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Morning Consolidation

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48. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 22:21 Redmask
 
Orogogus wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 21:21:
In the case of Resident Evil 6, and of Tomb Raider, I don't think it was the case that the games weren't profitable. In both instances these games failed to meet projections, and I don't think anyone said either one lost money. Tomb Raider in particular was derided since it set a record for the franchise but still didn't meet its goals.

I've heard it bantied around that they weren't profitable after marketing expenses.

Ultimately I do agree about the overemphasis on expensive graphics, but I feel the way people go on about it is misguided. Usually people point at titles like FTL or Minecraft as indie games taking over the reins from big publishers, but those are kind of one-offs. I think a more realistic expectation from big publishers scaling back their insane expectations would be a stream of somewhat janky looking shooters, probably half of them with zombies.

We get that already. Someone makes a game and everyone else apes it. Those indie games aren't outliers, they are becoming the norm thanks to self publishing platforms. It's not realistic to expect AAA games to be developed like that but likewise it isn't realistic for publishers to continue down this road without changes. There is a middle ground to be found and it won't be found by blaming the consumer. People want better everything, that's just human nature. It doesn't mean they won't take what they can get when it's still just pretty good. Publishers are end loaded, they make cuts at the bottom and the people at the top keep riding the gravy train as long as possible, that's a good starting place.
 
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47. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 21:21 Orogogus
 
Effiencies were defined as separate from simply making cheaper games in Flatline's post. In that light it seems as nebulous as political candidates promising to save tons of money by cutting wasteful spending. Cutting back high expectations was point B.

In the case of Resident Evil 6, and of Tomb Raider, I don't think it was the case that the games weren't profitable. In both instances these games failed to meet projections, and I don't think anyone said either one lost money. Tomb Raider in particular was derided since it set a record for the franchise but still didn't meet its goals.

Call of Duty is the poster child for the broken model. It's the blockbuster that's forcing all the other games to aim to be blockbusters too. Isn't it supposed to be one of the super-spendy titles, up there with GTA?

Ultimately I do agree about the overemphasis on expensive graphics, but I feel the way people go on about it is misguided. Usually people point at titles like FTL or Minecraft as indie games taking over the reins from big publishers, but those are kind of one-offs. I think a more realistic expectation from big publishers scaling back their insane expectations would be a stream of somewhat janky looking shooters, probably half of them with zombies.
 
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46. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 20:09 Redmask
 
It's not apparent in the fact that a game like Resident Evil 6 can sell 6 million copies and not be profitable? No inefficiencies there at all, it's just gamers expectations driving the cost up? The years of studios being shuttered after a single failed product isn't evidence that there is a problem? We have mountains of evidence that there is a problem with the corporate publishing model, there isn't really a need to dig very deep.

Maybe the infrastructure of publishers following a Hollywood model isn't sustainable in the long run. Maybe the publishers got too competitive with each other and focused too much on glitzy visuals over gameplay. Maybe the entire industry model is broken, perhaps the customer and developers need to interface directly more and more. Blaming it on gamers is disingenuous, gamers consume, they don't create. The publishers have been used to giving consumers the middle finger in areas like DRM, why would they have a problem saying no to increased visuals?

When marketing budgets are exceeding game development budgets, I don't know I just can't blame gamers for saying 'game is ugly' on a forum. People say a lot of shit but they seem to buy things anyway, Call of Duty isn't exactly the best looking game on the market and manages to be the highest grossing.
 
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45. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 20:05 Yosemite Sam
 
One has to wonder, is Microsofts new policy really about stopping used game sales... or is it really a way to force obsolescence into the system... so when they decide the XB1 has had it's time then they can turn it off and force the consumer to upgrade. Is Gamestop their enemy or is it the tens of millions of gamers who are quite happy to keep on playing with their PS2s and Xboxs.  
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44. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 19:40 Orogogus
 
Draugr wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 15:44:
Flatline wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 14:03:
That tells me that the next "generation" of gaming should be about making AAA quality games *cheaper* to produce. Meaning faster, easier pipelines.

I've been predicting that games are going to peak on budget since the beginning of the PS3/360 generation. The solution to this isn't to yank fair use doctrine

Used games are not fair use at all. First sale doctrine is what applies here.

and force consumers into what amounts to an outdated pattern of game development, but to push, and I mean *really* push, to make games cheaper and more efficient to produce. That's it really.

Either that or admit that you've hit a certain level of fidelity that is just not economical to get past and go back to investing in content.

Next gen games *ARE* cheaper to produce, at least on a hardware level -- when everything is using such similar hardware, the porting is far cheaper than it used to be. That's not to say there may not be in increase in production costs elsewhere (again, they always feel graphics are king.) but there it going to be an offset because you don't need to worry yourself about making a version that runs on a Cell CPU and a PowerPC CPU.

I think publishers have enormous incentive to get games made more efficiently. I think that's what gets us yearly sports games with minimal changes, free to play, DLC, Starcraft 2 split into 3 titles, and nearly every action game made to console specifications. These are all ways to get games made more cheaply, and people certainly do complain.

I get the feeling that efficiency here just means magic, the way that every game that doesn't run perfectly smoothly is because the developers don't know how to "optimize". Like, is there a ton of evidence that companies use egregiously wasteful methodologies to make games? Game development probably isn't something you can six sigma or 5S into profitability.

On one hand indie games do get a lot of praise here, but on the other you also see a lot of action games taking flak for not going PC-only with visuals beyond what consoles can handle, or giant levels that can't be squeezed into the 360 and PS3's memory. There are a ton of people who complain about graphics -- I don't think it's possible to make a jungle game without people complaining that it pales compared to Crysis 2. A lot of complaints about consolization can be translated into 1) the game should be fancier and cost more to make, or 2) the gameplay should appeal to a smaller, more discerning audience, neither of which necessarily translate into a higher profit to man hours ratio.
 
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43. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 19:18 nin
 
Creston wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 17:31:
wtf_man wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 15:40:
Oh... this is really low, if true:

Microsoft Paying Third-Party Publishers to Not Show PS4 Games at E3 2013 Shocked2

The sad thing is, I have NO trouble believing it from Microsoft. They're basically a bunch of giant fucking assholes now, courtesy of the Ballmer reign.

Creston


While the action itself is despicable, E3 is almost over, and it didn't do MS any favors. As we get closer to launch (as more preorder pages for games popup for each system), unless MS drastically scales things back, they're fucked.

I will also be cackling with glee if Sony beats MS to the market. A surprise launch, like sega did years ago, with no warning, would be yet another "fuck you".


 
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42. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 19:13 Cutter
 
It won't help them. Everyone's already seen the needle and the damage done.
 
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41. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 18:56 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 17:31:
wtf_man wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 15:40:
Oh... this is really low, if true:

Microsoft Paying Third-Party Publishers to Not Show PS4 Games at E3 2013 Shocked2

The sad thing is, I have NO trouble believing it from Microsoft. They HAVE basically BEEN a bunch of giant fucking assholes FOR DECADES.

Creston

Fixed that for you there Creston. Let's not forget the crap MS has pulled year after year since the early 90s. This is par for the course.
 
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40. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 17:31 Creston
 
wtf_man wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 15:40:
Oh... this is really low, if true:

Microsoft Paying Third-Party Publishers to Not Show PS4 Games at E3 2013 Shocked2

The sad thing is, I have NO trouble believing it from Microsoft. They're basically a bunch of giant fucking assholes now, courtesy of the Ballmer reign.

Creston
 
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39. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 17:30 Yosemite Sam
 
Verno wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 12:28:
"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people."

CliffyB's latest troll rant against used games is up and he predictably backs Microsoft, claiming that modern game development and marketing is too expensive to support a used game market. Of course one might wonder why the marketing and game budgets need to be this high in the first place when people will spend millions on something like Terraria and Minecraft, surely there is a middle ground to be found there.

Destructoid absolutely decimates his argument, thought people might want to take a gander.

Are these extra high res assets not already being done for the PC, a platform that does not have a used game market or move anything near the numbers consoles do?... and is it not actually EXTRA work to lower those assets so the games can run on a console?... and does not the new higher powered console actually make for less work in optimization therefor making the game cheaper to produce?

Seems to me Cliffys just being a corporate shill, and we know their position, no amount of profit is enough, so if they think axing the used game market will increase their personal market share then that's what they'll do and it has nothing to do with making ends meet. Did Gears of War not make money, a ton of money, so what the FK is this guy bitching about. Greedy asshole.
 
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38. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 16:23 jdreyer
 
NKD wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 13:00:
Verno wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 12:28:
"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people."

CliffyB's latest troll rant against used games is up and he predictably backs Microsoft, claiming that modern game development and marketing is too expensive to support a used game market. Of course one might wonder why the marketing and game budgets need to be this high in the first place when people will spend millions on something like Terraria and Minecraft, surely there is a middle ground to be found there.

Destructoid absolutely decimates his argument, thought people might want to take a gander.

I see validity in both sides of the argument. Some, at least.

... (snip) ...

It's extremely hard for a large industry to become a small industry voluntarily. I can't even think of a precedent for that.

There was a great podcast last week on Gamers With Jobs discussing the rise of mid-tier games as a response to ballooning budgets.

These are games that debut at $20-30, and have good graphics and good gameplay. Some examples: Torchlight 2, Kerbal, Prison Architect, Trine 2, Xenonauts, Van Helsing, War for the Overworld, Zeno Clash 2, Star Drive, etc.
 
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37. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 16:19 Julio
 
NewMaxx wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 16:00:
so Microsoft's strategy once again is an exit strategy. I can't emphasize that enough.

I'm not sure how tanking the value their console division before trying to sell it is a great exit strategy. They might as well have just shut it down if they were going to do that.
 
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36. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 16:18 Cutter
 
Yeah, but as Molyneux pointed out - correctly for once - that we don't need another way to access FB or watch TV or what have you. We already have plenty of devices which do all that stuff much better already. Couple with the fact that MS wants to charge you on top of the other fees for that stuff and you have to ask why you'd pay them to begin with? I'm going to give you $500 for a box only to pay you another $100 a year - or whatever it'll be - for stuff I can do easier and cheaper already? Protest
 
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35. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 16:00 NewMaxx
 
Yeah, pretty much what I predicted over two months ago. (original post)

"the console companies want to exit the market (take a look at the XBox division sale rumors for an example)." (Microsoft is phoning the gaming portion in while pushing other entertainment areas far more)

"it's clear that Sony and Microsoft are both tired of the game. It's likely you will have a monopoly on your hands" (Sony, most likely, which ties back to the XBox division sale)

"the current strategy is an exit strategy, not one of growth, so of course they're going to tie down the user base. They want you hooked on the services, not the games." (a prediction borne out by things like Microsoft's recent free games for Live plan, DRM in XBox One, etc.)

The PS4 won simply because Microsoft isn't interested in the same things as Sony. Quite frankly, they can't afford to be, as I have stated many times the traditional console marketplace is shrinking. It's like saying one grocery store is killing another when the former is selling only food and the latter has gone Walmart. There's room in the market for both types because they aren't serving the same customers for the same goods. Anyway, I've made other posts essentially saying the console market will be commoditized/licensed because outside AAA games you got a booming mobile and indie market along with viable streaming/indie competitors.

In otherwords, the XBox One is trying to be the jack-of-all-trades to cover all its bases (and relying on continued Xbox 360 sales, Live subs, etc.) while Sony is being aggressive, but again, the market itself is dying, so Microsoft's strategy once again is an exit strategy. I can't emphasize that enough.
 
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34. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 15:56 Cutter
 
The used console market exists because the initial price point is to high and games don't come down in price fast enough. That's the upside of the PC digital market that console gaming needs to emulate if they want to end used game resales.
 
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33. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 15:44 Draugr
 
Flatline wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 14:03:
Verno wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 12:28:
"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people."

CliffyB's latest troll rant against used games is up and he predictably backs Microsoft, claiming that modern game development and marketing is too expensive to support a used game market. Of course one might wonder why the marketing and game budgets need to be this high in the first place when people will spend millions on something like Terraria and Minecraft, surely there is a middle ground to be found there.

Destructoid absolutely decimates his argument, thought people might want to take a gander.

That tells me that the next "generation" of gaming should be about making AAA quality games *cheaper* to produce. Meaning faster, easier pipelines.

I've been predicting that games are going to peak on budget since the beginning of the PS3/360 generation. The solution to this isn't to yank fair use doctrine and force consumers into what amounts to an outdated pattern of game development, but to push, and I mean *really* push, to make games cheaper and more efficient to produce. That's it really.

Either that or admit that you've hit a certain level of fidelity that is just not economical to get past and go back to investing in content.

Next gen games *ARE* cheaper to produce, at least on a hardware level -- when everything is using such similar hardware, the porting is far cheaper than it used to be. That's not to say there may not be in increase in production costs elsewhere (again, they always feel graphics are king.) but there it going to be an offset because you don't need to worry yourself about making a version that runs on a Cell CPU and a PowerPC CPU.

The real problem is that publishers just don't want to figure out a different way of working. They don't want to try to work more efficiently, or try to create less-expensive-to-make, games, because they like the never-ending spiral of increasing costs to increasing revenue they are in, as that makes their share holders happy.

Prezactly.
As the destructoid Article touched upon, it is amazing how some publishers (and their fans) feel like the games industry wouldn't exist without them.
 
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32. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 15:43 Beamer
 
Creston wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 15:21:
Beamer wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 14:34:
Then again, Lucas and Spielberg also think movies may some day soon cost $150 to see in theaters.

Ahahahahahahahahaha. Somebody please shoot both of them, in case their brand of utter fucktardery is contageous. If movies start costing double what they are now, most everyone will stop going to see them. $150 for a movie? They are fucking insane. We already knew this about George Lucas, but I guess Spielberg is next. It probably IS contageous.

Creston


I disagree it'll hit $150, but their reasoning that gets them there isn't all that bad - people are getting better and better home systems and there's less and less reason to actually go to movies. People still enjoy it for meeting people, but attendance is falling fast enough that theater owners should be nervous.

That's all true enough.

From there, they just posit that the only theaters that survive will be ones that really go all out and do significantly more than what theaters today do. Ones that are more comfortable and higher quality and have more services and cost, in their words, $50, $100, or maybe even rivaling a sports event at $150.
I kind of get why they go there, but, again, theaters today suck compared to ones of the 40s and 50s because they've learned that people don't give much of a shit. They want a good movie at a good price and air conditioning. Nothing else. Price, really, matters a ton.
 
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31. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 15:40 wtf_man
 
Oh... this is really low, if true:

Microsoft Paying Third-Party Publishers to Not Show PS4 Games at E3 2013 Shocked2
 
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30. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 15:35 wtf_man
 
Rattlehead wrote on Jun 13, 2013, 13:13:
This is exactly my feelings about PS4 brought to you by Maddox.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4sLpG6_36Cc

When he bitches about the UK and EU prices, he neglects to mention that those prices include VAT and probably some steep import tax... where the US price is without sales tax.

It's not the console manufacturers fault (MS nor Sony) that Europe has stupid high taxes... so, of course it gets passed on to their consumers.
 
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29. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 13, 2013, 15:32 Darks
 
Cliffy "Bitch" Boy is just pissed off because he is an overpriced fat head like the rest of them, and he thinks he’s owed even more and hes not getting a kick back from used games.  
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