Stargate SG-1 Development Halted

JoWooD announces the cancellation of development of Stargate-SG1: The Alliance.

http://press.jowood.com/html/News/news_details.php?id=429&title=NEWS&ber...

Sorry to hear that Perception Studios. My deepest sympathies [:(]

pb's picture

Yeah, Perception have to raise capital to pay for all this, settle their legal disputes with JoWoOD, sort out any license issues with MGM, deal with the fact that many employees will go looking for work elsewhere to get some stability and finally complete the game to the satisfaction of the publisher and the console companies.

It doesn't seem to me that things can be resolved quickly at all - it'll be a risky and difficult project all the way to the end (whatever that might be).

pb

unknownuser2's picture

The impression I got when working with the guys from Perception, is that they definately dont lack talent, and they definately dont lack in passion and dedication - they are an extremely wiley bunch, like weeds [:P] and they wont be going away too easily thats for sure, I'm pretty sure you can count on that.

Its just a case of like pb says, it will all take time, possibly months to resolve. Good luck to all the guys and girls we worked with, you know who you are [:)] and of course to the rest of the team - you guys deserve the best outcome.

If theres a lesson to be learned from this - IMHO it should be a reality check to any other developers in au that regardless of skill, passion , dedication levels and milestones met "it can happen!...even overnight"

Jacana's picture

I think it's best not to jump the gun too much and assume that everything is dead in the water :)

You read the news and go "OMG it's canned" but you are not looking at the other pieces of the puzzle.

1) According to our reading of the contract the rights to the title as well as the source code are transferred to JoWooD
2) Front page of JoWood still has Stargate images
3) Click on that image on the front page and it gives you details about the game
4) Click on news about the game and fail to find anything about their press release to cancel the game
5) No press release from MGM or Preception

First off, isn't it a bit dodgy that JoWood has to base things according to their reading? They signed the stupid contract so you'd bloody well hope you know whats in it.

Second off, if they have been "screwed over" by the "low quality work" that Perception is reportedly doing why the hell are they still pimping the game on their website with out a major news flash that it was canned.

the geeves's picture

Think this might be a last ditch effort by a publisher whose AAA game is slipping out of their grasp...

Sidereal Entertainment's picture

Hello to all those that know perception and or work there now, many know me form official forums, should i sah the name lol? anyway i wanted to say hi, that i feel for you and i have hopes that in one for of another than this is resolved quickly in the best interest in the production art and fans and of course the investment "profit" but hopefully this will not ruin what has been done. i noticed the engine rights thread and had not considered this, it sorta made me FROWN a bit and confirm that if JoWooD did get content and so on and they can't have the base engine licensed to perception only then effictly that KILLS the fans hopes of a SOMETIME soon release, i also never did get the erratic quality of screen shots i have seen to date, personally i had seen old look better then new look great and jump around. but i think i may have that figured out, either way i must say that some of the exterior areas, "environment" and such looked top notch, not only textures, depth of look, but the details and the mesh work i seen for the engine, the surroundings were top notch and great detail was put in. anyway, i want to wish you all luck and once all those involved had made a public statement i will post how i personally feel and what part ot he road i think is best traveled "side that seems to be in the right"

anyway , bad news all the way around for you gusy and the fans:(

also someone stated mgm and the license dates? if my information and brain "goes loopy at times i think but still" i thought i heard the license was till like 2008? leaving the realm of possible expansion and 2nd game or even Stargate Atlantis based games to be had within those times??????

BrotherEstapol's picture

I found this and thought you guys may be interested:

quote:Q. Could you tell us what the quality problem is?

A. I can only talk about my feeling while playing the game, and that was strange. On one hand, I loved the environments and some textures and of course Daniels skills in action when he manipulated ancient technology, but -as an example - the animations were never working correctly. I don`t know what the issue is, I can only guess.

Q Who made the quality evaluation?

A The in-house evaluation was made by Producer & Executive Producer like in any other gaming company. I don`t know who made the external evaluation, I was told about the "on hold" state only hours before you were.

Q Is the link between JoWood and Perception totally terminated or is there a hope Perception's Quality Assurance personnel get it up to the standard JoWood wants?

A I don`t think the link is totally terminated.

Q Has any negotiations taken place between JoWood and Perception about upping the 'quality?

A Yes, there were always talks, and I hope there are still talks going on.

http://sgnewsaus.blogspot.com/2005/08/stargate-sg-1-alliancetm-where-the...

Kuldaen's picture

Perception has released a statement on the matter:

quote:Sydney, Australia, 12th of August, 2005; Perception Pty Ltd would like to rectify certain statements that have been made to the press by JoWooD Productions. To be clear, Perception is the official licensee of MGM on Stargate SG-1: The Alliance. Any suggestion that JoWooD has rights to Stargate SG-1: The Alliance upon termination of the contract is incorrect and not based on commercial or legal fact.

Development on the game will continue uninterrupted at Perception?s Sydney studio. Perception is committed to giving fans the best gaming experience possible.

Ben Lenzo, CEO of Perception said, ?We view it as unfortunate that JoWooD would elect to make such misleading and libelous comments to the media and the marketplace. Over the last 9 months, JoWooD has openly acknowledged being in breach of contract in a number of areas including many legal and confidentiality breaches as well as several financial defaults for work performed by Perception and accepted by JoWooD.?

Check out the website for the full release: http://www.perception.com.au/

LiveWire's picture

good news, i guess. it will be interestig to see what happens to the game becuase of this. perhaps a delay at the worst, if everything goes Perception's way.

good that it's comming out though, i have looked forward to playing this game.

CynicalFan's picture

I am not a fan of the project ? hate the TV series, love the film though ? but it is good to see a developer not taking any shit from a publisher, no matter what the circumstances are. From my understanding they have had problems with JoWood from day one, and I do wonder why they persisted with the relationship with them, if they couldn?t even read a legal contract ? very half-arsed of JoWood.

Nice counter move on Perception?s part, nice statement that has all the facts from their point-of-view and seems far better prepared and professionally prepared than JoWood ? more impact, and definitely shows their strength in business affairs. As I said, legal battle approaching, will it be short or long?

Perception can?t delay or they might as well not bother releasing for this generation and might as well keep on developing for next-gen.

Rahnem's picture

oh, thank god. Thats very unprofessional. I assume MGM are the only ones who can terminate the contract. JoWood is probably just trying to force them.

WiffleCube's picture

There must have been doubts about Perception's ability
to deliver, otherwise they'd have got a contract with
a better publisher. Obviously JoWood decided they'd
like that licence cheaply. This is nothing but cold,
calculated asset stripping.

Sidereal Entertainment's picture

well from all the press information, fan site info and such going on , it would seem that publishers are already lurking around to get in on the game, honestly from a fan perspective, even if perception could not do the BEST job for the first license release that it would have a publisher wanting to really get into the mix, specially the big guys, this license is growing, and rapidly, regardless a fan or not of the tv show, they have slid under the radar for years and years with a hardcore fan base that kept it aflot, and now after 8 full seasons there ratings have been climbing and the syndicated part is a HUGE success globally. If they look at the fact StarTrek is out of new shows, 90% positve no new tv shows in the works for years " 30 years is a good run, time for a break" then the sci-fi fans are looking for a show to love and follow, sg1 has always had a great fanbase and they mix both sci-fi and drama, and well comedy. something rare in a show. plus they are TODAY SCI-FI not 400 years in the future. The entire franchise has SUCCESS wrote all over it right now.

Some dirty things have been done and i pretty sure a company reputation has been ruined within the business, now it is upto perception to set in stone what kind of company they are for development of games. You guys should see how the Moderators on forums felt over all this, we seen alot going on

I give a big thumbs up to perception for being professional and working hard to fix the situation. MGM's statement should be interesting to say the least in the matter. Atleast this time around the fans voices were heard and not dismissed like i have seen done before.

also:) to you dev guys, remember be nice to your official site moderators:) they can make a difference within your fans community:) hehehehehe

looks around
smacks Kuldaen with a sunday newspaper

GOD THAT IS A GREAT STRESS RELIEVER

And wiffleCube when is there not a doubt toward any company when they take on a huge venture.:)

if i owned places like ubisoft or other publishers i would have been kicking my staff in the behind for not jumping to get publishing rights to the title from day 1.

hopefully i made sense lol as i am a bit tired -2am saturday for me

palantir's picture

As a Star Gate fan, I?d just like to counter the notion that the show is clich?d. The truth is that it is clich?d, but then they are the first to poke fun at the clich?s which in itself is very original and hence anything but clich?d!

O?Neil when flying a small space fighter in a bombing run over a gigantic spaceship, star wars style: ?I thought I was gonna be called Red One on this??

O?Neil when SGC gets their very own space ship: ?Can we call this thing Enterprise??

Daniel Jackson commenting after yet another close escape from hostile aliens: ?How come all the Jaffa are such bad shots??

Clich?d my arse [:P]

I totally agree with what Tigress just said. Mixing modern day military, with futuristic sci-fi, with ancient history fantasy is simply a brilliant concept. And unlike most sci-fi, Star Gate doesn?t take itself overly seriously. It?s just a really fun adventure.

Anyway, I just felt like commenting on how good a show I think SG-1 is. Yeah, I?m a geek. And proud of it!

And I think any Star Gate game would do really well thanks to the massive fan base.

Sidereal Entertainment's picture

17 million plus viewership worldwide is no small fanbase lol, and yes there are TONS of off shoots, dedications and such rampant in the show, carter whisltes the theam of the show and o'neill asks, so who is he , huh? humming, oh peter lol, not to mention were not in kansas and all the oz quotes he does. RDA is one of the best cliche actors around, one of my favorite is the one most missed, when signs "movie" was big, she asks jackson, i mean come on they travel across the galaxy to take over a planet yet they are hurt by water, so why would they want a planet 70% made of water, jackso - oh come on why do you watch those if your just going to nit pick it apart "fans;)" carter - oh come on , don't you want to know if they atleast get it right, jackson - no uh no

palantir's picture

Haha, yeah I remember those episodes, funny stuff. They also have heaps of Simpson?s jokes/references. There was that time when they were all brain washed and lost their memory, and O?Neil?s saying he remembers someone important, a big bald man, but instead of General Hammond he says Homer...
Then there are all the Star Trek jokes. There?s an episode called ?The other guys? about the scientists that dream of being like SG1, basically taking the piss out of themselves the whole way, more so taking the piss out of Trek ?At least I?m not wearing a red shirt!? ?Well excuse me he who worships at the alter of Rodenberry!?

As you can see some people love their Star Gate and would buy any game based on the licence alone. Kind of like the reasonable success most Star Trek games enjoy thanks entirely to the fan base.

pb's picture

quote:Originally posted by Tigress

... i also never did get the erratic quality of screen shots i have seen to date, personally i had seen old look better then new look great and jump around.

That's just the nature of the development process. Some parts of the game are further along than others, in fact sometimes this is done delibrately just to satisfy the demand for screenshots.

As development continues parts of the game have to be re-worked for gameplay or technical reasons (usually memory) and that can result in the visual quality going backwards.

Also keep in mind that a screenshot doesn't tell the whole story - the nicest looking ones usually have the lowest frame rates and the least amount of gameplay.

Finally, some developers (and I certainly don't imply that Perception is one of them) simply fabricate screenshots by rendering them with Maya/MAX/whatever using models and textures from the game. Scaling PC screenshots and passing them off as console screenshots is another common technique - often developers even use the lower poly and lower resolution assets from the consoles when they only want to hide deficiencies in the console rendering code but want to show the real models and textures (a lesser form of fraud).

pb

Sidereal Entertainment's picture

Oh i am very aware of the use of tricks and such to show things to look better than they are;) i have been in management ALONG time lol. the lates shots from perception show some of the best evnironments i have ever seen in unreal based games. but i also know those images were done at a very high resolution and antialias and antroscopic maxed out;) something many can't do on there pc games and certainly something you can't do on the console, but i am not a console fan, 640x480 pretty graphics can't be 1024x768 pretty graphics. Also about trek, yea they have abused that license, i hope mgm and perception if they keep there contract for along time, learn from those mistakes. I just hope the first game out of the box is atleast good enough to garner decent reviews and to build a foundation for the future. One ok title will = better position for a better game to be made with a better finance base behind it:). Perception has ALOT hanging on this title and based on how well season 9 goes they have even that much more hanging in the balance. I just hope places like EA that toss together a game as fast as they can at just enough to be called an OK game never get there hands on it "thinks 007 fiasco's" But they have good ideas, what i would suggest personally as a fan, is work to release a decent single player game, with some good multiplayer, then on the back end you can release and expansion or even a mega patch to update the game with more features, "gettign the perverbial snowball rolling"

Personally game development that i want to see or hear about and in major waiting for are only a few games, Sg-Ta is one, FF XII is the other, and of course the rumored remake of FF VII for ps3

souri's picture

I think JoWoods press release sparked a bit of conversation about contracts and publishers screwing over developers. This was an interesting comment on the press release over at [url="http://ve3dboards.ign.com/message.asp?topic=21038882"]Voodoo Extreme[/url]

quote:
I'd love to see the contract. If Perception was stupid enough to sign anything that gave carte blanche to JaWooD to pull the game for any reason and expect full reimbursement, they were doomed from the start. This is the kind of thing I have run afoul of in the past. Many contracts have tricky language in them giving enormous latitude to publishers to ream developers, particularly small ones. In one case, I saw a publisher shaft a developer for 50k for missing a milestone...a milestone they missed because the publisher refused to sign off on it until a slew of new demands were met. The same publisher then shafted the team on royalties because the game hit gold 3 days late, again thanks to underhanded efforts by the publisher (changing "C" level bugs to "A" level, insisting that discarded features be put back in, and so on). The manager of the dev company refused to fight them on it because they promised him literally millions in new dev work after the game was done. Naturally that extra work evaporated the instant the game went gold. In another case, this publisher pulled a GBA game that was essentially done on the basis that a supposedly critical feature was missing (link play) and could never be implemented by the due date (less than 2 months away). They took all assets and went to another company and the title disappeared for 6 months, only to be released, unchanged and without the almighty link play. No mention of the original dev team was in the credits despite the fact that all the work was theirs, and it goes without saying that no royalties or final dev costs were paid. NICE. I should also mention that in many cases contracts contain language spelling out major financial penalties if the developer does anything (i.e. puts in a "Hot Coffee" mini-game) resulting in the publisher missing their release date or getting into legal trouble.

Of course, I've seen the flip side, too. I watched a CEO set up fake tours for a publisher to convince them that he was devoting far more resources to a game than he really was. He got away with it that time, but his little shell games caught up with him eventually.

Just don't be so sure JaWooD is any kind of a saint looking out for the SG-1 license without knowing what went down behind the scenes.

Something else worth reading is the [url="http://www.ninjatheory.com/blinkblink/index.php?option=com_content&task=..."]dev diary of Heavenly Sword[/url] by the developers Ninja Theory. I can't honestly believe how any independant game developer can get anything on the shelves after reading this.

unknownuser2's picture

Offtopic, but Ninja Theory is great, Kung Fu Kaos was a classic, and heavenly sword looks amazing, not bad for small team, not bad at all.

Ive noticed after reading many many developer diaries / post mortems that it really is a case of being pushed to the extreme limit, extending every last ounce of energy, every penny, and right when your clutching at the last wispy strands of your soul being taken by the devil, light appears. All is good again. [:)]