Sunday, May 27, 2007

The rise and failings of a PC game developers.

Most PC players know Croteam a company from Zagreb, Croatia. The company was established in 1993, initially as a “garage games” makers because back then they had six employees. The first game they produced Football Glory in 1993, which was a moderate quality game received more attention from the court actions that were taken against Croteam from Sensible Software because of the similarities between their football game.
With only a minor games produced 1993-2001 their biggest product was released in 2001 as a Serious Sam title, a first person shooter. Serious Sam become a world hit its main features were: large amounts of colourful enemies, enormous open areas, many secrets and its superb game engine.Croteam created their own engine for use in both First Encounter and Second Encounter parts of Serious Sam and it was named “Serious Engine”, it was a little revolution of its time. When other FPS engines f the time had a limited draw distances and poor amount of characters on the screen at the same time the “Serious Engine” was delivering large amounts of detailed models which were very fun to obliterate by players.

The humor and fun within the game was another thing that Croteam delivered in a great style. The story itself was kind of a parody to the other FPS shooters of its time that way the game was shining in the sea of other similar titles. Combining all of this elements in one game it certainly produced a great gaming fun which players around the world appreciated. Reviews from various gaming web sites and magazines were excellent, usually bringing very high marks from editors and players.

But than on October 2005. came highly awaited Serious Sam 2 with the new “Serious engine”. The game was far from bad but it failed to deliver what was expected. Why? Well the players complained it was just an old story in a new cloth and that there was nothing new in it. The price of the previous editions of Serious Sam was very reasonable if not cheap, but after the success the price was raised by a large percentage and that also heavily reflected on the gaming population. Veteran players know what games are worth their money and were disappointed in Serious Sam 2. Marketing also did not help, many complained about the poor game demo which did not help in sales. To this day i haven't found any company which licensed “Serious engine” for its games so that also was a failure. I don’t like to hear about downfalls and i believe Croteam has a great game developers but what was the real reason of Serious Sam 2 failing to deliver? I believe it was many small things combined. Small companies can be destroyed this way so i wish all the people in gaming industries and especially Croteam good luck, don rest on your past glory because it will burn very soon. Watch every aspect of you game because players will certainly see that fruits of your labour are rewarded.

1 comment:

Chana said...

Well written article.