Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

If it's not ZDoom, it goes here.

Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Fused » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:52 am

Gamespot topic

Electronic Arts has announced some major news regarding one of its oldest studios. EA revealed it will shut down Visceral Games, the studio responsible for some major titles.
Visceral Games was mostly notable for Dead Space, and Visceral has also spent its recent years working on Battlefield DLC and the spin-off Battlefield Hardline.
With the studio shutting down, a major blow comes to all Dead Space fans, including myself. The latest Dead Space sequel, Dead Space 3, released in 2013, ended its DLC with a major cliffhanger, seemingly finishing its game with a story that would be finished in Dead Space 4. However, with the studio shutting down, a chance for the final sequel seems very much unlikely, and the whoel Dead Space story seemingly seems for nothing.
Dead Space was already very much put on ice, after Dead Space 3 sold significantly less than expected.

So what do you guys think? Would this be bad for the company? Are you disappointed that the company has been shut down?

Spoiler: Dead Space 3 DLC's ending
User avatar
Fused
 
Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Discord: FusedQyou#0357

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby wildweasel » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:39 am

>"one of EA's oldest studios"
>has been making games since 1998

It's kind of sad that they've already shuttered enough of their acquired studios that 1998 can be considered one of their oldest now. They already basically killed Origin, Westwood, Maxis, and Bullfrog (and totally bastardized most of their IPs). The only thing I can think about EA anymore is that they always seem to do the "predictably shitty" thing.

Another article I saw about this closure stated that Visceral were working on a Star Wars game, with Amy Hennig directing. This has now been offloaded to EA Vancouver, allegedly shifted to a completely different engine (Frostbite), and "expanded considerably." Basically the same thing they did to Mass Effect Andromeda. I really hope nobody was seriously looking forward to that one, because I can't imagine it'll turn out well now.
User avatar
wildweasel
I love the smell of sourdough in the morning
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: avatar by kurashiki

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Cherno » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:01 am

I'm not really sure what to make of all this "EA killing studios" talk. Yes, I would like to see Westwood Studios etc. continue making great games, but then again a company's first and foremost reason to be is to generate profit, and EA is no exception, only one of the biggest players in the industry to it's practices are very visible. So, if a studio lets itself be bought by EA or any publisher they give away their independence for money, and with it comes the risk that their new owners will decide it's better to shut them down. EA does not shut a studio down because they want to prevent it from making games or because they are just evil and want to annoy the players. It's a strictly business decision and while I might not like it I have to acknowledge that I am no business expert while EA probably has an army of such people in their management that carefully weigh such decisions. After all, it's about tens or even hundreds of million of dollars. Another thing to consider is that while for us it makes no sense business-wise to see certain practices take affect (be it shutting down veteran studios or introducing microtransactions into single-player games), we might not even be considered the primary customers for their games. I imagine that the vast majority of paying customers, which number in the millions, don't care or even don't know about any particular studio closing down or that microtransactions in single-player games are something unusual. They just want the game and they don't roam around forums or Reddit or Jim Sterlin'g YT channel the whole day talking about such things.
User avatar
Cherno
 
Joined: 06 Dec 2016

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Graf Zahl » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:07 am

Cherno wrote: while EA probably has an army of such people in their management that carefully weigh such decisions.



Even the, their PÜR is lousy. And let's not forget, if a corporation repeatedly does this thing it reeks of bad management which is letting others pay the price for their own incompetence.
It's also quite obvious that their executives have no real connection to their product, only to the money it makes. That's simply not a good recipe for continued success.
User avatar
Graf Zahl
Lead GZDoom Developer
 
Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Location: Germany

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Trance » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:28 am

Why does it feel like we're back here talking about the consequences of EA's barehanded fumbling with the innards of their subsidiaries every 6 months or so?

Oh yeah. Because we are.

Cherno, I've seen this sort of thing before. This isn't normal, and it sure as hell isn't acceptable. This is the result of a board of clueless suits forcing practices on their studios that sacrifice their staying power for as much short-term cash as they can get their hands on.

There's more than one way to make money. More than one business model. EA pretended to learn that lesson a decade ago, but all pretense of pursuing customer retention via quality games has been gone for a few years now. I said in my linked post that EA was back to where they were in the early-mid 2000s. I was wrong. This new EA is far hungrier and far more poisonous than it's ever been before. We will continue to see its subsidiary studios amputated like so many gangrenous limbs over the next few years, and if any dev studio has two brain cells to rub together, they will stay the hell away from any acquisition agreements with EA.

Let the monster kill itself. Don't feed it.
User avatar
Trance
Please do not mimic the behavior of me
 
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Location: 1, Rotation: 0

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Cherno » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:02 am

I hear you both but I have to disagree based on the fact that EA has been around for a looong time and they are one, if not the, biggest player on the field so they must be doing something right from a business perspective, no? We might not like it but as long as enough people pay and generate profit for the company why would they do anything different if the model has proven to be successful? Is it even possible to compare the big behemoths of the industry to small publishers like, say, Devolver digital who cater more to niche games and the indy scene but are also tiny fish in comparison? What is acceptable or not, as long as it's legal, is of little concern as long as money is being generated. One could argue that the resulting bad press might decrease profits but as I wrote above, I believe that these are minor negative consequences if the whole picture is taken into account.
On a related topic, a similar discussion has been going on about miniature wargames manufacturer Games Workshop for decades, and every time they increase the price of their product, discontinue a beloved game, or whatever else players don't like, a whole lot of people say that these practices will be their downfall and their days are numbered. Yet, they are still the biggest company by far.
User avatar
Cherno
 
Joined: 06 Dec 2016

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Trance » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:19 am

Cherno wrote:What is acceptable or not, as long as it's legal, is of little concern as long as money is being generated.

Are you endorsing this philosophy? For real?
User avatar
Trance
Please do not mimic the behavior of me
 
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Location: 1, Rotation: 0

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby wildweasel » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:50 am

Cherno wrote:I hear you both but I have to disagree based on the fact that EA has been around for a looong time and they are one, if not the, biggest player on the field so they must be doing something right from a business perspective, no?

What works from a business perspective is not always good from a consumer perspective, or even from an employee perspective. One can't simply isolate these things from each other and not acknowledge the full ramifications of them.
User avatar
wildweasel
I love the smell of sourdough in the morning
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: avatar by kurashiki

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Cherno » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:41 pm

Trance wrote:
Cherno wrote:What is acceptable or not, as long as it's legal, is of little concern as long as money is being generated.

Are you endorsing this philosophy? For real?


Did you read my post above?

Yes, I would like to see Westwood Studios etc. continue making great games


But that doesn't help if enough people don't care and buy the products, thereby proving that the EA's business practices are viable. We can cry all we want about morals and ethics but do you think that these are held in higher regard than money in the boardrooms of big companies?

As I also wrote above, and this is a cold-hard fact in capitalism:

a company's first and foremost reason to be is to generate profit





wildweasel wrote:
Cherno wrote:I hear you both but I have to disagree based on the fact that EA has been around for a looong time and they are one, if not the, biggest player on the field so they must be doing something right from a business perspective, no?

What works from a business perspective is not always good from a consumer perspective, or even from an employee perspective. One can't simply isolate these things from each other and not acknowledge the full ramifications of them.


MAybe I didn't make myself clear but I was trying to look at the issue from a business perspective which makes sense because a company the aims at generating profit will not change it's ways if the alternative is to keep making money. It may be anti-consumerist, result in bad job environment, but as long as these things don't cut into the profits enough why would the company change? This is not some weapons manufacturer selling goods to dictators or a diamond company buying conflict diamonds which often generates considerable public outcry and bad mainstream press, forcing the company to change for fear of losing customers or being boycotted. As long as the NY Times doesn't publish an article about how EA is killing off studios and a lot more people take notice and don't buy EA games, this will not change.
User avatar
Cherno
 
Joined: 06 Dec 2016

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Trance » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:50 pm

Cherno wrote:Did you read my post above?

I did. My question stands. Do you not recognize this philosophy as the exact thing wrong with EA?

Cherno wrote:But that doesn't help if enough people don't care and buy the products, thereby proving that the EA's business practices are viable. We can cry all we want about morals and ethics but do you think that these are held in higher regard than money in the boardrooms of big companies?

As I also wrote above, and this is a cold-hard fact in capitalism:

a company's first and foremost reason to be is to generate profit

There are honest, constructive ways to make money, and there are greedy, destructive ways to make money. When a company gets focused on maximizing short-term profit at the expense of their long-term assets, such as their reputation, their customers, and their employees, like EA is doing, they are taking the destructive path.

Business practices divorced from ethics are on the rise in the AAA gaming industry once again. This is not a good thing. One should not just shrug their shoulders and say "Companies will be companies". Complacency is why companies like EA are sinking to ever-lower lows in their lust for your dollars. You shouldn't be fine with it.
User avatar
Trance
Please do not mimic the behavior of me
 
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Location: 1, Rotation: 0

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Cherno » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:02 pm

Trance wrote:
Cherno wrote:Did you read my post above?

I did. My question stands. Do you not recognize this philosophy as the exact thing wrong with EA?


I don't like the way they conduct their business but what does this matter? To EA, it only does as far as it influences me buying their products.
What I tried to convey is just why things are as they are and why they might or might not change anytime soon.
Trance wrote:
Cherno wrote:But that doesn't help if enough people don't care and buy the products, thereby proving that the EA's business practices are viable. We can cry all we want about morals and ethics but do you think that these are held in higher regard than money in the boardrooms of big companies?

As I also wrote above, and this is a cold-hard fact in capitalism:

a company's first and foremost reason to be is to generate profit

There are honest, constructive ways to make money, and there are greedy, destructive ways to make money. When a company gets focused on maximizing short-term profit at the expense of their long-term assets, such as their reputation, their customers, and their employees, like EA is doing, they are taking the destructive path.

Business practices divorced from ethics are on the rise in the AAA gaming industry once again. This is not a good thing. One should not just shrug their shoulders and say "Companies will be companies". Complacency is why companies like EA are sinking to ever-lower lows in their lust for your dollars. You shouldn't be fine with it.


I am honestly amazed that anybody would think I am endorsing this when I clearly stated my perspective in my first post.

I do my part in not supporting this: I don't buy their games. Could I do more? Sure, I could start a blog and write about it but I'm not going to because the issue is not important enough for me to warrant spending time and effort on it over other things. I can't see how that would mean I'm complacent. Attempting to provide an objective view on the other side's modus operandi does not mean that I become a spokesperson and advocate of said party.
User avatar
Cherno
 
Joined: 06 Dec 2016

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Trance » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:23 pm

I don't think you need to explain to anyone here why EA is doing what they're doing. That's painfully obvious. Their logic may be internally consistent, but it is also unethical, myopic, and harmful in the long term. Plus it takes a lot of good IP out of the hands of the talented people who should be working it.

The reason your posts looked like a defense of EA is because of your framing of the situation as "just how capitalism works". No, my personal outrage or yours won't change EA's mind, or even both sets of our uncommitted financial resources combined. That doesn't make it a waste of energy to call them out when they're being shitty. Discussion informs.
User avatar
Trance
Please do not mimic the behavior of me
 
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Location: 1, Rotation: 0

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Cherno » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:40 pm

What I find interesting is the fact that in this thread or in the gaming press, the closure of a veteran studio with a long tradition of producing great games is lamented, but seldom the things that don't affect gamers directly and which you mentioned here, namely that people lose their jobs and income, among other things that don't have anything to do with "we won't see a new Command & Conquer game now, nooo!". These effects are more likely to get adressed when an independent studio with a publisher closes it's doors due to money running out. Just something that came to my mind just now.
User avatar
Cherno
 
Joined: 06 Dec 2016

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby Trance » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:55 pm

I think the loss of jobs went without saying.

There are redundancy packages, sure, and reassignment opportunities with other EA studios, yes, and there's the frequent prospect of splintering off into an independent development studio, but it still introduces huge uncertainties as far as finances and career momentum for the people affected by these closures. A lot of skilled devs never find work in the industry again.

Just because it wasn't mentioned doesn't mean we don't care.
User avatar
Trance
Please do not mimic the behavior of me
 
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Location: 1, Rotation: 0

Re: Visceral Games, one of EA's oldest studios, shut down

Postby scalliano » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:17 pm

Art is dead, long live lootcrates.

#VisceralJobs
User avatar
scalliano
Danny won, hey.
 
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Location: Ireland

Next

Return to Off-Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dancso and 2 guests