Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Elixir Folds

This Elixir Press Release (thanks Frans) announces that the U.K.-based developer behind Evil Genius is ceasing day-to-day operations effective immediately, "and will seek the orderly sale and re-use of all its remaining assets and IP." Here's more:

Following the successful release of Evil Genius in October 2004, the Company has been working on a very innovative game for a major US software and games publisher for the past couple of years. This project was recently cancelled due to the perceived high-risk profile of the endeavour. Elixir also has a number of promising original prototypes at various stages of development but the Board of Directors feel that the current risk averse publishing climate, in the run up to the launch of next generation platforms, virtually precludes the signing of any original IP (which is not already part of a well-established franchise or license), without an unreasonably large strategic investment in the project by the developer themselves.

In light of the above, and the current financial and market conditions, the Directors have taken the decision to use a part of the cash resources held by the Company to treat its employees in a professional manner by paying redundancy packages to everyone and to allow an orderly wind-down of operations.

View
21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 ] Older >

21. Re: Bye bye Apr 29, 2005, 09:44  Rob 
 
Well, Iím sure you understand how software licensing works, but to make things clear to everyone, you donít ďownĒ software when you buy it. You are paying for a license to use it, the reason this is important is that I think many have the impression that buying a CD somehow makes the ďownershipĒ more valid, it does not, itís just a delivery medium for the software, which you do not own (technically, you own the plastic, but not whatís written on it, so if ownership of plastic is importantÖ:)). Iím not sure what you imagine developers doing to screw over their customers (I donít know what DRMing means), perhaps you can elaborate, but off the top of my head I canít think of anything that wouldnít do more harm to them than good. And as far as liquidating assets, yes, I can see that, but I seriously doubt any but the largest publishers are going to do all their licensing and purchasing in-house, so if the company folds the selling and such can continue on the providerís system. If it is a large publisher and they do their selling or authentication in-house, then theyíll almost assuredly keep that portion going, because itís continued revenue makes it an asset. If the provider doesnít allow re-downloading purchased products, then treat them just like a publisher unwilling to replace damaged CDs and donít buy from them. Again, all things considered, I still think itís far more likely that the customer gets screwed from lost or damaged CDs then on-line delivery systems folding. I still think the majority of the people out there prefer CDs for one simple reason, they are conditioned to do so. Iím sure when the microwave was introduced many customers avoided it for similar reasons, they were conditioned to use stoves and burners, and likely had 100 reasons they were afraid of them which seemed logical at the time, but now seem pretty silly.

This comment was edited on Apr 29, 09:45.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
20. No subject Apr 29, 2005, 09:19 XEON
 
Not even saved by their 'Infinite Polygon Engine' ... I almost bust a gut when I read that in Edge (when they were talking about Republic: The Revolution)

===
My heroes are Chorlton and The Wheelies, Superman, Captain Caveman and A Town Called Malice.
 
===
B: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

P: I think so, Brain, but where are we going to find a duck and a hose at this hour?
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
19. Re: Bye bye Apr 29, 2005, 08:57 Parallax Abstraction
 
I have seen this issue forwarded all the time as a reason not to like online distribution, and itís really stupid since itís online authentication thatís the problem, online distribution does NOT have to work like Steam. Personally, Iím much more likely to lose or break a gameís CD before the company stops selling the game online, so Iíd use online delivery much more if possible (since I could re-download my purchased game).

You make good points in that post as well, but I still don't believe in the idea. I'm all for online distribution of games, don't get me wrong. What I am against is the developers DRMing them to death and having full control over what I'm permitted to do with my own software. Yes, buying something in CD format doesn't change the EULA, but the fact is that without authentication, they can't restrict my use of it or at least not as much. And yes, it doesn't cost much overhead to keep selling a product online even after the company has folded, but speaking as someone who had to work with a company under bankruptcy protection, I can tell you that creditors don't care about that. If your company closes down for good, you have to liquidiate your assets to pay down creditors (including those expensive servers you host your content on.) Additionally, no bandwidth supplier will touch a bankrupt firm. Yes, there theoretically are ways to deal with this, but do you seriously think that most developers are going to go through that effort, especially when the community knows that they can no longer support the game with patches and new content? Also, if the developer only provides authentication for existing customers and does not permit re-downloading of the game because of bandwidth costs, what happens if you have a hard disk crash? Yes, you should have made a backup, but many people don't and whether or not you do, you still have a right to access the software that you paid for. There are many issues like this that I don't think developers can get around without opening up the game protection so wide that they won't sell any anyway due to piracy. Like I said, I just see several catch-22s here when weighing developer's profits against the user's right to own their product.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
StateOfGaming.org Coming Soon
 
Parallax Abstraction
Geek Bravado | YouTube (Watch/Rate/Comment on my shows!)
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
18. Re: Bye bye Apr 29, 2005, 08:45 Parallax Abstraction
 
f developers set up a digital distribution system that didn't require the user to log-in to play ( cough ..steam ...cough) and allowed the end user to make a cd back up of the game they bought(downloaded) I think people would really take a liking to it.

I did read that, but the point I was trying to make was that I don't think most developers will do that because it doesn't make good business sense. Developers want to stop piracy as much as the publishers do. They aren't going to distribute something online where you can make a CD backup that doesn't require the use of their servers to run. If all their service consists of is the ability to buy the game and download it in an unrestricted fashion, they'll never sell any. I'm all for cutting out the publishers, I just have reservations about this method because using a cheaper, higher-margin method of delivering the games still won't save a developer that puts out several bombs (and well, we all know that happens regularly.)

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
StateOfGaming.org Coming Soon
 
Parallax Abstraction
Geek Bravado | YouTube (Watch/Rate/Comment on my shows!)
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
17. Re: Bye bye Apr 29, 2005, 08:11  Rob 
 
How does the delivery method change the licensing agreement? If a company wants to screw you with their license agreement the fact that the software is burned onto a CD rather than downloaded isn't going to stop them. The only relevant difference between electronic and physical delivery is that CDs can have some copy protection (generally broken at release, of course). If the publisher wants to require internet authentication, then thatís their choice.

As far as multiplayer or authentication servers being shutdown due to companies folding, although itís possible, itíll hardly ever happen. Once a product is being sold online, thereís virtually no cost to keep it selling (unlike stocking 5000 retail outlets), and authentication servers are less expensive the less bandwidth they take (not that theyíll ever take that much). Itís simply unlikely that even with the developer folding that all selling and authentication would stop, since itíd take only a few sales per month to pay for the whole thing. In the end if the game is small, then simply donít buy it if itís using a dedicated online authentication system (which it likely wonít, itíll likely implement a licensed authentication system, in which case youíre fine unless they fold). I have seen this issue forwarded all the time as a reason not to like online distribution, and itís really stupid since itís online authentication thatís the problem, online distribution does NOT have to work like Steam. Personally, Iím much more likely to lose or break a gameís CD before the company stops selling the game online, so Iíd use online delivery much more if possible (since I could re-download my purchased game).


 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
16. Re: Bye bye Apr 29, 2005, 01:23 UttiniDaKilrJawa
 
Interesting point you bring up with the servers and all, but one question...

did you actually read this part of my post?

-------------------------------------------------------------
f developers set up a digital distribution system that didn't require the user to log-in to play ( cough ..steam ...cough) and allowed the end user to make a cd back up of the game they bought(downloaded) I think people would really take a liking to it.
-------------------------------------------------------------

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
15. Re: Bye bye Apr 28, 2005, 23:20 Parallax Abstraction
 
Plus, without a 'publisher' taking a huge chunk of the profits they might make more money. Money they can use to continue new..and original games..not the same brand of RTS/FPS drivel that the industry is quickly sinking to.

The problem with this method is that while is makes great business sense, how do you get around the base issues of Steam in that the player doesn't actually own the games they ar ebuying and that they are at the whims of what the developer wants to do? It's the same reason why I get so ticked about how popular iTunes is. Apple is allowed to change on the fly what you're allowed to do with the music you paid for (their license agreement says this) and there's nothing you can do about it. So say one day, the developer decides that you have to pay a monthly fee to use multiplayer. You've already bought the game, what are you going to do about it? Or say they release several bombs and fold like Elixir did. If they can't afford to keep their servers up, how are you going to play your games? Sure, they could remove the login restriction, but how can you be sure they'd do that? The CD backup idea is cool, but without you logging in to authenticate the game, how does that not encourage rempant piracy? It's kind of a catch-22.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
StateOfGaming.org Coming Soon
 
Parallax Abstraction
Geek Bravado | YouTube (Watch/Rate/Comment on my shows!)
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
14. Re: Bye bye Apr 28, 2005, 20:26 Awesome Spume
 
It's a decent idea but they need money up front. Some of these games take 2 or 3 years to bring to completion. That's maybe 30 guys for 3 years at 50k each per year.

The problem is the games have gotten too fancy. Take a game, strip out the in-game movies, 16 bits worth of the 32 bit graphics (don't even bother misinterpretig this!) and the licensing fees for the multiplayer - okay now you have a 90s game, except it's already been done.

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
13. Re: Bye bye Apr 28, 2005, 19:38 UttiniDaKilrJawa
 
I think these developers should really start thinking about the whole digital distribution way instead of the 'publisher' gives us money to survive method.

If developers set up a digital distribution system that didn't require the user to log-in to play ( cough ..steam ...cough) and allowed the end user to make a cd back up of the game they bought(downloaded) I think people would really take a liking to it.

Plus, without a 'publisher' taking a huge chunk of the profits they might make more money. Money they can use to continue new..and original games..not the same brand of RTS/FPS drivel that the industry is quickly sinking to.

Just a thought.

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
12. Re: Bye bye Apr 28, 2005, 19:38 Awesome Spume
 
They could have made a good game, but they didn't. Reminds me of Troika. No big loss.

To be honest, I won't miss Elixir based on their existing games. I will miss Troika though and their games were even more of a mess than anything Elixir did. And yet, I'll miss them both.

Ah, whatever. I bought every Troika game released and enjoyed them all to the fill of my purchase price, except for TOEE possibly. I wanted to like that game but...

Evil Genius I borrowed from my nephew and enjoyed it well enough but it got bogged down in itself far too soon.

If an independent car company decided it was going to make a car and have all the features of a Jaguar I would expect it to fail. If they figured they could turn out something near identical for half the price and none of the advertising budget it might be worth looking at.

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
11. Re: Bye bye Apr 28, 2005, 18:46 Parallax Abstraction
 
Evil Genius was a cool concept for sure, but some of the play mechanics just weren't well done. Like the fact that you always had to keep your base at red alert status and even then, most of your units just ran around and didn't deal with the enemies that were attacking you. It does suck to see a studio go down though just because the publishers are too chicken shit to take a chance on something innovative. Soon enough we'll all be playing Battlefield 56 (which will still be buggy and slow) and Madden 2015. But we'll keep buying them so they'll never learn.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
StateOfGaming.org Coming Soon
 
Parallax Abstraction
Geek Bravado | YouTube (Watch/Rate/Comment on my shows!)
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
10. Bye bye Apr 28, 2005, 16:49 Exitium
 
They could have made a good game, but they didn't. Reminds me of Troika. No big loss.

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
9. Re: No subject Apr 28, 2005, 16:06 Awesome Spume
 
They also made Republic didn't they? I hate to see any independent developer close their doors and especially in a case like this where they were trying something different.

Somebody is going to come along and say they sucked and it was bound to happen. I'm not looking forward to the time when all these indies-who-suck go bust and we only have two mega-publishers left. Unfortunately I can see that right now (right now!) there are too many good games out and not enough people to play them making many devlopers vulnerable.

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
8. Re: No subject Apr 28, 2005, 15:56 Tom
 
Since when do you guys take press releases at face value?

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
7. Re: No subject Apr 28, 2005, 14:51 Overon
 
This statement says it all. Publishers do not want take the risk of spending money on a game that is not a sequel. They don't know if the game will have an established audience like a sequel. That's why we continue to get games that are unoriginal cookie cutters. There is little room for gameplay innovation anymore with today's publishers whon want the sure hit.

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
6. No subject Apr 28, 2005, 14:49 Cassius
 
so basicaly they folded for being original and inovative?

 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
5. No subject Apr 28, 2005, 13:58 Ratty
 
Sucks for Elixir, but at least this reminds me to buy Evil Genius. I'd meant to get it when it came out but it slipped my mind.

 
Avatar 22908
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
4. Re: No subject Apr 28, 2005, 13:11 Nomaar
 
So in other words, if you're not developing a fps or a rts, good luck finding a publisher.

 
Avatar 15475
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
3. Re: Apr 28, 2005, 13:00 nin
 
Didn't they announce work on EJ2 awhile back?

May 3rd, 2005 - "We are preparing to destroy you." http://www.nin.com
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
2. "WHAT!" Apr 28, 2005, 12:02 The dude
 
Evil Genuis was was one incredibly silly game I enjoyed.

I guess that means no expansion plans?
 
-The Dude-

Vic B.
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 ] Older >


footer

.. .. ..

Blue's News logo