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Wolfpack Studios Closing

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the play-to-nothing-i-guess dept.

22

After a good long run, Wolfpack Studios is being closed down by publisher Ubisoft. Their recent announcement of free-to-play was apparently not the opening of a new business model, but instead a harbinger of the end times. From the MMORPG.com article: "This according to sources at the development house who were recently informed that their jobs were being terminated. The last day for Wolfpack staff is May 15th. Parent company Ubisoft is said to instead be redirecting their company's focus to next-gen platforms. At this time, there is no word on what this will mean for the future of Shadowbane itself. The game just hit its three-year anniversary and was recently offered free to all users."

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First? (2, Interesting)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019454)

15min. and no replies yet? Looks to me like Ubi did the right thing.

Re:First? (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019529)

Yeah right. This, abusing customers with Starforce.

We'd have been better off if EA had managed to take over the company.

Re:First? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019549)

Were you expecting everyone to jump on this like a pack of wolves? Even slashdotters can respect the dead -- sometimes.

Re:First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020533)

Were you expecting everyone to jump on this like a pack of wolves?

Given the name of the studio, I'd think that might be appropriate for once.

Seen this before... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019493)

It's hard being an independent developer when the larger players want to buy you out or put you out of business, and even harder still when you are bought out and later discarded because your services are no longer needed. But not surprising.

f1rst p0zt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019501)

For Manu

shadowbane? wolf pack? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019567)

shadowbane? wolf pack? sounds goofy, anyway.

Short life (3, Insightful)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019619)

I am suprised Shadowbane lasted this long.

I knew a group of people (roughly 30) who attempted to play Shaadowbane after release. All from different gaming backgrounds, EQ, DAoC, AC, AO, D2, DS, NWN, etc. The game seemed to hit a wall in advancement within the first month of play. Most quit after 30days, only 1 person out of a group of 30 lasted longer than 90 days.

The game was not good when compared to already establshed games in the genre. Then more advanced games like WoW came out and that just made Shadowbane's already bad situation worse.

Re:Short life (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019740)

Well its not so much it wasnt good, (it was buggy as shit) but it had way different goals then all the MMORPGs you mentioned.

You level really fast in Shadowbane, PVE is really just there to hit the max level and get gold so you can advance your guilds city upgrade your gear. Its all about the city and destroying other players.

So no wonder they left, they probably all wanted the uber lewts and what not.

Re:Short life (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019792)

I played Shadowbane for the first time when it went free... My response: *yawn*

Even as a free game, it didn't hold my interest all that much. There is appears to be very little content other than kill the mob, grind the levels.

I know as a PvP game, part of the design goal is that enemy players are "part of the content", but the game seemed completely void of anything else to do. Even compared to the original EverQuest, its contents fail to appeal. It has no chance against WoW.

Oh, and lastly the lag was ungodly horrible. I'm sure some of this was due to the influx of new players under the "free offer" but when I checked the /who lists, there didn't seem to be that many people... Certianly not enough to have my toon be frozen for almost 2 minutes (True! I couldn't do ANYTHING for 2 minutes... clicking anything in the UI resulted in NO ACTIONS until I got a small break in the lag long enough to move away from the busy area). It was absolutely unplayable, and as I mentioned there weren't *that* many people on the server.

Probably being replaced with hardworking Indians!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019664)

No more lazy white men making videio games for lazy white boys!

Hard working! Low cost! Maxiimum Return on Investment!

  India!!!!

Re:Probably being replaced with hardworking Indian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15021985)

Oh yes, I would want to play a game where the quests are to feed a cow.

Bummer (2, Interesting)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019669)

I came back when the game turned free after leaving it years ago when it was a buggy mess. There is still some nasty bugs but I am surprised on how much fun I was having in game after I came back. First pickup group I had off of the noob isle ended up with 3 of the 9 man trying to jack the other players.. 2 were Thieves.. not sure what we where thinking in the first place the other was an Assassin.

It was funny to see the one rogue get caught stealing, deny the whole thing and then get smashed down in one hit by another character level 75 main who is spamming "QUIT STEALING" it was comedy gold.

Shadowbane .. anything goes. I hope it sticks around.

Wolfpack? (2, Funny)

stu42j (304634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019766)

I don't suppose they are related to the Submarine game from the early nineties? That was a fun game.

Great game (1)

ukpyr (53793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019911)

All games have bugs, to me shadowbane had fewer important ones than better funded games. What really set SB apart was the freeform pvp it offered. Also you actaully had the freedom to make a bad character.

PvE players aren't into the whole virtual material loss thing, really that was the problem imo. You might say they are wussies to atttached to pixels. I know I would say that :)

A few years from now, there will be a game where you can lose your possesions on death and it will be hailed as revolutionary by the WoW/EQ kids.

Source Code?? (1)

trance_programmer (889212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020084)

As a programmer this makes me wonder if they are going to release the source code for the game since it will discontinued anyhow. Might as well give back to the commumity since you are out of a job. I never got into the whole MMO thing but this is one of the few games that I actually thought about playing. Something about giving my life over to a game seemed a little too much for me but giving a few hours a night over to UT2004 and HL2 aren't such a stretch. I have always been interested in the programming that went into MMO's it would be cool to see some for a game that actually went to retail.

Sad... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020164)

I played SB for a 3 months. It was fun but not really that memorable.

Sad to see the company go though...

Won't somebody think of the children?!? (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020449)

Ever wonder what the world would be like if it was populated solely by 14 year-olds? Now give those kids knives and the ability tor turn invisible. That's Shadowbane in a nutshell.

I've played PvP in a number of online worlds and SB was just the worst. And by worst, I don't mean the worst system, but the worst player experience. There was something about Shadowbane being only PvP that attracted the most socially defective. And I'm grading "socially defective" on a curve for online games.

Sad to see a bunch of people loose their jobs because their parent company took a chance. But then again, games would be more interesting if more companies took more chances.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children?!? (1)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020663)

The average maturity of an SB player was far beyond the maturity of a WoW player. You can't imagine the amount of times I wanted to gank someone for being the 4th or 5th person in a day to ask me "cn u rn me thru WC?!?!?!"

WoW's PvP, compared to SB, is like kids playing little green army men versus the real army. It's so dry, sterile, and contrived. Death is meaningless. Losing a BG is meaningless. Gear is everything and can overcome skill and teamwork. A lot of teamwork and organization is required to be the best of the best in WoW. In SB you don't need that organization to be the best. You need that organization just to try and compete. Not to mention, SB has far more variety in its character classes than WoW.

The problem, as many people have already pointed out, is that the UI and bugs just plain sucked. Lag was killer, crashes were common, and the interface just didnt feel natural. That and if you didn't get into a decent guild, then the game did just downright suck ass, and people didnt want to give SB a shot after being ganked for the 50th time trying to solo.

Wow! (0, Troll)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15021396)

Wow! I think all 12 Shadowbane players have commented here.

Industry Conslidation (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15023970)

A lot of gaming studios will disappear just like a lot of movie studios disappeared last century. The publishers will end up picking up the old titles for a song and redevelop titles that show promise.

Picking which publishers will thrive going forward will be the big investment trick. The ones currently at the top don't always perform the best as they have a lot of fiscal baggage to content with. With the consoles settling down after Christmas game sales should thrive, at least for the platform aimed right at the Christmas season.

Re:Industry Conslidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15026272)

I think one of the two big problems in Shadowbane is the developers had already decided how the game was going to be played. You were going to be fighting nation against nation, end of story. While I realize any game system has to have predetermined content, I think many of us want to work out our own goals. Thats probably one reason something as mindless as EQ evolved into is still going strong. But with a little luck, something good will come from each of these games that can make some future game better. SB's tradeskill system was a big step in the right direction IMO. Maybe some hybrid of it and DAOC will leak into some future game.

Holten Greensong
Defender's of Aleria
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