Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Lorne Lanning on Micro-Publishing

Oddworld: Spending $30m on games, not Ferraris and private jets on GamesIndustry International features a conversation with Lorne Lanning of Oddworld Inhabitants, who shows a defiant independence when he says his answer was "F-ck you very much" to Electronic Arts at the prospect of being acquired (an offer EA says they cannot recall making). He goes on to describe how EA pulled marketing dollars from Stranger's Wrath and offered to buy them because of the money they lost on the project. "That's not a sustainable model, that's a hostile acquisition," he explains. "That's why we had to strive to get independent. Rather than get into bed with someone we knew was a horrible bed partner we said 'let's stay virgins for longer'." Here's how he describes his outlook on being a micro-publisher since he returned to gaming:

"On the micro-publisher level it's very simple. We fund our own products," he says. "We weren't able to do that in the boxed product days, we're only able to do that in the digital distribution landscape.

"Rather than having to have 1.5 million units in the opening week or suffer death, now if we have 50,000 sales and we're still in business. People are still employed and we're able to keep making content. When we released box product we would get 20 per cent of the revenue. After that 20 per cent paid back the entire development budget, if it was still selling at $60 we would start seeing $7 a unit. Because of the bricks and mortar, the plastic, the manufacturing, the gas involved in taking games to the store, the store itself and all those extra costs - not one of those costs makes a better game for the player."

"If you're the gamer, where do you want the money of the game you're buying to go?" he asks. "I want it going to help make more games. But the majority of that money is not going to games in the boxed product market.

He continues: "Now we're on a digitally distributed landscape, instead of a $60 price point we can offer a $9.99 price point. At $9.99 we get $7 per unit. At this price you're getting a game for one sixth of the price and we're still getting money to make more games. The player is truly funding our games. We have a few hundred thousand people we can depend on as fans of Oddworld who will buy our games. If we can get that number up to 3-5 million and with the increase of what that brings to the developer, then we can start funding our own $20 - $30 million triple-A games. That's our goal."

Post Comment
Enter the details of the comment you'd like to post in the boxes below and click the button at the bottom of the form.

18. Re: Lorne Lanning on Micro-Publishing Oct 2, 2012, 14:32 Beamer
 
I don't really understand why publishers want to buy studios. Why they start studios, sure. But I still maintain that they should be looking to breed talent. The talent path should be something as follows:
1) Publishers own their own studios, like Black Box or Rockstar North or whatever. These are the studios they can tightly control, but there's less creativity at these studios. They're working more on the big, safe hits like the next Madden, the next Need for Speed or the next big shooter
2) Small independent studios. These guys do contract work sometimes, but are looking to become able to do their own. These are real areas of innovation, and publishers will finance them. Risky, possibly, but smaller games. They're not looking to make the next $100MM shooter, instead looking to make the next Deus Ex HR (which I believe as a cheaper shooter.) They likely give up their IP at first, and they're typically started by someone in the publisher owned studio that's looking to get out on his own and spread his creative wings. If the publisher ran the first studio well this employee would come out with a great relationship and be willing to let the publisher invest a bit in exchange for some rights to the work in the first few years
3) Large independents. These guys started as a small independent but, after some successes, are doing well enough that they can finance themselves well enough to keep their IP. Publishers still invest some money, in exchange for revenues, but not for IP and not for any control.


I get that a lot of studios crash and burn, but I don't get why publishers want to acquire them. Yes, in some cases it makes sense - Infinity Ward was obviously a steal, as was Bungie. But they're not only rare successes, they also had fairly unhappy endings.

 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
Subject
Comment
     
 
      ;)   ;)   :(   :(   :o   :o   %)   %)   :)   :)   :|   :|   ;P   ;P   X|   X|   :D   :D   More
 
Login Email   Password Remember Me
If you have a signature set up, it will be automatically appended to your comment.
If you don't already have a Blue's News user account, you can sign up here.
Forgotten your password? Click here.
 
          Email me when this topic is updated.
 

Special Codes

  • b[bold text]b
  • i[italic text]i
  • u[underline text]u
  • -[strikethrough text]-
  • c[code text]c
  • +[bullet point]+
  • q[quote text (indented)]q
  • [quote="Author"]quote text (indented)[/quote]
  • [url=Link]text[/url]
  • r{red text}r
  • g{green text}g
  • b{blue text}b
  • m{maroon text}m
  • s{secret text (shows in the background colour)}s

Forum Rules

  1. Disagree all you want but attacks of a personal nature will not be tolerated.
  2. Ethnic slurs and homophobic language will not be tolerated.
  3. Do not post spam, links to warez sites, or instructions on how to obtain pirated software.
  4. Abusing the forums in any manner that could be construed as 'griefing' will not be tolerated.


footer

.. .. ..

Blue's News logo