Oddworld Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Oddworld RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Xbox History: Nintendo Buy-Out and $0 Price-Tag https://www.gameskinny.com/fvll2/xbox-history-nintendo-buy-out-and-0-price-tag https://www.gameskinny.com/fvll2/xbox-history-nintendo-buy-out-and-0-price-tag Tue, 14 Apr 2015 07:24:49 -0400 amaadify

We've all heard the story of Microsoft's entrance into the console space and how it started with the DirectX team members constructing console prototypes from disassembled Dell computers. Many of us also know about the shortening of DirectXbox to Xbox, and the eventual fallthrough of deals between Sega and Microsoft to make compatible games for the Dreamcast. However, what you haven't heard are Microsoft's original plans to make their console cater to a casual audience.

Make it Free to Target Casual Gamers

GameIndustry recently sat down with Oddworld series creator, Lorne Lanning, to discuss the early days of the Xbox, and it's original $0 price tag. 

"At the time, Xbox thought that the core market was going to be casual. They were going to be the casual gamers' machine. Now, that's why they approached us because they said 'we think you've got something that competes in that Mario space and we think Mario's the thing to kill ... We see that space. We want that audience. We love Oddworld so why don't you get on this bandwagon? And we might give the box away.' So now you're like, 'look, if you're going to give the box away, you're going to win. If you're going to win, we want to be on board'." 

The Problem with Microsoft's Windows 

Apparently, Microsoft didn't want to win. According to Xbox co-creator, Seamus Blackley, there was a bit of an ultimatum: if the Xbox were free, it would have to run Windows at some point. The console would be a Trojan horse to get the operating system into homes. The big problem was that Windows was infamous in the entertainment industry at the time.   

The Xbox team knew that if the Windows operating system or name were attached to the machine in any way, that it would negatively affect the console's development and sales performance. To avoid this and still get the project greenlit, Blackley gave up on the idea of giving away the console for free, opting for a more traditional model. 

Forget the Free Console, Just Take Nintendo

However, this didn't completely kill the casual market concept. According to Blackley, some people wanted the Xbox to be more of an entertainment system that also played movies while several members of the team strongly encouraged the acquisition of Nintendo as a means to capture the casual audience. Blackley didn't agree, and considered each of these suggestions "bad ideas" that he had to "deal with."

The Xbox did end up having a functional DVD playback feature, albeit with the use of an add-on. However, the casual market idea ultimately died with the popularity of Halo. The game single-handedly determined not only the audience for the original Xbox, but its successors as well. In the end, the idea of a free console that played Mario and Zelda was laid to rest, and we ended up with the haven of first-person shooters we know today. 

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Here Today, Gone in a Flash: Don't Miss Sony's Weekend Flash Sale! https://www.gameskinny.com/mw17t/here-today-gone-in-a-flash-dont-miss-sonys-weekend-flash-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/mw17t/here-today-gone-in-a-flash-dont-miss-sonys-weekend-flash-sale Sun, 13 Jul 2014 16:09:19 -0400 Travis McGee

It seems like it's the time for all the console companies to give gamers a ridiculous deal on their favorite games. Earlier this week we saw an amazing Humble Bundle featuring greats like Bioshock and XCOM, and Xbox's ultimate sale is ending tomorrow. It comes as no surprise, then, that Sony decided to have a weekend-long flash sale featuring over 20 games for $0.99 or less!

Sony's flash sale seems more geared towards older, classic games, but as an owner of a PS2 and a PSOne I couldn't dive fast enough for my wallet when I saw the games that defined my childhood could be mine again in a digital (unbreakable, unscratchable) format for less than a buck each. Here's a short list of just a few of the 20+ games that can be had for $0.99:

Harvest Moon: Back To Nature - $0.99

Legend of Dragoon - $0.99

Oddworld: Munch's Oddyssey HD - $0.99

Twisted Metal: Black - $0.99

Worms Revolution - $0.99

The flash sale lasts until noon tomorrow, July 14th Pacific Time. For a full list of the games available you can either log on to the Playstation Network through your console, or check out the PlayStation Blog post for all the details on the sale and the games. Don't miss this chance to own some of the best classic games ever made the PlayStation for less than $1 each!

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New Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/kyu9q/new-oddworld-new-n-tasty-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/kyu9q/new-oddworld-new-n-tasty-trailer Thu, 14 Nov 2013 14:10:49 -0500 The Ian M

An HD remake of the classic Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee is headed to the Wii UPS3, PS4 and PS Vita due out Spring 2014! Titled Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty the remake is being developed by Just Add Water, and they've just released an epic new story trailer for the game. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Oddworld franchise, it was first launched in 1997 with Abe's Oddysee. Set on the Oddworld Planet in an alternate and surreal dimension, it had you play as Abe, and was a great platformer. 

Abe riding an Elum for style

The franchise stuck around until 2005, when it was sold off to EA. Since then, several of the other games in the series, including Munch's Oddysee, have been rereleased for PS3. Hopefully, this remake will bring new life to the series and enable it to enthrall a new generation of gamers. New 'n' Tasty has plans for release on PC, OS X and Linux some time after the 2014 console version. 

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Oddworld's Lanning Says Xbox Continues to Ignore Indies https://www.gameskinny.com/ruyjd/oddworlds-lanning-says-xbox-continues-to-ignore-indies https://www.gameskinny.com/ruyjd/oddworlds-lanning-says-xbox-continues-to-ignore-indies Sat, 20 Jul 2013 00:08:44 -0400 Capt. Eliza Creststeel

Another E3 Victory for Sony?

Coming away from this year's conference, so many critics, players and industry leaders have pointed out why they feel the Playstation 4 won their hearts and minds over the upcoming Xbox One. Add independent game developers to that list.

Taking the stage this year with seven other indie developer's at Sony's E3 press conference, Oddworld Inhabitant's Co-founder Loren Lanning said he was "floored at how open Sony’s been, and, in my opinion, really smart and prophetic they’ve been. The indie aspect is going to be a big thing." 

Lanning was there to promote Oddworld: New and Tasty for the PS4.

The fact that Sony asked eight independent developers to share the stage during the presentation and promote the PS4 is why so many smaller companies develop product for Sony consoles. 

"...just being there was winning enough.

History Continues to Repeat

Despite the increase in sales of indy developed product and the rise of Kickstarter projects allowing more and more games to produced without a big publisher deal or co-op agreement with a manufacturer, Microsoft still is not allowing companies to self-release on XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade).

For the independents, this means giving up revenue share and possibly creative control just to get their product onto XBLA. 

“At the business level, Microsoft isn’t acknowledging people like us. It’s as if we don’t matter.” - Lanning

Though there are success stories on XBLA, like Mojang's Minecraft, those developers had to have name partners for their product to get the Xbox public. And this system has been in place since the original Xbox. And it doesn't look like this attitude is going to change anytime soon.

Lanning went on to say - 

"Ten years from now, the biggest banners out there, the hundred million dollar games, are going to be what happened in the indie community. That’s the only place we’re seeing real innovation because that’s the only place people can really afford to. You can’t do it on a hundred million dollar title because you have to be dialled into what that audience really knows and wants.

“Someone’s going to be burning the next hundred million dollar properties here, and it might be the least likely guy that was on that stage at the Sony conference. But that’s where it’s going to come from, and the smart people know that. I don’t see any indication of that foresight up in Redmond. They do not seem to be listening to their audience.”

Staff Reboot?

Is this short-sightedness or does Microsoft believe that indies need them more than they need independently produced games?

With more platforms on the playing field like mobile devices and upcoming third-party consoles like the Ouya, game developers have more market for their products than ever. Companies like Oddworld Inhabitants will just continue on, without offering Xbox One versions of their games. 

This could mean the offerings for the Xbox One could wither down, making a smaller library another reason for players to switch consoles.

Lanning went on to say - 

"Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start. There should be a big, mass firing and they should publicise that. Then, they’d get people saying, ‘Hey, maybe there’s going to be a good change.’ "

But by then, any changes to attract more independents maybe too late. 

Despite this negative forecast, Xbox One console orders continue to outpace pre-sale orders for the Xbox 360.

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E3 Reveal: Oddworld - New 'n' Tasty! https://www.gameskinny.com/lqmhr/e3-reveal-oddworld-new-n-tasty https://www.gameskinny.com/lqmhr/e3-reveal-oddworld-new-n-tasty Fri, 14 Jun 2013 14:22:26 -0400 Smoky Grey

At E3 this week we finally got a good look at the new Oddworld title. If you are an old gamer like me then you should remember how amazing Oddworld was when it first came out in 1997. Now we get our nostalgia tickled by the new Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New 'n' Tasty.

 This new version of the original Abe's Oddysee has me super excited. The titles in the Oddworld series have always had a great story and were amazingly fun. This new remake was built from the ground up using the original game. From the demo we can see some amazing looking graphics compared to the original. The change from the flip scenes to a fluid scroller has me a little worried but I am sure the developers will do a top notch job with it.

The Story

You play as Abe, a Mudokon slave worker who had his mouth sewn shut as a child. Abe soon finds out that the factory he works at is running out of meat and has decided to start using the slaves as a new meat product. Abe escapes his slavers and is set upon his path to save his fellow Modokons by a shaman known as BigFace. With a deep engaging story and magical powers this title is a must try for anyone who doesn't know the Oddworld series.

The original Abe's Oddysee was a huge success, and this new remake looks like it will keep all of the fans happy. New 'n' Tasty will be a fully digital game releasing on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam. It will also be available to Vita, and Wii U users as well. The release date is set for the 4th quarter of 2013 so I expect it will probably come out in time for the anniversary in September.

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Indie Developers Voice Why They Are Sticking With The PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/z5hub/indie-developers-voice-why-they-are-sticking-with-the-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/z5hub/indie-developers-voice-why-they-are-sticking-with-the-ps4 Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:28:09 -0400 Raven Hathcock

Big shocker since Xbox One has become a no fly zone for indie developers - that was sarcasm, but it's starting to seem that way.
Microsoft is keeping with its policy of forcing developers to partner with a publisher in order to bring games to their platform. This is very different from Sony's policies, which allow indies to self-publish their games on the PS4 and are even allowing them to do so virtually for free until September.
Sony even had a great indie game showcase during their press conference at E3 earlier this week. 

In interviews with Eurogamer, Lorne Lanning and Dean Hall tell us why they are only publishing their games on the PS4, for now.

Lorne Lanning, the boss over there at Oddworld - who helped launch the first Xbox back in 2001 with exclusive Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee - said, "There are those who are looking at next quarter's profits, and maybe one of these big guys looks like that's all they're doing right now."

"If they're looking at the world that way, you've got the obvious, enormous titles. They're going to be the big revenue generators," said Lanning. "If the company's purely about profit, profit and profit, they're looking at those, and then they're looking at the little guys saying, 'oh, they only make this much.' They're not interested."

After having trouble getting Stranger's Wrath HD onto Xbox Live Arcade and being shut down, Lanning knew that trying to get Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! to Xbox One was going to be a challenge.

"For Xbox One [Microsoft has] granted us a license for New 'n' Tasty! but they still say you need a publisher. We don't have a publisher so we're not officially on the platform, even though we're compatible, even though we'll be ready to do it. Period.

"Why do we need a publisher when we self-finance our games, we build our own IP, we manage our own IP and we've turned nearly two million units online as indie publishers sold – not free downloads? Why? What's wrong with us?

Lanning On Why Indie Developers Choose PS4

"Who's in touch with their audience? And who seems out of touch with their audience? All we know is we've tried to get our games on their platform and we can't do it – and I even helped them release the box."

"[PlayStation] recognizes the real innovations are going to come out of this space where people have the freedom and the insanity to try crazy new stuff."

So, for now, Oddworld won't be gracing the Xbox One any time soon. Lanning looks very optimistic about the PlayStation's policy in comparison.

"I believe, because there are so many seasoned, long-term game builders involved with the new PlayStation, they recognise the real innovations are going to come out of this space where people have the freedom and the insanity to try crazy new stuff," Lanning continued. "I mean, look at Octodad!"

DayZ creator Dean Hall has similar views when it comes to taking his game to the market.

"Yeah, we talked to both of them," he revealed. "But, as I'm sure you're aware, Sony lets you self-publish and they don't make you pay for updates. Microsoft requires you to have a publisher. They have no digital distribution strategy and they require you to pay $10,000, or whatever it is, for updates.

"We like [Sony]. I like what I saw on the PS4. I like what I saw on the Xbox in a lot of cases as well. I'm not s***ting on them. I'm kind of hopeful that Microsoft has just forgot to talk about its indie support. Maybe I'm being a bit naive."

I guess time will only tell if Microsoft will allow indie developers to self-publish. Microsoft's games boss Phil Spencer told Eurogamer that Xbox is open to the idea of self-publishing in the future.

"Our ears are open on self-publishing and other changes and advancements in our publishing ecosystem," he said, "but I don't want to stand up and commit to things that aren't plan of record now. That would be wrong."

After hearing that the Xbox One would not be indie friendly, I was seriously disappointed in Microsoft. During their press conference, they decided to talk about indie games like Minecraft...what what? Minecraft did have it's indie beginnings but Minecraft is now so mainstream you could call it Katy Perry. I know that was just trying to save some face by having a moment dedicated to indie developers and games...but come on. We can see right through you, and it honestly upsets me.

Some thoughts from twitter:

Ultimately, I agree with these lovely people on twitter. Sony is definitely in the right direction when it comes to indie development. Making an indie developer find a publisher takes away one of the main things an indie game has going for it, the fact that it's indie and deserves our support.

I suggest checking out the trailers for Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! and Day Z, as well as the other indie games coming soon to a PlayStation 4 near you.

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