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23. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 12, 2014, 01:14 Jivaro
I can't really get behind any theory or opinion that is based on the concept that a game must sell well to have been good. Sales numbers are a generally accepted component of making good future business decisions, that does not necessarily mean that they are a good indication of quality game design. The theory only works when an individual's subjective opinion happens to fall in line with the mass market opinion. Any reader of this board should be pretty familiar with fantastic games that fail from a sales point of view while absolutely crap games sell millions. It's been happening for years and nearly all of us have commented on it at some point.

The fact is that it is all subjective and when a development decision changes a game in a way that significantly separates itself from an industry standard like Diablo 2 there will inevitably be comparisons and target audience division. If a new ARPG fails to draw in gamers that don't normally play ARPGs how will they ever sell as many copies as the industry standard when they are dividing the market? In the absence of a lot of marketing money the answer is simple: they won't. That has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the game. It's simply a risk you take when you try to innovate. Some folks are going to appreciate it and some are going to hate it. I mean, bottom line, if Titan Quest was so bad would Grim Dawn even be a thing? A strong argument could be made that without the Titan Quest bloodline on it's resume, Grim Dawn never gets made. (and Grim Dawn is fantastic by the way!)

edit: I wasn't going to comment on the DS thing since I am only a moderate fan of that series but the idea that D2's quality or sales had anything to do with the disaster that was DS3 seems unlikely. DS3 was made with consoles as the priority sales platform, that is why it was less accepted by the very same fans that loved DS1 and DS2, games which were made for the PC first. When you make such a huge and fundamental change to your design you are rolling the dice in a big way because you will most likely piss off your core audience. If you don't succeed in growing a new audience who are you selling the game too? The reason for the change is more likely to be because the publisher thought they could sell more copies to a new audience on the consoles than they could to an old audience on PC. It isn't a huge leap in logic. The console versions of the previous games probably sold well enough to convince the suits that if DS3 was console oriented from the get-go it would be a bigger seller on closed platforms that have less piracy and higher margins. Again, not a new thing for any of us on this board to see from this industry. Even with all the success that Steam and other digital distributors have brought to the PC gaming industry we still see this same decision being made by both developers and publishers. When it works, it works big. I assume that is why publishers and developers take the chance in the first place.

This comment was edited on Jan 12, 2014, 02:19.
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