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205. Film vs. Games Sep 26, 2003, 00:27 NuclearOctopus
Alright kids, let's a have a talk about this release thing, specifically in regards to movies as compared with games. Why can moives ALWAYS make their releases? Have you ever, ever heard of a movie being delayed because it "just wasn't done?" I sure haven't; maybe because the studio didn't like the final cut, because the political climate was bad, whatever. But the films are always completed in some form or another, in fact, a final cut is done weeks, even months before the wide release date for press screenings, test screenings, festivals and the like. Why is this? Films are just as hard to make as games; organizing a huge group of people to show up on time, getting film permits, getting rights, contract negotiations, setting up, tearing down, pre and post production. Making a film is a MASSIVE undertaking, it's absolutely daunting. Beyond the raw logistics, things can and always do go wrong on just about any film shoot you can think of. The weather sucks (look at set damage that occured during a sandstorm in Episode I, yet they still got that out on it's original release date) on the day you're sopposed to shoot, someone doesn't show up, the film gets processed incorrectly, you have to reshoot a scene after looking at it in post. Shit happens; don't tell me that "games have bugs, films are smooth sailing" that's simply not true. If anything, the problems that occur during the creation of a motion picture stretch far beyond the bugs encountered when making a game.

So why can movies always make their releases? Dates that are set sometimes YEARS in advance? It's simple: the way movies are marketted today puts huge emphasis on the release date; look at gross figures from any of the recent large blockbusters, they all follow the same pattern: Huge openings, followed by steep drop offs. Movies nowadays make the majority of their earnings in the first week of their release and then fade into obscurity soon after, so it is imperitive that both the public is aware of the release date, and the studio releases the movie on time.

The point to my ramblings? This: there is nothing keeping developers from setting a realistic release date for their game, and then hitting that date on the nose, first try. The film industry manages to get all of their big titles out exactly when they say they will, game developers, given a realistic timetable and a little more dedication, can do the same.

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