Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Myst Creator Cyan Closes Its Doors

Remember Myst? I do. I remember purchasing a copy of this game when I was still in college, right before finals (very, very bad idea). It was the first computer game that so captivated me that I remember playing for 12 or so hours straight. I was enthralled by it, not only by the game itself, but by the idea that you could become so immersed in what really was just a highly rendered slide show. It was eye candy, on a whole new level. And a demonstration that good content trumps almost everything else.

(Aside: I wasn't the only one enthralled by Myst. It ended up selling over 12 million copies and being the top-selling PC game of all-time until The Sims came around a few years ago.)

Myst producer Cyan closed it's doors on Friday, a few weeks before Myst V hits the shelves.

So, why is the creator of one of the best selling games of all-time closing? My rant is that Cyan didn't keep up with the technology evolution in PC gaming, something that changes even faster than Moore's Law. The Myst successors like Riven and Uru were good games, but still not 3D-based, years after full-screen animation began to be the expected norm for PC-based video games. Now it wasn't only Cyan and Myst that didn't keep up - the entire "adventure game" genre was impacted the same way.

Also, Cyan really didn't stray far enough from the Myst franchise. All of their games were Myst-based - all sequels. The Myst franchise got tired (not a huge surprise after twelve years) and they didn't have any other game brands (or seemingly ideas) to fall back upon.

So long, Cyan.


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