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What went wrong with LucasArts...

posted by Chyron8472 on - last edited - Viewed by 987 users

You know... this MI epic-ness has me wondering. What exactly went wrong with LucasArts back when adventure games died anyway? I know someone is going to tell me that some executive(s) higher up made decisions to cut back funding to adventure games, but bad sales on one or two games is not enough explanation why the whole adventure gaming industry died for several years.


I don't know if any of the Telltale Team can even respond to this, but several things don't make sense to me:

1) Why, when SMI and MI2 were apparently so popular, did LA dump any idea of Ron's MI3 and wait 6 years to create CMI?

2) Why, when CMI's animation looks wonderful, did they use a blocky and ugly looking "3D" style for EMI that was also entirely devoid of mouse controls and market it to console gamers? Why couldn't they make another MI game that looked similar to CMI? I love that game's graphics style.

3) Why did they drop Sam and Max: Freelance Police or stop making Monkey Island games altogether after EMI?

... as far as the rest of the industry goes, I've read that the reason why King's Quest 8 sucks as much as it does is because some exec told Roberta Williams of Sierra On-line to make it that way. That doesn't make sense since KQ6 was extremely popular, why change the formula?


It just doesn't make sense to me. If a developer creates a game and it's successful, and then for the next game they are pressured to make it look/feel a certain way which turns out to fail, why quit the whole industry? Why not just go back to what worked in the first place?

Suffice it to say, I don't understand why LA stopped making adventure games, or stopped making future installments of Monkey Island (SMISE doesn't count) just because sales for EMI were apparently lackluster. It doesn't mean there's no market, just that they made the game different than people wanted.

53 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Didero said: That's not always true though. I was so annoyed with a puzzle in EfMI that I looked up the solution in a walkthrough. The solution to that puzzle is just about the only thing I still remember about the entire game :p
    I should replay that game...

    True, although you remember it because you got annoyed with it (and because it made NO SENSE which made it stand out), which means you still tried to figure it out for a while. Had you used the walkthrough from the start or at least earlier, you might not remember it as much.

  • I can't remember the amount of times I've replayed some adventure games (except the ones I thought were bad, of course). It's another form of entertainment next to reading a book or watching a movie. You can do that over and over again, just like some people can listen to a CD over and over again. Yes, after a while I can get stale, or you're just not in the mood, but then you wait a while longer between replays and in the right mood it can feel fresh again.

  • @avistew said: True, although you remember it because you got annoyed with it (and because it made NO SENSE which made it stand out), which means you still tried to figure it out for a while. Had you used the walkthrough from the start or at least earlier, you might not remember it as much.


    And because I really hate to have to look up a solution. I'd rather figure it out on my own.
    What makes it even worse is that it was the very last puzzle of EfMI, so it detracted a lot from what's supposed to be the epic conclusion of the story.
    But yeah, it was a bit of a weird puzzle that required you to have paid attention to one particular detail earlier in the game, which I apparently hadn't.

  • @daro2096 said: Well once you know the solution to a game the game virtually becomes meaningless and boring. You can really only play adventure games once.

    Lies.

  • @Hassat Hunter said: I fail to see how that meant the end of adventure games, as opposed to making them MORE open and accessible to gamers. And possibly done faster, so they can faster spend time (Read: money) on the sequel... :confused:

    As I explained, I was talking about the state of adventure gaming just before Lucasarts were at their prime. There were no walkthroughs or (very few) hints. Some games would take 6 months or a year to finish. I hear what you are saying, I didn't mean it was the end of adventure games, just the end of an era.

    As another poster pointed out, the problem with adventure games is for most they have no replayability. TMI for example, was fun, lots of fun but I will never play them again. Here I am several years later playing HL2 again though. Mind you I did replay CMI a little while back but we are talking total classic. I'm all over the place with this reply ;)

  • @Chyron8472 said: You know... this MI epic-ness has me wondering. What exactly went wrong with LucasArts back when adventure games died anyway? I know someone is going to tell me that some executive(s) higher up made decisions to cut back funding to adventure games, but bad sales on one or two games is not enough explanation why the whole adventure gaming industry died for several years.


    I don't know if any of the Telltale Team can even respond to this, but several things don't make sense to me:

    1) Why, when SMI and MI2 were apparently so popular, did LA dump any idea of Ron's MI3 and wait 6 years to create CMI?

    2) Why, when CMI's animation looks wonderful, did they use a blocky and ugly looking "3D" style for EMI that was also entirely devoid of mouse controls and market it to console gamers? Why couldn't they make another MI game that looked similar to CMI? I love that game's graphics style.

    3) Why did they drop Sam and Max: Freelance Police or stop making Monkey Island games altogether after EMI?

    ... as far as the rest of the industry goes, I've read that the reason why King's Quest 8 sucks as much as it does is because some exec told Roberta Williams of Sierra On-line to make it that way. That doesn't make sense since KQ6 was extremely popular, why change the formula?


    It just doesn't make sense to me. If a developer creates a game and it's successful, and then for the next game they are pressured to make it look/feel a certain way which turns out to fail, why quit the whole industry? Why not just go back to what worked in the first place?

    Suffice it to say, I don't understand why LA stopped making adventure games, or stopped making future installments of Monkey Island (SMISE doesn't count) just because sales for EMI were apparently lackluster. It doesn't mean there's no market, just that they made the game different than people wanted.

    My theories:

    1. Probably because Ron didn't really submit any ideas for a third MI game back then.

    2. So they can advertise that it has 'awesome 3D graphics', and to cut animation costs, since 3D is cheaper to use than 2D in mainstream games, as well as more popular. Also, they want to cash into the console gamer market.

    3. Actually, it's quite a miracle that EMI was released after Grim Fandango's commercial failure. So, it's actually not that big of a surprise that the adventure games set to be released after EMI were cancelled.

    Bad sales of one or two games did not cause the decline of adventure games, it's the other way around. Grim Fandango didn't cause the death of adventure games, it marked it.

    Also, it's not that there's less market for adventure games, it's just that there's an even bigger market for Star Wars related games. It's all about the money for them.

    What went wrong with LucasArts is not that it took part in killing adventure games, it's that they did nothing about it and abandoned adventure games to die and hopped onto the next big thing.

    In the end, it's not the death of adventure games, but the rise of other genres. So it's more of an overshadowing of adventure games.

  • @Steverin0 said: ASome games would take 6 months or a year to finish.


    Which would be a bad thing for a producer if they shipped new adventure games in a faster rate.

  • While all what is being said is valid at most points, we need to check the whole information being given to us and analyze it in thorough before we come into rash and harsh conclusions. Before going into the end of the adventure genre which all of you are totaly wrong because if LA and Sierra stopped making adventure games does not mean that all others stoped as well. So I pressume that none of you played Syberia then!!?? Go on and play it. Oh and by the way it was released in 2002 when supposedly adventure games were dead. Come on people wake up. Just because LA stopped making adventure games does not mean the whole world stopped it. Stop being so single sided. In any case, Lucasarts was out of ideas as to what makes a good adventure game. A dead period is actually a good thing because it gives the chance to see what actually the public likes and what would be the next best thing. I tell you people, a Ron Gilbert installment of MI from Lucasarts is imenent and I am not just hoping, I know it is. In any case, all this mumbo jumbo about Roberta Williams is so not true. Sierra Games had a very different approach to the genre. Hardcore adventurers actually loved Sierra games because of all the wrong things you could do and get yourself killed! Sierra games were actually more challenging at the end of the day. I have nothing else to say only that I am sad it ended the way it did with Sierra. All people who had something to do originally with Sierra feel the same way. Look into Al Lowes site regarding the Larry Series. Roberta Williams and her husband also feel the same. It was a matter of money rulling over peoples' choices in both cases. Just feel glad that a turn is happening and soon we will see more adventure games from Lucasarts coming out.
    Demetris

  • @S@bre said: Quality never came into it with the decision for Freelance Police, the developers were in full swing when it was cancelled, marketing was just about to begin, industry previews were positive and Purcell thought it was shaping up fine. The decision didn't come from quality like with Full Throttle 2, but rather economics:

    After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC

    Wuh? How does that work? You spend all this money developing the game, then pull the plug at the point of which you can recoup some of your investment. I mean, all the thing had to do was cover the cost of the marketing to make money than not releasing it at all....


    Hmm...

    COMPUTER GAME GUY: Well, the new Sam and Max game is ready. I'll call marketing,

    GEORGE LUCAS: Is Jar-Jar in it?

    COMPUTER GAME GUY: Um, no. That's because it's a Sam and Max game.

    GEORGE LUCAS: Oh, I didnt realise you'd done a Special Edition of "Hit the Road". Have you CGI'd any of the Yeti from the end of the game into the begnning of the game?

    COMPUTER GAME GUY: Er, no... it's a new game. See - brand new footage of Max violently attacking somebody!

    GEORGE LUCAS: Oh, I don't like that. Make the guy attack Max - we can't have the hero being a total bastard!

    COMPUTER GAME GUY: Er... isn't that the point?

    GEORGE LUCAS: How dare you question me? You're fired! Everybody's fired!

    COMPUTER GAME GUY: That's what you think! I've got a gun! Bang! Bang! Oh, no, he's replaced it with a walkie-talkie. Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Or something

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