The Ur-Quan Masters Home Page Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 17, 2019, 10:28:27 am
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

+  The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum
|-+  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release
| |-+  General UQM Discussion (Moderator: Death 999)
| | |-+  Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print
Author Topic: Toys for Bob sold to Activision  (Read 7189 times)
Fluffy the bunny
Guest


Email
Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« on: May 03, 2005, 08:25:52 pm »

I found this press-release at Gamesindustry.biz:

----
SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 3, 2005: Further enhancing its internal development capabilities, Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that it has acquired game developer Toys For Bob. As a result of the acquisition, Activision now has approximately 1,000 employees in its studio operations.

Activision has worked with Toys For Bob since 2002. Most recently the companies have worked together on the upcoming children's game Madagascar, which is based on DreamWorks Animation's feature film. The game is slated to ship this month timed to the movie's release. Toys For Bob is currently in pre-production on an as-yet unannounced Activision title which is expected to be released in FY 2007.

"Toys For Bob's talented team, led by proven management, will further expand our leading development resources," said Kathy Vrabeck, president of Activision Publishing. "The studio's high quality animation and design capabilities will enable us to develop innovative new games for the console platforms."

"We couldn't be more excited about Activision's acquisition of Toys For Bob, which will allow us to focus on what we love and do best -- create great games," added Paul Reiche III, president of Toys For Bob. "We have worked exclusively with Activision for the past three years, so we know the people, the products and the company's intentions quite well, all of which are entirely compatible with our own team and vision."

Under the terms of the agreement, Toys For Bob has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision and the company's management team and key employees have signed long-term employment contracts with Activision. The 27 person team will continue to be based in Novato, CA.

Founded in 1989, Toys For Bob is best known for developing the popular space action adventure games Star Control and Star Control II which were published by Accolade. From 1993 to 2002, the studio worked exclusively with Crystal Dynamics.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $948 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004.

-----

You can find it here:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/press_release.php?aid=8405


So, does anyone have any idea of how this might affect the future of Star Control? I've been hoping for a new SC game for ages.
Logged
Deus Siddis
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1387



View Profile
What it could mean.
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 09:30:32 pm »

Well this could mean good or bad things for both TFB and Starcontrol.

For TFB, it might mean that activision will put them on a short leash and have them release more children's cartoon animal crap. Since TFB is now solely under the thumb of Activision, they would not be able to resist this very easily and would just have to put out whatever shit Activision tells them to.

On the Upside, Activision probably didn't purchase TFB because they needed more workers (TFB is just too small to be worth it in that respect.) They probably realized that TFB was a profitable company when left to its own devices, and just want to get some profit off of their work. This could be greatly beneficial, as TFB will now have some powerful backing, and could do things that they previously could not afford to do (like buy the remaining rights to starcontrol.)

So, if they are put on cartoon animal duty by activision, that will be bad for anyone who wants a new starcontrol game. But, if TFB/Actvision thought that a new sequel/prequel/remake of the starcontrol line would be profitably enough in today's market, then this will be a very good thing.

The real question is, could a starcontrol game be a hit today, against the masses' obsession with FPS and online RPG games? Obviously, the people who visit this forum are NOT going to be enough of a customer base. The game would bring some fans out of the shadows, but it would also have to be attractive to a larger audience. So, if they did another SC game, it might not be something that we would like. It might be nearly 100% action oriented, or it might be Starcontrol meets the Care Bears.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2005, 09:30:51 pm by Deus_Siddis » Logged
meep-eep
Forum Admin
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2847



View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2005, 05:32:59 am »

The original press release can be found here. The Toys For Bob website also makes mention of this change, and refers you to this GamaSutra page.

I've also sent an email to Paul, asking for some more info. With his permission, I'll share with you what he has to say here.
Logged

“When Juffo-Wup is complete
when at last there is no Void, no Non
when the Creators return
then we can finally rest.”
Halleck
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 750


Personal Text


View Profile WWW
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2005, 05:44:56 am »

Good for them! Grin

As for us fans... I think we can expect more kiddie games for quite some time. Quality kiddie games, though.

EDIT: Also, here is a handy link to the TFB news feed for those without a flash plugin.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2005, 05:52:57 am by Halleck » Logged


Currently working on: Going outside more

Game projects: Vega Strike / Elite Strike
Strange_Will
Frungy champion
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 51


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!


View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2005, 07:55:33 pm »

If TFB creates another SC I will worship them....

And cream my pants...
Logged
Mormont
*Smell* controller
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 250


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!


View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2005, 11:06:43 pm »

What was the last good game Activision made? Call of Duty and Total War were published by them .
« Last Edit: May 04, 2005, 11:13:54 pm by JWJ » Logged
harth1026
*Many bubbles*
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 142



View Profile WWW
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2005, 01:03:29 am »

That would be interesting...  Star Control: Total War.
Logged
michael
*Many bubbles*
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 200



View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2005, 01:19:48 am »

Quote
That would be interesting...  Star Control: Total War.
that would be great
Grin
Logged
InflatableBeerTent
Guest


Email
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2005, 02:41:13 am »

Star Control 4: Ur-Quan Return?
Maybe something 3D and like Freelancer, that would be very cool.
Logged
Art
Guest


Email
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2005, 11:25:58 pm »

A while ago Activision was in a remake frenzy, making new versions of all kinds of games they owned the rights to. It started with their making modern sequels to Infocom's Zork series -- anyone remember Return to Zork, Zork: Nemesis, and Zork: Grand Inquisitor? Then they made those Battlezone and Asteroids games.

To be honest it didn't turn out that well for them, but they seemed really enthusiastic about the idea of cashing in on old fan nostalgia -- even when it wasn't big names they were cashing in on. (Asteroids yes, Battlezone and Zork definitely not.) So maybe we should see this as hopeful.
Logged
Pik
Zebranky food
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 23


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!


View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2005, 02:45:04 am »

I find it funny that the games Toys for Bob are known for is the Star Control series (about 13 years old) and Archon (which is as old as Pac Man). I suppose it would be like investing in company to make a new gaming console today and put that money in Atari because "they were well known for their 2600 decades ago". I wonder why Toys For Bob's games never caught on like Star Control did. (Some do have minor cults around and a couple of Toys for Bob games are at Underdogs website.)

Maybe there was past problems with Crystal Dynamics (of them saying release when the game wasn't fully done)? I hope Activision gives Toys for Bob the time and room to make good games.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 03:11:52 am by Pik » Logged
Culture20
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 917


Thraddash Flower Child


View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2005, 10:12:51 am »

Quote
A while ago Activision was in a remake frenzy, making new versions of all kinds of games they owned the rights to. It started with their making modern sequels to Infocom's Zork series -- anyone remember Return to Zork, Zork: Nemesis, and Zork: Grand Inquisitor?
R2Z, Bad.  Z:N, much closer to the original themes, although a little dark.  Never played Z:GI.  Loved Zorks 1-3,0 & Beyond

Quote
it wasn't big names they were cashing in on. ...Zork definitely not.).
What!?  Infocom Zork games were on computer game shelves for years.  <heresy>The lands of Frobozz, Quendor, and Pheebor are better known than the race of Ur-Quan.</heresy>

Edit: a little non-authoritative polling via google:  Ur-Quan gets ~13,000 pages found, Frobozz ~16,000.  So, relative to other more popular search strings, they're about even.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 10:18:04 am by Culture20 » Logged
Art
Guest


Email
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2005, 10:39:04 am »

Okay, it's off topic, but I'm going to argue with you about Star Control vs. Zork as a property. The actual *fans* of either are few and far between, but I know more rabid fans of the former than of the latter. The latter is more well-known, but... it's almost always referenced as an example of the old-school origins of gaming rather than a gaming phenomenon in and of itself. There are Zork *fans* out there (I'm one of them) but I think they're far fewer and farther between than SC2 fans. It'd be like the difference between, today, trying to do a remake of an older sci-fi film like _The Forbidden Planet_ and trying to do a remake of *really* old pulp sci-fi novels like the Doc Savage series, even though in their era Doc Savage's popularity far surpassed the popularity of _The Forbidden Planet_. People just don't think of them in the same category.

And, FWIW (and going really OT)... the *original*, the Zork Trilogy, barely had any "themes". It definitely had a tone, and I agree that Zork: Nemesis was closer to the Zork Trilogy in tone than Return to Zork or Zork: Grand Inquisitor, but Zork: Nemesis had ten thousand times more of a theme and a story than the Zork Trilogy. It was a great game on its own merits, not because it had the name "Zork" on it.

The problem is that nearly everything else associated with Zork, from Enchanter onwards, developed a radically *different* tone -- less a gritty crawl through an underground labyrinth riddled with bizarre dangers, more a romp through a humor-(and-pun)-filled wonderland filled with bizarre... bizarreness -- and Return to Zork and Zork: Grand Inquisitor both fit that fairly well. Return to Zork just suffers from being an incredibly poorly implemented game.

Really, if they wanted to revive the Zork name they should have done what they did with Zork: Nemesis -- do real, gritty, interesting dark fantasy with some Zork "brand names" like Frobozz and whatnot thrown in -- and not sweated actually making the Zork games fit into a coherent universe. In fact Zork started getting dumb with the concept of the Encyclopedia Frobozzica and the attempt to make some sort of fantasy chronology out of the Zork games.

Yanking back on topic: I think TFB would succeed most today if they were to develop a new, SC2-*like* game, but one that was different, interesting, made good use of current technology and didn't expect you to have played the old SC games to understand the plot. That's what made Zork Nemesis great -- there were in-jokes to please the fans, and the use of the Zork name drew the fans in, but there was a great game that stood on its own behind it. Zork: Grand Inquisitor was a lot of fun because it stood so squarely within the old Zork universe and tried to be a real sequel to Beyond Zork, but that's why its sales failed and ended the run of Activision Zork games -- a game that's pure fanservice is gonna fail because even the most legendary old games only have so many hardcore fans.
Logged
Culture20
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 917


Thraddash Flower Child


View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2005, 10:50:02 am »

Touche.   Tongue
Hmm, a game that doesn't require you to have played SC2;  Theoretically, an Activision SC3 could include UQM w/o any problems.   Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 10:50:45 am by Culture20 » Logged
Deus Siddis
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1387



View Profile
Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2005, 11:17:33 am »

An interesting idea, but most modern new players will find UQM to look too primitive in the graphics department (let alone it's 2D).

But, I'm sure they can continue the SC line, while making a game that new players can pick up. Maybe it could even start with the original SC2 campaign and progress the plot past it's climax.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!