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Oddworld Inhabitants leaves games industry

Developer Oddworld Inhabitants is leaving the games market to pursue a life creating content for TV and film following disappointing and disheartening results from its latest release, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath.

Speaking in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, studio president Lorne Lanning also confirmed the closure of his game development studio and the company's relocation.

A large reason for the decision to move to pastures new seems connected with their apparent dissatisfaction with publisher EA for not promoting the title as Lanning would have liked, which resulted in a game that was praised by critics but achieved nowhere near the sales it deserved.

"It was very disheartening to us," adds Lanning, "that we could have a title with a Metacritic.com user score of 9.6, a game that was praised as being a fusion of film-making and videogames in terms of being less 'gamey' and more story and character-driven... and then to see that the largest publisher in the industry had no interest in marketing it regardless of how innovative it was.

"We closed the studio because of what the realities of the marketplace are," Lanning continued.

"There is currently only one financing model in the games industry, and that is that the publisher pays for the entire game. It handles the manufacturing, the marketing, the distribution, the advertising - practically everything. Much the way it used to be in Hollywood pre-United Artists. But, as the film industry matured, it took on a more sophisticated financing structure."

Lanning has given his new venture two-and-a-half years to get up and running, telling Hollywood Reporter, "If we don't crack it in the next two and a half years, we're not going to be able to," but is confident in his chances, adding, "We believe there's a window that's open for all-CG feature films and TV."

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