>> Friday, May 14, 2010
Interesting quotes by Jimmy about his work at Philips Media Games: "A lot of games were cancelled because at that point in time (1994-95) Philips Media was in transition. It became obvious that CD-i sales could not sustain the division, so an attempt was made to develop multiple SKUs of a game for CD-i, PCs, and Macs. Unfortunately because the CD-i platform was so technically limited, it meant that the PC and Mac SKUs of a game would be hopelessly crippled and non-competitive in the market. This sometimes led to the entire game being cancelled.
Another issue is that some of the developers that Philips Media had cultivated over the years were focused solely on CD-i development, and had not developed sufficient technical skills and ability to compete in the PC game market.
Finally, Philips had some developers that simply should not have been developing game software, period. These were companies that might have made their living doing something else (such as 3D graphics, commercial productions, film or video, or special fxs) and then hired a couple of engineers to do games.
For developers it was a "gold rush" mentality at the time; everybody wanted to feed at the Philips Media trough, and many of them shouldn't have been anywhere near the trough.
When I first got hired as a PM at Philips I was so depressed at the state of game development that the first thing I did was bring in a new game/developer who had the chops to do state of the art PC games (Jaeger Software/Fighter Duel). This game went on to become the top selling game for Philips Media. Had I not been able to do that I would have probably quit in total depression, because the other games that I was assigned (example: Who Shot Johnny Rock - Castilian Spanish Version, Kingdom, etc.) we're so ultimately boring and depressing that I simply would not have been able to continue on.
I will also take some of the blame for lobbying to get certain games cancelled (City Golf, Dead End, The Crow, etc.) because they were simply not good. I hated to see money wasted on stuff that wasn't going to sell when there were more worthwhile projects to do.
BTW, Citizen Dwayne was later retitled A New Day, just before it too was cancelled.
City Golf was supposed to be a golf game in NY City. The developer had no realtime 3D engine, and wanted to do it as sprites over a 3D rendered backdrop, which is lame. Then they couldn't get the sprites to scale properly (which I knew was going to be an issue.) Then the developer changed the game from 18 holes to 9 holes because they were going over budget.
The final straw was when the developer completely missed a development milestone, but Philips, because of politics, overruled me and decided to pay the developer as if the milestone was completed, which completely undercut my authority on the project.
At that point that project was in my crosshairs for cancellation, and I finally succeeded (with lots of help) before the company wasted even more money."
An idea about all the cancelled games he worked on: Voyeur II (CD-i SKU cancelled), Ripley's Believe it or Not (cancelled), Citizen Dwayne (cancelled), Dead End (cancelled), City Golf (cancelled), The Crow (cancelled), Stay Healthy for Life (cancelled).
Thanks to Jimmy