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Epic & Microsoft

Boomtown and Fappin offer first reports out of Microsoft's X03 event that's underway in the south of France of a publishing deal between MS and Epic Games and Epic's Scion subsidiary. No specific titles are mentioned, but indications are that games covered under the agreement will be for Windows and Xbox only. Here's a bit from the press release on Fappin:

Epic Games and Scion Studios to Create Exclusive Xbox and Windows Games, To Be Published By Microsoft Game Studios

JUAN-LES-PINS, France, 16th September 2003 —Tonight at X03, Microsoft announced a partnership with Epic Games, developers of the legendary Unreal® series of games and the Unreal® Engine. Epic Games and its recently-formed Scion Studios will develop several new games exclusively for Xbox and Windows. The to-be-announced products will be published by Microsoft Game Studios.

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42 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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22. Re: I'm Tired Sep 17, 2003, 03:03 Primus
 
<< Second, it's not really feasible to pirate an X-Box game, as compared to a PC game, so the profits are going to be higher since you're forced to pay to buy the game if you want it (because of design). >>

Considering the huge amount of XBox rips I see around, it seems pretty damn easy to pirate XBox games.

 
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21. Re 'FREAKIN' diculous!!! Sep 17, 2003, 02:28 thwart
 
I know I am still getting over a sinus infection and so I am still under the influence of Amoxicillin, but I'm pretty sure that I'm lucid at this very moment.

W... T... F!!!

Next thing you know Valve will be releasing some half-azzed software distribution system concurrently with their Half-Life 2 release!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 
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20. leaked info Sep 17, 2003, 02:25 LilSatchMo
 
leaked info
just out, the new titles are:
ddos attack, pulling root, and smash the stack. Sorry couldn't resist, anyway I wounder if the /big UT2003 discount will do Linux gamers any good,, maybe they'll through in a discount copy of XP...blaaa

 
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19. 18 ya Sep 17, 2003, 00:57 schraube
 
and throw sound cards into the mix[can u say pooch skrew].

 
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18. Re: I'm Tired Sep 16, 2003, 23:51 anon@216.23
 
No, it's not. Look at the latest fiasco with Valve having to write special optimizations for NVidia's hardware just to make it playable.

While the number of cards to be supported has gone down, the effort required for the amount of technical programming for the effects has increased, especially when you consider that a lot of development is occuring on cutting edge technology, like DirectX9, as well as video cards which require special optimizations to work.

Don't think I'm slagging on Nvidia here, I'm not trying to -- I'm just illustrating why you're incorrect. Even OpenGL programming, which was also supposed to be unified, has fallen into a mess of hardware specific calls. It's not as clean as you're painting it out to be.

 
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17. Re: I'm Tired Sep 16, 2003, 23:21 ReDeeMeR
 
That the shit's goin downhill, console are definately no future.

About PC's you're bit outdated, no1 forces developers support shit like Savage4 and so on, Geforce and Radeon have pretty much unified driver system and DX helps alot to so there's to as much hassle as it were before, so this excuse is bullshit.


 
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16. Re: I'm Tired Sep 16, 2003, 22:54 anon@216.23
 
Why can't developers stay independant?

Three reasons.

1) Content wise (graphics, sound, code, design, etc), games must progress, or people aren't interested in them. This is similar to the movie industry -- the old silent films on black and white, with few big name actors and no special effects were comparitively cheap to make, compared with movies today, taking economic inflation into account. This demands two things -- more content, and more money.

2) Because more content is demanded, there are two requirements -- first, a higher number of people working on a team development and the money required to keep them employed, and more time to generate the content. Money is not easy to come by, especially if the project cycle is going to be longer. Investors tend to shy away from long development cycles, because there is greater financial risk for a long cycle compared to a short one.

3) Because more money is demanded, but no one wants to pay more than $50 for games (consider the incredible leap in content, technology, and workload, and then think that game prices haven't gone up comparitively) there are two options. First, you can stick with an independant business model and make games more expensive, but that means no one will pay $70 or $80 for a game with the "independant" label on it, which probably won't be as good anyway as a game funded by a big name corporation. Second, you can "sell-out" to a publisher who has combined experience of tens if not hundreds of developer teams under his belt, and who can allocate cash funds to the teams to keep them current on the latest hardware, software, technology, and workers for projects.

You call it selling out, but it's not. It's adaptation to try and keep prices low so people will keep buying games. You laugh that an expansion pack is $30 for 6 levels, but you're forgetting that those levels take a group of 6 people one month to do one level, programmers to add the bells and whistles that are demanded, and publishing costs for a 6 level expansion that are the same for the original game (CD, manual, box, shipping).

Why is everyone developing for the X-Box? Two reasons. First, the hardware on a console is locked to specification, so developers don't have to put so much time into Q&A, as compared to PC people who can't keep their drivers up to date, or insist on running the game on old/cheap hardware with poor driver support. Second, it's not really feasible to pirate an X-Box game, as compared to a PC game, so the profits are going to be higher since you're forced to pay to buy the game if you want it (because of design).

Solve those two problems (buy good hardware from reputable companies and keep them up to date, and quit pirating games), and the PC market would look a lot more attractive to developers. As it is, it's currently pretty bad, and most of the companies that do PC development do it because that's where they started out. Most new development startups start in consoles, even though they do their development on PCs. What's that tell you?
This comment was edited on Sep 16, 22:55.
 
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15. No subject Sep 16, 2003, 22:45 RazorWynd
 
ya know what game was cool...jazz jackrabbit..that game was the shit d00dz

 
Supporter of "The Only Good fredster Is A Dead fredster" fan club
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14. Re: Megagames.... Sep 16, 2003, 22:44 The Pyro
 
Aah, I remember when they were just making pinball games...

Way, way back when their name used to be Potamic Games (I think that's correct) they released Z.Z.T. - an incredibly fun ANSI-graphics text game. It was one of the first games ever to include a world builder ( with a build-in scripting engine, no less! ) that would allow you to create your own levels. That game totally kicked ass. I spent HOURS designing ZZT levels, and I know several other people who did the same (including both of my brothers).

Now if only someone could implement a scripting system that easy for a decent online multiplayer RPG... like, say, Neverwinter Nights...


 
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13. Re: I'm Tired Sep 16, 2003, 22:29 ReDeeMeR
 
M$: Hey, we saw your U2 sales, pretty poor we must say, would you like to make Unreal franchise a Xbx only? But we'd like to make some re-design to your games, make them more suitable to children.

Epic: No

M$: For 25 Million bucks?

Epic: DEAL!

 
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12. I'm Tired Sep 16, 2003, 22:00 Bunko
 
I'm so tired. All these developers keep jumping on the bandwagon. Everyone is developing for the X-Box and sucking up to Microsoft and EA. Big bussiness is taking over. Why can't developers stay independent?

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22
 
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
http://citizenb.com/ - Now at v1.1
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11. Re: Epic Sep 16, 2003, 22:00 ExcessDan
 
me!
is MSCE useful in finding employment fresh out of university?


Love,

Dan

xoxo

"Life is such a sweet insanity, the more you learn the less you know." ---Hogan
This comment was edited on Sep 16, 22:00.
 
ExcessDan
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10. Re: Epic Sep 16, 2003, 21:57 nin
 
Hey! Who else wants to hop in bed with Microsoft?!!??!

Supporter of the "A happy fredster is a muted fredster" fanclub.

http://www.davidbowie.com
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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9. Re: Epic Sep 16, 2003, 21:55 Tony!!!
 
Uhhh. what's with all the negative sell out talk? So what, you have to sell to make money, and I don't know that many gamers that use Linux. Big deal.

-Tony!!!;)
 
-Tony!!!;)
my 360 user name is Robo Pop
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8. Epic Sep 16, 2003, 21:19 Bunko
 
Sellouts. 'Nuff said.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22
 
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
http://citizenb.com/ - Now at v1.1
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7. No subject Sep 16, 2003, 21:01 jalon
 
Looks like Unreal 2 and UT2004 or whatever they called it musta sucked pretty bad huh? So bad the financial fallout has forced Epic to sign an exclusivity deal with the devil.

Unreal II was the biggest disappointment. Unreal was incredible. The mission paks for unreal were great to, return to Na Pali etc. Unreal II was like one of the military sim FPS. I never played UT2004 because I always felt that Unreal multiplayer was inferior to Quake II multiplayer. I read lot's of people saying it sucked though.

I wonder what caused Epic's downfall. Greed? Did all the money change the people that wrote Unreal? Does the original Unreal programmer have anything to do with the unreal franchise now? I see carmack's name everywhere. I have a hard time remembering the Unreal guys name. Did he give up on games?

 
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6. oh boo 'effing-hoo Sep 16, 2003, 20:44 Hump
 
I wonder if this means Atari is out the door?

anyhoo, I know it's par for the course to despise MS but I still maintain their games division has been a positive thing overall for gaming. They don't rush their devs to retail and take care of patching only if the game does well (EA I'm looking at you). Matter of fact most developers I've talked to who have worked for MS have nothing but positive things to say about their time working directly for or contracting at MS. Yes, they buy out studios but it's nothing that the Japanese havent been doing for years. I also happen to think Xbox is a great product.

Flame me, go ahead....

----------------------------------------------------------------------
PAH!
 
Avatar 10137
 
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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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5. Megagames.... Sep 16, 2003, 20:08 BDFD
 
Aah, I remember when they were just making pinball games...

 
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4. Hrm... Sep 16, 2003, 20:07 Wazootyman
 
Epic Games and its recently-formed Scion Studios will develop several new games exclusively for Xbox and Windows.

Translation: ...will develop several new games for the Xbox, then 2-3 years later on Windows.
Afterall, Microsoft doesn't need to worry about people not buying Windows cuz of a lack of good games...

 
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3. epic Sep 16, 2003, 20:06 Disco Hips
 
i've always got the feeling that epic are quick to jump into mr gates' pockets, especially after UT. at the time, i admired the unreal engine because of how it looked and what not, especially over the quake stuff.

nowadays i side with mr carmack unequivocaly, simply on ideolgical reasons. oh, and epic's games as of late have been blowing ass, so that sways my opinion as well.

----------------------------
i'm no cheap woman you know
 
-------------------------------------------------

Will we ever get a mea culpa from Warren Spector?
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42 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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