Noctropolis and it’s clue book have arrived which has given me a chance to look them over. I can confirm that the clue book was published by Origin although they haven’t gone out of their way to advertise this. The game initially appears to have no mention of Origin, until you read the technical manual and learn that if you want to get help you have to get in touch with Origin technical support. In fact the manual itself looks exactly like one of Origins from this period.
That’s the only mention of Origin I can find. The game itself was developed by Flashpoint Studios who were an independent developer who got bought out by Bethesda in 1996. My guess is that when EA signed up the game, they wouldn’t rely entirely on an external company to simply hand over a finished product so Origin were brought in during the final stages to publish, test and support it. I’d have expected it to say Origin on the box rather than just EA under these circumstances, but I guess that would be up to EA. The only other game on Mobygames from Flashpoint was a golf game published by Sega so this appears to be their only title published by EA.
It’s not unheard of for Origin to publish external developers games although I expect they would usually have more involvement than this, e.g. Ultima Underworld and System Shock. There was also Shadowcaster which was developed by Raven and Abuse which I don’t think had any Origin involvement at all. Abuse was possibly the most obscure but the box did at least carry the Origin logo (although you wouldn’t see it if you weren’t looking for it). It’s less clear with Noctropolis but from the evidence I’ve got it deserves a place in the blog as much as Abuse did so I’ll be playing it after F-15 to finish off (as far as I know), the complete list of games published and/or developed by Origin.
I still haven’t started F-15 as I’ve been busy imaging all my disks with the kryoflux. I’m glad to say that these are more or less done and uploaded for the Software Preservation Society to use as they see fit. I’ll start on F-15 today, which I can’t say I’m especially looking forward to but I am quite interested in playing Noctropolis when I’ve got it out of the way so it’s giving me the incentive to get going again.