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Well, scapegoat or not, anyone who was around at the time of the Sierra / Vivendi change over will tell you how it went down. Friends that were supposed to be friend played the stabbing game. And from what I understand, without regret. (Even worse). People who were to remain with the company were handed pink slips. So many talented people were shown the door. All you had to do was hang out in the right places to hear the stories from the people themselves. I could understand the “He said, she said” theory, but when your in chat room, or “TalkSpot” and you heard and read things from those who were involved, you kind of felt the horror that went down when they ended up dealing with a snake pit.. The whole deal stunk of sour grapes but one would think I’m doing this to find a scapegoat? Really. I know I should not say such things, but call a spade a spade. They barely did anything that they promised they were going to do. Simple as that. And for that… I can’t think of any other words then “They suck!” They (Vivendi) told people what they wanted to hear when they wanted to hear it and once the deal was signed, they closed the door and locked it. I heard mention by one individual that if they knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen, they would have stopped the whole deal. It’s on those thoughts alone they killed what Sierra was.
I’ll give you one. Empire Earth and Empire Earth 2. They were good games. The rest of them? Like everyone else. No “meat” to the games at all. Like I said before, sure the names were changed, and the textures were changed over, and even a new story line, but deep down in the core, they were like all the rest. Kill’em and Grill’em. Lets shock them with a blood bath. Now I’m in no way a prude saying those games are sheer crap on content alone, because I played a round or two of games like that, but based on the content that was Sierra, they are just plain crap.
I’m sure by today’s standards, Sierra was the Atari 2600 of its day. But damn those were great days. And I would be willing to pull out my old Atari 2006 just to play them again. As for the current games? If I play them at all, they will hold very little shelve life. If I ever try to look back and remember what neat thing I seen in one of the games I’ll be searching forever because they will all be the same. But if I wanted to check out something about “Pulsating Pectorals” I’ll know exactly where I need to go to see it again. 20, 30 years from now, I’ll remember that. 20 30 years from now, I’ll hardly remember a cool looking monster in Doom. They were cool at the time, but easily replaced by the next one to come along.
There is no way you can compare the old games to today’s games. It’s just an empty thought. Back then you had structure and content that kept the mind moving along. Sometimes painstakingly. Today, as long as your hand-eye coordination is good you’re bound to stumble your way through the game somehow. When I was younger, I remember it taking weeks if not months to finish a game because you had to think and use your brain just as much as hand eye coordination. It made buying the game just as important as playing it. You knew for the $30.00 you would be busy for a month or two. Today you’re lucky if it takes you a few days. (Well for me anyway) Hardly worth the investment. But I’ll give you this, once in a great while, there comes a game that boarders on the old and the new, and it’s something I simply can’t ignore, and I dive in like the rest of them, but the majority are nothing more then repackaged crap.
I have been buying Sierra Games back when Kings Quest was first brought out. Yea, the old EGA one with PC Speaker Sound. When Leisure Suit Larry 1 came out for the Tandy Color Computer 3. Back at a time when they were pioneers when they included Tandy 3 Voice Sound and finally started to build compatibility for a new sound card called the Game Blaster (From a little known company back then, called Creative Labs)
I have run the evolution of the adventure game with Sierra. I guess that’s why I understand them so well. I guess that’s why I miss them so much. And that’s why when I look at the Sierra of today, I’m disgusted and appalled that they even use the Sierra name for the crap they put out anymore.
They will never “Be” Sierra. Just like when I put on a mask at Halloween, I’ll never be “Jason” All I’ll be is some ordinary Joe behind a mask of something better known. Something I’ll never be able to be. They keep the Sierra name for one thing and one thing only, so someone somewhere will remember the name and buy a game based on what they remember from the Sierra name.