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3000AD Inc inks multi-title publishing deal

Supreme Cmdr

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Just wanted to let you folks, our long term fans, be the first in the public to know that effective this evening, 3000AD Inc has signed a multi-title publishing deal with a publisher.

The deal, in the short term is primarily for Battlecruiser Millennium Gold and Battlecruiser Generations, the next two products (one of which is an XBox* project) in the Battlecruiser franchise to be released next year.

Battlecruiser Tactical Command** as a separate title has been cancelled and elements of that product are being integrated in GCE and BCO.

More info tomorrow.

No, I'm not going to name the publisher. I am giving them the honors of doing that publicly via their own press release. Expect something later this week. I only wanted you - the long time fans - to know about this before the rest of the world.

An official statement from me, explaining these events and decisions, will be issued along with the publisher's press release.

*This title is in pre-production and is our next title following the release of BCG next year

**BCO will be my last PC title and it didn't make sense to delay it further by doing another PC product following BCG. Besides, the XBox project is a welcome break from complex titles.

EDIT: To include link to press release

[ 12-31-2002, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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Originally posted by Epsilon 5:

a pppublisshheer??


hehe, that was the same reaction I got when I signed with Interplay back in 1998. And that worked out OK. Too bad they couldn't afford to do BCM.

Well, like the Interplay (publisher) and EB (direct retail) deals, I had an insider who I know has everyone's best interest in mind. In fact, I had offers from three publishers - one of whom I was on the verge of signing with, but backed out and started new negotiations from scratch with the particular publisher. Essentially, pissing away over two months of negotiations - only to start from scratch again (in early November).

I had good experiences with Interplay and EB, so, I'm not as jaded as I was post-Take Two. As such, I have high hopes for working with these guys.

Besides, anyone who doesn't already know that in order to work with me they need to :

  1. Leave me to do what I'm good at : development
  2. Respect the fact that my teams don't comprise of clueless n00bies panhandling in the industry. In other words, we're all pros who have a history of shipping products that actually make money.
  3. Not fool around with my Intellectual Properties
  4. Not put me, my teams or my company at risk in any shape or form

...has no business distributing my games.

Needless to say, given the direction the industry is going, I have absolutely no worries about working with these folks. Like them, I did my homework and the industry buzz (from devs, media, agents etc) is that they're a fine bunch of folks - despite the fact that I have a trusted industry contact working there.

Sure, they're not as big as most of the others, but that means they spend their resources on the projects they sign. There is a big difference between have 50+ SKUs and 5 SKUs.

The good news is that I can focus on development again and I am left to preserve the focus and direction of my properties (naturally with input here and there from them) while they focus on ensuring that the properties are marketed, presented and exposed properly worldwide. Thats what publishers and distributors are good at.

The bad news is, well, BCG will be the last PC game of its kind. BCO, as you know, is pay-for-play only.

After doing this for so many years and approaching 40, its about time I quit pissing around with all these caps I'm wearing and just hunker down to do what I do best: designing and developing kick-ass games that a bunch of you want to buy and play.

I'm off to bed.

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I feel your pain Sebbish....


a pppublisshheer??


I second that.

Hey SC, why BCTC wont see the light of the day? Why will BCO be your last PC title?, i mean, what about the future?

Lets all hope for the best!

Sorry if i'm bugging you with al these questions SC. The only one which i really want you to answer is this : Why will BCO be your last PC title?

Sorry, but i'm a bit worried... because of the problems you've had before with publishers! I hope they let you support us like you are doing now (i mean, endless patches)

*Cmdr. Laracuente starts Listening to Pink Floyd music to see if he can rellax*

[ 12-18-2002, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: Cmdr_ Laracuente ]

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Heh. Myself and Urza seem to be more optimistic about this than the rest.

Sounds good. Lets you put more time into quality and features for the games.

Knowing the past, I'm pretty sure you're already confident with this publisher, considering the fact that you made an actual deal with them and all. (Which is a good sign.)

The game plan sounds good. The first-person portion would be pretty damn cool in BCO. And the fact that you're spending more time working on developing the games.....

Man, this makes me want BCG and BCO even more.

Just hoping the decision leads to a good ending.

[ 12-18-2002, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: Cmdr Nova ]

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Just to set the record straight, terminating BCTC as a stand-alone title was entirely my idea and has nothing to do with this deal.

I simply didn't want to overstretched myself. While BCM Gold is basically BCM, patched up, some new features and better multiplayer, BCG, having been in development a year (this November), is an entirely different beast and upon which engines and technologies for GCE and BCO rely on.

So, having one more stepping stone (BCTC) to BCO, coupled with my decision (back in September) to do an XBox* title, would only further complicate matters.

And since BCO relies on internal levels (buildings, bases, stations, capital ships), it just made sense to just focus on what was already work in progress in terms of technology, instead of again coming up with a new product which would span, yet another eighteen months or so to complete. And cost me another bushel of money.

In fact, I started thinking about terminating BCTC as a separate project earlier this year. The levels are re-usuable and as such will be in BCO and possibly a few will appear in GCE.

I know how most of you will feel, but trust me, nothing changes in terms of my product focus and commitments. If anything, you can think of this as a distribution deal, but with someone else picking up some of the tab, injecting new methods of promoting and extending the franchise beyond its current state and reach, bringing in new expertise in terms of recognition, marketing, support etc and of course letting my crew and I focus on whats important and what we do best: Game Development.

Case in point: BCM never got released worldwide. This will no longer be the case going forward. And thats why BCMG is even factored into this whole thing.

*We were approved by MS for the RDP program a few months back. This program is usually for publishers etc and not indie devs.

[ 12-19-2002, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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Originally posted by DREADA:

I don't quite understand myself the
of the XBox platform over PC or even (dare I say it) PS2

It's called not having to upgrade your rig when the next-generation of games comes out. ATM, I can't play BCG. It's taking me forever to be able to assemble the upgrades.

Also, with consoles, you'll end up with better-quality games, because you don't have 4 OSes out there and a billion-and-one possible combinations of hardware and software configurations running around. (Which is one of the hardest support factors in PC games and patches for them, etc.) The game only needs to be developed for one kind of hardware, and one only. No need to worry about people using alternate settings, different configurations. You can push the hardware to the max, whereas on the PC, you really should at least keep soem sort of low setting to keep the average user accessible to the game.

Those are my 2 cents on console gaming.

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They cost more, the controls are limited to a damn controller with at most 10 buttons, there will always be one game out that you want for one console that you don't have, and most devlopers have to conform to the limitations of the system they are producing the game for.

O and of course modding is 50 times harder on consoles then it is on pc.

I just think you get your moneys worth with PC gameing.

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It's called not having to upgrade your rig when the next-generation of games comes out.

erm .. when the new "box" gets out the one you have become obsolete fast. So instead of upgrading parts, you upgrade the whole thing!

And a TV is not as clear as a monitor, and while you CAN plug a monitor, MOST people don't! And I hate low resolutions, I luff details.

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Agreed. There's only so much you can get from a television screen. Monitors are a significant investment, but if you get a decent one straight away, you may not need a new one for a long time. Same goes for other peripherals.

As for upgrading, just swap out the 'weakest link' in your hardware whenever you need a performance boost. Every major upgrade can run you a few hundred dollars, less if you want to ride a little behind the curve. I won't even get into the patching/modding/downloading/internet realm.

The only thing a console can do better than a PC is same-room MP. (you only need one system, one TV, one copy of the game, and a few extra controllers) But, then again, there's nothing stopping you from throwing a LAN party!

[ 12-19-2002, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Urza ]

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This was posted at another site I frequent, but I wanted it duplicated here, for my own records.


Ummm...Derek, you are a game developer, right? So that means that you need a publisher, right? Of course, you COULD keep footing the bill yourself, but that's idiotic if someone is willing to do it for you. Having a publisher allows you to concentrate on the games and not worry as much about going broke trying to get them out there. Why would anyone say that you are selling out? Do people expect you to keep being independent when that has brought nothing but hardship? or are they thinking about publishers squashing your ambition when they say this? If you have a multi-title deal going, I say congrats to you.

So, congrats!

Thanks Rob.

But you know how this industy is. Everyone has an opinion. The fact is, I did BCM on my own. And while it made back its costs and still left me with money to move forward with BCG and other properties, I learned a harsh lesson about dealing with retailers, running a business in general and how important it is to let someone else be the spearhead in their areas of expertise.

I had like four deals on the table and it was only at the very last minute that I rejected and tossed all of them, took a risk and started from scratch with new negotiations with this company. And one person here was very instrumental in that risk taking excercise (I will let him do the honors of identifying himself if he so chooses). It was a huge risk for me because there was no indication in the first few sessions, that the deal would get gone. But funny enough, this person and I had crossed paths several years back and then again in this forum. So, I already knew that I had a trusted ally on the inside and who already knew what they were getting into. I didn't have to dress up nice for the prom, put on lipstick or any of that crap. They were, after all, signing Derek Smart, Mr anti-establishment himself.

That premise in itself, coupled with the research I did with other of my industry contrats etc, their aggressiveness, commitment, quality of their materials and the general feel of the whole thing, just threw me for a loop. Before I knew it, we were at LOI and we survived enough to get to final run.

I had a good experience with Interplay (and I still have trusted friends there), so I suppose you could say that I was out looking for a similar group of folks to work with (given that Interplay couldn't afford to do BCM etc etc) over these past three years and I didn't find any. I still feel a lump in my chest when I think about what has happened to Interplay and all things being equal, thats where I would've stayed with my franchise.

Those who were interested, were only interested in the bottomline figures. To the extent that two of them even suggestion that I terminate BCG and just move on directly to the XBox title because it was more viable. Naturally pissing away over $250K my money and a year of development (BCG went into development when BCM shipped in November last year). Just like that. Of course, I categorically rejected that premise. Even when I suggested that I compromise and do the XBox title first, then continue with BCG for the PC later, they said no. And this was after they're agreed to unconditionally pick up my titles. So, naturally, I walked.

So, even to this day, there's a lot of crap going on out there. But in my heart and in my mind, I do believe that I've found a good fit as I did when I leaped and signed with Interplay, post-Take Two/Gametek. I have no doubts and I'm certainly going to sleep at night knowing that now, all I have to do is focus on what I do best, development and taking care of my trusted team mates who saw me come this far and with no question, doubts or worries.

Now someone else can go worry about dealing with retailers, marketing and such. And the financial support is always a welcome addition to any indie's coffers.


Is it alright to post this as news, or would you prefer to let PCGamer steal from the forums first again?

You might want to wait for the press release which should be going out later today. I just got sent a preview copy. You are in our press database, so once they release it, I will notify the media folks in my DB as well.


And here I thought Derek was the only one honest and true enough to sell his children for his art before accepting being bought like a two-dollar prostitute, like all true artists apparently do.

Figures. :roll:

Listen, I didn't sell my company. I never will. The last time I checked, I had IP, trademarks and patents (pending) worth almost $10m. I'm not going to, nor am I planning to sell them. I did a publishing deal because I want to focus on what I do bestgame development. I wanted to self-publish. Like everything else, I said I'd do it and I did it. Quite successfully in fact.

The only difference being that I have money in the bank and didn't have to go out pan handling. I just can't get involved in that self-publishing shindig anymore. Let someone else piss around with that. I'm a hardcore developer and resident loudmouth. I'm not a business man. For that, I have someone I pay to do that. Sure, with a publishing deal I make less money, but hey, all of you who know me, know that for me, it never has been and never will be about the money. Its about the game, my dreams and my ideas.

I have everything I ever wanted in life. And my greatest dream was to be a game developer. Almost fourteen years later, I am already that. All I'm doing right now is keeping my dream alive, keeping my teams in work, paying my bills, developing games that a bunch of people who share my ideas want to play and of course, shoring up my daughters college fund.

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After reading the above (and the press release), all I can say is congratulations SC

This announcement can only be for the best of the BC direction as a quality product. Elements of BCTC in BCO is fine for me, hell, it would be fine if it had no elements at all....I still have complete faith in this game line

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