lot of AAA budgeted titles which were worth a B at best. Most of their games could have been passable if they hadn't need the huge licensing and hype of Bionic Commando, Terminator and Wanted.

They were semi competent but trying to produce games way better than they were capable of.
 
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2. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 29, 2011, 17:47 Jerykk
 
It's hard to believe that Square requested all that code and data through fax. Publishers often do stupid things but not that stupid.  
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1. Re: GRIN on Square Enix May 29, 2011, 17:33 StrickNine
 
fortress looked to be an open world final fantasy with demon's souls style combat. I'd have been all over that.  
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