"Muckyfeet" of the world

Found an interesting article at Escapist. It’s a story of Muckyfoot, now-defunct gamedev company founded by some of the Bullfrog veterans. (Side note: the power of the original Bullfrog team is really impressive… they went on to found Lionhead, Elixir, Muckyfoot, Media Molecule (that’s ex-Lionhead, but still counts :) and some more… Think what they could achieve were they still together). As usually, when written by someone from “outside” it’s a little too poetic/melodramatic at times, but still worth reading (I love the bit where Gary Carr and Fin McGechie were told off for running in the corridors of EA… what’s that? a kindergarten?).

The story of Muckyfoot proves one more time that nowadays it’s not enough just to make good games to succeed. You’ve to promote them as well. They had some very cool tech there (just read some of their conference papers), they had nice ideas, sometimes their games could use more polish (especially Urban Chaos), but first of all - they needed more marketing.

People often tend to forget about that, but for every Rockstar there are several companies that you’ve never heard about… It’s a tough industry. Before working on The Witcher I coded 4 games. 2 of them were not even released. They were 100% finished, before time and on budget. Just then publisher went bankrupt and because of some copyright issues no one else could publish those titles. Shame, as they were really cool, some of the solutions we had there EA did few years later in their GBA version of James Bond. My next company got into financial troubles so deep they had to let most of the crew (including me) go in order to survive, that’s how I ended up in CDPR. There are companies shutting doors before they can finish the game, companies getting their projects canned, companies creating good/great games that for some reason sell poorly (Grim Fandango, anyone?). Think about them while playing GTA…

(as a nice finishing trivia - Mike Diskett, one of Muckyfoot founders, actually does work at Rockstar North now).

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