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Jul 09 2013

God must not have liked his game

Remember that “Left Behind” video game that blew in with a gust of laughter at its premise and then faded away feebly? It’s maker is still around, but it’s all gone downhill for Christian video gaming.

When he started Left Behind Games in 2002, Troy Lyndon—a one-time boy genius who with his former company became Inc.’s entrepreneur of the year at the age of 28—was sure his apocalypse-themed video games would make him millions even as they brought the gospel of Christ to gamers the world over. Eleven years later, Lyndon is 48, personally bankrupt, lives in a 450-square-foot apartment in Honolulu and makes ends meet by coaching entrepreneurs and selling insurance. On nights and weekends Lyndon is still the chairman and CEO of Left Behind Games, a publicly traded business with 10 billion shares outstanding, each worth one one-hundredth of a cent.

It’s also a company with regular filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission—called 8-Ks, intended to update investors about events that could affect the company’s fortunes—that read like dispatches from a beleaguered general who still believes he’s fighting the good fight. “Yes, LFBG is still operating,” says the company’s latest 8-K, filed at the end of last week and written by Lyndon himself. In it, he blames the company’s misfortune on the proliferation of new gaming platforms, the rise of downloadable games, the latest recession, Christian retailers, the “death” of online marketing, the political views of the authors of the books upon which Left Behind Games’ games were based, and the SEC itself. The regulatory filings document an extended corporate unraveling, and a very human hope that it all will work out in the end.

So…praising the Lord and tapping into the evangelical Christian world isn’t a sure-fire formula for fiscal success? Tsk, tsk. That’s a sign of the End Times right there.

I’m hoping that in ten years someone will be writing a similar story about the hubris and collapse of Answers in Genesis. But that’s just wishful thinking right now.

85 comments

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  1. 1
    Randomfactor

    Ten. BILLION. Shares?

    That sounds like an incredible red flag right there.

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    “The video game gods raptured EA, and left me behind!”

  3. 3
    doublereed

    a one-time boy genius who with his former company became Inc.’s entrepreneur of the year at the age of 28

    Eleven years later, Lyndon is 48

    Uhm. What happened here? Maybe it’s supposed to be 38?

  4. 4
    zenlike

    In it, he blames the company’s misfortune on …

    So blaming everyone but himself. Must be that “personal responsibility” thing the right is always talking about. And why doesn’t he blame his god? You know he would be praising him if everything went swimmingly…

  5. 5
    DrewN

    Yep, if I were staring out as an entrepreneur again, I’d definitely want to hire a bankrupt videogame developer as a business coach.

  6. 6
    Sastra

    … was sure his apocalypse-themed video games would make him millions even as they brought the gospel of Christ to gamers the world over.

    Well now, that looks like a problem right there. How many people in general (let alone people in the gaming community) look forward with anticipation and excitement to the opportunity to learn more about the Lord Jesus Christ?

  7. 7
    Jeremy Shaffer

    doublereed at 3- You’re thinking in reality-based years but I think they are referencing Christian-years. It’s sort of like dog-years except instead of a 7/1 ratio they work in whatever ratio they think will help them best at the moment.

  8. 8
    tbp1

    @DrewN, #5: I was thinking exactly the same thing.

    Not completely unlike hiring the Ricky Gervaise character from the British The Office to teach you how to build effective business teams.

  9. 9
    gillyc

    The “eleven years later” refers to him forming the company in 2002. I had to read it twice; it’s very badly written. Interesting that it also refers to a previous company but there’s no mention of what happened to it.

  10. 10
    Glen Davidson

    So…praising the Lord and tapping into the evangelical Christian world isn’t a sure-fire formula for fiscal success?

    Ask Ray Comfort.

    Lying apparently helps.

    Glen Davidson

  11. 11
    Mobius

    … coaching entrepreneurs…

    ???

    Why would ANYONE take entrepreneurial advice from someone that is bankrupt and flat broke?

  12. 12
    alwayscurious

    With the rise of Steam & Kickstarter, independent video game production is as strong as ever. Maybe the godly programmers all got raptured and he wasn’t as good at programming as he thought.

  13. 13
    kc9oq

    The article also is wrong about their market cap. I looked them up on Bloomberg (symbol LFBG). They have 9.7 million (not BEEEELLION) shares outstanding @ 0.001/share for at total market capitalization of $9,687.

    Not a company I’d invest my 401K in.

  14. 14
    changerofbits

    I thought the original game failed because it had bugs that made it almost unplayable (to a gamer at least). There have been much more horrid and/or crazy premises for other games that have done well.

  15. 15
    Glen Davidson

    Did he have enough flames burning up all of the unbelievers? And wrong believers?

    That seems to be fundy favorite.

    Glen Davidson

  16. 16
    Gregory in Seattle

    “Left Behind Games, a publicly traded business with 10 billion shares outstanding, each worth one one-hundredth of a cent.”

    Working for a brokerage firm, I couldn’t help but look up their symbol, LFBG. A share price at 0.0001 per share. 9.69 billion shares outstanding. Net profit margin -300.61%. Listed income -4.23 million.

    Ouch.

  17. 17
    Owlmirror

    Didn’t you post about this game at Sb?

    Google sez yup:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120110223551/http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/11/the_tribulation_flops.php

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080705163937/http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/oh_well_thats_all_right_then.php

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120201143322/http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/03/if_only_the_same_were_true_of.php

    The last post in that list:

    Posted on: March 22, 2007 4:07 PM, by PZ Myers
     
    What a shock—that awesome “Left Behind” video game in which you get to convert the infidel and slaughter the heathen has tanked, big time. They sunk $27 million into it, the stock had a peak of $18.70 $7.44, and now it’s worth 18 cents.
     
    I guess they didn’t pray hard enough.

  18. 18
    Gregory in Seattle

    @kc9oq #13 – Market capitalization is the value of all outstanding shares, i.e. outstanding shares * price per share.

    They have about 9,690,000,000 shares outstanding, each one currently valued at $0.0001. Multiply those together, and you get the 9,690,000 that you are looking at.

  19. 19
    Rey Fox

    I’d definitely want to hire a bankrupt videogame developer as a business coach.

    Those who can’t do…

  20. 20
    sundiver

    Taking entrepreneurial coaching from this dud would be somewhat analogous to taking swimming lessons from a chicken. And considering the trouble AIG’s bogus science and bullshit emporium is having at least that part of Hammy’s flapdoodle empire may see bankruptcy. One can hope, anyway.

  21. 21
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Gregory in Seattle

    I particularly liked the Stockscouter rating :)

    “NA out of 10″.

  22. 22
    Travis

    he blames the company’s misfortune on the proliferation of new gaming platforms, the rise of downloadable games

    With the rise of Steam & Kickstarter, independent video game production is as strong as ever. Maybe the godly programmers all got raptured and he wasn’t as good at programming as he thought.

    This is what I was thinking. I wrote a blog post last night where I talked about my decision to get into game programming. It is something I always wanted to do but for some reason I never made any games outside of those I was forced to do for undergraduate classes. I would say this is actually a bit of a golden age for independent game developers, developing for mobile platforms requires very low overhead, promising ideas can get funding from the average person, and there are services to distribute games. Things have changed since the 1990s and one no longer needs to be beholden to large publishers. This is a great time to be in gaming.

  23. 23
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    That’s eleven years from 2002, when Lyndon was 38. The text separated by the hyphens is relating biographical information about Lyndon, it is incidental to the rest of the sentence. It should read as though it is within brackets.

  24. 24
    SallyStrange

    Why would ANYONE take entrepreneurial advice from someone that is bankrupt and flat broke?

    Someone who really, really, REALLY needs entrepreneurial advice… Since they’re not perspicacious enough to grok that a bankrupt video game developer is perhaps not the best source.

  25. 25
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    gillyc, so I missed the first bit of pedantry.
    ____

    So, is the problem god or were his games really just terrible? Maybe he should have thought of the gaming habits of Mormons before going out to make a game linked to some really terrible Mormon based fiction?

    Or he should have went with a movie first. That worked for Twilight, right?

  26. 26
    Reginald Selkirk

    In it, he blames the company’s misfortune on the proliferation of new gaming platforms, the rise of downloadable games, the latest recession, Christian retailers, the “death” of online marketing, the political views of the authors of the books upon which Left Behind Games’ games were based, and the SEC itself

    In other words: everyone involved, except himself.

  27. 27
    Kagehi

    I thought the original game failed because it had bugs that made it almost unplayable (to a gamer at least). There have been much more horrid and/or crazy premises for other games that have done well.

    Hell, the guy is imho, just a total idiot. Reason – Second Life + CoLA

    Second Life, as a system, is buggy, annoying, isn’t designed to do jack all as an actual “game”, etc. All of its game elements are run via scripting, and then.. that scripting is heavily dependent of the physics engine, the limitations of the sims, the hickups that can happen in the script system, etc. You can have the middle of a fight where you a) can’t really control your character in either a true FPS type way, *or* b) in the more limited fashion that some games do, where you just fight what ever is in front of you, and you won’t even know you are down until your “in world”, scripted, meter catches up with the fact that you just had you ass handed to you. Its a damn mess, and that is even when accumulated glitches don’t require everyone to try, usually unsuccessfully, to run to the nearest linked sim, so they can reboot the one you are in.

    CoLA: The End of the Beginning http://ccs-gametech.com/viewpage.php?page_id=11

    So.. It “is” sort of “left behind”, only, not quite, but close, except in the ways its not, and well.. Its centered mostly around RP, and survival, and factions, and trying to rebuild, and other stuff, not some lame assed idiocy, which isn’t even based on mythology found *in* the Bible itself (no hell, or even all the stupid devil stuff, which has never even “officially” been tacked on to the book, other than in some vague acid trip, at the end, so.. there is hardly a cause for people to be ‘left behind’.)

    No.. pretty sure the guys problem isn’t the bugs, the premise, or even Jesus (though, in CoLA, all you will get from the angel faction is some vague statement that, “The throne is empty.”, on that one), but.. total incompetence, and no small amount of brain damage. Well, that.. and I swear, just about everyone that has ever commented “on” religion in the main chat, while expressing an opinion about RL, seems to be some sort of atheist. So.. maybe he should have picked a non-believer to write is atrocious game… lol

  28. 28
    Akira MacKenzie

    möbius @ 11

    Because he’s a Christian and for the people most like to attend his seminars (i.e. fundies) that one fact overrides his financial failures.

  29. 29
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Thumper #21 – StockScouter is a bell-curve comparison of stocks that meet a number of criteria and (supposedly) is a measure of the stock’s perceived risk versus its expected return. I don’t know the inner mechanics of how it is evaluated — that’s proprietary information — but I know that one of the criteria is the average market value of a day’s trading. If a stock is not being traded, or if it trading at a ridiculously low value, or it is trading vigorously but in a limited market, then there is no way to get a good handle on its general risk/return and it does not get scored. Most of the stocks available through MSN Money have that rating.

  30. 30
    Ruth

    @ doublereed, #3,

    Call me easily distracted. Blah, blah, blah…video games were a bust, god didn’t help. Got the gist. I had to re-read that sentence several times before it made any sense to me, too.

    He was 28 when he was names Inc.’s entrepreneur of the year, didn’t start the “Left Behind” games until 2002, ten years later he’s 48. He must have been named Inc.’s entrepreneur of the year prior to that, in 1992-1993? The sentence just reads terribly.

  31. 31
    kantalope

    I was hoping it was the $9000 dollar figure…
    do me a kick-starter…hostile takeover and I’m a video game mogul!

    Get me a Fedora and a cigar: OK Boys. I’ve got me here some rewrites. Instead of all the godbotherers gettin sent to heaven – it’s the reverse, see. As a heathen, the player is sent to heaven where you do battle with the heavenly choir- until you become god. Like mormonism- the video game.

  32. 32
    ironflange

    “Yes, LFBG is still operating”

    LFBG? What’s the F stand for? What could it be?

  33. 33
    steve oberski

    Why would ANYONE take entrepreneurial advice from someone that is bankrupt and flat broke?

    Why would ANYONE derive their morals and ethics from a book of fairy tales concocted by nomadic goat herders who didn’t even understand germ theory and espoused misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and genocide ?

    There could be some intersection in the Venn diagram of the respective target audiences.

  34. 34
    Muz

    Just to be Tedious Mc Dullpants for a second; You can theoretically learn quite a bit from failures, particularly if they have some understanding of why they failed, or are at least detailed in their description of events.
    So much of motivational and entrepreneurial speaking is a lot of confirmation bias -They’re a winner therefore what they did caused them to win!- without giving timing and circumstance its due (and if they do no one pays attention. There’s plenty of magic and cargo cult logic involved in business after all), a good look at some losers could actually be quite valuable.

    Although if his talk doesn’t say somewhere that “you shouldn’t make an apocalypse game where you convert everyone into wearing the same cardigan” we could put him in the clueless pile.

  35. 35
    Robert Harvey

    Form 8-K is not a regular filing. It’s for significant events that occur between regular filings.

  36. 36
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Here’s the thing: there is a market for post-apocalyptic games and there has been since (at least) the mid 90s. Since Lyndon isn’t really bucking any trends*, the only person he has to blame for his failure is himself.

    I guess I just can’t be too shocked that fundamentalist Christians aren’t avid gamers. I wouldn’t want to take any advice from a entrepreneurial “coach” who isn’t smart enough to figure out his target audience.

    *The Rapture™ is a different angle, sure, but it’s hardly a new idea.

  37. 37
    Bronze Dog

    One fun thing that comes to mind is Project Zomboid, a zombie apocalypse survival game currently in development. At one point, the creators were burgled, losing a lot of the code they had along with their computers, forcing them to recreate a lot of stuff, though I think they were planning on doing a ground-up redesign to resolve a number of issues, anyway. They ended up presenting a seminar on how NOT to design a video game, giving advice for programmers to avoid the mistakes they made.

    Lyndon, however, just doesn’t strike me as mature enough to acknowledge that he made mistakes at all, so any advice he’d give would be dubious at best.

  38. 38
    Ingdigo Jump

    The problem can be summed up with one complaint

    “Map does not defualt to North as up”

    It wasn’t just buggy, it fucking was flawed at a hillariously fundemental level. The mistakes are so bad it’s not even a good bad example as it’s the sort of design shit you wouldn’t expect students to make.

  39. 39
    Rutee Katreya

    THe sad thing is, there’s one thing about his game that I found was pretty unique and interesting – a loyalty meter for every individual peon. It’s reasonably unique, and engaging in loyalty wars is an interesting concept on its own merits. They just, you know, put a coat of shit paint on it by making it about the antichrist and all that bullshit.

    Course, ideas are cheap in gaming. It’s easy to have an idea. Doing it good is the hard part.

  40. 40
    Ingdigo Jump

    Also IIRC the game failed with gamers due to buggy/flawed design and lack of compelling gameplay or story and failed with Christians because of violent content.

    Oops

  41. 41
    Ingdigo Jump

    THe sad thing is, there’s one thing about his game that I found was pretty unique and interesting – a loyalty meter for every individual peon. It’s reasonably unique, and engaging in loyalty wars is an interesting concept on its own merits. They just, you know, put a coat of shit paint on it by making it about the antichrist and all that bullshit.

    Course, ideas are cheap in gaming. It’s easy to have an idea. Doing it good is the hard part.

    Meh other strategy games have had a moral system before.

  42. 42
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing:

    … because of violent content

    Granted, I don’t know anything about the game besides what I just read, but the article linked to by Muz said that you could lose by killing too many people.

    The stories of killing infidels were apparently lies.

  43. 43
    Moggie

    I must be mellowing as I get older, because I can’t feel much schadenfreude about this. The fact that he’s still clinging to his failed dream just makes it seem sad and pathetic.

    Listen, dude: you know what your god supposedly said about rich men getting into heaven? Don’t you think you had a lucky escape?

  44. 44
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    At the same time, Lyndon branched out into other titles, like Bible Quest: Journey Through Genesis and Charlie Church Mouse 3D Bible Adventures 2.

    Those sound about as fun as having your eyes pecked out by birds.

    I’ve yet to meet a kid who’d be interested by them. It sounds like the kind of crap their parents would buy them instead of the stuff they really want.

  45. 45
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    From the article:

    Praise Challenge 2 (like Guitar Hero, but with Christian rock)

    Because Guitar Hero is so in right now. And, let’s face it, the rhythm game genre REALLY needs an infusion of Christian Rock to keep it fresh!

    This guy is a fucking tool.

  46. 46
    Randomfactor

    Why would ANYONE take entrepreneurial advice from someone that is bankrupt

    1. Ask his advice.
    2. Do the opposite.
    3. Profit!!!

  47. 47
    Rutee Katreya

    Meh other strategy games have had a moral system before.

    Morale is generally calculated on a wider level and typically involves maluses, or at worst desertion, not betrayal. Loyalty *is* a factor in some strategy games (I play way too much Romance of the THree Kingdoms not to know that), but it’s an interesting factor to keep track of in an RTS.

  48. 48
    David Marjanović

    each worth one one-hundredth of a cent

    …That’s interesting grammar.

    I’m hoping that in ten years someone will be writing a similar story about the hubris and collapse of Answers in Genesis. But that’s just wishful thinking right now.

    Well, there’s precedent for a company called AIG collapsing… :-)

    LFBG? What’s the F stand for? What could it be?

    It’s the f in left. When you have to take four letters from three words…

  49. 49
    WharGarbl

    @Rutee Katreya
    #47
    While there’s no individual morale per se, you might be interested in the game Achron. It has a mechanics that allows you to issue bogus command to enemies you infected with nanite (something like computer virus infecting their communication module).
    The enemy don’t change side. But at the opportune moment, you can cause them to attack their own base. And you managed to infect their top-level command hierarchy.

  50. 50
    Rutee Katreya

    Sounds like one of my favorite Rot3K ploys! *Wikipedias*

    …Oh, it’s THAT game. I always did mean to look at that game, and ended up forgetting. I’ll need to do so again.

  51. 51
    Ruth

    Interesting that it also refers to a previous company but there’s no mention of what happened to it.

    A camel through the eye of a needle and all that. I’m sure he gave it up for the kingdom. That’s his story, anyway.

  52. 52
    Prios

    The subject of loyalty and betrayal in RTS games makes me think of Warhammer Chaos Rising. The protagonists of the Warhammer RTS games are members of a galaxy-wide sci-fi army of xenophobic warriors who fight “Chaos,” “Mutants,” and “The Enemies of Man” with literally religious zeal. Mind you, they wear huge, scary suits of power armor, not cardigans.

    Rot13 for spoilers: Va Punbf Evfvat, lbhe “ureb” havgf, jub unir vaqvivqhny crefbanyvgvrf naq uvfgbevrf, npphzhyngr cbvagf bs “pbeehcgvba” vs gurl hfr cbjreshy punbf-vasrpgrq jrncbael be vs fbzrguvat unccraf gb qnexra gurve fcvevg be funxr gurve qrqvpngvba. Ng gur fgbel’f pyvznk, bar bs lbhe urebrf–gur bar jvgu gur uvturfg yriry bs pbeehcgvba–orgenlf lbh. Jura lbhe erznvavat urebrf xvyy gur genvgbe, ur qvrf jvgubhg erterg, phefvat lbhe pnhfr naq ibjvat gung Punbf jvyy cerinvy. (Lbh nibvq guvf bhgpbzr bayl ol xrrcvat nyy bs lbhe urebrf pbzcyrgryl serr bs pbeehcgvba, va juvpu pnfr n ybat-gvzr nyyl orgenlf lbh vafgrnq.)

  53. 53
    nnoxks

    Yes, well, ha ha and all that, but isn’t this kicking down the ladder a bit? It’s just a bit sad, isn’t it? Watching your life’s dreams crumble around you as you pass middle age probably isn’t any easier just because you’re superstitious.

  54. 54
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @Ed Ladnar, #53:

    Not merely superstitious, he tried to found a career on making other people superstitious in his particularly vicious, small-minded religion. This is the sort of person who sees nothing wrong with the claim that in heaven, people will get their entertainment by watching people in hell, including any family members they may have loved in life who didn’t make the cut. I’m not wasting any sympathy.

  55. 55
    nnoxks

    @54

    Big difference between not wasting sympathy and gloating at misfortune. His crimes are great enough to warrant mockery of his small living space and crushed dreams? Please.

  56. 56
    Ichthyic

    “The video game gods raptured EA, and left me behind!”

    oh, how i do wish EA literally had been raptured.

    the world would be a far better place without EA.

  57. 57
    Ichthyic

    a one-time boy genius who with his former company became Inc.’s entrepreneur of the year at the age of 28

    are they trying to say he was a “boy genius” … at the age of 28?

  58. 58
    Ichthyic

    There have been much more horrid and/or crazy premises for other games that have done well.

    I’m curious. Which games are you thinking of?

  59. 59
    Ichthyic

    Watching your life’s dreams crumble around you as you pass middle age probably isn’t any easier just because you’re superstitious.

    sorry, but sometimes the dreams of others are so inconsistent with ones own, that one can only be happy that the other failed.

    this is not inconsistent, this is not cruel, this is a fact of life.

  60. 60
    Ichthyic

    LFBG? What’s the F stand for? What could it be?

    “Left Far Behind Games”

  61. 61
    Ichthyic

    I would laugh hard if it turned out this guy was really an atheist, just thinking he could make a quick buck off the xian rubes…

  62. 62
    anteprepro

    His crimes are great enough to warrant mockery of his small living space and crushed dreams? Please.

    Eh. Maybe not great enough to mock his small living space, but I think his dreams are fair game. Considering that his dreams are part of “his crimes”, I don’t see a problem with mocking them for being “crushed”. Some dreams deserve to be crushed, after all. Not all dreams are created equal. Not all dreams are realistic enough to provoke pity when they aren’t accomplished. Not all dreams are benign enough to warrant sympathy when reality turns out to not submit itself to the dreamer’s whim. As noted, he is hubristic and unwilling to accept fault. He intended to get wealthy off of a sucky game that was all about killing/converting heathens and failed and refused to learn anything from it. If that doesn’t warrant mockery of some kind, I’m not sure what warrants mockery anymore.

  63. 63
    Kimpatsu

    It’s maker is still around
    PZ, if you stop misusing the apostrophe, I’ll be raptured…

  64. 64
    nnoxks

    Hmmm, yes, well, it still comes across as petty to me. A video game based on the Left Behind series might be eye-rollingly silly, but hardly malign enough to interfere with the lives of the commentators here. If he were a former Jim Bakker or Benny Hill type, maybe. But it seems he’s really just a once-promising-young-entrepreneur who failed.

  65. 65
    grumpyoldfart

    Most Christian entrepreneurs operate a skim that keeps them afloat long after everyone else has gone broke but this Troy London character seems to have been thinking that god would provide. How the other Christians must laugh at his naivety.

  66. 66
    John Morales

    Ed, fine, you think he’s merely a sad failure since, unlike others, he failed to make a fortune out of appeasing goddists’ escapist fantasies.

    (You imagine you hold some sort of moral high ground?)

  67. 67
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @grumpyoldfart, #65:

    How do you know he didn’t? To me this reads like he’s the sole remaining serious employee of his company, probably by laying people off left and right earlier on. When there’s no revenue, it doesn’t matter how much of a percentage you skim — as Foghorn Leghorn commented, “two nothin’s is nothin’”.

  68. 68
    Glen Davidson

    So, Ed, we can’t be glad that yet another sad Xian caricature of pop culture has failed as badly as it deserves?

    I suppose it would be better if Xian kids, already saddled with a bunch of superstitions nonsense, would be furthered isolated from culture by being stuck with sad little computer games that make them look silly among the rest of society.

    I’m glad for everyone that Jesus isn’t forced into the play times of religious kids–at least from Troy’s creations. Plus, I don’t think this is a big deal to any of us, except for possibly yourself, Ed.

    Glen Davidson

  69. 69
    Chaos Engineer

    450 square feet is a large studio apartment. It’s not a huge amount of space, but it’s in Honolulu. He could probably get four times as much space for the same money if he were willing to move to some place like Backlash, Alabama and I don’t know that he’s made a bad choice in staying where he is.

    That said, the SEC filing was sad. He’s still focusing on the low-end PC gaming market, and clearly doesn’t realize that it’s been completely replaced by the Mobile App market. There’s a niche for a game with a name like LeftBehindVille. “To advance to the next level, send me a dollar, and pester ten of your friends by reminding them that some portion of every dollar they send me will be used to buy Bibles for starving children in Africa.”

  70. 70
    Ingdigo Jump

    Morale is generally calculated on a wider level and typically involves maluses, or at worst desertion, not betrayal. Loyalty *is* a factor in some strategy games (I play way too much Romance of the THree Kingdoms not to know that), but it’s an interesting factor to keep track of in an RTS.

    \

    Point. Thought it sort of feels like the reason it wouldn’t be done would be that it could really drag processing with a lot of units or that it would get incredibly annoying in actual game play.

    I’m thinking of games that used it with just squads like The Thing and the mechanic tended to be either a eye rollingly simple chore or frustrating beyond belief.

  71. 71
    Ingdigo Jump

    There have been much more horrid and/or crazy premises for other games that have done well.

    Modern warfare shooters, Metroid The Other M?

  72. 72
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I bet the F is just there so no one thinks he’s got anything to do with icky gayness.

  73. 73
    Rip Steakface

    Ing:

    Metroid The Other M?

    The game may have sucked, but at least get the name right – there’s no “The.”

    OK Boys. I’ve got me here some rewrites. Instead of all the godbotherers gettin sent to heaven – it’s the reverse, see. As a heathen, the player is sent to heaven where you do battle with the heavenly choir- until you become god. Like mormonism- the video game.

    That sounds like Painkiller in reverse. I hope it would be equally awesome. Painkiller, after all, was the most METAL game ever released.

  74. 74
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Rip

    Meh if they didn’t care enough to get the game and character right, me getting the name right doesn’t feel like a big priority

  75. 75
    Ichthyic

    A video game based on the Left Behind series might be eye-rollingly silly, but hardly malign enough to interfere with the lives of the commentators here.

    that entirely depends on what any individual is doing with their lives atm.

    who are you to judge, eh?

    now stop with the tone trolling.

  76. 76
    Ichthyic

    The game may have sucked, but at least get the name right – there’s no “The.”

    so..

    Mom?

  77. 77
    unclefrogy

    this guy just from the description here sounds just like one of the crazed “bad guys” in a John D. Macdonald Travis Magee novel

    uncle frogy

  78. 78
    jetboy

    @ Kantalope # 31: I would play the hell out of that game. Make it an MMORPG with some serious end-game content. “Congratulations, you’re God. Now the real game begins…”

  79. 79
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    If he were a former Jim Bakker or Benny Hill type,

    I’m sorry, but I’m laughing my arse off right now. I think you mean Benny Hinn.

  80. 80
    myeck waters

    Most televangelists would be improved by being sped up and having their voices replaced with Yakety Sax. The spelling of which I just had to look up.

  81. 81
    marcmielke

    Atheists could do the best Bible-based game ever! I just got an idea for a STREET FIGHTER-type button mashing bonus round based on the Psalm “Happy shall be thy countenance as you smash their babes against the rocks”. The faster you mash the buttons, the faster you hammer swing a baby against a giant pillar. Most baby kills wins!

  82. 82
    gravityisjustatheory

    Point. Thought it sort of feels like the reason it wouldn’t be done would be that it could really drag processing with a lot of units or that it would get incredibly annoying in actual game play.

    Dwarf Fortress manages to track loyalty and happiness for each dwarf. (Not to mention the damage to the fat on the fourth finger, left hand, the goblin blood on their shoes and rainwater on their eyelids, and who/what each weapon has killed and who killed them).

    Although admittedly, it does suffer a lot of slow-down when you have a larger fortress.

    Does the Left Behind game include tantrum spirals, evil weather, and monsters that spread kitten rot?

  83. 83
    alecrezz

    Well, is it really any wonder when people lied about the game? I’ll note that you didn’t include the following paragraph from the Quartz article:

    “Then, perhaps not surprisingly, the controversy started. Almost immediately, game reviewers, the media and various religiously-affiliated non profits declared that the game rewarded players for killing characters who did not convert to Christianity. While widely reported, this turned out to not be true.”

    Gee… I wonder why you wouldn’t have mentioned that. Maybe because you were one of the people who knowingly, blatantly and shamelessly lied about it.

  84. 84
    Rey Fox

    Try reading the rest of the thread. There were plenty of legitimate reasons this game tanked.

  85. 85
    Mr_V

    The latest twist: Apparently Left Behind Games committed revenue fraud on a massive scale:

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-09-25-left-behind-games-accused-of-revenue-inflation-scheme

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to die of surprise.

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