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General The general chatting goes on in here. That means talk about the LBA games and its world.

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  #1  
Old 2022-05-24, 04:02
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Twinsen Repercussion at the time of the release of Little Big Adventure 1&2

I'm curious about how the games were received at the time of their release, as I wasn't born until a few years later.

Here are my questions:

- How was the repercussion caused by LBA 1&2?

- Was it a well-received game with high popularity? Or did it gradually gain popularity?

- Was it a very popular game at the time, or was it normal?

- How was the promotion of the game? Did it spread on forums or in gaming magazines?

- How did it spread around the world? In which country were you most famous?

- What about LBA 2? Was it more successful than the first? Was it a long-awaited game?

I know there are a lot of questions, but I've been curious about it for years, I'd appreciate it if they could be answered
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  #2  
Old 2022-05-24, 09:51
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- Was it a well-received game with high popularity? Or did it gradually gain popularity?

Yes, it was immensely popular and sold millions iirc. It was basically the AAA of that time.

- Was it a very popular game at the time, or was it normal?

Popular! Although a lot of people like me may have started playing LBA2 first, and only played LBA1 after.

- How was the promotion of the game? Did it spread on forums or in gaming magazines?

It featured in gaming magazines internationally and got some promotional art as well

- How did it spread around the world? In which country were you most famous?

Iirc it released in the US, Canada, most European countries, Brazil, Isreal. I'm probably forgetting plenty. Let's say it was essentially a world wide release, give or take. Not sure about Asia.

- What about LBA 2? Was it more successful than the first? Was it a long-awaited game?

No source for this, but I would argue LBA2 may have done better than LBA1. Not sure if players of LBA1 were actively awaiting LBA2 -- I don't think there was the level of transparency we have now, in terms of what games were planned / in development.
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  #3  
Old 2022-05-24, 11:15
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I did a bit of googling.

The first game was a big hit by the standards of the time- it had 320,000 copies by February 1997 (which was a big deal at the time- source L'Express), and that year PC Gamer UK said it was the 38th best PC game ever.

However, in the US the game initally sold very badly. It sold about 30,000 copies which is pretty bad. Frederick Raynal at the time criticised the renaming of the game (To "Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure") and the attempt to market it more as a high action, agressive game with an emphasis on combat. American Twinsen may be hardcore, but not popular.

Critical reviews were very positive- 4 out of 5 or 9 out of 10 (and some publications going as far as to give the game full marks) were the norm.

As for LBA2... well to quote Gamespot "In France, Twinsen is big. In the States, he's an obscure oddity." Critical reviews were slightly less positive than for the first game- but when you go from getting usually around 90% (or 9 out of 10) and then drop to getting usually around 85% (which is still rouding to 9 out of 10)... eh the difference is tiny.

Again, it sold about 300,000 copies in it's first two years, which for the late 1990's on a PC exclusive game is still pretty good. The best selling PC games of this era were breaking a million sales by this point, but for a game that (again) sold badly in the US and a PC exclusive title 300,000 is still successful. Not a blockbuster (that is, it's sales are nowhere near other 1996/1997 games such as Diablo, Super Mario 64, Final Fantasy VII or Quake) but still enough to be considered successful.

It's worth remembering that both games had different publishers in the US- EA published them in Europe while Activision published them in the US. This is probably why the games did relatively badly in the States.
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Last edited by CiB; 2022-05-24 at 11:16. Reason: Puncutation, and to add what the US name of LBA was!
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  #4  
Old 2022-05-24, 20:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bot13 View Post
- Was it a well-received game with high popularity? Or did it gradually gain popularity?

Yes, it was immensely popular and sold millions iirc. It was basically the AAA of that time.

- Was it a very popular game at the time, or was it normal?

Popular! Although a lot of people like me may have started playing LBA2 first, and only played LBA1 after.

- How was the promotion of the game? Did it spread on forums or in gaming magazines?

It featured in gaming magazines internationally and got some promotional art as well

- How did it spread around the world? In which country were you most famous?

Iirc it released in the US, Canada, most European countries, Brazil, Isreal. I'm probably forgetting plenty. Let's say it was essentially a world wide release, give or take. Not sure about Asia.

- What about LBA 2? Was it more successful than the first? Was it a long-awaited game?

No source for this, but I would argue LBA2 may have done better than LBA1. Not sure if players of LBA1 were actively awaiting LBA2 -- I don't think there was the level of transparency we have now, in terms of what games were planned / in development.
Millions?
Like 300k and 500k more or less
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  #5  
Old 2022-05-24, 21:55
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Thanks for the answers, it really was an impressive game by the standards of the time, and with a very good story, I hope future games have such quality
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  #6  
Old 2022-05-25, 07:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neko View Post
Millions?
Like 300k and 500k more or less

Hmm, I somehow remembered 2 million sales. It seems I was wrong!
However, I checked it, and it's also more than the 300k-500k you're stating. For LBA1, the sales hit 500k in 1999 (source) - that's not counting post-1999 sales including Steam and Android versions. LBA2 is stated to have sold over 300k (source) although a few years ago that wiki page stated 600k - I'm unsure how up to date that number is.

But I guess it's safe to say it's probably upwards of 1 million sales at this point. 800k are accounted for - the rest would come from post 1999 sales, Steam version, Android version.
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  #7  
Old 2022-05-25, 10:53
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I was around 7 years old when LBA2 was released and life wasn't as global since internet was still in its first years of life. In my friend's group that game was immensely popular and we all had it (Sweden). So from that perspective I'd say it was a hit. In sales terms I don't know.
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  #8  
Old 2022-05-25, 12:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bot13 View Post
But I guess it's safe to say it's probably upwards of 1 million sales at this point. 800k are accounted for - the rest would come from post 1999 sales, Steam version, Android version.
The series as a whole might- might- have broken a million sales if you add the sales from LBA1 and 2 together, but I'd be extremely surprised if either game has hit that point on it's own. When you consider popularity though you have to ask how many people buying the steam or android version had also bought a copy of the game on another device? Also, isn't the android versions of the game no longer on sale? If so, that's presumably because they weren't doing well enough anymore to justify the cost of keeping them updated to work on more recent versions of android.

One thing I should have said before though, is that it was estimated that in 1995 that roughly 25% of PC owners with CD-Rom drives (which was needed to play the original back in the olden days- gods I'm ancient) had LBA1. This is actually a higher proportion of CD-Rom users having LBA1 than there were of NES owners having a copy of the original Super Mario Bros (and many NES consoles came with a copy of Super Mario Bros in the box.) When I got my first copy of LBA (which would have been 95 or 96) I was the only person I knew who had a CD-Rom drive on their PC. I knew a few folk with PCs, but they all just had floppy drives.

I think the LBA series, if you want a TLDR version of this, was incredibly successful critically (that is, really good reviews and thought of as being a really good game- it got better reviews than most "cult classics") but was only moderately successfully commercially (enough to justify sequels, but it was not the Call of Duty or Fortnite of it's day)
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Last edited by CiB; 2022-05-25 at 12:14.
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  #9  
Old 2022-05-25, 15:14
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Quote:
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Hmm, I somehow remembered 2 million sales. It seems I was wrong!
However, I checked it, and it's also more than the 300k-500k you're stating. For LBA1, the sales hit 500k in 1999 (source) - that's not counting post-1999 sales including Steam and Android versions. LBA2 is stated to have sold over 300k (source) although a few years ago that wiki page stated 600k - I'm unsure how up to date that number is.

But I guess it's safe to say it's probably upwards of 1 million sales at this point. 800k are accounted for - the rest would come from post 1999 sales, Steam version, Android version.
1 million is still great
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  #10  
Old 2022-05-25, 16:30
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Still weird to think Adeline just dissolved after making a successful game...
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  #11  
Old 2022-05-25, 19:04
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Still weird to think Adeline just dissolved after making a successful game...
yeah why was that?
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  #12  
Old 2022-05-26, 18:34
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I think we had a thread about this let me look it up...
Ah-ha !

Oh wow, I gave an explanation myself
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Also several of their projects failed for various reasons, the most well-known being Agartha...

But wait, I have a French videogame history book somewhere, let me look that up.


Edit : So,


After LBA2 came out, the owner of Adeline-Delphine decided to cash, yes. So the studio started looking for other sources of money, and they found what appeared to be a safe bet, an international company with a strong presence on the video game market, about to launch a new console... Sadly for Raynal and his team, it was SEGA.
After being bought by SEGA, Adeline became No Cliché, they developped Toy Commander and Toy Racer for the launch of the Dreamcast, and while the numbers were not being outstanding, the console was still selling nicely, so No Cliché got new offices, hired new people, etc...
But eh, you know how it all ended, the Playstation was going strongly, after the PS2 came out, it totalled more sales in a few months than the Dreamcast in a year, and the arrival of the Xbox didn't help either.
Although SEGA payed everything they owed to No Cliché, the studio just sat there with a finished game that would never come out, Raynal refusing to let any other developpers meddle with Agartha for a possible port, and then...

...

Yeah, a sad course of events...


Edit2 : Re-reading your question, it is true that we do not have much information as to why Paul de Senneville decided to stop sponsoring the company... This is conjecture on my part, but that guy was interested in audiovisuals, and mainly music (he is a composer and music producer). I think he simply wasn't interested in videogames anymore...
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  #13  
Old 2022-05-27, 19:40
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So Agartha never came out then? Maybe if they still have the assets and the code, they could release that as Creative Commons, so that it's not a complete waste. Or write a Post Mortem that makes it to the Hacker News front page

How comes that you have a book on French video game history?
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  #14  
Old 2022-05-27, 22:21
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What's the name of the book? I think I'd like to buy myself a copy if it's still being published.
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  #15  
Old 2022-05-30, 19:09
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It's called La saga des jeux vidéo, by Daniel Ichbiah.

I think it's not hard to come by, I have the fifth edition from 2011.

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Originally Posted by bloodhound View Post
So Agartha never came out then? Maybe if they still have the assets and the code, they could release that as Creative Commons, so that it's not a complete waste. Or write a Post Mortem that makes it to the Hacker News front page

How comes that you have a book on French video game history?
Nope, Agartha remains unpublished to this day, although a copy of the E3 demo (or something like that) has been posted on the forum... a few years ago I think ?

Dude, I have several books on video games, I just like video games :P
I have this book about video game history generally (in French), one other which reflects a bit more about the media itself, one about the history of the Chrono series, and a few others in pdf form that I got via the library of my University's.

Oh, also four books specifically about the history of Nintendo, and one about Japanese game developers, but haven't read that one yet.
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  #16  
Old 2022-06-02, 16:56
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The LBA games were in fact released in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand as well, and proved especially popular in Japan, where the game received a full localization (text + voices) and was ported to PC-98, FM-Towns, PlayStation, and there was even a port to a Sega console in the works that I'm not sure it was ever finished. I belive LBA 2 had a full localization as well, but I haven't yet gotten my hands on it, but I do have the English Asian version.
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  #17  
Old 2022-06-02, 17:28
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LBA2 as well ? That's interesting...
Do you have numbers on that btw ? Wikipedia doesn't have much info

edit : True, not much about a Japanese LBA2 on the net... How do you know it exists ?
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  #18  
Old 2022-06-02, 18:22
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- Polaris: There is (or at least, was) one site saying that Activision released LBA 2 (as Twinsen's Odyssey) in Japan on December 1997.
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Old 2022-06-03, 10:44
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Haha, apparently you can buy it on amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Little-Big-Ad.../dp/B00006LJM3
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  #20  
Old 2022-06-03, 13:37
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Found an old MBN thread where you were discussing it:
https://forum.magicball.net/showthread.php?t=6709
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  #21  
Old 2022-06-04, 00:19
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That's the PSX version of LBA1, we were talking about PC LBA2.

You got me all excited though
Anyway, I'll be sure to check retrogame shops next time I'm in Tokyo, one can always hope...
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  #22  
Old 2022-06-10, 20:41
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Ah, sorry about that ^^'
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  #23  
Old 2022-06-11, 15:56
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On that matter, I have both that and the PC version of LBA 1 in Japanese (thanks, Link, or I believe he's now called Lupin?). The PC version does not have the problems of the PSX version, and it also proved my assumptions wrt. the texts wrong (my assumption was based on Japanese Wolfenstein 3D which does indeed use images instead of text) - the texts are actually texts, but, rather than using the font in RESS.HQR, it uses an external font (for which I began making an editor years ago, but never finished it).
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