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Sam & Max Sequel Canceled 401

Pluvius writes "A terse press release from LucasArts, the creator of classic adventure games such as Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series, reveals that development on Sam & Max: Freelance Police, the planned sequel to Sam & Max Hit the Road, has stopped. Says LucasArts exec Mike Nelson, 'After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.'" The International House Of Mojo fansite has some editorial comments [original URL] on this move, the second Sam & Max game cancellation in recent years, lamenting: "LucasArts has made a gigantic mistake."
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Sam & Max Sequel Canceled

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  • by kammat ( 114899 ) * on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:17PM (#8456065)
    You just know Tom Servo and Crow are going to kick his ass for cancelling something actually funny.
  • by buffer-overflowed ( 588867 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:18PM (#8456072) Journal
    Me and everyone else I know who played the original were waiting for this with wallets drawn and baited breath. Even though we mostly disagreed with some of their design decisions, we were still prepared to buy the game.

    Silly lucasarts. Well, I'm off to write them a letter I suggest you do the same.
    • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:22PM (#8456136)
      After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.

      This is a good example of everything that's wrong with letting corporate market-trend watchers make the decisions for an entertainment company.

      It's always a good time to release a good game (by "good," I mean fun to play and judged by many to be worth their hard-earned money), no matter what the style or genre, or how many similar games might have failed recently. It's also never a good time to release a crappy game that nobody will want to play, no matter how hot the market for games if its ilk might be.

      • by the_weasel ( 323320 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:31PM (#8456257) Homepage
        After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.

        This may not really be the trend watchers. Its always worth remembering that 'corporate media drones' would employ the same wording if the real problem was that 'It was total trash and we killed it before this embarassment cost us any more money.'

        I am not saying the game was trash - just pointing out that a press release is generally not a source of facts, just spin.

        nevertheless I agree with you entirely. It is always a good time to release a good game. It is never a good time to release Deer Hunter 9.
        • by DonGar ( 204570 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:26PM (#8456854) Homepage
          I strongly suspect the important bit there was "on the PC". Trends have been away from PC gaming. The problem could have been that the Sam & Max sequel couldn't be easily adapted to the console.

          I've never played the original, so I don't know how hard it would be to squeeze it onto a console's interface.
          • by TomServo ( 79922 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:33PM (#8456989)
            Probably exceedingly easy. The control schemes on Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Full Throttle, etc were all very simplistic, and easily ported over to a console. Especially the newer ones that rely on a few keyboard movements rather than the mouse.

            That being said, I don't think Escape from Monkey Island did too well in the console market. It wasn't advertised very heavily, and almost everyone who remembered the old Monkey Island games still owns a computer, and would prefer to play it on a computer. I bought my copy for the PC, and despite how much I want to support the franchise, I didn't buy a second copy for my console.

            (I did recently buy it *again* for the PC though, if only to get the Mega Monkey bundle that comes with Monkey Island 1-4).
      • by S.Lemmon ( 147743 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:35PM (#8456309) Homepage
        Oh quit your whining! Why, do have any idea how a project like this can drain resources away from critical first-person shooter development? My God, man - what if they had to lay-off one of the 8 member team working to come up with new marketable names for a rocket launcher!? :-)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's always a good time to release a good game (by "good," I mean fun to play and judged by many to be worth their hard-earned money), no matter what the style or genre, or how many similar games might have failed recently.

        I'd love to agree with you. But PC adventure games have been taking a huge beating in the marketplace over the last 5 years. Even the good ones.

        Consider The Longest Journey, hailed by critics as fun, beautiful, well-written, well-acted, engrossing - the best adventure game of that yea

      • How is it a good time to develop and release a good game if it will cost more to develop & market it than you will make from sales?

        Seems to me that if you're not going to make a profit you should cease & desist before you lose more money.

      • I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Polyphemis ( 450226 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:16PM (#8456730)
        It's always a good time to release a good game.

        I strongly disagree. A lot of good games get BURIED at Christmas time when the market is too saturated with new releases, and you can also kill a game by releasing it too closely to a similar product.

        Mythica recently got cancelled for the same reasons. Probably nothing wrong with it, just that there are too many MMORPGs. It may have been the best game ever, but UO, EQ and AC got there first, and the risk of getting buried underneath them was too great.

        The PC adventure market is mostly dead. No reason to go into reasons why, but who in their right mind would fund a game in a dead market? Sometimes a game comes along that can surprise everybody, but not that often.
        • Re:I disagree. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Babbster ( 107076 )
          There's some truth to what you say, but it's also true that there should be a place for development of niche-type games. A company like Lucasarts that all but mints money by milking their core (Star Wars) franchise SHOULD be expected to "give something back" by taking a chance on the development of something like Sam & Max, somewhat like big movie studios that make low-budget "art house" films on the off chance one could be a hit or at least recoup costs.
        • Re:I disagree. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Aglassis ( 10161 )
          You said: "The PC adventure market is mostly dead. No reason to go into reasons why, but who in their right mind would fund a game in a dead market? Sometimes a game comes along that can surprise everybody, but not that often."

          Funny thing. You could have substituted adventure for RPG six years ago. Now you can't swing a dead cat around without hitting someone who is talking about their RPG characters or the RPG that they just bought or are playing, etc. The release of Baldur's Gate and its sequels, in m
      • After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.

        I agree. LucasArts has been one of the few companies that has still invested in creating adventure games. They are one of the best in that category. However, all their critically-acclaimed adventure games have not done very well in the market place. Grim Fandango was a great game, but it wasn't exactly flying off

      • by b0r0din ( 304712 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:45PM (#8457147)
        After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.

        "Instead, in theme with everything George Lucas has written since Empire Strikes Back, we've decided to launch a digitally-enhanced text-adventure game featuring that beloved of beloved characters, Jar Jar Binks."

        You wake up, alive but disoriented. You are in a dark cave. Your torch flickers wildly.
        >strangle self
        You can't strangle yourself.
        >axe self in the head
        You don't have an axe.
        >KILL SELF!!!!
        You don't see a self.
        >Fucking game
        Kiss your mother with that mouth?
        >burn meesa with torch
        As you drop the torch on yourself in your comical, clumsy, stupid, moronic way that isn't particularly funny, it goes out on your flame retardant outfit. Darkness envelops you.
        I'm afraid I don't understand that.
        >Get ye flask
        You can't get ye flask.
        Mwuhahahaha! You can't quit! Welcome to hell. You are Jar Jar. No, wait. You are eaten by a grue.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:26PM (#8456180)
      I'm here at work and I actually said "NOOOO" fairly loudly upon reading the headline.

      SAMNMAX, the original game, was possibly the funniest game I've ever played in my life. LucasArts needs to tap into that old funny-as-hell adventure game vibe they used to make:

      Maniac Mansion
      Day of the Tentacle
      Sam n Max Hit the Road
      Grim Fandango
      Monkey Island & Sequels

      Every one of those games was money well spent. What the hell happened to adventure games, anyway? I mean, everyone SWORE they were dead years ago, but then we saw the latest Monkey Island and Grim Fandango prove EVERYONE wrong.

      Hell, these games are so damn good that third parties have written game engines to play them on modern systems (see: scummvm)

      Now, for the quotes:

      Sam: "That's an awfully big rasp on that keychain"
      Max: "Out of toilet paper?"

      Max: "What about our car?"
      Sam: "Wait for it"
      *car drops out of the sky*

      Max: "Why don't I get any inventory?"
      Sam: "Where would you keep it?"
      Max: "That's none of your damn business, Sam."

      Sam (to the siamese-twin circus owners): "So, who makes your clothes, anyway?"
      Twin 1: "We don't wear clothes"
      Twin 2: "Our skin is green and naturally vinyl-like"
      Max: "Good Lord! He-e's buck naked!"
      Sam: "So are you"
      Max: "Yea, but I'm cute, and marketable!"
      • by yroJJory ( 559141 ) <me&jory,org> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:12PM (#8456688) Homepage
        When I was working at LucasArts, I bitched about the same thing. My last full project was Monkey 4 and I still laugh heartily when I play that game.

        Grim was fantastically received by the critics, but didn't sell very well.

        This is the problem LEC always claims is keeping them from making adventure games: fantastic critical acclaim, little monetary recovery.

        Personally, I don't understand it, apart from knowing that an adventure game is probably not likely to sell as many copies as KotoR, but it's still worthwhile.

        I wish Sierra Online was still making Al Lowe adventures and the like.
        • The thing is, couldn't an adventure game be made on a shoestring budget these days? The adventure game fans care about the writing more than anything else. I wish we could convince them to keep making 2D adventure games for cheap and they should be able to make at least a small profit.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            No such thing.

            Even if you completely skip the engine development, you soon learn that the real cost of an adventure game lies in the 'adventure'. In other words, the cost lies in the artwork, the story line, the dialog (incl. voice actors)..

            Then there's playtesting (adventure games shouldn't, as a rule, ever reach a point where you have screwed yourself out of continuing the game [a rule Sierra broke repeatedly with KQ5]).

            Also, you can never just get by without changing the underlying engine. Every new
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mailtos (from the article):
      Randy Breen [mailto] - Vice President of Development
      Mary Bihr [mailto] - Vice President of Global Publishing
      Michael Nelson [mailto] - Acting President
  • That sucks! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thag ( 8436 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:18PM (#8456079) Homepage
    Sam & Max would be my candidate for best adventure game of all time. I think a sequel would do well. I know a bunch of friends who were waiting for this one.

    Maybe they could cut costs by releasing it as a console game instead?

    Jon Acheson
    • by rwiedower ( 572254 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:21PM (#8456120) Homepage
      "Wait a minute...some kid on Slashdot said he and a bunch of his friends wanted to play this game! Who cares what our high-priced marketing team said...let's go ahead and develop the game!"
      • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:34PM (#8456297)
        Planning game design based on faceless kids on geek sites is probably a hell of a lot more reliable than relying on the marketing losers who are probably responsible for green-lighting all those shitty movie-licensed games like "The Italian Job" and "The Hulk."

        There's more risk in doing something original, but more upside, too.

        No marketing executive would ever suggest releasing a Beach Volleyball game incorporated into the a Japanese dating sim as the sequel to a pvp fighting game, but "Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball", love it or hate it, was a massive hit with X-Box owners, and fairly cheap to put together (since the DOA3 engine could be adapted to handle the gameplay & animation, and they could steal the code-base from any of a hundred "H" games to handle the relationship management part.) Thankfully, the lead geeks at Team Ninja have earned a fair ammount of creative freedom from the success of their various other works, so a game like DOAX was possible.

      • by elmegil ( 12001 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:37PM (#8456332) Homepage Journal
        Maybe you can read a little higher up there (assuming you sort on points) where it says "it's always a good time to release a good game, and never a good time to release a bad one." High Priced Marketing Teams are far from infallable, and the BS they're spewing on this one doesn't really sound like it makes any sense. Unless this game was turning out to be a complete turkey, there is no reason they shouldn't have released it. From the screenshots etc, I'd be hard pressed to expect it to suck. I'm with a lot of other people here who were waiting with open wallets to pay whatever they were gonna charge to get this as soon as it came out. Stupid Lucas Arts for ignoring that; this is a property that has more anticipation for it than just about anything else they could release as a game, and for a market segment they've ignored for a long time now. It's not like the same people are waiting anxiously for yet another star wars game.
      • Yes, but he has a 4-digit ID, surely that counts for something?
    • Why doesn't Lucasarts then commission another game company to do this instead of hoarding it to themselves? They could at least assign a producer to oversee the project. This makes no sense to me as it appears that quite a few people are pretty upset about this.

  • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:18PM (#8456083) Homepage Journal
    A lot of people won't agree with me, but the recent graphic adventure games coming from Lucas Arts have been mediocre at best. I don't know if it was their move to 3d or what, but it seems TAXING to get through a game. They seem too easy and lack any fun, after you get through the "introduction phase".

    I don't think the market is unwilling to accept another graphic adventure, but rather, unwilling to put up with a boring game.
    • I understand where you are coming from, although I still would of liked to see it released.

      Old adventure games with puzzles tended to be quite hard at times, taking a fair amount of figuring to solve.

      These days, most puzzles in games seem to be EXTREMELY easy. The answers are practically handed to you.

      What ever happened to game puzzles that used to make you work for the solution. In my opinion, when you solved these games, you had much more of a feeling of accomplishment than you do in solving one of t
      • These days, most puzzles in games seem to be EXTREMELY easy. The answers are practically handed to you.

        I just keep the walkthrough open in a webbrowser and windows-key out of the game if it takes more than 5 seconds to figure out a puzzle.

        I work enough at work -- all I want is lots of splashy colors and it to make me feel good (kinda like life).

        Feelin' good's good enough.

  • Now how am I going to kick puffy white mad scientist butt??

    Sam & Max 1 was possibly the funniest game I ever played!
  • Anyone else?

    I think this is a huge mistake, though very likely this will be a good thing got GA game fans. Another company will probably pick up the theme and do a game. I doubt they will do it better, but this may be the sign that GA games will be coming back. I doubt it is their deathknell.
  • Cynical me (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:20PM (#8456100) Homepage Journal

    After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.

    Read: "George thinks he'll make enough money off of Episode III and the upcoming Star Wars DVD Set. We'll reconsider when he doesn't have pizza grease dribbling down his shirt."
    • George thinks he'll make enough money off of Episode III and the upcoming Star Wars DVD Set.

      No, he doesn't think that. Otherwise, why would he care about a Sam & Max sequel for which he cannot recoup the development costs?

      (To be honest, I doubt that he's involved at all with the gaming division. Isn't it mostly dead anyway?)
    • George. Ha. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yroJJory ( 559141 )
      Mr. GF Lucas has about as much hands-on affiliation with LucasArts as does GW Bush with the rest of humanity.

      At least when I worked at LEC, George came to visit once in my 2 years...and that was to a company meeting at the nearby Civic Center.
  • by michael path ( 94586 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:20PM (#8456103) Homepage Journal
    ....looking forward to another inane copy protection scheme where I could play dress up with Sam and Max.

    i don't think that was healthy for me at that age.

    *kicks off high heels*

  • Where are... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Azureflare ( 645778 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:20PM (#8456105)
    Where are the comedic PC games? All we've got is Unreal, MMORPGs, etc. I want a funny game that makes me laugh!

    LucasArts is making a huge blunder in canceling this project. Is there no way to convince them that what they are doing is a mistake?

  • A history of this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AgTiger ( 458268 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:20PM (#8456109) Homepage
    LucasArts cancelled something because it wasn't the right time to milk the most amount of money out of everyone? I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.

    LucasArts also cancelled the sequel to their first Full Throttle game: "Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels", which pissed me off. I was looking forward to that one.

    Anymore, if the publisher is LucasArts, I end up thinking, "Nomatter when I buy it, I can guarantee I'm getting soaked. Nevermind."

    • Most game publishers don't put out games because they want to release games.

      They do it to make money, to drive their customers before them, and hear the lamentations of their wallets.

      If Lucasarts or any large publisher could put out a game, virtually guaranteed to be a hit but wouldn't make any money, they probably wouldn't do it. The only reason to do that would be to gain the name recognition.
      • There's a difference between "Let's make a lot of money with a great game!" and "Let's manipulate our customers to squeeze every last dollar out of them we can." LucasArts and George Lucas definitely remind me of the latter.

        Admittedly, it's a difference that's getting more difficult to find with more and more companies, but I can dream, can't I?

  • Noooooo! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:21PM (#8456113) Homepage
    Damn! I was really looking forward to this.

    Sam and Max Hit The Road was a great adventure, with excellent writing and production. It's too bad we'll miss out on a sequel so that another Pod Racer game or somesuch will see the light of day, and our beloved Max won't have a chance to disembowel anyone for our entertainment pleasure.
  • by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:22PM (#8456129)
    not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC

    Instead, we plan on releasing a text adventure game for the XBox to really confuse some folks. We're sure you'll love the instuction manual on how to type text using your game pad.
  • Hello Egg! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hambonewilkins ( 739531 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:22PM (#8456130)
    I'm chicken!

    People may not play these type of games because they don't exist anymore. People perhaps aren't playing adventure games like Full Throttle that are years old but they also aren't playing FPSs that are years old (let me boot up DOOM II again).

    It's a chicken and egg situation. People aren't buying because these games don't exist any more due to the shift in popularity (but mostly hype) to FPSs, RPGs, and sports titles. But knowing that many gamers are older and enjoy games that harken back to earlier times, this game could have been a hit. Could have, but now won't since *POOF* it doesn't exist any more.

    • Re:Hello Egg! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by X_Caffeine ( 451624 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:30PM (#8456245)
      My guess is that they made this decision based on the sales of the most recent Monkey Island games, which honestly haven't been all that hot.

      My rebuttal? They need to re-evaluate their audience. Many would-be adventure gamers are likely older (both the kind of folks who played classic Lucasarts games and Myst, and also people who are just too whooped by twitch-and-shoot games), and are gravitating toward consoles since they aren't hard-core.

      Monkey Island did get ported to PS2, of course, but I'm not aware of any real marketing push to non-mainstream gamers.
      • Re:Hello Egg! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by buffer-overflowed ( 588867 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:40PM (#8456367) Journal
        Hey, it doesn't need to have fancy graphics, it doesn't need to be 3d.

        Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle, et all were hillarious, they're still funny today. The graphics aren't all that great now, but they don't need to be.

        They could use ye old Scumm engine, or just update it to be higher resolution, release a real honest to goodness Sam and Max or Monkey Island title and I'd be happy. Ecstatically happy. I think the move to 3D really hurt a lot of the older franchises.

        Not that they're going to listen to me or anything.
        • GPL SCUMM engine clone [sourceforge.net]

          Sam & Max fan-GA, anyone?

          Now you just need some good artists, writers and voice actors. (Well, there still is the trivial problem of copyrighted characters...)

    • Actually, quite a lot of people are playing old PC adventure games whenever technologically possible, and Quake I and II still have active TeamFortress and CTF communities, respecitively.
  • by Feathers McGraw ( 180980 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:23PM (#8456145)
    I'm looking forward to the Sam 'n' Max RPG, Freelance Police of the Old Republic.
  • by DR SoB ( 749180 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:23PM (#8456146) Journal
    Here's a suggestion for Lucas:

    Sam & Max Visit Monkey Island.

    Now THERE'S a game I would buy!

    My dream game would be Lucas & Sierra teaming up and releasing a new Kings Quest series. Hey, if banks can merge why not Video Game makers? (Oh wait, they are merging, just not the right talent I guess.)
  • translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by acidrain69 ( 632468 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:24PM (#8456158) Journal
    MMORPG's are really hot right now, and we are busy dumping money into SWG. Yeah, we know that there isn't a lot of room in the MMORPG market, not nearly as much room as in the traditional game market, but we have marketting droids to please. We are clueless and think cartoon games are out. Peace out, consumer slugs.

    disclaimer: I didn't read the article. I have never played S&M (the video game anyway). Big fan of Monkey Island series though.
  • Perhaps on his new wine [deathfall.com]?
  • Bastards! All of them!
  • by ja2ke ( 633770 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:27PM (#8456204)
    Our server is far too weak to be linked twice from a Slashdot post, but thanks :) Here's what the update said which is now unreadable due to you guys owning our server:

    LucasArts Cancels Sam & Max Freelance Police, Resigns Self to Mediocrity
    Yep, they've done it. LucasArts has just announced that they've stopped work on Sam & Max 2, saying "After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC."

    Don't believe that its possible? Here's the official announcement [lucasarts.com] from LucasArts.com. Our best wishes go out to everyone on the Sam & Max 2 team, who are apprently all still going to be kept on at LucasArts.

    To us, the decision seems completely absurd, and not just because "we love adventure games," or something. Surely Sam & Max's production was plagued with troubles, but from the sounds of it so is every game project. Everything that came out about Sam & Max seemed golden. The press was drooling over the game. It looked like they had a sequel going on that, unlike some other recent sequels, was actually going ot get it right. But now, out of the blue, its gone. Which really really makes all of us wonder...

    "What the Hell is Wrong With LucasArts?"
    an editorial by the staff of Mixnmojo

    LucasArts has made a gigantic mistake.

    There, we've said it. Everyone else is already thinking it, and other people have probably already said it, but now we've said it too. The official Mixnmojo stance on Sam & Max 2 being cancelled is that LucasArts has seriously screwed up, just about as much as possible.

    Production has stopped on the last original game --and the only game really-- anyone around here was genuinely interested in seeing. Cancelled. Why? From the sounds of it, the people in the Sales department spent the last three months winding themselves up about how impossible it would be for them to sell a quirky adventure game, eventually just snapped, and cancelled the title. Is that screwed up? Yes, that is screwed up.

    LucasArts has made a lot of really bad moves in the last year. RTX Red Rock was allowed to ship. It tanked hard. Who really thought RTX would be marketable, would sell well, would really catch the attention of gamers? Full Throttle 2, despite a constant stream of negative to lukewarm receptions from magazines and fans, was allowed to live on in production far longer than anyone really wanted.

    Armed & Dangerous, one of the few truly original gems LucasArts has dealt with in the last five or six years, was rushed out early by the suits, in hopes of grabbing some Christmas shoppers. This was decided despite Christmas being notorious for huge A-list titles like Lord of the Rings hogging the coverage and hype, and for mothers who know nothing about games being the ones doing the shopping. Not surprisingly, Armed & Dangerous had a poor holiday season. Who knows what might have happened if they'd let Planet Moon refine the game for a few months, and released A&D it in the nearly empty February, after everyone had exhausted their Christmas games and was looking for something new?

    Recently, they shipped Wrath Unleashed. For more on Wrath, see RTX a few paragraphs up. And finally, today we receive word that Sam & Max Freelance Police has been axed.

    Notice a trend here? Correct. Not one of the recent LucasArts bungles mentioned above contained the two magic words, Star Wars. If you give the suits at LucasArts a Star Wars game, they can sell it. Why? Because they don't have to try! No cleverness is needed. That's not to say it doesn't take any work, but for the most part you just need to get the screenshots out, buy a few ads on Gamespot, and tell the press "yep, it's
  • appropriate time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:28PM (#8456210) Homepage Journal
    this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC.

    If not this, then what?!?

    The genre is dying. And not as much because of less players, but because of less titles released. Young players don't know the tastes, humor, puzzles of Monkey Island style games, they would love them if they saw them - with gfx reaching nowadays standards (at least resolution), but there's no such games. The market is dying.

    One thing that could save it would be a few daring, great titles that would shake the game world, attract people, revive the genre, bring profit to the authors. S&M could be one of them.

    But it seems, it won't be the case. The time may be actually not appropriate - too late. And it won't be appropriate ever - the genre will die, because "nobody produces because nobody would buy", "nobody buys because nobody knows", "nobody knows because nobody sells or produces".
  • by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:28PM (#8456216) Homepage Journal
    The days of PC specific titles are gone. With three, count 'em, three home consoles out there, any game that can't be ported (and be profitable) to at least one of the home consoles is gonna be canned. Yeah, you probably could use a controller to play a graphic adventure instead of a mouse, but I'm sure it would get tedious after a while.
  • by Yokaze ( 70883 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:28PM (#8456225)
    Um, yes. The current market is flooded with adventures.

    > underlying economic considerations,

    LucasArts is nearly broke and it costs a wagons full of money to develop a current adventure, featuring stunning 2D-graphics and top-of-the-edge anti-aliased text-to-screen synthesisation and multi-single-player no-network support.
  • I am not a fan of adventure games, but I do remember the humor in the original game when watching a friend play it. Even the sequel trailer was funny. This stinks. :(
  • by Black Art ( 3335 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:32PM (#8456268)
    They passed up doing a Sam and Max game, but they are willing to beat the Star Wars franchise into the ground?

    Who do they think they are? Disney?
  • by mark0 ( 750639 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:34PM (#8456300)
    The code written to date is being sold and folded into the Duke Nukem Forever.

    "Where do you keep that gun, Max?"

    "None of your damned business, Sam."
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:38PM (#8456341) Journal
    .. for whatever crappy Star Wars Game they're putting out next. The last good game Lucasarts made was Escape from Monkey Island, and they haven't done a decent Star Wars game in years (KOTOR was a Bioware game), continuing to shoehorn Star Wars into every damn genre, not giving a toss about quality. Still, I suppose they're in synch with the goals of George himself. I can't honestly say this was a surprise, after Full Throttle 2 was cancelled. Lucasarts has such great properties, yet they keep messing them up. I honestly can't think of any business strategy that would explain that.
  • by Rahga ( 13479 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:42PM (#8456376) Journal
    This is quite sad.... When you get right down to it, advernture games created solid customer bases for both Sierra On-Line and Lucasarts that provided enough support for those companies to experiment and often succeed with FPS and console games. The problem with those sit-down-and-play games is that they are much worse at building customer loyalty. The largest draw that Sierra had, with Half-Life, has been stolen by the overambitious developers at Valve. While a number of Star Wars games are quite good, they've not helped LucasArts in customer loyalty since failing to follow up X-Wing Alliance.... I know of tons of people who would love the X-Wing concept to get a massive update for today's PC hardware.

    I do see one bit of logic in what LucasArts is doing, and it's because they probably don't believe that the new game would surpass the original. Just look at the Monkey Island 1 and 2 compared to the rest of the series. However, I believe those flopped largely because of the teams and writers.... Whereas with this Sam & Max, I believe that Michael Stemmle and Steve Purcell were involved in some way.
    • Agreed on X-Wing Alliance; it wasn't even that great of a game story-wise(they botched the ending with Anton), but it was a solid game none the less. These days, no one is even bothering with space sims, let alone arcade style space sims. Demand for Freespace 2 was so high that Interplay had to do a re-print of it earlier this year, some 5 years after the game was released, but still no one has bothered to even try to put out a similar game in the last 5 years. It's sad to think that we may have already see
  • by RichardX ( 457979 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:42PM (#8456384) Homepage
    The graphical adventure on the PC isn't quite dead... not yet.
    Perhaps commercially it is - but look how long the text adventure has been dead, and that's got a thriving fan/development community producing some outstanding stuff.. (To learn more about that google around for "Interactive Fiction", "Inform" or "TADS")

    And as for graphical adventures - there's some really neat free graphical adventure development systems (SLUDGE [hungrysoftware.com] Adventure Game Studio [adventureg...udio.co.uk]) - and of course, if you just want to play the games, there's plenty of those two, including some very polished efforts, such as Out of Order [adventuredevelopers.com]

    In short, don't wait for Lucasarts to make the next great adventure - get stuck in and do it yourself! :)
  • that the wine [slashdot.org] has taken effect.
  • This sucks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raygundan ( 16760 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:44PM (#8456400) Homepage
    Why aren't there any adventure games made anymore? RPG's just aren't the same. I managed to satisfy my need for new games for a while by playing the old ones I'd never managed to get to, but that field is getting a little thin. I've got Beneath a Steel Sky and Simon the Sorcerer to finish, and I discovered a surprisingly well-done port of Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars for the GBA, of all things, that I am now working on. but I've pretty much exhausted Sierra and Lucasarts' backcatalogs.

    I guess my old-timer market is getting dried up, and nobody wants to make games for me now that I have the money to buy them. :P Sure, I buy a lot of other games, but these would be instant sales, with no hesitation. Hell, they'd get at least one free sale with crap as long as they stuck "Space Quest" on it.

    Why do they think people don't like adventures? Did no one pay attention to Myst?

    Anyway, anybody got any obscure adventure game suggestions that I might not have played?
  • I was looking forward to playing another Sam & Max game. I have been gearing up for it by playing the original using scummvm. [scummvm.com] I loved those point and click games of that era, King's Quest, Quest for Glory, Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, among others. Not everyone wants to play the latest shoot 'em up (just how many WWII FPS can there be?) While I am a fan of the FPS, it is variety that is the spice of life, as well as gaming. How many of us were sick of the FPS until No One Lives Forever c
  • by wynterwynd ( 265580 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:58PM (#8456553)
    This is a huge disappointment, my favorite games have always been adventure games and the Lucasarts ones have always been the cream of the crop. To see this genre fail and falter wounds me. Doubly so, to see the razor sharp barbed wit of Steve Purcell swept under the carpet yet again. Sam & Max is the funniest comic/cartoon/game I've ever read/watched/played and I was waiting, wallet all a-quiver, to buy this one when it hit. Based on the latest stream of crap pouring from the Lucas media group's outlets, I can only presume George has fallen to the Dark Side, and is even now hatching a plan to slip Ewoks into Ep3.

    I don't like this heavy trend Lucasarts has made towards console-based game design and development only. Some games were meant to be PC-only - the goofy controls in the latest Monkey Island installment should prove that. Mouse/kb > gamepad for these kind of games. And don't even get me started on FPS and RTS, both are tailor-made for mice. But going for the largest market is the corporately correct thing to do, so I guess us PC gamers will shiver in the cold winter of sterile gaming, brewing up our own indie adventure games like peasants boiling shoes for soup.

    At least Syberia seems to have survived to breed another, even if it had to sell it's soul to the art world to do so. I personally found the game beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and mind-numbingly boring. A sequel I think of with much the same enthusiasm I would have for a new coffee-table book of log-cabin paintings.

    Bring back adventure games! Interactive Storytelling is not dead, it's just been forgotten in the back of the Entertainment Media toy chest, along with Reading Books and Playing Board Games. Email Lucasarts [mailto](webjedi@lucasarts.com) and rage against the dying of this light with me. Or just flame them. Or whatever, just make a stir to help make this country safe for domesticated animal crimefighters to thrive in once again.

  • I suppose instead they will be focusing on releasing a series of World War II-themed massively-multiplayer first-person shooters -- just what the world needs, right?

    That's seriously disappointing. I used to be a video game fanatic in years past, but that has waned steadily ever since the moneymaking trends in gaming have slid rapidly towards exclusively online games, WWII shooters, 3D RTSes, and more of the same-old same-old.

    Give me a good old LucasArts adventure game... I'd buy it. I can't be the only on
  • by BTWR ( 540147 ) <americangibor3@y ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:08PM (#8456655) Homepage Journal
    If it is such a "huge mistake" to cancel this game, why doesn't lucasarts simply "outsource" the rights to make the sequel? In this plan, company X would make the game, sell it, and lucasarts would get %15 profit for doing NOTHING! They can't lose! Plus, they could always have an "up-front" $100,000 licensing fee or something. And also they could stipulate that it is a one-time deal, that they still own 100% of the rights to the game after this one is made.
  • If Dreamfall [longestjourney.com] is cancelled, then I will seriously flip. Dreamfall is the sequel to The Longest Journey, one of the best adventure games ever. ;)
  • This would be a GREAT time for an adventure game to be released.

    There have been VERY few good graphic adventures out on the PC lately. The best one recently is the new Broken Sword, and that only came out a few months back.

    PC Gamers are starved for graphic adventures at the moment.

    I wonder if the game they have made so far is not actually that good (I believe the chap who wrote the original no longer works for Lucasarts..., but I might be making that up) so perhaps they are looking for more time, or a re
  • I haven't bought or played a PC (or console) game in almost nine years. I find them to be boring and pointless. However, "Sam & Max Hit the Road" was one of the few games I've ever played that I actually enjoyed (joined only by Abuse, Day of the Tentacle and the original Full Throttle).

    For a new "Sam & Max" game, I would have scraped up the pennies off the sidewalk and borrowed my dad's laptop (`cause the new Sam & Max would no doubt be Windows) in order to play.
  • Possible explanation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Killswitch1968 ( 735908 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:18PM (#8456754)
    The biggest problem with single player games is piracy. It's just too easy to get a copy from a friend. No amount of CD keys, game-manual copy protection, or anti-burning technologies will ever work.
    With multiplayer games, at least the CD-key is checked against a database of CD-keys before the player can play online. I have no doubt this is why Blizzard's battle.net and Half Life's WON systems have been so successful.

  • by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:31PM (#8456950) Journal
    LucasArts has made a gigantic mistake.

    Sorry, but unless they have their own marketing data to back this up, it's just the opinion of someone who wanted a Sam and Max game.

  • by R5900 ( 699398 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:42PM (#8457112)

    MobyGames, the reference site for everyone, either involved in the game industry, or just in love with games, has its Top Rated Games: All Time Best [mobygames.com] list, based on game rankings by registered users :

    1 Grim Fandango 4.19 (234 votes)
    2 Curse of Monkey Island, The 4.14 (168 votes)
    3 Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge 4.13 (203 votes)
    4 Planescape: Torment 4.12 (189 votes)
    5 Day of the Tentacle 4.11 (191 votes)
    6 Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis 4.10 (231 votes)
    7 Secret of Monkey Island, The 4.09 (285 votes)
    8 Super Mario 64 4.08 (67 votes)
    9 Fallout 4.08 (230 votes)
    10 Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The 4.07 (64 votes)

    I'm really impressed by the cluelessness of LucasArts' management.
  • by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:17PM (#8457544) Homepage Journal

    LucasArts also recently cancelled Full Throttle 2 [gamespot.com]. (Although good luck confirming it through official channels thanks to an incompetant web site at LucasArts [highprogrammer.com].)

    LucasArts has consistently shipped some of the best adventure games ever. The worst adventure games from LucasArts are still fun. They sell at least tolerably well. The most recent Monkey Island game did, I understand, quite well when ported to the PS2, even though it had been available on PC for a year or two at that point. Full Throttle [lucasarts.com] and Sam & Max Hit the Road [mobygames.com] are two of the most creative adventure games ever; I know I wasn't the only person eagerly anticipating the sequels. (Sequels suck in general, yes, but LucasArts has proven that it's possible to buck the trend by releasing 4 great Monkey Island [lucasarts.com] games.) Adventure gamers have gone from being able to look forward to two great games to zero. Feh. At least we can look forward to Dreamfall [funcom.com] and Syberia 2 [syberia2.info].

  • by cubicledrone ( 681598 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:40PM (#8457864)
    is PUSSY

    That's right. PUSSY.

    These big-shit "executives" are such hot shit when they are laying off the division, or stuffing their pockets with a bonus, or making the "big presentation" in a phone commercial, with their wire rimmed glasses glinting in the flourescence.

    But when it comes time to take a real risk, they fold like a pair of threes.

    Business, as usual, is totally ass-backwards. The tiny companies, with little capital and even less time, are the ones who are REQUIRED to take risks, because the bloated, fat-assed pussy-staffed corporations won't. Business would NEVER move forward if it weren't for small business and entrepreneurs.

    The big companies should be financing the risks, because they can AFFORD TO. That's what CAPITAL IS FOR. But no. Better to hoard the capital and starve the market for better ideas.

    Guys who put up their shingle and bet it all on one product are the guys with the huevos to get the job done. Not some buffed-shoes, blow-dryed, acronym-dropping fuck who can't make a fucking decision unless there is someone to blame if it goes wrong.

    So, instead of just putting the cards down and CALLING THE FUCKING BET, some bullshit committee has to turn this near sure thing into some half-assed editorial about graphic adventures on the PC.

    Well guess what, uppity-fuck. Graphic adventures could buy and sell most other genres four times before Corn Flakes. The second-best selling PC game of all time is a graphic adventure, with over SIX MILLION UNIT SALES. This horseshit attitude is what tried to cancel the Sims and what delayed Everquest for three years while management built a little gazebo of "not my fault" around their ever-widening pock-marked asses. Of course, they were first in line to stuff their pockets when the tall dollars arrived.

    They said the Sims wouldn't work. They said Everquest wouldn't work. They said Star Wars would fail. Again and again and again some "executive" says "it'll never work."

    Well they were WRONG.

    This kind of thing makes me shoe-puking sick.
  • by obijywk ( 596747 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:43PM (#8457886)

    If you want to help save Sam and Max 2 (if it's even possible at this point) or just let LucasArts know how big of a mistake they made, so it won't happen again next time:

    Sign the online petition at PetitionOnline. http://www.petitiononline.com/LACOSAM/petition.htm l [petitiononline.com]

    Also, send e-mail to LucasArts!

  • Sam n Max quote... (Score:3, Informative)

    by BMonger ( 68213 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @08:35PM (#8458465)
    "It's, like, several voices screaming out in terror... and then suddenly silenced." :)

    If you've never played the first one and never will... why not read the game read the game [fortunecity.com]?

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court