Disney cancels Star Wars Attack Squadrons

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    Default Disney cancels Star Wars Attack Squadrons

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/05...ack-squadrons/

    Disney has just announced that Star Wars Attack Squadrons will cease operations in the wake of its closed beta test. A message on the official site reads, "We want to thank all of the fans who participated in the closed beta of Star Wars: Attack Squadrons. After much consideration, we have decided to cease development so that we can focus on other Star Wars game experiences. We truly appreciate the time you spent engaging in the beta."

    The company first revealed the game in December 2013 as a Star Wars dogfighting space combat title set in pseudo-MMO-like 16-player environments.


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    I had good hopes for this game

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    i didnt even know this game existed lol

    Currently Playing: Dragons Dogma

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    Would rather play 1999's Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance.
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    DAMMIT!!! I was following this game since it was called Sky Legends. Here was a conversation I had with one of the original developers. At the end he tells me that the game became Star Wars Attack Squadrons (which I was SUPER hyped for)!

    On Mar 27, 2012, at 9:44 PM, <phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com> wrote:

    Finish your Flying-Game already!! I want to play before Guild Wars 2 comes out.

    From: clark@smartbombinteractive.com
    Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 21:57:57 -0600
    To: phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com
    Subject: Re: Finish Your Game

    We're on it dude.

    Want to beta test when it's ready?

    Clark

    On Mar 28, 2012, at 2:52 AM, <phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com> wrote:

    Yes of course.

    Not my place to say this but - please don't release it the same week as World of Planes. Since World of Planes will be doing a massive advertising-campaign, then if you are releasing another plane-based MMO then the best time to release would be one month after World of Planes, so that people will still be hyped for plane-flight simulations. The other advantage is that instead of having your target audience leave for another game, it would be your game which is the distraction from World of Planes. From a social perspective, advertising before your competitor you would get a regular community, which would be (I exaggerate) distracted by the larger World of Planes community. Yet advertising after World of Planes you would be able to gain "free" advertising in the form of World of Planes players telling their friends who will already have the hype and interest in flight-sims. That's assuming you have a decent trailer. Usually games like Air Rivals / Ace Online, Altitude, Subspace Continuum, and Galactic Melee are overshadowed by the dauntingly small target-audience. Having played Red Baron, Wing Commander II, Star Wars: Battle for Naboo, and Subspace Continuum (in that order) while growing-up made me appreciate the genre. But all of the diehard fans who have gone to console gaming because of the old shooters like Star Fox and Star Wars being for console. Those who have stuck with PC were rewarded with stuff like Free Allegiance, Vendetta, EvE, Black Prophecy, etc.. As you can see, the trend of flight-sims has gone towards sci-fi, which is an unsuccessful genre in my opinion due to the low number of popular MMORPG games. To prove my point that your target audience is small: look at SEED, Star Peace, Stellar Frontier, Allegiance, StarKnights, Infinity Empire, Galactic Melee, Celetania (my favourite), and Beyond Protocol. What do these games have in common? They are sci-fi, and four of them are flight sims. The other thing that they have in common is that they are all closed (servers shutdown).

    Now, I don't know anything about console. But if there aren't any flight-sims there, then it means that your target-audience is even smaller than that of the above games that closed down. Because I have not heard of any highly-popular plane flying games other than Air Rivals (a.k.a. Ace Online) and Altitude. So if you want "free" advertising you are going to have to ride the wave of the hype towards this sub-genre generated by World of Planes' own advertising campaign, and then derive "free" advertising via the World of Planes players who are referred to your game by their friends (i.e. "I am playing this game that's like World of Planes"; response: "Oh World of Planes is good, therefore I have a basis for being at least somewhat interested"). You will still have a competitor, but THEY will have spent the money to make the sub-genre temporarily hyped, which will generate you free advertising. The alternative is releasing the game prior to World of Planes, attracting a few thousand players, and then receiving the "Soul Master" effect of releasing your game one week prior to a mainstream-competitor (Soul Master is a korean game which shutdown in North America because it was released one week before Starcraft II). Your other alternative is spending the time to make a good trailer, then setting up an instant-gratification oriented cash shop strategy, then hyping-up your website with fantastic promises of future-updates to your game (if you want to deliver on those then you should hold-back on some content or ship designs - assuming this is an MMO), and then message TotalBiscuit for your all-in-one advertising campaign. After that it's either a wild success, or a rapid depopulation of the servers followed by a slow failure as you notice that there is no further target-audience to draw upon other than the World of Planes players, who will soon return to World of Planes. I doubt you can do it, since (I assume) you are a small indie company with lack of experience in mainstream marketing, which relies not on how sh!tty your game is, but on the lengths you will take to pander to your cash shop users. It sounds sadistic, and it is. The gaming industry doesn't need quality games to be successful. It needs addictions.

    And that is why I won't play unless you make a good trailer. Because if you don't have the marketing-sense to understand even the importance of making a trailer, then the community is definitely going to stay small, which means less competitiveness, and longer matchmaking queues.

    That said, I have no comprehension as to how games like Wizard101 rose to mainstream popularity. In fact, I'm just a player who left University to go and farm gold on Entropia Universe while I struggle to make it in the blossoming ARPG eSports Community.

    Yes I'd like to play, but my point is that it doesn't matter how good your game is if your marketing is unsuccessful (assuming Sky Legends is an MMO).

    Some dry humour which you may find relevant: League of Legends purposefully releases overpowered cash shop champions so that they can nerf them publicly in response to the criticism from people who are unused to dealing with that champion's skillset (and not necessarily the fact that they are slightly overpowered; the reason for the buff is so that the company can nerf the champion without making it underpowered). An interesting detail.

    From: clark@smartbombinteractive.com
    Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 13:08:27 -0600
    To: phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com
    Subject: Re: Finish Your Game

    Your points are all well taken, and your feedback is very much appreciated. Not in the corporate form letter sense, but in the we're actually listening sense.

    I don't see the Sky Legends audience as the same core demographic World of Planes and World of Warplanes will be targeting. There will be significant overlap, to be sure, but we're not after the same core. This will become clearer when we announce our publishing partner next month, but the goal of Sky Legends has always been to target a younger and more casual player. That may sound like an oxymoron with regard to a flight sim, but I also don't regard Sky Legends as a "flight sim," necessarily. The closest comparisons in terms of core gameplay would be Crimson Skies on the first Xbox, or our own Snoopy Flying Ace on XBLA. To offer an analogy -- compare Forza or Gran Turismo (racing sims) to Battle Mode in Mario Kart or SF Rush 2049 on Dreamcast (arcade-y vehicle combat). Those guys are making flight sims with real historical planes. We're making vehicle combat with fun-to-build barnstorming planes and game modes like airborne rugby.

    Consider a very important differentiating feature of Sky Legends: it's browser based. The initial load time to get into your first flight experience is about that of a large Flash game. No 3GB, Windows-only client to download and configure. That means our game will be very easy and frictionless to try, and in a world where 95% of free-to-play client downloads are stopped before completion, that means that a lot more interested players will actually try this game, rather than just scanning the buzz to see if it's worth the time and pain to install. The marketing challenges you note are very real (yes, we need an awesome trailer), but as long as our core gameplay is fun, imaginative, and unique, we will capture and hold players from these other games because it will be so easy for them to jump in and try Sky Legends.

    That said, we are not exactly a small indie studio with no marketing or free-to-play experience to draw upon. I can't promise Sky Legends will be your cup of tea, but I CAN promise that it will be fun, addictive, well marketed, and an exciting advancement in browser-based, console-quality games.

    Good luck in your ARPG training and competition. It's so cool to watch the community of fans and athletes grow.

    cheers-
    Clark

    From: phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com
    To: clark@smartbombinteractive.com
    Subject: RE: Finish Your Game
    Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 006:41 -0400

    It's so interesting to see the opinions of develoeprs who are right in the gaming industry. If I criticize a game, then I can - from regular people - expect a response like, "yes it's too similar to X", or "no I like it because it has Y". I was hoping to provoke an interesting response, or glean some info on the beta (there isn't much info online) so I decided to launch into what I in every Beta: complain to the developers about the game :P

    Your answers are just as intriguing as the trailer, and I will definitely hop-in to my pilot seat just as soon as the game does get launched to testers (to determine whether it is indeed my cup-of-tea). I know I enjoyed Altitude which has a flying version of rugby, and if Sky Legends has something interesting like that, then it is mandatory that I at least experience the gameplay.

    On Feb 4, 2014, at 8:58 AM, <phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com> wrote:

    What happened to Sky Legends?

    From: clark@smartbombinteractive.com
    Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 10:22:43 -0700
    To: phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com
    Subject: Re: Sky Legends

    After a few interesting twists and turns, it became this: http://www.starwarsattacksquadrons.com/

    On Feb 5, 2014, at 11:44 AM, <phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com> wrote:

    Always wanted to PvP in an X-Wing. Star Wars is rather nostalgic... I remember beating Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo. Wow!!! Look at all the hype for Attack Squadrons. Is the Smart Bomb Interactive dev team affiliated with Area 52 Games now..? Jumping from a biplane to an X-Wing is a big jump! But to be honest... Without a big company interested in your game it's an uphill struggle to generate hype (marketing is so ridiculously expensive). I'm glad Sky Legends got picked-up by a rich company because now there will be a huge playerbase guaranteed! And there won't be competition for players with World of Warplanes and War Thunder. I will definitely tell all of my friends to sign-up for beta! And... LASERS

    So are you still directly affiliated with the game or has the intellectual property been sold? I've been wanting to play this for a while and the Star Wars theme is rather nostalgic.

    From: clark@smartbombinteractive.com
    Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 11:54:23 -0700
    To: phenoca_exodus@hotmail.com
    Subject: Re: Sky Legends

    Area 52 was Smart Bomb Seattle not too long ago. Disney originally signed on to publish Sky Legends with us, then they acquired the Star Wars IP and decided to push the game in that direction. We spun our Seattle studio out as a separate entity to focus 100% on that.

    I’m no longer directly affiliated with the game, but Smart Bomb has an ongoing interest in Area 52, so naturally we’re looking forward to the SWAS launch with great excitement. The team working on it is fantastic.

    The Sky Legends IP is back in our hands now, but we have no immediate plans to pursue anything related to it. We have our dance card pretty full with Animal Jam and Tunnel Town

    cheers-
    Clark
    Last edited by Phenoca; 05-24-2014 at 02:08 AM.
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    That sucks. I was really looking forward to it.

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