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Death Rattle Game:
Def Jam Icon | 2007
When we want to immerse ourselves in prolific hip-hop feuds, VH1 has us covered with some sort of list show featuring over-gesticulating, gap-toothed comics hell bent on delivering the hilarious skinny. On that note, maybe overexposure is to blame for Def Jam Icon's flop. The game seemed have it all: over-the-top explosions, a bangin’ soundtrack, and star-studded violence you could cue with the beat of the music.
Above: Where my dawgs at, yo? Oh Good Heavens!
Most would say the fight style was as deep as a DJ Assault ditty, and it seemed these brawlin' MCs had overstayed their welcome with the public. Impressive as it was to look at, Def Jam Icon generated all the hype of a Sir Mix-A-Lot Christmas album, and EA Chicago was closed mere months after its release.
Maybe. But say what you will about the 8000-pound gaming gorilla - EA has mastered the art of turning out playable games, while optimizing profits and always nailing release dates. And according to President, Frank Gibeau, “EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard.” Ohhh snap! Executive Burn!
Above: If we had to blame someone for Def Jam: Icon's poor performance, it’d be the playable Anthony Anderson
An anonymous employee complained of unfair expectations put on the team, and we’re inclined to agree. Especially when you consider the Chicago team was responsible for the stellar Fight Night Round 3. Sadder still, the arguably hasty dismissal resulted in the cancelation of a promising Marvel superhero fighter, and leaves the fate of Fight Night Round 4 in cold untested Canadian hands. (We kid, EA Vancouver!)
Hope for Resurrection?
Fat chance, homeslice. If you’re not producing consistent revenue for EA, you have about as much clout with them as invisible dog shit. On the brighter side Call of Duty 4 dev, Infinity Ward issued an informal invitation for EA Chicago refugees to come aboard.