Gas Powered Games Fails -an Editorial Lesson - Nerd Age
Gas Powered Games has had their Kickstarter fail or more accurately be cancelled because it was going to fail. They were recently acquired by “Wargaming.net” who made world of tanks. In this article we want to explore the myriad reasons this company went downhill.
Gas Powered Games and a Tangled Web
They started out doing great. Supreme Commander was a good game despite being an imitation of Total Annihilation. It was fairly fun to play. Unfortunately they very quickly started to go in the wrong direction. Demigod was not great for a MOBA style game. Dungeon Siege had a fair share of problems rendering it average. Supreme Commander 2 was horrible for reasons quite a bit out of their control. Square Enix being terrible at the time was a major reason.
The final nail in the coffin though, was Age of Empires online. Fans expected an incredibly sweeping world. Instead they got a rather rudimentary Age of Empires experience with pay-to-win elements. This could have been fixed during development. Many of the problems stemmed from not taking an active developer role with the game. Others stemmed from partnerships that did not produce a great game, like with Age of Empires Online. So the lesson here is that if you let other studios get too involved with your cash cows, you may get some sour milk.
Shoddy PR Relations
When their Kickstarter was up we got an e-mail from them. They wanted to let us know about the Wildman Kickstarter. It stated that we needed to help each other out in the industry. We found this overwhelmingly odd for several reasons. Let us go down a few:
- Gas Powered Games had never come to us before or helped us in any way. In fact they gave us the view that we were beneath them, as many publishers do. That is all good and well, but do not come to us as a friend in need.
- They had spelling errors in the mail itself. As if the mail had been an afterthought.
- Most of all, and this is the most important part, they were not grateful after receiving PR from us. In fact we have not heard back from them. If you specifically request help as a developer, try to create a relationship.
The little guys do matter. How you present yourself to them matters as well. Make sure that you create grassroots support for your next gaming project.
A Harsh Lesson
Perhaps, but do not misunderstand us. Many of the people here enjoyed Supreme Commander immensely. I know of one writer here who loved Dungeon Siege. This was written because the Gas Powered Games story provides a useful object lesson for future developers. Along with a healthy bit of insight for the staff at Gas Powered Games themselves. We wish them the best as part of the wargaming.net family.