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Loki Speaks up on Chapter 11

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the words-of-hope dept.

Linux Business 216

Traivor writes "Loki sent an email to all its customers about the chapter 11 filing. The most interesting bit is they claim to be making money." I've been rooting for Loki forever (and I've taken to buying all their releases even tho I don't have time to play them lately ;) Anyway, I've atached the email to this story so you can read it if you're curious.

The following is an email sent by Scott Draeker of Loki

Dear Friend of Loki:

As you may know, on August 3, 2001, Loki filed a Chapter 11 reorganization. As our valued customer, we wanted to let you know why we have elected to reorganize and how, if at all, it will impact our ongoing business.

Under US law there are two kinds of bankruptcy:

  1. Chapter 7 is a liquidation. We have not filed a Chapter 7 and have no intention of doing so.
  2. Chapter 11 is a reorganization. This will allow us to deal with our creditors fairly and equitably and at the same time continue to operate the company. We are still shipping products and porting new games and expect to be doing so for a long, long time.

Most of the debts we are restructuring through the Chapter 11 are well over a year old. They represent mistakes made by a young company. We've learned from our mistakes and become cash positive. Going forward we have every confidence that Loki will continue to be successful and grow.

We cannot say for certain how long Loki will remain in Chapter 11. It depends on many factors. However we do intend to bring the process to a conclusion as quickly as possible. Once our plan of reorganization is accepted by the court, our creditors will receive an agreed upon settlement and all other prepetition obligations will be fully and finally discharged.

During and after the reorganization your orders will continue to be honored. We will continue to provide end user support, bug fixes and new products. Negotiations are in progress to guarantee Loki a steady stream of additional AAA games to bring to Linux.

Most importantly, we'd like to thank each of you for your support over the years. Without our customers, we are nothing. The outpouring of support we have received in the last few days has been overwhelming, and we will continue to do everything we can to merit that support.

Kind regards,

Scott Draeker
President, Loki Software

cancel ×


Lucky they stayed away from BeOS (0)

Count (107594) | more than 12 years ago | (#2109737)

I know there were some talk in the Be comunity of trying to get Loki to port games to Be. Even though I would have picked up both linux and Be copies up it was a lucky move on their part. I have bought serveral Loki games and really hope that the company can pull out of ch.11. I am afraid the damage has been done at least for the time being ... this is not good for the companies who are considering porting there games to Linux. But i will continue to give my support.

Buy a PS2 (1)

pudge_lightyear (313465) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114243)

I'm realizing more and more lately that I don't need pc's for games. I haven't bought a pc game in months, although I've bought about 20 Dreamcast games. I'm going to buy a ps2 in a couple of months (after the price drops) and I'll get all of my games on that. After all, they're going to start making the same games for both. My computer will now be for computer stuff....
now where's that codeweavers crossover thingie....

More informative media on Loki (5, Informative)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114254)

Read the LinuxToday [] tell-all article here [] where it goes into the real story about Loki and how bad their situation is.

Also, LinuxGames [] did a retrospective article [] the night that the Loki news first broke. It covers history, achievements, difficulties, and the possible future of Loki. Read it here []

Cash positive: definition needed (1)

mac123 (25118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2115412)

Do they mean cash positive, like they have earnings above $0?

Or Amazon's definition, where you say you are cash positive (before all types of various expenses).

Re:Cash positive: definition needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2115418)

Amazon's definition is the somewhat-standard business definition for "cash flow positive" (there are a few different ways to discuss cash-flow, one of which being --for example-- EBITDA, which stands for "earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). It is a very different thing than "net income positive", which is the bottom line on the income statement.

A second portrayal of "cash flow" is similar to "operating income" which (if memory serves) is earnings minus interest and taxes, and does not include NON-CASH charges such as depreciation, investment write-offs, amortization, etc. As it shouldn't because they are NON-CASH charges.

Hope this helps...I've seen a few poor explanations already in this article...

Loki has it backwards (3, Interesting)

cje (33931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2115989)

Loki's whole goal is very laudable (making Windows games available natively for Linux.) However, as experience has shown, it isn't the most profitable venture in the world. Linux users are accustomed to getting their software for free, not paying for it. It therefore stands to reason that you cannot expect to make pots of money by taking software from a group of people who are used to paying for it (Windows users) and re-releasing it for those who are accustomed to downloading source tarballs (Linux users.)

It seems to me that wealth creation could be maximized by doing the exact opposite thing: taking free games for Linux, packaging them, and then selling then to Windows users. What Windows user wouldn't purchase a copy of TuxRacer if he saw it on sale at Best Buy? XBill 2 would likely be a big hit. And think about it: the initial capital outlay is minimal (after all, the games are all free.) I'm willing to bet that we could sell /bin/ls to Windows users if we put it in a slick enough package and bought up enough ad space ("The Ultimate File Listing Tool for Windows!")

Loki's heart is in the right place, but if they want to dig themselves out of the hole that they have found themselves in, the best thing that they could possibly do is reverse their name to Ikol and start doing the exact opposite of what they're doing now.

Re:Loki has it backwards (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2134290)

Congratulations, you get the 'Most Moronic Post of the Day' award.

Moderators, show this guy to the door.

Different pictures (2, Informative)

maelstrom (638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117967)

This Linux Today column [] seems to paint a different story. Implying that the company was on the edges for quite some time, being funded by employee credit cards.

Who's right?

its all clear now (2)

levendis (67993) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119549)

...They represent mistakes made by a young company...

Like a chair budget of $1000 per employee?? :)

Linux runs games? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2122553)

Since when? Worker drones use Linux. Gamers use Windows. Period.

The reason that there are no Linux games is because most Linux users don't know how to play. A Linux user would rather type cryptic commands into a monochrome display terminal, while a Windows user frags his "enemies" in 32-bit big screen color and surround sound. Until Linux get a handle on fun, it'll stay a second-rate OS. The sooner all you geeks figure this out the sooner you'll rule. Until then, quit your whining.

What can you do? (5, Funny)

DoasFu (99077) | more than 12 years ago | (#2125892)

You try to make it in this world, you work hard, you put out good products that people enjoy, and what comes of it? Some older God, snobby old economy type, chains you to a rock bed and drips acid on your face for eternity.

Poor Loki. Poor, poor Loki.

Boycott Odin!


Loki (2, Insightful)

I_redwolf (51890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2126777)

How does anyone come to a substansial conclusion from that email? Everyone is talking about how Chapter 11 means death but that is far from the truth if you don't know the specifics. Just because a company files for Chapter 11 doesn't mean it's anywhere near going out of business and since we don't know the specifics what's the FUD all about?

I think what happened was Loki was having a difficult time starting up. They finally started going and gaining income and either:

1. Neglected to pay some creditors.
2. Weren't in a position to pay creditors at the time.
3. Accountant totally forgot about it.

There are too many "ifs" to even speculate. So don't it makes you look like a jackass and in the mean time.. Play a game.

Warcraft 3! Hang in there! (2)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129268)

Nerds around the world will stand in line for warcraft 3 based on the stuff I've seen so far.

Port away!

Almost sold out... (3, Insightful)

pipeb0mb (60758) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130096)

Back at LWE in NYC this Spring, Loki approached the now defunct Chilliware, looking for a buyout.
Many phone calls and meetings later, a sum of $250,000 was reached; this would give Chilliware 100% rights to Loki software.

$250k aint alot of cash folks. Any company that can go under for that small an amount, well. Sheesh...

BTW, other companies that almost sold out to Chilliware:
*GNUCash (Houston, we have a problem...)
*EasyLinux (Hi Hans!)

Luckily, Chilliware imploded, thanks to the CEO's wandering eye and hands.

Oh yeah, I have the source for iceSculptor, Mentor and Mohawk, if anyone wants to buy it...Chilliware owes me some big cash, and since none of the 'principals' will respond, I'll take it this way instead.

Buying Time (1)

Sinjun (176671) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131435)

It seems like they're just delaying the inevitable to me (seriously not trolling here). You simply don't file bankruptcy of any kind unless you are in dire straits. I'm rooting for them all the way, but no matter how you spin it chapter 11 = seriously troubled company.

Complex question (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2112238)

Companies survive Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing:Schwinn Bicycles, Southwestern Life Holdings (formerly PennCorp Financial Group - insurance), S.H. Leggit Co. (Major RV/Mobile home manufactures, Orion International Technologies are recent examples. So writing Loki off automatically is unfair.

However, this poster is correct in his guess that it is the exception rather than the rule. I can't vouch for this statistic but according to this article

Only 8% of companies that file from Chapter 11 emerge. Other articles I've read have executives stating that being in Chapter 11 is like having the courts run your company. Agressively attacking debts (chapter 11 essentially protects you from having creditors shut down your company) and emerging quickly seems to be a key to success.

In the meantime, what the hell do you all know, yah nay-saying twerps. Of course Loki is going to put the best possible spin on what is obviously a life-support measure. They wouldn't be filing if they weren't about to be shredded by their creditors otherwise. But in the meantime, other than simply disappearing in a puff of venture capital like most of the ill-conceived and overextended startups of the last 5 years, they are working to pay off as much of their debts as possible on a sustainable schedule. In the meantime, they keep contributing to the economy, their employees still ahve a job, and they still have a chance. Whether they manage to be one of the 8% is up to their customers and how wise the choices they make going forward are.

Re:Buying Time (2, Informative)

jguthrie (57467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134796)

You know, less than a decade ago Continental Airlines went through "Chapter 11", and their airplanes still take to the air every day. Yes, a bankruptcy is a dramatic step, but smart people who own a business will consider it long before the company is on its last legs.

It can also be good for the creditors, too. You can't get money from a company that's filed for Chapter 7, as that means the company has gone out of business, but generally the payments are rescheduled in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy so the creditors at least have a shot at getting all of what they're owed.

Of course, the folks at Loki probably would rather have not filed for protection, as it is a very public admission of being in over your head, but this doesn't mean that they're going to go under no matter what.

Re:Buying Time (3, Insightful)

shagster (2319) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134940)

Actually, chapter 11 is used to project a serious debt or can even been use to project against serious (in value) lawsuits claims.

I know that USG ( filed for chap 11 ( basically as protection for a class action lawsuit against serveral serveral companies (including them) for asbestos-related claims. As they were the only company that had not filed Chap 11, everybody was going have them.

Chap 11 can be used to project a company because of large debt. Allowing them to restructure and the debt and while making sure they don't increase it.

While it is true that those plans may not work. Chap 11 is designed to allow companies to attempt to corrected a large debt problem will still providing to the people we are entailed to the money.

Just because a company files Chap 11 does not mean they are doomed. It means they made stupid mistakes before and hopefully they can correct it.

If Loki is making money (minus of course the debt) then they have a good chance of continuing to move forward.

True, but tha'ts the whole POINT of chapter 11. (5, Informative)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154879)

IT's for when you owe people money, and you can't pay. The idea is that you can stave off the creditors for a while, deal with them all fairly and evenly, and allow your company to start making some money. This doesn't mean 'making money because they don't have to pay bills'... it is designed to give them breathing room in order to dig their way out.

A *seriously* troubled company wouldn't bother with Chapter 11... they would just dissolve.

Making money (2, Interesting)

Mordred (104619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131436)

"The most interesting bit is they claim to be making money"
They may be making money now (current quater) but are still losing money off their previous debts, which is why they're going Chapter 11. Still I'm kinda surprised that they've even broke even.

Good luck to 'em.


Re:Making money (1)

AnyLoveIsGoodLove (194208) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155670)

This is commonly referred to as "Pro Forma"...blah blah bullshit..

Deus Ex (2)

technomancerX (86975) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131437)

Now if they can just survive long enough to actually release Deus Ex...

Seriously, I own a lot of Loki products and hope they stay around... I enjoy an occasional game and REALLY don't want to keep a Windows box around just for that...

Re:Deus Ex (2)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119697)

I enjoy an occasional game and REALLY don't want to keep a Windows box around just for that...

So go grab a Playstation 2 or Nintendo Gamecube when their prices drop. I've found it's more fun to play games that I can play with up to three of my friends in the same room than it is to play multiplayer over the 'net anyhow. It's also nice to be able to play on a big-screen TV set.

Another neat thing about consoles is that they're easy to pack up and take to a friend's place as well.

Re:Deus Ex (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134938)

6 words, Home network & TV-Out Capable Video Card....I don't know what it is...I just don't care for consoles to much....


Re:Deus Ex (1)

fenriswolf (515715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133711)

I definately also own a bunch of loki games, and believe that it is important that loki survives. It is not important because of how good theire ports are, or anything like that. It is important because if they survive, they are showing that make software for an alternative OS is possible. Unfortunately, if they fail, it may keep a lot of companies from ever trying to port their games.

This situation is much more important than it seems, and is a major factor in the acceptance of linux as a Desktop OS. Please....someone invest in Loki, so I have the freedom to choose what OS I play my games in.

yum (1)

daanger0us (473406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131439)

mmm... Loki Good. Me want more.

Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (3, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131440)

This note is not realistic. Once you have filed Ch. 11, you are seeking legal protection from ceditors. So you are out of the woods for now, but no one will ever loan you money again.

I don't see how you can realistically operate a company with no line of credit. Loki will be sold, its almost certain.

Hang on... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133314)

Didn't Wang do precisely this back in, what, the early 90s?

Re:Hang on... (1, Offtopic)

UltraBot2K1 (320256) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135009)

Yeah, and when was the last time you saw a Wang for sale?

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (1)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134169)

I think you are on the right track. I don't like to admit it either, but the line from the email pertaining to mistakes made by a young company just rings hallow. Typically it takes more than a few years for a company to 'mature' into something sensible, etc.

The 'real world' analogy for you and I and most people who do not own their own companies (all you folks who contract, no, that doesn't count) would be thus: how many people do you know who've had a vehicle repossessed and then been able to get a home loan?

So here's a reality check question: who is going to buy a company that starved in a market with NO competitors?

Anyone ... anyone?
-- RLJ

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (1)

hank (294) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129514)

Pardon me, but here's another reality check question: just how lucrative do you figure the "porting-windows-games-to-linux" market is?

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (1)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2120469)

Hmmm, let's think ... how does "not very" sound? No, that doesn't quite capture the spirit of my initial question.

I'm looking for something that says, "How bad of a businessman do you have to be to finance your nearly-underwater company from your own not-so-deep pockets" that fits into a simple sound bite.

-- RLJ

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2134930)

Please, do not moderate this guy up. He makes claims which are NOT true, and is basically talking out of his ass.

Um, tell that to TWA and other companies that did (1)

kcurtis (311610) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134939)

If you have poor business practices, Chapter 11 is a short-term solution. If you need to adjust to changes in the economy or industry, Chapter 11 can provide needed protection and time. TWA is still around, and they filed Chapter 11 seven years ago.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (2, Informative)

Mhrmnhrm (263196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135352)

Not necessarily. LTV Steel in Cleveland has been in and out of Ch. 11 a number of times in the past 20 years, primarily because of forces outside its control. Like many American steel companies (and the auto industry), it had grown fat on subsidies and protective tariffs. When those were cut out, it went into protection as it found ways to cut size without cutting production. This has been going on again lately with the question of foreign steel being dumped here. When you operate a massive, full-bore steel foundry and mill (like most steel companies did), your costs are enormous compared to the european mini-mills.

Chapter 11 is also similar in some ways to a debt consolidation loan. You're taking on a huge new debt, but getting rid of all your old ones at the same time. You still have to pay your old creditors, but once they've got their share, they're over with. All that's left is the guy/bank/venturist who spotted you the money to pay off the loan sharks.

(Snide comment at the risk of being modded down: Do you really think M$ needs a line of credit?)

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (3, Insightful)

SurfsUp (11523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2137730)

Once you have filed Ch. 11, you are seeking legal protection from ceditors. So you are out of the woods for now, but no one will ever loan you money again.

That's nonsense. Think like a lender. Company screws up, takes on too much debt, wastes money, etc, company files for protection, company pays off debts in an orderly way, company emerges without debt. Now what have you got? You have management with proven workout experience. You've got a proven business model. You've got a debt-free company. This adds up to: prime lending target.

When a company emerges successfully from Chapter 11, one problem it definitely does not have is finding new credit. The real question is, will they be willing to take on so much debt again, so fast? Probably not. Once burned, twice shy.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2147721)

Hate to say it, but NEVER give money to a company currently in Chapter 11.

You can get screwed while there creditors get some of their money back. (Yours, regardless of the fact they didn't have yours before they filed for Chapter 11!!!!!)

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (2, Interesting)

rekoil (168689) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154345)

That isn't quite true - yes, it is substantially more difficult, and more expensive, to obtain credit after filing Chapter 11, but it isn't anywhere near impossible. "Sub-prime" financing is a legitimate sector of the credit industry, and these institutions lend to companies as well as to individuals.

Mind you, a company with a bankruptcy in its history will pay substantially higher interest rates and have its finances put under much closer scrutiny than otherwise, but if the company is otherwise financially sound, and as the letter states, cashflow-positive, there's somebody out there who will lend them money. The question is, how expensive will the credit be?

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (1)

nowt (230214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129692)

They're going to spend the bulk of their time satisfying the court (at first) and creditors (if they last that long) and their products will definately suffer as a result. It's more than most companies can bear.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (2)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 12 years ago | (#2125207)

Some of the executive will be spending a lot of time satisfying the courts and creditors. Most of the programmers and and game designers (those who don't have executive duties) will remained focused on doing game work.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (5, Informative)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154587)

I'm not sure of your logic on this. If you go through the Chapter 11 successfully and fairly, it doesn't taint your record and cause them to flee like you're a lepar.

Besides, if the company is as Scott said, Cash positive the line of credit is probably not a huge concern. They already have their shop setup, which is most of the costs of any company. They have employees, and are "balanced" out. All expansion and everything can come from their profit margin.

I'd be more surprised to see Loki sold than Loki buying or expanding their business model in the next 2 years. Chapter 11 isn't the end-all-you're-screwed, you still deal with your creditors. Everyone should walk away mostly pleased. That's what the purpose of it is.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130748)

Besides, if the company is as Scott said, Cash positive the line of credit is probably not a huge concern.

Oh come on, if everything was champagne and lollipops, they wouldn't have filed in the first place.

Given the history of VA, Penguin, and other pure linux companies, Loki will be reduced to the equivalent of loan sharking to finance the place in the long run. Reputable creditors will keep a safe distance.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (2, Informative)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130358)

No, a lot of companies pull out of Chapter 11. It's not champagne and lollipops. Most of the time it's stupid decisions made in the beginning of the company, like Scott said.

The purpose of a Chapter 11 is to re-establish a relationship with your creditors so you can start getting your business setup again.

You file because of bad times, bad decisions, bad whatever. Hopefully it goes good, and it fades into history.

Re:Reality Bite on Ch. 11 (2, Informative)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155668)

no one will ever loan you money again.

This should read no one will loan you money in the near future. If Loki has a positive cash flow and can show that they were in the BLACK for over a couple of years (depends on the creditor), then there is a chance that they will lend you money at THEIR terms(ie. Prime +5 and such). Ch.11 is made to help business survive when there is a possibility for success. We will know more in the next couple of months.

yay! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2131441)


Heh (5, Funny)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131445)

I've been rooting for Loki...

So YOU'RE the one who's been breaking into my boxen...

Re:Heh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2113654)

LOL!!! :-)

This is funny. Mod this up.

Comforting.... (1)

Quebec (35169) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131446)

All I can say is this:

I'm crossing my fingers for them!

I can't wait for more AAA games (1, Troll)

jandrese (485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131448)

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for TripTic Blaster and Gran Turismo Safe driving edition.

after original post (-1, Troll)

Misha (21355) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131450)

i bought a game from them. i wonder if that's how they've become 'cash positive'.

who here bought something from them since the news of Chapter 11 came out? Do you think you helped them?

I though I helped them with my $30, but not anymore. Here's why:

They may have had their biggest revenue week after these news. They can't be pulling this as a publicity stunt every month. So we just prolonged the pain.

Any thoughts?

Re:after original post (2, Insightful)

mmelder (60726) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135728)

The reason they filed for chapter 11 is that their business is running well except for financial distress on loans that they've had for a while now. This means that if they can manage to get rid of their loans, the company will be doing fine. It's worth helping any company break out of financial distress as long as the company would be profitable otherwise. This is fairly basic economics.

Sound very typical (2, Informative)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132576)

The tone and wording of the letter sound very typical of a company in ch. 11. Have you compared the letter/press release of different companies in the same situation?

I remember when I was interviewing at Montgomery Ward in 97 for a network design engineer position. I didn't follow the news, so I didn't know MW had just filed ch. 11 the day before the interview. The director who interviewed me brought up the issue as soon as we sit down. It sounded almost exactly like this.

Ch. 11 gave them almost 4 years, but it still went down.

To all you doom and gloomers.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2132794)

Kiss my pasty ass!!

w00t (-1, Troll)

jweatherley (457715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132927)

Taco's been w00ting for Loki - isn't that illegal?

On the other hand (0, Troll)

re-Verse (121709) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133477)

I've been dissapointed by Loki once recently. I was thinking of moving from windows to linux on my home gaming system, figured i'd be able to play tribes 2 in linux, since i had heard it was done. I didn't realize the windows cd isn't patchable (like q3a is). To make things worse, Loki only sells complete CDs, not patches. And after spending 70$ on the win version, i figured i may as well say in win than move to linux and pay it again. If he had, for example, been selling a 15 dollar patch, i may have migrated.

Ideally, i'd like game companies to follow id softwares q3a style and make everything cross platform.

Re:On the other hand (1)

dinivin (444905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114603)

So why does this make you disappointed in Loki? It was hardly their decision (unless, of course, you expect them to give out their work to you free of charge). Instead, how about aiming your disappointment at Sierra Studios?


Re:On the other hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2114058)

What part of the previous poster's story makes you think he's disappointed? Sounds like he tried the Windows version and ran into some problems. The he tried the Linux version and it worked well.

In case you're a complete fucktard, allow your good friend AC to spell it out for you:
Linux version == Loki
Windows version == Sierra

Re:On the other hand (2, Interesting)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2120286)

I also considered moving from Windows to Linux for many of my gaming needs. I, however, payed attention to the information regarding the Linux Tribes 2 port and was well aware that the Windows CD would not be patchable and that a seperate Linux specific version would need to be purchased, so I waited. I also understood the reason: Loki doesn't work for free, and they won't make money if people buy the Windows versions and just slap a patch to make them run under Linux. It was somewhat irritating that the Windows version was released several weeks earlier than the Linux version, though I did try the Windows version (borrowed a CD) under Windows 2000. The game, after three patches, would always crash with the oft-seen 'Unhandled Exception' error before I could play it. The Linux version, after installation, has played without a hitch every time.

Re:On the other hand (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2126804)

Nice troll you jerk. It's obvious you're a moron because:

figured i'd be able to play tribes 2 in linux, since i had heard it was done. I didn't realize the windows cd isn't patchable (like q3a is). - Wow, you really did your homework on that one. You heard a rumor and took it as fact?

And after spending 70$ on the win version, i figured i may as well say in win than move to linux and pay it again. - 1, you got royally ripped on the purchase price of the Windows game (I've never payed more than $52 for a brand-spanking new game), and 2, Linux and Windows are two completely different OS's. Just because Wine has managed to emulate Windows API calls under Linux is no guarantee that Windows programs should work in Linux. I'm no Linux expert, but I'm at least smart enough to realize utter stupidity like yours when I see it.

Re:On the other hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2129269)

And another thing,

Don't blame Loki Games for your ineptitude...

Re:On the other hand (3, Insightful)

jmauro (32523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135702)

Except for Quake 3 all the porting was done by id Software. Hense it didn't cost anything else extra for Loki to distribute the game under windows. In the case of Tribes 2, the game was ported by Loki, so they have a finicial interest in recouping the costs of the port. When more companies write software for three platforms from the get go, then everyone will be like ID, but until then just don't buy the Windows version if your interested in the Linux one. Best things come to those who wait.

Re:On the other hand (5, Interesting)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2138435)

I've been dissapointed by Loki once recently. I was thinking of moving from windows to linux on my home gaming system, figured i'd be able to play tribes 2 in linux, since i had heard it was done. I didn't realize the windows cd isn't patchable (like q3a is). To make things worse, Loki only sells complete CDs, not patches. And after spending 70$ on the win version, i figured i may as well say in win than move to linux and pay it again. If he had, for example, been selling a 15 dollar patch, i may have migrated.

You obviously don't hang out on the Loki newsgroups do you? This must be the most asked, most discussed question on those newsgroups.

Simply put, it doesn't make any financial sense for Loki to do this. Selling games on the Linux platform will, at least for the immediate future, be selling to a much smaller market than the Windows platform. Therefore the economies of scale which allow the cost-cutting seen with Windows games are just not an option for Loki - if every Loki game could be run on Linux by buying the Windows version (often more cheaply) and patching it to run on linux, Loki would not have released as many games as it has and it would be filing for Chapter 7. Bust. Finito. Gone.

Even allowing people to pay purely for the patch rather than new physical media would cut any margins they currently enjoy to nothing. Out of the $15 you propose, you can forget about $10 dollars as tax and payment to the original vendor (id software, Dynamix, etc.) and only leave tiny crumbs for Loki. $35 would probably make about the right margin - you can buy most Loki games for that and get a Linux-specific manual as well.

Have I been disappointed with Loki? No - everything I have bought has run straight out of the box. Most problems are fixed promptly and the installation and patching is an easy, trouble free process. And quite frankly, Urban Terror [] rocks my world :-)


Toby Haynes

Re:On the other hand (1)

halftrack (454203) | more than 12 years ago | (#2147722)

Just sell the game. Put it up on an auction on-line or something. There is always someone willing to buy it. Then migrate.

Re:On the other hand (3, Insightful)

blaine (16929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155010)

This is a completely unreasonable request.

You do realize that Loki has to *pay* companies for the right to port games? And that they front all of the money for the porting? If Loki gave away patches, or sold them for $15, they would lose IMMENSE amounts of cash on every title they ported. The only way they can make money is to sell the game at the normal price.

It isn't their fault that you bought the Windows CD. Would you bitch and moan if you had migrated to a Mac, and needed a new CD?

The only reason Q3A for Linux could use the Windows CDs is because Id made the port themselves, and just contracted Loki to keep it updated and distributed. Loki didn't initially pay to port it.

TINSTAAFL. If you want Linux games, you have to buy Linux games, not buy Windows games with the hope that some company is benevolent enough to front the money to port it, and not get any profits back. Or, you need to convince game shops to make their products cross-platform to begin with, which would negate the need for other companies to port them.

Re:On the other hand (2)

Micah (278) | more than 12 years ago | (#2112427)

Well, Loki could make contracts that would allow simply selling patches. Hopefully they could arrange that by paying little to no royalties -- after all it would result in more sales for the original 'doze game.

Re:On the other hand (1)

blaine (16929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111632)

That most likely wouldn't help. It isn't just the cost of the licensing that makes porting expensive. It is the sheer manpower required. Loki has written a LOT of stuff to help porting (SDL, etc), but it still isn't a non-trivial task. It requires skilled programmers, and a lot of time. If they sold games for $15 a piece, even if that gave them a profit, it wouldn't be enough to recoup costs.

Games cost $50 a piece for a reason. Sure, the media and packaging only make up $1 or $2, but when you factor in manpower, licensing, marketing, and other things, they might be making $10 or $15 on that $50 game. No matter how good a deal they get from the original publishers, there is no way they could make selling patches a profitable endeavour.

I have to credit (2, Funny)

Jim42688 (445645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133645)

08/15/2001: Wednesday Loki Is Dead ... Score: -1 Insightful Loki, a company devoted to porting popular Windows games to the Linux platform, filed for bankruptcy protection early this week. Although this may look like the official death of Linux as desktop alternative, posters on Slashdot insist that this is all "good news" for Linux enthusiasts. Owing millions of dollars in licensing fees to various game developers, Loki failed to find a market selling games to people who are not used to paying for software. It seems the company could not convince enough game enthusiasts to shell out another fifty bucks for a Linux version of a game they already own for Windows. Most of the posts on Slashdot mourned the loss of a another Linux-friendly company. Although this was one of many Linux bankruptcies in the past few months, users of the operating system maintain that the desktop OS war has already been fought and won ... by Linux ... dammit. Slashdot prides itself on the open-mindedness of its readership and the lively egalitarian debates held on its pages. For example, in response to one post questioning the need for Linux as a mainstream desktop operating system, a user responded with a mature and reasoned post: "Fuck the shut up, all of you! I'm writing a bot to make sure that any anti-Linux poster gets banned from /. or at least modded down. All of your negativity is getting in the way of our free and open forum." It is fortunate that the Linux community has such an open and democratic forum to vent their frustrations [if they were frustrations, which they certainly aren't]. Just as Henry Ford offered the public a panoply of colors for his early automobiles as long as they were black, Slashdot accepts the entire spectrum of opinion on issues of open source and the free software movement. "You are all a bunch of ridiculous fucktards," wrote a user named Anonymous Coward. "To all of you FUD-mongers who see Linux only as a server OS only, you should troll someplace else. You are not wanted here in our welcoming community. Slashdot is all about freedom of speech. So, shut the hell up before I use my various /. Logins to flame you into oblivion!" The quality of opinions expressed on Slashdot have remained high even as the quantity of posts grows exponentially. The reason for the sudden rise in traffic may have something to do with the increase in the amount of free time the average dot-com worker has these days. Since Slashdot as much a game as message board [users are objectively "scored" on every post], some have devised tricks to get their comments moderated up. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to pick a random quotation and plug in the appropriate proper nouns for instant wisdom. "Loki is dead." wrote one poster. "Long live Loki." "I come here to bury Loki, not to praise them." "Forst Pist," added another. "All your base are belong to us!" All told, the Linux community is upbeat [and not at all defensive] about the recent round of set-backs [if you want to call them that, because they're not "set-backs" at all]. In the aftermath of Loki's demise, however, Linux users will always have their old stand-by to fall back on: playing stolen Windows games. Jim42688: Go ahead, mod me down because I stuck a mirror in front of you...

YaaaHooo!! (1)

TheCeltic (102319) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133776)

This sounds like a valid business decision for a "dot-com" startup to be making especially given the market. I'm going to continue supporting Loki. They will ultimately succeed.

I've changed my mind... (2, Informative)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135084)

In the earlier thread, I urged people to help out Loki by buying their games. In light of recent information (both obtained through friends in the biz and various web articles), I have changed my mind.

I've worked for companies where someone held things together using their personal credit. That's a sign of poor management at best, and sheer stupidity at worst.

Given what I know now, I'd say wait to buy Loki products until someone other than Scott Draeker is in charge there. That's what I intend to do, at least. I was going to buy the Linux port of Kohan this weekend (I own the PC version already); now, I think I'll wait and see where Lokie ends up before giving them my money.

Re:I've changed my mind... (4, Insightful)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111529)

Given what I know now, I'd say wait to buy Loki products until someone other than Scott Draeker is in charge there.

Why? Does it matter if they are still funcitoning or doing well for their product to be useful to someone?

If they have developed a game you want to play, there's no reason not to buy it dispite the condition they happen to be in. At best, in the long run it won't matter, at worse, there won't be any more patches for your software. You'll still have the game you purchased.

Re:I've changed my mind... (2, Interesting)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 12 years ago | (#2120800)

Given what I know now, I'd say wait to buy Loki products until someone other than Scott Draeker is in charge there. That's what I intend to do, at least. I was going to buy the Linux port of Kohan this weekend (I own the PC version already); now, I think I'll wait and see where Lokie ends up before giving them my money.
I'm not sure I understand the logic here. You want to withhold your money from them to punish them for their accounting practices? You want to "see where they end up" first? I'll tell you how they end up; they end up slightly deeper in debt.

What does it matter how they "end up" anyway? You'd still own the game (<nitpick> the license </nitpick>), so what would it matter anyway?

Almost all companies in the world started on money financed by personal debt. It would only be stupid if they didn't file for chapter 11 protection before they got in too deep.

Re:I've changed my mind... (4, Informative)

Kirby (19886) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130749)

I'd suggest instead buying the games you think you'd like to play, and not buying the ones you won't.

I don't fully understand the idea of supporting a company on principle, or based on who is in charge. If they produce quality product that I want, I'll buy it.

I can see arguments for not buying from companies whose owners have political or ethical stances you disagree with, like Dave Thomas of Wendy's (outspoken anti-homosexual). But because their president has poor business sense? That's the sort of thing that either they'll straigten out, or the market will straighten out for them, but doesn't seem like a worthwhile use of, effectively, a boycott. But hey, if you have moral and ethical issues with people who can't manage a company and its debts, knock yourself out.

relief (1)

tupawk (220841) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135600)

I for one love all the loki games and think they do a better job on most of them than the original windows version!

Keep up the good work Loki!!

Re:relief (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2154588)

This doesn't even make any sense. They're a PORTING company. Exactly how do they make it "Better than the original windows"? Oh, that's right. It's the ABM talking. (Anything But Microsoft) If it's not running on Windows, somehow the *game* is better.

Re:relief (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2121187)

Yo, idiot! Over here you moron. In porting a game, you can oftentimes take time to clean up crappy code, buggy operation, and screwed up grammar mistakes and turn the 'new' product into a better version of the original. So yes, it is possible for Loki games to run better on a Linux machine.

Re:relief (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2154344)

Don't argue with linux users, you can't.

Re:relief (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2133843)

Mod parent post up to +5 Informative

Re:relief (3, Insightful)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154479)

Actually, in any porting effort when you deal with a lot of the system level code you can enhance and clean up the code a lot.

Thereby actually making it better than the original platform version. Look at UT, a nice 45 second load time under windows and a fraction of that under Linux.

Just because of that the game is better in my opinion. I hate waiting for it to load up under windows.

And under windows, it doesn't properly release my sound card either so I have to reboot right after playing it... dont see that happening under Linux now do ya?

Re:relief (3, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155178)

You wouldn't be referring to Unreal Memory Leak by UT would you? The game that under Windows will run for hours without a problem (and I've done this) but even when run as the only application under Linux eats up all available memory after a half-hour on a machine with 256MB?

(And leaves my system in a nice, stable state - you may wanna check with your sound card manufactorer and upgrade to the latest drivers - sounds like you've got some issues with the current ones.)

Yeah, I really see the increase of performance under Linux... at least with Linux, I can killall -9 ut to stop it, while under Windows - wait, I've never had a problem under Windows that requires me to kill it. I just choose "Exit."

My views (2)

proxima (165692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135727)

I guess the point of this letter was to try to convince Linux fans that Chapter 11 wasn't the end of the world, that Loki wasn't going under.

I think Loki needs to not only restructure its debts, it needs to restructure its business practice. Instead of paying hefty royalties to produce Linux versions of games that are already released, perhaps Loki could focus on more "timeless" games. You know, the games that aren't based on the latest and greatest graphics (Tribes 2) and aren't any fun after a year. They're expensive to produce, require high-end hardware, and only have a short 1-2 year shelf life before nobody wants it.

I think Loki could make a fair amount of money creating a unique game and producing it for both Windows and Linux. I'm not convinced that money can be made in the porting business, but a well-run game design place can. Focus all of Loki on one good game, of whatever genre, and market it well. Sell both Linux and Windows versions. If you buy one version, you should be able to get a 50% or more off the price of the other version. Sure, Loki can still port a game or two (c'mon, port Civ III - I'll pay $50 for it!). I high-end game companies have a hard time making profits off of games because of expensive development costs. Loki has a solid base of games that work great and can generate some revenue while they develop their own games that have a sensible budget.

Too many game companies are focusing on great graphics and the latest 3D cards. Instead, the focus should be on playability and creativity. If Loki makes a great game and has a version for Linux and Windows, it's sure to make a good chunk of money.

sigh (4, Insightful)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 12 years ago | (#2137330)

Most of the debts we are restructuring through the Chapter 11 are well over a year old.

We've... become cash positive.

It doesn't work that way. You may have income, but you're not positive if you can't pay your debts. Part of a successful reorganization is recognizing the situation you're in so you can fix it.

I wish them the best of luck, but they have some more thinking to do.

Re:sigh (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134562)

The issue is that debts have due dates, note I am not saying this is the case for Loki, if they have a due date to meet, which means thay have to pay back the full amount by said date. Then Capter 11 is the only option for them to refinance.

There are too many hidden issues here to guess why. If it is a csae where they owe some money to a few creditors, and most of these creditors are supportive of the restructuring then Loki will survive. If not then it will go into receivership and most likely into liquidation.

But as I have said before we do not know the details or issues behinde the restructuring.

Re:sigh (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2137628)

That is not what the definition of cash positive is. Because of the way modern accounting works many of the things you have pushed off or "hidden" until later can come back to hit you once your income does far outweigh your expenses. In many cases these debts now have severe penalities which cripples your ability to continue to function. By seeking Chapter 11 you are saying that, "Hey I am making money and I can pay you guys... just give me a little more time." Good or bad this is the way it works.

I have no doubts they are making money every month. But as they stated they have so much debt they can't continue without some sort of protection. People do it all the time and so do companies.

Profitability of porting software (3, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2138114)

I've often wondered what the economics of a porting company like Loki are like. For instance Vendor X sells game Y for $49.95 and there are 100,000 potential customers, only 10,000 of them happen to be running a variant operating system that you aren't targeting. However, under further analysis you learn that 9,000 of them dual-boot to your target environment, so they're actually potential candidates anyways. So company Y comes along and offers to port your software for those 10,000 users. Now really despite the fact that it has a potential market of 10,000 users, really 9,000 were potential users already, so the porting is purely a convenience for them, and the 1,000 are truly bonafide new customers.

Anyways you can see how economically this can get pretty convoluted, and it must be under tight terms that porting contracts written: I would presume that for the majority of the prospective market the original game was a candidate already. Bleh.

Re:Profitability of porting software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2154388)

Well one interesting turn of events games wise is OSX on the Mac really is not that far from Linux. If the Mac version was targetted at OS X then you might see a small bit of work to make it work under Linux. In which case I'm not sure if Loki is better or worse off. His company would now be butting heads with established Mac port houses, but on the other hand would also be in the lead suporting nix type OS's for some time now and be able to offer a "free" linux games service as part of the porting cost.

Re:Profitability of porting software (1)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154499)

I totally agree except for the assumption that the company producing the port pays shelf price for each version.

Wouldn't Loki have to be working deals with the publishers and their respective development houses from the get go? Wouldn't those deals revolve around the value Loki was adding by expanding market share and thereby give them leverage for a volume discounted price?

I know, I know, I'm replacing your assumption with two of my own. So there. :-)
-- RLJ

How could they owe anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2147412)

Other than salaries, facilities and hardware expenses, what is there to spend money on? It's not like they have to buy operating systems or compilers or anything like that. I thought Linux was free (as in beer, as well as -dom) I guess it was those $700 office chairs.

It was a flawed model, anyways (0, Troll)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154582)

Loki took games that had already been released for Windows -- games that had been out for months -- and ported them to Linux. Linux doesn't have many games for it, so if you like to play computer games, you've already got another computer that runs Windows for them, or you dual boot your Linux computer. And if there's a game that you really wanted, you've already bought the Windows version -- months before the Linux port comes out. When the Linux port does finally come out, you may have moved on to the next game, or you may just not feel like paying for the game *again*.

Had Loki been able to release Linux ports of games at the same time as the Windows versions, things may have been very different. I'd certainly have bought some of the games if I didn't have to wait.

Also note that Mac ports for games are similar, but they have one big difference -- a Mac cannot run modern PC games (PC emulators aren't quite good enough) but a Linux PC could always be dual booted into Windows. So a Linux user with a PC could always install Windows on another partition if he *really* needed it.

Because of this, the market for Mac games, even Mac ports of games that have been out for months on Windows boxes, is a good deal larger than the market for Linux ports of old Windows games.

Re:It was a flawed model, anyways (2)

SurfsUp (11523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134680)

Linux doesn't have many games for it, so if you like to play computer games, you've already got another computer that runs Windows for them, or you dual boot your Linux computer.

I like to play games, but I don't have a Windows machine[1] so the result is, I haven't played games lately. Dual-booting is not an option because I like to have things like mail, irc, browsers, etc, running all the time, I don't like it when these get interrupted and I don't like it when people can't reach me, even for a short time. So my solution to this: stop playing games. Possibly a good thing because I got more than the usual amount of work done, but the fact is, I enjoy games. A couple weeks ago I downloaded a Loki demo just out of interest - Heros of Might and Magic - had lots of fun, and realized that I really owe it to myself not to cut off this form of enjoyment. Maybe not go overboard like in the past, but just relax and play every now and then.

So ok, next thing, Loki does chapter 11 and I think "hey, it's my fault, I waited too long". Must be lots like me, maybe this is just the wakeup call we need. I'll pick up 2-3 Loki games this week. I mean, what's the downside? It will for sure help Loki in their time of need, and whatever happens, I've still got the game, right? And it's not like I can't afford it.

I guess I'll just make it a regular habit to buy whatever they come out with from now on. I mean, their titles are *great* and I don't give a rats ass how many months they've been out on Windows, because I don't run Windows. Simple.

[1]deleted the last Windows partition a few months ago after not using it for more than a year

its a shame (0)

Atrophis (103390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154733)

they are doing a good job. i really wish they would do a little better. its a shame, because they are a bit ahead of their time.

Who needs loki (1, Informative)

Niksie3 (222515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154761)

i agree that having a company to port games is nice... but who really needs it??????? i mean... the Open source community can port games!!!!!!!!!!! we don't need the source if we can reverse engineer data files, think about freecnc, freeciv, and all the other fun games for linux!!!!

Re:Who needs loki (2)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130095)

Yeah sure.

The only difference is whether or not you want to wait 1 year or so for the port, or 8 years.

Best Wishes, Loki (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154802)

I don't care how much I get mod'd down for this or flamed, but best of wishes to you, Loki! It's good to know that a linux company out there can make money, even if they have to file a Chapter 11. Hope you get out soon and can get back to offerring great games for a great OS (well, OS'es anyway).

Re:Best Wishes, Loki (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2154976)

Why don't you just grow up? Who gives a flying, fucking, felching shit about Linux?

What do want me to do about it, suck my own cock? Moron! I have half a mind to speak to your lawyer, felch-feet. Ha!

You've been rooting them? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154854)

No wonder they fell apart! Honestly!

LOKI! (1)

PHanT0 (148738) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154855)

Loki should have it's own "topic" logo and area... it REALLY ranks up there for most /.'s...

Scientific Measure (2)

4n0nym0u53 C0w4rd (463592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154937)

You can actually figure out the likelihood of a tech company successfully emerging from bankruptcy by determining the Aeron Chair to Employee Ratio.

Seriously, these are good guys who actually provide quality products at reasonable prices. It would be a shame to see them go.

Sounds like a jew plot to me (-1, Troll)

The_Zionist_Problem (516070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155008)

Only those worthless Jews could manipulate the capitalist system so shamelessly. I'm sure they derive their financial power from some satanic rites or something like that.

Re:Sounds like a jew plot to me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2116633)

Jew bastards!!!!!

Support Loki, buy a game! (5, Insightful)

RNG (35225) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155016)

While I'm usually not much of a gamer, I have purchased a few (3 to be exact) of Loki's games, for the following reasons:

1) While I'm not a hardcore gamer, I enjoy playing a game from time to time
2) It makes sense to support a company who makes cool stuff for your platform of choice (similarly, I donated to Mandrake after downloading their latest release). I have a decent job and can afford to miss some cash in exchange for a quality product.
3) Not everything should/can be free. If you want Linux ports of closed source (ie: professional) games, someone will have to pay for them. Otherwise resign yourself to the fact that you'll have to resort to the likes of Tuxracer and Freeciv in terms of games (and I'm not dissing these games, they're written by hobbyists and simply don't compete in the professional game market).

So to sum it up, if you want Loki to be around a year from now, fork over some $ for a game. If you think the price is too steep, team up with your fellow Linux diehards and purchase a game for a few of you. While not exactly right/legal, it's still better if 3 people buy 1 game to share than nobody buying the game at all. Loki makes quality products for our favorite OS; I hope that they'll still be around a few years from now ...

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