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Max no longer a payne for 3D Realms
May 24th 2002, 18:09 CEST by Matt Davis

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. has Announced Max Payne 2 Is In Development, and in something of a surprise they've also purchased Max Payne's Intellectual Property Rights from Remedy Entertainment and Apogee Software for the measly sum of $10 million in cash and 969,932 shares of restricted common stock.

Take-Two also announced that it has acquired ownership of the Max Payne brand and all intellectual property rights associated with the brand, including trademarks, copyrights, characters, perpetual license to utilize proprietary technologies, including the Max Payne game engine and associated "Bullet Time(TM)" technology, and rights to license fees from ancillary Max Payne brand extensions such as cinema, television and literary productions.


You can see the full statement here

So is this some pocket money for George and Scott? Does this to allow DNF to stay in development for longer? or did Apogee decide that theres room for only one virtual ego in the office?
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#1 by garin
2002-05-24 18:29:23
garin@unitzero.cjb.net
I just hope we'll still have the amount of baby crying and wife shrieking we've come to expect in Max Payne 2: Electric Boogaloo.
#2 by zakk
2002-05-24 18:37:49
zakk@timedoctor.org
Second Post!

-zakk
#3 by m0nty
2002-05-24 18:42:29
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
OK, so the shares component is about US$25 million, so adding to the US$10 mill in cash it makes a pretty penny.

If there is going to be a Max Payne movie, and assuming that the movie is successful, then this is a bad idea by 3DR. Otherwise, it's a good idea, particularly in the short term.
#4 by Duality
2002-05-24 18:44:04
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I don't know how I feel about this yet.  I probably won't until Rockstar/TTwo release Max Payne 2.  I certainly do think of Remedy / 3DR when I hear the name Max Payne mentioned, and that says a lot to me.

But the story behind this, I'd like to think, is interesting.  Needing more money for DNF?  Part of the deal for DNF publishing?

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#5 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-24 18:49:05
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
perpetual license to utilize proprietary technologies


Just like the game itself does!

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#6 by _Fury_
2002-05-24 18:50:22
ajhill@wi.rr.com
I found this line in the press release particularly telling:


Scott Miller, Chief Executive Officer of 3D Realms commented, "This is a precedent-setting deal for Take-Two, Remedy and 3D Realms - the first time in our industry a highly successful IP alone has changed ownership hands. This deal validates our strategy for developing strong character-based games. Take-Two benefits tremendously by having full control of the Max Payne brand going forward and being able to properly leverage it to its full potential."


Ok, so it's not a line, more of a paragraph.

It's certainly interesting for two reasons, in my mind. Number one - if the franchise is so valuable, why did they sell?

Number two reason this is interesting to me is that it seems that Take Two has taken a leave of their collective senses. I mean, what did they just buy? I mean, ya - Max has sold a lot of games, but I doubt "Max: The Movie" or "Max: the Dress Shirt" or "Max: the Toilet Paper" will be very big. I mean seriously - the only reason people went to see Tomb Raider is because Angelina Jolie looks good in tight clothes. Max Payne 2 will only be as successful as the game is good - with perhaps a 25% sales boost based on brand recognition.

Max Payne sold a lot of units because it was a fun game that was easily accessable and was able to be finished by anyone with a few spare hours. I don't think it's because it was a strong character-based brand. You'd be surprised how much more positive someone who finishes a game (all the way through to the end!!) will be when talking to their friends than about a game they just couldn't slog their way through. Hardcore gamers are of course the exception, but you don't move two million copies of anything to the hardcore. The Sims may disprove my theory, but it's not even really a game, more of a toy.

Have a gator today
#7 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-24 18:50:32
http://departmentofinternets.com
If there is going to be a Max Payne movie, and assuming that the movie is successful, then this is a bad idea by 3DR

Yes, let us also assume that pigs can fly.

Wing Commander, Mario Bros., Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, Double Dragon... has there ever been a successful movie based on a videogame?

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#8 by Bailey
2002-05-24 18:51:46
Without Mr.Miller and Herr Broussard as the driving force behind the Max Payne experience, I just don't know if there's anything left for me to believe in anymore.

Life without shame.
#9 by _Fury_
2002-05-24 18:51:54
ajhill@wi.rr.com
Damnit I hit post too early. I meant to scroll up and flesh out the bit about point one.

Oh well, I can't be bothered anymore. Make up your own reasons why "if the franchise is so valuable, why did they sell?" is interesting.

Have a gator today
#10 by Bailey
2002-05-24 18:53:21
Has there ever been a successful video game based on a movie?

Life without shame.
#11 by "Sgt Hulka"
2002-05-24 18:53:44
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
#6 fury "Max Payne sold a lot of units because it was a fun game that was easily accessable and was able to be finished by anyone with a few spare hours."


Plus it also had Bullet-Time™
#12 by garin
2002-05-24 18:55:26
garin@unitzero.cjb.net
#10

Goldeneye.
#13 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-24 19:01:31
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
So, how much of the 10 million cash do you figure was kicked back to the Take Two guys who brokered the deal?

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#14 by Hugin
2002-05-24 19:02:48
lmccain@nber.org
I believe Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat did okay, well enough for a sequel in the latter case.  And artistically, I'd actually argue that Mortal Kombat was a good movie, in a "recreate the atmosphere and look and feel of the game it's based on reasonably well" sense.

 Far more sucessful in that sense than Street Fighter, Double Dragon, Mario Bros, Wing Commander, etc.
#15 by JP
2002-05-24 19:06:05
i am staggered by how little i care about any of this.
#16 by Phayyde
2002-05-24 19:06:09
This post is quietly dedicated to the timely success of Duke Nukem Forever.  Silence.  Discipline. Remorse.

Beat to fit, paint to match.
#17 by Phayyde
2002-05-24 19:11:32
Matthew, my calculations according to the 54321 rule show they made a cool 200 G's.

Beat to fit, paint to match.
#18 by Mister Nutty
2002-05-24 19:18:19
Tomb Raider did very well, by the "box office" standard, and Mortal Kombat also was a surprise hit, as Hugin mentioned.

The real question is, has there ever been a movie based on a video game that didn't suck as a movie?  The answer is no.

There have, of course, been video games based on movies that were both financially successful and/or quite good games in their own right:

 Various Star Wars games, Aliens games, Blade Runner, etc.

In any case, I don't care too much about the core topic since I think Max Payne is a terribly overhyped game that wasn't very fun at all... And a movie based on it would be somewhat ridiculous since even as a game its already a cliche of many existing movies...

Also, I dislike 3D Realms and Scott Miller in particular.  If I hear him talking about the power of 'brands' one more time, this little kitten I'm holding hostage is gonna get it.  If you're so interested in creating 'IP alone' get out of the games industry.. Especially when your company is known for creating extremely derivative games (Shall I list the clichés and straight-away rip-offs from both movies & previous games in Max Payne? Duke Nukem?).  I realize 'nothing is original', but 3D Realms seems to go over the top when it comes to...uh...'homage'.  Not to mention they seem to be unable to produce a 1st party game anymore... 2002 and still not DNF.   Heh.  No matter how many catch phrases you rip off from Raimi/Campbell/Piper in DNF, do you think the game is going to hold its own against Doom 3 next year?  That of course assumes you'll release within that time frame, which I wouldn't bet on.

This deal smells of desperation...

Smashing!
#19 by Hugin
2002-05-24 19:21:11
lmccain@nber.org
I maintain that Mortal Kombat captured the flavor of the game and it's characters pretty well, and was stupid in merely the same ways Mortal Kombat the game itself was stupid.
#20 by Mister Nutty
2002-05-24 19:21:57
More on Max Payne...Sorry for the 'continued post', hit the Post button too soon

The name 'Max Payne' is stupid when taken out of the context of gaming.  Sure it might work ok slapped on a game box, but how are you going to have a serious movie where people have to call the guy 'Max Payne'?

Smashing!
#21 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-24 19:24:30
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Max Payne could actually work very well...as a comedy. I think Colin Mochrie would make a great Max.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#22 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-24 19:25:32
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Oh, and Greg Proops should play the baby.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#23 by m0nty
2002-05-24 19:26:46
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Leslie, several of the films you mention have been financially successful... and since we're talking about a financial transaction here, not an artistic one, that is the main item of relevance.
#24 by The_Joker
2002-05-24 19:27:41
http://www.jackinworld.com
Seems like 3DRealms needed some money bad.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka
#25 by garin
2002-05-24 19:29:40
garin@unitzero.cjb.net
I think Matthew's onto something. The whole thing could also be filmed in Bullet Time. "Max Payne: Whose Gimmick Is It Anyway?"
#26 by m0nty
2002-05-24 19:31:42
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
In other stock market news today, a Merrill Lynch analyst changed recommendations on Activision and THQ based on some imaginary numbers he made up in his Excel spreadsheet.
#27 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-24 19:34:04
http://departmentofinternets.com
Mister Nutty:
Tomb Raider did very well, by the "box office" standard, and Mortal Kombat also was a surprise hit, as Hugin mentioned.

Mortal Kombat cost $22m and pulled in $70m.  That's pretty good.

Tomb Raider cost $80m to make and took $140m gross.   That's okay, but it's not a 'hit' so to speak.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#28 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-24 19:37:59
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Yes, Activision's P/E ratio is the same as EA, but Activision isn't pissing money away and covering the loss with their sports franchises, so Activision should sell at a discount to EA...yeah.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#29 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-24 19:38:40
http://departmentofinternets.com
m0nty:
Leslie, several of the films you mention have been financially successful... and since we're talking about a financial transaction here, not an artistic one, that is the main item of relevance.

Mario Bros, Wing Commander, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and Double Dragon didn't even break even on gross.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#30 by Max
2002-05-24 19:39:40
http://massivebraincase.org/
I'm sorry to hear I've fallen short of my goal where 3DR is concerned.

Oh wait. Perhaps it's referring to Max Diablos?  Did he come to PC from 3DR or something?

My secondary goal of using "ass-plungering", "shitfuckery", or "wookies" in every PC post still seems reachable.

I've no idea what I'm doing out of bed.
#31 by m0nty
2002-05-24 19:45:07
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Leslie: I agree about three of those, but I would like to see some links to prove what you say about Wing Commander and Final Fantasy - I suspect that they may not have done that badly. In any case, you should also count in all the merchandising which all these films rely on to push them into the black.
#32 by Max
2002-05-24 19:47:52
http://massivebraincase.org/
Topically, I'm thinking this sale has a dual motive.  Dumping Max Payne for $35mil gets operating costs for several years covered, and likely frees up a significant chunk of time to develop other properties.  Max, I think, was a successful application of 3DR's stated thrust towards development of IP opportunities as opposed to games.  They spent FAR less time on Max than they do on a game they develop in-house.  Why spend all that time actually making the game when you can develop a property instead?  It's good business.

I've no idea what I'm doing out of bed.
#33 by m0nty
2002-05-24 19:47:53
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
None of that matters as much anyway, because if there was a movie, I would assume that it would be the film studio which would bear the brunt of the financial risk, giving TTWO some sort of guaranteed income which might cover part of the $35M they paid 3DR/Remedy (with bonuses, of course).
#34 by "hoodoo"
2002-05-24 19:49:32
"Make up your own reasons why "if the franchise is so valuable, why did they sell?" is interesting."

I don't have to think long and hard on this one. If someone waves a big wad of cash in front of you, you grab it. Sure, in the long run Remedy might make more by holding onto the IP, but can you blame them from grabbing the cash?

3DRealms got a big chunk of it too. Those guys are amazing. They've parlayed one hit game seven years ago into countless millions.
#35 by "hoodoo"
2002-05-24 19:50:43
Oh, and if you do the math and Max Payne 2 sells three million units, which it might easily do, Take 2 gets an immediate profit on their purchase.
#36 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-24 19:55:11
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Make up your own reasons why "if the franchise is so valuable, why did they sell?


Well, it's obviously because 3D Realms is an unstanchable font of creativity, so there's plenty more where that came from.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#37 by Mister Nutty
2002-05-24 20:02:26

m0nty says:

Leslie: I agree about three of those, but I would like to see some links to prove what you say about Wing Commander and Final Fantasy - I suspect that they may not have done that badly.


Final Fantasy: The Crappy Movie was a world class flop that directly cost people (Square executives, not to mention lots of peons) jobs and lost Square tens of millions of dollars.  As far as Wing Commander goes, I prefer not to give any thought to a movie that has both Prinze & Lilliard in it (the new 'Two Coreys').  So I will never speak of it again.

Smashing!
#38 by HoseWater
2002-05-24 20:07:44
barneyque@hotmail.com
I am curious to know what the split was on the dough between Remedy, and Apogee?  I can only assume that Remedy got the lions share of the dough, but with some of the numbers I've seen Scott toss around, I could be very wrong as he does seem to have a grip on the IP/moola/negotiation side of things.

To assume that Apogee just banked the whole sack would be false.

© 1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#39 by Max
2002-05-24 20:11:44
http://massivebraincase.org/
Hmmm.  I guess I sort of assumed that 3DR basically owned the IP.  Re-reading the PR, there's nothing either way.

C'mon Scott, George, pipe up.  Give us some nuggets.

I've no idea what I'm doing out of bed.
#40 by HoseWater
2002-05-24 20:16:41
barneyque@hotmail.com
Yes, its currently very grey.

I think Remedy probably owns most.  But I am trying to understand how 3DR got involved in the first place...did they provide some bank to protect Remedy from an evil publishers deadline in exachange for some ownership?  I think this has been mentioned before, but I have practically nothing solid in my mind at the moment.

/speculation

© 1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#41 by HoseWater
2002-05-24 20:17:36
barneyque@hotmail.com
George wont have anything to say until he comes in to tell Scott to STFU.   :)

He wears the pants.

© 1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#42 by Greg
2002-05-24 20:37:45
Max:

My secondary goal of using "ass-plungering", "shitfuckery", or "wookies" in every PC post still seems reachable.

Except for posts #32 and #39, of course.

-RAWWWWWRRRRRR!!! Quit cramping my style, bitch! RAAAAAWWWRRRR!!!
#43 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-24 20:40:14
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I was under the impression Remedy wsa a development house owned by itself.  Apparently this is not the case or at least not on this IP.  Though I can't see 3DR owning a piece of the Max Payne IP if they didn't actually at least a part of Remedy.

As for selling it...  What made Max Payne the game?  Not the constipated character, but the bullet time.  So now Remedy and/or 3DR come up with the next gimmic and they can sell it the new one, each time for 35 mil, seems like one hell of a deal to me.

LPMiller - "Really, I'm just a get along kinda a guy, all about the love."
#44 by Max
2002-05-24 20:42:41
http://massivebraincase.org/
wizard - that was kinda my point. 3DR sell Max because that's their new paradigm - they'll just develop or purchase characters/concepts/IP that they feel will be successful, produce a game by some other developer, then sell the IP.  They'll make DNF in their spare time. Like I said, why actually make the game when this could be so much more profitable?

I've no idea what I'm doing out of bed.
#45 by Max
2002-05-24 20:43:30
http://massivebraincase.org/
Greg. Irony. Yes.

I've no idea what I'm doing out of bed.
#46 by Darkseid-D
2002-05-24 21:05:53
rogerboal@hotmail.com
*mutters*

ya`know, its annoying to get ignored when you POST THE FUCKING LINK THREE TOPICS AND 3 DAYS PREVIOUSLY.


next you`ll see a topic about

1) The Deus Ex Movie
2) The Enders Game Movie


bleh.


Ds

Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#47 by Max
2002-05-24 21:08:32
http://massivebraincase.org/
Jeez Mr. Touchy. Link != topic.

I've no idea what I'm doing out of bed.
#48 by HoseWater
2002-05-24 21:09:10
barneyque@hotmail.com
You must have been posting off topic or something.

You know how things are so tightly controlled.

Having said that....wtf?  Did we do something wrong?

© 1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#49 by Squeaky
2002-05-24 21:22:29
I think, was a successful application of 3DR's stated thrust towards development of IP opportunities as opposed to games.  They spent FAR less time on Max than they do on a game they develop in-house.  Why spend all that time actually making the game when you can develop a property instead?  It's good business

So does that mean Idea Men™ are actually a GOOD thing?!

Chris DiCesar: What we want to do is we want to do it, and we want to do it right. So, the fact of the matter is, that we do see it happening, but when it is happening is still up in the air.
#50 by Bailey
2002-05-24 21:33:50
garin

Goldeneye.

The Magic 8-Ball disagrees with what you wrote. The Magic 8-Ball is technically just an 8-ball in a sock I like to swing at people who voice opinions I find contrary to my own.

Hugin

I maintain that Mortal Kombat captured the flavor of the game and it's characters pretty well, and was stupid in merely the same ways Mortal Kombat the game itself was stupid.

Fearing humanity more than ever now, thanks.

Life without shame.
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