A developers diary on the canceled American Idol coin-op game

Shaggy September 26, 2009 6


It’s been about a year now but last October, we received a tip about an American Idol coin-op game that was being brought to market by Raw Thrills’. Not long after that, the game was seen on location test and a little later it made it’s official appearance at IAAPA 2008. But after that, news on the title grew quiet and we soon found out that the game had in fact been canceled. Details on what happened to the project were scarce but in case you ever wanted to see more about it, one of the guys behind the project has a sort of developer’s diary online where he details the doomed AI project from beginning to end. It looks like this diary has been up since August but I missed it up until today and it’s a rare look at what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to arcade development.

Here is a video of the game in action as found on the page I’m linking to, it’s a pretty interesting use of video technology that they had going there. It’s just too bad they couldn’t do something to enhance people’s voices too (which would have been a plus for me not being much of a singer) 😛

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  1. editor September 27, 2009 at 11:51 am - Reply

    I have to say that this Blog leaves more to the imagination – O am always concerned by these kind of postings when no actual reasons are given- just hints.
    I need to know:

    – was the game cancelled because of the legal issues (i.e. they did not have the full permission to start with)?

    – was it canceled because of over spending from the developers and poor business practice?

    – was it as popular as claimed (rumors of ROI figure’s from the second test were claimed to be disappointing)?

    All these need to be answered (with no ambiguities) for this to be a believable blog rather than a sulk on a closed project.

  2. Shaggy September 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    One person told me that it was canceled because it was cost prohibitive to customers – you might have caught that pic on the blog where it lists the prices – $2 just to sing, $4 for a recording sent to you via e-mail and $6 to have a DVD of your performance burned. I also read a spot on there where this dev complains about that too.If you couple that with poor earnings at any location test then it just those aspects are my guess as to what doomed the project.

  3. editor September 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Interesting – but I still wonder, two tests do not make a project? The product was playing in the ‘Dancing Head’ sector – and they could have tested that pricing model? http://danceheads.com/

    My gutt feel is that after checking the ROI, finding the hole in the licenses and impact of GH development, Betson forced the close.

  4. Shaggy September 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    I know that one thing that drove up costs on this was the licensing – in particular the fees that needed to be paid to Simon Cowell for the use of the AI stuff.

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