Thursday, March 5, 2015

Death of Maxis, but of course, right?

Wow, last month was madness. Tons of crap happened. My mother's attempt at matchmaking, Chinese New Year, and a loooong mad rush to meet deadline at work. I was drained and on a verge of burnout the last couple of days. Thankfully, I think I'm better now.

I guess there's not much I can do about it but complain. Poor decision making, disrespecting pipelines, leading to risk quality assurance and if something goes wrong, I will be served on the palate. On top of all that, the risk vs reward is highly unfavorable. It was rather stressful and I will obviously try my best for the sake of my sanity to avoid such a terrible situation ever again. 

Arg.

The month just zoomed past just like that. I mean, I like working on new stuff and gaining new knowledge, but to code with a leap of faith is just irrational and irresponsible.

And this morning I woke up to this: 
http://kotaku.com/ea-shuts-down-simcity-developer-maxis-1689454903

Of course, it is impossible that the Maxis then is the same Maxis now. This just goes to show how fragile game industry studios have become, as if they wasn't fragile to begin with. In the end, your successful projects only allow your studio to sustain. 2 major flops and your studio is on a verge of death. Exceptional cases occur though, like Blizzard, but that's another story, much like how our conventional physics don't work for quantum physics.

You really know you are getting old when you see game studios that you used to love disappear, and how old game studios that are alive today are struggling to stay alive. Bullfrog is dead. Interplay is dead. Codemasters is dead. Westwood is dead. THQ is dead. Troika is dead. Paragon is dead. There is literally only 2 western studios which are still alive and I am still hoping for good games from them: Obsidian Studios (back then Black Isle Studios) and Firaxis games. Man, if Pillars of Eternity dies, Obsidian would be in an extremely bad shape.

And then there are those that completely lose you as a fan because of their change of direction. For me, that's where Bioware stands. I just cannot enjoy their current gen games as much as their older ones. Maybe because they set my standards too high with Baldur's Gate 2; everything they made post Neverwinter just felt cheap, and I'm saying this even after I understand and worked in a game industry myself.

But I'm just a rambling old man, possibly one that cannot move forward with the change in demographics. It has come to the point where I can barely afford time to play the kind of games I like, because there is another game I like better. Technology is evolving so much faster than we can evolve. More scripts are being ran, more excel sheets are being edited, so much code is being compiled and written, so much more art is being drawn. In the end, we are only human, working with 1 keyboard and 1 mouse to input our efforts.

Cheers to what the future holds!

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