Syndicate reboot 'didn't pay off, didn't work' - EA

EA boss says nature of resurrecting old IP is "some stuff works some stuff doesn't," still interested in bringing back franchises for next gen.

Despite Starbreeze Studios' first-person shooter Syndicate notching positive critical plaudits, the game "didn't pay off" and "didn't work," according to EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau. Speaking to CVG, the executive explained that this result was not entirely unexpected.

Syndicate was a bust, EA says.

"That's the nature of the business; some stuff works, some stuff doesn't," he said.

Syndicate launched in February and failed to crack the NPD's top-10 software sales list for North America during its launch month.

Speaking about SSX--another recent reboot--Gibeau signaled that this game had a "very successful launch," and teased a sequel or downloadable content, saying, "You'll probably see more in the future." A recent job listing at developer EA Canada indicates the Burnaby, British Columbia, shop is moving forward with a next-generation action shooter.

Gibeau further explained that EA has "numerous brands" that he finds worthy of making a comeback. He did not say what any of these properties were, but said it's possible these franchises could be reborn on next-generation platforms.

Syndicate and SSX are not the only recent reboots at EA. A new SimCity game is due out for the PC and Mac in February 2013 and will be the first new core entry in the franchise in seven years. It will run on a new GlassBox game engine, which will allow developer Maxis to introduce curved roads to the franchise. The game will also be fully 3D, a first for the series.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Syndicate(2012)

Syndicate(2012)

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0 comments
santinegrete
santinegrete

Exclusivity on Origin did not help either. I got this dirt cheap because I liked the video review and I'm enjoying it very much, gameplay is great with overall mechanics, great AI and rock solid gunplay. It's a real shame for me it failed.

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

The game in of itself wasn't bad at all...actually, I quite enjoyed the cyberpunk setting. If they had called it anything else, it probably would've sold better. EA would do well to follow what happened with X-Com Enemy Unknown; stick to the original formula, tweak it a little and make it pretty.

Cirkelinespark
Cirkelinespark

Lesson learnt EA? I forgot, you guys never learn. And just for future reference, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

hidehairy
hidehairy

Well, just recently bought this. I'm a veteran of the originals - I liked the SWars most. To my knowledge, hardly anyone played these back then, everyone playing C&C, Total Annihilation, Quake etc. It didn't bother me then, it doesn't bother me now if this reboot is not a blockbuster. I kind of like it. The crazy future with chips and cyborg agents and the killing rampages with collateral casualties... :) In SWars you had the arsenal to destroy the whole level.... (Just a while ago I downloaded dosbox and played both Syndicate and SWars, they were tougher than I remembered :)

 

A crazy idea would have been to incorporate another level of game, where one player was doing the tactical shooting part of the originals, as the real executive, while others would be his agents. And there was always the risk of agent being detonated close to the target as a solution... :)

_Doomsayer_
_Doomsayer_

It didn't "pay off" because EA did not market the ****ing game in the slightest. They released it with no promoting done alongside Mass Effect 3.

Shadows of the Damned had poor sales for the exact same reason. Both games are great, but little exposure led to very little sales.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

"Some stuff works some stuff doesn't"

 

Yeah, like doing a faithful reboot works, and what EA did doesn't.

y3ivan
y3ivan

if they DIDNT change it to a generic FPS, more gamers expecially the RTS/tactical gamers might have bought it since theirs hardly any good RTS this days.

 

If anyone questioning RTS dont work for consoles, Look at battlestation:pacific, Full spectrum warrior.

ps727
ps727

I played the demo, thought it was fun. Had some friends who were fans of the original that thought the demo was cool as well, more so than I did. The problem is that it doesn't bring any new, innovative features to the genre that allow it to stand out from other FPSs. I thought it was fun for a bit, but didn't really have anything to draw new players into the fanbase. Also, the lag was pretty bad in the demo when playing online, so that kind of ruined it.

Scorpion2929
Scorpion2929

Cause you guys are bad at making games...

jnewco81
jnewco81

Only picked this up last week, really enjoying it. I loved the original and wasn't sure why they decided on an FPS format... But it does work well and you'd be daft to dismiss it on that basis

obliviondoll
obliviondoll

Yes. Syndicate was a failure.

 

Releasing two similarly sci-fi themed shooters with 4-player co-op on the same day, and putting MASSIVE effort into advertising one while basically having your marketing team ignore the other...

 

I WONDER WHY IT DIDN'T SELL WELL?

 

Maybe because you DIDN'T BOTHER TO ADVERTISE IT AND WERE HEAVILY PUSHING A SIMILAR PRODUCT RELEASED AT THE SAME TIME?

 

Idiots. And idiots posting here saying that changing from a top-down shooter to FPS is the reason for the failure. IT WAS ALWAYS A SHOOTER.

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

This is what happens when you reboot a game while ignoring the ip's original fanbase

auntbessie
auntbessie

I had to give up, can't get past a certain point cos it keeps crashing on PC, bit annoying that really, I didn't mind it though, was alright as far as FPS's go

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

and mary had a little lamb.... these are things we know 

 

this game reminded me of "The Asylum" movie studio who releases movies that are blatant copycats of popular movies and you know its just a cash cow, you know its prolly gonna suck, and your thuroughly vindicated when it does...

 

RIP syndicate franchise, id be surprised if EA did anything with the franchise now after this, just ffs not another FPS if they do

acemcgregor
acemcgregor

If they had just made it work like the originals but updated everything and added further depth it would've sold fine. Didn't EA learn anything from Shadowrun?

Roweb0t
Roweb0t

i agree, game was GARBAGE.

Axe_Armor
Axe_Armor

Well what did you expect for butchering a beloved classic?

maalth
maalth

EA didn't create Syndicate.  Bullfrog (whom they bought) did.

Madball357
Madball357

FPS adaptation of a great strategy game fails.

 

BIG SHOCKER.

 

And these people get paid how much? FFS.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

Really?  EA you are so freaking dumb

 

Anyone who played the original syndicate could have told you the game you created would not be successful.

 

When you take the name of a successful IP and then bastardize it in order to release it to the ignorant masses (in a good way, ignorant as in - aren't familiar with the real syndicate game), you are just asking for failure.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Their new SimCity remake will fail too (sadly) because of the forced online mode, the inability to create multiple saves of a city (there's only 1 save allowed per city), the ability for other players to ruin your city while you don't play, the high pricetag and already announced DLC madness, the requirement of Origin and lots of other nonsense.

 

I would however be interested in buying again if they release it non exclusive to Origin, don't include any DRM, don't require me to be online to play it, allow me to create as many savegames as I want, simulate the economy offline (including cross city trade, etc.), include modding support, for multiplayer allow me to host my own server and offer it for a reasonable price.

 

Knowing EA however, SimCity will be a for marketing purposes only dumbed down cashcow.

Maxis should've known better though, looking back at what their ambitious and innovative game "Spore" (Will Wrights GDC presentation of it from 2005) ended up as after EA got their hands on it (a meaningless, shallow kids game).

wexorian
wexorian

Don't make FPS Reboot from outstanding classic RPG game Next time and maybe it won't fail :)

electronic_eye
electronic_eye

Bought syndicate day 1 and love it. Sad it didn't do better sales-wise.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Ehhh a reboot isn't really a reboot when you just slap old IP branding on a completely new product. New Syndicate was NOTHING like old Syndicate - why would you expect a product like that to trade on the previous product's goodwill? If anything, the opposite will happen. They were trying to appeal to new fans here (and the game wasn't good enough) not old fans.

 

Man, gaming publisher executives are as clueless as Hollywood execs. And they hold so much of the power in the industry now. No wonder gaming standards are going down and microtransactions, online passes, day-one DLC and other ways to fleece us of our money are going up. EA execs = clueless and don't understand gaming/gamers at all.

jonajacket
jonajacket

As one of the few on the planet who has played all Syndicates to completion I can say the reboot is a good game. The campaign has a weak story line but the action is very satisfying.

 

The multiplayer is awesome though. I much prefer cooperative MP to competitive. Working as a team is essential, especially on the hard difficulty setting. Shame there will be no new maps :(

Conjuration
Conjuration

Completely evil company.  I don't buy anything they make.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Severe disconnect between this suit and the ones who hold the franchises dear.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

Just don't ruin the SimCity IP and we won't have any problems, EA.

12inchnails
12inchnails

I agree with most gamers here, the whole FPS idea ruined the game.

spetz_naz_basic
spetz_naz_basic

Least surprising failure of the year, but only because the X-COM shooter isn't coming out this year (and probably never will).

 

It was obvious from the start that nobody particularly wanted this game. Obvious to everybody except EA and certain writers from certain sites who wrote gushing previews last year.

makryu
makryu

Butchered franchise+generic  FPS=Fail

 

Not that hard, is it?

-The-G-Man-
-The-G-Man-

"positive critical plaudits" = yellow on metacritic?

toddx77
toddx77

I had never heard of Syndicate before this game came out so making it a FPS to attract new players is pointless.  I didn't say "oh wow its a FPS so now I'm going to play".  Actually when I found out the originals weren't a FPS my response was "wow why would I want to play a reboot that had its genre changed simply to pander to the COD crowd?"  No wonder why it didn't pay off EA.

ziproy
ziproy

Why is it that these big corporations just don't understand. I could have told them as soon as they announced this that it wasn't going to "pay off". It was just a cash grab that also served to end one of the greatest PC genres ever made. If you are going to reboot or great a sequel to a genre at least put some love into it.

 

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

Syndicate didn't work for the same reason that XCOM (assuming it ever sees release) isn't going to work, either:  the audience interested in a new Syndicate game doesn't want an FPS that has almost nothing to do with the Syndicate games they love, while FPS gamers didnt know what Syndicate is and didn't buy it, either.

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

Are they serious? This version of Syndicate is nothing to the original except a vague similarity of being sci-fi, cyborgs, and corporations vesting for control. Beyond that, nothing is the same except for the name. After hearing how incredibly short the game is, too, I surely didn't want to touch it even with a ten foot pole.

norolim
norolim

Wow, I was actually expecting gamers would eat and thank for any FPS crap EA served them. What happened? Are gamers sick?

SolidSnakeUS42
SolidSnakeUS42

First, it should of been a crazy updated version of the original. Second, it was Origin only, which really does hurt sales (I feel) on the PC. Third, after playing it, it still somewhat felt like some other shooters.

k1DBLITZ
k1DBLITZ

This game could have been good if it were running on Frostbite 2.0 instead of BLOOM Engine 2.0

yboucher
yboucher

You guys are fully aware that you have no one to blame but yourselves with comments like this for the industry always rehashing the same stuff, right ??

 

Here's a developer that figured they could try something new with a franchise. And you guys are thinking "no, we want the exact same thing!".  And when devs give you the same thing, you say "no, we want something else!".  So there is simply no pleasing you. And that is why devs don't listen to all your hate-mongering on the net. Here's the reality: publishers and developers are giving people what they want. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy something in particular. Publishers and developers are giving the market what it wants. And ALL numbers show that innovative stuff DOESN'T SELL. You can try to yell as loud as you want, that remains the reality.

 

When you guys are ready to actually move on to something different and put your money where your mouth is, things will change. But certainly not before that. 

adroge1
adroge1

I would have only been interested in this game if it were like the originals. I don't buy any FPS, and haven't for years. I will pre-order the new XCOM game seeing as how, in my opinion, it's a true reboot of the series, and not another FPS.

PeterDuck
PeterDuck

the dumbasses should have released it on steam instead of origin if they wanted to increase sales.

 

I also like it how they are STILL selling it for $ 60 on Origin. The price would be at least $ 40 on steam by now

namdar
namdar

I never played the first Syndicate... but all I got from the new one was bloom and deus ex.... I bought this piece of crap... it was awful!!

Miroku32
Miroku32

Why did it fail?; because Starbreeze was stupid enough to change the original gameplay to another FPS.

Cactusgod
Cactusgod

It didn't pay off because they "rebooted" the game by changing the core gameplay significantly.  Fans of the old syndicate series like myself didn't give this game the time of day, specifically for that reason.  I'm so tired of game companies taking existing franchises and butchering them up so that they lose all of the unique flavor.  When you start doing it to old franchises...well that's just depressing.

gwd3987
gwd3987

I actually really enjoyed the game.  But it is from EA and I do not and will not ever give them money.  The latest reason why is David DeMartini comments regarding STEAM, but really it is a very long list why I refuse to buy EA anything. I got it through torrents.