I’ve been following Gigantic for a while now, since Motiga’s big press reveal back in the summer of 2014, through my hands-on taste of the game at PAX South last year and beyond. Last week, the company announced layoffs, and those came just after layoffs near the end of 2015. Things are looking rather unpleasant for the arena brawler’s chances, even with the backing of Microsoft due to being a Windows 10 exclusive.
Over on Ten Ton Hammer, Lewis Burnell has done a greater analysis of Motiga’s shortcomings, titled “Gigantic: What Went Wrong At Motiga?” To sum it up, Burnell thinks it’s the age-old problem of spending wildly and running out of money before a viable product could be produced.
“…the studio may have been looking at staff expenditure of up to $10 million a year. With no income and having failed to allow players to pre-purchase Gigantic through a founders pack, the studio is inevitably burning through its capital. Without factoring in server costs, studio rental or promotional trips to conventions such as Gamescom, it isn’t entirely surprising that funds have rapidly dried up.”
This doesn’t seem too surprising to me. At PAX South 2015, Motiga had a huge booth, private rooms for demo sessions, and flew in dozens of volunteers. As Burnell points out, they had a similarly large, and expensive, presence at Gamescom:
“a whole host of the Motiga team, including 50 Windows 10 PCs, 30 Xbox One booths, 25 European community coaches and 22 Motiga developers set across two halls, for 5 whole day [sic]”
All of this happened without a single cent of revenue, not even from Founder’s Packs, which Burnell points out as being a huge mistake for Motiga not to offer, comparing it to Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins. It’s led some players to openly question whether the game will ever see a full release.
I hope it does. I haven’t played it in about a year, but I really enjoyed it, even in its unpolished form. Burnell, who has more experience in the game, thinks that too much time is being spent on trying to make perfect a game that is “already of a quality superior to rival products.” That leans a little too close to suggesting it should be shoved out the door in whatever state it’s in than I’m comfortable with, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we did see a rather hasty release in the coming months.