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Mike_B
3rd Sep 2003, 11:08
Adrian Smith and Jeremy Heath-Smith, founders of Core Design, have left their company in order to setup a new UK game developed studio. The release of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness led to Heath-Smiths removal from the Eidos board, who soon later leaving Core Design. His brother Adrian Smith soon followed him. No information is available about the new company.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com

Some of you might already know this but now comes the interesting part:

According to our connections at Core Design, Angel of Darkness should not be on the shelves yet. The release date they were shooting for was Christmas 2003, probably a November release date as most of the rest of the TR games have had. Then, in Summer of 2002, Eidos told the Angel of Darkness team to have the program ready for release in Christmas of 2002, full twelve months before their original projected date of completion. Naturally, this was all but impossible, so Eidos backed the date up to February of this year. In the meantime, two of their staff quit due to a disagreement and the remaining AI programmer was, according to my informer, "not exactly the best programmer we've ever used." In addition, there was major slowdown plaguing the NTSC version and a slew of other bugs that needed to be worked out. What it boiled down to was the entire staff pulling four days of all-nighters for no extra pay in an attempt to get Angel of Darkness out before the end of Eidos's fiscal year so they could report a profit to the shareholders. It was very heavily implied that if it was NOT ready by July of 2003 that they would all lose their jobs.

Sony US gave the green light for the game to be released in North America in July, and so everyone at Core kept their jobs. Sony Europe, however, refused to put their stamp of approval on a product that was so unfinished, and Core was given until August to get it released in Europe. As we all know, they got it out in the rest of the world in August, still not as polished and finished to their liking, but better than the version that shipped to the States. And, despite what Eidos says, they reached their target goals for the year concerning profits.

Shortly after the release of AOD, the department heads at Eidos got together and blasted Core for being "late" in releasing the game, despite the fact that they got it out nearly six months in advance of the time they were slated to release it. Rather than taking the blame for this themselves, they decided to make an example out of the managers at Core and essentially forced both Jeremy and his brother Adrian Smith (who practically FOUNDED Core) to resign. The rest of the staff was told that a review board would be formed later to decide what to do with the rest of the staff. They also informed Core that even though they invented and developed the character of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider video games, Eidos was taking the rights and giving them to Crystal Dynamics, another subsidiary of Eidos (who owns Core and several other development houses in both the US and Europe).

Eidos kept Core in the dark for the next few weeks, with the Eidos Human Relations head coming down and telling them they weren't sure what was going to happen or when or what game Core would be working on next.

Apparently, a group of Core staff met with Jeremy Smith about ten days ago and learned that he is starting up another software development company, that he was basically going to start from scratch, and that he'd picked about 30 people to take with him. This new company is going to be in Derby, somewhere around the current Core building, and is being tenatively named "Circle Studios". Of the people he picked, he said that he was taking mappers, programmers, writers and animators, but didn't have the finances to take any members of the test team, musicians or producers at the moment and they would have to stay with Core for the time being.

A few days later, the Eidos HR guy came back and informed them that Jeremy Smith was, indeed, being allowed to start a new development company (his contract originally stipulated that if he left Core/Eidos, he would not be able to start another development house for at least twelve months) and what was left of the Core staff was going to be reduced even further. Eidos currently has no need of the Core testing staff and a few other people were also selected for dismissal, about twenty people in all. Everyone left at Core would be set to work on a new, smaller project so that Eidos can still keep the name 'Core' in active use (which would help given how much exposure they've had in the world).

Another item that was disclosed to Game Bunker was that Core was in the process of creating another "Fighting Force" game which, according to my source was, "looking really good and could have been released in Feb. 2004". This game, however, was canned and shelved by Eidos after the major staff cuts.

In closing, my informant is one of the people who has been "made redundant" (read as: fired) at Core, the job to be terminated as of the 1st of September.

Sarah Crisman, a staff writer for Game Bunker, wrote this report.


Source: gamebunker (http://www.gamebunker.com/news.php?newsid=1467) & Gamegossip (http://www.gamegossip.com)

Omega_Weapon
3rd Sep 2003, 12:41
I wish them the best of luck in their new venture. After all, success is the best revenge.

daniel
3rd Sep 2003, 12:50
Now this turns the whole AOD desaster into a whole new light...
Though the informations don´t have to be right, even if they´re said to be, I think Core should get the rights on TR back. Eidos badly supports the fans and their customers (at the Games Convention in Germany the people from Eidos didn´t want to answer me some simple questions :mad: ), but I had never believed that they throw out and "destroy" one of their best developers in such a way.
The other question I ask myself now is how Core wants to be able to finish any game if they´re shrunk so much...
Well, time will show the results. But fot he moment I don´t have very friendly thoughts about Eidos´behaviour. What the hell was going through their minds...:(

Marcus T
3rd Sep 2003, 13:37
Well, you're posting at an Eidos forum... perhaps they feel inclined to answer :)

Deekman
3rd Sep 2003, 17:01
Thanks @m. That explains a lot.
My wife went through similar things. The (very large and prestigious) stock photography company she worked for, was swallowed up by an even
larger stock photography company. She remained with the new company
(under a new contract) until the new company was up to speed on what the old
company was doing, then she got laid off. She was only off for a few weeks,
when she was able to land another job at another (albeit smaller) stock photography company which was formed by ex-employees of the first company after the merger. This was all around two years ago.
Now her old boss (from both her old companies, and a very good friend of ours I must add) is working at her new company. Things really do come full circle sometimes.
So, in that light, "Circle Studios" seems quite appropriate.

THE True Lara
3rd Sep 2003, 18:40
This is such a typical story of the big companys buying the smaller companys then shredding and disposing of them :mad:
My sympathies go out to the staff of Core and I wish Jeremy and Adrian all the best setting up a new company to kick serious (Eidos, *cough*) butt! :cool:
Shame they don't have the resources to simply take whole of Core (that is; the staff) from under Eidos's thumb and rename it.
Best of luck guys. http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

Raven
3rd Sep 2003, 21:05
Well well well.

If this is accurate, then Eidos are pretty much emerging as the villains of the piece. Their behaviour in all this has been appalling.
Well, I hope Adrian and Jeremy and their people do really really well. They deserve to make a go of it, and best of luck to them.

Mgardiner
3rd Sep 2003, 21:50
Let me ask you guys this (for all those that think TR should go to Core) if you were eidos and spend millions of dollars on Core and TR getting it all made and processed, shipped, etc... Would you give your millions of dollars investment away when the company pretty much couldnt cut it?

Raven
4th Sep 2003, 03:36
But if the info. above is correct, then it really wasn't Core's fault....

DaveJ
4th Sep 2003, 12:22
Thanks for posting that @m.... pretty much confirms my suspicions about how the whole thing was handled.
Again - best of luck to Jeremy and the new venture.

Omega_Weapon
4th Sep 2003, 12:46
Originally posted by Raven
Well well well.

If this is accurate, then Eidos are pretty much emerging as the villains of the piece. Their behaviour in all this has been appalling.
Well, I hope Adrian and Jeremy and their people do really really well. They deserve to make a go of it, and best of luck to them.

I agree, especially since that AOD did become #1 for June and is still on top ten lists, indicating it didn't do too badly in spite of it's flaws.


Originally posted by Mgardiner
Let me ask you guys this (for all those that think TR should go to Core) if you were eidos and spend millions of dollars on Core and TR getting it all made and processed, shipped, etc... Would you give your millions of dollars investment away when the company pretty much couldnt cut it?

I'd respond by pointing out that it was still CORE that made all of the ones that were successful, including TR 2, which landed the TR series on the list of best-selling games of all time, and even if AOD was a flop, the sales CORE has proven that it can generate are reason enough to keep the TR series with CORE.

I'd also allude to OPM, issue 72:
"We're really pleased with the sales so far," Eidos president Rob Dyer told us, "At this point in the game's life, it's actually the most successful game in the whole series. Critically, Tomb Raider 2 was the big game - but in terms of sales, it was number 3 that was the pinnacle."

Sounds to me like Eidos acted prematurely against CORE, but doesn't want to have to own up to it.

TDC
4th Sep 2003, 16:47
Given Eidos' conduct in mishandling Core and what had become perhaps my favorite gaming franchise, I may not be back to play anything they attach their names to, even if TR7 is the best thing ever.

May there be prosperous times ahead for Circle Studios.

Ash
7th Sep 2003, 01:59
As previously said, thanks for posting that @m - it confirms the whole sorry saga :(

Best wishes to the new venture!

Lara Croft Online
8th Sep 2003, 06:11
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville-- mighty Casey has struck out. :(

FruitofEden
8th Nov 2005, 03:57
Thanks too for posting this @m. I know we are on an Eidos forum but this is good info. in the least, can Eidos not give the rights back to Core to make the rest of the Aod? actually, I bet they wouldnt want to anyway, too much mess has happened since then, sorry. but anyway, I had my suspicions about this before ever reading that article and that just about clarifies it for me. Eidos didnt create TR in the first place, only bought it from them, right? so this kind of seems like a childish squabble. TR rightfully belongs to the creators, not the ones who made a good business venture in marketing someone else's idea. I agree with what everyone has said, in appreciating what this article lets us know. it's a shame that Core was so openly criticized and then members punished like that. I believe that if Eidos hadn't been so dogged about it, other TR fans would shut up about their criticism of Core as well. I like what someone said, about success being the best revenge. only it is a shame that we'll no longer see what was to come after AOD. that's a crime. imo. :mad:

Trinity34
8th Nov 2005, 23:43
Eidos didnt create TR in the first place, only bought it from them, right? so this kind of seems like a childish squabble. TR rightfully belongs to the creators, not the ones who made a good business venture in marketing someone else's idea.

The creators were the ones to sell the rights to Lara, so what does that say about the creators? Eidos had the legal right to make any decision they wanted to about Lara.



only it is a shame that we'll no longer see what was to come after AOD. that's a crime. imo. :mad:


Yes I would have liked to see it also.

maniac44
9th Nov 2005, 01:21
When Eidos was formed back in 1996, it was a combination of five companies...

Domark Software (a development studio), US Gold (a publisher that published CORE games), Simis (a software developer specializing in flight sims), Big Red Software (a developement studio) and CORE Design (a development studio). So CORE was a part of Eidos, not doing work for Eidos.

Chris Daly
9th Nov 2005, 11:22
No mention that I can see of Lara on Circles site but here
is what is said: :)

CiRCLE is an interactive entertainment games producer with a highly respected management team that is focusing the company’s growth strategy on developing games for the Interactive DVD (iDVD) market. The company has successfully entered into licensing agreements with eminent sporting and media brands including ‘FIFA’, ‘FIFA World Cup™’, NBA, ‘The Discovery Channel’, ‘Discovery Kids’ and ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’, with further licences to be announced over the coming months. CiRCLE will utilise these brands to develop, manufacture and internationally distribute high quality interactive games that can be played across all DVD platforms.

They have also released a game called "Without Warning" with terrorism
overtones :o

star girl
10th Nov 2005, 17:44
Thanks a bunch for the information, @m. And I was stupid enough to think that Core released it early because they couldn't control the fans, as they had been waiting for about three years! Silly me.

Eidos was very unfair with Core, I believe. Though I had always been moving along with my life with one advice, that I give to all others who want as well, "The fruit of patience is always sweet." No, not just a normal simple advice, but it has great value if it is being followed. If Eidos had a little patience, they would have given Core enough time to make out a fantastic AOD. But what's done is done, it can't be changed.

My hopes and best wishes to the new venture.

Driber
10th Nov 2005, 21:23
No mention that I can see of Lara on Circles site

look closer (http://www.circle-plc.com/investor_history.asp) ;)

StarChampagne
12th Nov 2005, 20:06
I have to say, I really enjoyed AoD, despite its flaws. It had had a lot of time and effort poured into it, and I think to throw away all that is a terrible waste. It had some flaws, but nothing that wrecked the experience for me, and I really would have liked to see it continued. AoD was at heart a very good game, and it was forced out as a work in progress. Still, I think it was a brilliant game, and best of luck to Circle Studios... you deserve it

Chris Daly
13th Nov 2005, 09:33
Hi Driber
I did see the history comment about former developers of
Lara Croft TombRaider , but there is no mention of Lara
being a Core/ Circle development again. Although Adrian Heath Smiths
words " Its just a matter of where and when " if I recall correctly
at the interview selectable from the menu in Aod- might suggest
Core will one day achieve another Tombraider game. :thumbsup:

There is as we all know some fairly deep water between Core
and Eidos , its a pity their efforts were hurried with Aod.
There is no doubt in my mind the original games and concept
was accomplished by people with belief and skill in achieving
a gaming experience second to none. The interest in the
game has proven that. Perhaps Eidos should allow both Circle
and Crystal development of TR8. and failing that -a better
graphic environment TR1/2/3/4/5 and Aod as a finished product
( with hand icons on/off selectable from the menu , and normal
control logic like the earlier games - Im just putting
in a early suggestion in case its taken up ) :)