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Shadow
02-28-2008, 10:46 AM
So I'm going through the news of the last couple days, and not one but two RPG companies have gone out of business. Both Iron Lore (Titan Quest) (http://www.ironlore.com/) and P2 Entertainment (Gods and Heroes) (http://www.warcry.com/articles/view/breakingnews/2957-Confirmed-P2-Entertainment-Closed) have shutdown.

It sucks when any company goes out of business. Even if you don't like a particular company or their products, there are still a bunch of individuals involved that don't deserve to lose their jobs. Hopefully all of their employees will land new jobs in the industry pretty quickly.

But neither one of these are really surprising. Typical retail game developers start and usually stay in a really bad business position. Most developers can't survive without a publisher contract paying their current overhead and typically the contract ends when your current game ships. So if you can't sign another contract soon enough after the first game ships, you tend to go out of business. They basically live paycheck to paycheck and the paychecks might stop at the end of each game. I have no idea if this happened to Iron Lore, I just know it is extremely common.

As for P2, what does everyone expect? All of the MMO people seem to be trying to compete directly with WoW. This not only means you are trying to beat out WoW which is very unlikely, but you are competing with the other tons of companies trying to do the same thing. It's just common sense that most of these companies are going to fail.

SamMcMackin
02-28-2008, 11:43 AM
Jeez, and I really liked Titan Quest. I bought it when it first came out and was way buggy :P

Thats too bad to hear that both of these companies are dead. Do you know of any other games that Iron Lore made?

ShaggyMoose
02-28-2008, 01:34 PM
That's too bad. I noticed that both Titan Quest and the expansion are available on Steam. Obviously wasn't enough to keep them afloat.:(

Oh yeah, and competing with WoW using the same formula is madness.

Shadow
02-28-2008, 01:52 PM
As far as I know Iron Lore only made Titan Quest and Titan Quest: Immortal Throne.

Delve
02-28-2008, 03:39 PM
As for P2, what does everyone expect? All of the MMO people seem to be trying to compete directly with WoW. This not only means you are trying to beat out WoW which is very unlikely...

Hereby nominated for understatement of the year. I'm not saying it's impossible, but WoW has a couple continent-loads worth of inertia at the moment.

(name here)
02-28-2008, 05:15 PM
WoW is the top-selling game in recorded history, beating out starcraft by one million sales. no one will beat WoW.

ShaggyMoose
02-29-2008, 09:40 AM
Actually Shadow, have you considered Steam as a method of distribution for DoP? I know I have bought a heap of games that otherwise would not have graced my HDD from that service. DoP was lucky I caught sight of it on Blues News, otherwise I would never even have known about it. A review on a "main stream" gaming site would help as well.

Shadow
02-29-2008, 10:42 AM
I have indeed considered Steam. I've actually contacted Valve a bunch of times to try to get onto Steam, but I've never heard anything back. Hopefully one of these days I'll get through to them. :)

Same thing with more mainstream gaming press. I've contacted most of them. It's difficult for small indies to get their attention or at least coverage. It's not from a lack of trying though.

Delve
02-29-2008, 10:44 AM
Same thing with more mainstream gaming press. I've contacted most of them. It's difficult for small indies to get their attention or at least coverage. It's not from a lack of trying though.

Migh help if someone made a nude recruit mod.

(It's a joke, don't hit me!)

ShaggyMoose
02-29-2008, 01:47 PM
I have indeed considered Steam. I've actually contacted Valve a bunch of times to try to get onto Steam, but I've never heard anything back.
That's pretty lame. I wouldn't have thought it would be too much trouble to get them to "stock" a quality game.

(name here)
02-29-2008, 06:02 PM
Same thing with more mainstream gaming press. I've contacted most of them. It's difficult for small indies to get their attention or at least coverage. It's not from a lack of trying though.

they want thier bribes. or maybe i'm just cynical.

Kruztee
03-01-2008, 04:22 AM
That's pretty lame. I wouldn't have thought it would be too much trouble to get them to "stock" a quality game.

Must be something other than that. There's a lot of crap on Steam too.
(I'm sure there was a pun in there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to think about it.)

Shadow
03-02-2008, 12:18 PM
One of the devs at Iron Lore posted a rant over on Quarter To Three (http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php?t=42663) that's interesting. He mostly rants about why PC gaming is so hard to develop for these days with his biggest rant being about piracy.

As for Steam, I still think we will eventually get DoP on there. It's just going to take longer than it should.

ShaggyMoose
03-02-2008, 01:39 PM
I think they made a mistake making the copy protection so transparent. All it ended up doing was hurting them. Otherwise, I can´t imagine how furious and helpless I would feel seeing my game being slammed by bloody pirates before its even available in store.

I think the worst thing about games development would be the careless, abusive, aggressive and self important idiots who are constantly savaging your games online. Well, that and making a fraction of the money you should be... Its hard to find constructive criticism amongst the hundreds of pages of dribbling illiteracy ("d00d this game is lame, it is for teh gheys!11!!!!1"). I´m glad its not really a problem here, but only cause DoP isn´t mass market enough yet. Some of the other boards I have seen make me despair for (anonymous) humanity.

That being said, I still think the PC games market has a vibrancy and depth that none of the consoles can match. I really hope it stays that way, or there will no longer be any reason to keep a gaming machine.

Shadow
03-02-2008, 03:40 PM
Overall, I would probably agree that they should not have made their copy protection work like that. That particular situation is kind of tricky though. If you put all of your protection at the beginning it's very easy to crack. If you put it in lots of places and make them look like crashes (like Titan Quest apparently did) it is a lot harder to crack, but it looks like the game has a lot of crashes and hurts your word of mouth. If you do the same thing, but instead of crashing you put up some kind of error box and then exit, you are back to being easy to crack because they know where the checks are. Either way the developer is kind of screwed.

Have I mentioned how much damage pirates cause the gaming industry especially the PC gaming industry? :(

Delve
03-04-2008, 04:52 AM
I may be dense and/or uninformed, but it seems to me that interspersing your copy protection checks with gameplay and including a random timeout interval (say 0-10 minutes) prior to actually halting gameplay with a copy warning might go a long way to obscuring your protection mechanisms.