Majestic to End

EA's ambitious Majestic game, which embroiled players in a mystery that involved real-world interactions with instant messages, email, faxes, and more, will be shut down sometime in the middle of next year, but not before costing the company between five and seven million dollars. This revelation is found in Can PC gamers handle innovation on CNN Money, a column that examines the idea that while PC gamer's demand innovation they don't necessarily reward it. The article quotes an unrepentant Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications for EA, as saying: "Maybe the consumer didn't get it, but in five years, everyone's going to be making games based on this engine. I'm not apologizing for anything!"
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21.
 
Re: writing mr. morris
Dec 20, 2001, 02:33
21.
Re: writing mr. morris Dec 20, 2001, 02:33
Dec 20, 2001, 02:33
 
here is the email i sent morris.

Mr. Morris,
I am writing concerning your column on 19Dec01. I will address this quote from your column first:
"I've read a lot this year about how the PC gaming industry has explored new boundaries. "
Ahh. This tells me you are not a "gamer". You have read about the "innovations" of this year but not actually experienced them for yourself. Innovations are all well and good, but these are innovations for GAMES. If the game itself is not fun, then it will fail. A good example of this is Anarchy Online. At the time of its launch, it was not fun because of horrible glaring technical issues, and then when Funcom fixed most of those (not all of them are fixed, still) many of the players left anyway, because there was no sense of purpose to play. I did not play the Majestic myself, so I took the liberty of visiting a well known game site www.bluesnews.com and looked at some of the comments on Majestic. Begin comment excerpt:

However, none of this was the problem. The problem was it was touted to be a challenging conspiracy game where you'd have to muddle through clues and check with other people to try and figure it all out. If they had done that, not only would it have been innovative, but probably EXTREMELY interesting and addictive. The truth is that you would play for about 15 minutes, and then be put "on hold" for 24 hours so you couldn't get ahead of the meager clues they dropped. The truth is that the game was the same for everyone at the same point. On day 5 of Episode 1? Then you know everything, and have seen all the same clues, in exactly the same manner as everyone else at the same point. No reason to talk to other people, because even if you forgot a clue, you were spoon fed the next clue. Even the "tough" clues where you were supposed to "hack" a fictional website was nothing more than entering in a password they they had just given you.

End comment excerpt.

So basically Majestic was good in concept but poor in execution. PC gamers are not fickle as you said in your column. PC gamers have higher standards than console gamers, most PC gamers grew up playing all manner of video games since age 5, have seen it all, and must be offered at least something resembling quality of production, challenge in gameplay, and immersion factor. I could rant on and on, but I will close with, I think you should know something about a PC game, and something about PC games in general, before slamming the PC gamer population on being "fickle". Sure you could probably sell the console population something like Majestic, for no other reason than they are stupid enough to buy idiotic Japanese style arcade games like Dance Dance Revolution. Anyway play some good and bad PC games before offering your opinion on PC games and PC gamers. I would be more than happy to suggest some games.

Aaron Elder

"Think for yourself. Question authority."
-- Timothy Leary
20.
 
Re: Innovative, Bad Execution
Dec 20, 2001, 02:17
anon@203.59
20.
Re: Innovative, Bad Execution Dec 20, 2001, 02:17
Dec 20, 2001, 02:17
anon@203.59
 
Exactly - Look at the A.I webgame.. just before Majestic was launched. A bunch of talented people working on something that was a real challenge. The game EVOLVED around the progress of the players, in case they figured something out too early, or were stuck on something.

There were many websites, ample number of puzzles, and it promoted community - many of the puzzles could not be solved alone. NO computer game of ANY type survives without promoting a community, whether in puzzles, mods or interactivity with other players.

E.As idea was good, their execution sucked. They needed to look more at why The Beast worked so well.
19.
 
writing mr. morris
Dec 20, 2001, 02:11
19.
writing mr. morris Dec 20, 2001, 02:11
Dec 20, 2001, 02:11
 
how bout everyone write mr. morris a line about his very ignorant column. his email is chris.morris@turner.com . i am writing him one making it clear that a non-gamer (he) should not write about games. heh.

"Think for yourself. Question authority."
-- Timothy Leary
18.
 
Please tell me this
Dec 20, 2001, 01:07
anon@203.96
18.
Please tell me this Dec 20, 2001, 01:07
Dec 20, 2001, 01:07
anon@203.96
 
Does it have a save anywhere option?

The trouble with half the games out there these days are you can only save like once in the game.

That really sucked.

I hope Majesty allows for unlimited saves.
17.
 
Innovative, Bad Execution
Dec 19, 2001, 21:54
17.
Innovative, Bad Execution Dec 19, 2001, 21:54
Dec 19, 2001, 21:54
 
Well, the game never called you on "their" schedule. You logged into the game (like you'd log into ICQ, sorta). If so, that menat you were playing. Then you might get calls and whatnot. If you missed any calls or faxes (or just chose not to be called or faxed) you could always use Realplayer to check the phone message, or check a website to get the document they would have faxed you.

However, none of this was the problem. The problem was it was touted to be a challenging conspiracy game where you'd have to muddle through clues and check with other people to try and figure it all out. If they had done that, not only would it have been innovative, but probably EXTREMELY interesting and addictive.

The truth is that you would play for about 15 minutes, and then be put "on hold" for 24 hours so you couldn't get ahead of the meager clues they dropped. The truth is that the game was the same for everyone at the same point. On day 5 of Episode 1? Then you know everything, and have seen all the same clues, in exactly the same manner as everyone else at the same point. No reason to talk to other people, because even if you forgot a clue, you were spoon fed the next clue. Even the "tough" clues where you were supposed to "hack" a fictional website was nothing more than entering in a password they they had just given you.

Innovative? Yes. Good execution of the innovation? No. As a result: Fun? No.

16.
 
No subject
Dec 19, 2001, 19:57
anon@158.252
16.
No subject Dec 19, 2001, 19:57
Dec 19, 2001, 19:57
anon@158.252
 
LOL!
15.
 
Re: Damn
Dec 19, 2001, 18:41
anon@66.68
15.
Re: Damn Dec 19, 2001, 18:41
Dec 19, 2001, 18:41
anon@66.68
 
EA(.Com) was just a bunch of clueless yahoo-wannabe's. They got to the internet bachelor party too late and were left standing around with their corporate pants down waiting for blow jobs after the hookers already got busted and hauled off to the jail house of failed dot com startups. Now all they can do is give each other hand jobs and boast how they are so far ahead and the gamers just don't get it.

All I can say, in the words of another clueless poser, is...

SUCK IT DOWN!
14.
 
Damn
Dec 19, 2001, 18:07
anon@12.105
14.
Damn Dec 19, 2001, 18:07
Dec 19, 2001, 18:07
anon@12.105
 
Majestic was one of my favorite things to come out this year. It was flawed, yes, but I found it to be incredibly fun. And being in Manhattan -- it was a great distraction from the events of September 11th. Majestic was a game that I could play on my lunch hour every day, had some interesting (albeit easy) puzzles, and an engaging storyline. And the phone calls were kickass -- I loved getting the threatening phone calls at work (call me crazy). Was really fun.

EA had the beginnings of a great game. I'm really sad to see it go. For those who never tried it -- you really missed out. It really was a new form of entertainment altogether. It definitely had its problems, but I hope there's a company out there who follows Majestic's lead. We need more games like this.

EA dropped the ball by pouring shitloads of money into the development, but none into marketing the game. They paid Joe Panalione (sp?) to appear in an episode that only 11,000 subscribers were going to see. One commercial during the X-Files would have gotten them loads of subscribers. Ah well.
13.
 
Chis Morris knows nothing about PC Games
Dec 19, 2001, 17:59
13.
Chis Morris knows nothing about PC Games Dec 19, 2001, 17:59
Dec 19, 2001, 17:59
 
When I first looked at his article the fact that I saw Space Invaders told me something right away. He knows absolutely nothing about the current PC gaming scene. Then to have the audacity to say that we reject innovation? Fuck him. Just because Majestic flopped doesn't mean that we don't enjoy new concepts, it just means that Majestic wasn't a successful game. Besides it is NOT A COMPUTER GAME. I'm sorry but people harassing me on my telephone and having to wait for cryptic messeges on my pager is not my idea of fun.

12.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 19, 2001, 17:49
anon@65.93
12.
Re: No subject Dec 19, 2001, 17:49
Dec 19, 2001, 17:49
anon@65.93
 
well what I dont like is that these guys seem to be telling us what we (should) like...

http://www.newsdev.com/comments.php?news_id=77

as posted in that rant...
11.
 
How this?
Dec 19, 2001, 17:47
anon@12.252
11.
How this? Dec 19, 2001, 17:47
Dec 19, 2001, 17:47
anon@12.252
 
I can't believe that it cost them so much to produce and maintain. It doesn't have over-the-top, cutting edge graphics. From what I hear the writing was so-so. What the hell did they spend all the money on? I admit I have no real insight to the innards of the game, but it sounds like I could emulate it just using my ISP account, fax machine, phone number and a good mystery book.
10.
 
Sour Grapes Never Tasted So Sweet...
Dec 19, 2001, 17:45
anon@144.96
10.
Sour Grapes Never Tasted So Sweet... Dec 19, 2001, 17:45
Dec 19, 2001, 17:45
anon@144.96
 
Yes, Jeff...we didn't 'get it'. (in SPADES, apparently, or so the bottom line shows...)

I too have seen the future...and in 5 years, i believe this game, and all like it, will STILL fail. It happens...great ideas, gifted Psychic VP's of corporate communication, a storyline interrupted by terrorism. Hey, we all have our off-days and make bad decisions...maybe it's time to stop 'seeing the future' and start 'owning up to the present suckage.'

^;)^
9.
 
Actually,
Dec 19, 2001, 17:31
anon@165.91
9.
Actually, Dec 19, 2001, 17:31
Dec 19, 2001, 17:31
anon@165.91
 
I think Majestic was a neat idea. I even thought so. I just didn't think it was worthy of the $7.95 to "play" it. Or even try to. I also don't believe in donating money to websites so some jerkoff can go on writing some comic strip about video games or just cut and paste news from other sites so that they can keep from getting a "real job" but hey, that's just me.
8.
 
I know!
Dec 19, 2001, 17:28
8.
I know! Dec 19, 2001, 17:28
Dec 19, 2001, 17:28
 
Let's make a game! Only let's get rid of those things called "developers" - all we need are "writers". No "3-D Engines", just a few long distance calls and faxes. Hell we can even do IM's and make that part cheap. Yeah, that's our new "game".

Anything to get over the millions we lost when the PS2 launch was a disaster...

Oh, and hire me some Unreal mod team to belt out a quick Harry Potter game.



Schnapple

http://members.tripod.com/schnapple99/
7.
 
Innovation
Dec 19, 2001, 17:19
anon@208.35
7.
Innovation Dec 19, 2001, 17:19
Dec 19, 2001, 17:19
anon@208.35
 
Yeah, innovation, sure. Everything "new" is "new" by definition, but everything "new" is not necessarily "innovative." Sorry EA, not "innovation," just "dumb idea."

Next!
6.
 
Okay whatever.
Dec 19, 2001, 17:14
6.
Okay whatever. Dec 19, 2001, 17:14
Dec 19, 2001, 17:14
 
So, let me get this straight, just because we didn't want Majestic we therefore don't want innovation? I guess someone didn't bone up on their critical thinking skills, eh? First off, realize that innovation is, in and of itself, completely *worthless*. Innovation doesn't make a game fun to play--good design does! Ideally a game would be both innovative and fun to play, but such if often not the case. I tried Majestic. It was mind-numbingly boring and completely underwhelming. It deserved to die. Guys, innovation doesn't happen in leaps and bounds. It happens in short steps. You blew your wad on one spin of the wheel and you got what you had coming to you. Don't blame US because we didn't want to play your *perfect* game. It stunk.

5.
 
Re: Perhaps it's just me...
Dec 19, 2001, 17:08
Bronco
 
5.
Re: Perhaps it's just me... Dec 19, 2001, 17:08
Dec 19, 2001, 17:08
 Bronco
 
I don't like the idea of playing a game in a specific time window - like at 3 AM whenever EA decides to call me on the phone for Majestic.

I agree, who the hell would have time for something like this? It's good to see that EA insists that people will want this in 5 years. Sounds they haven't come to grips with the fact that while it might sound super cool in reality people don't have time for crap like that.

I don't know how people find the time to play any of those MMORPG's without forgoing work and personal hygeine.

Snappy2Stroke

--Your ideas intrigue me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.
-TPFKAS2S
Avatar 10139
4.
 
Yeeeah...
Dec 19, 2001, 17:03
4.
Yeeeah... Dec 19, 2001, 17:03
Dec 19, 2001, 17:03
 
That's a shame.

3.
 
Perhaps it's just me...
Dec 19, 2001, 16:51
3.
Perhaps it's just me... Dec 19, 2001, 16:51
Dec 19, 2001, 16:51
 
...but I like the idea of being able to play a game whenever I want - even if it's a decade later. I don't like the idea of playing a game in a specific time window - like at 3 AM whenever EA decides to call me on the phone for Majestic. Perhaps this is why I don't do MMORPG's.

Also, although I never played Majestic, is it really a "PC" game? I mean the phone calls, faxes, IM's - it's not really tied to a platform at all, is it?



Schnapple

http://members.tripod.com/schnapple99/
2.
 
Was it any good?
Dec 19, 2001, 16:42
2.
Was it any good? Dec 19, 2001, 16:42
Dec 19, 2001, 16:42
 
I never got around to play it -But the concept seems very cool. Always sad when a PC game has to go.

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