Troika Games

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Troika Games
Privately held
Industry Video games
Founded April 1, 1998
Defunct February 24, 2005 (February 24, 2005)
Headquarters Irvine, California, United States
Key people
Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson
Products Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, The Temple of Elemental Evil, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
Website [dead link] (archived version 2003-11-22)

Troika Games was a video game developer co-founded by Jason Anderson, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky. The company was focused on role-playing video games between 1998 and 2005, best known for Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.

History[edit]

Fallout creators Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson

In 1997, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson were working on the Fallout sequel at Interplay. Finishing the initial design for Fallout 2, they were unable to come to an agreement with Interplay about the future team structure. They decided to leave Interplay to form a company that felt more like the old Interplay, producing role-playing video games for PC in 1997. They formed their company on April 1, 1998, calling their new company Troika Games (a Russian word "Тройка" meaning "three of any kind"), since they were the three key Designers/Artists/Coders behind the critically acclaimed Fallout.[1] They initially planned to do games exclusively for one publisher (Sierra Entertainment), but every game was published by a different company.[2] After being unable to secure funding for future projects, they were forced to lay off their staff in late 2004 and later closed their doors on February 24, 2005.[3]

Games[edit]

In 1998, Troika started the initial design on a steampunk fantasy crossover role-playing video game named Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and convinced Sierra Entertainment to publish it. The game was launched on August 21, 2001. While criticized for being unpolished and having a bad combat engine, it received in general favorable reviews with an average of 81% on Metacritic.[4] With 234,000 units sold it is Troika's best selling game. In 2016 it was released on Steam, where as of March 2017 it has over 95,000 owners.[5]

After Arcanum was released in 2001, two teams started to work on two separate games. One team created The Temple of Elemental Evil for publisher Atari which was released on September 26, 2003. It was lauded for the good implementation of the D&D 3.5 system but overall it got mixed reviews due to gameplay bugs and lack of a plot. With a 71% on Metacritic it was the lowest rated Troika game.[6] It sold about 128,000 units.[7]

The other team worked for Activision on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Using an early version of the Source engine, development was finished in October 2004. Due to contractual obligations with Valve Corporation, Activision was not allowed to release the game before Valve released Half-Life 2, scheduled for release in November 2004. Troika Games used the interim period to code a patch into the main program. Bloodlines was released on November 16, 2004 (the same day as Half-Life 2). Critics praised Bloodlines' visual, audio and story but warned about a bug-ridden game. It got a rating of 80% on Metacritic,[8] and sold merely 72,000 units on original release. With the addition of the game to the digital distributors Direct2Drive and Steam in 2016, a significant number of units were sold digitally.[7] For instance, approximately 550,000 people own the game on Steam as of March 2017.[9]

In 2004, Troika tried to find a publisher for an unnamed post-apocalyptic role-playing video game, but were unsuccessful, leading to rumors in January 2005 that the company had already shut down.[10] Screenshots of the unnamed game were posted in 2004 to the Fallout fan sites "No Mutants Allowed" and "Duck and Cover". A video of the tech demo was released in early 2005, weeks before closing.[11] Tim Cain later confirmed that this was supposed to be a sequel to Fallout: "Leonard pursued Fallout 3, which ultimately went to Bethesda, who outbid us."[12]

List of games[edit]

Year Title Publisher Platform(s)
2001 Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Sierra On-Line Microsoft Windows
2003 The Temple of Elemental Evil Atari Microsoft Windows
2004 Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Activision Microsoft Windows
Canceled
  • Untitled post-apocalyptic role-playing game
  • Journey to the Center Of Arcanum
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Troika". Troika.com. 2000-05-20. Archived from the original on 2000-05-20. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  2. ^ Blancato, Joe (2006-12-26). "The Rise and Fall of Troika". The Escapist Magazine. Retrieved 27 March 2007. 
  3. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2005-02-24). "Troika closes - News at GameSpot". Gamespot.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura (pc) reviews at". Metacritic.com. 2001-08-21. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  5. ^ Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura on Steamspy.com
  6. ^ "Temple of Elemental Evil: A Classic Greyhawk Adventure, The (pc) reviews at". Metacritic.com. 2003-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Troika Games' Sales Figures | News @ GameBanshee". Gamebanshee.com. Archived from the original on 2005-03-26. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (pc) reviews at". Metacritic.com. 2004-11-16. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  9. ^ Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines on Steamspy.com
  10. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2005-01-29). "Rumor Control: The Supersized Edition - News at GameSpot". Uk.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-30. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  11. ^ "Troika Games Untitled Post-apocalyptic RPG". YouTube. 2006-07-29. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  12. ^ Cain, Tim. "Gamers at work". Retrieved 2014-08-26. 

External links[edit]