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Eight years ago, a small group of developers were told to produce a Golden Axe reboot prototype with almost no notice, which was rejected.

 

Now, Sega have put it up on Steam with a jokey description about how shit it is.

 

 

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I saw this the other day - https://store.steampowered.com/app/1368450/Endless_Zone/

 

If Black Bird is a love letter to fantasy zone, then this is a death threat.

The weird thing is that it's "*Available until 10am PST / 6PM BST October 19th*"

Does that mean you can only buy it until then or you can only play it until then?

 

Are Sega trying to do what ninten-do here, manufacturing artificial scarcity to create a bit of a buzz?
I mean that would surely fly straight under everyone's radar otherwise. I suppose it's working because I'm writing about it right now and you're reading.

 

Then have a look at the absolute clip of this - https://store.steampowered.com/app/1368440/Armor_of_Heroes/

 

Have sega gotten into the quick turnaround asset flip racket?
Dear god, Sonic will be turning in his shallow grave.

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I'm not against the concept of releasing abandoned games as historical curiosities, and someone who has mad nostalgia for Golden Axe this would interest me more than most attempts to reboot an old franchise.  Yes, the footage doesn't look great but fuck me, the absolute lack of class from Sega if they couldn't even be arsed to contact the team who worked on the game ahead of doing this. 

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5 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

the absolute lack of class from Sega if they couldn't even be arsed to contact the team who worked on the game ahead of doing this. 

Might not be easy. Assuming here, but there's a probability that the team, the individual team members, the team lead, the producer and whomever else moved on and Sega has no means of getting in touch. Think back to your own colleagues in 2012, how many of those do you think you can easily get in touch with.

Also, does Sega have to? It's their IP, not of the prototype team.

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I mean on a personal level I'm at a job with a very low turnover in staff so it would probably be easier than something like game development where there is a lot more contract work being handed out but in this Golden Axed situation I'd probably at least spend an hour with Linkedin open in one window and the credits to the game in another before publishing the video. 

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1 minute ago, Naysonymous said:

 at least spend an hour with Linkedin open in one window and the credits to the game in another before publishing the video. 

Credits in a prototype? Fair enough, I get your point.

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Are you saying the guys who made the prototype wouldn't have put their names in the software before submitting it?   If that's the case (and I'm not in the industry so I don't know the practices) then I find it very surprising but I'd say the original tweet has no grounds for complaint but I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be some kind of list of names attached to the source of the footage.  

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It says on the Steam page that they reached out to the original developers and got their blessing, which is evidently a load of shit.

 

The idea that Sega would have the complete source and assets for this, polish it to releasable state, QA it to check it doesn't do anything malicious, and put it on Steam, but somehow couldn't work out the current email address of the senior developers on the project, is absurd.

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40 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

Are you saying the guys who made the prototype wouldn't have put their names in the software before submitting it?   If that's the case (and I'm not in the industry so I don't know the practices) then I find it very surprising but I'd say the original tweet has no grounds for complaint but I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be some kind of list of names attached to the source of the footage.  


I think you’re right that’s it’s a bit crap but a lot of software will be moving away from having names plastered over it, at least here, due to GDPR. We used to have names in source file headers but they’re all gone now. The version control system has them but if you were recovering our software you might not have that, just a big tar of it’s latest content.

 

It’d definitely surprise me if they couldn’t find at least a few of the team to discuss though. And then treat their work with some respect.

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Have they changed the text on the Steam page? It doesn’t really read like it’s taking the piss. Presumably the  (apparently now deleted) disrespectful attitude is the main issue - I don’t think Sega need to get individual developers’ permission to release a prototype they worked on years ago, do they?

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So they commissioned some work, and released it? Not seeing a massive scandal here. The Steam description isn't mocking at all (perhaps they changed it?)

 

Quote

'On the occasion of SEGA’s 60th Anniversary, as a special treat to say “Thank You!” to our fans, SEGA is releasing a working prototype of Golden Axe Reborn, a single level created as proof-of-concept, or what’s known in the industry as a “vertical slice.” We’ve dubbed it, tongue in cheek, as “Golden Axed.”

Golden Axed offers a unique glimpse into the prospect of a project that could have been, and a rare peek behind the curtain at the sometimes tumultuous world of video game development.

We reached out to some of the original development team to bring this dusty gem to light, and they are proud that this project could be revived in some form to be shared with you, the fans.'

 

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Yeah looks like they’ve changed the text - it was a bit more snide this morning and made a reference to it being “of its time” which seems bizarre as 2012 was only...eight years ago?! Fuck. 

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1 hour ago, SozzlyJoe said:

So they commissioned some work, and released it? Not seeing a massive scandal here. The Steam description isn't mocking at all (perhaps they changed it?)

 

 

 

Yes, I thought the Steam description was very fair. Perhaps it was changed?

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26 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

“Golden Axed may be janky, may be buggy, may be an artifact of its time, but it offers a unique glimpse into the prospect of a project that could have been"

 

That seems fair enough and probably a fairly true description. 

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I guess they have to strike a balance between letting people know that it's an unfinished prototype and will probably be extremely rough, and not tearing down the work of the original programmers. I would imagine its easy to stray into the latter when you're doing the former.

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"The developers worked on it for only 2 weeks so it's not perfect but it offers a unique glimpse into the prospect of a project that could have been"

 

Easy.

 

Or

 

"The prototype was prepared in a hurried 2 weeks of round the clock work but..."

 

There's a million ways to do it.  Also perhaps don't say you got their permission when the first they know about it is an email from Steam.

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1 hour ago, Dudley said:

"The developers worked on it for only 2 weeks so it's not perfect but it offers a unique glimpse into the prospect of a project that could have been"

 

Easy.

 

Or

 

"The prototype was prepared in a hurried 2 weeks of round the clock work but..."

 

There's a million ways to do it.  Also perhaps don't say you got their permission when the first they know about it is an email from Steam.


Apparently there is a commentary with one of the programmers included in the package so clearly they did get some consent.

 

Edit: perhaps not

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