PDA

View Full Version : IGN: (Report - 'Only 80 Games a Year Will Succeed')


RobertoOrtiz
11-17-2005, 03:17 PM
Quote:

"A new report on the risks involved in game publishing and development has been released suggesting that, in the next generation, as few as 80 games a year will turn a profit."

>>Link<< (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1621&Itemid=2)

-R

Phrenzy84
11-17-2005, 03:52 PM
Good news and bad news i guess
This news will scare alot of developers, but good thing is people will realize that there has to be a good story if any and above all great gameplay, graphics is always the last thing to be considered.

So now hopefully compainies will think long and hard before producing a game.

Its like Pixar, they spend years on just the story, when its finally wrapped up then they start production.

gabe28
11-17-2005, 04:08 PM
80 profitable games seems like a pretty healthy number to me... I guess I have no idea how many games are typically successful.

The economics of the gaming market should be such that a failed game is not doom for the developer. Otherwise, game companies will always just play it safe and not innovate (as innovation means more risk). But I guess as games get more expensive, more is at stake with each games release. Not sure what the answer is.

chadtheartist
11-17-2005, 05:02 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The industry is ripe for a bust. I actually think it needs it, even though it's going to cost a lot of jobs.

Making the same game over and over, which I am seeing first hand, has got to catch up with the industry sooner or later. With budgets almost tripling, I can really see this industry going down quick. I doubt it will go down for good though, but I'm hoping it will wake some companies up and start thinking about something else besides massive profits based on IP.

Games today just aren't what they could be, in my opinion.

And just to comment this is all my opinion, so it's not based on anything other than that.

itsallgoode9
11-17-2005, 05:25 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The industry is ripe for a bust. I actually think it needs it, even though it's going to cost a lot of jobs.

Making the same game over and over, which I am seeing first hand, has got to catch up with the industry sooner or later. With budgets almost tripling, I can really see this industry going down quick. I doubt it will go down for good though, but I'm hoping it will wake some companies up and start thinking about something else besides massive profits based on IP.

Games today just aren't what they could be, in my opinion.

And just to comment this is all my opinion, so it's not based on anything other than that.

agreed 100%

Ghostscape
11-17-2005, 05:36 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The industry is ripe for a bust. I actually think it needs it, even though it's going to cost a lot of jobs.

Making the same game over and over, which I am seeing first hand, has got to catch up with the industry sooner or later. With budgets almost tripling, I can really see this industry going down quick. I doubt it will go down for good though, but I'm hoping it will wake some companies up and start thinking about something else besides massive profits based on IP.

Games today just aren't what they could be, in my opinion.

And just to comment this is all my opinion, so it's not based on anything other than that.
/Agree
The market is very similar today to what it was in the 80s arcade bust - an overabundance of shovelware crap and less focus on quality.

kiaran
11-17-2005, 07:01 PM
chadtheartist- I've said it before and I'll say it again. The industry is ripe for a bust. I actually think it needs it, even though it's going to cost a lot of jobs.

Making the same game over and over, which I am seeing first hand, has got to catch up with the industry sooner or later. With budgets almost tripling, I can really see this industry going down quick. I doubt it will go down for good though, but I'm hoping it will wake some companies up and start thinking about something else besides massive profits based on IP.

I agree, innovation is lacking, but I don't think we need a complete bust to turn things around. God knows investors will feel the pain in their wallets when people stop caring about the cookie-cutter crap that gets regularly pushed out. With any luck, they will turn around without doing too much damage to our precious industry.

Maybe we're on the brink of a new era in gaming? Personally I think it's going to evolve into a higher art form with mass appeal; but I'm always an optimist ;)

chadtheartist
11-17-2005, 07:14 PM
While I don't want the industry to go bust, as I work in it too, I think anything short of that won't really push the industry in any new direction. As long as stuff is semi profitable, it will keep on going no matter what crap is sitting on store shelves. There isn't much I can do about it anyway. I just do my job, and go home. :D

OT- I just ordered the cgtoolkit Leon DVD set, and I must say I'm impressed. There is a ton of info on those three discs. Very good stuff!

PhilOsirus
11-17-2005, 08:20 PM
It will bust. A huge amount of new students are entering the industry, the 360 is being released too soon with games that really are PS2 ports, there is a lot of cynicism toward next-gen games and game prices are going up when they should go down.

Frank Lake
11-17-2005, 08:58 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The industry is ripe for a bust. I actually think it needs it, even though it's going to cost a lot of jobs.
Naw! They'll just move where the productions cheaper. Dump all but maybe one or 3 artists and take their business to 'unexplored business regions'.

Seriously though even if story lines DO improve by many levels it's NOT guarnteened to sell any games. Hell I've seen several really deep & very well done movies that have utterly bombed at the box office because they didn't have the 'tradition' "hero wins & everyones happy" seniro(spl). Which is the main theme for 99+% of the games out there and fairly in demand from Western(ie american) culture. What is needed is a cultural attitude change not a near suicidual change in how games are made. Because the games will follow the change or become moot.

Nipondigital
11-17-2005, 09:17 PM
80 games? Looks grim for the US games industry.

Boone
11-17-2005, 10:03 PM
It comes down to many things.

1) Insanely vast budgets. When you make a game for a couple of million, it MUST make those millions back. If it doesn't, then there is hell to pay. A production with a large multi-million budget is a high risk.

2) Developers(hardware & games) assuming the gaming public appreciates how a game is made. They don't - unless they are programmers & artisans themselves. This is where the PC market is at most risk - having multiple graphics cards that have features such as TL_SHADER_X01_.dll on one card but not on another means NOTHING to a customer. Sure there is some players who look into these things, but there is simply more "casual gamers" out there who become frustrated when trying to hunt down a suitable graphics card to play a single game.

3) Games that take 7+ years to make! Now this IS ridiculous - if the game isn't on the shelves its not making money. Even when it does get released - its competing with games that include newer ideas and concepts and after so long the hype is usually lost. I only just heard that they have finally gotten round to releasing DUKE NUKEM FOREVER - It was announced when I had just finished Secondary school, and I'm almost 26 now( christ - I think I was roughly 15/16 back then )! :banghead:

4) Games costing 40+. Now this is all well and good for special boxset-limited editions, but not when its a single DVD. The only time people are willing to pay that kind of money is at Christmas! Speaking of which...

5) Releasing games only in time for Christmas! WTF? "Oh, I'm going to wait until Christmas for SUPER-TURNIP-SLAYER-III, because I cannot afford 40+ unless some mug gives it to me as a gift!"... :wip: Maybe...just maybe, they lower the price to a realistic 30 for a new release and actually release it during the year. If its at a sensible price and there when customers want it - they will buy it.

...its all about using yer noggin. :hmm:

PhilOsirus
11-17-2005, 10:36 PM
Most of all the games must be sold cheaper. This will enable people to buy more games and help the industry as a whole. 60$ a game for the 360 is suicide, and hopefully it won't be as expensive for the PS3 and Revolution.

hiphopcr
11-18-2005, 01:32 AM
Wow. And I just read in Time magazine that the average game has a budget of $15 million. That's like a low budget movie!

-Vormav-
11-18-2005, 01:43 AM
I only just heard that they have finally gotten round to releasing DUKE NUKEM FOREVER
Erm, nope. Not yet. :p

switchblade327
11-18-2005, 02:25 AM
I think Frank has the right idea here. A bust will not make games better by any means. Already there are plenty of fantastically reviewed and ingenious games that fall through the cracks because they dont get the same marketing budget as the huge licenses. "Beyond Good & Evil" and "Psychonauts" immediately spring to mind from recent history. A look over any articles about underrated games will surely reveal many more.

You have to remember that the average gamer who buys his games at wal-mart isn't as hardcore as surely some of us are. I consider myself a pretty casual gamer, playing 5-6 games a year but my close connection to the biz makes me more hardcore just by association. Joe Walmart might have not even HEARD of these games I mentioned above.

Just like declining box office sales hasn't encouraged better filmmaking, declining game sales won't make better games. I dont know if its a result of my perspective from living in tinseltown or just a shift in tastes, but it seems indepent films have been growing increasingly popular and I'd love to see a similar trend in games. And I suspect as gamers get spoonfed more lisenced properties, more of them will start looking for something more. And as if they can find indy games, I think more and more, they'll jump on them. This is why Steam is so exciting to me.

The other thing this article ignores in the influx of advertising revenue into games (as discussed elsewhere on CGTalk) and how it will help offset development costs.


It comes down to many things.

1) Insanely vast budgets. When you make a game for a couple of million, it MUST make those millions back. If it doesn't, then there is hell to pay. A production with a large multi-million budget is a high risk.

4) Games costing 40+. Now this is all well and good for special boxset-limited editions, but not when its a single DVD. The only time people are willing to pay that kind of money is at Christmas! Speaking of which...

5) Releasing games only in time for Christmas! WTF? "Oh, I'm going to wait until Christmas for SUPER-TURNIP-SLAYER-III, because I cannot afford 40+ unless some mug gives it to me as a gift!"... :wip: Maybe...just maybe, they lower the price to a realistic 30 for a new release and actually release it during the year. If its at a sensible price and there when customers want it - they will buy it.

...its all about using yer noggin. :hmm:

I agree on most points but Duke Nukem Forever is an extremely rare exception. How those guys are still bankrolled is a mystery to me (other then them being a small studio, hence less overhead). Any publisher-funded game would've been canceled half a decade ago. But games do need to start taking more time for preproduction (which can be done with a much smaller team) to help the overall quality. But production of more then 1 1/2-2 years is bound to get outpaced by the state of the art. Look at 'Galleon.'

I strongly disagree on the cost issue though (having browsed UK retailers, I feel sorry for how much you pay for games even now! I'll have to relate this to US currency though). Games started selling for $50 when gasoline was sub $.99 per gallon, candy bars were $.49, movie tickets were $4 and houses were $100k. Games for the super nintendo were $49 or $59 and I beleive some were as much as $79!!! Im pretty sure, but can't verify that even NES games in the 80s sold for that.

Point being, prices haven't changed much if at all in the last 15 years, making the consitent price of games the exception for consumer goods; not the norm. Inflation is a fact of a life and as a result, increasing development costs are too. So why is it such a crime to raise the price of a game $10? We'd probably be paying $100 per game by now if the prices had been creeping up all along like the price of everything else has.

Remember, there are not only development costs to recover but also marketing costs which is sometimes as much if not more (even a LOT more) then the development cost. Then there is a per copy fee that goes to MS, Sony or nintento for the consoles. Then the price of a lisence sometimes... Publishers still need to turn a profit after all this.

How much the price jump affects game sales remains to be seen, but I don't believe publishers were wrong to make this decision, at least for AAA games.

PhilOsirus
11-18-2005, 05:04 AM
I think Frank has the right idea here. A bust will not make games better by any means. Already there are plenty of fantastically reviewed and ingenious games that fall through the cracks because they dont get the same marketing budget as the huge licenses.

Well no one is saying a bust is needed, just that it will happen. Also, most games that get good reviews yet don't sell are not victims of bad advertising but rather victims of the avarage game's price. I recently bought Shadow of the Colossus for the equivalent of $42US, that was the lowest price I ever paid for a game and this means I can afford another one (I'm planning on getting Dragon Quest VIII or wait for Okami). Usually it costs around the equivalent of $65US for a game here, which is way too high and prevents me from purchasing other releases. Around christmas time it becomes even more of an issue because I don't have more money just because it's christmas, nor am I ready to spend $65US on a game as a present.

More companies will have a chance to have a successful title on their hands than ever before when the industry is able to meet these low prices on a costant basis.

switchblade327
11-18-2005, 09:36 AM
Someone did, but it's beside the point.

I agree with you somewhat on the reasons. There are times when too many good games come out at the same time and you can't afford them all (aka almost every holiday season). But there is strong evidence that a games ranking and its sales often don't correlate and that is a result of marketing (though the debate seems to carry on even at the high levels of the games biz). "Beyond Good and Evil" was likely a victim of its xmas release in the shadow of giant sequels. On the other hand, "Enter the Matrix" which got mediocre (high 60s) reviews, sold 4-5 million copies!

When publishers are shooting for millions of copies sold though, they are reaching beyond the audience who follows the gaming press and are aware of every upcoming release. This is why marketing and lisencing are such a big deal.

But you're right that offering a lower price *can* give a better chance for success. It worked great for the ESPN sports games that sold for $20 (but were essentially sequels with minor differences from the last version) and it can and does work great for smaller studios and lower budget games. But with the AAA games that are costing $20 mil to develop, I just don't think it's possible.

For the record, I predict a slowdown but no bust :) At least not before Hollywood has one.

PhilOsirus
11-18-2005, 02:59 PM
Actually even Dragon Quest VIII is currently selling at the same low price than Shadow of the Colossus and it just came out, so is Call of Duty 2's PC version (in fact it seems Canada is getting lower prices, amazon.ca is showing the exact same price than on the amazon.com US site, yet we end up paying less thanks to our dollar's value).

Hopefully games will continue to sell at this price.

Boone
11-18-2005, 07:28 PM
Re: -VORMAV-

WHAT?! :eek:

No wonder it has "Forever" in it's title... :argh:

Re: Switchblade327.

Yeah, regarding prices I was going by the DAYLIGHT ROBBERYYYYY :scream: that is the UK games market. I have noticed that the US price are actually quite fair... :D

Another thing that really gets my goat is that NAMCO releases Xeno Saga 2 but not 1! They did the same with Parasite Eve 2...but our chums across the pond get'em!

Its a bloody wind up! :banghead:

CGTalk Moderation
11-18-2005, 07:28 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.