Mark Rein Q&A

The Mark Rein Q&A on GamesIndustry.biz chats up the Epic veep in a conversation that mostly centers on console gaming, though on the subject of ongoing PC support, he says: "Well, we make our games on the PC obviously and PC is how we do development and why we have this great Intel million dollar 'Make Something Unreal' competition. Our games are on PC, if we have a game that suits the PC I don't see any reason why we wouldn't release it on PC. It seems like a no-brainer." Other topics include progress on Gears of War 2, their disinterest in Wii development, the European market, and how Epic's games already support 3D monitor technology.
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22.
 
Re: Misplaced Anger
Jul 10, 2008, 10:03
22.
Re: Misplaced Anger Jul 10, 2008, 10:03
Jul 10, 2008, 10:03
 
That seems a bit harsh. Cliff is the same awesome programmer he always was. He and his team made one of the best game developement environments (UnrealEd) ever, if not the best... the Unreal engine is used all over the place by tons of companies, because it's such fun to work with. And you're all pissy because they don't make their games for computer FIRST? That's it? That's your big beef?

Seriously... expand your horizons. You're acting like Epic is your ex-girlfriend, and you're acting sour-grapes because she dumped you. Grow up.
I agree with you, but that's Tim Sweeney you're thinking of, not Cliff. Cliff is just a mapper/producer/designer, and he thinks he's a celebrity. Tim is the awesome programmer that made UnrealEd, and he still knows what he's doing.

At least Epic knows how to show off their new engines in actual games, not tech demos.

21.
 
Misplaced Anger
Jul 9, 2008, 18:26
21.
Misplaced Anger Jul 9, 2008, 18:26
Jul 9, 2008, 18:26
 
I don't get why someone would yell at someone, or call them jerks, just because they don't come around to your neck of the woods as often anymore.

Fuck Mark and Cliffy B...

That seems a bit harsh. Cliff is the same awesome programmer he always was. He and his team made one of the best game developement environments (UnrealEd) ever, if not the best... the Unreal engine is used all over the place by tons of companies, because it's such fun to work with. And you're all pissy because they don't make their games for computer FIRST? That's it? That's your big beef?

Seriously... expand your horizons. You're acting like Epic is your ex-girlfriend, and you're acting sour-grapes because she dumped you. Grow up.
Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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20.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 9, 2008, 10:49
20.
Re: No subject Jul 9, 2008, 10:49
Jul 9, 2008, 10:49
 
Hey Mark, thanks for stopping by again. Been gaming longer than many of these whinny brats who love to puke thier lame opinions on these boards. Thanks for the work you guys do. Love it.
-Tony!!!;)
my 360 user name is Robo Pop
19.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 9, 2008, 01:32
19.
Re: No subject Jul 9, 2008, 01:32
Jul 9, 2008, 01:32
 
Obviously, the answer is LOWER THE BUDGETS.

But.. but how can they make billions of dollars unless their games all sell at least 100 million units each? After all, unless you have the best graphics, Hollywood voice acting and orchestral scores, people won't buy your games!

The problem is that publishers aren't interested in merely making a profit. If they were, you'd see a lot more PC games in niche genres. Unfortunately, they want to make billions of dollars and that means making the game for the largest possible audience (i.e. retards).

The western games industry is very much like a Hollywood that only releases big summer blockbusters. I'm hoping that one day they'll realize that this is a terrible business model and put more focus on gameplay rather than presentation.

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18.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 18:12
18.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 18:12
Jul 8, 2008, 18:12
 
It doesn't matter if you only develop "only" for consoles, or if you develop "for" consoles and port to PC. The result is still the same--a lack of games for the PC that people want to play. However, Epic doesn't deserve this hate.

EA and Ubisoft do...especially Ubi! For what they've done to the Clancy franchise alone they deserve slow painful deaths. Ghost Recon 1? Raven Shield? Rogue Spear? Where are the games like THAT Ubi? GRAW, R6 Vegas...jokes.

I'm not saying you CAN'T make a game that works great on both PC and consoles, because it's been done. I'm saying I don't see many developers that can manage it and there's certainly no publisher that has even a better than even record.

For those who don't understand what I mean, these are the areas where console-fixation has ruined PC games:
1) The UI. A given. From games that don't have mouse support in the menus (really? none?) to ones that have non-functional options (R6V ported the MP options from the 360 even though some like password didn't work! What game doesn't let you name your MP server?!) and the retarded BLIP BLIP sound when navigating. UT3, looking at you. Where's UT2k4's UI? What was wrong with that?
2) Controllers. Some devs can make a game work with a gamepad and mouse/kb equally well. Most can't. While oddly games made on the PC and ported to consoles didn't seem to have much trouble switching to gamepads(the old R6 and GR did very well on Xbox I believe), there's no doubt many modern ports are pointless frustration with mouse/kb.
3) Most nebulous, "design decisions." Console games and PC games still both exist because they fill different needs.
You won't see an episode of "Friends" at the local cineplex, and you won't see a Hallmark movie of the week like Schindler's List. Trying to make one game fit both is stupid most of the time. Sure, an RPG can be made to work. An RTS cannot. A sim cannot, there's no way to "sim" on a console because of the requirements that EVERY game must work with the default controller.

If I'm looking for a new PC FPS, I don't want R6 Vegas 2, I want Raven Shield. If I'm sitting down to watch "Seinfeld," don't give me "Ghandi." If I go out to see "Iron Man," don't give me "Grey's Anatomy."

TV =! film, but you can see films on TV...although often with lesser enjoyment.
Consoles =! PCs, but some games can be played on both. Some. SOME!!!

Naturally the problem is money, because PC sales are lower for various reasons. Obviously, the answer is LOWER THE BUDGETS. How can you be "unable" to make a PC game for $2 million? Why is it either "guy in his garage" or "buildings full of people across several cities"? Movies are made from well under $1m to well over $200m and everywhere in between. No studio says "we can't make a $25m film", they do all the time!
This is because either marketing, pubs, devs, or all of the above have this idea that people insist the next game has to "blow away" the previous in all areas, and end up wasting all their time and money on art and effects. Pretty for a minute, but if the game sucks who cares?
When a dev figures out how to make a game for 1998 again and THEN work on "making it look great" they will have it under control. Especially when PC games often suffer from needing more powerful PCs than the masses have, why waste your time on big graphics?
How many people are still playing PS1 games? A few, but a tiny portion of the total console base. How many people are still playing PC games from that same time frame? A LOT. RTCW:ET is #7 on Xfire, and it's over 5 years old!! CoD 2 is #3, albeit slightly newer! CS:S is #4 and looks pretty much the same since release 4 years ago!

Make a GOOD game and people will forgive weak graphics. Make a PRETTY game and people will NOT forgive crappy gameplay.

17.
 
No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 17:55
17.
No subject Jul 8, 2008, 17:55
Jul 8, 2008, 17:55
 
Mark Rein has always been a douche. With almost every interview he has done, he always acts like a tool.

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16.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 16:03
16.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 16:03
Jul 8, 2008, 16:03
 
All this talk about Microsoft "bribing" Epic to release 360-only is utter bullshit. Microsoft publishes Gears of War for fuck's sake. They support development, they pay for all the marketing - it's their property to do with what they see fit.

Isn't that the same concept as bribery? Spending money to "persuade" others to do what you want? Epic could have gone with EA, THQ, Activision, Vivendi or any number of other publishers but I'm sure Microsoft agreed to pay them the most money, as long as GoW was a 360 exclusive.

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15.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 15:21
15.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 15:21
Jul 8, 2008, 15:21
 
As much as I was disappointed with UT3, how it lacked (very important) game modes from previous versions, and how the interface was (and still is) borked, all of this Epic hate is seriously unfounded.


1) All this talk about Microsoft "bribing" Epic to release 360-only is utter bullshit. Microsoft publishes Gears of War for fuck's sake. They support development, they pay for all the marketing - it's their property to do with what they see fit. Considering that Epic wanted the DLC to be free and Microsoft forced them to charge for it, blaming Epic is utterly ridiculous.

2) The notion that Blizzard or Valve could be "bribed" in the same way is no less retarded. Same as the concept that DLC could be a cash cow for Valve or Blizzard. Absolutely retarded. Orange Box sold far more on PC than both consoles combined, and even since then, Team Fortress 2 has seen an absolutely massive sales boost every time new free content has come out. Valve and Blizzard don't need Microsoft's money, and going exclusive to 360 would cannibalize their sales.
This comment was edited on Jul 8, 15:22.
14.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 15:08
14.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 15:08
Jul 8, 2008, 15:08
 
That's great. That's why we liked Epic so much in the past. But for the last several years, they've been moving in a direction that puts PC gamers at the back of the bus and makes consoles the primary focus. PC releases are not the priority anymore. The free content we've enjoyed in the past is going to be increasingly scarce and targeted to the platforms where they can charge for it.

I could be wrong on this, but wasn't it Epic that got Microsoft to let them eventually make the GoW map pack free and that they initially wanted to release it for free? Again, could be wrong on that, but I thought I remembered reading as much.

This comment was edited on Jul 8, 15:09.
"Remember when you were stalking Charles Kuralt because you thought he dug up your garden?"
"Well, something did!"
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13.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 14:30
13.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 14:30
Jul 8, 2008, 14:30
 
A) All their games are still appearing on the PC. That's still a long ways from "ditching" the PC. Sure Gears was a port well after the fact, but that was due to licensing issues with Microsoft, and quite frankly if MS paid Valve or Blizzard or any of the other "PC friendly" devs the same kind of money to go console exclusive I really do believe they'd do the same thing that Epic has (well, maybe not Blizzard as it might jeopardize/impact the cash cow that is WoW).

you clearly know next to nothing about valve to even say that.

12.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 14:11
12.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 14:11
Jul 8, 2008, 14:11
 
DOH! Now you've done it!

I don't recall seeing console-only development being specifically stated either. He's probably remembering CliffyB's statement about "making AAA games on consoles" being the focus and taking that to mean console-only development.

http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/02/13/gears-of-war-creator-update/

Saying it's console-only is misstating the original comment. However the statement does imply that PC playing second fiddle will result in future Epic PC titles looking more like a console port with the consolitis that goes along with it rather than something that was designed to match the full potential of PCs (and the graphics/CPU power that has already surpassed that of current generation consoles). Not to mention the large font UI, poor control, and other tell tale signs that your game was a poorly implemented port...
s{
This comment was edited on Jul 8, 14:13.
11.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 13:36
11.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 13:36
Jul 8, 2008, 13:36
 
You said that
Rein has stated on numerous occasions that Epic is going toward console-only development
I never said any such thing and it isn't true.

This comment was edited on Jul 8, 13:38.
10.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 13:06
10.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 13:06
Jul 8, 2008, 13:06
 
All their games are still appearing on the PC.

Late ports of games designed for the console don't really qualify as PC games.

quite frankly if MS paid Valve or Blizzard or any of the other "PC friendly" devs the same kind of money to go console exclusive I really do believe they'd do the same thing that Epic has (well, maybe not Blizzard as it might jeopardize/impact the cash cow that is WoW).

No, I don't think so. If Valve and Blizzard were so easily bribed, you can rest assured that Microsoft would have done so by now.

Even if you are right that they put the PC at the back of the bus, and don't give the platform the attention you think it deserves, that's their choice.

And it's our choice to disagree with their choice. What's your point?

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9.
 
The future
Jul 8, 2008, 12:40
9.
The future Jul 8, 2008, 12:40
Jul 8, 2008, 12:40
 
The future doesn't look so good for free content. Especially, when they now have the ability to tightly control distribution of that once free content on consoles. Free content and free mods that are worth downloading will be a thing of the past if they aren't already. Luckily I had my fill of mods and don't really care about them anymore.

8.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 12:38
8.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 12:38
Jul 8, 2008, 12:38
 
I don't know why I'm chiming in on this as I can see already where this thread is headed.

But at the risk of regurgitating all that's been said before:

A) All their games are still appearing on the PC. That's still a long ways from "ditching" the PC. Sure Gears was a port well after the fact, but that was due to licensing issues with Microsoft, and quite frankly if MS paid Valve or Blizzard or any of the other "PC friendly" devs the same kind of money to go console exclusive I really do believe they'd do the same thing that Epic has (well, maybe not Blizzard as it might jeopardize/impact the cash cow that is WoW).

B) In spite of the fact that DLC has been a cash cow for many publishers on consoles, Epic has been one of the few standouts trying to not have this be the case. The first map pack for Gears was free, the second was free after a short period of time (and the only reason it wasn't free from the start was rumoured to be MS's insistence that they charge for it). While microtransactions are rampant on the console world (particularly on the 360), Epic's games have been relatively free from this compared to many.

C) Even if you are right that they put the PC at the back of the bus, and don't give the platform the attention you think it deserves, that's their choice. They're a business, and quite frankly they see consoles as being much more profitable than the PC world right now.

And of course, ultimately it's your choice, if you don't like their games, then don't play them.
PZ
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7.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 12:26
7.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 12:26
Jul 8, 2008, 12:26
 
Has everyone forgotten that over the years, there is probably not a single developer that has given away more extra content than Epic? Valve comes close, but I suspect they would still come up short.
That's great. That's why we liked Epic so much in the past. But for the last several years, they've been moving in a direction that puts PC gamers at the back of the bus and makes consoles the primary focus. PC releases are not the priority anymore. The free content we've enjoyed in the past is going to be increasingly scarce and targeted to the platforms where they can charge for it.

Just because they've done good things in the past, it doesn't mean we should support their actions going forward when they are clearly detrimental to the PC as a gaming platform.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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6.
 
No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 12:07
6.
No subject Jul 8, 2008, 12:07
Jul 8, 2008, 12:07
 
Has everyone forgotten that over the years, there is probably not a single developer that has given away more extra content than Epic? Valve comes close, but I suspect they would still come up short.

5.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 11:59
5.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 11:59
Jul 8, 2008, 11:59
 
He claims it is due to piracy, but I suspect it is because they can charge for new content that PC gamers have been getting free for over a decade

Don't forget that Microsoft pays them a hefty sum not to release on PS3 or PC.

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4.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 10:35
4.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 10:35
Jul 8, 2008, 10:35
 
Fuck Mark and Cliffy...

Oooh... you are sooo edgy!

3.
 
Re: No subject
Jul 8, 2008, 10:14
nin
3.
Re: No subject Jul 8, 2008, 10:14
Jul 8, 2008, 10:14
nin
 

Fuck Mark and Cliffy...


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