PS3 News: Jaffe Leaves Eat Sleep Play, Studio Shifts To Mobile Games - PS3 News

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Jaffe Leaves Eat Sleep Play, Studio Shifts To Mobile Games

Twisted Metal isn't even on store shelves yet and the developer appears to be shifting...big time.

David Jaffe, who brought us the God of War and Twisted Metal franchises, co-founded the Eat Sleep Play studio and although their first effort, Calling All Cars, didn't fare exceedingly well, there are high hopes for the Twisted Metal reboot.

But Jaffe had gone on record saying the game needed to sell "at least a million copies" for the team to break even, and two million or more if they wanted to make any money. Maybe they think that won't happen because according to a report in the The Salt Lake Tribune, the company is laying off workers and Jaffe himself is leaving.

No less than eight staffers were laid off, leaving the Eat Sleep Play employee number at 26, and the revamped team - minus Jaffe - will supposedly turn their attention to mobile games for the iPhone and iPad devices. The team's other co-founder, Scott Campbell, said-

"It's a platform that is in our pockets almost 24/7. It's kind of the size and types of games we're playing. You can certainly reach a lot more people. That's pretty exciting for us."

The paper also said Jaffe would focus on casual games now, but in a post on his Twitter page, he says those claims are "highly exaggerated." For our part, we'd rather not have one of the best game creators in history working on simple stuff for mobile devices. Go back to Sony Santa Monica and help 'em finish God of War 4, Dave!

Tags: david jaffe, eat sleep play, twisted metal

2/7/2012 9:14:06 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (53 posts)

Mr_Sterg
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:33:19 AM
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Sad. :-(. Such talent going towards mobile gaming.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:47:16 AM
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Seems to me that Jaffe had a differing opinion on the direction of the company (mobile gaming) and so he left along with those that sided with him. Seems odd to be releasing this information before TM even releases.

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shadowpal2
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 1:24:42 PM

Most likely that, but I have a feeling that Jaffe didn't really like the environment of the company overall.

Anyone here remember when Jaffe made a surprise appearance @ E3 2010? Remember the partner he walked up with? I swear if you just look at that guy...you can tell that he hardly had any passion for what Jaffe was designing. The guy really didn't have a clue what to say unless he read from the prompter, and he didn't even know that it was his turn to say something.

Perhaps I'm making a big deal out of that one event...but to me it really showed the character of one the people that Jaffe was working with.

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Oxvial
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:47:20 AM
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Such a waste.

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Ichigo40
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:48:23 AM
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Well that's sorry news...hopefully he'll join a studio that will appreciate his talents so they can give us some more gamer games.

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Xzer0
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:49:16 AM
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Sad that this is not 1-st april joke:) I think this is just p.r news to bring more hype for Twisted Metal or it is just coincidence.

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MyWorstNightmar
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 10:31:13 AM

If this is their way of getting hype for Twisted Metal, then they need to hire a better publicist.

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DrRockso87
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:54:40 AM
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Completely agree with the God of War IV comment. I like his "Darksiders-esqe" approach he would take on the new game. Please make it happen!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 9:57:36 AM
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I just hope this doesn't become a trend where good developing companies are seeing bigger dollars in casual gaming.

I'd been starting to be more hopeful about Video Games eventually becoming a respected form of entertainment, and even art. But if this is the direction they end up being forced to take, I would be a sad, sad panda.

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 10:57:12 AM

There are not bigger dollars in casual games unless you are the 1 - 100 smash hit. For every 99 pieces of crap that couldn't cover the costs of a basement dwelling dweeb developer, there is 1 hit that makes money.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 11:16:46 AM

High is right. The mobile market is far to saturated. You either make a ton of money like Angry Birds or none at all like the rest of the garbage on Apples app store.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 12:46:28 PM

Don't forget this is still a very, very young and immature market. In many ways it reminds me of the early days of Internet.

I believe this is what the game devs who head for this market realise too. Right now the window is open for smaller companies to establish a very lucrative business before the big corporations enter the scene in full effect.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/7/2012 12:48:49 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 2:59:23 PM

LOL, early days of the Internet...Is that the early days of Web 2.0, or the early days in the early 90's?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 3:07:27 PM

The 90s, back before Google& co. I'm old, remember? ;-)
Back then a million tiny web companies were established and were eventually bought up and formed the larger companies today. One could make good money with little investment on a very new and inexperienced market then.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/7/2012 3:15:15 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 3:29:11 PM

Yes, but do you have any idea how many of those companies failed? The 1% ratio would be a charitable measure of those that succeeded. Of that 1%, 99% were in turn gobbled up by bigger companies, who in turn consolidates some more. I think you have a very rose tinted memory of the early days of the internet, far, far, far more companies went to the wall than succeeded.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 3:33:31 PM

... Hence the similarities. Ref your own post further up.

And yes, I do have an idea. I was one of those who created a small web-company back then, so I do remember how it was. And I'd say it was easier then than now for a small company to get established. Today the market is harder to enter due to more advanced solutions and more experienced customers who know what they want.
In short, the gold rush is over.

I believe now is a smart time to enter this market.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/8/2012 9:46:16 AM

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 10:17:39 AM
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Guys, Jaffe might not go to casual gaming. He said on twitter that he's still going to support TM and he's going to try and open his own studio in San Diego. But who knows he might go, it's a possibility, I hope not though.

He doesn't have any interest in making games like Angry Birds, or Farmville.

Last edited by Clamedeus on 2/7/2012 10:19:49 AM

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 10:29:39 AM
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This can be confusing. I read in an interview he did after Calling all Cars bombed that he wanted to get back to AAA game making. Now he wants to go back to small time games? Eat Sleep Play is shifting to small time/casual stuff as well...so why didn't he just stay with them? He says on Twitter that those reports are greatly exaggerated. Hmm. Something does not add up here. I sensed there was some tension between Jaffe and Sony. I know he wanted to make TM a multiplayer only game only but Sony rejected that and made him put a story mode in.

I've read some comments on CVG that say this is no surprise considering the way Sony treated him. Somebody asked what do you mean and the poster responded. Just read he's twitter account. Well, I don't do twitter so I have really have no idea what the poster on CVG was talking about. I do not know if there is any truth to that. I know Jaffe is a Sony fan. Where is World at? I think he might know if there was some kind of rift going on between Jaffe and Sony.

There is probably more to this story than we may ever know. It's always sad when a developer throws in the towel and says they are switching to casual games.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 2/7/2012 10:31:30 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 10:34:32 AM
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Casual gaming takes another victim.

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 11:04:09 AM
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Id get it, is he not happy about the money earnings he's getting. I guess his interest is earning more money.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 2/7/2012 11:08:08 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 11:18:33 AM

Some people have employment standards for themselves. Jaffe likes making a living, but he doesn't need the company to do so. He's one of those developers that can get a job where ever he wants, basically. And when a professional takes pride in their work, you don't always go where the most money is if you don't believe in the product you're delivering.

I had a job opportunity with a cigarette company a few months ago. Would have paid 90k per year with an annual 10k bonus, 5% raises each year, my own car with gas paid for, and the 3rd ranked best benefits package in North America (thanks to a referral of one of my best friends and groomsman who already works for them). And all I would have done in the job is distribute cigarettes and advertising. That's it.

But my wife and I both recently in the last 5 years lost family to cancer caused by cigarettes. And I currently work with hard-to-serve youth. How could I justify a career change like that to my family? it'd have been like a slap in the face.

Sometimes the most money direction can be the wrong direction.

Jaffe knows he can do better than mobile gaming. He loves his work and likely gets a lot of happiness out of it. Imagine what would happen to that side of him if he were no longer challenged to make something great or stopped making what he loves? Some things just don't have a price tag. ya know?


EDIT: You edited what you said originally and now it sounds different. Are you saying Jaffe is going after more money or the other co-founder is? I think Jaffe isn't leaving for money. He's leaving because his interest isn't in casual gaming. The other co-founder... well, perhaps you're right.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/7/2012 11:20:47 AM

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 8:02:47 PM

yah I edit some of my comments, so.. that's what I think, Jaffe interested in earning more money, the causel game market + mobile smartphones/ipads/ipod touch is where all the money is at.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 2/7/2012 8:14:02 PM

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Qubex
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 8:32:45 PM

Underdog... that was an interesting story mate... High five for your moral stance and well done!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Underdog15
Thursday, February 09, 2012 @ 10:06:15 AM

@Alex
I wasn't trying to criticize you for editing your comment. I just posted my big post, then noticed while I was writing, you had edited it. And the new edit made me unclear on a couple things (which is why I asked).

I was just saying that after reading your edit, I thought maybe I misinterpreted your OP, so I was explaining why my post might address things that aren't in your edited version.

That's all. No criticism.

As for Jaffe wanting more money and mobile games making more money, Jaffe is leaving BECAUSE the company wants mobile games. So I'm still not sure what you mean. :( The article says the team, minus Jaffe, will work on Casual games. Later it says the paper said he was going to do casual gaming, but he responded saying that claim is "highly exaggerated".

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/9/2012 10:08:47 AM

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Jawknee
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 11:15:06 AM
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"It's a platform that is in our pockets almost 24/7. It's kind of the size and types of games we're playing. You can certainly reach a lot more people. That's pretty exciting for us."

What a tool playing games on the iPhone sucks when compared to platforms with buttons.

PSP, Vita, 3DS > iPhone and iPad gaming.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 08, 2012 @ 1:23:31 PM

How about Xperia Play then? :)

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PSTan
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 11:27:07 AM
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I'm in the minority here, but I actually like mobile gaming. You just need to look around for good games. The app store has its fair share of action games and RPGs (chrono trigger). It doesn't suffice for handheld or console gaming yet, but it is definitely a worthwhile substitute.

In any case, I hope Jaffe has success with his new studio and games. GoW4 would be awesome, but perhaps now would be too soon. He should continue to support TM and make new IPs. If Jaffe ever does go into mobile gaming, let's hope that he can bring in the hardcore games that particular market really needs.

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Twistedfloyd
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 11:35:51 AM
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This upsets me greatly. The team at ESP got me into gaming with TM2 all those years ago and has blown my mind with Black and the Twisted Metal PS3 demo is everything I could have hoped for, for the most part.

This means the end of Twisted Metal after this one. Jaffe, Scott and Kellan Hatch are the lifeblood behind the series. Without them all together, TM isn't the same. And while I know it's going to be great for fans of the series like myself (this new one), and I can't wait for next week (been waiting over 10 goddamn years!), I'm sad that one of my oldest friends in gaming is having its swan song.

Looking forward to seeing Jaffe's next move. He is one of my favorite designers and I will always follow his career with great interest. I know he won't sell out and make cheap iphone games.

Disappointed with Scott and Kellan, but financially it makes sense. But if they're going down that road, I'll keep an eye out, but I'm not holding my breath or anything.

The Iphone and Ipad are just too constrictive to make games that I'm interested in for the most part. I just finished designing for my class an interface for Iphone/Ipad and it's incredibly limiting in terms of what you can do and how much depth you can put into a game.

I hope Twisted does well, but ESP either doesn't want to make console games or don't think that Twisted will do well.

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 12:02:43 PM
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I get the feeling that this might get the Sony haters going again.

But this one isn't Sony's fault. Eat Sleep Play is an independent company and Twisted Metal hasn't even been given a chance to prove itself yet.

I wonder if Twisted Metal meeting or exceeding hopes and expectations (hypothetically) would have any effect on this situation.

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cLoudou
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 12:23:45 PM
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I feel like I wanna cancel my pre order. I don't want to support this team, without Jaffe, and their focus on mobile/casual games.


Last edited by cLoudou on 2/7/2012 12:24:01 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 12:38:51 PM

The game is so linked with Jaffe, if you are interested in the game anyway, buying it would support him, not ESP.

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 1:12:34 PM

Highlander's right cLoudou.

Jaffe did play a key role in making this game. If it does well it he looks good and that bolster's his credentials as a game developer.

On the other hand if the game does poorly he most likely will not benefit in any way and if anything it would probably make him look bad.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 12:51:19 PM
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... And so was it that hardcore gaming entered the mobile platform?

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 1:18:44 PM
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Is it just me or is there no actual explanation given for Jaffe's departure?

Although it's probably a safe bet that he's leaving in protest of the companies new direction.

I imagine there also may have been a rather nasty confrontation between Jaffe and Campbell at some point.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 2/7/2012 1:22:08 PM

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 1:56:36 PM
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Not a good sign considering Twisted Metal isn't even out yet. I have to wonder what the post launch support will be like.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 2:41:35 PM

Definitely not a good sign when key members leave a project early. That tells me they don't have a lot of faith in the project. That's Jaffe's baby there...why would he not want to see his project all the way through? I don't get why he would bail before the game even comes out.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 2:45:19 PM

He didn't leave the project early. It's finished. Getting stamped as we speak.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 3:16:48 PM

Yeah, but it's like not attenting your kid's graduation or your baby's delivery. He should have stayed until the actual release of the game. It's supposed to have an extensive online mode that always needs work right after release. It would be nice to have the game's creator around to help balance the game out.

I think he must have taken the servers with him because I just can't get the MP demo to work. First 5 attempts got me a matchmaking errors. Then I tried 2 more times and my PS3 would just shut itself off when I was in the middle of joining a game.

I have tried at different times during the day but the damn MP mode to will work. I've wasted at least an hour just trying to get into one single MP match. :( All my other MP games work just fine. Anyways, that is not a good way to impress gamers. Putting out a busted demo does way more harm than good. I will try one more time. If it does not work this time I'm just deleting the demo and will await reviews. A good MP demo COULD have convinced me to buy the game day1...that is if the freaking thing worked.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 3:31:43 PM

It still will not work so I googled it to see if others were having problems. The first thing that popped up was a post from the PS community forums titled "why release a MP demo if it will not work?" Took the words right out of my mouth. Many others are having trouble getting into a MP match. Definitely not a good first impression of the MP mode. Maybe I'll tweet to Jaffe I'm having problems...oops he's no longer there plus they laid off others. Just great.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 6:44:04 PM

Underdog. Here is the problem. I am spoiled by PDI and GT5. That game is still getting updated nearly every month. Sure, some of the patches are fixes, but the support for GT5 is exceptional.

I plan on purchasing Twisted Metal, but I want to know that it's going to be supported for some time to come.

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Fane1024
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 7:45:20 PM

Excelsior,

I've had the same problem with Starhawk: not one successfully launched game. TM, on the other hand, worked fine (though I deleted it because it was too frantic for my tastes).

It's odd how the same code works for some but not others.

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Pandacastro
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 2:39:15 PM
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I think the 3 year contract they sign with sony ended already. Thats why there making ios games now. Looking forward to what ESP make on iphone.

Last edited by Pandacastro on 2/7/2012 2:45:41 PM

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telly
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 3:53:32 PM
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Man, sad news.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 4:37:18 PM
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I don't think Sony had anything to do with it.

I'm not sure but I get the vibe that some heavy BS that we're not privy to yet, was going on internally over the direction of the company causing him to lose all faith & he wound up booking over it.

Anyway, I hope that Jaffe can start up his own company & fill it with a coworkers with a similar vision as his, otherwise this will surly wind up as becoming a sad day for gaming.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/7/2012 4:38:09 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 6:46:47 PM
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What a flake, who wants to develop for mobile stuff? TM must not be very good.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 7:42:57 PM

@world

I remember reading some comments from Jaffe where he was talking about all the BS and backstabbing one has to deal with when making a game. Do you know what he was reffering to exactly? There were some comments from him that made me think he was not very happy at times during TM's development. Did you get that impression as well?

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Dancemachine55
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 7:20:21 PM
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Wow, I didn't know just how bad the iPhone was for the gaming industry until now.

When a dedicated gaming group like Eat Sleep Play go mobile over console, that is just pure bad news.

Developers trying to change their stance to follow Angry Birds and Call of Duty's massive sales. Thank God Heavy Rain and Catherine were well received, otherwise we'd be entering the dark ages of gaming... all flash and no substance, games catering to the lowest common denominator, creativity and deep experiences out the window.

I miss the last generation so very much. PS2, you truly were the last of the greatest.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 10:12:33 PM

Don't blame the iPhone. Blame the tool developers who choose to sacrafice hard work for easy money.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 08, 2012 @ 3:50:59 AM

Hehe - this is not doomsday. It only means the business grows. Consoles and PCs are going nowhere.

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Qubex
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 @ 8:33:48 PM
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Sorry to say this but I always felt Jaffe made a mistake leaving Santa Monica. He was better off there and more secure... just say'n.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, February 08, 2012 @ 6:08:34 PM
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Some new info on the situation by Jaffe, via Twitter.....

Jaffe, made sure to clarify via Twitter that he's not about to transition into what most people think of a "casual."

"I have zero plans to make games like Farmville and Angry Birds. I never said what I was doing post TM (and I'm still on TM along with ESP for the next months as we launch it and balance it in real time and make sure it's a perfect game and continue to support it).

At the same time I will be opening a game studio here in San Diego because I really miss internal game development."

He added, "I was not laid off. I co-own the company.

There were a few lay offs and they were very painful to do for all involved.
I'm leaving because - again - games are just getting too big to direct from 300 miles away & I miss the day to day of working direct with a team."

Jaffe even hinted that a return to AAA console games isn't out of the question, noting that there are "big, huge next gen game ideas I'd love for us to make, as well as cool stuff in the browser space."

Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/8/2012 6:09:54 PM

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saintaqua
Thursday, February 09, 2012 @ 12:54:51 PM
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Why would someone with the talent to make God of War go the casual phone-game route?
It's his choice but in my opinion it shows he has lost his artist's heart and is selling out.

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saintaqua
Thursday, February 09, 2012 @ 12:56:14 PM
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Oh, I just read BikerSaint's comment and now it makes a bit more sense. Still, he should keep his games on consoles and work internally that way.

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