Sorry for the crappy Transformers reference, I'm just trying to put a lighter spin on June Merge Week as it's beginning to be known.
First Bethesda purchases id Software yesterday, today EA staples together Mythic and Bioware. Tomorrow Valve is becoming 2K Steam.
So what does this mean for us? That some great developers aren't as independant or free from publisher messing around as we'd hoped? I think that should be obvious now. Ensemble Studios never made a bad game that wasn't successful, and Microsoft destroyed them. Irrational Games sold their souls to 2K to make Bioshock a success, the game paid for it, and they're not even allowed to touch the sequel. Westwood and Bullfrog got devoured whole by EA, and all they'd done was make great genre-defining games. Lionhead have lost Peter Molyneux and must surely be on their way out. Rare is now making casual games and 360 avatar clothing.
I'm more interested in what will happen with the games. I doubt Bioware will change much, but poor Mythic feel like they've just been trodden on. I'd hoped EA were past this stage. Bioware have already made their mistakes.
It's the id Software buyout that has me raising my eyebrows. They've been with Activision for years, and it's obvious they don't like what that publisher's become now. Even Rage is still down for being EA published instead. I'll give John Carmack some due for being honest, but mostly to this quote:
"We're not going to change the kinds of games we make…. It allows us to accelerate the growth of our internal studios, so we can focus on making all of our internal games as opposed to working with external partners where there has been a step down in quality..."
Heh. Not liking the look of Wolfenstein either, John? Still, about damn time. Doom 3 came out five years ago, and all we've had since then are ports. Rage isn't due out until next year, and it's looking... unexciting so far. Maybe if id stop worrying about making a new engine from scratch for every game and hoping to rely on licensing to keep them going (which backfired with the D3 engine), and instead work on making games, maybe they wouldn't be selling out. And hopefully now they'll stop getting Raven to make their games...
Oh, and 2K Boston's days are numbered. You know I'm right.