8 Defunct Developers We Wish Were Still Around

8 Defunct Developers We Wish Were Still Around

Today we look back at some of our favorite developers that no longer exist, some have been gone longer than others. Nothing lasts forever and these eight companies are perfect examples of how everything must come to an end. So everyone appreciate what you have because someday Microsoft is going to buy it for an ungodly amount of money.

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And of course Looking Glass Studios. Ultima Underworld; System Shock; Thief.

And Bullfrog Productions. Populous; Theme Hospital; Theme Park; Dungeon Keeper.

A few of these were publishers, not developers, if memory serves.
Hitman, for example, was (and is) developed by io Interactive, and Batman: Arkham Asylum by Rocksteady. All Eidos did was publish them.

To be fair, 38 Studios deserved to die off. They basically created a shit-ton of debt for the whole state of Rhode Island that no amount of reparations could possibly fill. The Amular name is so toxic, no sane publisher would want anything to do with it, not even EA, and their standards aren't all that high. Speaking of EA, I'm surprised the burial ground of their developer victims wasn't mentioned at all.

THQ was a publisher, but they were dumb enough to toss money to the sky ala Activision, but unlike Activision, nothing they did made them enough money, and it came back to haunt them in the form of being gutted out and sold for scrap. Literally.

The other six publishers/developers I have no knowledge on primarily because I've never played their games.

My list would be considerably different...

- Microprose
- Westwood Studios (the guys who actually invented the modern RTS game)
- Sierra Online
- SSI
- SirTech
- New World Computing

The foundation of computer games as we know them were built by those guys.

Robert B. Marks:
My list would be considerably different...

- Microprose
- Westwood Studios (the guys who actually invented the modern RTS game)
- Sierra Online
- SSI
- SirTech
- New World Computing

The foundation of computer games as we know them were built by those guys.

I agree with this list, except the last two, which I've never heard of. Had Gunship (from Microprose) on the Amiga - pretty sure it was impossible to hit anything unless you were using sidewinders, but I spent to many hours flying to the first objective and dying over and over again while my TV went 'BUD BUD BUD BUD BUD' as I was shot at.

Westwood made Eye of the Beholder? Don'tn let the mage stand at the back and case icestorm.

Baffle:

Robert B. Marks:
My list would be considerably different...

- Microprose
- Westwood Studios (the guys who actually invented the modern RTS game)
- Sierra Online
- SSI
- SirTech
- New World Computing

The foundation of computer games as we know them were built by those guys.

I agree with this list, except the last two, which I've never heard of. Had Gunship (from Microprose) on the Amiga - pretty sure it was impossible to hit anything unless you were using sidewinders, but I spent to many hours flying to the first objective and dying over and over again while my TV went 'BUD BUD BUD BUD BUD' as I was shot at.

Westwood made Eye of the Beholder? Don'tn let the mage stand at the back and case icestorm.

New World made the Might and Magic series, and Sir-Tech made the Wizardry series.

And as far as Eye of the Beholder went, that was never a problem for me. On the other hand, I can't count the number of times I was wandering around the sewers, the cleric turned back and noticed an undead, and then tried to turn it (causing a loud CLONG! noise from the speakers out of nowhere) - and insert concussion from head hitting ceiling.

Funny thing is that a lot of these guys got screwed over due to bad business decisions. Bondhi though collapsed due to the rampant ego of the guy in charge. Goes to show that companies REALLY need to make better decisions in terms of money.

There's so many I could add to that list it's incredible, but I think at the top of the list is Paragon Studios, developers of City of Heroes.

Pandemic Studios
Factor 5
Rareware

:(

I include Rare on the list because they may as well be dead.

There is a disturbing lack of Shiny Entertainment on that list....

Who the fuck makes these lists?

Westwood? Bullfrog? Ensemble? NWC? Black Isle (the real ones)? Cyberlore? Sir-Tech? Origin Systems? Microprose? Looking Glass? Troika?! What the fuck, dudes? Do you even care what you put in these lists?

I wish Pandemic were still around. Star Wars Battlefront, Mercenaries, and The Saboteur were all favorites of mine in the years they were released. Shame they got swallowed up by the EA grinder.

DrStrangelove:
Before its demise Team Bondi created L.A. Noire, a game that was very much ahead of its time. In 2011 it called it quits because of an inability to find another project, which would have given them some sort of security.

I'm pretty sure "Whore of the Orient" counts as another project. The reason the only reason they had a potential to crash is they couldn't find another publisher after Rockstar essentially blacklisted them for Brendan McNamara's unethical treatment of his employees. However, they still exist. They were recently bought out by the company "Kennedy Miller Mitchell" (yes, that's a company) who are known for the Mad Max films, both Babe films and both Happy Feet movies.

Because some of these are publishers I'm surprised that Midway didn't somehow make it onto this list.

On the other hand....

Who in their sane mind would actually miss 38 Studios? Their only game KoA (which I'm sure stands for Kampgrounds Of America) was the most generically themed fantasy game I've ever played. I only remember 38 Studios name because the first time I read their name I had assumed 38 different studios filed for bankruptcy on the same day.

On the bright side I didn't have to pay for KoA because I got it free from PS Plus.

RIP Acclaim. So many good times with the N64 Turok games. With the cheat codes on.

Aiddon:
Funny thing is that a lot of these guys got screwed over due to bad business decisions. Bondhi though collapsed due to the rampant ego of the guy in charge. Goes to show that companies REALLY need to make better decisions in terms of money.

Sounds like Ion Storm and John Romero.

arsenalabu:
A few of these were publishers, not developers, if memory serves.
Hitman, for example, was (and is) developed by io Interactive, and Batman: Arkham Asylum by Rocksteady. All Eidos did was publish them.

I forgot they had anything to do with Arkham Asylum, but I recall them publishing Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

17 post and only one mentions Troika, I've never been so disappointed.

Smilebit, creators of
Jet Set Radio
JSRF
Gunvalkyrie
Panzer Dragoon Orta
Typing of the Dead

Yeah Edios where never a developer. Core developed Tombraider, IO interactive did Hitman, Ionstorm where behind Deus Ex, Rocksteady are still doing Batman AA and a second sequel.

Lucas Arts did in fact develop games, but like Valve published games too.

Soldern:
17 post and only one mentions Troika, I've never been so disappointed.

Arcanum and Vampire:Bloodlines were great games... sadly both released in a rather unfinished state :/

I've got another one: Dynamix.

Great stuff, from Stellar 7 to Red Baron.

38 Studios had no right to live given how it was managed.

Instead of being rational, smart and modest by starting up with other projects and building experience and a reputation, Schilling threw money at problems expecting them to go away quickly so he could build his spiritual sequel to Old School Everquest NOW! not later.

He was the stereotype of a professional in another field, ameteur in the one he was working in being too impatient to learn anything assuming his baseball elan would get him through managing and developing a gaming company.

The rest of that list besides a few big, aren't worth mentioning and are simply more latter day notable names. Take a look at console and OC developers that worked between 1997 and 2001, then get back to me with a list.

 

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