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Topic: Junction Point Shutting down for good (end of Epic Mickey)?

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CM30

1. Posted:

Well, this looks like bad news for any Epic Mickey fans, since their favourite series is seemingly as good as dead. Yes, it seems likely that Junction Point (the creators of the series, the studio run by Warren Spector) is shutting its doors in just a few days time:

http://nintendo3dsdaily.com/nintendo3dsnews/is-junction-point...

http://mynintendonews.com/2013/01/28/epic-mickey-studio-junct...

So, what do you think of this? I personally expected it to happen given how badly Epic Mickey 2 failed at retail and in reviews, but jeez, the series had such a lot of promise that now might never become reality.

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Cipher

2. Posted:

I really, really hope not. Disney Epic Mickey is a wonderful series, and even if it's had mixed reviews, the first and second games on Wii are among the most charming I've played. I'd be absolutely gutted if this were true.

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MrWalkieTalkie

3. Posted:

:'(

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ClassicJetterz

4. Posted:

Well, I hate to be a negative Nancy about it...but...(HONEST OPINION INCOMING: BE AWARE)

I played the first Epic Mickey. It had a lot of the "promise" factor into it. It wasn't a bad game, but it was far far far from being a good game. Warren Spector talked big about his new game. Don't get me wrong. The idea was great. I'm a HUGE Disney fan. I was really excited for this game to come out...I got the Special Collector's edition. And when I finally played it, I was sorely disappointed. Heartbroken, in fact.

Epic 2 comes around, and Warren says there won't be a Wii U version when it's first announced. And when the Wii U launches, the game does too. I'm honestly confused here...I mean, either he didn't know (and I'm wondering why he wouldn't, since he was in charge) or he knowingly rushed the product. Again, don't get me wrong. A bunch of companies rushed to get their titles on the Wii U launch. And you can search up any review, fan or publisher, and see how well that goes.

But back to my point. Spector promised and promised and promised. And nothing we were promised came. He sure does talk big.

He kinda did it to himself. If the game was good, it would have sold. Much like Nintendo, anything with a Disney tag fares well.
I'm not sure of the company that handled the 3DS version of the game, but it was just as bad in its own special way. The tool they used was much like the console counterparts. The 3DS version was feeding off of the OMG RETRO GRAFIX XD XD XD vibe and ended up being awful.

They really need to bite their tongue, polish the game and see what they can ACTUALLY do compared to what they WANT to do, then finish the game. I mean, you never see Nintendo talk about their games until near completion or release. And 90%of the time, they have a GREAT finished product.

Just my two cents.

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NintyMan

5. Posted:

That's sad if it's really true. I actually enjoyed the first Epic Mickey and thought it was a fairly good game. The camera never bothered me, but there are some things that could've been better carried out such as the painting of the worlds. They even improved upon that in the sequel and added voice-acting, but it still ended up falling short. I got some enjoyment out of Epic Mickey 2, but the flaws were definitely more glaring.

I feel bad for the guys who worked there, but the main problem with Warren Spector and Junction Point was that they hyped up the game to almost impossibly high standards that would take some serious work to fulfill, but they apparently just couldn't get it right. If they couldn't even get it right the second time, how could they do it a third? That's why this news doesn't shock me, but it does disappoint me. Epic Mickey really did have a lot of potential and Oswald returning was a big deal to any nostalgic Disney fan.

Junction Point should've taken notes from Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai of Super Smash Bros. in particular. That way they could've backed their big talk and big promises with big work.

Edited on by NintyMan

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Bankai

6. Posted:

I haven't seen this reported at Gamasutra, Gamesindustry or MCV.

If the trade press haven't picked it up it's hard to give much credibility to the blogs writing about it.

Not saying it won't happen - Epic Mickey 2 was a bomb - but I'm taking this with a pinch of salt for now.

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CM30

7. Posted:

Bankai wrote:

I haven't seen this reported at Gamasutra, Gamesindustry or MCV.

If the trade press haven't picked it up it's hard to give much credibility to the blogs writing about it.

Not saying it won't happen - Epic Mickey 2 was a bomb - but I'm taking this with a pinch of salt for now.

Well, it is still a rumour (something which many sites haven't quite figured out), but I suspect it'll end up being mentioned on Games Industry and Gamasutra soon. I mean, I hope it isn't true, but I suspect it will be and that either way, the industry publications will pick up the story soon.

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Bankai

8. Posted:

CM30 wrote:

Bankai wrote:

I haven't seen this reported at Gamasutra, Gamesindustry or MCV.

If the trade press haven't picked it up it's hard to give much credibility to the blogs writing about it.

Not saying it won't happen - Epic Mickey 2 was a bomb - but I'm taking this with a pinch of salt for now.

Well, it is still a rumour (something which many sites haven't quite figured out), but I suspect it'll end up being mentioned on Games Industry and Gamasutra soon. I mean, I hope it isn't true, but I suspect it will be and that either way, the industry publications will pick up the story soon.

The reason I ignore "rumours" that aren't validated by trade press is that the trade press is staffed by journalists that are trained to do the job, and generally bound by certain ethics - such as to be accurate in reporting. A good trade journalist won't report on a rumour before there's legitimate evidence to support it.

Bloggers are not bound by ethics or standards or any such thing and will typically post anything they find on Twitter as a rumour. Sometimes they're right. Most of the time they simply contribute to the degeneration of the overall standards of the "games press"

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shingi_70

9. Posted:

Not suprised.

WAT!

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shinesprite

10. Posted:

@Junctionpoint I hope you enjoy Wasteland!

A friend of mine has the first. The camera isn't great, but the game is certainly playable! ;)

Edited on by shinesprite

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KAHN

11. Posted:

anyone else notice that a LOT of developing companies are shutting down nowadays?
Untitled

KAHN

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DefHalan

12. Posted:

It is partially because most people have only been spending their money on the AAA titles. There was a Gamasutra article about it.
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/184899/US_retail_software_...

I think this is the article. I didn't have time to re-read the whole thing to make sure. Basically it says people aren't making as much now so they save their money and only purchase AAA titles. This leaves a lot of medium sized companies grasping at straws. At the same time. At the same time a lot of smaller companies are doing well because of smartphones.

Edited on by DefHalan

http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/44243746261/nickels-dimes-and-quarters
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/why-console-specs-dont-matter
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200271/Video_Don_Daglow_on_nextgen_transition_traps_and_treasures.php

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ShadJV

13. Posted:

0LD_SK0OL_PUNK wrote:

anyone else notice that a LOT of developing companies are shutting down nowadays?
Untitled

The economy's rough.

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KAHN

14. Posted:

ShadJV wrote:

0LD_SK0OL_PUNK wrote:

anyone else notice that a LOT of developing companies are shutting down nowadays?
Untitled

The economy's rough.

i think i know who to blame for that. WHOOPS! HAD TO SAY THAT OUT LOUD
MOVING ON, junction point is shutting down, right?
Untitled

Edited on by KAHN

KAHN

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Odnetnin

15. Posted:

The first Epic Mickey was an ambitious game that failed in just about every area (can't speak to the quality of the sequel as I haven't played it). That doesn't make it any less heartbreaking to hear that good developers may be losing their jobs.

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Bankai

16. Posted:

DefHalan wrote:

It is partially because most people have only been spending their money on the AAA titles. There was a Gamasutra article about it.
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/184899/US_retail_software_...

I think this is the article. I didn't have time to re-read the whole thing to make sure. Basically it says people aren't making as much now so they save their money and only purchase AAA titles. This leaves a lot of medium sized companies grasping at straws. At the same time. At the same time a lot of smaller companies are doing well because of smartphones.

That's a load of crap, frankly.

The problem is that there is no margin in this industry whatsoever. If a game developer so much as underperforms by 10 per cent, a game goes from breaking even to massive loss.

Gamers keep insisting that games are "too expensive," completely failing to understand that even at full RRP a typical mid-tier game needs to sell bucketloads to see any kind of return. Namco Bandai needed to hit 500,000 copies of a Ridge Racer game a couple of years ago to hit even: http://www.1up.com/news/namco-sell-500000-ps3-break

The biggest developers can afford to barely make a profit on each game project. They produce so many games that they have multiple revenue streams coming in, or alternatively they have the marketing budgets to make sure a game does more than break-even. The smaller developers and publishers might rely on one game project to pay the bills for a year.

No, the problem isn't that people "only buy" AAA games. The problem is that people throw tantrums over not getting discounts for digital downloads (where the margin is actually fair) and they go and buy second hand games instead.

In very broad terms, the games industry's problem is that its customer base has absolutely no interest in actually supporting it.

Edited on by Bankai

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DefHalan

17. Posted:

@Bankai
I will agree that used games sales hurt the industry and that most people complain that prices are too high. There are those people where things are tight so they will only be spending money on certain games and most of those games are AAA titles. This is supported by data showing that overall game software sales are down but the biggest AAA titles continue to set record sales. Now the data isn't 100% and as I said before this is not the whole reason just a part.

http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/44243746261/nickels-dimes-and-quarters
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/why-console-specs-dont-matter
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200271/Video_Don_Daglow_on_nextgen_transition_traps_and_treasures.php

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Bankai

18. Posted:

DefHalan wrote:

@Bankai
I will agree that used games sales hurt the industry and that most people complain that prices are too high. There are those people where things are tight so they will only be spending money on certain games and most of those games are AAA titles. This is supported by data showing that overall game software sales are down but the biggest AAA titles continue to set record sales. Now the data isn't 100% and as I said before this is not the whole reason just a part.

That's a marketing function, not a sign that customers necessarily want to spend money solely on AAA-games. Ubisoft can afford to force record sales figures for Assassin's Creed 3. Activision has no choice - it has to spend millions to make sure that Call of Duty's sales stay solid.

It's possible to brute force sales figures if you spend enough money on marketing campaigns. But that's not pulling money from the games industry. The brute force marketing is selling these AAA-games to people who don't usually buy games. They're conjuring extra sales out of thin air by targeting the "casuals," basically. Those people out there with consoles and one, perhaps two games are where these record sales figures are coming. They play Call of Duty for a few dozen hours then go back to their regular hobbies until they see an awesome-cool ad the same time next year. They're not 'the games industry' for the other 11 1/2 months of the year and they're not people with money that the mid-tier game publishers can ever hope to win over.

It's what Nintendo did with the Wii, and despite the Wii being the greatest selling console of all time, we all know how healthy the Wii was to people making real games with typical marketing budgets.

The core, underlying problem is being hidden by the brute force marketing - the games industry is simply not profitable any longer. We are getting close to the point where there is going to be a crash - not as bad as the '83 crash as there are smarter businessman in the industry now, but there is going to be some very big casualties coming.

Because the problem is not the AAA-games. It's the simple fact that games cost more money to make than there are customers willing to pay for them.

Edited on by Bankai

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DefHalan

19. Posted:

@Bankai
I agree that the game industry is having a hard time being profitable. I do believe that the brute marketing strategy you describe does happen but also it would hurt any middle size developer. If these big companies are able to advertise like that it can/does hurt smaller studios. I am not looking forward to the next console generation because games are becoming too expensive to develop for what consumers claim they want, power. You cannot say that people holding onto their money for bigger releases is not hurting middle sized developers.

http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/44243746261/nickels-dimes-and-quarters
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/why-console-specs-dont-matter
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200271/Video_Don_Daglow_on_nextgen_transition_traps_and_treasures.php

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Bankai

20. Posted:

DefHalan wrote:

@Bankai
I agree that the game industry is having a hard time being profitable. I do believe that the brute marketing strategy you describe does happen but also it would hurt any middle size developer. If these big companies are able to advertise like that it can/does hurt smaller studios. I am not looking forward to the next console generation because games are becoming too expensive to develop for what consumers claim they want, power. You cannot say that people holding onto their money for bigger releases is not hurting middle sized developers.

That was my point; people are not 'holding on' to their money for bigger releases.

To the casual gaming audience - the ones that buy one or two games a year and those are Call of Duty or Wii XXXX (depending whether it's a single male or a family/ female gamer), the rest of the games industry simply does not exist. Their lack of support for mid-tier developers was never going to happen and therefore it doesn't actually hurt the mid-tier developer.

The genuine games industry - the people that buy multiple games across multiple consoles - these people hurt the games industry by buying second hand or bargain hunting. These people are more than willing to buy mid-tier games to go with the AAA-games, but they also don't understand (or simply don't care) that unless they buy at full RRP, even if they end up buying half as many games, they're seriously hurting the industry.

That's how things sit at the moment. AAA and mid-tier can co-exist in other industries for a range of reasons: The mid-tier exists in film and literature because people who watch a lot of movies or buy a lot of books tend to support the publishers. Second-hand DVD or book sales are relatively non-existent and prices are more stable. The music industry supports the mid-tier through concerts/ touring, which have massive margins for the artists. The only way the games industry makes real money is through game sales, and the real gamers are the ones that refuse to properly support the industry.

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