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Default Gothic 3 - JoWooD Comments on Patch Rumors

May 23rd, 2007, 18:03
If the patch is finished or near it, PB should get it out just for the fans. It would be a great PR victory.

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May 23rd, 2007, 18:25
For PB or JoWooD?
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May 23rd, 2007, 20:22
In the longrun for PB.

Because the developers, and not the publishers, are remembered for their games. If G3 keeps the state it is in, unfinished and still missing a few skills, this will haunt PB for the rest of their lives. It won't matter if they start creating bugfree code for other games. People will think twice before buying a new game from PB when G3 doesn't get fixed.
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May 23rd, 2007, 21:50
PB should really really fast release the (uber) patch on which they have been working. Rumours etc. in the computer business really can 'kill' a company. And by that I mean if it gets around that PB didn't release the (final) patch for G3, then my guess would be that PB would have a really really hard time finding a publisher for their next project (game).

And their next project, or the add-on for G3, should really be downloadable via Steam…
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May 23rd, 2007, 22:26
Originally Posted by Bleh View Post
In the longrun for PB.
I don't think that there is a "long run" for PB to be honest. They are completely foxtrot-uniform-charlie-kilo'ed at the moment. If what that JoWood dude (Stefan Berger) said in that interview at PC Games is true that JoWood is the sole owner of the Gothic IP with the exception of the rights to Gothic I (Berger could be bluffing, of course, but if it's true…) then PB is pretty much out of business.
Sure, there'll be a lawsuit over it all and maybe PB will even win the thing in 2009 or whenever its outcome is finally set in stone but until then they got… pretty much nothing. Except for Gothic I.

This makes Gorath's theory that they could be making a Gothic I remake (relatively quick… based on the remnants of whatever tech/assets they own) just to stay afloat a definite possibility if they can secure funding (big, fat IF) but other signs indicate that they are closing shop.

For example, Ralf (the art director) created a little diary with photos about a typical work day at PB. This is probably for nostalgic reasons because he knows that they might never get together or work together like that again. So the diary will always be a nice memory for everyone who is/was working there and for the community.

Plus, they (Ralf and KaiRo) have announced to make farewell posts (or "see you soon" posts as they put it) at World of Gothic in the very near future.
Of course, there's also still the 0.0000001% chance that a publisher who just happens to be looking for a studio with free capacities at the moment, rings them up, and that they can start to work on a new project tomorrow (yeah fat chance).

So… basically… to put it in the words of the one and only Andrea Bocelli, it might be Time To Say Good-Bye. We'll see…
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May 23rd, 2007, 22:54
To add a bit more to what our newer, angrier Moe just said…

PB is without a publisher, so they have no income. They are presently living off whatever cash they have sitting in the bank, with no hope for revenue from G3. Unless their parent company (if that's what Pluto 13 is) has deep pockets, they are now paying for everyone's salary from whatever is left in the bank.

This is the same situation Troika was in after Bloodlines shipped. If a small dev house does not have a publisher and a new game lined up when their current game ships, they either pay everyone from existing funds, or they lay almost everyone off. Given the protracted time since G3 shipped and the assumption that PB is not getting any new revenue (or development funds from JoWood for a patch), their cash reserves are likely running dry.

At this point, they know exactly how long they can go before they run out of cash. I've heard it takes an average of 6 months to land a new project for a dev house. Since they were in negotiation with JoWood, they were probably not looking for anyone else to publish with them. Unless they have enough funds to keep everyone on the payroll for the next 6+ months until they land a new project, they have to lay everyone off.

I haven't been paying attention to their financial/business info (and it's probably all in German), but they're basically doomed at this point. There's only a few options:

1) Deep pockets: if they have enough in the bank, they can try to weather out the storm until something new comes along. Unlikely, since they're small. Does Pluto 13 have cash reserves? I don't know.

2) New publisher swoops in within the next few weeks and starts them on a new project. This is a crap shoot, but their best bet for survival.

3) Lay off 90% of the workforce, keep a few key people (sadly, this usually means managers), try to hold it together for 6-12 months, land a new project, then build a whole new team, and try to hire back any available people.

4) Call it quiters, lay everyone off, and put a bullet in the horse. It's all over.

5) Standard corporate variation halfway between 3) and 4) — Declare PB out of business, a few key people shop around for something new, and form a whole new company a year or so down the road, usually trying to hire back some of the team (which seldom works, since by that time everyone's moved on to new pastures, and you only get back the ones who hate their new jobs). This has the advantage of dry-cleaning your image, since it means a new corporate name, while often retaining the same corporate mismanagement problems that hurt the company the first time around. (Not implying PB was/wasn't mismanaged, but in general if it was there the first time around, it's still there the second time around.)

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May 23rd, 2007, 22:57
I'm still kind of speechless, although I know the news since yesterday.

The sentence that popped instantly into my mind was :

"Delusions Of Grandeur".



P.S. : I'm still waiting for roqua writing "Even more lies !!!"
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May 23rd, 2007, 23:47
Mo,

Berger didnīt say JoWooD owns the Gothic franchise. He carefully avoided to answer the real question by stating the obvious: "JoWooD has all rights in the existing Gothic series except the first Gothic."
Of course! DTP as successor to Shoebox own #1, JoWooD funded #s 2 &3.
This says nothing about future games.
Itīs a fact that the brand belongs to PB. Which and how many rights PB had to grant to JoWooD in their publishing contracts is unknown to the public.

DTP as the biggest investor in German teams and owner of the Gothic 1 rights would be the perfect choice to fund a Gothic remake. I doubt if such a project is attractive to PB though. If I was in PBīs shoes, had the rights to make Gothic games and to use the Genome engine this would be exactly what I would be doing. Make a great Gothic game faster than JoWooD can do it. Let everyone know who is the original.

Stanza,
the 6th option: PB already has another publisher for a new IP.

Bleh,
they certainly know about Gamecock. If thatīs an option theyīll consider it.

Chekote,
the forum language is English, not French.
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May 23rd, 2007, 23:50
I don't think Jowood holds they key or the rights to the Gothic IP. There have been several posts on both jowood's as well as WOG's forums that stated that PB still owned 'die Rechte' (IP?) to Gothic, not Jowood. Jowood could, however, own some form of copyright brand to Gothic after Jowoods funding of PB when Phenomedia went belly up…(and PB got restructured) in 2002. ( Info here: http://www.pluto13.de/index.php?navtarget=2&lang=en ) While PB still would hold the rights to the assets, the software, the source code etc. etc. But let's see how it goes…

I just have a very uneasy feeling about this…a feeling that says that maybe Jowood wanted to break with PB and then somehow 'forced' PB to make a break with Jowood. I hope this is not the case, though.

As for the patch, I hope that this doesn't mean that PB would be forced to make a Troika (as Alrik F. desribes). That would be very sad indeed . If they do however, I hope that PB do somehow let the patch 'leak' or 'slip' out on the internet somehow. This would mean that talented fans would be able to finish the patch. But then again, PB might be forced to hand their work over to Jowood.

The best outcome of this would really be if a court decided that PB had to (or must) release the patch while Jowood must pay PB for their work (on the patch).

ETA:
Gorath:
I'd go with # 6, too:

PB already has a publisher for a brandnew IP. (which may or may not be an rpg game, but I sure hope it will be an RPG game, though ). To me, this is the only logical conclusion as to why PB would part ways from Jowood right now. That PB in the last 5-6 months or so indeed have looked around, and found another publisher…
Last edited by aries100; May 23rd, 2007 at 23:58. Reason: content added
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May 24th, 2007, 00:17
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Mo,

Berger didnīt say JoWooD owns the Gothic franchise. He carefully avoided to answer the real question by stating the obvious: "JoWooD has all rights in the existing Gothic series except the first Gothic."
I know, I know… that's why I said IF it is true what Berger is saying . But even if it isn't… what good is it going to do PB right now? Not much. They'll have looong run out of money before a court makes a decision about who has the rights to develop games under the Gothic brand. Even if PB were allowed to develop games under the Gothic brand starting today, what good would that do them without a publisher who funds the development?

And as Stanza pointed out, I also don't think that they could conclude negotiations with a new publisher before running out of money. Those negotiations would probably take several weeks/months. Outcome uncertain.

That's just too risky for the PB head honcho(s). If I were them/him (in case Rüve really is the sole CEO), I'd put the company on ice right now (fire everyone, close shop) to cut the expenses back to zero and then I'd begin to hope and pray for the slim 0.0001% chance of some magical resurrection but I don't really see how "they" (not really "they" since the original employees will probably never get together again or make a return anyway) would be able to come back unless a court would declare them to be the legitimate owners of the Gothic IP.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure PB is done unless some unforeseen miracle turn of events pops up out of nowhere.
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May 24th, 2007, 00:21
Weīll know soon whatīs up with PB. Firing everybody wonīt be easy, since the Pluto 13 page says most of the team is co-owner of the company.
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May 24th, 2007, 01:20
Originally Posted by Stanza View Post
Unless their parent company (if that's what Pluto 13 is) has deep pockets, they are now paying for everyone's salary from whatever is left in the bank.
My memory is hazy (Gorath and Mo will remember) but basically Pluto 13 is PB…they aren't some big corporate owner. As I recall, PB combined with some other studios and labels through a share-swap deal to form Phenomedia in the late '90s or so. When Phenomedia collapsed, key PB employees reformed as Pluto 13 with these key staffers "buying in" to form the new company and using "Piranha Bytes" as the brand label Pluto 13 releases titled under.

Obviously I don't know anything about their finances but I imagine they are simply a group of individuals with no "deep pockets", other than to second mortgage their houses or raid their retirement portfolios.

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Last edited by Dhruin; May 24th, 2007 at 01:38.
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May 24th, 2007, 02:07
Yes, Pluto 13 is the company and Piranha Bytes their label. Their history can be looked up on the Pluto 13 homepage.
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May 24th, 2007, 02:57
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
For PB or JoWooD?
It's a win-win for both, more important for PB if they plan to stay tegether.

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