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Junction Point Studios Closed

Gamasutra has the following brief official confirmation from Disney of the rumor that Epic Mickey developer Junction Point Studios is closing:

It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We’re extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.

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30. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 30, 2013, 11:52 nin
 
Creston wrote on Jan 30, 2013, 11:30:
nin wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:09:
Creston wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:07:
Hey Warren,

Go talk to the Eidos Montreal guys. You know, the ones that fixed your Deus Ex:Invisible War mistake. Maybe they'll take you on for the next one.

Creston


No! Stay away, Warren!



Awwww, come on... The man made the first Deus Ex, worked on Thief, and several of the most awesome Ultimas. He made a mistake in letting Harvey Smith fuck up the next Deus Ex, but I think he still knows how to make a cool game.

Creston


I think Montreal did just fine w/o him.

 
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29. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 30, 2013, 11:31 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:34:
While I'm a huge fan of Warren's classic games (Thief, Deus Ex, System Shock, Crusader)

Crusader was Tony Vurosec's (sic) game, wasn't it? Was Warren involved with that?

Edit : Someone already asked this. Nm.

Creston
 
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28. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 30, 2013, 11:30 Creston
 
nin wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:09:
Creston wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:07:
Hey Warren,

Go talk to the Eidos Montreal guys. You know, the ones that fixed your Deus Ex:Invisible War mistake. Maybe they'll take you on for the next one.

Creston


No! Stay away, Warren!



Awwww, come on... The man made the first Deus Ex, worked on Thief, and several of the most awesome Ultimas. He made a mistake in letting Harvey Smith fuck up the next Deus Ex, but I think he still knows how to make a cool game.

Creston
 
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27. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 30, 2013, 08:24 Beamer
 
Jackplug wrote on Jan 30, 2013, 04:00:
A mickey mouse game oh wow, sounds like a really epic game....not!!

Soon as you put Disney infront of it, you might aswell wait for the bargin bucket to open... Its like Starwars, I shudder to think what they will do with it!!

This sounds like the opinion of a 12 year old. A great game can have anything in it. Kingdom Hearts was supposedly awesome, and it had Mickey. Those Aladdin games on the Genesis were awesome.

And can Disney make worse SW movies than Lucas did with the prequels? Could anybody do worse?

This is seriously something a 12 year old would say to his little sister. "Mickey Mouse is for kids... you should grow up and watch Power Rangers instead!"
 
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26. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 30, 2013, 04:00 Jackplug
 
A mickey mouse game oh wow, sounds like a really epic game....not!!

Soon as you put Disney infront of it, you might aswell wait for the bargin bucket to open... Its like Starwars, I shudder to think what they will do with it!!
 
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25. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 30, 2013, 00:44 netnerd85
 
Suppose I should dust off the Wii and play my copy of Epic Mickey that I got for $6 off ebay. Seemed like a cool little game, the start was rather humourous.

Never been a Mickey bloody Mouse fan, you've done an amazing job if you can make a Mickey Mouse game look good.
 
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24. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 20:42 noman
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:34:
While I'm a huge fan of Warren's classic games (Thief, Deus Ex, System Shock, Crusader) I never had any interest at all in Epic Mickey,

Except for Deus-Ex, the games you listed were not Warren Spector's games from any definition.

Thief was completely designed and conceived by Doug Church and his team at Looking Glass. System Shock was again Doug Church and Looking Glass games from all angles. Spector was a liaison man between EA/Origin and Looking Glass. Crusader was Tony Zurovec and his team's efforts. Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 were also created by Looking Glass.

I'd understand if Spector was the person who came with the idea, or even the notion that "let's make these games", but all the games you listed were started with their major design goals all set up years before Spector got involved, and his involvement had nothing to do with game design, asset creation, or any other thing that is generally required before you attribute a game to someone.

He is one of the most over-rated game designers in the industry - not because his games are crap (Deus Ex wasn't), but that a ton of games get wrongfully attributed to him.
 
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23. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 19:55 Ratty
 
Riker wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 18:19:
I remember being very disappointed to hear that Warren was going to be making Disney games. Nothing against Disney or its IP, but it seemed like a waste of talent. I still have tremendous faith in Warren, and hope that he gets his mojo back. Less Epic Mickey, more Deus Ex.
I don't know. It does sort of sound like the kind of thing he'd do. He has his game philosophy of choice and emergence (or whatever it is) and he's said often enough it almost doesn't matter what kind of game it is. There was his whole city block obsession - set a game entirely in one city block and he could cram it with detail and choice and interaction and it would engage the player. From what I heard, Epic Mickey had Spector's fingerprints all over it in that regard.
 
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22. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 19:52 Fantaz
 
Riker wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 18:19:
I remember being very disappointed to hear that Warren was going to be making Disney games. Nothing against Disney or its IP, but it seemed like a waste of talent. I still have tremendous faith in Warren, and hope that he gets his mojo back. Less Epic Mickey, more Deus Ex.

i like your avatar...
 
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21. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 18:19 Riker
 
I remember being very disappointed to hear that Warren was going to be making Disney games. Nothing against Disney or its IP, but it seemed like a waste of talent. I still have tremendous faith in Warren, and hope that he gets his mojo back. Less Epic Mickey, more Deus Ex.  
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20. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 17:35 RollinThundr
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 16:40:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:54:
I was more so curious as to why it keeps happening is all, it's not like Warren hasn't been a part of teams that have put out great games, Ultima Underword, The original Deus Ex etc. Odd that he can't seem to keep a studio going for more than a title or two before moving on is all.

I think it's just the case that he makes reasonably unique products that aren't established brands. So, whereas Dice puts out an iteration on the same thing every couple of years, Warren's games are all or mostly one-offs. IF one doesn't meet expectations, down goes his studio. But he's got the name cred for all those classic games, so he can make a pitch, start up a new studio, and get funding.

That makes sense, and I do get the whole good game or not, money is what matters, that goes for any industry, but I was under the impression the games he's had involvement with over the years have generally done well at retail, perhaps I was wrong about that.
 
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19. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 17:18 Julio
 
Epic Mickey must not have been very epic.  
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18. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 16:40 jdreyer
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:54:
I was more so curious as to why it keeps happening is all, it's not like Warren hasn't been a part of teams that have put out great games, Ultima Underword, The original Deus Ex etc. Odd that he can't seem to keep a studio going for more than a title or two before moving on is all.

I think it's just the case that he makes reasonably unique products that aren't established brands. So, whereas Dice puts out an iteration on the same thing every couple of years, Warren's games are all or mostly one-offs. IF one doesn't meet expectations, down goes his studio. But he's got the name cred for all those classic games, so he can make a pitch, start up a new studio, and get funding.
 
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17. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 16:00 Fantaz
 
Who has the rights to System Shock 3? Is it EA?

wtf_man wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 15:34:
Unfortunately, Warren has been done since Deus Ex: IW.

I'd say the same for Harvey Smith, if it wasn't for Ralph Colantonio giving Harvey "a quickening" with Dishonored.

That's pretty much what Warren needs... A creative studio head that was inspired by Looking-Glass Studios early work... bringing him in as a partner on a new project... and getting those old school RPG design juices flowing again.

old school RPG design is damn right! needs me some of that...
 
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16. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 15:34 wtf_man
 
Unfortunately, Warren has been done since Deus Ex: IW.

I'd say the same for Harvey Smith, if it wasn't for Ralph Colantonio giving Harvey "a quickening" with Dishonored.

That's pretty much what Warren needs... A creative studio head that was inspired by Looking-Glass Studios early work... bringing him in as a partner on a new project... and getting those old school RPG design juices flowing again.

This comment was edited on Jan 29, 2013, 15:46.
 
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15. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 14:52 ViRGE
 
avianflu wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 13:51:

The disconcerting part is that it only takes one poorly performing game and a studio is completely axed.
It could be a well performing game and they still could get axed. Closing studios keeps costs down by avoiding the need to give employees raises, COLAs, additional time off, and other perks. Now Disney will start a new studio and hire many of these guys back at their old wages, but without needing to offer them any perks.
 
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14. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 14:35 avianflu
 
my impression of Spector from a few video interviews I have seen in the past is that for some time now he lets others do the major design and nuts and bolts work on his games. In other words, he's the idea man.  
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13. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 14:24 Verno
 
Blackhawk wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 14:09:
Great games aren't always the ones that make money.

Studios run on money. That's why we've had nine Maddens and eight Call of Duty titles since the last Thief game. Making great games isn't how you stay in business. Selling lots of (whatever) games is.

In the traditional publisher model, yeah. I kind of hope things are moving in a different direction in the future but sadly the cost of AAA development keeps rising.
 
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Playing: The Last of Us Remastered
Watching: Intruders, Coherence, The Rover
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12. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 14:09 Blackhawk
 
Great games aren't always the ones that make money.

Studios run on money. That's why we've had nine Maddens and eight Call of Duty titles since the last Thief game. Making great games isn't how you stay in business. Selling lots of (whatever) games is.
 
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11. Re: Junction Point Studios Closed Jan 29, 2013, 13:58 Beamer
 
Warren Spector to CryTek? Haha.

Some of these people will end up there, I'm sure.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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