Is SoD owned by UL or Micro$oft?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Shrapnel, Mar 17, 2017 at 11:11 AM.

  1. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel Got Your Back

    the IP I mean
     
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  2. Undead Nicole

    Undead Nicole Community Manager Staff Member

    Microsoft owns the State of Decay IP.
     
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  3. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel Got Your Back

    Thanks, Nicole.
     
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  4. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    Going one further, what do they own specifically within that IP? The single player games and work done towards them, obviously. But what about Class 4 and the design/idea work done with that? I know SoD is part of that, but is it part of SoD when it comes to this specific contract?

    Also, I could do with a perpetual motion machine while I'm asking for easy stuff. ;)
     
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  5. MrStrange

    MrStrange Got Your Back

    I think I just died a little inside. [​IMG]
     
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  6. Thunder Ice

    Thunder Ice Got Your Back

    Meaning, if they wanted to, they could remove you from their branch and have full control over the franchise to ruin it like other popular franchises?

    Please, Sanya - please, UL - get the hell out of there before something happens.
     
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  7. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    They leave now and they leave SoD behind. It's how contracts like this run. But let me set your mind at ease a little.

    At the moment Microsoft seems to have a lot of faith in the company, and Jeff has never been anyone's yes man like certain other heads of development studios once owned by Microsoft and now disbanded. This is important because Microsoft, like any big company, are all about the long term bottom line and will treat you with respect if you share that view. Jeff isn't gonna let the money men shoehorn in features just to make a quick buck off the game (ammo generators you can speed up by paying real money) if it's going to ruin any goodwill in the fanbase and affect future sales, but he's also not going to turn down things that make sense or are unobtrusive (microtransaction customisation items for example) if they're suggested. He's played the game before and knows how to keep the company happy. More importantly, and setting him aside from some of those other studio heads, he's not intimidated by them. He will fight for his devs to have more time to produce a game that will keep the franchise going strong, rather than acquiescing to their demands and trying to get whatever they have ready to meet an arbitrary date set years before. And finally, to my understanding, he's not an auteur who'll come up with a feature in a dream and try to get it shoehorned into the game at the last minute, taking valuable resources away from features that aren't yet finished.

    That guy is the sort that knows how to play the game with a company like Microsoft and can actually use their backing well rather than having it cave in and crush his franchise.
     
  8. Undead Nicole

    Undead Nicole Community Manager Staff Member

    Guys. Be easy. Microsoft has always owned all of State of Decay. :) This isn't new. This isn't even kinda new. :) We have a really good working relationship with them. Thus far, they have treated us super well. They have a ton of confidence in us that is really appreciated, because it means we get to build the game to our vision.

    So, no more of this Chicken Littling. :) Nothing has changed, same deal as usual. We're making the best game we can.
     
  9. Pipe Bomber

    Pipe Bomber Here To Help

    ..cough... Molynuex.. cough
     
  10. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    You've obviously seen me rant before... :D
     
  11. Pipe Bomber

    Pipe Bomber Here To Help

    Haha.. actually no Furie. (Although i will be sure to trawl for them now.. you do write with a particularly enjoyable flare it has to be said.:))

    But i did have the honour/pleasure of testing Fable2 at LH about 2 years before it was released. I experienced first hand the incredible esprit de corps at that place and what it felt like to (briefly) work with a team of ludicrously talented, highly motivated people on a project which everyone believed in, and which couldn't fail.. And then to watch in disbelief and despair as their celebrity helmsman proceeded to undermine everything they had achieved by attempting to fix everything that wasn't broken, and deliver totally irrelevant and dilutive features. In an attempt, it would seem, to slake the thirst of a casual gamer market, which it had already won over.. bewildering.

    I couldn't help but pick up the inference in your post ;)
     
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  12. DJB204

    DJB204 Here To Help

    wow, alot of negative feelings towards Micro lol. Curious: Would State Of Decay exist today without them? If UL went the indie route without Micro, would it have succeeded in sales like it did with Micro? Would State Of Decay 2 be coming out this year without Micro?
     
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  13. Undead Nicole

    Undead Nicole Community Manager Staff Member

    The answer to that is likely, No. :) (Since they own the IP. :) )
     
  14. Aaron V

    Aaron V Famous

    I never understood the shade that MS gets. I mean sure we can all tell a few stories of our experiences with their products, it's not like they're the evil empire though. I'd love to have MS money backing my work.
     
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  15. orgelambart

    orgelambart Got Your Back

    alot of the negativity pointed towards MS has to do with the way they bought and then gutted numerous really popular studios.. It's nearly to the level of Electronic arts but not quite as bad. They also introduced the idea of console gamers paying to play multiplayer games,, when the reality is like 99% of MS games are Peer 2 Peer connections and as such MS has zero server upkeep...

    The fact that MS charged developers to patch their games after the first patch.. Made it so many broken games were never fixed as the publisher/developers couldn't afford the massive fee to actually patch their game up. Thus you'd have loads of games sit broken forever and then receive 1 massive patch with no follow up patches at all..

    Games for Windows Live.. if you don't know what GFWL is, then doing a quick google search will show you why loads of PC gamers won't even touch Windows 10 store with a twenty foot pole.. It's also another example that anti DRM people use to promote their whole, I hate DRM spiel..

    I could go on and on, but those should be enough to give you a reason why some gamers might have negative reactions when talking about MS.. I personally don't have an issue with MS.. then again I understand that businesses are in business to make money.. All those things listed above helped make MS lots of money..

    with that said, to show the lighter side of MS..

    they offered me a full refund for Guardians of Middle Earth and the Season pass, even though I owned the game and Season pass for well over 5 months.. Played it for well over 200 hours,, because their newest patch at the time broke the game and made it impossible to play again..

    Was nice getting almost 50 dollars back, but still having access to the game.. although the game no longer worked, I did manage to use the game to unlock a code for the PC version of the game, which did work, but died after about a week..
     
  16. Thunder Ice

    Thunder Ice Got Your Back

    I feel like MS would soon start to suggest microtransactions in your game. You refuse, only for them to gut you. They take over SoD and turn SoD3 into something straight out of Borderlands - or whatever The Human Element ended up turning into.

    Also, think you guys could buy that IP as well? THE was advertised as a gruesome zombie experience and turned into Borderlands with zombies. That would be fun if it was Borderlands and not something that was advertised for three years as something that looked straight out of The Walking Dead. :p
     
  17. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    Yeah, I have a love hate relationship with Molyneux. On the one hand he's a visionary who can come up with ideas that others wouldn't ever entertain. On the other, some of that is because he hasn't got any filter that enables him to put aside what he's most excited about and allow it to stew until it's ready. He's excited so he wants to get it all out now now now. That's fine for a random community member posting "I fink it shud be lyk dis" on the forums (I've done it myself here and made a name for myself on the Lionhead forums with it), but for the head of a studio who both has a deadline and doesn't ask for extensions? That guy used to go out and have a press conference during which he'd think the name needed more heat, so he'd come up with a feature off the top of his head then come back to Guildford and want it implemented into the game. That didn't just take time and talent (and the talent in that studio was undeniable, even by the haters) away from the already existing features, it put in a feature that at best unbalanced the game and at worst made other features useless.

    The best example of that is the Road to Rule in Fable 3 that took a rare perfectly balanced game with characters that automatically levelled up depending on what they did, and left it as a completely overpowered affair that you can hack and slash through easily. Thing is, the auto leveling system is still in the game. If people only get the first level of the melee and ranged abilities (these unlock the aura morphs to weapons so you look cooler and do a little more damage) on the right hand of the Road to Rule and then don't touch that side again then they get a pretty hardcore game. It suddenly becomes necessary to spend the time levelling a weapon up to get the most from it, rather than a weird extra feature that doesn't make much difference. Combat becomes about defence, positioning, and timing rather than hacking and slashing. And enemies have more chance to use their unique abilities, making sure you have to prioritize your targets or they might be healed faster than you can kill them or more might be summoned so that you're overwhelmed.

    Ah, such wasted potential just to implement a playable metaphor. It damaged the franchise enough that, even when he left Lionhead, the damage was already done and they were left with gimmick games to try and expand the franchise enough to win new fans after burning a load of the old ones.

    From what I've heard in the industry, Jeff is known as pretty much the opposite of that; a guy who works best with a team and isn't easily seduced by an idea until it's been thought through for a while.
     
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  18. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel Got Your Back

    The reason I initially asked is because I have a feeling SoD2 is going to blow up. Its in a *lot* of 'Hot Titles for 2017' videos. And I was thinking that after this, UL would probably have enough clout to kickstart their own project.
    I have very little respect for publishers, over the years they have proven to be big on money , short on actual gaming experience and usually make their titles as mainstream as possible because their primary focus is on profit, unlike the developer who wants to put out a quality product. And since the publisher owns the IP, they can add (or remove) whatever they want out of their property.
     
  19. Darth_Necron

    Darth_Necron Got Your Back

    im gonna try and explain this using the music industry as an example as both the way music and games are made and produced are almost the same from a business/industry standpoint

    in the music industry the label ( microsoft ) owns the brand/name and the artist ( undead labs ) owns the product and has full copywrite and creative control over the production of said product in this case its state of decay 1 and 2 as agreed in their contracts

    as with the music industry for each unit sold both microsoft and udl take their cut of each sale altho both publisher and recording company in this case microsoft probably take a larger cut for supplying udl with resourses ( cash for production of product ) and staff to sort out all the behind the scenes business stuff ( marketing strategy's, international distribution etc ) as per contractual agreements so it alleviates alot of pressure from udl so udl can do what they do best and create the best immersive gaming experiance possable for us the consumer and like any record label microsoft just put their name on the product hence the microsoft fmv splash screen when you start up the game and the microsoft staff names on the end credits roll

    this applys to most if not all games unless the creators have the capital initally or eventually to go independant and self publish produce and despatch phyisical and digital copys which for a first time release is highly unlikley (or you get a really piss poor quality game as an initial release xb360 indie games are a great example ) which can make or break any artist or company and most of the time it stays as it is now untill contracts need renewing by this point why change things so terms usually stay the same with a few tweeks here and there new contracts get signed and everyones happy and working on new projects like a well oiled machine

    rinse and repeat as necessary until you get a better offer elsewhere once contracts have expired

    so in a nutshell recap and simpler terms

    microsoft owning the ip is like a record company owning the recording masters for albums they own state of decay as a brand

    state of decay as a product is owned and copywrite of undead labs

    microsoft just control how and where the product is used what formats (hard copy or digital) hence the dreaded end user licence
    eg: this product may not be shown in public, copied or used on offshore rigs etc etc at risk of lawsuit and a fine of up to (enter cash sum here in the thousands)

    microsoft have no say as to what goes into or gets pulled from a game when the creators have full creative control but as and when its sent to publishing if their unhappy with it as a whole they simply wont release it until they are ( the best thing about having full creative control of your own product ) usually if your happy with it (as the creators) then the publisher probably will be too

    but thats where udl's Quality Assurance or QA game testers and devs shine by constantly play testing and bug hunting tweeking etc because if udl aint happy then theres no way their gonna send a broken or buggy as hell product to microsofts publishing to get the ok for general release to the public

    altho there have been exceptions in the past that got through the net ( not by udl )

    big rigs racing ( just dont even go there SERIOUSLY dont !!!!)
    kotor 2 the sith lords (wasnt even finished and very messy thank god for mods)
    fallout games espcially new vegas (jump on rocks fall inside rock stuck inside rock have to reload game)
    even the elder scrolls both oblivion and skyrim still have tonnes of bugs/glitches

    but as microsoft are the publisher and brand name owner they reserve the right to withdraw and pull the plug on a product at anytime pre or post release without notice as they have the final say altho this rarely happens

    (command and conquer generals 2) is a good example of a plug pulled game pre release by EA

    the reason because it wasnt the game EA believed the fanbase wanted so red alert 3 replaced it and the game was around 80 percent complete its units and buildings etc are now being used on the online command and conquer mash up where you can be any faction from any of the previous games running on EA's frostbite 3 engine its good but its not C&C generals 2

    Obviously the whole thing is way more complex than this ive just seriously dumbed it down so you can understand it easier as unfortunately i dont have a spare 5 hours to explain in great detail

    i hope ive given you all some insight and basic understanding of how the industry works

    source : ME
    Ex QA games tester for sony liverpool
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017 at 3:20 AM

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