News Archive

XBLA/PSN game axed, might have been a game by the Pickford Bros.
Posted in In Development by Squirminator2k at 12/07/08 2:49am CEST

If you've read Spadge's blog recently, then you've read this:
Just recently the company decided to cease a digital download/casual games project, one which some time ago really did seem like total common sense with the way things were going; i.e. digital publishing, IP retention, casual gaming, our experience and publishing position, etc.

All at very moderate investment risk at amicable terms - which really should be the way it happens - almost too good to be true for all parties. I guess its just been a while since we canned anything so it all feels a bit weird and is ultimately more than a little disappointing. Not only for the team, but for the notion and spirit in which it was started; that we could utilise a strong position and bring other quality IP to the platforms with our experience and knowledge of the platforms.

Team 17 would have, for the second time in ages, been publishing a game themselves. For the first time in a very long time, however, it seems they would have been publishing a game that would have been originally developed out-of-house. This was interesting, but decidedly vague enough for me to decide not to report on it. That is, until Gaming Journalist and all 'round nice guy Ashley Day (who I still have yet to play a game of Worms with online, incidentally) sent me a link to this blog post by Ste Pickford, one half of the Pickford Bros. (who were responsible for Ghosts n Goblins on various home computing systems in the 80s, Plok! Wetrix, the Mario Artist games on the N64DD, and surprisingly the GameCube version of Worms Blast). For those of you who don't want to read the article, or who have an innate fear of clicking on purple-coloured links lest they catch "the gay", here's an excerpt:
Our new game has been canned! Gutted!

OK, not quite canned, but it's no longer a console game, and that's the reason that I haven't written anything in this blog for a few weeks. We got the news a couple of months ago, but it's taken a while to tie up all the loose ends, and I didn't want to be writing about it while we were still sorting out the final legalities.


We had an original game concept - a 'casual game' - and had hooked up with a client who wanted us to develop it to fully playable prototype stage on PC, which they were then going to take and make into a console game for one of the download systems out there (Live / PSN / Wii Ware, whatever). This was ideal as we were being funded to develop an original game from home, retaining IP ownership, and didn't have to write the console versions, which would be impossible for us as none of the console manufacturers seem keen on letting people who work from home have access to devkits or developer licenses.

We'd got to the end of the prototype, but we'd not really known when to stop and were adding more polish to the prototype than strictly necessary. We've spent over two decades making finished, releasable games, so it's a kind of habit with us, and without anyone telling us to stop we just carried on making something like a finished game, rather than saying 'here's the finished prototype' and claiming the last payment months ago, like any sensible businessmen would.

In the meantime our client had become less keen on the prospect of committing to writing a console version of the game. We don't know exactly why. They might have just hated the game, but I don't think so. The deal gave them the right to decline to start the console version at the end of the prototype period, and they've merely exercised that right. So we haven't been canned at all really - it just felt like it when we first heard it back in May - and we're still on very good terms with the client.

All incredibly interesting. Is it just a Shocking Coincidence? Or are the two articles more directly linked? Ash certainly seems to think so, and personally I'm leaning in the same direction.

Meanwhile, those of you who own a PS3 and who have been waiting for your own version of a 2D Worms version might be in luck. Spadge also recently posted this in a thread asking whether or not the game would be coming to Sony's Trouserpress-looky-likey console:
No announcement... yet.

Oh Martyn, you tease. More on this, etc., etc.

Posted by bonz at 15/07/08 10:49am CEST

I think they should just release the PC prototype via Steam and develop it further.
Then when it gets popular and an instant classic there (like Audiosurf or ), it could get ported to the consoles' downloadable portals later.

BTW, did I get it right that the unknown client would have been Team17?

Posted by bonz at 15/07/08 10:55am CEST

Ok, having read the complete blog article now, I see that the Pickford Bros. are actually in the process of getting the PC version out somehow.

And they also mentioned Steam.

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