Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brutally bullcrap

During E3 last week (well, technically it was outside of E3. But you get what I mean), it was announced Activision was suing to put a hold on EA publishing the upcoming rockfest of awesomeness known as Brutal Legend.

Here's a little history for you- Tim Schafer is one of those guys hailed to be a genius in the gaming industry. His games have always been critical hits and fan favorites, but they've never really sold that well. So years of developing wicked-cool games later, and Schafer and his studio, Double Fine, are hard at work on their latest offering, Brutal Legend. When the game's publisher is about to go under, Activision swoops in and looks to be saving the day.

Instead, Activision decides to cut Brutal Legend free, leaving it publisher-less one year before completion.

Enter EA.

I like to think of 2008 as the year EA started being cool again. Giving a brilliant game director and his staff a chance to make it to market was just one of the many things they got right and, crushed by the news Activision had given BL the axe, I was ecstatic to hear EA at least had enough faith in Double Fine to see their project through.

This whole series of events, it turns out, helped build up quite a bit of extra momentum behind the game. What was looking to be another underground hit from Schafer has since become a huge blip on most gamers' radar. With EA pumping out the press releases and Brutal Legend getting the attention it deserved, things took another step forward at E3 when BL appeared as a huge advertisement on the side of a building in downtown San Fran. The game was also playable on the floor and loads of magazines, websites and bloggers gave the title a nod as one of the best of show.

Now that Schafer is looking to finally get his dues, what happens? Activision comes in with a suit claiming they still have a right to publish the game. Can you believe that? They had so little faith in the game they cut it loose, but now that everyone's buzzing about Brutal Legend, they realise there's dollars to be made and try to pull a switch-er-roo.

I could go on forever about how shoddy this is, but I'll just keep things nice and simple. So what's the point of this post, you may be asking.

F#^$ Activision. That's the point.


peskypepper said...

You forgot the part where Schafer he said if Activision liked it they should've put a ring on it!

-Ryan Winslett said...

That was gonna be the next punchline. Way to ruin it!