In the wake of Radical Entertaiment's unfortunate closure comes another shock. Rockstar Vancouver, makers of the critically-acclaimed Max Payne 3, have also gone defunct.
This was not foreseen by GD or Game Analysts but as it stands, Rockstar Vancouver has been officially closed down. Wait, with this comes the opening of a new studio in Oakville, Ontario to become part of Rockstar Toronto...
But as they say, when you loose something, you gain something bigger. In this case, the unfortunate developers of the studio are in fact fortunate to have been given jobs by Rockstar in their other, more popular Canadian studio, Toronto. 35 is the number of talented developers who are now going to part of Rockstar Toronto while the others will start afresh in Rockstar Oakville. Both are Canada-based studios and will most probably work on future prospects together.
Jennifer Kolbe, Vice President for Publishing and Operations for Rockstar said," We believe a single Canadian team will make for a powerful creative force on Future projects. We plan to add more than 50 new positions to our combined Canadian team, and are pleased to be entering into this strategic partnership with the Ontario Government."
But what is the reason behind the shutdown? GD feels its got something to do with Max Payne 3. As you can check from our review of the game, it is a fabulous project with few shortcomings. So what's the problem, you might ask? Well, as successful as Max Payne 3 is critically, the same cannot be said about it's commercial performance which is okay, at best.
If you flex those muscles in your brain, you will recall that this game released alongside Diablo III which was, in our view, more anticipated. And as sales figures started pouring in, we were not surprised to see Diablo III totally outperform Max Payne 3 by a mile. Not to forget is the fact that Diablo III was a PC-exclusive to Max Payne 3's Multi-Platform status, which put Rockstar in a terrible fix, than it already was. This might be the next-best reason for the studio's ouster after Rockstar has it's say.
So what does this mean for the dame-dork-drunk Max's future? Well, your guess is as good as ours. Rockstar themselves inherited the franchise from Remedy Entertainment, who moved on to Alan Wake. There was hope that this beloved franchise would move on post-Max Payne 3 but it's future seems bleak. A shame for their 8 years worth of hard work. On the sunnier side, hopes have risen for another dormant franchise...
Bully 2. There's been long-calling by fans still invested in this game. Rockstar Toronto, popular as they are, haven't a lead a game in sometime. With reinforcements from Vancouver and another 50 developers promised by Rockstar with the help of the Ontario Government, will they start work work on this game? Time will tell. Though, Rockstar did say about working on Bully 2 after Max Payne 3 shipped, so there!
In any case, our thoughts and wishes go out to those unfortunate developers who couldn't find a place at Rockstar. Hope you guys get recruited by some other reputed publisher who rightly put your talents to use.
Was this a boon-or-bane for the Rockstar team? What are your thoughts on Max Payne's future? Will a 'Bully' game suffice for the loss? Do share your thoughts below.