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Submitted by jjdoyle 604d ago | interview

Rare veterans Flippin Pixels: “In the console market you just cannot take risks”

"Flippin Pixels is a group of ex-Rare veterans who have with a new start-up of their own team in a smart building just outside Leicester. The five man team have worked on the likes of Banjo, GoldenEye, Donkey Kong Country 2, Viva Pinata and the recent Kinect Sports titles.

Each of the developers at Flippin Pixels joined Rare in the late 90s, when the company was producing an unrivalled stable of games, exclusively for Nintendo. “Rare was unique. Nobody was making games of the quality that Rare and Nintendo were making,” says Shaun Read, design director. “The reason Microsoft bought Rare was very clear. They had a very core-orientated console, and it was doing very well – but it was just for the core audience. The Xbox built its success on FPSs, very good ones at that, but they bought Rare knowing that we made games that appeal to a wider audience.”, writes Edge. (Dev, Flippin Pixels, Industry, iPad, iPhone)

Cam977  +   604d ago
Journey, The Unfinished Swan, the Souls series... What a load of rubbish! Maybe they can't if executed poorly, but with the right skills, taking risks is the right way to go! Just look at how much media coverage quirky PSN game Journey received. Why? For being different - they took risks!

Companies such as EA certainly imply the opposite by running tired franchises into the ground. Ignore EA, EA is now stupid.
RTheRebel  +   604d ago
Some Publishing Companies don't give a crap about innovation lol
they care about what makes $$$
dredgewalker  +   604d ago
I agree, it's not a risk if a game is great. If a developer isn't confident with their game then why should the consumer buy it? The ones who come out at top are the ones that take the greatest risks and attained success. Business will always be a gamble, even playing safe doesn't ensure success and sometimes only get mediocre gains.
MysticStrummer  +   603d ago
Two of the most talked about games last year were pretty risky. Journey and Walking Dead. Sure WD had a hot license behind it, but how many cell shaded point and click adventures are being made these days? Those games did well critically and commercially, and were even talked about as GotY contenders by many. I guess we can expect a real lack of innovation and imagination from these guys in the future.
jetlian  +   603d ago
yea and both were cheap in cost and cheap in design. Both are 80s to early 90s level games.

They aren't 20 million dollar AAA risks.
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CBaoth  +   603d ago
He meant triple A retail IPs
Demon/Dark Souls the SP portion isn't innovative. CRPGs have existed on PC for decades. Geez, even console players have had the opportunity the play the genre themselves on the PS2 from the SAME company. I give From their due credit on MP integration.

The other 3 IPs, Journey, Unfinished Swan, and the Walking Dead are all digital downloadable games. You people just illustrated their point; there is very little creative risk on IPs with 50 million dollar budgets. It's pretty easy to print a disk after you've sold 12 million DD copies (WD).

Of course people care about money. They're adults. They have bills to pay, mortgages, children to provide for including college. I wish I got paid to fingerpaint my imagination on paper. Must be nice
clintagious650  +   603d ago
Thats why I love about sony. They arent afraid of taking risks on new ip's. Nintendo use to be the same way until they went mostly casual with the wii.
Drakesfortune  +   603d ago
Sony says hello! I

Its companies like these with this type of mindset, the reason gameing industry feels stale at times...what ever happened to rare!
Good_Guy_Jamal  +   603d ago
Is sony really a good example? I mean they didn't make money this whole generations. They are yet to recoup their losses.
Silly gameAr  +   603d ago
Everyone wants a Halo sized franchise with low risk and big reward. I like the guys that are willing to take risks, and and put actual effort into what they do.

In that respect, I think Sony is a good example. If they were in as bad of shape as you seem to think they are, I doubt we would see a PS4.

But, I guess that's just Sony taking those silly risks again.
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Kietz  +   603d ago
Let's be honest here.
Sony does bring out a lot of games.
Which are the ones that really bring in the money though? The established franchises.
There's weight to his words with this one. Not saying that developers shouldn't try to innovate, but there is weight to his words and I see why developers might find it smart to play it safe.
TuxedoMoon  +   603d ago
Sony has been throwing out a larger number of new ops, but they don't market the games well enough. I do disagree that great games sell well, xenoblade and the last story were 2 examples of great games that didn't sell well or got a lot of positive hype...or awards. It's really all a game of chance. Not all great games get the attention they deserve.
Adolph Fitler  +   603d ago
Sony kick a$$ at doing new things. I care not for haters of Sony, but they deserve props for still bothering with awesome studios like Team Ico, that although made 2 of THE BEST PS2 games, & in fact, 2 OF THE best games in the history of gaming, suffered at the register, as most gamers didn't bother, until it was too late. I mean, BOTH these awesome Team Ico games were so great, that I can't see how any video gamer could ignore these games, in fact, Ico was like a new age Mario in spirit, it had the same age old story of rescuing the princess, but it was implemented by Team Ico, in such a way, that it didn't alienate itself from the casual market, & it should have sold in bucket loads.....but the marketing was non-existing to say the least. Ico came to PS2 at a time when GTA 3 came to the system (or at least not far off), & truly outstanding games like these were trodden on by the tirade of terribly overhyped & smartly over marketed.
So, what I guess I am saying is, that if marketed smartly & plentifully, then you are 3 steps closer to success. I have the tv on as I type, & I have literally seen the same ad for the new Tomb Raider every ad break & before I switched channels I saw the ad run twice in one ad break.....Now, that is marketing, as the game is awesome, the ad is awesome & intriguing, & I believe it WILL SELL copies based off the ad, as casuals that don't come to sites such as GS, GT, NG4, etc, & are blissfully unaware that a new Tomb Raider game was on the cards. Now, I personally know many casuals that loved TR on PS1 & TR2, not to mention several sequels that came to PS1. Now, many of these people will see this ad & say, "f$#k yeah, looks awesome, gettin' it"......and they will run off & buy the game after having it's awesome looking advert. thrown constantly in there face every night..they won't have bought a game since COD:BO's 2, Fifa 13, NBA 13, Madden 13, or any such big, casual aimed, title hit store shelves, & combinations of nostalgia, intrigue, the opportunity to stare at the a$$ of a girl protagonist, & other reasons, like it's payday tomorrow, so I need to offload some cash to a good cause, which entails the purchase of a case of beer, a stick of fine hydroponic weed & of course, the awesome looking Tomb Raider game for my PS3/360.

So, that said.....I'm pretty sure TR will do good sales numbers thanks to the awesome marketing/advertising, the awesome graphics & vistas, the fact it is Tomb Raider & Lara Croft, & the word of mouth factor of people who own the game & agree with what most reviews have to say about the game.
Adolph Fitler  +   603d ago
So, with that said, the fact that many games that are awesome, but ultimately are slaughtered at the cash register are getting the age old, "judging a book by it's cover" syndrome.....Now, what I mean by that is that a games name is VERY important & games like Ico, Shadow Of The Collosis, Psychonauts, Godhand, Beyond Good & Evil, Starhawk, & many others are almost up sh#t creek without a paddle as soon as they are named these obscure, meaningless, and/or totally bonkers names. I believe it to be fact that some of these games titles are overly complicated & non-direct & simply confusing to some of the hardcore & most of the semi-hardcore gaming crowds, so the casual market is left clueless & opt for shovelware like 50cent: Bulletproof, over awesome games that are almost certainly doomed just through simple title choice. With that said, also even the front & back cover for some of these titles try going for a clever, artsy fartsy cover, & people get no indication of what they are buying, but next to the game on store shelves is "the latest" sensation, Fitty cent, standing on his games cover, with gun in hand, explosions & crap going off in the background, & bikini clad ho's laying, holding onto fitties legs, & the kiddies, casuals & even many semi-hardcore gamers fall into the trap of buying well marketed crud.
It's sad, but very true, as we are a world full of consumers & just people in general that DEFINATELY judge a book by it's cover....people can deny until there blue in face, but no less than 99% of the population judge a book by cover either every day in every way, or more subtly...But, we all are guilty of this.
Adolph Fitler  +   603d ago
If you name your game smartly, then market it smartly & most importantly, make a truly great, artistic, fun, unusual, innovative game, then I believe the chances of it selling really well, are multiplied massively. Never really saw many, most times ANY, advertising for every game I have listed, as well as games like Okami (that killed Clover), Psychonauts, BG&E, Godhand, Ico, SOTC, etc, etc...as well as games like Resistance 3 (that Sony should have marketed the living sh!t out of along with Motorstorm, Starhawk, etc,) , but Sony dropped the ball, like many publishers/developers & now, MS:Apocalypse failed to sell enough to warrant a sequel for PS4, even though the game is one of the best racing games available on any system, & the whole series is just quality, through & through, & that brings me to Resistance 3 & this brilliant series, that now is all but defunct, & Insomniac after years with Sony, & delivering some of the best platforming & fps that I have ever had the pleasure to play, after years of stating how good there relationship with Sony was, now thanks to Sony's poor marketing, & moreso, gamers ignorance, it's bye bye to a development team that helped build the PS brand into what it is today...from PS1, until a year or 3 back, Insomniac's Sony PS brand loyalty is R.I.P. Dead as a paraplegics penis (no nastiness intended)....This is Insomniac fellow gamers.....shame, shame, shame.

So, please, it is really up to gamers to research, playtest (if available), & make selves aware of your favorite game development studios & what they are currently working on, & looking back if you have missed any gems they have produced, & buying the crap out of them, as risk taking, awesome game making, studios such as Clover, Free Radical, Vigil, etc, etc, deserve to get whopping great sales that depict & reward the quality of there titles. We are the ones spending reasonably large amounts of cash on this hobby, (known as the cause of all violence throughout the modern world), & so that being said, we owe it to ourselves 1st & fore(skin)most, as well as the developers & publishers of truly great games, to spend our hard earnt money, on games that deserve the rewards, thus allowing us to experience these great artists next masterpiece, instead of them either going by the wayside, or getting clumped together with other studios to make content for Singstar, as an easy example of a few great inhouse Sony teams & the sufferance they are going through, having to go from great game makers, creative artists & just people who want to make great games, & allow us to experience excellence, instead of mediocrity, and/or sequelitus syndrome.
R_aVe_N  +   603d ago
lol man that was a long read 8)
Ultr  +   603d ago
I disagree with Insomniac.
Insomniac and Naughty Dog were same level as they entered the new generation.
Insomniac even got a lunchgame wich sold way more to begin with than Uncharted. BUT over the years you see what happend.
Insomniac has no confidence at all in their Resistance franchise.
The ending of number 3 is horrible and unfinished. (While the game itself is fantastic)
They dont have to do a ratchet and clank every year. but they chose to, as sony is okay to give them money for it. its save income for them.
yeah now they have to look for something else
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Picnic  +   603d ago
Insomniac have never been as close to as important to the Playstation brand as Naughty Dog in my opinion. Sony would save themselves a whole lot of diminishing returns by letting Insomniac go multiformat.

Ratchet and Clank was basically Sonic Adventure 2 in new clothes - rail grinding etc.
Some say Ratchet and Clank are 'Pixar-like' - well that must mean offering a fairly predictable blend of sentimentality and pseudo- pretentiousness (e.g. Wall-Ee) then. I enjoyed Hotel Transylvania and Tangled more than any Pixar movie. And I enjoyed Crash Bandicoot well more than Ratchet and Clank's far too busy sci-fi settings which just seem to offer exercises in button mashing.
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Ultr  +   603d ago
Well I played PS1 and back then Spyro had my heart over Crash. All the way

and in the ps2 era they were ABSOLUTELY same level as in sales

Crash = Spyro
Ratchet = Jak
Resistance < Uncharted

its only this generation that Insomniac struggles, and that is to their own fault. not marketing. they just dont have something up their sleevs that WOW people that much as Naughty Dog
delboy  +   603d ago
Journey is a game for ios and it's not worth more than 0.99$
Good thing I played it for free, thanks to gameshare.
Picnic  +   603d ago
On PS3 don't forget Papa and Yo, the upcoming Puppeteer, The Unfinished Swan and multiformat The Cave.

Journey has arguably been given far too much coverage compared to these. Journey's arguably become part of pseudo-intellectual territory compared to the above games.
I mean, really, I got enough sand in my sandwiches with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. The desert scenes were some of the tedious glorified cut scene lowpoints of Uncharted 3 too.

As for Rare, as they've become more family-centric on the Xbox360 why don't they resurrect the code for Conker's Twelve Tales, before he became profanity laden, and make a nice platform game for us where we don't have to be some Heath Robinson inventor to get anywhere?

But no, instead they go for years on end without a word having released a sports game.

I'd even do with Grabbed by the ghoulies 2 just to have some Rare magic. And Perfect Dark Zero was perfectly decent as a arcade-style game by the way.

Rare were a reason that I bought the original Xbox. If they don't make something distinctively Rare-like there is no point to them. I mean, even Kinect Adventures was (well) made by another studio - it should have been Rare's territory.
#9 (Edited 603d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
BigStef71  +   603d ago
Sometimes taking a risk is worth the reward
TheMutator  +   603d ago
like joining microsoft?

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