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Following his recent unemployment and the closure of his Disney-owned studio, Junction Point, Epic Mickey's Warren Spector gave a speech at DICE 2013. In his speech, he assured gamers that he wasn't ready to retire, as he has games he still wants to make. This speech began with Spector saying that he wasn't there to discuss "the elephant in the room," Disney Interactive, the recent closure of his studio, or the past eight years of his career. The only thing he'd say on that matter was that he worked with some great people on some amazing projects. After a simple "it's all good," Spector went on to give his actual speech about "The Graying of Gaming," which he refers to the aging gaming population that he is a part of, and discussed his disinterest in retirement. "I had a little wake-up moment last week in the wake of events," he said. "One of my programmers said, 'Why don't you just retire?' The answer was easy: I still have things I want to make. I'm not ready to go live on a farm." Spector continued to say how unsure he was as to how many more games he'd be able to make, but that his tastes in game designing have "changed dramatically" since he began his career as a game designer. Making games about armored men with big swords or alien-bashing space marines are not the kind of things that interest him. "I want content that is relevant to my life, set in the real world," Spector said. "If we're going to reach a new audience, we have to stop making games for teenage boys, or even teenage girls." Spector went on to mock Grasshopper Manufacture's recent title, Lollipop Chainsaw by displaying an image of the game on the screen behind him as he stated, "There are some games that should just not be made." He then continued by displaying images of Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead, saying how developers should celebrate diversity and "the ordinary" in terms of design. Finally, Spector closed with, "Put aside geekish things, and be guided by passion," followed by a display of his LinkedIn profile on the back screen. How do you feel about Warren Spector? Do you think he should retire, or are you excited by the games he might bring to the table?
In another sad case of a developer shutting down, today we've learned that Disney Interactive has shuttered Junction Point Studios, the developer behind last Fall's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. The move was made in the wake of the critical and financial failure of the game. It was discovered recently that Epic Mickey 2 sold through 529,000 units of the game through last November and December, but those sales were far behind the original game's. A spokesperson for Disney Interactive released a statement on the situation to Polygon, saying: "These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We're extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2." Disney Interactive now turns its attention and resources toward the upcoming Disney Infinity, which is being developed by Avalanche Software. Additionally, game designer Warren Spector has confirmed that he is leaving Disney Interactive with the closure of Junction Point. He took to Facebook to post his farewell letter, saying that he's sad to leave Junction Point Studios behind but excited for the future. "JPS had a good eight year run." Spector noted in his farewell letter. "I got to work with some amazing people on some amazing projects. I've had some of the most magical times of my life, fulfilling several life-long dreams. I've gotten to know Disney fans and Disney cast members, gotten hands on with Disney's history, walked where Walt walked... 'Magical' really is the only word. Anyway, whatever you think of me, or Junction Point, or Disney or the Disney Epic Mickey games — yes, I know we polarized people! — I'll always look back on the last eight years with nothing but pride. Rarely have I worked with a team more dedicated or harder working. Never have I been part of a game — of anything, really — that touched people at as deep or personal a level as the Epic Mickey games. That's priceless." The full post can be read on Warren Spector's Facebook. Game Podunk wishes the best to those affected by the closure of Junction Point Studios. Source: Polygon