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Victims of Recession: FASA Studio

That Gaming Site writes: "Since entering the console market, Microsoft had some of the world's most talented game developers behind them, many being first party. Upon entering the console market Microsoft had roughly 13 studios behind them, ranging from Ensemble Studios to FASA Interactive, over the years the unfortunate truth has been many were shut down for unknown reasons. Gamers have seen many talented studios go and have had no other choice but to blame Microsoft out of frustration and anger. To pay tribute to the studios of past and present, we have decided to outline the history of those under Microsoft Game Studios."

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Cajun Chicken2740d ago

Purely not making the hits as MS expected thats the way MS work with first parties, this also happened with Digital Anvil, Freelancer made lots, then Bruce Force didn't do a Halo, so quite simply just because of the failure of one game, MS decided to close them.

This company was a victim of Microsoft just because Shadowrun alone didn't make them enough money. Shut down a good inhouse developer because of one bad game. Microsoft ,Idiots.

Not the recession, this isn't even RELATED to the recession.

Anybody want to blame the closure of Digital Anvil due to the recession even though it was over 4 years BEFORE the recession.

FASA were simply cut down because a project didn't make as much money as MS expected, no second chances, thats the way MS works and then most times MS retain the IP due to publishing.

If I was a MS first party right now, I'd be freaking scared.

Anyway, back on topic, this year MS will realise that they made a bad decision with Airtight Games making Dark Void with most of the old FASA team.

Elven62740d ago (Edited 2740d ago )

The closure of FASA was already planned before the launch of Shadowrun.

Edit: Freelancer didn't sell horribly well and Brute Force sold insanely well breaking Halo: CE record. Regarding when the recession started, that's still being debated now and I'm sure it will be debated decades from now, although in 2007 people started murmuring about it.

Cajun Chicken2740d ago (Edited 2740d ago )

Then what valid reason was there for MS closing these good developers?

Closing these devs was like the equivelent of Sony closing down Naughty Dog or Team Ico. It just doesn't add up. They were the best devs MS had when they started in the console buisness.

The fact that Brute Force sold more then Freelancer seriously shocks me.
How Brute Force even came close to Halo in sales is just stupid. I guess if MS shove a faux 'MS seal of quality' and backing on any subpar titles they publish it sells like hotcakes due to MS publishing Halo all those years back.

Elven62740d ago

Future proofing is all I really consider to be honest, it comes down to fire X amount of people now and save XX amount in the long run.

I was actually a fan of both Freelancer and Brute Force, in my opinion both should have sold really well and unfortunately only one of them did.

Cajun Chicken2740d ago

I loved Freelancer.
But I can't say the same for Brute Force I just didn't like the way Brute Force felt and I thought the engine was weak compared to the excellent engine on Freelancer.
I thought Armed and Dangerous was a much stronger third person shooter than Brute Force on the XBOX.

So I guess MS still own the Freelancer IP then?
I'm expecting they'll do something with that since I heard that some Digital Anvil members were merged MGS so the main designers are probably there.
They'd better, because that was a great exclusive IP, suprised we haven't seen a Freelancer title for 360 yet, seeing MS are keeping their cards up against their chests with games this year so far, maybe we still will.

Elven62740d ago

Yep they own all the ips of the ex studios, and yes like with all studio closures half the staff were relocated to other parts of Microsoft Game Studios.

Cajun Chicken2740d ago

Also on topic, I loved Crimson Skies on XBOX.

That alone is the reason I'm supporting and looking forward to Dark Void so much.

Pixel_Addict2739d ago (Edited 2739d ago )

The recession began after the .com bubble burst- around 1999-2000. Then after 9/11 the markets sunk even further. The only reason the economy boomed was because economic regulation were lifted and banks were allowed to start making risky loads and people where using credit cards (spending money they didn't have) and that gave the public a false sense of prosperity for about 10 years under the Republican administration. Basically, our economy was broken and instead of fixing it we just borrowed money (mostly from China) and now its catched up with us.

For analogy.. lets say a person loses their job. Then instead of looking for work they use credit cards to buy everything. This person (who use to have a good job) has a high credit limit because of his good job he use to have. So a couple of months go by a this person hasn't look for a job because he is happy using borrowed money. Suddenly his credit limit has been reached, his credit maxed and now the banks (the enablers, who knew of your joblessness) are banging down your door looking for cash. Now the bank, you, the people bank promised the money to, are ALL out of cash... take that example and apply it to our government and its people.

If the recession was dealt with 10 years ago, responsibly, we could have avoided the recession (which is actually a slow marching depression). Recession is basically a different way of saying depression. President Hoover tried to use propaganda by called the economic meltdown a "depression", but obviously was bad choice of word. If you think about it a 'depression' doesn't sound as bad as something like a "meltdown", but I digress... we are really in a slow moving depression.

I agree that Microsoft's acquistion of FASA studio was their down fall, but that happens when companies acquire someone else's talent. EA, Activision/Blizzard all have closed studios. It is sad really. On their own they probably would have lasted a bit longer or released some better games without the corporate hand of doom holding them down to trends and expectations.

Cajun Chicken2739d ago

My point all the way up there is that MS got rid of developers before even the public or the media even touched upon the fact of the recession now.

These weren't average developers to me, Digital Anvil and FASA were great developers and at the seperate times both of these were shutdown no such thing was going on as it now. Midway wasn't really in trouble until about 2007.

I mean, EA are considering closing studios, THQ has shedded about three now, Free Radical seem doomed, Ensemble was closed purely to sort into a new team and to organise a price cut and probably also to get the next FF on the system. That wasn't happening 10 years back, or even 5, not as much and high profile devs, anyway.

Its not just the jobs, its the spirit these developers had. Its a waste for them to be gone. FASA and Digital Anvil would of been great first party members for MS to have in this generation and especially now.

Elven62739d ago

The media doesn't decide the recession, Shane Kim didn't just wake up one morning and say "That Githleman really pisses me off, shut down his studio pronto!". Alot of decision making goes into a decision like that, everyone from analysts to accountants looked at Microsoft's market condition and speculated what their next move should be.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2739d ago
raiden_932740d ago

So many victims of the recession, heres hoping some of them manage to get back on their feet. I already miss Free Radical and hope one day we get our hands on Timesplitters 4.

Elven62740d ago

Free Radical technically is still around, just not in the best state, hopefully they get bought or credited, they are a recognized studio after all.

GWAVE2739d ago

I'm puzzled how Microsoft can claim to be "in it for the long haul" with the Xbox brand when they're closing studios left and right. I feel bad for FASA...they had some good titles under their belt. Maybe Microsoft will learn that the console race isn't a 50-yard dash; it's a marathon.

Pixel_Addict2739d ago

their PC software domination is deteriorating and they have lost a chance to rival google on the internet-super-highway. The Xbox 360 is their last hope, but instead of investing millions of dollars in repairing hardware issues and building better 1st party studios, they simply threw millions at 3rd party developers (they couldn't buy) who have NO REAL loyalty to Microsoft. Now their neglect of their own in-house developers have let to their demise. The PS3 is going to have a spectacular year and the growing sales will convince more 3rd parties to invest in Sony.

Elven62739d ago

Just to put it into perspective, Rare has over 200 developers working for them, Microsoft may not have the studios but they definitely have the developers, these developers can then be split into teams and work on different projects.

Although I would have preferred having the studios though instead of cramming everyone into 3 studios, even if FASA Studio only had 30 developers, that would be good enough.

But Microsoft still owns the ip so they can bring the studio back if they want to.

Cajun Chicken2739d ago (Edited 2739d ago )

You can bring back a studio in name, but not in spirit, wouldn't be much point.
When these teams get broken up/merged/liquidated the spirit and identity of that developer is lost and what you are left with is an shallow echo of what was before.

They may be able to bring the IP back, but probably not the games.

EDIT @Elven6 below:
As much chance as Planet Moon forming back with Shiny when the members of Shiny leave Double Helix to work with Interplay again. Not gonna happen, never has happened to a developer, never will.

Elven62739d ago

Half the original FASA team is still at Microsoft anyway so they can come back if they wanted to, not to mention ex team members not employed at Microsoft will always have the option to return to a apply at FASA again if it were reopened.

Swarm2739d ago

In a perfect world that might be the case, but in reality once a group like that has been broken up its for good.

I very much agree with Cajun Chicken. A perfect example would be the Fallouts. The spirit of the original games was what made it great, the devs poured their heart and souls into it. Fallout 3 may of gotten all the atmosphere right, but it just doesn't have that same spirit.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2739d ago
Skerj2739d ago

I wish Shadowrun got a proper RPG release instead of that MP. ..thing we got.

Antan2739d ago

Increasingly worrying times for everyone worldwide, not just in the videogame arena.

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