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Rockstar Plays it Safe 49

Chris Morris at CNN's Game Over column has news of the cancellation of 'Snow', a planned title which would have placed the player in the role of a drug kingpin. From the article: "The reason is anybody's guess. 2K Games, the Take Two division that was publishing 'Snow,' confirmed the cancellation, but declined to give any sort of reason. It might have been because of the controversy the game was bound to kick up. It might have been because the game's developer, FrogCity Software (along with fellow studio PopTop Software) was recently folded into Firaxis, a Take Two-owned development studio run by industry legend Sid Meier. It may have simply been that the game wasn't turning out to be any fun."
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Rockstar Plays it Safe

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  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:53PM (#15490554) Homepage Journal
    Change 'Snow' to 'Cure'
    Change crack addicts into suffering diseased community members
    Change drug king-ping to entrepreneurial pharmacist aiding humanity's fight against the sickness.

    Viola! Drop from an AO to G rating!

    -Rick
  • DOS Reloaded? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doytch ( 950946 ) <markpd@gmailFORTRAN.com minus language> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:01PM (#15490606)
    Is it just me, or does this game sound a lot like that DOS game Drug Wars that was popular back then. You can even get it in some repos still.
    • Re:DOS Reloaded? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CDarklock ( 869868 )
      I wrote a version of DopeWars. Open source, as it happens; derivative of the version written by Captain Howdy, but completely reimplemented from scratch, adding various useful bits like scrollable windows and jail time and even a music soundtrack.

      Today some jerk has made a Windows version, sells it as shareware, and doesn't even list my name in the credits. He claims hundreds of thousands of registered users. Some of the elements in his software made their first appearance in mine, so there's really no ques
      • Couldn't he have ripped you off without access to the source? Now tell me again how your version being open source has anything to do with him.
      • Does your license permit redistribution without credit?
      • He's a jerk. But he hasn't cost you a thing. And many people have benefited. Sounds like sour grapes on your part.

        If you care about it just start redistributing your version so people know he's a jerk. If he's breaking your license publicise that fact or sue.

        And like the sibling post says whether your code was open source or closed source is irrelevant.

        ---

        It's not piracy, it's sharing. Didn't your parents teach you to share?

      • Well, what have you done to prove to the world that he ripped you off, other than post here? Blog it, complain, mobilize, get the word out!
  • I call bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorbachev ( 512743 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:05PM (#15490626) Homepage
    That CNN Money article doesn't mention why the game was cancelled. They're speculating it must've been because the game was "controversial". Given all the financial and quality problems Take Two is having at the moment it wouldn't surprise me at all if the real reason was financial and/or the game sucked so bad it got scrapped before more good money was thrown after bad money on a title that wasn't going to move off the shelves. Thumper Thompson is, of course, going to trumpet this as a resounding victory for the righteous, but I think the real reason has more to do with bean counting than backing down under pressure from blowhard hypocrites.
    • Indeed, and the article headline (and subsequently /.'s headline) doesn't fit in with the article text:

      The reason is anybody's guess. 2K Games, the Take Two division that was publishing "Snow," confirmed the cancellation, but declined to give any sort of reason. It might have been because of the controversy the game was bound to kick up. It might have been because the game's developer, FrogCity Software (along with fellow studio PopTop Software) was recently folded into Firaxis, a Take Two-owned development

    • One of the more notorious scandals was Frontier II, which was (a) released before the coders were ready, (b) re-released with patch disks, (c) abandoned without warning rather than withdrawn, fixed and released properly. I have very little sympathy with Take Two over any of the messes they've got themselves into, although I do have sympathy with those gamers who have been subjected to their low-quality products.

      Sure, they've released stuff that's been popular, but the only things that seem to be popular are

      • I remember Frontier II, and the bugs it had.

        I don't think it was a Take Two game though.

        You're talking about the sequel (or triquel, whatever) to Elite, right?
        • Frontier was the sequel to Elite. It had some bugs but wasn't horrible. I forget which label that came out on. Frontier II (also known as Frontier: First Encounters) was the sequel to Frontier (making it the sesequel to Elite? :) and was released under the Take Two label, on behalf of David Braben and his development team. I believe there's more detail in the Elite newsgroup FAQ. Both Ian Bell and David Braben read (and post to) the newsgroup, BTW. (That's how I found out why some planets on the classic Eli
          • I read some of the info on Frontier II on the group. Thanks for the tip.

            It looks like Gametek UK was the developer who was in charge of releasing the game. They badly screwed it up. David Braben appears to be quite unhappy about it...to say the least :)

            Gametek was then bought by Take Two after Gametek USA went into receivership. Gametek UK is now Take Two Europe.

            It doesn't seem like Take Two released Frontier II, but most of the people who did are now Take Two employees, or were at some point. This all happ
    • Thumper Thompson is, of course, going to trumpet this as a resounding victory for the righteous
      If he does, I'd hope they'd finish and release it anyway just to spite him, and make it clear it is because of him they released it (perhaps with a dedication splash screen at the start).
    • Games get cancelled all the time for lots of reasons. But if this actually was a Rockstar game, instead of a game from another studio also owned by Rockstar's parent company, I can't imagine that controversy would have anything to do with it's cancellation. Rockstar is made up of a buch of smartasses and their success has been in large part due to the controversy they create. They have no reason to mess with the winning formula that they clearly love.

      • Games get cancelled all the time for lots of reasons. But if this actually was a Rockstar game, instead of a game from another studio also owned by Rockstar's parent company, I can't imagine that controversy would have anything to do with it's cancellation.

        Indeed, the headline here is completely inaccurate. This game had nothing to do with Rockstar.

        I used to work for Rockstar (though I quit several years ago now). Honestly, even calling 2K Games and Rockstar the same company to a Rockstar employee would p
  • When I read the headline on this article I have to admit that I have never heard of this game before. It doesn't even seem like a game that I would be interested in playing. However, this article brings up an important question to my mind.

    With the cancelation of this game for its content and the ESRP changing the rating on Oblivion what are we going to see when Grand Theft Auto 4 comes to the 360? If Rockstar is intimidated now to the point that it cancels a game for the explicit reason of its conten
    • If Rockstar is intimidated now to the point that it cancels a game for the explicit reason of its content, are we going to see an extremely cut down and censored Grand Theft Auto 4?

      Well, there hasn't been any evidence that this is the case. In fact, the evidence would seem to go the other way since the GTA games have made tons of money and continue to sell - even in "censorship-friendly" stores like Wal-Mart.

      If Rockstar was "intimidated" by the ESRB re-rating of GTA:SA based on Hot Coffee, it's that
      • I agree that it may be the case that they need to control their assets better. However, they were not intimidated by the ESRB. The ESRB and Rockstar appear to be intimidated by politics of their ratings and games respectively.

        I agree that this does not seem to be the case with the GTA series, but the question is "Are they going to double-think themselves before continuing potential directions their games could go or will they just release the game?"

        I personally think that Rockstar is smart enough to
        • I just think that the question still still remains "are they beginning to censor their material?" and if so "by how much?"

          They already do censor their material. Hot Coffee was functional but probably removed from the game proper because they already knew it would push the ESRB (and other ratings groups) into the 18+ category. It seems to me that the one positive thing to came out of that for Rockstar (besides a free publicity push for the game) is that they now know just about exactly where the line is

    • I guess only the future holds the answer.


      Actually, strangely enough, no. Due to a time travel feature of an upcoming toaster the answer was slipped entirley back in time to an 1843 San Francisco cave, only to be recovered by those who are brave enough to stuff themselves into the time travel equipped toaster.

      Time travel makes things weird sometimes.
  • Never heard of this game before, but the instant I read the review I thought of the movie Blow: http://imdb.com/title/tt0221027/ [imdb.com]
  • by Kanpai ( 713697 ) <[KanpaiWai] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:20PM (#15490702)
    The blurb is correct, the headline isn't. While Take-Two owns both Rockstar and 2K games, they're two different dev studios. Rockstar has nothing to do with this game.
  • Blow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pete-classic ( 75983 )
    In "Snow," you advanced from a marijuana smuggler to drug kingpin.


    Based on the screen shot and the above caption (and the name), I'd say they canceled it because they were afraid of being sued by George Jung and/or New Line.

    -Peter
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Rockstar's a subsidiary of TakeTwo, not the other way around. So Rockstar isn't playing ANYTHING... TakeTwo is. I guess that doesn't make for as recognizable a headline though...
  • Maybe someone noticed that buying, selling, and using cocaine just isn't all that uncommon, expensive, or dangerous anymore.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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