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What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone? 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-one-is-an-island dept.
An anonymous reader writes: As news that Cliff Bleszkinski, Epic Games' legendary former creative, sets off to found his own studio, a new article takes a look at how six other gaming auteurs have fared after leaving a major developer or publisher to go it alone. The results, surprisingly, are mixed: while some, such as Double Fine's Tim Schafer, have gone on to far greater success, it doesn't always work out that way: just look at John Romero's Daikatana. The article also makes a good point that Peter Molyneux is striking out with a start-up for the third in his career now, but it may not be third time the charm: Godus has been far less well received than Black & White or Fable. Can Cliffy B avoid making the same mistakes?
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What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

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  • Uh. No. Sorry. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chas (5144) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:24PM (#47434927) Homepage Journal

    Daikatana failed because it sucked, and was three years late.

    Romero's skills were GROSSLY oversold
    The game was GROSSLY overhyped.
    And they burned through an obscene amount of money trying to be a "rockstar" studio (spending lavishly on facilities and trinkets, rather than putting the money where it belonged, in the game.
    On top of that, the studio couldn't deliver titles on time to save their lives and was basically had all the makings of a terrible reality TV show with constant infighting, turmoil, etc, etc.

    Basically the only thing Ion Storm did RIGHT was to found their Austin office (which kept its nose clean of all the bullshit coming and going from the main Dallas office). Ion Storm Austin actually gained a rep for producing solid work.

  • What suprise? (Score:5, Informative)

    by erice (13380) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:39PM (#47435045) Homepage

    The results, surprisingly, are mixed: while some, such as Double Fine's Tim Schafer, have gone on to far greater success, it doesn't always work out that way

    This might be a surprise to people who know nothing about startups or business but it should not be to anyone else. Here's the reality: Startups often fail. In fact, the overwhelming majority of startups fail. Being an "auteur" may improve the odds of a soft landing significantly but it does not remotely guarantee success because there is no way to guarantee success.

    The reasons for failure are many including poor business skills (there is more to running a company than running a project) and unconstrained egos. The usual bad luck and mayhem that sink projects can also sink companies that only have one project.

In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's.

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