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Schilling, Salvatore, McFarlane Form Game Studio 75

simoniker writes "Baseball legend and avid MMO fan Curt Schilling is forming a new Boston-based video game company, Green Monster Games, with Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and noted sci-fi/fantasy author R.A. Salvatore. They're going to create what is described as 'industry-changing games'. Schilling, who is the pitcher for the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox, is already known for his online game interest (he is a long-time EverQuest/EverQuest II player), so is evidently extending this to form a video game developer."
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Schilling, Salvatore, McFarlane Form Game Studio

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was hoping their initials would come into play. "S S&M Games" or something.
  • Green Monster (Score:3, Informative)

    by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @01:42PM (#16053755) Homepage
    For those less sports-savvy: Green Monster [wikipedia.org]
  • by Zanth_ ( 157695 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @01:45PM (#16053770)
    McFarlane is reknowned for pushing the limits of art in all he does. When he first hit the comic scene on a grand scale doing Amazing Spiderman, he quite literally redefined the artist's role. Before him, only Art Adams had pushed the limits so much in the late 80's. Once McFarlane got too big for his britches, he left to do his own Spiderman series and finally off to Image to do Spawn. Once at Image, he did draw and write Spawn for a time until he became more interested in the business side of things, working towards a toy company (the premier action figure company in my opinion) with toys that were incredibly detailed on a level nearly unsurpassed. They are now the standard other figures are judged by today. He then moved into the realm of animation, with his hit Spawn cartoon and even doing some videos for the likes of Pearl Jam. His talent and business selse could really push the boundaries of in game art. However, as much as he would like to be, he is not the greatest write, but enter RA Salvatore and we have a very well respected Fantasy writer. The two merging their right brain talents really offers this start up most companies lacked. Artistic direction. The key will be in whom they hire and the types of games they are interested in developing.

    I don't know much about the baseball legend, but having his name and money behind the project can't be a bad thing. Let's hope that this is not vaporware in the making, but that they do come out with at least one really hot and solid game, soon!
    • From what I've heard, Schilling is a class act. If he actually provides direction to the studio, not just money (although money is good too), then I would expect to see a high-quality product.
    • It is also notable that he was the artist that created (along with writer David Michelinie) and drew the first appearance of Venom in The Amazing Spiderman #298. Venom was always one of my vavorite characters. Check out a copy if you can, you will see his "mark" in venom.
    • Huh? I can only presume you are under 25 years old and implicitly disdain history. The only thing Todd has done which many many other writer/artists (Joe Kubert, John Byrne, Frank Miller, etc) hadn't already done before him was to set up his own merchandising company. While that's very nice for his wallet, it has nothing to do with "pushing the limits of art".
    • by rob1980 ( 941751 )
      I don't know much about the baseball legend, but having his name and money behind the project can't be a bad thing.

      Schilling has been noted in the past for being an avid MMO gamer, I believe DAOC at one point as well as Everquest 2. So at the very least it's something he's probably going to be interested in, as opposed to just having something to pour some of his money into.

      http://www.game-reviews.ca/news_1163.htm [game-reviews.ca]
    • Both Spawn and Evil Prophecy sucked balls. Todd's games aren't all that great. Now, if they get a good game designer to back up his awesome art direction and Salvatore's writing, we have a winner.

      Shilling, just keep writing those checks.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      And here I was thinking that two terrible writers and a baseball player I've never heard of (which says nothing of his fame, I just only recognize the first two people) have suddenly decided that they have what it takes to compete in absurdly-competitive video game industry because they're famous. I thoroughly enjoyed Todd McFarlane's artwork when I was 13, but it wasn't revolutionary and he was an incredibly poor writer. Salvatore has six or seven thousand pulp fantasy books, like his endless Drow books, b
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Mursk ( 928595 )
        But... they're going to create 'industry-changing games.'

        'Industry-changing!'

    • by shinma ( 106792 )
      You mean "inaction" figures. They're gorgeous plastic statues. ;P

    • I don't know much about the baseball legend, but having his name and money behind the project can't be a bad thing. Let's hope that this is not vaporware in the making, but that they do come out with at least one really hot and solid game, soon!

      That is not to say McFarlane doesn't have money. He is part owner of the Edmonton Oilers --GO OILERS!-- NHL franchise and not only did they make it to the the Stanley Cup last year, they have completely sold out their season tickets this year AND have a lottery-b

    • After seeing how Todd McFarlane messed up the fantasy setting of Ultima Online tramutating it in an hybrid fantasci-fi that everybody stopped to like, I have to say I am less enthusiastic than you.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      ".. but enter RA Salvatore and we have a very well respected Fantasy writer."

      BWAHAHAhahahah.. here, let me fix it for you:
      ".. but enter RA Salvatore and we have a Fantasy hack."

  • Nice to see this (Score:2, Insightful)

    Schilling keeps no secrets about his gaming, but who knew it went to this degree? I for one, am happy to see famous figures branching in different directions. It was only a matter of time before people started to test the gaming waters given the market size now. Where other famous people try acting, commentating, or even signing, Shilling is giving something new a go. I hope he has some success and managed to publish a game. If he does get one out he will surely do well in the New England area, assuming he
    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
      even signing


      Yeah, it would be amazing if famous people started signing. The jerks just think people are looking to sell those autographs on EBay or something. Now, where did I put my memorabilia price guide?

      Layne
  • Comedic help? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nsmike ( 920396 )
    Maybe Todd could call up Seth... Inject a little humor into it as well.
  • I can't wait until they release the game in five limited-edition, sparkling covers, with another five limited-edition online add-ons. Collect all 25!!!

    Then of course there will be no resale value if you've actually opened the game...
    • In all fairness, the "variant covers syndrome" was one of the reasons McFarlane left Marvel to start Image comics.
      • And to be honest, I've never heard that before, it definitely could be true... buuut he ran the same scheme at Image. He runs the same scheme with his action figures. So my guess would be that he was upset that Marvel was profiting from it, so he left to make his own money.

        Its hard to argue against McFarlane being one of the reasons the comic bubble burst in the middle to late 90s.
  • by The Dark Caller ( 801115 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @01:50PM (#16053818) Homepage
    I had the opportunity to live with Salvatore's younger son last year. . . and while I didn't care for the kid, I've got to say that his dad is incredibly awesome. He nabbed us some free swag from Sony and promised to tweak any EQ chars we created - his kid's chars were evidence of this. So while I don't know a lot about the others, I can say that Salvatore's got some serious gamer cred. . . say what you will about his novels, the guy is good. We'll ignore Demonstone for now, Mr. S. :)
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @01:51PM (#16053825)
    Does this sound like a bad to anyone else? These guys are all out of their element. To their credit, Schilling and Salvatore both have some business experience in the pen and paper realm, but that's not neccessarily going to translate into software success. If I had to bet money here, I'd wager that this company is a place for Schilling to dump money that would otherwise be spent paying taxes.
    • Does this sound like a bad to anyone else? These guys are all out of their element.

      In my opinion a successful game is composed of several parts: gameplay, graphic engine, artwork, story, and execution. These people all have good business skills. Salvatore has just the right level of not too involved story telling that would be ideal for really captivating video games. McFarlen has the artwork part down pat. They're all gamers so they have good background and possibly the ability to judge good gameplay.

      • by cgenman ( 325138 )
        According to the article, they've most likely licensed GameBryo. That largely takes care of the 3D rendering part (though not any game-specific effects) but has no gameplay component.

        And yes, these are all great businessmen in entertainment industries and a baseball player (sorry Schilling). They have a much better chance than most startups.
    • by neelm ( 691182 )
      Yes, because those "in this element" do so well at good, solid games. Gaming needs the risk takers, and these guys sound like they are it. The guys "in the element" can start cloning (what they do best) whatever comes out of the studio.
  • RTS games perhaps? (Score:4, Informative)

    by fireduck ( 197000 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @01:53PM (#16053842)
    In addition to Schilling's love of Everquest, he also started his own company [multimanpublishing.com] to produce supplements/scenarios/modules for various tactical board games like Advanced Squad Leader. I wouldn't be surprised if one of this new company's first games is some sort of tactical combat ala Myth or a more traditional RTS game. Given Salvatore's involvement, it'd likely be some sort of Fantasy based venture.
  • Both Curt Schilling [ign.com] and R. A. Salvatore [sffworld.com] are former/current/long-time Everquest players. I'm very excited to see what they come up with.
    • Hopefully as long time EQ players they've tired of grinding then? That's really what keeps me out of the MMO scene, is the grinding. The level treadmills. The bullshit item collection. Back when everything had the freedom of text, the users could come up with their own content, build the world, grow their character in a very literal sense. Spending hours stalking spawn points or mining ore or doing the same thing over and over again to obtain some item everyone has isn't role playing. Its just not. N
  • You put on the +4 Bloody Sock. You throw the fastball.

    but seriously. Kind of a weird group of people, but it'll be interesting to see what they come up with.
  • That smell... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by imbroken3a ( 862091 )
    Smell's like Daikatana.
  • To Schilling / McFarlane:

    Need an Interactive Media and Game Development intern?
  • ...my Drizzt Do'Urden books and my collection of glass dragons for their front office!
  • Ion Storm Redux? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @02:10PM (#16053972)
    So... we've got a guy whose action figure designs border on the Liefeldian, another guy whose main claims to fame are writing about angsty fantasy icons that can kill you with little more than a look, and writing about dropping moons on other sci-fi icons... and a baseball mogul. There's a lot of money being brought into play here, yes, and names familiar to those interested in traditionally 'geeky' pursuits like comics and gaming... but I'm not convinced that any of them have any idea of how to manage a development house. Sure, they're 'superstars' in their own right, but so were John Romero, Stevie Case and Todd Porter... and they were steeped in the industry before squandering the megabucks invested in them.

    If these guys can pull it off, great. We can always use another good, solid development house kicking games out. Unfortunately, there's still a world of difference between being an avid gamer and being a game developer, and a similar degree of difference between being an artist on paper and being an artist in three dimensions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PylonHead ( 61401 )
      Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner.

      I predict that Armadillo Aerospace will land on the moon before these guys put out a good game.
    • by le0p ( 932717 ) *
      There's a lot of money being brought into play here, yes, and names familiar to those interested in traditionally 'geeky' pursuits like comics and gaming... but I'm not convinced that any of them have any idea of how to manage a development house.

      And that money could be used to hire someone that does know how to manage a game development house. I say lets give them a chance before planting flowers on the companys grave. Besides it's not like they're planning to finish Duke Nukem Forever or something, th
  • The Recipe (Score:4, Funny)

    by 2megs ( 8751 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @02:23PM (#16054071)
    Does anyone else think a combination of baseball, MMOs, comics, and sci-fi/fantasy sounds exactly like the formula for every major publisher's current product lineup? That's not to say they might not make some very good games in these genres, but they're probably going to make games in roughly the same mold as, well, games.

    When Henry Kissinger and Rikki Lake team up with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to make video games, we'll talk "industry-changing".
    • by Thrymm ( 662097 )
      There's already a baseball MMORPG not a bad one either...

      http://www.ultimatebaseballonline.com/ [ultimateba...online.com]
    • by billdar ( 595311 ) *
      I've seen porno's that start this way too...

    • I wouldn't expect anything original from any of these guys - aside from realizing that there was a market for high-end action figures, Todd McFarlane hasn't been involved in anything interested since the early to mid 1990's when Spawn was still new and different. RA Salvatore is just a guy who writes the same book over and over, changing the location - his work is so formulaic that he could be replaced by a shell script that added a lot of simple words and fight scenes to anything involving Norse/Germanic m
  • Seriously... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SimDarth ( 975287 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @03:11PM (#16054460)
    If two medical doctors can get together and form a successful company like Bioware then a baseball player, comic book legend and fantasy author should be able to do something other than sound like a bad geek-joke punchline. Best of luck to them as long as they can push out something good.
  • Multiman Publishing, a company Schilling apparently owns a large part of, publishes a lineup of strategy games. I think they acquired most of them from Avalon Hill. These are the kinds of games played with cardboard counters on hex-tiled maps.
  • Long before Schilling became the Man for the Red Sox, he was an avid board war gamer. I knew him as a fellow Squad Leader fanatic back before computer gaming was much more than Zork. He already owns a gaming company for hard-core SL players, MultimanPublishing. In short, he Really knows games, I'm really looking forward to see where he and the rest of the crew goes with this.

    Steven
  • I think this is a great idea. Most of the complains in regards to video games today is they are just sequels and have very few new ideas. Here's the potential for something new. McFarlane and Salvatore are very creative people and now have financial backing to create something new. They might be new to creating video games, but I'm willing to overlook that if it's creative.
  • Here [gamevideos.com] is what happened the last time Todd McFarlane tried to make a video game. Go about three-quarters into the video to see it.

    Rob
  • How could this story run with no comments mentioning Bingbong and Doug Glanville ?

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/stark_jayson/120128 3.html [go.com]

    Slashdot was all over this when it happened:

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/05/19/213622 1 [slashdot.org]
  • Schilling is a great pitcher, McFarlane is a great artist, Salvatore is a great writer (screw you for what you did in Vector prime.... still pissed)

    Why does this sound like a chance to watch a epic disaster from the begining. It's like the hindenburg only starting from when they started working on the airship. Titanic as the first beam is laid down.

    All I can say is this will be hilarious. None of these guys know anything about programming (McFarlane's work with Soul Calibur doesn't count), and unless the
  • Does Samuel L Jackson play EvE-Online?
  • EA aquires Green Monster Games, spreads their staff far and wide and sets them making Madden 08.

    Okay, well not just yet, give them a week maybe ;)?
  • Nothing says "Winning game design" like 3 random celebrities who have no idea what they're doing... am I right?

    The odds of anything palattable coming out of this studio are staggering.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.

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