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Clover Studios Closed 48

Posted by Zonk
from the sad-day-for-hands-of-god dept.
Clover Studios, makers of such titles as Okami, God Hand, and Viewtiful Joe, has been closed by Capcom Japan for financial reasons. Gamespot reports on the exact wording of the sad announcement: "Clover Studio Co., Ltd. has met the goal of developing unique and creative original home video game software, however, in view of promoting a business strategy that concentrates management resources on a selected business to enhance the efficiency of the development power of the entire Capcom group, the dissolution of Clover Studios Co., Ltd. has been raised and passed at a Board of Directors' meeting."
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Clover Studios Closed

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  • Too Bad (Score:3, Funny)

    by atezun (755568) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:50PM (#16426409)
    It was "viewtiful" while it lasted.

    Thank you, I'm here all week.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Taulin (569009)
      Game Development Studio = Contractors for producer. No story here. Game/Contract finished, go on to next contract.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It was "viewtiful" while it lasted.


      Thank you, I'm here all week.

      Thank God it's Friday.
  • Because (Score:3, Informative)

    by Broken scope (973885) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:59PM (#16426607) Homepage
    New and innovative games might not make money. Quickly back to cheap remakes that we know the hoards will but without a second thought.
    • damnit i meant buy not but.
    • New and innovative games might not make money. Quickly back to cheap remakes that we know the hoards will buy without a second thought.
      So just like the movie industry, you mean?
    • by ECMIM (946033)
      Wait, wait, I love Clover's output as much as the next raving mad fanboy, but Capcom did just put out Dead Rising (which I didn't care for but a lot of people loved and that wasn't at all a re-tread) and they also have Lost Planet soon which is bloody specatacular (and isn't a re-tread) so let's at least be fair while we mourn Clover's untimely demise.
    • Yeah, damn capcom for closing a studio after 3 unprofitable games in a row. I personally would give them another try but it's a business and it's in for profit.
    • by drsquare (530038)
      Innovative games make money, as long as they're good. Games for which the only merit is being innovative are pointless.

      Let's face it, if their innovations were any good, people would have bought the games, and they'd still be in business.
  • It's the sound of fresh, original games dying. Yeah, they gave us Viewtiful Joe, Okami and Godhand. All critically acclaimed games. Let's shut them down!
    • by Taulin (569009)
      The game still lives. The people who are obligated to get money are still getting their money. The people who made the game are still alive. Nothing is dead. A team was brought together for this project. The project is finished. The team is not needed anymore.
  • ...but Clover was overrated. Okami is brilliant, but Viewtiful Joe was overhyped to the point of pain, and its sequels were mediocre [gamerankings.com] to foul [gamerankings.com]. Now God Hand is getting 70%. This is a studio that will be remembered for one game [gamerankings.com].

    I suppose we can commence comparing them to Origin, Square-Enix, Sierra, VALVe, Maxis, iD, and Nintendo now.

    • by MWoody (222806)
      I'd go one step further, and toss Okami on the overrated bandwagon. God Hand is certainly mediocre, as the reviews show, but both Okami and Viewtiful LOOK great while actually providing little innovation. Viewtiful was a fairly slow, occasionally frustrating platformer that lost my interest an hour in, and never regained it as I plodded to the finish. Granted, the time control and the movie-physics premise was interesting at first, but it just wasn't fun.

      Okami, meanwhile, I just stoped playing about 12 h
  • This isn't that huge of a deal, all of the employees of Clover were rolled back into Capcom and most of the lead developers still have contracts with Capcom in one way or another.
  • by JensR (12975) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:22PM (#16427107) Homepage
    WOW, what a great game. Ok, it just takes the Zelda formula and places it in a classic Japanese environment, but there hasn't been another game recently that has captivated me to this extend. Let's hope Capcom takes the talent and invests it into more games as good as that.
    But from experience I'd say it is most likely that Inaba-san was fed up with Capcom messing with his projects, and Capcom is not going to make anything worthwhile with the talent and properties - just have a look at the Viewtiful Joe sequels. Sigh.
    • by 7Prime (871679)

      I completely agree, I'm playing Okami now, and I haven't seen a game that seemed so... inspired, in a LONG time. My thought was, "I hope they don't do a sequel", not because it wouldn't make for a good series, but Okami is Okami, let it be, and let the creators/artists progress even further into the depths of their creativity on their next project.

      Now, is Inaba staying with Capcom or not? I hope not, because I don't Capcom neururing much innovation these days (especially after breaking up their "indy" stu

  • ...in view of promoting a business strategy that concentrates management resources on a selected business to enhance the efficiency of the development power of the entire Capcom group, the dissolution of Clover Studios Co., Ltd. has been raised and passed at a Board of Directors' meeting.

    Much more likely they're into the concept of viral TQC. They have a game plan to become virally-distributed and have come to know that it is better to productize intra-cyber-mega-strategically than to orchestrate extens
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:13PM (#16428219) Homepage
    Mega Man and Street Fighter sequels.

    Don't get me wrong. Capcom makes the occasional brilliant game, but they have been far more miss than hit over the last decade.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by RumGunner (457733)
      You just gave me a brilliant idea for the next Capcom game: Street Fighter vs. Megaman.

      Capcom, you owe me a million dollars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joystickgenie (913297)
      There hasn't been a street fighter sequel from Capcom since 1999 with Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and there hasn't been a street fighter sequel from other developers since 2000 (Street Fighter EX3)

      There have been plenty of re-releases of previous games but no new sequels in 6 years. To be honest I really wish they would truly go and make another street fighter sequel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MWoody (222806)
      To be fair, the Mega Man sequels have often been wildly different - the Battle Network series, for example, are a lot of fun, and not the traditional platformer at all. And as has been pointed out, they've not produced any new Street Fighter stuff in years. Meanwhile, the Resident Evil series has been getting better and better, and Dead Rising, while not a huge departure for the company in that it's still you versus zombies, is nevertheless unique in its approach and an ASSLOAD of fun. Devil May Cry set
  • "Clover Studio Co., Ltd. has met the goal of developing unique and creative original home video game software, however, in view of promoting a business strategy that concentrates management resources on a selected business to enhance the efficiency of the development power of the entire Capcom group, the dissolution of Clover Studios Co., Ltd. has been raised and passed at a Board of Directors' meeting."

    In other words: "We're giving ourselves more wiggle room in the budget for our corporate hookers. Thank

  • by 7Prime (871679) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:02PM (#16430925) Homepage Journal

    I'm in the middle of Okami right now, and it's the freshed feeling game I've seen in a LONG time. And yes, it is because of the graphics. Okami goes against the grain of this trend toward absolute realism, and actually chooses to take a very artistic direction instead. For that reason, it's not just about the graphics, but the philosophy behind the game, "abstraction not only has a place in video games, it can be downright breathtaking". My problem with the absolute realism movement is that it has no creativity behind it... all it is is pixel pushing, not to say it's a simple deal, but it's a concrete goal that can be objectively evaluated, and not neccarilly artisically driven. This is an oversimplification, of course, but I see it in all aspects of game design these days.

    Now, Okami is obviously incredibly Wind Waker inspired, but I don't think that's a bad thing at all. All creative endevours are built on the achievements of others. Okami earns it's legitimacy in doing something few games have done, it has become an interactive work of art. I haven't felt that in a game since I played Myst back in the day, and even then, the graphical style was much less abstracted.

    Interestly, it seems that Okami is doing VERY well, the video game press has been raiving about it endlessly, and it seems to be selling well. I was just thinking, the other day, "I wonder what this 'Clover Studios' is going to do next?" In some ways, I had more hope for their future works than any other studio at the moment, so this is a big letdown.

    We've done the comic book thing to death, and it's just WAY too obvious a direction to take (since a large percentage of japanese games are done by Anime artists, and many american games are done by comic artists), and I'm sick of it. We've done disney (oh god, have we done disney), and then we've done contemporary blockbuster cinema (TO DEATH), it is high time for games to break free of their "pop art" constraints. I'm not saying that Okami is quite there, but it's a damn good start.

    Sure, Okami is working off of pre-existing visual styles (namely Japanese water-color along with a good touch of old-school cartoon styling), but the fact that it's the first to be able to put them into this kind of use, and into an interactive framework, is quite an achievement. Can you imagine a whole game done in the style of cubism? We could explore impressionism a bit... and then maybe, just maybe, venture into uncharted visual territory? These are the questions that have been spinning in my head for the last few weeks.

    • by drsquare (530038)
      So in other words it's Wind Waker with different graphics? If a game's only assset is innovative graphics, then maybe they deserved to go out of business.
      • by 7Prime (871679)

        Well, you sorta missed the point. How many games out there truly offer innovative (and creative) graphics? Not very many... even the ones with "GREAT GRAPHICS!!!" mostly are rehashed ideas, simply at higher polygon counts, better lighting effects, etc. What we're talking about, here, is more "style" than "graphics" in the traditional sense. There are many great games, in fact, I would say most great games, that center around establishing a very particular atmosphere. The Metroid series, for example, would b

      • by mink (266117)
        I dont see why everyone compares it to Wind Waker except for maybe the whole cell shading thing.

        To me the game is more like Spyro in how it plays but this could be because I played 3 (I think) spyro games before Wind Waker came out.
  • Insert Credit [insertcredit.com] mentions that Clover talent may have been breaking off from Capcom to do their own thing (with the closing down story being an attempt to save face). Just an interesting angle to note when thinking about this topic.

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