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 The Ship  Dev 'All But Dissolved' Just Prior To Release of Next Game
The Ship Dev 'All But Dissolved' Just Prior To Release of Next Game
October 14, 2010 | By Kris Graft

October 14, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Edinburgh, Scotland-based The Ship developer Outerlight Studios is virtually shuttered, company co-founder Chris Peck revealed to Big Download earlier this month.

This is despite the fact that the independent studio recently finished work on its soon-to-be-released second game, Bloody Good Time, a unique Ubisoft-published multiplayer first-person title in the same vein as The Ship. Bloody Good Time is slated for an October 27 release on Xbox Live Arcade and Steam.

"Outerlight has all but been dissolved," said Peck. "The team and the office are gone, all that remains is myself working unpaid in the hope to recoup some royalties from the game. ... At the moment, the life line for the company is ongoing Ship sales, which have meant we can keep trading until we hopefully see some [Bloody Good Time] royalties."

"The status of Outerlight is 'critically endangered,'" Peck further explained. "Personally, I really hope the company will be revived. ... So, if there are any savvy investors out there, please get in touch!"

The Ship was Outerlight's first game, and like Bloody Good Time, is powered by Valve's Source engine. That first game was distributed on Valve's Steam platform in 2006, following "a costly and soul destroying two years chasing publishing deals and failing," Peck said.

He added that going through Steam instead of a traditional publisher for The Ship gave the studio wider margins as well as greater creative freedom.

While hesitant to comment on the studio's specific experience working with Ubisoft on Bloody Good Time, Peck still had choice words for the traditional publishing model. He said that Outerlight went with a publisher for the second game because it needed an advance on development funding.

"The traditional publishing model is awful for developers, it's their gilded cage," he told Big Download. "...Publishers are motivated by greed, but restrained by fear of risk." He argued that just pitching a game is costly, inefficient and time-consuming.

Despite Outerlight's grim status, Peck still has hopes for a strong reception of Bloody Good Time: "When all is said and done, I'm just happy it's being released."

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sean lindskog
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This article missed my favorite quote from the full interview.

"While people often compare the games industry to the film industry, I'd rather compare a games team with a band, trying to come up with a new hit album, the publisher being the guy that sits in the corner and suggests you try a major rather than minor key for the chorus, and maybe change the lyrics to mention lady Diana...oh, and have you thought about hot backing singers, and maybe wearing monkey suits, marketing says they are both big right now."

Classic. :)

Kris Graft
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Yeah there was quite a bit of juicy animosity in there -- best of luck to the guys.