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Submitted by Commandar_Shepard 1232d ago | news

Insomniac's Reason for Overstrike's Change In Direction

In this IGN article, Insomniac reveals that focus groups believed that Overstrike's art style was for kids. This contributed to the change of direction for the game, now known as FUSE. (Dev, Industry, PS3, Xbox 360)

aceitman  +   1232d ago
This is some good reading on insomniacs.
gaffyh  +   1232d ago
I understand the name change, but Fuse is just as generic, if not more than Overstrike. However, I do not understand the change in art direction, because the game looks extremely generic now. The gameplay seems okay still, so I'm hoping it is still good, but I was quite sad to see plain looking characters.
Frankfurt  +   1232d ago
"Overstrike" sounds like a silly,l over-the-top comic book. "Fuse" sounds like generic-game-X, that one you keep confusing with another random game.
wishingW3L  +   1232d ago
they changed it because they wanted the game to appeal to an older audience but I still feel that it was due to EA.

FULL QUOTE: “Maybe it was going to appeal to gamers who, we thought at the time, might be in their late teens. The industry’s changed quite a bit… We would focus test the game in front of a lot of gamers, and get their opinion. These are people that regularly play PlayStation 3 and Xbox games. We started to discover that everyone thought this was a game for their younger brother. We would hear this from 12-year-olds. So we decided that we needed to make a game that had an older appeal.”
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Human Analog  +   1232d ago
I agree. When we were first shown the game it looked like it had potential. But now it just looks like a Battlefield / C.O.D. copycat with no visual identity. What happened to Insomniac? They used to think outside the box.
-Gespenst-  +   1232d ago

FFS that quote... enfuriating.

Clearly they focus tested the game on a bunch of fuck!ng COD playing morons. If they'd showed it to most of the people posting on here, they would have gotten a very different response. But yeah, EA are probably complicit in this.
kneon  +   1232d ago

Well I'm in my late teens .... + 30 :)

I much preferred the original Overstrike. While I love a serious, mature shooter, every game doesn't need to be like that. We have enough already.

Overstrike felt fresh and entertaining, so far Fuse doesn't.
snipes101  +   1232d ago
The game looks like straight up garbage compared to the unique, character-driven piece of work that it was going to be. I want nothing to do with this game.
wlchrbandit  +   1231d ago
Yeah they've completely shot themselves in the foot with this one...
Jio  +   1232d ago
I understand that the gaming industry is a business and listening to Focus Groups is a good way to tell if a game is going to be successful.

But the focus group was dead wrong here.
bubblebeam  +   1231d ago
Why do developers need focus groups? Focus groups are just to test what they like most, so in other words you are only making a game that pleases the majority, sacrificing originality and innovation.

That is what game designers are for. Ken Levine has more of an idea than and focus group. They are only their to focus on how to make the most money.

How Insomniac could come to this conclusion after the success of their awesome Ratchet series is beyond me. I don't mean to sound like everyone else, but I smell an EA, I mean rat............
Dlacy13g  +   1231d ago
why do they need focus testing? I suppose they dont "need" it but focus testing is a very important tool set the industry has begun to use more and more. often as developers you are too close to the project to see where some mechanics or ideas may be flawed. Focus tests and beta tests are all tool sets to help weed those things out.
If Insomniac was going for a more serious vibe and yet everyone they showed the game to said they felt it was something for young players then clearly something is a miss on the game.

How about everyone judge the final product and not try and judge it based off of 1 early E3 trailer vs recent trailers?
Commandar_Shepard  +   1232d ago
I guess this is what happens when companies like Insomniac leave Sony, especially for companies like EA. I just don't see Fuse doing well at all.
LOGICWINS  +   1232d ago
Insomniac didn't "leave" Sony. Last time I checked, Fuse is also coming out for the PS3.
Commandar_Shepard  +   1232d ago
They were never first party but they used to develop exclusively for Playstation. In developing Fuse under EA they left Sony as a publisher.
LOGICWINS  +   1232d ago
To me, it's irrelevant whether or not they develop for Sony exclusively. Either way, I still get to enjoy their games, multiplatform or not. It's not like Insomniac used their PS3 exclusivity to squeeze the juice out of the PS3 like GG did with KZ2/KZ3.

Resistance 1 and Resistance 3(my fav FPS this gen) were brilliant, but they didn't break any technological barriers.
Carl_Shocker  +   1232d ago
You want to know the reason LOGIC why they didn't want to be bought by Sony...because they liked the way they were free when making their games.

YET...they go to EA, a publisher who known to restrict you the most when making games for them and will end up running your studio into the ground.

Dosen't make sense...if Overstrike was made for the PS3 it would of been kept the same without changing it into a generic third person shooter and the fact it releases in the same month as God of War and Gears shows me that EA dosen't give a crap about Insomniac at all
LOGICWINS  +   1232d ago
Ummm...none of us have played the game yet. For all we know, the game would have sucked even if it retained the previous art style. I'll reserve judgement when I play the demo.

Btw, just because the art style is generic doesn't mean that the gameplay will be. *Looks at Resistance* The Internet is crazy these days. People freak out over every little thing and love to pre-judge based on short videos.
#3.1.4 (Edited 1232d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(13) | Report
sjaakiejj  +   1232d ago

"YET...they go to EA, a publisher who known to restrict you the most when making games for them and will end up running your studio into the ground.

Dosen't make sense..."

Unless you introduce a new variable - What if EA does not restrict the developer? Suddenly it makes sense.
DeadlyFire  +   1231d ago
@ Commandar_Shepard
They never left Sony as a publisher. Each game has its own contracted ties and IP ownership varies among titles, but Insomniac did state they are open to working on titles for Sony as well I believe.

As for the art direction. I understand the appeal of cartoony graphics, but its not my thing. I wouldn't judge a game entirely on the graphics. Borderlands and Crysis should be great examples of how graphics compare to each other of the old and new overstrike/fuse art direction.

I wouldn't say its 100% bad idea until I see it in motion in gameplay demos. Because the graphics look more realistic doesn't make me say well damn that is not a video game.
NYC_Gamer  +   1232d ago
Insomniac will flop and then come up with excuses why Fuse wasn't successful..EA is one of the worst publishers around they get in the way of studios being creative and unique.
#3.2 (Edited 1232d ago ) | Agree(21) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
LOGICWINS  +   1232d ago
Resistance 2 sold less than RE1 during the same time period.

Resistance 3 sold less than RE2 during the same time period...despite being a better game.

By your logic, Sony must not be very good publishers either.
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srcBFMVBMTH  +   1232d ago

1. Resistance 2 was not the game everybody thought it would be. Once it was released, pre orders were high but sales took a nose dive after word got out that it was "Not really Resistance".

2. After the confusion that Resistance 2 left, Resistance fans were very wary of Resistance 3 (which would explain why sales were weak again).

Resistance sales don't have anything to do with Sony publishing the games. More like Insomniac messing with the formula.

And what Carl_Shocker said.

"YET...they go to EA, a publisher who known to restrict you the most when making games for them and will end up running your studio into the ground."

And the fact that Fuse will release in the same month as Gears of War and God of War. Combined with no marketing at all.

It will probably fail.
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LOGICWINS  +   1232d ago
"Resistance sales don't have anything to do with Sony publishing the games. More like Insomniac messing with the formula."

Bull. Your defending a double standard.

If Insomniac flops under EA, it's EA's fault. But if Insomniac flops under's Insomniac's fault? LOL, who the hell are u trying to convince?
srcBFMVBMTH  +   1232d ago

Fuse has ABSOLUTELY NO ADVERTISING what so ever. Not a single gamer I know even knows what the hell Fuse is. LMAO. And the fact that are having it released in the same month as God of War and Gears of War (Especially Gears of War considering it's another extremely popular third person shooter) makes it even worse. Marketing and release is up to the publisher I believe, which is in this case E freakin A! You have to be delusional if you think it won't fail sales wise.

"If Insomniac flops under EA, it's EA's fault. But if Insomniac flops under's Insomniac's fault?"

Uhm yea, pretty much. Read the last 2 sentences of the first paragraph.

And it's a well known fact that Sony barely ever (or ever at all as a matter of fact) interferes with what their devs create. All they want is the rights to the IP's. Again, you must be delusion if you think EA doesn't interfere with their devs.

BTW, Both Resistance 2 and 3 both had pretty good/decent marketing. I saw billboards and commercials of them almost everywhere. But the final sales all came down to Insomniac messing with the formula THEMSELVES. There is no denying that.

Fuse flop quality wise? Well we've never played it.
Fuse flop sales wise? LMAO, probably.
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Ducky  +   1232d ago
Well, they wanted to own their IP, and EA seems to be one of the few publishers that allows it.

That's why you have so many good developers that sign up with EA... but then every once in a blue moon, EA turns into a werewolf and kills off one of their studios.

I do miss the old art style though. Not really digging the new one. Reminds me too much of Syndicate.
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Dlacy13g  +   1231d ago
Fair point but EA does not own Insomniac in this case so they cant kill them off. this merely is a tool for Insomniac to make agame that will be their own IP...something Sony hadnt let them do.
ziggurcat  +   1232d ago
@ commander_shepard:

your logic is broken.

1. insomniac isn't owned by sony, so they never "left".

2. just because EA is publishing this game, it doesn't mean that insomniac won't make exclusive PS3 games anymore. epic made bulletstorm, which was published by EA, and you haven't seen them stop developing exclusively for MS, have you?
Blankman85  +   1232d ago
They want to own their own IP. They've been in the business for decades and all they have to show for it is a bunch of great games that somebody else owns rights to.
You may think of it as some sort of great betrayal but to those hard working guys at Insomniac, it's a means to finally setting a claim on something they created.
If you don't like it, take it up with SONY for not letting independent studios keep their IP's
Withdreday  +   1231d ago
"If you don't like it, take it up with SONY for not letting independent studios keep their IP's"

That's just silly. Do you know why Sony lost the Crash Bandicoot series? Or why Mass Effect came to PS3? It's because neither owned the IP.

Letting devs own their ip sounds all well and good, but if it turns into a big hit, it'll leave, go muliplat, and make your console look silly in the process.

And if you see how quickly devs jump ship, you'll know why console makers so protective about their IPs.
majiebeast  +   1232d ago
Focus groups... What was it full of cod addicts and bro gamers? How can anyone like the generic style of fuse over overstrike. Insomniac must be so happy making facebook games and listening to ea focus groups.
#4 (Edited 1232d ago ) | Agree(22) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Commandar_Shepard  +   1232d ago
Actually it was full of 12 year olds and EA employees. I wish I was kidding.
Rachel_Alucard  +   1232d ago
incoming generic ADD wubstep shooter #432
MySwordIsHeavenly  +   1232d ago
Are these the same focus groups who refuse to play Borderlands because of the art style?
TheKindRoost  +   1232d ago
Now this is the definition of selling out. If that's their reason, TF2 would've been a big flop right?
#6 (Edited 1232d ago ) | Agree(18) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Neckbear  +   1232d ago
Their first mistake was going to EA, from there they went to focus groups and surely, when the game releases, it will be nothing but a hollow, shallow husk of what it was supposed to be; a vapid and generic piece of software showing only small bits of what it could've been.

Thanks, EA!
Carl_Shocker  +   1232d ago
What a bunch of crap...I love Insomniacs games but I'm not buying this, I want them to get low sales for this game so they'll stop working for EA and get ruined by EA

"You want a developer to get low could you"

Hey...I don't want to do this, I don't want to hurt the studio since there talented people but it's the reason why it's called tough love. I refuse to see them go down like Bioware and even Visceral games, if it's enough to make them "rethink" this Multiplatform approach with EA then so be it.
Baka-akaB  +   1232d ago
Listening to focus group is a major blunder to begin with , but that's their issue and prerogative .

All i know is that a game i didnt find appealing yet , become even more bland .

And i doubt that their focus group target is even going to bother much with the title
TronEOL  +   1232d ago
Welp, I'm a grown adult and I thought the old art-style was far more appealing than the new one. In fact, I'm pretty sure many other adults think the same thing.

This game can very well get buried in the sea of generic-looking-shooters. At least with the other art-style, it had the chance to turn heads.
SageHonor  +   1232d ago
They shouldve kept the original designs..
CanadianTurtle  +   1232d ago
Look what happened to Borderlands 1. There were so many risks taken in that game, especially in an industry that was already filled with shooters. It was almost considered stupid to release a game like that. I bet even the developers thought during release date "aw man, our game blows! Nobody is going to buy our game, we wasted our time!"

Two and half years fastforwarded into the future: Borderlands sells 4 million+ units and creates a huge fanbase, leading to the development of Borderlands 2.

As for overstrike. I'm surprised because Insomniac are they guys behind the Resistance franchise and that is probably the most creative franchise I've played in my life. It scares me that they're in this situation.
#12 (Edited 1232d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
JenniferGriffins22   1232d ago | Spam
-Gespenst-  +   1232d ago
Yep, focus groups, just as I thought. EA's brainwashing them, turning them to the dark side.
soundslike  +   1232d ago
Focus groups are the antithesis to artistic integrity. Period.
PirateThom  +   1232d ago
Focus groups are lowest common denominator.
#16 (Edited 1232d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Mono-san  +   1232d ago
Saying something is childish, because of the way it LOOKS is downright ignorant and does not make one any more mature. (Frankly, quite the opposite)

I won't support anything that bends to this "ideology". EVER.
-Gespenst-  +   1232d ago
I don't think ideology is the right word. Attitude maybe. I agree with you though. It's pretty closed minded to think that something cartoony or exaggerated is necessarily immature.

It's just ignorance really, ignorance to artistic possibility.
rello91  +   1232d ago
wondered what happened to this game
JellyJelly  +   1232d ago
Insomniac left Sony and now they automatically suck even though none of us has had a chance to see or even try their new game. What else is new lol.
A7XEric  +   1232d ago
I like the original direction of the game much better. Much much less generic than what it's become. I like that it was going to have humor and exaggerated characters. There's a million other realistic gritty shooters where I can kill aliens.
Freak of Nature  +   1232d ago
IMO...IG are best fit to create stylistic/toons...Games like R7C,Spyro...Perhaps they along with EA think they can comptete with COD/BF? I for one do not think they are a great fit for that genre/theme...

Fuse looks like the blood and life have been ripped away, no charm,style or personality, just what at least at this time looks to be yet another ***"generic"*** shooter, nothing that grabs you, nothing with a hook or worth mentioning, just bland/boring and another cookie-cutter of a game thus far...

Fuse is a game, and games are for fun. Once you have played it, then judge it as a package...But as of now I bet this does not even sell 300K units total. Borderlands 2 went against the grain, and they opened some eyes I hope...

Give me a new more in depth Crack in time and a new caricature/toon based action/platformer, that's what I feel IG does best...

IG took the unique revision (overstrike) and made it generic )Fuse)...

Focus Group's can be very myopic in their opinion.

A Fuse artbook, would be horribly depressing.
CrimsonMask  +   1232d ago
everybody just needs to stfu and wait til more is shown or until this game comes out. Just because this took a more realistic approach that doesn't mean its going to suck or that it won't have charm or it won't be full of insomniac staples...same could have been said about ND/Uncharted. ND could have made a funny bear that is based on indy Jones but they gave us Nathan Drake. a great character.
Soldierone  +   1232d ago
Their focus group must have either been a bunch of monkey or COD fanboys then....because ever since it came out, all their fans and the people interested in the game have been mad.....
GTRrocker666  +   1232d ago
The success of the Borderlands series says hi.
SolidGear3  +   1232d ago
Insomniac, Borderlands says Hi
Genecalypse  +   1231d ago
And there lies the plague of the current video game industry.

"12 year old play testers" who apparently thought the game was meant for THEIR YOUNGER BROTHER. So Insomniac then listens and made the game "mature" for 12 year olds.

Yes, they make it all blood and gore and dark and gritty and mature for 12 year olds.

12 year olds dictate the game industry now, but how? By making everything mature
#26 (Edited 1231d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
shivvy24  +   1231d ago
Ive seen gameplay and look fun , disappointed on art style but its Insomniac !

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