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Relic Entertainment Now Independent Studio.

28 Mar 2024, 11:58 AM
#1
avatar of Snack_Master

Posts: 65

https://community.companyofheroes.com/coh-franchise-home/company-of-heroes-3/blogs/112-an-independent-company-of-heroes

Official social media Blog & X(Twitter) posts were made early this morning stating that Relic is separating from Sega and is now and independent studio.

What do you think this means for the future of COH3?
28 Mar 2024, 12:22 PM
#2
avatar of mrgame2

Posts: 1794

Sega has been generous and patient
This IS really the end, wasted my life practicing coh3
28 Mar 2024, 13:46 PM
#3
avatar of Hannibal
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I'd take a smaller independent studio creating niche games with clear vision any day over the standard AAA bullshit with publisher and whatnot.
Overall, this should be good news, but I have a personal aversion against large publishers. If Relic managed to clear out its trash working procedures and "uninspired" programmers/designers, they should be able to work more quickly now. If they didn't, then there is one more corrective missing that would put pressure on the studio to fix their problems, although we don't have any info on this ominous "external investor".

We'll have to wait and see. As players, nothing really changes, because we simply don't know how the behaviour of this investor will compare to SEGA. Might be worse, might be better, might be no big change at all.
28 Mar 2024, 14:20 PM
#4
avatar of MajorBloodnok
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I'd take a smaller independent studio creating niche games with clear vision any day over the standard AAA bullshit with publisher and whatnot.

Overall, this should be good news, but I have a personal aversion against large publishers...

We'll have to wait and see. As players, nothing really changes, because we simply don't know how the behaviour of this investor will compare to SEGA. Might be worse, might be better, might be no big change at all.


What the announcement does not mention is that SEGA has made 240 employees redundant in other parts of its empire, most notably Creative Assembly. e.g. IGN Report

The industry has seen sluggish growth and rising costs. Against that background, and following approx 200 Relic redundancies last year, SEGA evidently felt that the only way forward with Relic was to sell it. My guess is that the External Investor could easily be MicroSoft, since it relies on Relic for AoE4. But I doubt if SEGA made much from this project bcs Relic subcontracted more and more of the AoE work.

An alternative External Investor to MS could be a US bank who are looking to flip Relic within, say, 12 months - this would follow the lines of what was proposed to avoid the THQ bankruptcy, but failed when shareholders forced an auction. If this were the case, it might suggest Relic had been acquired for a snip.

Either way, it looks as if the early release of the 2 free BGs etc is timed to coincide with this news. So @ Mrgame2, I don;t see COH3 stopping - rather, there will be more pressure to make it work, including presumably more saleable DLC.



28 Mar 2024, 14:21 PM
#5
avatar of nigo
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Posts: 2238 | Subs: 15

Emona Capital is the winner


https://www.emonacapital.com/portfolio



https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/sega-is-selling-relic-entertainment-and-cutting-240-jobs-in-europe/

Sega said it is selling Relic to a holding company to be newly established by the UK investment company Emona Capital LLP, but that further details weren’t being disclosed due to the request of the transferee


28 Mar 2024, 14:45 PM
#6
avatar of Hannibal
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Posts: 3106 | Subs: 2



What the announcement does not mention is that SEGA has made 240 employees redundant in other parts of its empire, most notably Creative Assembly. e.g. IGN Report

The industry has seen sluggish growth and rising costs. Against that background, and following approx 200 Relic redundancies last year, SEGA evidently felt that the only way forward with Relic was to sell it. My guess is that the External Investor could easily be MicroSoft, since it relies on Relic for AoE4. But I doubt if SEGA made much from this project bcs Relic subcontracted more and more of the AoE work.

An alternative External Investor to MS could be a US bank who are looking to flip Relic within, say, 12 months - this would follow the lines of what was proposed to avoid the THQ bankruptcy, but failed when shareholders forced an auction. If this were the case, it might suggest Relic had been acquired for a snip.

Either way, it looks as if the early release of the 2 free BGs etc is timed to coincide with this news. So @ Mrgame2, I don;t see COH3 stopping - rather, there will be more pressure to make it work, including presumably more saleable DLC.

After seeing nigo's post, you are likely spot on regarding DLCs. I think MS would have disclosed if they bought Relic. They need to make money fast, otherwise they're not interesting. I guess Relic released their update early to frame its "independence" to be a good thing, but I doubt it is.


jump backJump back to quoted post28 Mar 2024, 14:21 PMnigo
Emona Capital is the winner


https://www.emonacapital.com/portfolio

Jesus. That company looks like the worst locust swarm possible.
Some gaming, some fintech stuff, some "rent an employee" company. I don't think that's the best environment for creative game development.

28 Mar 2024, 15:14 PM
#7
avatar of shinasukac

Posts: 90

sega make a right decision cause i dont think coh3 will become better because of the coh3 bad patch level
28 Mar 2024, 15:16 PM
#8
avatar of MajorBloodnok
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After seeing nigo's post, you are likely spot on regarding DLCs. I think MS would have disclosed if they bought Relic. They need to make money fast, otherwise they're not interesting. I guess Relic released their update early to frame its "independence" to be a good thing, but I doubt it is.



Jesus. That company looks like the worst locust swarm possible.
Some gaming, some fintech stuff, some "rent an employee" company. I don't think that's the best environment for creative game development.




SEGASammy Notice


  • The company [SEGA] decided to transfer all shares of Relic, a consolidated subsidiary of the Company. As a result, a loss on business restructuring of approximately 4.7 billion yen is expected to be recorded as extraordinary losses

  • The transferee is a holding company to be newly established by the UK investment company Emona Capital LLP, but details will not be disclosed due to the request of the transferee.

  • Transfer value is not disclosed due to the request of the transferee.

    Transfer value is determined through negotiations with the equity transferee based on the earning forecast of Relic and the result of analysis by a third-party and other, and is recognized as a fair value.


The new owner is a holding company to be established and the price of acquisition is undisclosed. You will see at the beginning of the Notice that SEGA are allowing for a one-off loss of approx $31 million. At a guess, SEGA may have lost some or most of its original $26 million investment. And the secrecy on some vital details may point to an intended flip.
28 Mar 2024, 16:09 PM
#9
avatar of Gdot

Posts: 1165 | Subs: 1

Relic is not 'independent'. They are owned by a UK based investment fund which is known for consolidation and prepackaged debt.

As Relic enters its death throes, I think its a good lesson for people today on WORKING. Work is a job. You are there to make money. Relic on the other hand was clearly run as an adult daycare. Pandering to pandemic woes. Healthy buttery males choosing to 'work' remotely. Playing dungeons and dragons at work. Offering scholarships and internships based on SEXUAL PREFERENCE. Not based on talent or individual drive.

Voted the Best Place to Work in 2022 Canada, well congrats, you don't win these awards by overworking your employees. Their job was to MAKE MONEY. This is the sole reason a business exists.

Instead, SEGA NA employees, soured by the fact SEGA did not give them the same bonuses as SEGA ASia (who actually create titles and games that make money) voted to unionize. Why would you vote to Unionize when you are BLEEDING money. You hold no cards and try to strong arm your employer? Congratulations, enjoy the bread lines.

The skeleton crew left at Relic is now on the clock. These firms don't pour good money into bad. They will continue to eviscerate what is left of salaried talent until they can squeak out a profit. The product will suffer even more.

From the start this game was an absolute disaster. Charging people triple A prices for grade A sh1t. 3 years of development. 350 employees. UNREAL. I am sorry if I am being harsh but they 100% deserve it.
28 Mar 2024, 17:39 PM
#10
avatar of Tiger Baron

Posts: 3143 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post28 Mar 2024, 16:09 PMGdot
Healthy buttery males choosing to 'work' remotely.


Can you elaborate more on this?

I'm curious as to see what possible arguments you might have that are in support of working at an office, which in my opinion is rent for the building in which to facilitate said office space, possibly parking, and probably more potential problems with your employees such as being sick (define it as you wish), stress from a long commute and so on and so forth.

For the record I am not trying to pick a fight here, I'm genuinely looking for good reasons as to why working in an office is preferable to working from home, for both employers and employees because most of the studies that I've read seem to suggest that remote seems to have more pros than cons nowadays.
28 Mar 2024, 18:06 PM
#11
avatar of Gdot

Posts: 1165 | Subs: 1



Can you elaborate more on this?

I'm curious as to see what possible arguments you might have that are in support of working at an office, which in my opinion is rent for the building in which to facilitate said office space, possibly parking, and probably more potential problems with your employees such as being sick (define it as you wish), stress from a long commute and so on and so forth.

For the record I am not trying to pick a fight here, I'm genuinely looking for good reasons as to why working in an office is preferable to working from home, for both employers and employees because most of the studies that I've read seem to suggest that remote seems to have more pros than cons nowadays.


You could easily google this and see a ton of different reasons and theories as to why. Obviously this will be subjective but here is one quick link Study shows remote workers less productive

Second, Relic hired 350 people. Built them a beautiful space to work and collaborate that was VERY expensive. The least the employees could do is come into work and do what they were paid to do. It seems that culture created at Relic was a 'kid-glove' approach where employees were given everything at their whim without actually producing anything of value.

I have no issue with employees reaping benefits or unionizing IF they had created something of value. Instead all they did was create debt and simply under preform. I don't know how else to slice it. One way clear way to combat lack of production is to have a boss (or baby sitter) ensuring the employees are focused and on track. Much harder to accomplish this when people are 'working' from home.
28 Mar 2024, 19:41 PM
#12
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 3600 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post28 Mar 2024, 16:09 PMGdot
Relic is not 'independent'. They are owned by a UK based investment fund which is known for consolidation and prepackaged debt.

As Relic enters its death throes, I think its a good lesson for people today on WORKING. Work is a job. You are there to make money. Relic on the other hand was clearly run as an adult daycare. Pandering to pandemic woes. Healthy buttery males choosing to 'work' remotely. Playing dungeons and dragons at work. Offering scholarships and internships based on SEXUAL PREFERENCE. Not based on talent or individual drive.

Voted the Best Place to Work in 2022 Canada, well congrats, you don't win these awards by overworking your employees. Their job was to MAKE MONEY. This is the sole reason a business exists.

Instead, SEGA NA employees, soured by the fact SEGA did not give them the same bonuses as SEGA ASia (who actually create titles and games that make money) voted to unionize. Why would you vote to Unionize when you are BLEEDING money. You hold no cards and try to strong arm your employer? Congratulations, enjoy the bread lines.

The skeleton crew left at Relic is now on the clock. These firms don't pour good money into bad. They will continue to eviscerate what is left of salaried talent until they can squeak out a profit. The product will suffer even more.

From the start this game was an absolute disaster. Charging people triple A prices for grade A sh1t. 3 years of development. 350 employees. UNREAL. I am sorry if I am being harsh but they 100% deserve it.


I'm not sur if Sega doesn't share the blame of the game issues. I also don't think Coh3 sold that badly if we look at the market expectation for such specific game genre (RTS).
28 Mar 2024, 19:51 PM
#13
avatar of Tiger Baron

Posts: 3143 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post28 Mar 2024, 18:06 PMGdot


You could easily google this and see a ton of different reasons and theories as to why. Obviously this will be subjective but here is one quick link Study shows remote workers less productive

Second, Relic hired 350 people. Built them a beautiful space to work and collaborate that was VERY expensive. The least the employees could do is come into work and do what they were paid to do. It seems that culture created at Relic was a 'kid-glove' approach where employees were given everything at their whim without actually producing anything of value.

I have no issue with employees reaping benefits or unionizing IF they had created something of value. Instead all they did was create debt and simply under preform. I don't know how else to slice it. One way clear way to combat lack of production is to have a boss (or baby sitter) ensuring the employees are focused and on track. Much harder to accomplish this when people are 'working' from home.


Google is where I found the statistics in favor of remote work.

I was wondering more about your own personal opinion since perhaps you have had experience as a remote employer or employee, or both. That's what interested me.
29 Mar 2024, 04:48 AM
#14
avatar of Crecer13

Posts: 2184 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post28 Mar 2024, 19:41 PMEsxile


I'm not sur if Sega doesn't share the blame of the game issues. I also don't think Coh3 sold that badly if we look at the market expectation for such specific game genre (RTS).


SEGA fully shares the blame for CoH3's problems. CoH3 as it is is a completely disastrous live service. SEGA simultaneously created about a dozen games in the live service format. And none of it worked. During the year of service, players received several maps and two battle groups that had already been created before the release (DAK coast defense was shown in screenshots right before the release or a little after). The future two battle groups were also most likely created as part of the development before release. The game is bad both in single player and multiplayer, the game is a failure as a live service and SEGA simply sold useless ballast.
A_E
29 Mar 2024, 09:06 AM
#15
avatar of A_E
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jump backJump back to quoted post28 Mar 2024, 18:06 PMGdot


You could easily google this and see a ton of different reasons and theories as to why. Obviously this will be subjective but here is one quick link Study shows remote workers less productive

Second, Relic hired 350 people. Built them a beautiful space to work and collaborate that was VERY expensive. The least the employees could do is come into work and do what they were paid to do. It seems that culture created at Relic was a 'kid-glove' approach where employees were given everything at their whim without actually producing anything of value.

I have no issue with employees reaping benefits or unionizing IF they had created something of value. Instead all they did was create debt and simply under preform. I don't know how else to slice it. One way clear way to combat lack of production is to have a boss (or baby sitter) ensuring the employees are focused and on track. Much harder to accomplish this when people are 'working' from home.


Not disagreeing with some of what you've said in this thread, but your general attitude to shift the blame of failure onto the 'workers' rather than the decision makers as an overall trend in your comments.

Relic's executive decision makers made some very bad decisions at every turn, over committing to a scope (2 campaigns 4 factions at release) they were likely under funded to achieve, with no respect for what was done for the previous two launches of CoH. Meanwhile they had to do all this whilst using an entirely new engine, the one that was purpose built for AoEIV. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

They also set the tone of the culture you speak of, they work with HR to sign off on policies and working methodologies. They hire the people they want to hire and build their team according to their plan and understanding of what is needed. If that culture and team ends up working from home and only doing what's in their work flow at a steady pace, that's not because they're lazy Vancouver hippies, people work to the culture and their surroundings. If you don't drive performance from the top, you can't just expect it to magically happen.

Also you have the problem of some teams over performing, and some teams under performing. It's clear to me the engineers/coders did really well, the UI/art teams were ridiculously under funded (like a 2 person team), game design had a clear vision to appeal to the CoH1 audience which they largely succeeded in, the marketing team was so far off note and key I wonder if they have ever even played CoH in any meaningful way. When your marketing team is producing things like the flying scalf trailer what chance do you really have? You're an engineer that could have crunched your ass off to make sure COH3 was optimised and then that happens? You simply can't pin it on relic as a 'whole' imo.

I definitely feel that it wasn't just strategic failures, it was also a cultural issue. But I think you haven't gotten the balance right in your posts here between the two, in my opinion at least.
29 Mar 2024, 10:48 AM
#16
avatar of Gdot

Posts: 1165 | Subs: 1



Google is where I found the statistics in favor of remote work.

I was wondering more about your own personal opinion since perhaps you have had experience as a remote employer or employee, or both. That's what interested me.


I am in a leadership role so it was different for me. I worked remote for maybe a total of 3 days, so my sample size isn't great. I realize im at the other end of the spectrum on that topic so I don't expect everyone to take my approach. For me, I figured out quite quickly that I couldn't do my job efficiently from home, even though I wish I could. I 100% have no problem with working remote as long as your production isn't effected. I told my employees no one would face any consequences or would be frowned upon if they were concerned about their health and wanted to stay home. I felt like I needed to 'walk the walk' if I was going to 'talk the talk' so I was and am in the office everyday. 90% of my employees were back in the office in two weeks.

As per Relic, it was up to leadership to recognize that production efficiency was slipping and nip remote working in the bud because clearly things weren't going as planned, imo.

jump backJump back to quoted post29 Mar 2024, 09:06 AMA_E


Not disagreeing with some of what you've said in this thread, but your general attitude to shift the blame of failure onto the 'workers' rather than the decision makers as an overall trend in your comments.

Relic's executive decision makers made some very bad decisions at every turn, over committing to a scope (2 campaigns 4 factions at release) they were likely under funded to achieve, with no respect for what was done for the previous two launches of CoH. Meanwhile they had to do all this whilst using an entirely new engine, the one that was purpose built for AoEIV. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

They also set the tone of the culture you speak of, they work with HR to sign off on policies and working methodologies. They hire the people they want to hire and build their team according to their plan and understanding of what is needed. If that culture and team ends up working from home and only doing what's in their work flow at a steady pace, that's not because they're lazy Vancouver hippies, people work to the culture and their surroundings. If you don't drive performance from the top, you can't just expect it to magically happen.

Also you have the problem of some teams over performing, and some teams under performing. It's clear to me the engineers/coders did really well, the UI/art teams were ridiculously under funded (like a 2 person team), game design had a clear vision to appeal to the CoH1 audience which they largely succeeded in, the marketing team was so far off note and key I wonder if they have ever even played CoH in any meaningful way. When your marketing team is producing things like the flying scalf trailer what chance do you really have? You're an engineer that could have crunched your ass off to make sure COH3 was optimised and then that happens? You simply can't pin it on relic as a 'whole' imo.

I definitely feel that it wasn't just strategic failures, it was also a cultural issue. But I think you haven't gotten the balance right in your posts here between the two, in my opinion at least.


I certainly glossed over that but to circle back around, it absolutely and 100% starts at the top. The work culture is a direct product of the people at the top, they set the tone. I don't work in the video game field so I am looking from the outside in but I think everyone in a leadership position should be axed or certainly up for debate. Many times in the corporate world you have leaders put into position thru connections or corporate politicking. My guess is Relic had a flavor of that, who those people were or what exactly their responsibilities were; I do not know. What exactly would you say you do here? - Office Space

I was using workers as a collective looking from SEGAs perspective down. I realize I did not convey that message well and things are always more nuanced as per the inner workings of a project.

Like you, I love this series and played a ton of it so I am bitter, mad and disappointed. When you fail, there is plenty of blame to go around.








A_E
29 Mar 2024, 10:55 AM
#17
avatar of A_E
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jump backJump back to quoted post29 Mar 2024, 10:48 AMGdot


I am in a leadership role so it was different for me. I worked remote for maybe a total of 3 days, so my sample size isn't great. I realize im at the other end of the spectrum on that topic so I don't expect everyone to take my approach. For me, I figured out quite quickly that I couldn't do my job efficiently from home, even though I wish I could. I 100% have no problem with working remote as long as your production isn't effected. I told my employees no one would face any consequences or would be frowned upon if they were concerned about their health and wanted to stay home. I felt like I needed to 'walk the walk' if I was going to 'talk the talk' so I was and am in the office everyday. 90% of my employees were back in the office in two weeks.

As per Relic, it was up to leadership to recognize that production efficiency was slipping and nip remote working in the bud because clearly things weren't going as planned, imo.



I certainly glossed over that but to circle back around, it absolutely and 100% starts at the top. The work culture is a direct product of the people at the top, they set the tone. I don't work in the video game field so I am looking from the outside in but I think everyone in a leadership position should be axed or certainly up for debate. Many times in the corporate world you have leaders put into position thru connections or corporate politicking. My guess is Relic had a flavor of that, who those people were or what exactly their responsibilities were; I do not know. What exactly would you say you do here? - Office Space

I was using workers as a collective looking from SEGAs perspective down. I realize I did not convey that message well and things are always more nuanced as per the inner workings of a project.

Like you, I love this series and played a ton of it so I am bitter, mad and disappointed. When you fail, there is plenty of blame to go around.




Nice one seems we've covered the situation from both ends now, and we're broadly aligned!

Damn I really need to watch Office Space again haven't seen it in 15 years.
29 Mar 2024, 11:18 AM
#18
avatar of Gdot

Posts: 1165 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post29 Mar 2024, 10:55 AMA_E


Nice one seems we've covered the situation from both ends now, and we're broadly aligned!

Damn I really need to watch Office Space again haven't seen it in 15 years.


I'm glad to hear that. On a personal note, I know you and I didn't see eye-to-eye and maybe even butted heads before; but I always have admired your dedication to the series. You put in the work and did the 'heavy lifting' for the community and that is undeniable. Did Relic appreciate that? I sure hope so. I know many in the community did and I am one of them. Sorry to sound so sappy but I feel like as the end is approaching (imo) and I had to say these things.





A_E
29 Mar 2024, 11:35 AM
#19
avatar of A_E
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jump backJump back to quoted post29 Mar 2024, 11:18 AMGdot


I'm glad to hear that. On a personal note, I know you and I didn't see eye-to-eye and maybe even butted heads before; but I always have admired your dedication to the series. You put in the work and did the 'heavy lifting' for the community and that is undeniable. Did Relic appreciate that? I sure hope so. I know many in the community did and I am one of them. Sorry to sound so sappy but I feel like as the end is approaching (imo) and I had to say these things.




Thanks for the kind words! Never knew we didn't see eye to eye in any serious way haha, just saw you as a spirited debater and a typical centre right American wealthy guy, so you are of your particular world views etc, which isn't a bad thing. Always fun to have a good debate!

https://y.yarn.co/fe526877-32bc-4d5b-b7f1-a79288ccae11_text.gif
29 Mar 2024, 13:07 PM
#20
avatar of Osinyagov
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When i read the news, i was inspired by them! If i remember correctly, SEGA was resposible for the aggressive microtransactions in CoH 2, drop of the DoW 3 and kinda resposible for some deisgn decisions in general. But reading this thread gives me some confustion. Feels like it's beginning of the end, and I don't want these studio to turn into ashes of what it was.

I want it to be like Eugen Systems, when they keep their games alive and lifecircle of the games not stricked to some small period. Because they still have CoH 2 with active players base, despite the fact that game abandoned 3 years ago. Not speaking about DoW community (i've heard they ran competetive mod for DoW 2 and keep the game alive).

jump backJump back to quoted post29 Mar 2024, 09:06 AMA_E
the UI/art teams were ridiculously under funded (like a 2 person team)

That was a shock for me, can't believe they still using placeholders from CoH 2 and not cleared up UI. Not speaking that i offered my help back in the days with UI (or at least QA in that area), and was kindly rejected.

jump backJump back to quoted post29 Mar 2024, 09:06 AMA_E
game design had a clear vision to appeal to the CoH1 audience which they largely succeeded in, the marketing team was so far off note and key I wonder if they have ever even played CoH in any meaningful way.


IMO they tried to get on several chairs here - giving CoH1 vibe for old players and be popular among new players with most iconic stuff and cheese. Having DAK fighting in Italy is something out of aethetic, like USA and UK in CoH 2. And i missed the part, why a lot of fun/cheese/unique stuff was nerfed a lot/removed from CoH 2, but has a place in CoH 3.

CoH 1 was a masterpiece because it has direct theater of war with outstanding atmosphere, and non-standart gameplay (for 2006 RTS games). CoH 3 has a potential, i really impressed how they pushed graphics forward with new engine, but it lacks of atmospere sometimes, and suffers from cheese hardly. I really hope 1.6 will do some positive changes in that area.
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