Quoted from MK6PIN:
Alien was HIS grail as well...believe he grossly underestimated the development costs associated with a major, licensed theme. He new he had a winner, but Sucked the Well dry before it truly came to market
Licensing didn't dictate the scope of the project - Heighway did. Certainly licensing held back their timelines... I'm sure it probably accounted for additional revisions to the design. But it's not the thing that bled him IMO. Maybe it was the straw that broke the camel's back.. but even if the game had NO art or media.. reality is they hadn't completed the mechanics, engineering, geometry, and rest of the game. The length of time wasn't always due to licensing delays. Remember when it was revealed they hadn't even MADE a LE art package yet, but somehow had been promising the game was nearly ready??
Quoted from MK6PIN:
Suspect internals started bleeding when the " Licensing" took forever....believe he was tapped at that point
I think that is just buying into the false narrative. The Licensing isn't the bogeyman here.
Andrew's labor and management issues were not tied to licensing delays - they are part of his package. The stories leaked here are not just 'disgruntled employees'.. when there is smoke, there is fire. That topic even predates Aliens.
The issues with not having completed games to have the development team work on were not due to licensing delays. They didn't have prototypes they could send or afford to build to send. And this is still AFTER getting the last round of money added in.
The issues with needing to change major assemblies (ramp, airlock, xeno) AFTER the reveal were not due to licensing - they were due to not having the time with a real prototype with enough cycles.
The issues with running out of money nearly a year and a half ago were not held back by late licensing... he couldn't sell what he had to sell. he didn't have a solid whitewood back then either.. the GAME itself wasn't ready. The big push to get the game to Expo was really about getting everything together 'really' for the first time and then calling it 'finished' and ready for production which was a bit of fantasy. It wasn't last minute licensing that caused the mad dash for the finish.
Licensing didn't make a Xeno mech that doesn't work well yet
The months since Expo.. it's not licensing that was holding them back from shipping Standards.
Remember when AFTER expo they finally admitted they didn't even HAVE a complete LE package to submit for licensing? Yet kept saying their new UK based licensing contact would make sure there wouldn't be the same kinds of delays.. But the Standard was already approved, if they had a game to actually sell that is 8 months earlier they could have been selling standards. But they couldn't... why? Not because of licensing, but the because the game wasn't ready and they couldn't afford to make samples and shake the game down before that point.
Truth is... regardless of licensed content - the game was not complete until recently, and he couldn't afford to build the design he did have 'complete'.
The project has been in this precarious state for more than a year.
I'm sure the external license hindered them and probably prevented some other crazy ideas... but reality is.. the game itself wasn't done. The game still isn't really done... because STILL... the development team doesn't have hands on complete stuff.
The BS on the plans about prototypes, then samples, then production quality games were all lies - and at that time they knew it. These failures are not due to an overbearing licensee, approval delays... they are shortcomings of management.
The good news is... the game is at a state that many people think it can be made into a great game, and believe it enough to put their money behind that idea.
We all want perfect games... but development is not about achieving perfection.