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From the Taldren Forums, started by Taldren CEO Erik Bethke discussing relations with Activision on Starfleet Command 3
Candid doesn't begin to describe it.
my right hand spent most of those early-teen years in that grip position... damn near wore out my Thrustmaster...
However within two weeks of release Taldren had already produced a patch that addressed a significant fraction of the bugs identified post release. We wanted to release this patch and continue working on another. Activision refused; they cited their new policy of releasing only one patch per title.
Now this entire time from when TNG was released until now there has been NO QA team from ATVI assigned to QA''ing our patch.
Um, no seriously?
For the record for any of those who would care to slander the character of Taldren, we developed TNG for Activision for 25% less than either SFC1 or SFC2 and in the process spent $300,000 of our own money on the production of TNG. ATVI should be in the black at this point (although I will not know for a while until I receive our rolyaty statement that summarizes the monies that AVTI has received for TNG) and we have $300,000 in the red for the project. Based on the initial sell-in of 80,000 units it means that Taldren offset ATVI''s expenses by $3.75 a copy.
This is exactly the kind of publisher horsesh*t I was talking about in my recent Daily Elysium. It''s the developers taking the heat from the fans, when they''re clearly the ones most passionate about making a quality game, while the publisher hurls imperious invective while sabotaging the project. I think these statement only exemplify the perspective I took the other day.
Further, while I appreciate Erik''s candor, in the current market setup he''s shot himself in the foot. I hope he enjoyed his career, or has the latent talent to overcome the consequences of his candor, but the rules of the game currently do not allow developers to have any genuine voice within the community, and certainly not against the restrictive policies under which they are held. Without the reality of a strong independent development house, and the domination exerted by a very few publishers, appealing to the fans and defending yourself against corporate strong-arming is tantamount to career suicide. Granted there are some advantages to the setup of a limited number of conglomerate publishers, but it seems clear to me that there are equal, if not greater, disadvantages for both the consumer and the developer.
The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people -- Thing I saw on the Internet
He''s at least burned his bridge with Activision; Starfleet Command is dead and buried it seems since nobody from either Activision or Paramount (Harry Lang) has shown up on those forums for months. Hopefully nobody at Majesco (publisher of Black 9) is surfing the forums...