Microsoft acquires Undead Labs

del44Zslayer

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#81
I agree that seems the most likely answer and I don't believe for a second that UL intentionally lied about that. Such a shame, the sheer mass of fan posts and game info and tips on there to me at least, was priceless. I don't see the harm in leaving it up as read only, even if it was just select parts? So sad to lose all that imo ☹️
It might've been the actual plan originally. At least, I'd like to believe that UL didn't lie in such a blatant manner to us. My thinking - and this might just be that I'd rather see MS as the bad guy here - is that Microsoft informed them that the forums had to go and gave them no time in which to send a message out.

It's also possible that with everything else going on, UL was so overwhelmed dealing with the new rules around an already crushingly busy time for any developers, that it simply didn't occur to them to warn us. I understand that sounds absurd but you may be surprised to learn of some blunders made by otherwise intelligent people when under extreme stress.
 
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#83
Andromeda was made by an entirely different Bioware studio than the previous main games. The details of how poorly it was handled are here: https://kotaku.com/the-story-behind-mass-effect-andromedas-troubled-five-1795886428
That was kinda my point. That studio was called Bioware but it was entirely different group of individuals. This is something that happens everywhere; people move on, change jobs, die, get married, etc. Culture is not static and does change with the time but often when a large publisher purchases a smaller studio, that change which happens naturally over the course of many years suddenly happens in very short order.
 

SwissArmyKnife

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#84
That was kinda my point. That studio was called Bioware but it was entirely different group of individuals.
I think you missed mine... Bioware has a few different branches (Bioware Montreal, Bioware Austin, etc).

The branch that did all of the main games did not want to continue Mass Effect so it was given to the branch that had only ever worked on the multiplayer of ME 3. They basically handed the franchise to the C team and set those people up as a sacrificial lamb for the sake of continuing the franchise.


Reading more into how IP acquisitions and the like work, I wonder if the original contract had a Right of First Refusal clause in it. That is, Undead Labs would be required to be notified about any work on the sequels and have the right to first offer/refusal for the work on it.
 

Kizig

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#87
There's no "winning" or "losing" the console wars since most people think of it only as Playstation vs Microsoft instead of PS vs Xbox vs Switch.

And according to the Ubisoft founder, the next console generation may be the last generation of consoles.
That's interesting about last generation, and I'm aware of the common exclusion of Nintendo from those fights. My question though is: do people have experience to judge how MS does when it becomes the owner of a franchise? @QMJS actually makes it sound a bit better than I'd expected, wondering if anyone else has observations since I don't follow who owns what closely. Seems that might inform predictions of SOD's future.
 

QMJS

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#88
I'm curious what the actual sales numbers for SOD2 are. I know that I have seen mentions of 'millions of players', but that is including everyone playing it free with the gamepass thing. Have there been any sales numbers released yet?
 
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#89
I'm curious what the actual sales numbers for SOD2 are. I know that I have seen mentions of 'millions of players', but that is including everytone playing it free with the gamepass thing. Have there been any sales numbers released yet?
I've wondered this myself. But several (shallow) Google searches have yielded zilch.

Re: the question of whether or not big companies (like MS or EA) *ruin game franchises, I'll posit this simple proposition: if the game is well made, it will be well received (and thus might stand a greater chance of turning a profit).

At first blush, the phrase "well made" might seem highly subjective. But it's not. It certainly assumes a great many things. But if those things are present, then a well made game will likely ensue. Everyone can agree on that.

Don't believe me. Just sit down with a group of people who love both 'Gears of War' and 'Gears of War 2.' Oh, they may argue over certain plot points and why (or why not) certain characters' did this or that. That's where personal interpretation comes in, and that's a big part of the fun. But those personal insights and quibbles aside, nearly everyone agrees that Gears 2 is an incredibly well made game. So the question begs: Why? Why is 'Gears of War 2' so universally *embraced? I know why. For the same reason the now-classic (and iconic) movie ALIENS was so well received; and in some circles, praised as superior to its predecessor, ALIEN. (Yeah, I know. Different medium. But the same general answer applies.)

If an established franchise game is well made, it will be embraced. If not, it won't.

(*Note that with franchise games, "ruin" doesn't necessarily imply commercial failure. Likewise, "embraced" doesn't necessarily imply commercial success.)
 
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Christmas

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#91
I think you missed mine... Bioware has a few different branches (Bioware Montreal, Bioware Austin, etc).

The branch that did all of the main games did not want to continue Mass Effect so it was given to the branch that had only ever worked on the multiplayer of ME 3. They basically handed the franchise to the C team and set those people up as a sacrificial lamb for the sake of continuing the franchise.


Reading more into how IP acquisitions and the like work, I wonder if the original contract had a Right of First Refusal clause in it. That is, Undead Labs would be required to be notified about any work on the sequels and have the right to first offer/refusal for the work on it.
Just like gearbox/2k. The Pre-Sequel was done by 2k australia before they closed down.
 

SonnyJim

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#92
Just realised I don't know crap and should shut my mouth in such cases. Apparently UL is a "dog-friendly work environment". I love dogs myself too so, great to hear. I'm more pissed because I enjoy the UL community and how some staff engaged and/or encouraged us .. I fear this will disappear with MS controlling everything they say and do. No excuse for getting a bit nasty there towards people I don't really know at all. My bad and sincere apologies.
Very grateful to have the Alamo around to keep the dream alive, so to speak!
 

Clyde

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#93
I think you missed mine... Bioware has a few different branches (Bioware Montreal, Bioware Austin, etc).

The branch that did all of the main games did not want to continue Mass Effect so it was given to the branch that had only ever worked on the multiplayer of ME 3. They basically handed the franchise to the C team and set those people up as a sacrificial lamb for the sake of continuing the franchise.
I’m not sure that’s true. It looks like it was a leadership struggle to me, combined with EA having dreams of opening a Mass Effect 3 cash cow again. The C team is the team that made ME3 multiplayer, and after that is when EA started going loot box crazy. Unfortantely, I don’t think anyone over there undestood why ME3 was one of the best co-op shooters to date... that or the people who understood didn’t win the management battles. I assume this struggle is why Hudson left and other dude stayed, and when Hudson returned other dude left. I’m assuming passing ME3 to the C team was other dudes play to pry it out of Hudsons hands who had been the lead on the first 3.

I have no idea, as this is just observation and speculation on my part. However if you had some good information, I’m super curious? Sorry for the sideline, folks.
 

SwissArmyKnife

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#94
@Clyde The only source that I could find at the time was a verified Redditor from Bioware Edmonton, though now I can't find the Reddit thread again. It would have been back in ~2014-2015 when Montreal basically had the game yanked away from them. The Kotaku article I linked above goes more into the verified details on it.


To the same points of SonnyJim, my immediate reaction was very poor and I should wait to see how this plays out before kicking MS back under the Troll bridge in Meagher Valley. It's going to be either very interesting to watch how it all plays out over the next 6-18 months or very dull.
 
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#95
From what I understand, Mojang (studio behind Minecraft) and Minecraft have only grown and expanded versus change to the point of losing what made them successful.

And that was with the current CEO of Microsoft. So I have more than hope that Undead Labs and State of Decay are in good hands, I have trust.

With that said, I see the issues people are having with State of Decay 2. I haven't played the game since the last two patches largely due to work commitments and a looming closure on a second home.

I don't think MS is directly to blame for the state of the game, perhaps the news of the purchase affected morale or the organization changes that occurred after it impacted development time and focus?

But I do believe that Microsoft will do what they think is best for the franchise. And I think the best thing would be to stabilize the technology used to create the games, that are apart of the games, and on which the games run.

State of Decay 2 saw a change in the engine and, as we've seen, the technology used to create characters. So I think the migration to a new engine and duplicating a lot of the work they need before impacted the quality of the game.

Some franchises have the luxury of either having a engine built entirely for the franchise games themselves, or being able to migrate the code/assets used for a previous game engine into the new engine. So it's hard to say from the outside what the issue was, but as a software developer, I'm inclined to think it's the tech stack and not the organizational changes.
 
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#96
But I do believe that Microsoft will do what they think is best for the franchise. And I think the best thing would be to stabilize the technology used to create the games, that are apart of the games, and on which the games run.
Actually the best thing they could do is stop trying to make everything proprietary to their piece of shit windows store. They don't necessarily have to put it all on Steam, but there are other options.
 
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#97
Actually the best thing they could do is stop trying to make everything proprietary to their piece of shit windows store. They don't necessarily have to put it all on Steam, but there are other options.

And... BTW! Zh-cn version of the MS store still does not have SoD2. So if I did not get it when I did, would have never gotten it it seems.
 

chikawowwow

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#99
I've been trying to figure out what happened and where the forums went at u.l. the last couple weeks since I got sod2. Guess I know now.... undead labs left us sitting in the back of a fiery Norma and jumped out of the driver's seat as it went careening off the broken Trumbull bridge.
It was considered an old boys club so instead of sitting in the back we were gagged & bound in the boot (trunk) and probably shot in the stomach for good measure..
 
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It was considered an old boys club
No, no. You've got to give him the full context of that particular insult for the full force of the slap to be felt.

See @Rock33B the new community manager said we were an old boys club that had become to unwelcoming to new comers. A statement that proved, at least to me, that it was made fully in ignorance.
 
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