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Posted (edited)

If you havent already heard of, Game-Labs Studio got bought by Stillfront Group, that now holds 100% of the shares, essentially putting the studio under their complete control.

 

The problem? Stillfront stinks of microtransaction f2p mobile games (they even make it publicly).

 

People are worried of what this will mean for Game Labs projects, especially UA:D.

Will Game Labs just continue biz as usual? Will the new heads speed up and finish the development of UA:D in the way it would be preferable for us? Is UAD, for being rather incomplete, just end up going to the trash bin? Is it gonna ship with shitty micros like "pay fo unlock mk6 22 inch"?

There isnt anything related to Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts in the statement, so we dont have much info right now, but Im worried things will take a turn for the worse.

 

What do you think/know about this?

 

EDIT (9th of May): Btw, @Nick Thomadis, please say something about this. We want to know what lies ahead for both Game-Labs and us as the players.

Edited by Stormnet
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If you havent already heard of, Game-Labs Studio got bought by Stillfront Group, that now holds 100% of the shares, essentially putting the studio under their complete control.   The problem

I know I'm somewhat grumpy at times, however I genuinely like just about everyone here, and furthermore I know exactly what I was doing and that my comments broke the rules however I'm pretty chapped

Thanks for responding. Its just that Stillfront's portfolio and the complete aquisition of GL left us worrying about the future of GL, plus it was unnanounced and a complete surprise. However, as

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Posted (edited)

Let's hope the takeover results in more funding for ongoing projects. However, I must admit I am slightly worried judging from the portfolio of Stillfront. It seems that are mostly involved in uninteresting free play mobile games. Perhaps they want to buy more quality for their portfolio and therefore acquired Game-labs. However, to end our worries it would be great if @Nick Thomadis or another developer or company related person could at least inform us whether this will affect any of the ongoing projects.

Edited by Tycondero
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I mean, I'd say leaving the game incomplete might open them up to legal issues at the very least, so eventually, a final product will probably end up existing. I am worried about what this will mean in terms of the development, as others have noted, the company that bought game labs seems questionable. 

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From the press release:

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As a part of the Stillfront Group, the studio will continue expanding and improving its portfolio of premium games, but also expand into GaaS (games as a service) and free-to-play, with a clear focus on historical strategy and battle themes. The acquisition of Game Labs further strengthens Stillfront’s existing portfolio of mid-hardcore games in the strategy and action genre, addressing primarily the attractive 30+ male audience.

https://www.stillfront.com/en/stillfront-group-acquires-game-labs-inc-and-further-strengthens-its-portfolio-of-strategy-and-action-games-and-presents-fy-2021-guidance-for-the-acquisition/

Get ready to Pay Per Shell™!

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Honestly, I just don't want microtransactions to become the name of the game. I've got no problem supporting a game I enjoy by spending money on in-game items, after all, that's how games are able to progress/develop further and that's how the devs put food on the table. So long as they deliver a good, quality game that I thoroughly enjoy that isn't plagued by microtransactions...I'll be happy.

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2 minutes ago, HistoricalAccuracyMan said:

Honestly, I just don't want microtransactions to become the name of the game. I've got no problem supporting a game I enjoy by spending money on in-game items, after all, that's how games are able to progress/develop further and that's how the devs put food on the table. So long as they deliver a good, quality game that I thoroughly enjoy that isn't plagued by microtransactions...I'll be happy.

I hope you're right.

Hey @Nick Thomadis, are you still gonna be working on this or will the ball be passed to a Stillfront team?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ThatZenoGuy said:

Welp, there goes the game I suppose.

I don't think that they will abandon or ruin the game tbh. UAD will very likely be fully supported by the new publisher. I cannot imagine that they would drop the ball on a project that has advanced this much. Not only would that be pure waste of money, but also of potential. I think Stillfront is interested in actually these type of games and the Naval Action genre, otherwise they could have likely decided to buy out another studio (there are plenty). Perhaps they (eventually) want to make a world of warships counterpart which is more hardcore and in depth. Game-labs' experience with both naval games and strategy games seems to fit that well.

In addition, as @VarangianGarde also highlighted, Stillfront stated that they want to acquire the possibility for adding premium (read non-casual mobile) mid-hardcore strategy games focussed for a 30+ male audience. If this statement is true, I see no reason for Stillfront to demand Game-labs make anything else besides what they were already doing. Perhaps there will be somewhat more focus on GaaS or cross-platform compatibility in the future to get a similar business model as wargaming. I am fine with that as long as UAD is finished to a state as promised. If anything, perhaps they want to put even more resources in this game. UAD has huge potential and targets a somewhat smaller, but similar (huge) audience of naval enthusiasts like World of Warships. World of Warships and War Thunder do very well, so if anything backing UAD should be rewarding for them. 

Edited by Tycondero
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22 minutes ago, Tycondero said:

If anything, perhaps they want to put even more resources in this game. UAD has huge potential and targets a somewhat smaller, but similar (huge) audience of naval enthusiasts like World of Warships. World of Warships and War Thunder do very well, so if anything backing UAD should be rewarding for them. 

I think you are over-estimating the overlap between the audiences of UA:D and World of Warships. They don't really compete one is more marketed as a grand strategy game and the other is more of a tactical MMO game. If anything they might nudge UA:D into the direction WOWS direction and that is going to make no one happy.

 

While their targeted audience is  30+ males I don't think anyone here is going to be impressed if we're going to be forced to buy virtual currency and timers. We already have boat loads of the stuff as crappy mobile games.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Tankaxe said:

While their targeted audience is  30+ males I don't think anyone here is going to be impressed if we're going to be forced to buy virtual currency and timers. We already have boat loads of the stuff as crappy mobile games.

I don't think crappy mobile games qualify as 30+ hardcore male games. So, unless they just try to placate the reader of the press-release (which can always happen), I do not believe they would have bought this studio for making something they have no experience of in making. 

Also, UAD will not have multiplayer, so I think we are saved from the casuals xD.

Edited by Tycondero
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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Tycondero said:

I do not believe they would have bought this studio for making something they have no experience of in making. 

Naval Action is pretty much a multiplayer game with microtransaction and a whole lot of grind. If they can make a game like that, it's not hard to switch to mobile games. Buying "cheap" and somewhat experienced programmers/artists and probe the mobile market with them is not unheard of. Keep in mind that it is too early to claim that these horror stories will happen, but corporate history is grim enough to be concerned by these kind of move.

35 minutes ago, Tycondero said:

Also, UAD will not have multiplayer, so I think we are saved from the casuals xD.

Yet. Now for the big reveal about a multiplayer game where you design warships and fight in Le epic 15v15 battles.

Edited by Tousansons
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Posted (edited)

https://www.stillfront.com/en/stillfront-group-acquires-game-labs-inc-and-further-strengthens-its-portfolio-of-strategy-and-action-games-and-presents-fy-2021-guidance-for-the-acquisition/

Quote

“With the acquisition of Game Labs we strengthen our position in the converging games market adding valuable niche genre competence in the strategy and action genre. Game Labs is an experienced and knowledgeable studio with a proven ability to launch high quality games. The studio has promising games in early access phase with large scaling potential, as well as a strong pipeline of unannounced titles. We see excellent potential for scaling Game Labs' games cross-platform as part of Stillfront, leveraging Stillfront’s extensive experience in free-to-play combined with Game Labs' expertise in PC client”, says Jörgen Larsson, CEO & Founder, Stillfront Group.

“Joining Stillfront opens up a new chapter for Game Labs, allowing us to bring even more excitement and emotions for our beloved players by improving current games and by introducing new worlds for players to escape to. Stillfront’s expertise in mobile and cross-platform, paired with its wider knowledge of the market, creates new opportunities that we would never even have imagined possible”, says Maxim Zasov, CEO of Game Labs.

The founders and other key employees will remain within Game Labs and be part of the management of Game Labs post-closing of the transaction.

I guess we will have to see how it will play out. Could be much better than we now fear, but also cause a whole lot of issues. The fact that the CEO of Game-Labs remains within the management could be helpful, unless he wanted to cash out of course.

Edited by Tycondero
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Lots of worrying going on now, across the places (discord, even here in the stasis chamber). What I find most confusing is the silence of game-labs about this important fact which emerged out of thin air as surprise, while they had several months to think about how to tell the playerbase. That silence isn't exactly beneficial for pre-orders kept on Sea Legends either, after what I read on discord.

At least the Ferengi here come as a Swedish company and no moneylaundering shady letterbox company on Cyprus.

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2 minutes ago, Cetric de Cornusiac said:

Lots of worrying going on now, across the places (discord, even here in the stasis chamber). What I find most confusing is the silence of game-labs about this important fact which emerged out of thin air as surprise, while they had several months to think about how to tell the playerbase. That silence isn't exactly beneficial for pre-orders kept on Sea Legends either, after what I read on discord.

At least the Ferengi here come as a Swedish company and no moneylaundering shady letterbox company on Cyprus.

Yeah, lots of concern on multiple fronts and i don't blame them. Stillfronts Portofolio looks pretty questionable too be fair, and while they say they will continue as is. They will most likely switch to a more quartile short gain profit strategy, as games like this won't exactly bring home the bread anytime soon, unless they shove in microtransactions and DLC containing stuff that should of been in the base game.

I have little enthusiasm with this sort thing, looking at the current state of the gaming industry and how many good companies got bought up and the shattered/killed off at some point (westwood studios, bioware, bullfrog, Black box, maxis, pandemic, visceral).

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Posted (edited)

People here aren't really the ones to give everyone much hope either :(. It almost sounds like we need to start to arrange a funeral. I can't blame you, however I do hope that the developers soon inform us all on how Game-labs sees its own future. Judging from the lack of communication I fear they will leave us hanging without telling anything till the day we get some more info on the future of this project. My biggest fear is actually that this game will get the "fast-treatment" meaning we get some sort of buggy campaign and release it in an awful state. Also, as all shares of Game-labs were bought (100%) this means they have no say in their own future anymore whatsoever. If Stillfront decides to sell off all IP and force them to make mobile crappy games they can even do so or quit their jobs. 😭

I also feel for Nick and the other devs, it is not their fault. I do hope the situation will become clear soon though, for all of us.

 

Edited by Tycondero
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My guess is that they wont interfere in the current UA:D game design, but we will see this game get hastily finished by the end of this year with a f2p sequel announced soon after and it will be a copy of this game except with premium ammo and skins, research trees and horrible grind. I hope that the devs will just quit if the new owner will interfere with the current game. It would probably be the worst thing to see the devs become shills for f2p grinding model and regress this whole forum into their totalitarian shithole where criticism wont be allowed.

Still, if the current AI will become PvE and they will integrate PvP as the main part, I (and hope other people here) wont accept any kind premium time or currency as a compensation for the 46€ we paid for an offline product focusing on campaign and historical accuracy with ZERO additional transactions. No less than a full refund if they will impatiently decide that chasing whales is more important than the interests of the game-labs current fanbase.

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1 hour ago, Zuikaku said:

And the devs are still maintaining strict radio silence. What do they think they are? Merchant raiders?

They could also very well be enjoying their week end/day off.

While the news is concerning, we can at least wait a bit more before making the forums blow up. After all we already know they're not that fast with communication.

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1 hour ago, Zuikaku said:

And the devs are still maintaining strict radio silence. What do they think they are? Merchant raiders?

At least your comment made me laugh xD. Thanks for that, it is bad enough already. 


Another thing we that could have happened is that perhaps Game-labs ran out of funds/resources to finish stuff. Perhaps this is an attempt to save some games, we just do not know.

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17 hours ago, HistoricalAccuracyMan said:

Honestly, I just don't want microtransactions to become the name of the game. I've got no problem supporting a game I enjoy by spending money on in-game items, after all, that's how games are able to progress/develop further and that's how the devs put food on the table. So long as they deliver a good, quality game that I thoroughly enjoy that isn't plagued by microtransactions...I'll be happy.

Spending money on in-game items is the definition of microtransactions

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Posted (edited)

Looking at the replies, its clear people are worried.

In my opinion, those originally in charge of Game-Labs selling the whole studio completely without keeping at least some of the company to themselves could be a mistake, as said above, Stillfront Group is now essentially their boss, so now Nick (a pseudonym for Maxim Zasov, the CEO of GL acording to SF, or is Maxim a diferent guy?wont have a say on how the company will run. 

Now, I dont know if SF plans to convert GL into something like its previous studios, or if it is just an atempt into non-f2p RTSs without much bullshit, but there is a chance they might atempt to nudge (or simply force) GL into introducing some degree of micros into their games. Might not be as bad as F2P games, however they may try it.

There is lots of incertainty, yet we might be in front of a cross road.

 

Game Labs gets more resources to finish their games faster;

Game Labs simply keeps going on like it has been to the present game only paying their new owners their profits;

Game Labs is made into Gaem Labbings, one of Gachafront' Gropu's studios with a focus on delivering games to milk off people's wallets.

Edited by Stormnet
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Posted (edited)

"In my opinion, those originally in charge of Game-Labs selling the whole studio completely without keeping at least some of the company to themselves could be a mistake"

Ah yes! And you are the perfect person to say others how to run their business right? You know about everything that is happen behind the scenes right?

And in my humble opinion i remember to play some mods made by him in NTW. So for a guy that made mods , created a video game company to now selling for millions . I can only congratulate him for what he achieved in life. And he made some very good games which i enjoy. Some more, another one not so much. So thanks i guess.

My only concern is if anything bad is going to happen to UAD because of this transaction. Or maybe is the opposite. Now gamelabs can have more financial resources to develop the games. Who knows? Not me and of course not you.

So relax and carry on. Or as they say in Portugal. "Os cães ladram e a caravana passa."

Edited by o Barão
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