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Bad Time at Spacetime

The Spacetime Studios Website (thanks Develop) has some unfortunate news about layoffs at the indie developer at work on Blackstar, a science-fiction MMORPG:

Our company has been entirely self-funded the for the last six months while we tried to find a publishing deal for ‘Blackstar.’ Throughout this period we have held onto our pre-production development team because, honestly, we think they are the best of the best. We have been shopping Blackstar around but - right now, at least – the concept of a SciFi space/ground IP has proven to be a challenge. Our studio cannot survive at its current burn rate without a publishing deal, so we face a necessary (though very difficult and painful) decision. We are scaling down from thirty-two down to sixteen folks in the hopes of developing a pitch, a prototype and another publishing deal.

We will be letting some very good folks go. They will receive extended benefits and we will be doing everything we can to help them land on their feet again. We consider these people to be the cream of the crop, so if you are looking to staff up your team please drop us a line at

16. Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Aug 6, 2008, 16:09  dsmart 
Just for acuracys stake, Eve Has around 220k subscribers, (205k last offical count), and has had peek concurrent users of just over the 40k mark.

heh, that was a typo actually; as I am aware of their numbers

Iceland has a very high cost of living I was looking at various sites with wages for software programmers and devs and the was cost an average of 10 to 15k more in Iceland. Surlys its cheaper to make a game in North American over Iceland.

The cost of living has nothing to do with the cost of development. And thats not what I was talking about.

In the context that I speaking in is when you take a small company like CCP, their install base is more than enough to keep them going. Factor in the likes of, say, NCSoft, EA, SOE etc and you begin to see how it can add up. The smaller you are, the lower your dev costs and overhead. At least for the most part.

I have to disagree, most other space games don't come close to Eve. Since Cosmos it's not right to say Eve is a spreadsheet. When you can spend hours doing archaeology in old space ruins and astrometrics to explore, or you can follow the storylines in Cosmos regions it's not fair to say it's a spreadsheet in space. It's no more a spread sheet in space then Nexus The Jupiter Incident which to me is one of the best space games in recent years. Eve is not without its flaws but as space games come its one of the best ones we have to choose from.

Please. This is not a pissing war. Eve plays like a spreadsheet. I don't fucking care how many ruins you can explore or how many girl's skirts get blown up by the graphics. When we're talking about the traditional space combat games - which is what every space combat game, including BlackStar are doing/trying to do, Eve doesn't even come close to counting.

Naturally, there are 200K people who like to play Eve - regardless of the premise. There's nothing wrong with that. When you factor in the size of the PC gaming landscape in which you can sell 500K units for a triple-A game, 200 subscribers is chicken feed.

Don't you think that if ANY publisher had any inkling that 200K subscribers for a rubbish space game like Eve was achievable and/or attainable, that several would be in development, the likes of BlackStar would not have been dropped by the publisher, let alone canned outright?

The problem with armchair pundits is that they don't have any clue what the big picture is. No, a painting in the clouds does not count.

The likes of EA have poured millions into the likes of Earth Above & Beyond, only to see it tank. Don't you think EA has the resources to attract the best minds in the business to do a competitor to Eve? Or SOE? Or ActiBlizzard? Or Microsoft (which has dropped and/or canned no less than three MMO games to date). The issue is that the Eve numbers are rubbish in the larger scheme of things and going into the space combat genre at such a huge expense - and very little game - does NOT look good in the books.

I stand by my original post. If Blizzard would do a SciFi MMORPG it would be successful, too, because Blizzard produces great games not because their games have the setting du jour.

uhm, rubbish. While Blizzard - bar none - have some of the best minds in the business, WoW is based on their tried and proven experience and product synergy. If ANY other company had done WoW, it would have failed. Much like all the flegling MMOs of today.

Even so, Blizzard knows when something isn't working. Anyone remember Starcraft Ghost? Yep. Canned.

Don't you think that if they wanted to keep printing money with a tried and proven [WoW] formula that they would even bother with the likes of Diablo III? A non-MMO game at that?

This comment was edited on Aug 6, 16:37.
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    Date Subject Author
  1. Aug 6, 06:48 O Rly? nutshell42
  2. Aug 6, 07:44  Re: O Rly? InBlack
  4. Aug 6, 09:11   ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  5. Aug 6, 10:09    Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med InBlack
  6. Aug 6, 10:10    Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Duc
  7. Aug 6, 10:26     Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  8. Aug 6, 10:44      Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Wowbagger_TIP
  9. Aug 6, 10:49       Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med InBlack
  12. Aug 6, 13:45        Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Burrito of Peace
  13. Aug 6, 14:11         Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Theo
  10. Aug 6, 10:51      Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med VultureMAN
  11. Aug 6, 13:33       Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  14. Aug 6, 14:18      Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Pottsey
  19. Aug 6, 16:53       Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Wowbagger_TIP
  20. Aug 6, 17:07        Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Pottsey
  21. Aug 6, 17:11         Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Theo
  22. Aug 6, 17:38          Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  23. Aug 6, 17:50           Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Wowbagger_TIP
  24. Aug 6, 18:03           Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Pottsey
  25. Aug 6, 18:12            Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  26. Aug 7, 04:18           Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Theo
  27. Aug 7, 07:53            Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  15. Aug 6, 14:36    Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med nutshell42
>> 16. Aug 6, 16:09     Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med  dsmart 
  17. Aug 6, 16:43      Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Pottsey
  18. Aug 6, 16:48      Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Theo
  3. Aug 6, 08:51  Re: O Rly? Trashy


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