Another studio acquisition for ZeniMax

Bethesda owner has apparently bought ex-Starbreeze dev Machinegames

ZeniMax looks to have added Machinegames, a studio founded by ex-Starbreeze members, to its ranks.

Business registration data in Sweden has revealed that the studio is now known as Zenimax Sweden AB.

Machinegames was formed last July and has yet to release a product, but is headed up by Starbreeze founder Magnus Hogdahl and veteran staff such as lead designer Jerk Gustafsson.

If the buy-out is as it appears, Machinegames will join a stable that also contains id, Arkane and most recently Tango Gameworks.

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Latest comments (7)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 11 years ago
ZenMmax Media/Bethsoft are on a small roll here, that's for sure. As long as these studios pay off (Hey! it's time for an Anvil of Dawn remake with a relaunch of Wizardry chaser across multiple platforms in addition to any new IP's, hint, hint, hint), the company and its growing set of studios will be successful...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 5th November 2010 8:53am

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
They're going crazy with the chequebook at the moment, but I hope they're not spreading themselves too thin - rapid expansion isn't always a good thing. I mean, although I think most of Bethesda's core output has been really good, some of the stuff they've published like Wet and Wheelspin has been very disappointing.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game11 years ago
They've certainly got some pedegree on board, hope they share between them, I wanna see the mongrels.
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Show all comments (7)
zenimax sure are on a spending spree. Driveby acquisitions :)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 11 years ago
Had to look up Wheelspin, as it never came out in the US. Yikes, that's dreary. But hey, not every studio can have mega-hits all the time (I think they also published Medieval Games on the Wii, which as far as I can tell has never even been reviewed anywhere in the free world).

As long as the devs they've locked up produce quality games, it's a good thing. On the other hand, I get a case of the Majesco shudders every now and then when I see a publisher doing too much too soon...
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Kirill Yarovoy Game designer / Narrative designer / Writer 11 years ago
As long as Bethesda will push out unfinished beta version of their games instead of pushing awaya release date, as long as it will not fix most of bugs soon after release, and as long as their support will be such a dull - i will consider any deals of other studios with Beth, as deals bad for their games.

Bethesda already showed their "great" marketing decisions by locking ID tech 5 engine for internal use only, so all the sweet dreams of people & studios who tired of Unreal "trashware", was ruined.

i also suppose that traditional Carmack's release date formula "When its done", now would be changed to traditional Bethesda's formula "when its not done yet" or "when release date set, even if game is not done".
Why its bad for ID, their games & reputation?
Just look at huge number of Fallout 3 & Fallout New Vegas bugs - thats the biggest list of game breaking bugs in history of AAA titles. ID games was well known to be polished to nearly perfect state, now i see ID in not so distant future, with Rage & Doom 4 released as betas with number of bugs equal to number in TES and Fallout games by Bethesda.
Another problem - ID was always studio which released everything for free, map packs, major patches with bunch of new features and even past engine source code.
Now under Bethesda control, there could be 1-3 very minor patches that fix less then 10% of critical bugs, and then ID games will have 3-5 paid buggy DLCs (which in ID independence time could be 100% free) and game will be abandoned, and im not sure we will ever see source code of Doom 3 engine (it tech 4) and Rage one - thats how Bethesda usually works.

So i have bad feeling, that ZeniMax Doomed the Doom & Masters of the Doom.
Remember John Romero's 1st post on news about ID & Zenimax? He was disappointed, very disappointed. I dont know why he changed his mind later, maybe it was call of old friend from ID asking to calm down, or maybe agreement have some rules protecting ID's creative freedom)... We will see about this soon, but we must hope for best, and must be prepared for worst.

P.S. - i hope that at least ID tech 5 will help Bethesda to make their upcoming games like TES5 and Fallout 4 less buggy and better looking, and i hope ID will not be turned to some "engine coding devision".
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 11 years ago
Bethesda already showed their "great" marketing decisions by locking ID tech 5 engine for internal use only, so all the sweet dreams of people & studios who tired of Unreal "trashware", was ruined.

Well... who says everyone HAS to use Unreal for their games? I'd say that a number of other engines can be licensed or proprietary ones created. A little optimism here, please ;)

That and I think Bethsoft is smart enough to leave Carmack and Co. alone so they CAN cook up a solid game. As far as I know, there's no set in stone launch date for Rage where many other 2011 games from other studios have more or less firm dates (which is probably a big pressure for studios who need more time to polish their work). BTW, if I'm not mistaken, DOOM 3 wasn't exactly 100% flawless, but a few mods made it a better experience.

Heck, I'd say don't be worried about Rage at all, especially if id has been working on a few iOS projects that will be benchmarks on that format. If there was a ton of pressure on id to kick RAGE out the door too quickly, I seriously doubt they'd be playing around with a set of mobile games.

And Romero should be working on that Anachronox sequel or something, not griping about a former employer. I like the guy, but sometimes, it's good to just step back and let a product speak for itself.

And yes, Fallouts were buggy, but not unplayable. Biggest list of bugs? I'd say you might have missed out on Battlecruiser 3000, this year's Jack the Ripper, Stardock's last game and a few other titles. It's not about how prestigious a release is in the end, anyway. Grade "Z" games should work out of the box as well as "AAA" titles, but we're in this stupid age of patches for everything, so unfortunately, gamers have to suck it in and wait for fixes.

Is this solely Bethsoft's fault? Hardly. Blame can be spread all around the room, but since to many consumers keep buying many of these buggy games on day one and not holding out for fixes, it's unlikely that we'll see the trend slow down anytime soon. Unless we see developers revolting and refusing to put out a game until it's as polished as they can make it.

It would be interesting to see some stiff non-gamer executives sitting in a room while QA shows them all the areas that need work so they can understand that game development is less based on setting a date and cracking a whip than letting the stew actually cook before it's served up.
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