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Rockstar Acquires Mad Doc

Rockstar Games Acquires Mad Doc Software (thanks Gamer's Hell) has word that the formerly indie developers are now Rockstars:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO - News), announced today the formation of Rockstar New England through the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Andover, MA-based Mad Doc Software, one of the premier independent development studios in North America.

“The team at Mad Doc Software is extremely talented,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “Bringing them within the Rockstar Games family will enhance our core technology and further support our commitment to creating progressive and innovative gaming experiences.”

Established in 1999 by Dr. Ian Lane Davis, Mad Doc Software has led development on and provided contracting services for triple-A titles, with a particular focus on artificial intelligence and networking. The studio most recently worked with Rockstar Games on the Xbox 360 version of the critically acclaimed Bully: Scholarship Edition.

“To be a part of Rockstar Games is an amazing opportunity for everyone here,” said Dr. Davis, Studio Head of the new Rockstar New England. “We’re eager to bring our expertise to bear in the character-driven, open-world stories that make Rockstar Games titles so uniquely compelling.”

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21. http://ijsahfadsihfisafhs May 23, 2008, 05:16 cxb
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on May 29, 08:34.
 
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20. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 6, 2008, 15:04 Parallax Abstraction
 
I'm curious, what's the benefit to Rockstar buying this studio as opposed to Take-Two, since Rockstar is owned by Take-Two anyway?  
Parallax Abstraction
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19. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 23:08 The Half Elf
 
Star Trek Legacy was made with the Star Trek Armada 2 engine, which included Armada 2 art assets on Legacy's DVD. Granted I enjoyed Armada 1 and 2, but Legacy is just utter crap.

I guess what really sorta shocks me is that Beth being the publisher behind it, ok'd the game and then didn't support it.

 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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18. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 21:46  dsmart 
 
Actually, this is often NOT the case. It all depends on why the company is bought and whether or not needless redundancies are created by the purchase. Hell, it's often the case that one developer buys another just to remove competition... or to get their hands on an intellectual property.

I wasn't speaking in general terms. I was quite specific.

1) Mad Doc DOES NOT HAVE ANY IP. So, Rockstar obviously didn't buy them for that.

2) Rockstar didn' buy MadDoc to get rid of competition.

3) Given Mad Doc's recent history, my guess is that Rockstar bought them in order to have a separate studio to handle their ports; leaving the Rockstar brain trust to focus on new and/or existing IP. That being the case, the purchase makes perfect sense as its cheaper to own a studio that you have tight and focused control over, than to keep hiring them, going through the whole contract bullshit etc.

Note that Take 2 - which owns Rockstar - did not buy Mad Doc. Rockstar bought Mad Doc.

Back to what I said...regardless of the reason, as long as people (in this case Mad Doc) keep working, its all good. And thats all that matters.


 
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Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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17. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 12:33 Parallax Abstraction
 
I guess that's true and hopefully, Rockstar will give them the resources to start making good games again. I don't know if the Star Trek game and EE3 turned out the way they did because they weren't given enough resources to make them good (I think the Star Trek title had to be developed in less than a year or something) but Mac Doc's name on something right away told me to wait for a lot of reviews and community opinion before even considering a purchase. Rockstar has also turned some of their acquisitions into just straight localization or QA studios too so this may happen here as well. I'm curious if we're going to see a bit of a bender of quick Take-Two studio acquisitions over the course of April as they attempt to fatten themselves to to stave off EA.  
Parallax Abstraction
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16. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 12:30 Brian
 
"At the end of the day, one company buying another means that people can keep working. Thats always a good thing."

Actually, this is often NOT the case. It all depends on why the company is bought and whether or not needless redundancies are created by the purchase. Hell, it's often the case that one developer buys another just to remove competition... or to get their hands on an intellectual property.

 
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15. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 11:42  dsmart 
 
Well, uhm, there are many reasons to sell your studio. Dwindling revenues from games that didn't do well, would be one of them.

That farce that was Star Trek Legacy is still fresh in my mind. What a mess. Especially when you consider that Bethesda - who can afford it - was behind it. So its not like it was from an indie dev with limited resources, zero marketing etc.

At the end of the day, one company buying another means that people can keep working. Thats always a good thing.

 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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14. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 09:10 Ventura
 
"The team at Mad Doc Software is extremely talented"

He can't have played Empire Earth 3 or Star Trek Legacy then. EE3 in particular, my god, what a terrible game.

Mad Doc is an example of a crap developer that just refuses to die. They're like a cat the way they always land on their fucking feet. They shoulda disbanded after EE3, but somehow they always survive.

This all said, they weren't responsible for either the original Empire Earth nor the original Star Trek Armada. While I'm pretty sure the first Armada was developed by an in-house team at Activision, the first Empire Earth was developed by Stainless Steel Studios.

 
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13. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 5, 2008, 06:33 DG
 
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was originally intended to be an expansion for RTCW, Activision turned it into a standalone because the single player overreached that it warranted being a full game. Singleplayer was going to be a very interesting AI team-based affair which at the time was rather innovative and, evidently, very ambitious.

It was eventually released as a free multiplayer-only game because while Splashdamage had nearly wrapped up the MP side, Mad Doc simply couldn't get their singleplayer to actually work.

True story.

This comment was edited on Apr 5, 06:33.
 
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12. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 23:23 Reactor
 
PC Gamer gave EE2 a 94%

*blinks*

 
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11. Re: EE2 Apr 4, 2008, 23:22 DrEvil
 
94% turd
EE3 was 99% turd

 
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10. No subject Apr 4, 2008, 23:19 xXBatmanXx
 
Cool. Good for all involved.

Playing: Two Worlds(PC), Dead Rising, Gears of War, Rb6 Vegas 1, Lego SW Saga.
 
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9. EE2 Apr 4, 2008, 23:00 Lincolns Mullet
 
PC Gamer gave EE2 a 94%.

So you know it's good.

 
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8. Re: Conspiracy Theory Apr 4, 2008, 22:55 Reactor
 
Empire Earth 2 was just plain bad.

 
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7. Conspiracy Theory Apr 4, 2008, 22:23 CreamyBlood
 

After reading these 'acquisition' announcements in the games industry and everything else all my life I'm pretty sure that one guy (could be a chick) owns everything on Earth.

I don't think it's Bill, he is owned by somebody. Somebody owns every oil company, car company, software company, bank, coffee shop, media outlet, weapons company and possibly all the drug dealers as well.

Where is this guy and when is he (or she) going to get tired of buying everything?

 
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6. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 4, 2008, 21:22 The Half Elf
 
Well ST Legacy was just a fucking mess. I think equal blame goes to Mad Doc and Beth.

 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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5. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 4, 2008, 18:30 DrEvil
 
Yea Mad Doc has had a crappy couple years as far as game quality

 
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4. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 4, 2008, 18:29 Yosemite Sam
 
Empire Earth II was okay wasnt it? i cant remember.

Empire Earth was pretty good, EE2 & 3 were crap, though I may be biased because I liked the first one and they went in a totally different direction for 2 and 3. The rest of that list are all crappy games, hmmm they just trying to spoil the company until EA desides it isnt worth it anymore.


"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Benjamin Franklin
 
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3. Re: Scholarship Edition Apr 4, 2008, 17:56 manic half
 

* Bully (Scholarship Edition)
* Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna
* Empire Earth (Gold Edition)
* Empire Earth II
* Empire Earth II (Platinum Edition)
* Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy
* Empire Earth III
* Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest
* Jane's Combat Simulations: Attack Squadron
* Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War
* Star Trek Legacy
* Star Trek: Armada
* Star Trek: Armada II

Empire Earth II was okay wasnt it? i cant remember.

 
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2. Scholarship Edition Apr 4, 2008, 17:19 Optimaximal
 
The studio most recently worked with Rockstar Games on the Xbox 360 version of the critically acclaimed Bully: Scholarship Edition.
Would anyone really willingly admit to being involved in that trainwreck of a port?

 
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