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View Full Version : Microsoft + Sierra = The Axis of Evil?


Snapcase
25-01-2003, 01:48:38
To be fair, they can hardly run it any worse than it\'s already is.

http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=2106129

Asher
25-01-2003, 01:51:38
Already a thread on it.

It's Microsoft + Sierra + Vivendi Interactive + Universal Interactive + Blizzard.

Now the games will have budgets.

Scabrous Birdseed
25-01-2003, 01:53:43
It's not like they're gonna bring back Jane Jensen anyway.

Shining1
25-01-2003, 03:44:28
Everyone at sierra could be fired and no-one would do anything but cheer.

Dunno what Asher means about games having budgets, if they fuck around with the way Blizzard and Valve operate they'll only break stuff. Given that MS generally lets it's developers operate very effectively, I doubt there will be any change in business there at all.

Will be very strange to see a title with 'MS' appearing for the gamecube, though:).

Asher
25-01-2003, 03:54:25
Vivendi's financially fucked, that's why they want to sell the games division. By games with budgets, I mean, they're going to GIVE the games money.

Vivendi's been cutting back costs and laying people off...MS throws money out at any company under their umbrella that asks.

Oh, and MS will never publish a GCN/PS2 game. If this sale goes through, all those GCN/PS2 titles are going to be canceled or moved to Xbox. ;)

Shining1
25-01-2003, 04:05:23
That's the interesting bit, SC ghost is already set up for all three, and the legal wrangles of cutting it for PS2 and GCN could be very amusing to watch. (MS being cronically inept with anything legal).

The alternative is that the game is released as planned, and it has an MS logo on it!:)


Though we're getting a bit ahead of things here. The reason it's taken this long for Vivendi to talk about selling it's games is that the games division actually makes money, while few of it's other departments do that. It's very foolish to sell off your profitable company arm to finance your loss making ones, and there are at least some amoungst the Vivendi leadership who see this.

This rumour has been around since the moment Vivendi announced it's $12 billion loss, and again, I'll believe it when I finally see some action. (Face it, journos LURRVE this kind of thing, this kind of Story That Will Not Die.)

(Neither has Blizzard been wanting for money. Seems MS couldn't afford to buy Dungeon Siege a storyline or an RPG system, or even any decent sound effects for Age of Mythology.)

Asher
25-01-2003, 04:17:29
Originally posted by Shining1
That's the interesting bit, SC ghost is already set up for all three, and the legal wrangles of cutting it for PS2 and GCN could be very amusing to watch. (MS being cronically inept with anything legal).
Huh?
Games are canned all the time. They're not under contract to be released or anything...

Like just yesterday, World Series Baseball 2K3 was canned on the Gamecube but will ship as scheduled for Xbox and PS2.

Companies can cancel games in development whenever they want. Once MS acquires Vivendi's game division, you can kiss the PS2 and GCN ports of Ghost goodbye.

Likewise, when Sony got the exclusive contract for GTA, the GTA3 Xbox port was canceled just months before release. Ghost still has a full year to go.

And your chronically inept legally comment is ridiculous. Do you have any idea how much MS gets away with legally??? If it wasn't for their legal brilliance they'd be in a hundred different pieces by now.

(Neither has Blizzard been wanting for money. Seems MS couldn't afford to buy Dungeon Siege a storyline or an RPG system, or even any decent sound effects for Age of Mythology.)
MS gives developers complete control over their games, it's their "trademark" and ther incentive to get companies to come work with them.

If Dungeon Siege lacked a storyline or an RPG system, blame Chris Taylor for designing it as such.

If AoM's sound effects sucked, blame their sound engineers...

Shining1
25-01-2003, 04:25:37
In short, money alone doesn't make good games. When I play a good MS game, I'll be sure to let you know.

Asher
25-01-2003, 04:28:03
Which MS games have you even PLAYED?

Microsoft Game Studios houses Bungie, Rare, Tim Shafer's new company, Big Huge Games, Ensemble Studios, the MS Flight Sim devteam, etc. If you don't think any games they produce are good, well, dayum...

Shining1
25-01-2003, 06:15:07
Rare haven't even made any games for them yet. Big Huge Games - well, thats a running joke here as you probably know:). Flight Sim is nice for some people, personally I find ALL those games as appealing as the Sims (k for a few minutes, then dull).

Has Tim Schafer's new company made anything for them yet either? And as for Ensemble, AoK was alright once they were allowed to get around to patching it to fix the towncenters and a few other issues.

Basically I'm saying that at the moment, if I had to live without my entire library of MS games, I probably wouldn't even notice. (If AoM gets fixed so it works on my machine, that might change.) Going without my Blizzard games or Bioware games or a few other things would be a different story.

So much of that list all of that is all hype and no substance at the moment. Exactly like everyone felt when Chris Taylor was signed to make a game (OMG CHRIS TAYLOR!!!). It's all promising, but I've come to the point where I'm not even going to get MoO3 without somekind of a review from someone I can vaguely rely on.

Ensemble are about the one asset MS has that I have actual, established respect for, but they never quite seem to be able to make it stick - their game is either too slow and complex, or has a horrible imbalance that renders the multiplayer moot, or it DOESN'T FUCKING WORK.

Asher
25-01-2003, 06:21:13
I've played a bunch of great MS games...

Halo, Project Gotham Racing, Amped, MechAssault, MechWarrior, Age of Empires, Asheron's Call 1 & 2, Flight Sim, Combat Flight Sim...

Those are all of the games that are out and available right now, there's a ton more coming soon that hopefully will be awesome.

Shining1
25-01-2003, 06:27:40
Hopefully they will:).

For the record, it's fine if MS buy Blizzard. It's better if Vivendi keeps it (Blizz and Ensemble under the same parent company would feel a bit wierd all round). My real fear, all up, is that INFOGRAMES might get their hands on Blizzard.

That cannot be allowed to happen.

Darkstar
25-01-2003, 06:49:27
Actually, this is all rumor, and bad rumor.

Microsoft has denied it is even returning calls from Vivi. It has stated that they do not buy publishers, they buy game shops. The are interested in the developers only.

Now, if the rumor was Vivi is offering MS Blizzard, then you have a story.

Deacon
25-01-2003, 06:51:13
I think it's safe to say that MS are not that smart legally. They could have saved themselves some trouble by not getting hauled into court in the first place.

As for MS games, I have the first two "Age of" titles and like them alot.

Asher
25-01-2003, 06:54:53
Originally posted by Darkstar
Actually, this is all rumor, and bad rumor.

Microsoft has denied it is even returning calls from Vivi. It has stated that they do not buy publishers, they buy game shops. The are interested in the developers only.

Now, if the rumor was Vivi is offering MS Blizzard, then you have a story.
J Allard is the one who wants to buy game shops.

Billy is the one wanting to buy publishers.

So far Allard has convinced Billy to keep to the developers thing, but I think Billy realizes if MS doesn't snap them up, Sony may, or even EA. It's an incredible deal, lots of franchises to acquire that MS is very interested in.

They've been in talk for months, like 6 months ago I made a thread on it on Poly.

Darkstar
25-01-2003, 07:06:00
They don't need 'em. Activision needs them.

MS is not likely to buy the whole deal. Although they might be looking to see if they can pick up a couple of shops, to round out their offerings.

EA is the only people I think that could do it in the first place, other then MoneySoft, I mean, Microsoft, and EA's business model would allow for it. Infrogames would do it in a heart beat, if they could scrape up the money...

We will see what happens. It would be out of character for Microsoft, but even MS does odd things now and then.

Asher
25-01-2003, 07:13:09
Activision can't come close to affording it.

MS is also searching the debris of Rage software, and has apparently picked up a couple new devteams...

Venom
30-01-2003, 00:30:33
Let me just say....

DEVIL BASTARDS!

Shining1
30-01-2003, 04:00:58
One of the questions here that occurs to me now is whether it's actually possible to buy anything from Vivendi for a reasonable price.

If, for instance, MS and EA are negotiating to buy Blizzard and Valve, say, but Vivendi is insisting that no, they have to buy the whole lot including Sierra, that could make this very difficult. It would mean that nice, normal total bastards from MS and EA might even have to stand in the same room as PEOLE FROM SIERRA, and you can see how that would affect negotitation. Especially if any of the MS or EA people had played games recently.

As against that, if they had played games recently, it might almost be worth another couple of billion for the sheer pleasure of dismembering the Sierra corporate body.

Interesting times:).

Venom
30-01-2003, 13:06:10
The longer the wait, the more like it is that Vivendi will start selling stuff of for bargain prices. Get 3 software development companies for the price of 1.

Darkstar
01-02-2003, 16:37:35
EA seems to be maneuvering to have enough cash and stock on hand for something big. EA officially says it is just making sure it has the necessary capital just in case something big comes along.