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You Will Be Missed (Part 1) December 3, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, You Will Be Missed.
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I’ve been following gaming news for over ten years and I’ve been involved in the industry for over eight years as a staff writer on various sites.  I understand that not all companies last forever, but there comes a time when you are so caught up in the activities of an organization that when it shuts down, a part of you goes with it.  It’s happened to me more times than I can remember, but here’s a list of companies from my experiences that are no longer with us.  They’ve either been shut down, gone bankrupt, or were taken over so badly that they are no longer the same company I loved.  It is a sad story to see such great potential end abruptly, but like life we have to move on, but we will never forget.

Substance TV:  Ditto.  I have since watched a documentary about the downfall of GoD after writing that article, it seems that the financiers were slowly bleeding power from the people of the company that were actually good at running it, like Mike Wilson.  The money they got from being forced to sell what could’ve made them billions went into a pretty well produced DVD magazine that nobody bought on a regular basis.  The official website blamed the post 9/11 recession as the problem with sales of a regular DVD magazine, but really I think it was just that they were too far ahead of the curve that people weren’t yet ready for it.

GameSpyAlready talked about those guys.  I know the main website still exists and delivers new content but trust me, like Rome, the empire has long since fallen.  For E3 2003 I had a t-Shirt sent to me by them to wear to show my allegiance on the show floor.  The shirt was comprised of the Spy logo in gray and greens.  The secret was that all the coloring on the shirt was actually made up of all of the individual websites that ran under their banner.  The lettering on the shirt was in small print.  They actually had enough websites to fill the front of a freaking t-shirt.  That all ended after 2005 with the IGN merger.

Barry Smith’s InkTank:  Barry Smith gained popularity around 2000 when his web comic “Angst Technology” premiered on GameSpy.  The comic was about a typical game development studio and all of the colorful characters that work there.  After several succesful years of drawing, new pages slowly lost steam and Barry shut down production of the webcomic in 2005, after having previously resorted to posting a new comic every month (when it used to be posted every day.)  He turned the site into a random blog not too long after that and brought his comic archives online with it.  Three years later, in 2008, Barry brought his full website back and started cartooning again.  Within no time he was even bringing Angst Tech characters back into his new comic.  But some time ago (within the past few months) Barry stopped posting new strips on the site, and a few weeks after that, the site went down completely.  I have no idea what happened to cause the site to shut down, or why Barry hasn’t written an explanation as to why the site is offline and when/if it will return.  I just want him to know (if he ever reads this) that the Angst Tech arc where the team crunched for a beta release, pitched tents, ended up on milk cartons, and overclocked their central nervous systems defined one of my summers.

Majesco – In 2004 a new publisher came to compete with the big boys and they had some pretty quirky games to show.  Advent Rising, Bloodrayne, Infected (my favorite PSP Game), and everyone’s favorite multiplatform game, Psychonauts were all coming from this publisher.  The problem was that while some of the games were fantastic and reviewed very highly (Psychonauts and Infected), the company threw its marketing weight behind what they thought would sell (Advent Rising and Bloodrayne).  While Psychonauts got several Game of the Year awards, it just didn’t sell many copies.  When the numbers came in at the end of 2005, the company decided to no longer develop AAA platform titles, and instead stick to developing only value software.  That pretty much ended support for most of those games, and killed the chances of any of them seeing a sequel.  That said, they did see fit to take those classic games and put them on every digital distribution channel they can, although I’m surprised Infected is not on the Playstation Store as a download for the PSP Go yet.  Missed out on any of these games?  Fear not, Psychonauts is still selling on the Xbox Live Marketplace and Steam.

I realize now that the list is far too long to fit in just one article.  Tune in next time for the second part.

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Comments»

1. jaswrites - December 3, 2010

An excellent post! I would say the same of GoldenEye N64 . . . I shall never forget GoldenEye or Rare.

2. Inktank.com is Back! « gameXcess.net – Gaming News, Videos and Editorials! - June 22, 2011

[…] I guess my reports of its demise were a bit premature.  Barry Smith has brought inktank.com back up after several months of being offline while redesigning and rebuilidng it in his spare time. […]

3. You Will Be Missed (Part 3) « gameXcess.net – Gaming News, Videos and Editorials! - October 21, 2011

[…] This one was requested by one of my commenters on an earlier You Will be Missed.  Rare was one of the best Nintendo exclusive developers in the US for the SNES and […]


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