Much like Obsidian, Troika was a really talented team. Unfortunately though, its games suffered from a lot of bugs that were not fixed/addressed before their time of release. And although a lot of people think that Vampire: Bloodlines was a financial failure, Troika’s Timothy Cain revealed that all of Troika’s games returned a profit and that the company closed because it was developing games for niche markets.
That was revealed in an interview with RPGCodex. When asked about the risks of being original, Timothy said that Troika was closed because they were developing niche games. Being original and focusing on a specific type of gamers was not the way to go – a few years ago – and we can go as far to say that publishers are still hesitant in focusing on one type of gamers. After all, that’s why Splinter Cell: Blacklist is not a stealth game anymore.
As Timothy said:
“I don’t think Troika closed because we were trying to be too original. We closed because we were not getting contract offers for products we wanted to make, so we voluntarily shut down while we were still in the black, financially. We could lay off employees with severance packages and extend their insurance for a few months, rather than just shut down with no notice and kick everyone out.”
Timothy then added that all of Troika’s games returned profit, something surprising as most people thought that Vampire: Bloodlines was a financial failure. Timothy then concluded that publishers preferred to invest on other studios that were offering more ‘generic’ games – that catered to larger audience – than on them.
“So then the question is, why didn’t we get any offers we liked? Especially since all of our games turned a profit? From the publishers point of view, our previous games had sold to a niche audience, so they were unwilling to fund us to make either a new IP or a large mainstream game based on a licensed IP because their numbers showed that the profit was too small. In other words, they could spend that money at other developers where their rate of return was much higher. It makes total sense from a business point of view, but it’s still sad for Troika and its employees.”
Ironically, we’ve seen in the past few days a lot of publishers and developers stating that this generation of hardware can offer a lot of innovative games. However, most of them are still focusing on games that cater to large audience, and games that are mash-ups of various genres and are influenced by other successful games like Gears of War, Call of Duty and Uncharted 3.