Free Radical vs. the Monsters
Activision suddenly cutting studios and people:
EA demanding Vin Diesel/Wesley Snipes like character in a game "for the US audience"Meanwhile, Second Sight had finally entered full production. The project had changed hands from Eidos to Activision, and Free Radical were about to taste business Bobby Kotick style.
They decided they didn't like UK development anymore, they didn't like external development anymore, and they didn't like developer-owned IP anymore. Bad for us, because we ticked every box! On that day I think they canned ten projects and in the process put some companies out of business.
LucasArts bleeding the company dry through stallingAfter TimeSplitters 2 EA had come sniffing around, and Free Radical was ready to listen. "EA Partners was this part of EA that was involved with third-party things," says Doak. "It was a bit like being groomed, you know. Here's all these friendly avuncular people that will give you all the love and attention you need to get your game out, and then after a while they go away and all the bad guys come around and it's like you're in borstal. Getting held down, beaten around the head with a cue ball in a sock."
The publisher demanded Future Perfect have a strong lead character in order that it appeal to the US market. "EA turned up with this stuff that was supposed to help us," says Doak. "And it was just big boards with pictures of Vin Diesel on them. Wesley Snipes was on one in his Blade outfit."
LucasArts began to press hard on other, less quantifiable, issues. "Stalling tactics," says Graeme Norgate. "If a publisher wants to find something that is wrong with a milestone, it's very easy for them to do so as there are so many grey areas within a deliverable. If the contract says, 'Graphics for level X to be release quality,' who can say what's release quality? And there you have it."
"LucasArts hadn't paid us for six months," says Norgate "and were refusing to pass a milestone so we would limp along until the money finally ran out.