Looking forward to the reboot of Thief? You shouldn’t be; amid horror stories concerning the game’s development, Eidos Montreal, the studio developing the game, just saw their General Manager, Stephane D’Astous, resign.
While at E3, a tipster in the industry mentioned that I shouldn’t be too excited about the game. The engine has reportedly been scrapped and rebuilt a couple times, management on the project was described as a mess, and the staff’s turnover rate was extraordinarily high. If you’re thinking that this is bad news for a game announced back in 2009, you’re not alone. But consider this: The game wasn’t really displayed well at Square Enix’s E3 booth last month. Heck, I don’t even remember it being there. Last time I checked, you should be showcasing a game as much as you can so consumers can get excited about it.
But what if there’s nothing to get excited about? Development troubles have been widely reported, so that fact wouldn’t necessarily shock me. But let’s also remember the fact that the game’s publisher is going through some hard times as well. Aside from the fact that their extraordinarily high sales goals for Tomb Raider weren’t met, former Square Enix boss Yoichi Wade left back in March. All of the company’s future plans seem to be revolved around Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV. While the game may not be cancelled, any and all pre-orders for the game should be.
Thief‘s troubles are nothing new in the industry. There are plenty of projects that become destined to failure that we don’t even get to hear about. So why should we care? Because if we, as both gamers and paying customers of publishers like Square Enix, continue to buy low-quality games based on the hope that they’ll be enjoyable, then we’re only encouraging this type of behavior. Sales dictate the game’s market; there isn’t a Psychonauts 2 because the first one didn’t sell well enough. There’s an annual release for Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed because they sell like cans of PBR at a hipster college bar.
We’ve gone a great job of becoming more aware of shitty games during their development, but we can’t slack off now. Ignore the hype, tune out the pre-release fluff, and demand to get hands-on with these games. That way, we’ll know they suck before dropping $59.99 on them. As much as we would all like to forget about Aliens: Colonial Marines, we can’t; it taught us too important a lesson.