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More on Simbin vs SMS

More on Simbin vs SMS

Slightly Mad Studios have reacted to Simbin’s announcement on considering legal actions against the studio due to misleading claims in their Need for Speed Shift announcements.

The whole issue is about Slightly Mad Studios claiming to be involved in the development of simulation titles GTR2 and GT Legends. Back when these titles were put together, many of the SMS employees were working as part of Simbin staff. Simbin and these employees later split ways, founding Blimey! Games which has now been taken over by Slightly Mad Studios. Now, both studios are fighting about who has the right to claim to be responsible for those critcially acclaimed titles, certainly a good reputation to have when advertising new products.

All in all a pretty complicated situation, especially for those not involved in the sim industry. SMS’s Ian Bell has reacted to Simbin’s announcement by giving the following statement to gamasutra.com:

Mr. Ling’s suggestions are utterly absurd.

More than 25 of Slightly Mad Studios’ current staff worked on and are actually credited in GT Legends and GTR2 including the majority of the core development team.

They worked on these titles whilst at Blimey! Games Limited – who was involved in the development of GT Legends and actually developed GTR2 itself.

As you may know Blimey is now in administration but we recently purchased certain of its business and assets and took on all the jobs of its excellent team. That team deserves the credit for its work.

It saddens me when fellow developers make inappropriate statements like this in public, but I think the fact that the first I heard of it was from a gaming journalist says everything you need to know about the credibility of the claims. Had there been any merit to them I am sure I would have heard sooner.

Update: Unfortunately, I had no other choice but to close the comments for this item, since Slightly Mad Studios have chosen to send legal threats my way due to one of the submitted comments. It seems like discussion on this particular matter is frowned upon, apologies for the inconvenience!

Via Gamasutra.com

13 comments

  • Wow interesting… I thought they had known about the situation…but who knows…may he might be bluffing at the same time. Just have to see how this plays out.

  • Facinating legal mumbo jumbo. You’d think the common sense thing to do would be to let both companies take credit given they were both involved. But then again, its cool to sue people these days so who knows 🙄
    IM SUEING YOU ALL FOR READING THIS COMMENT!!

  • I think SimBin is pissed because SMS is trying to take all of the credit of GTR2 from them. Slightly Mad Studios should only be able to say that they have experience with racing simulations, and they had better be making us one! I honestly think continuing the Need For Speed Series is like beating a dead horse and trying to make it stand up again. EA and SMS should just let it rest in peace already. Call it Shift and not use the Need for Speed name, making it a completely different franchise so that it doesn’t confuse potential buyers. The first word I think of after hearing someone talk about Need for Speed is crap, rap, and more crap. SimBin should not have to deal with this. :haha:

  • “Mr. Ling’s suggestions are utterly absurd.”

    Well, you guys changed your website really quick for those suggestions being oh so absurd…

    Just check the Google cache of SMS’ “Games”-page, every copyright notice now has a bigger font size (one can actually read it now). Also, instead of “A brief history of the staff at Slightly Mad Studios.” it now reads “A brief history of games our staff worked on”. Absurd, huh?

  • Well taking into consideration that Blamey Studios and Slightly Mad (well this is untypical for the blamey guys, normally they take it to the top so why not call yourself completely mad??!)… anyway… fact is: Blimey and SMS have never released a game since they split from SIMBIN…. in the meantime SIMBIN has released several PC games and one X360 game…so guys what have you done in the meantime?? wasted all the Tentacle money on fancy cars??? well o.k. you build one demo version and released it as BMW game… something every mod group could do out there…. that brings me back to the point… a modding group will be only a modding group as long as its not lead by professionals… and EA was stupid enough to think that you are capable bring some real life racing into the NFS franchise… well at leat they have more money than 10T. Enjoy wasting it!!! :happyevil:

  • You are all complicating something that’s very straight forward.

    SimBin was founded by enthusiasts and modders who created mods for F1 2002, with the funding of Henrik Roos. This led to the great GTR. GTL and GTR2 were made by the same people, but no longer all working as SimBin. Blimey Game was created and most if not all of the original SimBin guys went with Ian Bell to Blimey! (does that say something?). After GTR2 Blimey has not had anything to do with SimBin or it’s games Race and GTR Evolution, as can be seen by the quality and success of those games compared to GTR2.

    Ian Bell’s statement above clearly says that 25 current SMS staff worked on and have their names in the credits of GTL and GTR2. They where the core dev team who made those games, meaning 80-90% of the dev team. They made those games as Blimey! Games and not SimBin.

    So what is so hard to understand in all that? All SMS are saying is that their current staff was the core team responsible for GTL and GTR2.

  • All Slightly Mad say is that a large portion of their team our worked on a selection of the GTR games. Which is true. So what is the problem. I dont understand :weird:

  • The problem is GTR and GT Legends are Simbin’s intellectual properties – even if the employees no longer work there, they are still wholly owned by Simbin and they’re within their rights to protect their IPs. The fact that it was mostly Blimey/SMS staff who did the work is largely irrelevant, legally.

  • I do enjoy the current Simbin titles but my favourite Simbin game is still GTR2. After the core developers stopped working for them, their games kind of lost the distinct “Simbin feel” they had before.

    And even though Blimey/SMS haven’t released anything other than BMW M3 Challenge since GTR2, looking at the small amount of info and screenshots they have released, it “looks” to me like the stuff they have been working on is a lot more impressive than what the current Simbin have managed to do so far.

    On the current topic: It might make sense on a business level for Simbin to take legal action, I don’t know. But to me it just sounds ridiculous and certainly doesn’t help giving the current Simbin any more respect.

    I just hope this won’t turn into something that might get in the way of SMS releasing any of their upcoming games.

  • @ six.degrees is it illegal to say that your staff worked on these games? Also if Simbin were not happy, couldn’t they just asked Slightly Mad politely to take the stuff down first. Judging by the reply Slightly Mad gave, they weren’t aware of any of this until SimBin told gamasutra.

  • @Cratz, saying “Our Staff Worked on The following Titles” and listing games on your site as being what you developed (with no mention of Simbin) are 2 different things. That is where SMS appear to have slipped up. These games are not SMSs to claim to.

    At some point, Ian Bell will have had to sign a contract with Simbin for the development of GTL/GTR2, which would have included how everyone is credited. If SMSs listings of the games on there own site like that breaks this contract, they have no leg to stand on.

    It’d also be wise for SMS to make a slightly more professional statement, rather than a rant worthy of an amatuer blog.

  • Didn’t the SimBin guys split to form Blimey after the development of GTR2? The guys at Blimey developed GTR, GTL and GTR2 while working for SimBin. Some of these comments make it sound like Blimey was contracted to develop GTR2 for SimBin. Blimey came after GTR2 correct? I am trying to remember the time line. As six.degrees points out, the games are owned and developed by SimBin plain and simple. If I worked for Microsoft and wrote 300 lines of code in Vista and then left to form my own company to make my own OS. Then I put up a website saying I am the creator of Windows Vista an will be releasing a new and improved OS. Microsoft would slam me in no time. EA will have SMS reword that website in no time.

  • Well all I have to say is I’m glad to learn that so many people from GTR2 are working @ SMS and that EA is part of the game, because I’m looking forward to see this Ferrari game. Also, I’m glad to see that Simbin was able to create great titles even after so many people left after GTR2.

    And about NFS:Shift, I have some hopes for it, because EA says they are going to give us their first sim under the NFS franchise, so this means that ProStreet wasn’t considered a sim for them (hopefully). ProStreet was already more of a sim than Grid (atleast at the beginning, with the Nissan 240sx you really fell the car… then they get too fast). I mean, the sounds and graphics are amazing in both games (better than GTR games) and in ProStreet you hear it when you reach the cutoff, and you really need to use the clutch to make a good shift (that’s at the beginning of the game, before you buy some sport clutches) and there is a sweetspot to shift, otherwise you can make some misshifts (this is a huge lack in GTR games)… GIVE ME ALL OF THIS plus proper braking and turn physics with all the eyecandy and I’m going to be amazed!!!

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