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Steve Purcell On Sam & Max 2's Cancellation 63

Posted by simoniker
from the doh-doh-DOH dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Saw this newsbit on AdventureGamers.com - Steve Purcell, creator of Sam & Max, made the following statement in a letter to the LucasArts fansite Mixnmojo regarding LucasArts' cancellation of Sam & Max 2: 'LucasArts' sudden decision to stop production on Sam & Max is mystifying. Sam & Max was on schedule and coming together beautifully... It's a shame to think that the [dev team's] accomplishments, as well as the goodwill that has been growing in the gaming press toward this project, will all go to waste due to this shortsighted decision.' Check out the link for the full letter. There is also an interesting editorial posted on AdventureGamers.com as well." Is this cancellation a blow the commercially developed traditional graphic adventure can recover from?
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Steve Purcell On Sam & Max 2's Cancellation

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  • Talk to LA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McCarrum (446375) <mark.limburg@ g m ail.com> on Friday March 05, 2004 @11:49PM (#8482137)
    Send your emails direct to LucasArts people.

    Fight the good fight, else we may not see a decent AND funny adventure for a very very long time.
    • "Send your emails direct to LucasArts people."

      I wonder what would happen if people started mailing $25 checks to LucasArts. "We'll pay you the other half the moment the game is released."

  • Maybe On A Console? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @12:29AM (#8482371) Homepage Journal
    I don't really want to start another "is PC gaming dying" thread, but I think that probably has something to do with the cancellation. Even though the game may have made a nice profit, on a gaming landscape where console games sell millions of copies, greed takes over and good titles get canned.

    It would make more sense for Lucas Arts to publish Sam and Max 2 on a console and the PC. I still have very fond memories of the graphic adventure and think there's a whole generation of gamers who are missing out on this genre. Unfortunately, I doubt if any of the heavy weights really have the guts to risk bringing it to consoles. Funny thing is that adventure games might actually do pretty well in Japan on the PS 2. The so called dating sims that sell reasonably well there are not all that different, but home PCs are not as common there as in the U.S., so you really have to publish on a console.
  • There's a Reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ALeavitt (636946) <aleavitt@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @12:33AM (#8482399)
    LucasArts seems to only see to the end of the fiscal year. They want to go with the games they know will be profitable, and by that I mean the Star Wars game du jour. As far back as I can remember, they've been grafting Star Wars onto whatever genre is popular: flight sim (X-Wing/TIE Fighter,) FPS (Dark Forces series,) a somewhat original RTS (the abysmal Force Commander) and a more traditional RTS (Galactic Battlegrounds) to name a few. Oh, not to mention the upcoming squad-level tactical shooter (read: Rainbow Six clone) Republic Commando. As adventure games are in a constant near-death state according to the popular gaming press, I'm not surprised that LucasArts decided to cancel Sam & Max 2. That doesn't mean that I'm not disappointed, however. I'll be writing a letter to LucasArts too. Just don't be surprised when the truly innovative and fun games (Sam & Max 2 and Full Throttle 2) get cancelled in favor of the safe bet that is a Star Wars game.
  • by Talonius (97106) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @01:00AM (#8482594)
    They are a company whose job it is to make money. At least they haven't stooped to suing people randomly, like the makers of ScummVM or ... God, whatever else.

    The email address to email to is pr@lucasarts.com [mailto]. Send them a polite, well worded, well thought out email. If your intent is to help get Sam and Max 2 published then you'll be polite. Any other actions will simply irritate LucasArts.

    As well, another poster mentioned a console port. I would most certainly purchase a console port of an adventure game - of all the PC games out there the generally simple interface of the adventure game would work wonderfully well!
    • by elmegil (12001) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @02:07AM (#8482992) Homepage Journal
      They are a company whose job it is to make money.

      They used to make money by being innovative and releasing funny and great games like Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle, and later Grim Fandango. Now they seem to think they can only make money by rehashing yet another tired Star Wars game. Companies who devolve to that point don't continue to make much money for much longer (especially given that their golden goose only has one more egg that they can definitively rely on).

      • Now they seem to think they can only make money by rehashing yet another tired Star Wars game.

        The problem with this complaint is that they are probably right! Who is in a better position to know how they can make money? If they can make more money from a Sam & Max than making Star Wars: Cantina Racer, don't you think they'd do it? They've been down both roads before, they know what the issues are a heck of a lot better than the peanut gallery on /. does!!

        As much as I hate this, the fact prob

        • If they can make more money from a Sam & Max than making Star Wars: Cantina Racer, don't you think they'd do it?

          Because of course, making the most money on every single release, with a threshhold set by the effortless to market Star Wars franchise, is the very definition of success. Never mind all the other aspects of success. Never mind the examples thoughout our history of those who allow money money money to be their ultimate and only goal, only to completely lose their way and crash and burn.

          The

          • There is balance to be had. Having a golden goose should free you to take risks in other places, not make you so risk averse that you become a snivelling gollumlike miser.

            Uh, why? If you do (a) twice, you know you'll make more more than doing (a) and (b), and you have to choose between doing (a) twice and doing (a) and (b). LucasArts is a business. Of course making the most amount of money on each release is their goal, that's why they aren't called a charity.

            • There's a reason why libertarian political thought includes the idea of ENLIGHTENED self interest, not just plain fucking greed. Plain fucking greed is so shortsighted it doesn't end up actually being the optimal solution for "making money" over any sustainable time period. That's the point I was trying to make in a more reasonable way, but apparently you missed it. Along with that bit about the golden goose only having one more egg, so maybe they need to do (b) so there's actually a future after the nex
        • LucasArts has published numerous Star Wars games so far, in almost every thinkable genre (FPS, TPS, RTS, racing, spacesim, RPG), except the adventure game genre.

          If it's true that a Star Wars game would always sell and would therefore be a safe bet, then I guess a perfect solution for both LucasArts and the advanture game fans among us would be a SCUMM game set in the Star Wars Universe.

          They made Indiana Jones adventures, right? Why not Star Wars adventures?

          If such a Star Wars adventure would turn out to
      • They used to make money by being innovative and releasing funny and great games like Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle, and later Grim Fandango. Now they seem to think they can only make money by rehashing yet another tired Star Wars game.

        Grim Fandango bombed, actually. Just didn't sell.

        And I know people seem pretty ignorant about (scary!) console games on Slashdot, but Lucasarts has released some great original games recently (mostly on the consoles). See Gladius, for example.
        • Maybe if someone could come up with a compelling value proposition for consoles, fewer of us would be so ignorant. Personally, I already have spent enough money on this general purpose box here that I know can play lots of varied games. I can't think of any game I've seen on a console that I couldn't play on my PC if it were coded for it. Why I should then spend additional money on single purpose, vendor locked boxes that clutter up my entertainment center is a complete mystery to me.
          • I can't think of any game I've seen on a console that I couldn't play on my PC if it were coded for it. Why I should then spend additional money on single purpose, vendor locked boxes that clutter up my entertainment center is a complete mystery to me.

            Because gaming is about the games, of course. Consoles simply have more releases every month, along with a larger variation in genre, budgets, and cultural origin.

            You aren't going to find fighting games on the PC. You aren't going to find any of the curren
            • None of the games you list holds any appeal for me, so again: I see no compelling reason. Beyond that, I thought Bleem or other similar software made a lot of that moot as well....
              • I guess I would ask what genres of games you actually play - the ones I listed are just some of many many examples. If all you play is FPS games, then yeah, you probably don't need a console.

                But like I suggested, there is a good chance you don't even know about some genres that you would end up really liking. I have played tons of games I thought initially would be stupid, but grew to really enjoy.

                And emulators are certainly one of the better aspects of PCs, but you won't get anything recent, and many of
        • My local supermarket doesn't stock many PC games. They still have Grim Fandango for sale, alongside Starcraft and Diablo 2.

          It is also one of the most critally praised games ever, and comes up regulary in fan discussusions of most loved games.

          My supermarket will probably not keep Gladius on the shelves for long. It will be lucky to be remembered with a two paragraph write up on the home of the underdogs.
    • by Ndr_Amigo (533266) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @06:11AM (#8483826)
      They tried, a while ago :)

      - James 'Ender' Brown
      Co-Project Leader
      ScummVM (http://www.scummvm.org/)
  • by leadfoot2004 (751188) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @01:40AM (#8482831)

    I think the only way LucasArts is willing to revive Sam and Max is to turn it into a first-person shooter. Just imagine Max with two assault rifles gunning down the bad guys, and to add insult to injury, bounces on top of the dude who just got gunned down.

    Let LucasArts have their way with their FPS. We should focus on supporting the companies who specializes on adventure games. Those are the ones that truly understands the essence of Adventure Gaming.

    • Re:Sam & Max FPS (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Babbster (107076)
      Two things:

      1. A Sam and Max FPS could be insanely cool and funny. Toss in some frying pans, giant mallets and fire hoses, and all of a sudden you've got first-person cartoon action.
      2. LucasArts has proven MORE than capable of doing good adventure games. That's kind of the whole issue here. If it was Microsoft, EA or [insert other big company producing often lousy games here] it wouldn't be that big a deal. The cancellation of a LucasArts adventure game, however, IS a big deal to fans of the genre.

      • by elmegil (12001)
        A Sam and Max FPS could be insanely cool and funny. Toss in some frying pans, giant mallets and fire hoses, and all of a sudden you've got first-person cartoon action.

        Where can I buy this?!?! It must be mine!

      • Toss in some frying pans, giant mallets and fire hoses, and all of a sudden you've got first-person cartoon action.

        Fantastic idea - oh, and don't forget the smart remarks they make when they frag someone.

        A la the original game,"You threw the bomb out into the street? There are lots of people out there", "Yeah, but nobody we know".

        • A la the original game,"You threw the bomb out into the street? There are lots of people out there", "Yeah, but nobody we know" "or care about."
          • Actually, it was more like:

            *Sam whips head/bomb out of his coat*
            Sam: "Where should I put this so it doesn't hurt anyone we know or care about?"
            Max: "Out the window, Sam. There's nothin' but strangers out there."
            *Sam tosses head/bomb out window, and BLAM*
            Sam: "I hope there was nobody on that bus."
            Max: "Nobody WE know at least!"

            Yes, I'm a pedant.
    • Heh, there was a fairground-style shooter on the end-credits of Sam & Max Hit The Road.
    • Actually Max was in Jedi Knight, hidden in a house somewhere, and when you freed him, he would go on killing about anything he encountered.
  • Once upon a time, long ago in video game company land, there was a development team that developed a super-neato cool 3D shooting game with technology that wouldn't even be mainstreamed until several years later.

    The development team, excited by their creation, presented it to the marketers and overlords of the company, in hopes that it would be granted the next stage of production.

    And the marketers and overlords saw the advanced technology, and all agreed that it was, indeed, advanced.

    But the project was
  • My letter: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dalangalma (514344) <dalangalma@numbE ... m minus math_god> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @03:19AM (#8483323) Homepage
    Sent to pr@lucasarts.com

    Dear LucasArts,

    While I'm sure you've received few emails regarding LucasArts' decision to cancel the much-awaited title Sam & Max 2, I wanted to make my opinion known as a representative of a whole generation of gamers who grew up with LucasArts' classic graphic adventures. Our fond memories of these games, especially the original Sam & Max, have not faded - even just a few weeks a whole group of my friends sat down for a weekend and played through six of our favorite LucasArts graphic adventures, with a packed room of people watching. When gamers around the world heard that Full Throttle 2 had been canceled, they thought "That's sad, but at least LucasArts can concentrate on Sam & Max 2." The news of two days ago was heartbreaking - everyone I knew who had played or seen the original Sam & Max had been excited about its sequel's release. The news reported today - that Steve Purcell's team was on schedule, and that Mr. Purcell thought the product they had so far was excellent, is even more confusing. Whatever market research led LucasArts to believe that the game was not worth making is wrong - the graphic adventure market is not dead, it's just been waiting for Sam & Max 2. Please reconsider the cancellation of this project, and keep in mind the generation of gamers who would be thrilled to have another Sam & Max in their hands. Thank you.

    -My Name
    • I tried to keep my tone civil (I certainly avoided any naughty words, and I was careful with grammar and spelling), but I had rather unpleasant things to say regarding my opinion of LucasArts's current corporate strategy.
  • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @12:18PM (#8485057) Homepage Journal
    ..is basically telling that you should become a corporate whore!

    "And I understand now more than ever how important the success of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude will be. Unquestionably I will buy it at full price the moment it's available, and I'll encourage everyone to do the same. Even if the game isn't great...even if the game isn't much of a pure adventure...it is the game that every major publisher is going to look at to evaluate whether or not there's any life in adventures, fair or not."

    WHAT???? You think we should shoot them a message that whatever whoring you can do of old franchises is good and will go through? buy games that suck just because major publishers would get more intrested??

    screw 'em if they don't make good stuff. what good is crappy adventure games?

    it's not like they have a total monopoly on games biz anyways, there can always come games like Siberia 'out of the blue'(and in fact, if there's not much press flooding from the big houses they're mor probable to actually make it to the fans even if published by smaller publishers).

  • Remember when (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _Sexy_Pants_ (703751) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @12:55PM (#8485251)
    Max would appear in every Lucasarts game? And their catalog would feature a Sam and Max comic in each? Where did the love go?
    • There are still loads of references in LucasArts games. I remember Max was in the tatoo parlour in Grim Fandango, and although I don't recall him specifically in EMI there was definitely a file for "Sam N. Max" in the Prosthesis databank. The music in the LUA bar is also from the Bigfoot party at Sam & Max: Hit the Road.
  • by ZorMonkey (653731) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @12:59PM (#8485282)
    I'm worried about what would happen if they somehow got convinced to start development again. The suits already cancelled it once, they wont be very likely to budget much more money for it. It will be rushed out the door.

    So then we'd get a terrible, buggy release. The game wont sell, and the suits will say "We told you so". That would be the end of adventure games. The current situtation is just a bit of a speedbump.

    Or am I just too pessimistic? :)
  • There is a continuing theme in these posts whinging about good LucasArts projects being cancelled in favor of their latest Star Wars project.
    Isn't the natural response, then, a Star Wars graphic adventure? This would seem to be right up their ally, and they would have a host of charaters and situations to put them in. Possibility?

    On another note, they have not only done this to their "extra" licenses. The license for the Star Wars CCG (Collectible Card Game) was pulled out [decipher.com] from under them. Decipher
    • Isn't the natural response, then, a Star Wars graphic adventure? This would seem to be right up their ally, and they would have a host of charaters and situations to put them in. Possibility?

      Isn't Indy 4 supposed to be shooting soon as well? Maybe they could do an official graphic adventure to go along with it?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dear Lucas Arts,
    I am dissapointed over the cancellation of Sam and Max 2. It would've been the first game of yours that I haven't bootlegged since Full Throttle and The Dig came out. Thanks a lot, now go and shove a light saber up your stupid asses!
  • by mrshowtime (562809) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @06:09PM (#8487272)
    Emailing the management at Lucasarts will do nothing. Their shortsighteness cannot be cured with a few emails. It really is rediculous that Lucasarts is compromising themselves for profit/costs reasons. Too bad Lucas can't put ILM and Lucasarts together (that would make too much sense). As for the quote "It's not a good time to release an adventure game." Well, neither was it suppossedly a good time to release "Star Wars," but look how well that did!
  • I just sent the following email to LucasArts.

    1985:

    A Japanese game company tried to debut a new product into the American market. It was well designed and a testament to the ingenuity of its creators. Yet no one would give it a chance.

    The retailers said "we won't stock it, it's doomed to fail."
    Fellow developers said "these games will never sell."
    The focus groups said "this is shit."

    Their product went on to gross billions of dollars: the Nintendo Entertainment System.

    Today:

    Developers tried to co

  • by ShawnDoc (572959) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:37AM (#8495276) Homepage
    Here's a list of e-mail addresses you should email (right this instant) to let know what you think of the cancellation:

    The Official Address [mailto]

    Randy Breen, VP of Development [mailto]

    Mary Bihr, VP of Global Publishing [mailto]

    Michael Nelson, Acting President [mailto]

  • I didn't see this posted already, so I will. The web site Save Sam and Max [savesamandmax.com] lists several ways of letting LucasArts know that we want this game. The site includes email info, petition info, adress info, telephone info, picket info, et cetera. If you don't know much about Sam and Max, search for it! Do research! Get some of the comics! Find the tapes of the old tv series (and let me know about that, I've been looking for such a long time for them)! Most of all, be heard!

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