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Oddworld Creator: "EA Sabotaged Stranger's Wrath"

Illustration for article titled emOddworld/em Creator: EA Sabotaged emStrangers Wrath/em

Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning accused EA of "Sabotaging" his studio's game, Stranger's Wrath, in a conversation with Eurogamer. Lanning says that the publisher, by not marketing the game properly, condemned it to failure. "It was sabotaged. When you see a big game coming out, just ask what the marketing budget is. If you decide as a publisher not to give it a marketing budget, you decide its fate... As soon as we understood there was no marketing budget, we had zero expectations. We had zero incentive to build another game for them, either."

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Stranger's Wrath, a 2005 Xbox exclusive, was generally well-recieved by the media but was not a financial success. Lanning lamented that many developers have had their games suffer the same fate. "Our story is not unique. This is common in the development community. Business decisions are made and the developer's faucet is turned off as a result... In the case of Stranger, it didn't perform because it wasn't exposed and it wasn't distributed and there wasn't the number of factors that go to what you need to have success on the shelf today as a boxed product."

Lanning has hope that Stranger's Wrath will fare better when the game is re-released as a downloadable title for PSN. The Xbox Live version is currently in limbo, pending negotiations between Lanning, Microsoft and re-make developer Just Add Water. [Eurogamer]

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DISCUSSION

Why would a company go out of it's way to intentionally ruin a genre or franchise they put work into?

Simple. Because by systematically obliterating and discrediting different genres, art styles or franchises you make the market less divided. Less interests mean it's easier to sell things because you don't need to tailor your product to different audiences. Voilà! With all those pesky niches and cult followings out of the picture all you need to do is half ass the same shit year after year.

Natural human peer pressure and a need for most people to be seen as normal will ensure most people will want to play what everyone else is other wise they might be called strange or ridiculed for playing (gasp!) a JRPG instead of Mass Effect or Pychonaughts in stead of Halo.