Articles

Purcell Comments on Sam & Max 2 05 Mar, 2004, 15:29 / 57 comments

Just got this note in my inbox from Sam & Max's creator, Steve Purcell. He said I could share it so here's the note in its entirety:
LucasArts' sudden decision to stop production on Sam & Max is mystifying. ?Sam & Max was on schedule and coming together beautifully.

I couldn't have been more pleased with the quality of the writing, gameplay, hilarious animation and the gorgeous 3D world that Mike Stemmle's team has created. The rug has been pulled out from under this brilliant team who've so expertly retooled Sam & Max for the 21st century.

I'm extremely frustrated and disappointed especially for the team who have devoted so much effort and creativity to Sam & Max. It's a shame to think that their accomplishments, as well as the goodwill that has been growing in the gaming press toward this project, will all go to waste due to this shortsighted decision.

Thanks everyone, for continuing to make your feelings known.

--Steve Purcell
If you haven't yet, as before we're encouraging everyone to send LucasArts a letter letting them know how you feel (please limit swearing to around 10% of your letter so they might actually read it).

Though unrelated, its worth noting that on Gamespot today, Freelance Police is listed as number nine on the list of top 10 most popular games of the day (at the bottom of the page). On the Gamespot PC page, they're number four.

Comments

  • konglomerat on 26 Apr, 2004, 10:48…
    from slovenia:

    we should get a team together of about 2000 kids and storm them with letters and orders... that should loosen lucasarts up and convince them to continue with production...

    reply me to slovenia

    bye
  • El_Pollo_Diablo on 09 Mar, 2004, 19:59…
    Here is my letter!

    Dear LucasArts,

    Incase you hadn't guessed I am writing to express my complete
    dissatisfaction with the decision to cease all production on the sequel to
    one of the 1990's greatest games. I know the world of business is a strange
    and wonderful place not unlike a mystery vortex, but sometimes you just have
    to shove a separated hand (complete with magnet) in to the worlds largest
    ball of twine and see if you grab that mood ring.

    If you do then you have succeeded in your quest to retrieve the ring, and
    you could make a whole load of dollars showing off your prize. This could
    have happened with Sam and Max 2, from the hype and previews of the game it
    looked truly inspired and original, but you've decided not to attach the
    magnet to the hand, hence the ring is still lost in the ball of twine, you
    have done this with Sam and Max, by locking it away from the public, in the
    depths of Lucasville. Please let the mood ring glow and make Uncle Shavoole
    (The Public) happy by reuniting him with his greatest asset (being, you
    guessed it! Sam and Max 2).

    Holy Cripes on toast, please reconsider other random acts of senseless
    violence will not only be Max's forte!

    A Disgruntled Fan,

    Graeme Chicken
  • lagamorph321 on 09 Mar, 2004, 17:40…
    Visit savesamandmax.com and write pr@lucasarts.com!
  • Teeboy on 08 Mar, 2004, 09:01…
    From their website.

    LucasArts will be at GDC 2004. Come visit us at Booth #1941

    Anybody going who would be willing to voice our objections?
  • Scummbuddy on 08 Mar, 2004, 11:09…
    Haha...its probably some poor intern that'll be in the booth, thats not connected to the cancellation, yet we'll give him a piece of our mind. He'll run screaming from the booth and be driven mad, quitting the next day. Then we'll take all the memorobilia from the booth, or we could sit down and make all these promises to the press about "upcoming adventure games" and how the genre has not died, but LucasArts, the company known for outstanding adventures, is going to MAKE there be a marketplace for them.

    What if this game becomes the martyr for what brings back adventures. If they are seriously getting swamped with an uproar and others notice it, they may try it themselves, you know, without the cancelling.

    I either want to work at LucasArts so I can help run it right, or you know, stay away from a vampire company, who sucks the creativity from their underlings and leave them there to convulse.
  • Sheriff Gringo on 07 Mar, 2004, 15:04…
    Solution for un-cancelling!

    Change the name to Sam & Max: Star Wars Police!
  • ZONE on 08 Mar, 2004, 09:54…
    Mayby we should order the game at "store@lucasarts.com (email for store order-related inquiries only)" and them get a feeling about the money they will loose.

    thanke you from germany.
  • konglomerat on 26 Apr, 2004, 10:44…
    I think you're right, but what if we get a team together of about 2000 kids and teenagers all around the world and then storm them with letters and orders...
  • Rapp Scallion on 07 Mar, 2004, 07:49…
    I think mojo should boycott lucasarts until we get the news that SNM2 is un-cancelled. I don't want this to be a only starwars site. Old lucasarts stuff: mmkay! New lucasarts stuff: ljkasfkljsgkssfjhgkajs!!!!! If they're not un-cancelling the game, of course.
  • Josty on 07 Mar, 2004, 09:27…
    Won't happen. The cancelling of the cancellation, I mean.

    I've been hoping for the last few days now that would change their minds, but who am I kidding? Myself.
  • black_sheep on 07 Mar, 2004, 14:33…
    First, to support the evidendce that Star Wars titles always have to come out of doors is " Star Wars: Obi Wan". I mean that game really really sucked, and although it really sucked,and Lucas Arts knows that, they sold the damn thing. oh, IT WAS ALSO CANCELLED! AND THEN UNCANCELLED!!, but they thought the two magical words always do the trick.

    so there is a slight chance Lucas Arts might uncancel the excfellent game which is Sam & Max: Freelance Police. ( i just cry when i write the title *sniff*)
  • RumRogerz on 07 Mar, 2004, 14:42…
    Boycott? No no no.... i think we should do far worse things to that site than just boycott....
    *picks up egg cartons*
    who's with me on this? These have been sitting by the furnace for a long time for just the occasion.
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 06 Mar, 2004, 20:41…
    LucasArts SUCK, this is truly the last straw. Screw their shitty company. When was the last time THEY made a decent game anyway??!

    I am no longer a "LucasFan" and I am certainly no longer going to be checking their website for new games. If they showed the slightest bit of competence I'd change my mind. But they haven't. For several years now. And this is the last straw.

    SCREW YOU, LUCASARTS

    Now, let's go see what Valve, Revolution, Squaresoft, Lionhead, Double Fine and Ion Storm are up to.
  • Gabez on 07 Mar, 2004, 09:00…
    I agree.
  • RumRogerz on 06 Mar, 2004, 16:21…
    I hope one of the team members leaks the sam n max game on the net. I dont care how far they got to finishing the game, i want to at least see what we are missing!

    And lucasarts still sucks, i removed them off my favorites list, and cancelled any subscriptions with them! Bah to them i say! BAH!
  • Gustav on 06 Mar, 2004, 14:15…
    Hmm, does anybody have a comment on this from mike stemmle? If you look at the other email addresses I'd figure his email is mstemmle@lucasarts.com... (if he hasn't resigned yet (the thing I would have done...))
  • ZeroXcape on 06 Mar, 2004, 13:05…
    Tim Schafer insiders cancels 'Sam and Max 2' leaving Grim Fandango as the only adventure game to win Game of the Year from GameSpot.

    LucasArts looks to outscource more creativity!
  • TheMonkeyGuy on 06 Mar, 2004, 07:52…
    LucasArts, are you crazy? You are broking many dreams and illusions of many people. Bring the game back, you was my only hope, don't fail me.
    To Mike Stemmle, Steve Purcell and their team: The game look wonderful, good job, boys ;)
    To LucasArts: I like Star Wars, but I like Star Wars MODERATELY. If you release every year 100 games of Star Wars i'm going to HATE Star Wars forever. I want Sam & Max 2 or I will not buy games of Star Wars.
  • Brona on 06 Mar, 2004, 07:34…
    I mailed this to Lucas Arts pr guys:


    Your decision to stop the production of Sam & Max 2 is but the worst that has happend so far this year. I mean, how can you? First Full Throttle and now this; dispite the fact that Steve Purcell said the game was developing just fine. I can't belive I get games like "Armed and Dangerous" but not Full Throttle 2 och Sam & Max 2. I'm disapointed.

    No wait. I'm not just disapointed; I'm VERY disapointed and due to this I will not buy any of your crappy Star Wars-games this year. I will go back and play your old classics like Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, Sam & Max, Monkey Island a.s.o. Back in those days you still knew how to make a game that was entertaining, unique, had charracters which we players allways will love AND that was not based on the Star Wars-license. I hope you find it to make such games again in the future. Perhaps when people have got tired of the endless stream of Star Wars games and you realize just how populare your other licenses are.

    "After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC."

    Bullshit! Give us some adventure games before the genre dies completly. NOW is the time. Give us some great stories Lucas Arts!

    TO THE TEAM: I can understand that you are angry and disapointed right know. I just want to say that the game looked perfect and I would have bought it and I know many of my friends also would have. Keep up the spirit and the good work in the future to!

    PS. Sorry for the spelling

    // Daniel Bagge, 20, Sweden
  • Marek on 06 Mar, 2004, 07:19…
    This is so sad :( I promised myself I'd finally do some work done today but I probably won't. I'm just ... still in shock mode. You know, when something bad happens and all you can do is watch CNN? Well, it's like that, except I'm refreshing the forums and reading all the angry letters.
  • remixor on 07 Mar, 2004, 04:57…
    Right with you on that one, man.
  • Josty on 06 Mar, 2004, 07:25…
    Me too :(

    I've been reading about the game, and how cool it was going to be. Man, it's unbearable.
  • Josty on 06 Mar, 2004, 05:53…
    Well, here's my letter:

    Greetings,


    Lucasart's recent cancellation of what was surely going to be the best game of 2004 is a puzzling move, to me and many others.

    I can only ask, is Lucasarts of 2004 the same company that brought us the Monkey Island games, Full Throttle, Sam & Max Hit The Road, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and The Dig?

    Is Lucasarts now finally putting the final nail in the coffin of the genre that made Lucasarts great: The Adventure Game? Has the adventure game genre truly been abandoned forever because some marketers thought there wasn't enough of a market for it?

    As one who has purchased your classic adventure games (and games like the TIE Fighter series) several times over the years, I cannot quite grasp the reasoning behind the decision to cancel Sam and Max: Freelance Police. After all, Lucasarts was the company that I used to equate with pure quality and class. A company that dared to try new things, that didn't play it safe.
  • Cl?mentXVII on 06 Mar, 2004, 05:13…
    Boycotting LucasArts can be interesting... but what about a 'sudden increase' of sales of their adventure packs? If you don't own such a pack, please buy it from their store, or offer it to your mom, cousin, nephew or even to your dog!

    In Europe, Adventure games are coming up at a high rate, Runaway, Westerner, Tony Tough, Black Mirror, Syberia,... they all sell very well! Ok, maybe independent developers are better into creating adventure games than large big studios, but still... 'the game was on schedule'... two months from completion... this makes me mad!
  • Gabez on 07 Mar, 2004, 09:03…
    Exactly - there's a demand for funny, clever games that require you to think about things logically and put characters and plot-line first; and there always will be, whether LucasArts realises that or not.
  • Nath5000 on 06 Mar, 2004, 00:14…
    Its funny how sam and max 2 is overall 9 on gamespot right now, but its not a coming soon or an availible now. Also i wonder if its based on page hits. Because if it is, i wonder what kinda popularity it would have if the gamespace for sam and max 2 had more then 2 old screenshots and a still cool looking but old trailer. What pisses me off is that theres so many die hard fans, but there also so much potential with new gamers who were still in diapers or who werent even born when sam and max HTR was released. oh so dissapointing. Just when the video game industry needs some comic relief a lucas-somthing-or-other pulls a jar jar. how predictable
  • tiberius on 05 Mar, 2004, 23:52…
    And now I jump down the black hole that is a non-descript "pr" email address...

    Here is the letter I sent...

    Okay, by now you have probably received a ton of mail about the cancellation of Sam and Max 2 ranging from a polite "what were you thinking?" to "die #$(*@#& die!." So I'll simply leave it at this...

    Major pr mistake.

    The ill will from this manuever will attract an enormous amount of negative press and will diminish the LucasArts brand (not that RedRock didn't do that already). It also sends the message that LucasArts is only interested in targeting the teen market with console oriented material leveraging the Star Wars license, or with shooters such as "Armed and Dangerous." The cancellation of several adventure titles based on older i.p. indicates a general disdain for older players who perhaps cut their teeth on LucasArts adventure games 10 or more years ago. Since older players are statistically less likely to purchase as many titles as younger ones, I guess cancelling Sam and Max 2 makes sense from a "current marketplace realities" standpoint.

    I at least hope someone is considering an alternative way to get the game published, such as co-publishing it with another party, selling it outright to another publisher, or letting the team possibly complete the game on their own time and re-evaluating it at a later date.

    And as for those younger players, just how attached to Star Wars are they? The new trilogy doesn't seem to be netting anywhere near the same amount of money from merchandising and tie-ins. I guess that explains the rush to release so many games based around the old trilogy with a few bits of the prequels thrown in for good marketing measure. What will LucasArts do when Star Wars games stop selling and a public conditioned to expect only Star Wars material refuses to pony up for anything new? In movies it's called type casting. In videogames it's called Nintendo. Don't take it for granted that older properties will always sell. Building goodwill in the community and constantly testing (and maintaining) i.p. is an absolute necessity. Monkey Island is well known because it got 4 sequels and no one had to wait 10 years just to have the rug pulled out from under them. Sam and Max could have done a great deal to enhance the LucasArts brand. True it may never have sold as well as another Star Wars shooter, but it would have expanded the LucasArts brand, earned a great deal of goodwill from older fans, and possibly generated additional licensing opportunities for toys and such.

    What market reality made it obvious GTA III or Final Fantasy would sell? Sometimes it pays to not go for the quick buck.

    Thank you.

    Though I would wager this pr address is a tired webmaster's way of sending a flood of unwanted email down the rabbit hole, I still felt I should say something. Anyone wanting to write a letter but too pissed off to think straight is free to copy and paste whatever they like from this one as I am relatively sure I spelled most things correctly.
  • Nath5000 on 06 Mar, 2004, 00:01…
    you make it seem though that were just a buncha old people who like sam and max because of the good OLD enphasis on the OLD days. Thats really not it, i was only about 9 or 10 years old when sam and max hit the road came out, and i found that to be a really appealing game on many different levels, now i still can look at it and appreciate its originality, humor, non-violent *wink wink* gameplay, and overall aura of coolness. Id like to think that theres at least a billion kids out there today who arent power rangered violence driven action hero wanabes who would also recognize the coolness of a game like sam and max. Star wars is besised the point i think here. I think star wars is lucasarts excuse for making crappy games now, its not that the kids today would like star wars more then sam and max. anyways as you can tell im not as enraged as yesterday with my comments...... but i still think lucasarts is f***ing stupid.... anyways thats my 2 cents
  • tiberius on 06 Mar, 2004, 19:26…
    You missed the part about them targeting TEENS. Besides, the majority of people who remember playing Sam and Max are probably, at a minimum, in their mid-twenties (I'm 38). Since I work in videogames, I can tell you many publishers still haven't grasped the fact that adults comprise a larger percentage of the videogame market than kids. However, what they do get is the fact that younger players tend to buy games at almost twice the rate that older players do. This is where the "old" emphasis comes from.

    As for why they cancelled the game, I can only speculate.

    Possibilities include (and I have seen all of these on different projects):

    -Internal politics. Changes in management or team structure can produce new "priorities."

    -Marketing input. I once watched a marketing team do a focus study to see how to position a game using a new license they acquired. The problem was they already paid for the license and felt they had to use it. So despite EVERY person saying the license would make them LESS likely to buy the game, they used it anyway...and the game bombed.

    -Quarterly financial results. If you are a public company the pressure to produce strong quarterly results can be intense. One publisher I had to deal with ONLY cared about quarterly statements. They jerked us around, changing delivery dates and moving milestone payments constantly to massage the numbers. Eventually the developer I was working for had to cancel the project and fire 90% of the staff (including me).

    -Management reluctance to innovate. Everybody knows this one. When something works (Star Wars), beat it into the ground. Tomb Raider, Street Fighter, you name it, most publishers do it.

    Anyway, the bottom line is I think they seriously underestimated the affection this project was garnering and the resultant backlash over its cancellation.
  • naz99 on 05 Mar, 2004, 22:31…
    I have sent an email to lucasarts(not too insulting) and i as a few other ppl have boycotted lucasarts. As i see it the very very few decent games that are relesed by them arent even that good so why waste my money..the remakes that have potential written all over them are cancelled and all the other original material from them are standard to say the least.We aint talking monkey island here..we have already seen 4 of them but no sequels for the other classics at all!!! how the hell can they not make money, too many ppl as i have have been waiting for this for so long(talking a decade here).Hardend adventure gamers aint like your standard gamers we are passionte about this kind of thing and who would have expected this from one of the pioneers of the adventure genre....They used to be the beatles but have transformed into the N-sync of the gaming world ..only doing it for the Fu*&*ng money!
  • Sheriff Gringo on 05 Mar, 2004, 18:50…
    Nice how none of the creative team had major problems with this game, and that all their hard work was for nothing thanks to the whim of an Acting General Manager and VP of Finance and Operations.

    Seems like someone's been promoted in an emergency, but it's a shame that someone is a pencil-pusher who probably thinks computer games don't sell unless they have the words Star and Wars in the title. Or are creative.

    It's probably a safe bet the same guy thinks we're all rabid dorks who have fickle faith in the company. My answer to that would be that LucasArts has given us plenty of reasons to start losing faith for several years now, but in Cliche Land (a happy, whimsical place) this is the straw that broke the camel's back.

    Also! How can a straw break a camel's back? I mean, that would have to be one weak camel. Or one excessively over-sized straw.
  • Dalixam on 05 Mar, 2004, 19:52…
    We don't have that expression in Danish, but I think it refers to a camel being so loaded with straws that one more tiny light straw can break its back.

    *Ring* Ok, class dismissed. Remember to read chapter eight-nine for next week.
  • Ztak on 05 Mar, 2004, 18:09…
    Ok I just cae from business trip and saw the news about Sam & Max being cancelled. I was pretty shocked 'cause I have been waiting for LucasArts' adventure comeback for so long. I started playing games when I was 2 years old and the fist game was Maniac Mansion. So I grew up with LucasArts' adventure games. When the quality of the games started going low after Grim Fandango I have waited for comeback. My hopes for Sam & Max 2 being published were too high I guess 'cause this happened. I hope that someday LucasArts realises that adventre games can't became popular among kids if they won't publish these kind of games. I learned a lot from adventure games when I was little but nowdays everyone just publish low-quality adventure games for kids that "are" so stupid that they can't even go to toilet without someone telling them to do so.
  • Entity on 05 Mar, 2004, 17:56…
    How could LucasArts fuck with their fans this much.
  • Erwin_Br on 05 Mar, 2004, 17:32…
    This makes me even feel more sad.
  • EyesOpen on 05 Mar, 2004, 16:55…
    (Putting on utopia hat)
    You know, sometimes it's really a shame that a company can squat on intellectual property to the point that they basically take a dump all over it. You'd think that if the original, _creative_, developers had access to the rights, that they'd re-visit the story/game/whatever at various points during their career. Ah well...
  • Jake on 05 Mar, 2004, 17:05…
    Steve Purcell does own the rights to the characters, and Mike Stemmle, who was one of the original designers and co-writers of the first game with Purcell, was the one doing the design on the new game... they were revisiting the game at a different point in their career, LucasArts just decided it was about time to stop paying them to do so.
  • EyesOpen on 05 Mar, 2004, 17:09…
    I stand corrected then. Thanks for the info - I must have missed that, despite having read quite a bit of the various editorials.

    Did Steve and Mike get the initial go-ahead when Simon was still at the helm?
  • Jake on 05 Mar, 2004, 17:11…
    I think so, yeah.
  • Trapezoid on 05 Mar, 2004, 18:11…
    Hey, maybe Simon will hear the news and come back to LucasArts, and he'll be standing in Mike Nelson's doorway with this BADASS pissed expression and he'll be all like, "...who do you think you're FUCKING with here, Mike? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FUCKING WITH?" Then he'll whoop Mike Nelson's ass with a lightsaber and triumphantly uncancel Sam and Max 2.
  • Gabez on 06 Mar, 2004, 00:19…
    And then they crucify him. :~
  • Dalixam on 05 Mar, 2004, 19:48…
    And maybe world hunger will end and there will be no more wars.
  • Niklaus on 06 Mar, 2004, 08:12…
    and no more 'Star' Wars
  • remixor on 07 Mar, 2004, 05:00…
    And an angel will get its wings.
  • jp-30 on 05 Mar, 2004, 16:52…
    Steve,

    Any chance of the game being given (sold) to another company to distribute?

  • LucasTones on 06 Mar, 2004, 14:47…
    Not a chance in hell.
  • jp-30 on 06 Mar, 2004, 16:40…
    What about given to activision/EA to sell globally, and make it a lucasarts company store excusive in the US so they don't have to waste an ounce of their marketing budget of the title.

  • TheBLueFlamingo on 05 Mar, 2004, 15:56…
    The letter i sent to the lucasarts pr dudes.
    Damn their so greedy.
    ----
    To whom ever cares.

    Yes I'm another upset Sam and Max fan, no I'm not going to threaten to kill you. But I will tell you how disappointed I am. When Full Throttle was canned I was a little gaffed, but with Sam and Max I'm starting to wonder about the company. You say its because of an evaluation of th current economic conditions? That just proves the company no longer cares about its loyal fans, the people that put you where you are today. It proves the company cares no more for innovating and about making good computer games. All it shows is greed. Yes greed. "the current economic condition?" So you decided to cancel a game because you were afraid it wasn't going to make enough money as a Star Wars game? If Lucasarts was a company that cared, even one percent about game making then the economy situation would be more reason to release a game like Sam and Max. But alas! Greed is the name of the game here. It seems the trend with anything that has George Lucas's name attached to it in the past few years. Gone are the days of quality and innovation. A company that was once a giant is now crumpled up piece of used toilet paper.
    I do have one question, did you guys actually think that games like Wrath, Gladius, and RTX were good? Or were they just jokes? You know inside jokes that only you guys laughed about, you probably laughed at every dollar that rolled in because some poor kid spent his hard earned money on a coffee table coaster in a fancy box that ha tried to stick in his computer.

    Thanks,
    A now Lucasarts boycotting fan,
    yes, I've even refuse to play any Lucasarts multi-player games on the net.
    --------------
  • Udvarnoky on 06 Mar, 2004, 00:12…
    "Yes I'm another upset Sam and Max fan, no I'm not going to threaten to kill you. "

    That's your problem.
  • TheBLueFlamingo on 05 Mar, 2004, 15:50…
    I would like to hear what Sam and Max have to say about this
  • remixor on 07 Mar, 2004, 05:01…
    "Are you as confused as I am, little buddy?"
  • Ulukai on 07 Mar, 2004, 07:23…
    "More so." :/
  • telarium on 05 Mar, 2004, 15:48…
    I didn't think it would be possible the feel even more disappointed about this... but there it is.
  • Jake on 05 Mar, 2004, 15:51…
    No kidding.
  • LucasTones on 05 Mar, 2004, 15:32…
    This just makes me more mad. This clearly shows there were no behind-the-scenes problems we didn't know about, and if Purcell like it then it must have been great. I mean, he created them - he would be more critical than most of us if the game was crap.

    LucasArts, you're a fool.
  • matt on 05 Mar, 2004, 20:36…
    absolutely - i think the same, but i am too tired to write now.
  • Remi O on 05 Mar, 2004, 15:32…
    I luvs the Steve :~