Vivendi Raided

French Police Raid Vivendi HQ, Messier Home (thanks Worthplaying) has word that the media giant and its former CEO have been raided by French authorities investigating accounting irregularities during his tenure. Here's a bit:
Police raided the Paris headquarters of Vivendi Universal and the homes of its disgraced former chief Jean-Marie Messier on Thursday as part of an investigation into the media giant's accounts.

French investigators swooped on the offices near Arc de Triomphe and Messier's residences in and around the French capital to search for documents in a probe into potential irregularities during the ousted chief executive's leadership.
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34.
 
phantasmagoria
Dec 13, 2002, 07:46
34.
phantasmagoria Dec 13, 2002, 07:46
Dec 13, 2002, 07:46
 
i really enjoyed that game on release.

http://www.quandaryland.com/1995/phantas.htm

but there were better such as

http://www.adventurecollective.com/reviews/zorknemesis.htm

33.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 13, 2002, 02:05
33.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 13, 2002, 02:05
Dec 13, 2002, 02:05
 
"Roberta Williams, you so low you suck earthworm dick."
-Rudy Ray Moore, autographing a Roberta Williams collection at the request of Seanbaby.

Love her or hate her, Roberta Williams was a founding influence in computer games. And she deserves some respect for that. Not a lot, but some.

(and for the record, I really liked phantasmagoria....)

-Aidan

32.
 
HB is right
Dec 13, 2002, 01:27
32.
HB is right Dec 13, 2002, 01:27
Dec 13, 2002, 01:27
 
Many of us that are making games have no choice in the games we make. We really want to make the best damn game ever. However, the "suits" do not see it that way. The suits have never played games but they have a buisness degree and that means they are always right. Never mind that a buisness degree means you drank your way through college while we got our masters to make this game.
O well HB is right.... Blame the suits.... they are the ones that make the teams anyway
Maybe I should have spent 2.5 years getting a business degree instead of the 7 for a programming / visulaization masters.... Some day the world will realize again "plug-in" CEOs do not work... A CEO needs to know the industry they work in THUS THEY NEED TO MAKE GAMES DAMNIT NOT HAVE A DEGREE FROM I DRANK A LOT UNIVERSITY....

This comment was edited on Dec 13, 01:34.
31.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 23:30
31.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 23:30
Dec 12, 2002, 23:30
 
HA!

One more benefit of giving games away; not having to admit to what you have purchased.

Uhh...you know...not that I am necessarily saying that I purchased that one...

Missing Williams, too,
Ray

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30.
 
Re: Some Facts from a former Sierra-ite...
Dec 12, 2002, 21:51
30.
Re: Some Facts from a former Sierra-ite... Dec 12, 2002, 21:51
Dec 12, 2002, 21:51
 
hbringer why do u write so much is amebaresing

29.
 
Some Facts from a former Sierra-ite...
Dec 12, 2002, 20:38
29.
Some Facts from a former Sierra-ite... Dec 12, 2002, 20:38
Dec 12, 2002, 20:38
 
1) Messier takes the company $19 BILLION into debt; and he gets a 17-MILLION-dollar layoff package!! Just goes to show you how broken corporate systems are right now. The average CEO gets something like 150 - 1,000 times the pay of the average worker (CBS had a special on this recently I believe); and although his/her "high" pay in the old-days (back when it was only 20 times the average) was because of the "risks" and "responsibilities" - today CEO's get huge severance deals in their contracts before they even join the company. All they have to do is claw their way to the top, and they are set for life no matter what. There's incentive to may the stocks look good; but there's NO incentive these days to actually make the company successful in the long-term.

2) Lots of us at Sierra and WON.net-Berkley-Prize Central-Flipside.com (to illustrate one example) saw what Vivendi was doing - everytime a company started losing lots of money, Vivendi (or Havas) would buy up a new company, merge it with the old company, and hide the debts in the acquired company's books. They compounded the issue by also trying to throw management from the merged companies together into one leadership team; but this just usually resulted in territorial battles and office politics. That, of course, is seperate from the accounting; but you can imagine that it usually didn't help the companies succeed by adding that to the mix.

3) Yes, Sierra has had some great games since the Vivendi buyout - and a LOT of its blunders (*cough the entire TRIBES franchise *cough*) are its own fault. Its long been a middle-management-heavy company; and relied on publishing quantity over quality to even out the profits and losses through the 80's and early 90's. But that technique no longer works in today's market - and sometimes good games don't sell well enough to make a profit, even when hardcore gamers like them (like Ground Control and Tribes 1). Today's top games cost MULTIPLE millions of dollars to make; and only 3 - 5% of ALL games ever go on to actually make money. Its very easy to spend yourself into a corner if you don't have a "mega-hit" (to pay the bills) often enough (as has been pointed out, its now been 4 years since HL released). So in short, some of Sierra's problems are its own, some are Vivendi, and some are just plain bad luck.

4) Don't idolize or demonize any company entirely. Within EVERY company - from small developers to giant publishers, to whomever - there's always a wide range of quality people, adequate people, and people that get by with hanging onto the coat-tails of others. You can criticize a company like Vivendi for getting into a market it had no understanding of, or Sierra for directing a game poorly... But remember that inside every company there are at least a few people working really hard for what they believe in; and also remember to judge people as individuals and not by the company they work for.

Take care

--HB

This comment was edited on Dec 12, 20:46.
28.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 20:33
28.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 20:33
Dec 12, 2002, 20:33
 
LOL... its hilarious watching you people clamour for the return of Roberta Williams. Her last few games SUCKED!!! Anyone remember that abysmal pos Phantasmorgia?

Sierra have produced/published much better games without their influence. Here's hoping the bitch stays retired.

27.
 
Re: Cool...
Dec 12, 2002, 20:25
Rigs
 
27.
Re: Cool... Dec 12, 2002, 20:25
Dec 12, 2002, 20:25
 Rigs
 
Nevermind Fredrickson, he's just a confused little man...

=-Rigs-=

"Now, we gave you a promise and we are bound by that promise and damn you for asking for it! And damn me for agreeing to it! And damn all of us to hell, because that is exactly where we're going! We talked about peace. You didn't want peace. We talked about cooperation. You didn't want cooperation. You want war! Is that it? You want a war? Well you've got a WAR!"
- John Sheridan, Babylon 5
'Sorry, we thought you were dead.'
'I was. I'm better now.'
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26.
 
Re: Cool...
Dec 12, 2002, 20:18
26.
Re: Cool... Dec 12, 2002, 20:18
Dec 12, 2002, 20:18
 
Why's that? Do you have to be white to hate Vivendi and hope that Vivendi execs get to rot in the deepest darkest hole in the ground prison they can find?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
Avatar 9540
25.
 
Re: Cool...
Dec 12, 2002, 19:26
25.
Re: Cool... Dec 12, 2002, 19:26
Dec 12, 2002, 19:26
 
YOU MUST BE WHITE

24.
 
Cool...
Dec 12, 2002, 18:40
24.
Cool... Dec 12, 2002, 18:40
Dec 12, 2002, 18:40
 
I hope the cops that raided the place broke everything they could get their hands on while they were there.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
Avatar 9540
23.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 18:01
23.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 18:01
Dec 12, 2002, 18:01
 
To Schnapple:


Gosh Damn right. Well said.

*claps*

This comment was edited on Dec 12, 18:01.
22.
 
Elementary...
Dec 12, 2002, 16:54
22.
Elementary... Dec 12, 2002, 16:54
Dec 12, 2002, 16:54
 
Vivendi corrupt?! *gasp!* Noooo...say it ain't so!

What a blinding bit of insight on the part of the Froggie police. Obviously, Inspector Clouseau was leading the investigation.

21.
 
Re: What about blizzard?
Dec 12, 2002, 16:38
21.
Re: What about blizzard? Dec 12, 2002, 16:38
Dec 12, 2002, 16:38
 
they could all just leave, form a company called "Used to be Blizzard" and I'm sure any publisher would happily hand them their gold card.

Schnapple

http://members.tripod.com/schnapple99/
20.
 
What about blizzard?
Dec 12, 2002, 16:24
20.
What about blizzard? Dec 12, 2002, 16:24
Dec 12, 2002, 16:24
 
What will happen to them? They are so successful that I doubt they'd have a hard time being snatched up. Or did I miss something?

19.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 15:39
19.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 15:39
Dec 12, 2002, 15:39
 
And sierra forced Papyrus to make nascar game after nascar game after nascar game after nascar game instead of other racing series that would have really been fun with papyrus' physics engine

18.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 14:56
18.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 14:56
Dec 12, 2002, 14:56
 
Some are mad that the Adventure Game is dead.

Some are mad that Sierra dishes out perpetual rehashes of Half-Life (which is of course more a fault of Valve since they've clammed up).

Some are mad that Sierra/Dynamix botched Tribes 2 (especially if they suffered through the initial release at full price).

Some are mad that Sierra cancelled "game X" (Babylon 5, Half-Life for Dreamcast).

Really though ultimately people are mad that a beloved icon of their youth is now merely a software label entrenched in a corporate mess and that what was popular in their youth is gone (i.e., the Quest series of games). Sometimes people want to rebel against something.

Schnapple

http://members.tripod.com/schnapple99/
17.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 14:36
17.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 14:36
Dec 12, 2002, 14:36
 
What is it with all the "Sierra sucks since Vivendi bought it" posts?

Vivendi bought 30% of Havas Interactive, the parent of Sierra, in 1997 and purchase was completed in 1998.

Let's see, games that came out since then...
Half Life, Alien vs Predators, No One Lives Forever, Empire Earth, Tribes, Homeworld, Gabriel Knight 3, Arcanum, Caeasar 3, Ground Control...

So what the fuck is wrong with you people? I swear, PC gamers can be such a whiny little bunch.

16.
 
Re: Blue Cheese
Dec 12, 2002, 14:14
16.
Re: Blue Cheese Dec 12, 2002, 14:14
Dec 12, 2002, 14:14
 
It was Roberta and Ken Williams...What ever happened to them?

They sold Sierra to Vivendi in 1996. Roberta's last game with Sierra was the eighth King's Quest game Mask of Eternity, following which she promptly decided to take some time off. Mask of Eternity proved to be a disappointing game, critcially and sales wise, due to a largely misdirected attempt to bring the Adventure Game genre into 3-D (the game had more melee than puzzle solving).

Ken left shortly after Sierra was sold to form WorldStream Communications.

Roberta still keeps up with the adventure game scene and reportedly still flirts with the idea of coming out of retirement, but has yet to do so (the latest interview I could find with her is dated 1999).

Schnapple

http://members.tripod.com/schnapple99/
15.
 
common Blue
Dec 12, 2002, 13:59
15.
common Blue Dec 12, 2002, 13:59
Dec 12, 2002, 13:59
 
Its kinda bad when folks who have no clue who Vivendi are and gotta read the comments to find out they own Sierra (which I didnt know had been bought up anyways) Where's the top notch reporting here??

*-*

I used to have a quicksand box when I was a kid...


I was an only child eventually
*-*

“How about a nap, a bath and sex with a unfamiliar woman?”
—Cy Tolliver to Andy Cramed
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