Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More studio closings...

I read yesterday about how Microsoft is closing down Ensemble Studios once they are finished working on Halo Wars for the Xbox 360. This seems to have been an unfortunate trend these last few months as more and more companies are downsizing or completely shutting down all together.

I wasn't really into Age of Mythology or Age of Empires III, but Age of Empires II: Age of Kings was the game that got me into the RTS genre. AoEII will forever have a special place in my heart because of the influence it had on me.

I think the bigger issue in my mind is why an industry that makes more money than the movie or music industry has these kind of issues. Take Flagship Studios for example, recently they laid off everyone, then there was the whole dispute about who owned the IP and what not. Now I thought Hellgate London was a pile of poo, but was it such a disaster that it really caused the studio to close down?

Flagship is by no means the only studio to have a hugely hyped game tank upon release, but they are the most recent to have been closed down because of it. There is so much money that is tied up in the making of these games now a days that there seems to be more pressure on developers to make a great game. So is it a bad game that is the cause?

Well, I've been rambling and totally lost my main train of thought while trying to type this at work and a really busy day. My point is that studios are closing, downsizing, or being gobbled up by much bigger studios. The gaming industry is highly competitive, hard to get into, extremely popular, and yet studios are still closing down, why?

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