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Company News Interplay earnings report in and Herve gets dumber

Saint_Proverbius

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Tags: Herve Caen; Interplay

<A href="http://www.interplay.com">Interplay</a> has issued it's <A href="http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040625/def023_1.html">earnings report</a> for the first quarter of 2004. They lost money. Here's some fun bits:
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<blockquote>For the first quarter ended March 31, 2004, the Company reported a <b>net loss of $.9 million</b>, or .01 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net income of $5.6 million or $.06 per basic and diluted share, in the same period last year. Net revenues for the first quarter 2004 were $8.4 million versus $18.8 million in the same period last year, a decrease of 55 percent. Finally the Company reported an <b>operating loss of $.9 million</b> in the first quarter as compared to operating income of $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2003. The decrease in net revenues and net income was mainly due to the sale of all future interactive entertainment publishing rights to the "Hunter: The Reckoning" franchise for $15 million in the first quarter of 2003.
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Gross profit margin for the first quarter 2004 decreased to 40 percent, compared to 63 percent in the first quarter of 2003. Gross profit margin was lower in the first quarter this year as compared to last yearly mainly due to the sale of all future interactive entertainment publishing rights to the "Hunter: The Reckoning" franchise in the first quarter of 2003, which yielded approximately an 80 percent profit margin. Total operating expenses decreased 32 percent to $4.2 million from $6.2 million in the first quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year.</blockquote>
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So, they lost money even though they didn't pay rent, benefits, license royalties, and so on. Incredible.
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Even more funny:
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<blockquote>Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Caen said, "Based on a detailed review of where our industry stands and the level of interest in the gaming community in taking some of <b>our premier properties online, we are now pursuing several options to fund our entry into Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming with titles including Fallout</b>. Initial feedback from our investment bank and ongoing dialogue with others in the gaming sector appear to confirm that the combination of our valuable and popular intellectual properties with the rapidly growing online gaming community is the best way to maximize Interplay shareholder value."</blockquote>
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You tried that already, <b>Herve</b>, back in late 2001. It was too expensive then when you had money coming in. Oh, yeah, and you had developers back then. You also have shit for credit now.
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I can see the slogan now: <b><i><u>Fallout Online</u>: From the Guys Who Can't Keep a Website Up</i></b>.
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Saint_Proverbius

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Anyone who invests in this venture deserves to lose their money. Look at it like this, froma business sense type view:

  • Successful PC licenses don't mean successful MMO. You have two MMOs that flopped hard based on successful PC licenses. There's C&C Renegade, which didn't even require a monthly fee, and The Sims Online. The Sims is one of the best selling PC games ever made, and has generated gobs of money for EA. They spent over $25M to make it in to an MMO, and it bombed bigger than Michael Moore's fat ass.
  • Fallout games don't sell that well. Though, the CRPGs have steadily sold over several years, the game made a profit. Fallout Tactics made a lesser profit, but it sold poorly. I'd be surprised if it even trickle sells that much today. Fallout Enforcer bombed HARD. I'd be surprised if it ever makes anything close to it's development cost back.
  • The MMO market is saturated. Interplay can't even compete in the console and PC games general areas, yet it expects to go up against the likes of World of Warcraft, D&D Online, and LotR Online? Everquest 2? There's a gazillion MMOs out there in development and only a niche market that's willing to pay to play them.
  • MMOs cost a LOT to develop. Interplay is penniless and homeless right now. They're in massive debt, have gobs of fines against them, law suits, etc. Just to hope to develop an MMO, you'd have to basically bail them out of a lot of those situations on top of funding a game that's going to cost tens of millions to make.
  • Herve's an idiot. You have to factor this in when you're considering financing the guy. He's lost all kinds of money over the last decade and ruined three companies. Can you expect a return given his track record?
  • Interplay is shakey as best. For an MMO to have a return, it has to operate for a while. Given that Interplay can't even keep it's web page up, how do you expect them to have a server pool for an MMO maintained and operational 24/7? If those servers aren't running, you're not going to see an investment.
  • Gamers know Interplay is fucked. You buy an MMO, you expect it to keep running for a while. If Interplay goes down, you just lost all your money you spent on that game. How can you expect to sell a game to people who know that the company is doomed?

Honestly, if this is anything more than a stunt to get people to quit selling their shares, I'd be surprised. If Herve thinks this will suceed and the company will make money off it, then he's dumber than he looks - and Herve looks like a big moron.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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Saint_Proverbius said:
  • The MMO market is saturated. Interplay can't even compete in the console and PC games general areas, yet it expects to go up against the likes of World of Warcraft, D&D Online, and LotR Online? Everquest 2? There's a gazillion MMOs out there in development and only a niche market that's willing to pay to play them.
  • MMOs cost a LOT to develop. Interplay is penniless and homeless right now. They're in massive debt, have gobs of fines against them, law suits, etc. Just to hope to develop an MMO, you'd have to basically bail them out of a lot of those situations on top of funding a game that's going to cost tens of millions to make.


  • Also, Microsoft cancelled Mythica. Microsoft. If the high-rollin' megacorp owned by Gates cancels their MMOG because they feel its too costly and the market is saturated, this should tell you that investing in the creation of a MMOG is not only hazardous in itself, it's also dangerous as the franchise isn't exactly a great commercial hit.
 

Sol Invictus

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Microsoft cancelled both Mythica and True Fantasy Online which couldn't in any way foreseeably compete with FFXI and its expansions in Japan. That, and the developers were asses.

Heck, Warhammer Online got canned, too.
 

Stark

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makes me wonder, if these so-called CEOs really understand the game industry they're working in. Have the marketing research people working in Interplay really done their work?

it's mind boggling.
 

Voss

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Let's repeat this for the slow kids:

MMOs cost a LOT to develop
not to mention maintain.

More, say than just a sequel you already had in development, that had most of the code base finished. Or that other sequel you had in development, with a lot of the code base finished.

And by the by, whatever happened to console games == the $$?
 

EvoG

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To play devils advocate, the one thing going for a FOO, is FO...or at the very least a PA RPG...that so happens to have Fallouts universe. IIRC, Anarchy Online is the only 'sorta' PA MMORPG, so IMO, again being FO and being a true PA world, its plausible, IPLY problems aside(I'm merely commenting on a FOO...not if they can actually afford to make it)

Cheers
 

DarkUnderlord

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I can imagine a FallOut OnLine now:

Interplay's Resurrected Web-site said:
New Monsters for Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Online - Staff - 6/18/2004

Check out our new FO:BOSO section to see some new shots for Ghouls, Roaches, Glowing Radscorpions, Spitting Radscorpions, Deathclaws and Radscorpions!
Interplay: Radscorpions' r us.
 

DemonKing

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Given the at times violent opposition (to put it mildly) by hardcore FO CRPG fans to FOT and FO:BOS, I genuinely pity the poor sod that tried to turn FO into a MMO. :(

Besides, a licence doesn't equal a successful MMO. Generally successful licences don't cover up crappy gameplay, but something like City of Heroes proves that if you come up with something fun, people will play it regardless of licence.

Frankly though Herve announcing development of an MMO when he has no office, no staff, no money and when the computers are locked away sounds like the ravings of a loony to me.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Psilon said:
Saint, you mean C&C Sole Survivor. Renegade was the mediocre FPS.

Nope, I mean Renegade. It was a multiplayer FPS set in the C&C universe with 128 people per server.

Voss said:
More, say than just a sequel you already had in development, that had most of the code base finished. Or that other sequel you had in development, with a lot of the code base finished.

I'd say BG3 and FO3 would have brought a lot more revenue in to the company than the FOOL would have. I wouldn't trust any MMO from Interplay, and I really don't think too many would considering the company's inept fiscal management. Even if they got the thing developed, which is a stellar long shot, the odds of the company lasting long enough given the cost of maintaining the servers and other things would be slim to none.
 

DamnElfGirl

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I want to see the Fallout Online proto-design docs. I want to know how they think they're going to attract people to an MMORPG that involves running your little 'toon through nuclear wasteland. Sure it's fun for a while in a single-player game, where you have overhead map travel and spend all your time in towns and "dungeons", but who would spend months on end criss-crossing a 3D environment that looks like central Nevada?

Or are they planning on "Fallout: The Forests Grew Back, and Man Are They Pissed"?
 

Rat Keeng

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Wow. One can only imagine what's going through his head right now. If he gets in deeper than he is, it might be a bullet, but what the hell is he thinking?

Mr. Caen added that the company would likely continue to develop select games for personal computers and next generation gaming consoles as well as develop purely online games.
Very clever... not. He must honestly believe that everyone except him are complete idiots. Who's he trying to convince here?
 

Anonymous

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To play devils advocate, the one thing going for a FOO, is FO...or at the very least a PA RPG...that so happens to have Fallouts universe.

Yeah, because a setting with a central theme of death and the weak not surviving, death being eternal AND the future works SO well in an MMORPG.
 

Human Shield

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LlamaGod said:
Yeah, because a setting with a central theme of death and the weak not surviving, death being eternal AND the future works SO well in an MMORPG.

It could work great. But the Fallout setting is completely wrong for a post-apoc MMOG.
 

Rosh

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I think I've said enough about this topic over the years, I really don't need to really comment on it anymore. I didn't even laugh when I first read this news. I just stared, read, and replied like a robot. I guess it was from the shock that Herve could really be that stupid.
 

kenney bounces

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My jaw was like open for a whole minute when i saw them going "MMORPG FALLOUT!!"

WHY are they so bloody stupid? Why!!!

Everything that the fans loved about fallout 1&2 will never be repeated in any future fallouts.
Instead, they are choosing to use gameplay strategies that are meant to appeal to a completely different audience.
This is exactly like some idiot buying over lord of the rings, and cutting all the violence to create the similiarity of a harry potter movie. Which in the end, appeals to NO ONE.
 

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