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Sony Breaks Ties With PlayStation All-Stars Developer

With All-Stars DLC being handled internally at Sony, it's unclear what the future holds for Superbot Entertainment.

Upcoming DLC for PlayStation All-Stars includes Kat from Gravity Rush for the Vita.

SuperBot Entertainment is no longer working with Sony.

The developer was responsible for last year’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in partnership with Sony, but future downloadable content will be created internally at Sony Santa Monica.

“Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm that the working agreement with developer SuperBot Entertainment has amicably ended,” said Sony in a statement. “We have had a positive working relationship with this talented studio, and wish them the best of success in their next endeavor.”

It’s unclear what the next step forward for SuperBot is, but the studio isn’t calling it quits just yet.

"We don't have a reduction plan as of yet, however it is unlikely we can continue with our current work force for an extended period of time," said SuperBot director of operations David Yang to Kotaku. "We are still working things out and hope to continue on with as many of us as possible."

Sony has broken off relationships with a number of developers in the past few years. Most recently, it ended its relationship with Starhawk developer Lightbox Interactive just a few months after the game launched. Lightbox laid off a chunk of employees, and is now focused on iOS development.

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Posted by patrickklepek
Upcoming DLC for PlayStation All-Stars includes Kat from Gravity Rush for the Vita.

SuperBot Entertainment is no longer working with Sony.

The developer was responsible for last year’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in partnership with Sony, but future downloadable content will be created internally at Sony Santa Monica.

“Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm that the working agreement with developer SuperBot Entertainment has amicably ended,” said Sony in a statement. “We have had a positive working relationship with this talented studio, and wish them the best of success in their next endeavor.”

It’s unclear what the next step forward for SuperBot is, but the studio isn’t calling it quits just yet.

"We don't have a reduction plan as of yet, however it is unlikely we can continue with our current work force for an extended period of time," said SuperBot director of operations David Yang to Kotaku. "We are still working things out and hope to continue on with as many of us as possible."

Sony has broken off relationships with a number of developers in the past few years. Most recently, it ended its relationship with Starhawk developer Lightbox Interactive just a few months after the game launched. Lightbox laid off a chunk of employees, and is now focused on iOS development.

Staff
Edited by punkycrisps

Wow...

*Edit*

x2 for the quest! But really, this sucks. More bad news at the start of the year.

Posted by HadesTimes

Next up Microsoft All Stars!

Posted by killacam

use em and lose em!

Posted by mrfluke

ouch, that sucks. guess they were really banking on that game to take off.

Posted by Tidel

Sony is a pretty cold boyfriend.

Posted by kaos_cracker

Just need to say it, but you spelled "unclear" wrong.

Posted by Gimm3nicotinE

Ugh, too bad. Well , time to drop the price to $14.99 / $9.99 PS PLUS!

Posted by Niall_Sg1

I wonder if that sale on PSN recently was a last ditch effort at getting some more sales out of the thing.

Posted by ch3burashka

Sony sure dropped the ball on the whole All Stars idea. They should be doubling down on their Smash Bros. competitor, instead of abandoning the developer completely. Sure, Santa Monica is on it now, but that's probably a small support team - they're the God of War people, I think, and they've got more on their plate.

Good luck to all at Superbot - hopefully they'll get some mercenary work, or maybe even some big contracts to do actual games.

Posted by clank543

I feel bad for them, but did anyone HONESTLY expect this game to be a smash hit? At some point, these developers and publishers need to get realistic about what sells and what doesn't. While this game seemed well playing enough, it was destined to failure when they slapped the 60 dollar price tag on it instead of making it a low cost downloadable game.

Posted by LackingSaint

That sucks, I hope this doesn't mean no chance of an All-Stars sequel. I actually really enjoyed that game and thought it was ripe for iteration.

Posted by Psychohead

"Hey guys, thanks for this neat little game! Now get out."

Such a tragedy. I would have really liked to see a decent redux of the Smash formula by people who seemed passionate about fightin' gamez, but boy howdy did I just not give a shit about that roster. Outside'a, like, Parappa, I guess.

Edited by Ouren

it seemed like the contract just ran out.

I suppose this means that characters that players were hoping to be in there from the PS1 era may never show up. (Crash, Spyro, Cloud).

Had Superbot been able to secure these characters (as well as tone down the amount of content for unreleased games), this fighting game would have sold way, way better. You can't have a Sony fighting game and include two different character slots for Cole, and add Emmett Graves.

Though I am happy to see Kat

A game that's entirely fan-service that can't full deliver on said fan-service will always be a tough sale.

Posted by Fobwashed

Unfortunate. Feel like the game coulda been better if they just went ahead and copied the remaining 10% of Smash Brother's that made it awesome. I never could wrap my head around why they went with the no damage, only super moves kill system they went with. Well, that and character selection. Half the roster was pretty cool but the other half was a bit lacking. I know that Smash Brother's has a bunch of doubles and palette swap type characters too but they also have way more characters in general.

I wonder what they're gonna be up to next. Hope we hear from them soon.

Posted by mrfluke

@Ouren: @Psychohead: @clank543: @Tidel:

seems superbot is still stoked about its future.

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/02/04/sony-and-superbot-part-ways-superbot-excited-about-its-future/

Superbot's complete statement reads as follows:

"Superbot Entertainment can confirm that the relationship with SCEA has ended on good terms. We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work on with Sony on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and are extremely proud of the work we have done. Superbot Entertainment will continue working on projects that reflect our passion for games and our commitment to creating award winning titles. We are very excited about beginning the next chapter of our future and invite all of our fans and supporters to follow our journey."

Posted by Poltergeist13

and correspondents from Superbot Entertainment today had this to say in regards of the breaking news from Sony. "Sony you arseholes!!!, we hate your gutz! We must lay off half our staff and go make iOS games now."

j/k aside hope that doesn't happen to Superbot, too many developers are going through closings & layoffs. Good luck to Superbot.

Posted by JoeyRavn

@clank543 said:

I feel bad for them, but did anyone HONESTLY expect this game to be a smash hit? At some point, these developers and publishers need to get realistic about what sells and what doesn't. While this game seemed well playing enough, it was destined to failure when they slapped the 60 dollar price tag on it instead of making it a low cost downloadable game.

There are still people to this day that maintain that this game is a "Smash Bros. killer", both in quality and sales. How or why, I don't know.

Posted by PenguinDust

@Tidel said:

Sony is a pretty cold boyfriend.

I imagine Sony texting the break-up message to SuperBot.

Edited by casper_

i think they employed both seth killian and clockwork. i hope everything turns out alright for everybody involved.

Posted by TheHT

Yikes. Still, All-Stars is really fun!

Online
Posted by KLEPEK_DefenseForce

Great article Patrick. Insightful!!

Posted by Scarabus

I was looking forward to PSA, but after playing the demo and seeing the roster I thought it would be better suited for a freebie game or something. $15 maybe, surely not $60.

Posted by Triumvir

I know Sony likes to push things out there and then abandon them, but goddamn. I hope those dudes land on their feet.

Posted by Murph

All-Stars was a fine game, did exactly what it was supposed to do and even is somewhat fun. It's just not an interesting concept any longer and Smash Bros did it too well. They either had to rip it off completely or just enough to keep from being a blatant SB clone. Lose/lose if you ask me.

Posted by kkotd

Sony showing their ass again... And before anyone goes, 'MICROSOFT FANBOY!', really I'm not, I play PS3 much more, but this deserves as much hate as it's getting. The future of the games industry is not going to be bent by short term one-off relationships or leaving people in the dust, it'll be by continuing long, laborious relationships, with studios who are willing to make creative and FUN games.

Posted by grendelpierat

It seemed like the kind of game that could of turn out to be a decent Smash clone but maaaaaaaaaan every video or demo I've watched looked so boring. Really was just a quick cash in to advertise upcoming Playstation games.

Hope the developers find new work soon. :c

Posted by HaltIamReptar

That this game didn't include Crash or Spyro still blows my mind. literally. i am dead.

Posted by buft

Are there sales figures for the game or any indication of its success? I hope these guys land on their feet regardless of course

Posted by algertman

Iwata laughs.

Posted by Pr1mus

@kkotd said:

Sony showing their ass again... And before anyone goes, 'MICROSOFT FANBOY!', really I'm not, I play PS3 much more, but this deserves as much hate as it's getting. The future of the games industry is not going to be bent by short term one-off relationships or leaving people in the dust, it'll be by continuing long, laborious relationships, with studios who are willing to make creative and FUN games.

You mean like the ones they've had or continue to have with Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Sucker Punch, Zipper, Quantic Dream, Media Molecule, Guerilla, Ready at Dawn, ThatGameCompany among others. And of course all their first party studios like Santa Monica or Polyphony.

WTH are you smoking. They're not exactly closing studios and canning games left and right.

Posted by MjHealy

Yep, another in the long line of "Bummer Developer Closure of the Week."

Edited by Sooty

I still find these two things insane about this game:

- NEW Dante over old Dante who actually has some sort of a Sony background (though like Heihachi, he is also multi-platform)

- A BIG DADDY IS IN THE GAME, you know, coming out of that once Xbox exclusive

and no that isn't old Dante loyalty, it's just dumb to bring in characters that are multi-platform in a meant-to-be PlayStation All-Stars game, you can make a case that old Dante is a classic Sony thing as DMC 1-3 were PlayStation gigs for a long time.

Posted by Cykke

They made a shitty game and now they're paying for it.

Fine by me. Next time, don't make a shitty rip-off.

Edited by Ehker

Still don't get why Giant Bomb gets so worked up over Sony's character choices, especially when Sony's hands are so often tied on rights, and they're making the smart business decision of more modern characters instead of obscure references to their past that won't push games they're currently selling.

Also hypocritical when some of the loudest objectors to Sony's choices openly mock those that didn't like the choices made in latest Devil May Cry. If we're going to mock the DMC crowd for not liking character choices, don't lose your shit on the characters Sony picks for their games.

Posted by LiQuid3600
Posted by LoktarOgar

@Ehker said:

Still don't get why Giant Bomb gets so worked up over Sony's character choices, especially when Sony's hands are so often tied on rights, and they're making the smart business decision of more modern characters instead of obscure references to their past that won't push games they're currently selling.

I guess it's less of a "why the hell" and more of a "it's a goddamn tragedy that" characters who should have been obvious choices aren't in there, kneecapping the game before it ever even learned to stand.

Posted by FierceDeity

@clank543 said:

I feel bad for them, but did anyone HONESTLY expect this game to be a smash hit? At some point, these developers and publishers need to get realistic about what sells and what doesn't. While this game seemed well playing enough, it was destined to failure when they slapped the 60 dollar price tag on it instead of making it a low cost downloadable game.

Oh, you! :-)

Posted by ProfessorEss
@Murph said:

All-Stars was a fine game, did exactly what it was supposed to do and even is somewhat fun.

I would argue that if it is only "somewhat" fun then it was only "somewhat" doing what it was supposed to do. 
 
I mean, was there something else it was supposed to be doing?
Posted by galloughs

And nothing of value was lost.

Posted by mrfluke
Posted by Dagbiker

@galloughs said:

And nothing of value was lost.

Except peoples jobs, and potentially more games and innovation in game mechanics, but yes. Beside that worthless crap, nothing of value.

Posted by whatisdelicious

It’s way different than Smash Bros. in some fundamental ways, and I like both approaches. Smash is a dance that escalates and gets wilder as it goes; All-Stars is a staccato experience that stays consistent until shit starts popping off at random and surprising times. They’re very different and both really fun, but when it comes down to it, I prefer Smash.

But I wonder if there’s even going to be a second game. I hope so. All-Stars was really fun and a great blueprint for a second game that learns from and builds off of the first to make something really cool.

Posted by whatisdelicious

@Dagbiker said:

@galloughs said:

And nothing of value was lost.

Except peoples jobs, and potentially more games and innovation in game mechanics, but yes. Beside that worthless crap, nothing of value.

Oh, people on the Internet don't care about developers' jobs, silly. They only care whether that game they didn't even play scored highly on Metacritic, and if it didn't all those people should be fired immediately.

Posted by WesternWizard

@casper_ said:

i think they employed both seth killian and clockwork. i hope everything turns out alright for everybody involved.

Pretty sure Killian works for Santa Monica not super bot. Clock, howver, does work directly for the dev as a community manager last I knew.

Posted by Deathpooky

@Fobwashed said:

Unfortunate. Feel like the game coulda been better if they just went ahead and copied the remaining 10% of Smash Brother's that made it awesome. I never could wrap my head around why they went with the no damage, only super moves kill system they went with. Well, that and character selection. Half the roster was pretty cool but the other half was a bit lacking. I know that Smash Brother's has a bunch of doubles and palette swap type characters too but they also have way more characters in general.

I wonder what they're gonna be up to next. Hope we hear from them soon.

Pretty much this. Roster was limited and a little weird, but I can't imagine that was the developer's fault. New Dante and Big Daddy were undoubtedly decisions from on high, but definitely gave the game a mercenary, co-marketing feeling.

But the no-damage, all-supers gameplay decisions were baffling and have to be on the developer. I played a ton of Smash Brothers back in the day, could not get into this at all based on those two things.

Posted by FuriousJodo

@HadesTimes: There was something of a Smash clone on XBLA lke 5-6 years ago. It didn't do very well, I think it was called Small Arms or something like that. It didn't have any MS characters or anything but it was basically Smash-esque.

Posted by Krenor

@Dagbiker said:

@galloughs said:

And nothing of value was lost.

Except peoples jobs, and potentially more games and innovation in game mechanics, but yes. Beside that worthless crap, nothing of value.

lol

Posted by gesi1223

@clank543 said:

I feel bad for them, but did anyone HONESTLY expect this game to be a smash hit? At some point, these developers and publishers need to get realistic about what sells and what doesn't. While this game seemed well playing enough, it was destined to failure when they slapped the 60 dollar price tag on it instead of making it a low cost downloadable game.

I'm sure the developers were being realistic. You don't see them making some kind of bitter outcry about it. It's the audience that are not being realistic, with their "smash bros killer" mindset and thinking devs always have the time and funding to make every single idea they have into something that will blow everyone's minds.

Posted by evanbower
@gesi1223

@clank543 said:

I feel bad for them, but did anyone HONESTLY expect this game to be a smash hit? At some point, these developers and publishers need to get realistic about what sells and what doesn't. While this game seemed well playing enough, it was destined to failure when they slapped the 60 dollar price tag on it instead of making it a low cost downloadable game.

I'm sure the developers were being realistic. You don't see them making some kind of bitter outcry about it. It's the audience that are not being realistic, with their "smash bros killer" mindset and thinking devs always have the time and funding to make every single idea they have into something that will blow everyone's minds.

But really though, should I feel obligated to pay sixty dollars for a game that isn't as good as Smash Bros and doesn't blow my mind with its ideas? I don't think it's totally unrealistic for an audience to be indifferent to a game when that's the transaction they're offered.
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