Kotick on Bungie & Indies

Computer and Video Games quotes Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who has made another of his head-scratching statements about the game industry. Presumably chuffed over Activision's ten-year deal with Bungie, Mr. Kotick calls Bungie "probably the last remaining high quality independent developer." CVG provides a brief list of the indies that one would deduce he does not think are high-quality: "Valve, Epic, Ninja Theory, Level-5, Insomniac, Foundation 9, Gearbox, Sucker Punch, Rebellion, and Terminal Reality." He also suggests that Activision alone has the publishing chops to match up with Bungie, saying of their publisher hunt: "But as they started to go and look at the obvious candidates, they realised that no company other than Activision had the skills that they needed to be successful for the vision of that product." Thanks joao.
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Re: Kotick on Bungie & Indies
Sep 20, 2010, 16:51
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Re: Kotick on Bungie & Indies Sep 20, 2010, 16:51
Sep 20, 2010, 16:51
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 15:45:

Publishers will still be needed for a good, long while.
They aren't like record companies, which added no real value other than distribution and got clobbered.

Making a game takes bigtime serious money, and as a consumer investing in a game is costly and time-consuming. Neither of these are true for music, so music survives well without the recording companies.
But with games? You still need millions of capital to make it, and you need marketing to convince others to even take the time to download it (look at how many cool UDK demos are out there being ignored because too few want to bother downloading a 400MB-1GB on something they know nothing about.)

Until game design gets cheap and easy, which may be a very long time away, we'll need publishers to finance them and market them. You never know what'll happen, though. Albums used to take millions to record, who thought it'd be done by kids in their garage with a laptop? Movies used to take millions to film. It's still pretty true, but budgets are actually falling now with digital being much quicker and cheaper. And who would have thought a few years back that the two most powerful game engines (CryEngine 3 and UE3) would be available free?


With digital distribution on PCs being the mainstream and at least viable on consoles, publishers aren't that necessary because venture capital can fill that gap(if necessary).

The only problem is when consumers require so called "triple A" titles. They're the Transformers of videogames, no innovation, just plenty of production value. That said, you can definitely make money without spending a billion on one title, just look at games like Mount and Blade, Braid, and Penumbra.

The problem is that too many developers try to remake the wheel rather than licensing existing technology(ex: building a new engine when Unreal is available). Development costs are much higher when you're building everything from scratch. Gone are the days when 8 out of 10 games on the market use Quake or Unreal derived engines, when solid games came out at a much faster pace and didn't break the bank to make or purchase. Games don't take "bigtime serious money" to make unless developers decide to go that route.
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