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View Full Version : Who develops RCT 4? Who is Area 52?



rctworld
12-31-2014, 11:28 AM
To be honest: I was really sceptical to hear that a company like Pipeworks was responsible for the development of RCT4.
Pipeworks average metacritics-score: 55 (out of 100) [Score distribution: Positive:0; Mixed: 13; Negative: 5]
So whatever happened, "Area52" took over the development.

Who is "Area52"?


Specializing in online PC gaming experiences, the Area 52 Games studio has brought together a team of veterans who have worked on major IPs across simulation and strategy genres, including Tropico, the Sims series, the Railroad Tycoon series, the original Pirates, Age of Empires, Forza and other well-known games.


We are an interactive game studio focusing on free to play games for mobile and PC platforms in the Pacific Northwest.

Sounds awesome, but here are some FACTS about this company:

Founded in June 2013
Developed games: 1
Released games: 0
HQ: Issaquah, WA


Disney decided to cancel Area52's game "Star Wars: Attack Squadrons" during the beta-stage.
Quotes of beta-testers: "Average game", "Just for casual gamers"

Who are Area52's "veterans"?

Arnold Hendrick
Game designer for Microprose (Pirates!, Darklands,...)
His thinking about design and production of MMO: http://mmotidbits.com/

But who else?
Any more infos?

Wabigbear
12-31-2014, 11:56 AM
Great post. I think many read the initial announcement and just assumed that Area 52 created all those games. They didn't. Some of their team members worked on some of those other games.

Not the same thing.

towerslover
12-31-2014, 12:16 PM
To be honest: I was really sceptical to hear that a company like Pipeworks was responsible for the development of RCT4.
Pipeworks average metacritics-score: 55 (out of 100) [Score distribution: Positive:0; Mixed: 13; Negative: 5]
So whatever happened, "Area52" took over the development.

Who is "Area52"?





Sounds awesome, but here are some FACTS about this company:

Founded in June 2013
Developed games: 1
Released games: 0
HQ: Issaquah, WA


Disney decided to cancel Area52's game "Star Wars: Attack Squadrons" during the beta-stage.
Quotes of beta-testers: "Average game", "Just for casual gamers"

Who are Area52's "veterans"?

Arnold Hendrick
Game designer for Microprose (Pirates!, Darklands,...)
His thinking about design and production of MMO: http://mmotidbits.com/

But who else?
Any more infos?

Disney decided to cancel Area52's game "Star Wars: Attack Squadrons" during the beta-stage.
Quotes of beta-testers: "Average game", "Just for casual gamers"

This is MOST concerning

BigDaddy
12-31-2014, 01:06 PM
add to it the fact that they invited everyone to the new forums, had the community person spend a few minutes posting, and hasnt been back. How hard is it to have a community person visit the official forums a few times a week for a few hours? This is where the community comes for information, so why cant a community person from the company spend a few hours a week here. I dont get these companies. They cant even do simple things like communicate with their fans correctly.

Paul_Boland
12-31-2014, 02:58 PM
add to it the fact that they invited everyone to the new forums, had the community person spend a few minutes posting, and hasnt been back. How hard is it to have a community person visit the official forums a few times a week for a few hours? This is where the community comes for information, so why cant a community person from the company spend a few hours a week here. I dont get these companies. They cant even do simple things like communicate with their fans correctly.

To be fair, it's Christmas week. I'm sure in the next week or two we'll be getting new communication and input on the game.

PixelPlayer
01-01-2015, 12:04 AM
Great post. I think many read the initial announcement and just assumed that Area 52 created all those games. They didn't. Some of their team members worked on some of those other games.

Not the same thing.

It is the same thing, they are the talent that made the previous games. They wouldn't use the code from the previous games only the methods they use. Just because its a new company does not change anything given the talent base they have.

A new company with all the best coders in the world is still better than a company that is 10 years old with all terrible coders with no experience. The company is new - but this happens a dime a dozen in the game industry.

I see nothing out of the ordinary or worrisome so far from typical game development. Its only AAA games like EA or Ubisoft who own a chain of studios - every other game is made by these outsourced companies that appear and disappear.

Wabigbear
01-01-2015, 06:41 AM
It is the same thing, they are the talent that made the previous games. They wouldn't use the code from the previous games only the methods they use. Just because its a new company does not change anything given the talent base they have.



Please re-read what I wrote. Having team members who worked on other successful games is NOT the same as thinking Area 52 created those games.

We haven't a clue as to what they as individuals did on other games, only that they worked on them as members of a larger team, and their efforts were successful. That's not knocking them or their efforts. My point remains...Studio 52 did NOT create those other games, some members of their current team worked on some of them. That's not the same thing. And some people have posted elsewhere that Area 52 itself created those games. They didn't. Some of the current members of their team did.

I'm not disagreeing with your other points.

PixelPlayer
01-01-2015, 03:21 PM
Please re-read what I wrote. Having team members who worked on other successful games is NOT the same as thinking Area 52 created those games.

We haven't a clue as to what they as individuals did on other games, only that they worked on them as members of a larger team, and their efforts were successful. That's not knocking them or their efforts. My point remains...Studio 52 did NOT create those other games, some members of their current team worked on some of them. That's not the same thing. And some people have posted elsewhere that Area 52 itself created those games. They didn't. Some of the current members of their team did.

I'm not disagreeing with your other points.

Yeah but your saying Area 52 did not make those games and I'm saying the point is irrelevant. If they worked on other games in previous jobs they know the skills/tricks/methods all the same. You wouldn't work on a game and no not know what everyone else did. That would be pretty poor way to implement a game as all the programmers would be clashing with each other causing all kinds of bugs.

It feels like this thread is trying to highlight as if the game is in trouble because the company didn't make the games only the people did. =/

jensj12
01-03-2015, 12:04 PM
The difference between 'Area 52 made it' and 'having team members who worked on it' is that for 'having team members who worked on it' only one out of [n] people must have worked on only a part of it. If 'Area 52 made it', the whole team did the entire game and they all gained some experience and learned working together. Now they basically can't say anything about themselves other than the game they developed. They can say something about their team members, but not as company.

yorick
01-03-2015, 12:55 PM
The difference between 'Area 52 made it' and 'having team members who worked on it' is that for 'having team members who worked on it' only one out of [n] people must have worked on only a part of it. If 'Area 52 made it', the whole team did the entire game and they all gained some experience and learned working together. Now they basically can't say anything about themselves other than the game they developed. They can say something about their team members, but not as company.

i agree with this because they are not developing other games right now and they can focusing on the RCTW game with the whole team ;)

RCTW1
01-03-2015, 11:48 PM
As long as the project is being worked on, and turns out good, It doesn't bother me. :)

Indiglow
01-03-2015, 11:50 PM
Predicting it now: This game, when released, will be a HUGE disappointment.

You can see my other thread about my biggest worry being so close to release and yet almost no info on the game which goes in further depth in discussion.

There's no way this game lives up to all of our hype. And this make me extremely sad.

iChase
01-04-2015, 01:33 AM
Predicting it now: This game, when released, will be a HUGE disappointment.

You can see my other thread about my biggest worry being so close to release and yet almost no info on the game which goes in further depth in discussion.

There's no way this game lives up to all of our hype. And this make me extremely sad.

Not to be negative, but I'm leaning this way too. I want the game to succeed so much and I still have faith, but I'm bracing for the worst. I really want to love the game and I hope Area 52 allows me to do so. What worries me is the switch in development seemingly so late in the development, the lack of any real info, Atari's track record, and the trend of appealing to a broader audience that seems to be sweeping the video game industry.

If they avoid pandering to the lowest common denominator and rushing the game to make a buck, I think we'll have a great game on our hands.

BigDaddy
01-05-2015, 05:16 PM
I see nothing out of the ordinary or worrisome so far from typical game development. Its only AAA games like EA or Ubisoft who own a chain of studios - every other game is made by these outsourced companies that appear and disappear. Simply not true at all. For those of us who have been in the software game for decades, what is happening here is actually quite troubling. Im hoping not a death sentence, but its isnt an ideal situation at all.


You wouldn't work on a game and no not know what everyone else did. again, depending of team size, this is also basically completely untrue. Its what makes Project Managers so valuable, with so many moving parts its incredibly hard to keep everyone up to date on even " need to know" information.

Dre_Roberts
01-06-2015, 06:59 PM
Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts and concerns. I will try to answer some questions about Area 52 Games and that might help shed some light on our expertise and experience.

Who are these guys? Area 52 Games is a relatively new company, but the core team (about 75% of the company) has worked together at other companies for the last 6 years. This core team created Marvel Super Hero Squad, Star Wars: Attack Squadrons and, fun fact, Carcassone on the XBox. Some of our key members were instrumental in shipping the previously mentioned titles, such as Tropico Sid Meyer's Pirates (which were mentioned in the Area 52 Dev Blog post). When I say instrumental, I mean they were lead designers, art directors, executive producers, etc. They were key personnel that shaped the games.

Don’t screw up RCTW! Dude, we are so there with you on this one. We are a veteran team with an average of 15 years game industry experience. We are huge fans of the franchise. We want to do the right thing. We are working closely with Atari, as our publisher, to bring the finest game experience to fruition. It’s so heartening to see posts where fans are saying “Take the time to do it right”. We couldn't agree more.

Thanks everyone and even if you don't see Dre_Roberts logged in, I do have other unofficial accounts that I use to read the forums. I am constantly reading, gathering feedback to report to my team to answer the questions that I can. I will only ever post in the forums as Dre_Roberts, so accept no imitations. :)

-Dre

Bertje
01-07-2015, 07:17 PM
Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts and concerns. I will try to answer some questions about Area 52 Games and that might help shed some light on our expertise and experience.

Who are these guys? Area 52 Games is a relatively new company, but the core team (about 75% of the company) has worked together at other companies for the last 6 years. This core team created Marvel Super Hero Squad, Star Wars: Attack Squadrons and, fun fact, Carcassone on the XBox. Some of our key members were instrumental in shipping the previously mentioned titles, such as Tropico Sid Meyer's Pirates (which were mentioned in the Area 52 Dev Blog post). When I say instrumental, I mean they were lead designers, art directors, executive producers, etc. They were key personnel that shaped the games.

Don’t screw up RCTW! Dude, we are so there with you on this one. We are a veteran team with an average of 15 years game industry experience. We are huge fans of the franchise. We want to do the right thing. We are working closely with Atari, as our publisher, to bring the finest game experience to fruition. It’s so heartening to see posts where fans are saying “Take the time to do it right”. We couldn't agree more.

Thanks everyone and even if you don't see Dre_Roberts logged in, I do have other unofficial accounts that I use to read the forums. I am constantly reading, gathering feedback to report to my team to answer the questions that I can. I will only ever post in the forums as Dre_Roberts, so accept no imitations. :)

-Dre

Nice to hear from you Dre!

I really like the fact that you guys are also big fans of the franchise, that makes the connection between customers and developers a little stronger.

Well, I hope you guys can make this game as we all hoped it would be. And again, take your time. Just one question though, if you guys couldn't agree more with that, is it possible to see RTCW being released later than 'early 2015'?

BenVenn
01-13-2015, 09:11 AM
Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts and concerns. I will try to answer some questions about Area 52 Games and that might help shed some light on our expertise and experience.

Who are these guys? Area 52 Games is a relatively new company, but the core team (about 75% of the company) has worked together at other companies for the last 6 years. This core team created Marvel Super Hero Squad, Star Wars: Attack Squadrons and, fun fact, Carcassone on the XBox. Some of our key members were instrumental in shipping the previously mentioned titles, such as Tropico Sid Meyer's Pirates (which were mentioned in the Area 52 Dev Blog post). When I say instrumental, I mean they were lead designers, art directors, executive producers, etc. They were key personnel that shaped the games.

Don’t screw up RCTW! Dude, we are so there with you on this one. We are a veteran team with an average of 15 years game industry experience. We are huge fans of the franchise. We want to do the right thing. We are working closely with Atari, as our publisher, to bring the finest game experience to fruition. It’s so heartening to see posts where fans are saying “Take the time to do it right”. We couldn't agree more.

Thanks everyone and even if you don't see Dre_Roberts logged in, I do have other unofficial accounts that I use to read the forums. I am constantly reading, gathering feedback to report to my team to answer the questions that I can. I will only ever post in the forums as Dre_Roberts, so accept no imitations. :)

-Dre

Thanks for a very reassuring response Dre. I myself was a little presumptuous too but I really am looking forward to seeing more and more of what Studio 52 has to offer. Being a long term fan of the franchise as well it's very comforting to know that you'll treat the sequel with the care and respect it deserves. I hope that the future for RCT:W is bright!