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View Full Version : Video games are too expensive, industry crash possible


PhilOsirus
12-01-2005, 09:18 PM
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/r/?page=http://www.computerandvideogames.com/news/news_story.php(que)id=130407 (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/r/?page=http://www.computerandvideogames.com/news/news_story.php%28que%29id=130407)

At last someone from the industry is saying that $60 games are too expensive. The prices need to go down otherwise the industry will definitly crash. Companies are hiring more than ever, but competition becomes stronger than ever while production costs are higher than ever and demand will not rise significantly in the next 2 years (not until at least a year after the PS3's release). This means that there will be major layoffs by the end of 2006 or early 2007 when very few titles will have actually been profitable.

If games were sold at a lower price (currently in Canada I can find brand new PS2 games at around $38US, great price) then it would reduce competition because gamers would have a larger purchasing power, enabling more titles to be profitable. Of course one of the best ways to reduce development costs is not to outsource but rather fix the major planning issues that companies have. More games can be made with less and more experienced people.

Edited to be more balanced;)

Possible positive outcome for the industry

1- Going to the movie theater is too expensive, movies are getting boring, many movie-goers tired of that form of entertainment might move to video games soon, especially with the graphical quality games have today which brings them closer to the experience people had when watching movies.

2- The industry could attempt to spread out the holidays season across the year. Currently one of the major issues is that most high profile games are released in the same time period. With a spread out release window the high competitive nature of today's industry would lessen, less companies would take a hit profit-wise if gamers purchased as much across the year.

3- You can now find experienced workers across the world in this field, for cheaper, which can reduce production costs if supervised properly.

4- Asia is a new market for western companies, Blizzard has demonstrated it is possible to achieve success in that region even if your company is foreign. With adapted content it might even become easier in the long run as the content of videogames start to reflect its world-wide demographic.

YerEvilTwin
12-01-2005, 09:39 PM
I remember baying $60 for yoshi's island about 12 years ago.

EpShot
12-01-2005, 09:51 PM
i paid $60 for mech warrior 2.

people have very short memories.

polygun
12-01-2005, 09:53 PM
I paid a little over $60 for Mario64 when the N64 was freshly released

ntmonkey
12-01-2005, 09:59 PM
And yet no one complains about paying $60 for WoW and then a monthly fee...

Neil
12-01-2005, 09:59 PM
This is just a guys opinion; and he's complaining. Whats new?
Price up = sales down. That's why you hire sales and marketing teams. To figure the middle ground.

cresshead
12-01-2005, 10:06 PM
and star fox jap import to the uk on the snes was around £150 [$300+] waay back when
3d was JUST coming to consoles!

i'm amazed at how CHEAP games are........the dev time is around the same as a film but much deeeper seeing as it's not linear..and is expandable

the only thing i'm cobncerned with is the lack of inovation in games in the past 5 years....
more technical yes...bigger poly scenes...batter lighting and textureing....

but the 'games' havn't moved on much really.....

see seem to be stuck on a groove of same ole same old formats just polished up with
crowd scenes or normal maps.....

we need a jump in invovative gaming.....

cgtalkiest
12-01-2005, 10:10 PM
i payed about £65 for street fighter 2 on the sega mega drive. (uk)

i hear 360 games will be £50... that is kinda bloody reddiculous.

SalmonGod
12-01-2005, 10:12 PM
I've really been getting more and more frusterated with the whole gaming industry in general over the last few years... like the fun is being sucked out of the whole thing... there's so much business in it these days, and the big shots have no idea what it's all about... too many decisions are based on numbers and respect for the art is fading away... we need a throwback to the days when a few talented people would put together a successful game at home...

but even mod communities are suffering these days... there's so little diversity... so much focus on realism... and everybody expects way too much... such high standards... if something isnt a total conversion with near professional production values, then it gets absolutely no community support...

I miss the days of the original Quake... that game had the greatest mod community ever... there was something new to try every... single... day... for at least 2 years after the game was released... and for the most part it was just simple fun stuff... people knew back then that all you had to do was tweak the gameplay of a game and it would be shiny new all over again...

here Half-Life 2 has been out for over a year and there still arent many mods out for it... and half of them are Pseudo-Realistic Team-Based Tactical Shooters (i.e. Counter-Strike rip-offs)... and of the other half, only a couple get any community support whatsoever

it's such a pathetic situation if you look at it...

it's like at some point a few rich people realized "oh my god... games can make money!" and then a few average people realized "oh my god... games can let me pretend I'm killing terrorists!"... and from that point, those two narrowly focused mindsets have been feeding off eachother and growing like some great, dark, creeping, Lovecraftian eldritch horror and completely taking over the industry...

and here I am... crying...

thank god for Nintendo at least... their upper management still has their roots in the early days when it wasnt for the money, just for the games... they still appreciate the art and continue pushing innovation despite all the criticism they get for it anymore

and Valve... I really really pray that venues like Steam gain alot of momentum... they open alot of potential for a return to creativity... and reduction in prices... and they'll hopefully help to stop the gaming industry from turning into the music industry... where the whole thing is run by a few ridiculously wealthy old white guys who spend all their time playing golf and sitting around large tables thinking of ways to convince artists to sign their lives away on paper and give them all their money

and they wonder why people dont feel guilty for "stealing" music?... games are going just the same route

but ya... as for $60 games... new releases have often been that expensive since the SNES days... the earliest game I can remember for that price was Chrono Trigger... maybe FF6 was the same?... I cant remember...

DuttyFoot
12-01-2005, 10:19 PM
60 dollars is a bit much for the price of a game, and whats worse you go and buy it and it turns out to be a piece of crap. i understand that these systems are supposed to be next-gen and all but that dosen't mean the games have to cost more. look at the pc for example the majority of games on the pc cost 49.99. if you buy a collectors edition pc game it might cost you about 59-69 dollars depending on the game. now the pc has advanced alot, we have faster processors, hdd, graphic cards, etc. amidst all the updates to pc's the price of a pc game is still about 49.99

just my 0.02

EpShot
12-01-2005, 10:22 PM
60 dollars is a bit much for the price of a game, and whats worse you go and buy it and it turns out to be a piece of crap.

www.gamerankings.com

BigJay
12-01-2005, 10:38 PM
I have friends in the mod community and they say the same thing about the level of quality that is expected. Unless you have zbrush and modo to make high poly models and their normal maps the quality of the mods begins to really show, this kills off any casual modder interest since it raises the bar too high.

Another thing is it now costs money to develope for most games now which is shutting alot of people out. Quake gave out its source code and anyone could do what they wanted and they didn't expect anything back. Now that the companies know there is some money to be made out of mods they charge the developers, even if it is just for fun. Companies need to loosen up on the mod community

$60 is high, but it has always been that high. I always buy behind the curve so this christmas I'll get a PS2 and start getting used games and pay 15-20 bucks. Maybe full price for shadow of the colossus. My Dreamcast was getting pretty flakey anyway.

scorpion007
12-01-2005, 10:43 PM
$60 eh? Thats US right? In Australia we pay $100 for new releases. I payed that when I purchased Soul Caliber 2 on Xbox when it first came out.

EDIT:

I always buy behind the curve so this christmas I'll get a PS2 and start getting used games and pay 15-20 bucks.

Same here, I'm gonna wait a bit till Revolution comes closer to its release date them Ima buy a Gamecube and grab Windwaker and that new Zelda came when it comes out (Twighlight pricness?). Then I can play all the games I've been wanting to play but never had! :)

PhilOsirus
12-01-2005, 10:50 PM
To all the people that claim "Oh I paid 60+ for a game years ago", you seem to forget that the industry was VERY SMALL back then and development costs were VERY LOW back then and the teams were VERY SMALL back then. When you have an industry as big as it is today, with high prices and huge competition you sure can expect a crash. Comparing the industry from 12 years ago is not very relevant.

Oh, and it seems like the games that used to cost 60$ are from companies that didn't remain at the front of the industry. N64? Yeah, 60$ a game sure helped it remain number 1.

More competition, higher prices, slow rise of demand = big money loss for 90% of the developers and publishers since only a few titles will sell. Hence more layoffs and investors sell sell sell.

kiaran
12-01-2005, 11:01 PM
I would pay well over $100 dollars for a good FPS with a long, well-crafted single player campaign. As far as entertainment value is concerned, games beat-out almost any other form of media (books being a notable exception).

A typical game can easily provide over 25hrs of entertainment. At $60, that's less than $2.50/hr. Last time I went to the movies it cost me $15 (I got popcorn) and only lasted 2hrs.

Make no mistake, the demand for games is about to surge sky-high as the current generation of kids who have been brought-up on 3d-gaming are advancing into their early 20's and gaining buying power. It's no longer 'geeky' or cultish to want to spend 5hrs infront of a tv with a good game.

Fear not by brethren, the game industry is strong.

It goes without saying, these are just opinions, I don't really have any facts to back this up, just a hunch...

SalmonGod
12-01-2005, 11:05 PM
well I'm not even talking about stuff that messes with the source code of a game... they didn't release Quake's source code for a long time, but the mod community was still awesome...

and unless you're actually buying the game engine to make a commercial mod and make money off of it... you shouldnt ever have to pay a corporation money to produce a mod

it's not really the professionals that are killing the mod community... it seems to me like they're actually supporting mod communities more than ever... they know that mods improve their game's lifespans... just look at how hard Epic strives to make modding easy for Unreal games

it's the very community of gamers that is killing it... if it's not Counter-Strike or it's not super high-quality... then the community just plain wont support it... CS: Source has literally thousands of high quality servers running at any given time that are completely empty... just wasting away there waiting for players... but other mods like Sourceforts dont have a single dedicated server.... no community support = no life for the mod

in a capitalistic sense the game industry is pretty damn strong... but in an artistic sense, it's drying up and dying out... new ideas are welcomed less and less by gamers and even mored shunned by publishers...

btw... I DID pay $100 for a good FPS with a great single-player campaign :D... I'm one of those crazy people who bought HL2 gold edition... and it was worth it... I'm just so disappointed with the mod community :(

Solothores
12-01-2005, 11:12 PM
well I'm not even talking about stuff that messes with the source code of a game... they didn't release Quake's source code for a long time, but the mod community was still awesome...

and unless you're actually buying the game engine to make a commercial mod and make money off of it... you shouldnt ever have to pay a corporation money to produce a mod

it's not really the professionals that are killing the mod community... it seems to me like they're actually supporting mod communities more than ever... they know that mods improve their game's lifespans... just look at how hard Epic strives to make modding easy for Unreal games

it's the very community of gamers that is killing it... if it's not Counter-Strike or it's not super high-quality... then the community just plain wont support it... CS: Source has literally thousands of high quality servers running at any given time that are completely empty... just wasting away there waiting for players... but other mods like Sourceforts dont have a single dedicated server.... no community support = no life for the mod

This kinda reminds me of that problem with junk food in elementary schools in UK. Even if you offered them a healthy alternative (that even could be very tasty) they would simply ignore it and prefer the habit they cultivated for years for as long as it's there. Doctrination can be a curse - that needs a lot of effort to get rid of it. ;)

ntmonkey
12-01-2005, 11:17 PM
To all the people that claim "Oh I paid 60+ for a game years ago", you seem to forget that the industry was VERY SMALL back then and development costs were VERY LOW back then and the teams were VERY SMALL back then. When you have an industry as big as it is today, with high prices and huge competition you sure can expect a crash. Comparing the industry from 12 years ago is not very relevant.

Oh, and it seems like the games that used to cost 60$ are from companies that didn't remain at the front of the industry. N64? Yeah, 60$ a game sure helped it remain number 1.

More competition, higher prices, slow rise of demand = big money loss for 90% of the developers and publishers since only a few titles will sell. Hence more layoffs and investors sell sell sell (just look at Activision (http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=ATVI&fq=D&ezd=1Q&index=4)'s stock this month). Perfect example of this scenario.

Funny you mentioned the 90% figure since that's about the number of shite games sitting on the shelves that I wouldn't even waste time spitting on. What's going on right now is that the 90% unprofiting companies want the money that the other 10% are making. Well, unless Communism is established in the gaming industry, I don't see it happening. Making money isn't supposed to be easy. You're supposed to work for it, and I think some people forget that somewhere along the way.

If the gaming industry along with Hollywood is supposed to be so creative, why don't they get creative on turning a profit? Or better yet, come out with something that we haven't seen a bazillion times already. If the executives with their fancy MBA's are so smart, then why are you losing money in the first place?

No matter how much they bitch or whine, I'm not buying a crap game or watch a crap movie out of pity. Sorry, it's against my religion.

peace,

Lu

Solothores
12-01-2005, 11:30 PM
Aye, I guess one of the problems is the genre consolidation that has happened. I mean, the genres of today that make-up most of the sales in the single-player games market can be count on one hand, right? With only a few genres, running over years, and the focus resting on "premium-titles" and the features of choice being more & less "Visual Evolution" next to "Gameplay Evolution", those submarkets are closing in for saturation. Thus it becomes more expensive to serve the customer, because competition is much fiercer.

So why is nobody taking up niches? Maybe because habit prevents niches of becoming initially successfull (Better try it out by grabbing the latest torrent, than investing into it), as long as you don't invest into them and thus forge trust. I guess nobody want's to be the first here, taking the potential risk. It's much easier to be a bandwagoneer and to milk, 'till the cow is dead.

Cheers
Solo

Chaduke
12-02-2005, 12:20 AM
One thing I can picture happening as far as the mod community goes is better, more accessable tools. The latest engines require a ridiculous amount of money for professional software, and an equally great investment in time to learn the software to a degree where it works well for the engine. This may be very wishful thinking but how nice would it be if developers released a game with pretty much everything you needed to create a complete mod included in the box? Models could be tweaked and customized with a system similar to the program MakeHuman that's currently in development. Landscapes could be easily sculpted and painted, models and architecture just dropped in. I've seen engines out there that come close to this but there's still a long way to go in terms of simplifying the current process.
I think there's so much emphasis now on creating a situation where there's just way too many options available. The scripting capability of engines now are so complicated you have to pretty much study a course on it before you can even get started.
Sometimes I look at the latest stuff and really have to wonder if this represents progress. If "fun" is the bottom line here I'm not sure that "more realistic" means better.

PhilOsirus
12-02-2005, 12:39 AM
Mods have a small negative impact on video games' sales as a whole (even if I have nothing against mods myself). Few gamers buy games because of the mod possibilities, very few. People buy games for what they are when they are released. On top of that, game companies now understand that if a mod becomes really popular, they must either purchase it to generate a profit or else people will still be playing the mod 5 years from now instead of buying the fifth sequel, or they must prevent their games from being modable.

Epic is making it easy to make mods for Unreal because they are selling an engine and one of the key selling points is that you have reduced needs for employee training as you can find many that are already experienced with the engine, it has nothing to do with being nice to a very small community.

And back to the topic, not only is the industry more competitive and production costs are higher than ever, but there is a lot of consolidation at the moment (which in a way will reduce competition later on), which means lack of new original titles.

Also, popular games like WoW are vacuums. WoW alone is probably absorbing millions of dollars that gamers would have used to buy other new games instead from various companies. When China, Korea and Japan end up with their own home-made WoW-like game you can say goodbye to a good chunck of the potential market share western companies hope to make in Asia. And regardless, online games in general tend to reduce game sales across the industry.

A lot of people are not buying new games because they are still playing older online games, not because new games suck. Add to this free online play and you get a lot of gamers not spending money on 6 hours long 60$ games that cost 14 million to make and which had production teams of 150 to 200 people involved.

Bliz
12-02-2005, 12:44 AM
I've got to say that as far as value for money goes, I can't complain about being a PC gamer. If you're not fussed about playing a game in the first few months of it's release, then buying PC games later on in their life cycle makes them pretty dam cheap. And they're less likely to need a sh*t hot graphics card to run them on.

Unfortunately most publishing contracts have clauses in them that cut the royalty rate going back to the developers as soon as the game is sold below recommended retail price, which makes me feel bad for the developer but what can you do?

SalmonGod
12-02-2005, 12:52 AM
Sometimes I look at the latest stuff and really have to wonder if this represents progress. If "fun" is the bottom line here I'm not sure that "more realistic" means better.

something I've been saying for years... a certain kind of realism is nice... I like my fantasy worlds to be believable... but they should still remain fantasy... games based on the real world dont really appeal to me much... I see plenty of the real world every day... why pay money for something that allows me to pretend reality?.......

but realism is the dominant craze right now... I think alot of it has to do with marketing... if you look at it... Sony and Microsoft do nothing but rant and rave about how graphically advanced their systems are and how much realism they can attain... and then average Joe is exposed to that kind of marketing and they're convinced that graphics and realism are what's important...

and the ability to do this really gives them an advantage... because when they've convinced the public that realism is best, then all they have to do to be successful is work on successively creating greater and greater realism... every generation that's more realistic will be more successful...

this way... they dont have to worry about actually being creative... they're business people... creativity involves too many risks and wild cards... bad business... they want the straight and narrow path to capital success and nothing more

Nintendo is the only console system developer that seems to be mostly immune to this mindset... which is why I have such immense respect for them

people may not buy a game for the modding potential but I'm pretty sure many do buy for the mods themselves... if a mod gets big and creates enough buzz (and almost any major game release which can be modded will eventually have such a mod) then alot of people will go back and buy the game well after it's release just to play the mod... thereby generating a decent amount of sales long after most cut and dry single player games would have been quarantined to used games shelves and bargain bins

PhilOsirus
12-02-2005, 01:01 AM
Well Project Offset is a very realistic game graphically, while being very much fantasy in style. Realistic graphics for an "unreal" world leads the player to a great gaming experience as far as the visuals go. A realistic dumpster is not much of a sight compared to a realistically-rendered flying boat.

dax3d
12-02-2005, 01:13 AM
I'm not 100% sure, but I think I was paying $50 for Activision Games for the Atari 2600. I remember getting money for birthdays and buying A game. Not games, but one game. If this is true, that price point has held strong for a reason. I think people will pay more for games. It would just turn into a more elitist type of entertainment. The PS3 is supposedly pricing high and "won't be for everyone"...well wtf? They're doing it with the console price alone.

OH, and I'd pay more if I KNEW the quality was there, and REPLAY value.

SalmonGod
12-02-2005, 01:20 AM
I absolutely agree... realistic graphics are great... I'm talking about realism as in actually copying the mundane real world... there are way too many games out there based on WW2 or Counter-Terrorism or games where your character dies incredible easy because it's "realistic"... or for instance all the shooters out there now that boast that all their guns and equipment copy their real world counter-parts so exactly (guns exactly immitate real world ranges, accuracies, rates of fire, etc...) but in doing so they forfeit interesting/balanced gameplay

I want people, places, and things that LOOK real but characters that can do things a real person never could or live in worlds far different from our own... and things that dont exist in the real world...

I just dont understand what makes people go "wow I can pretend to be in the real world!"... or why people get so excited whenever a new Counter-Strike clone appears when it'll only be ever so slightly different from every other similarly inspired game that came before it

Post_Ill
12-02-2005, 01:21 AM
Hopefully, we will see more developers doing what the Live For Speed (http://www.liveforspeed.net/) devs have done.

Instead of buying from a shop, you simply buy a license and download the program. Whats even better, is that ALL the money goes to the actual people making the game, and not the big shot company owners sat on their arse doing nothing.

Scawen Roberts, Eric bailey and Victor van Vlaardingen have shown that you dont need 50+ people to make a very good game/Sim. And they have also shown that you dont have to charge $60 per game.

SalmonGod
12-02-2005, 01:25 AM
Hopefully, we will see more developers doing what the Live For Speed (http://www.liveforspeed.net/) devs have done.

Instead of buying from a shop, you simply buy a license and download the program. Whats even better, is that ALL the money goes to the actual people making the game, and not the big shot company owners sat on their arse doing nothing.

Scawen Roberts, Eric bailey and Victor van Vlaardingen have shown that you dont need 50+ people to make a very good game/Sim. And they have also shown that you dont have to charge $60 per game.

I really hope this trend continues to grow... especially organized venues like Steam... because the money goes straight to the people who deserve it, and those people are no longer limited in creative freedom because some big-shot publisher doesnt want to take chances... and cutting out that middle-man reduces costs of games by a ton

Bazooka Tooth
12-02-2005, 01:36 AM
You complain about paying $60 for a game you could probably sell for $40 - $50 used. It would probably only end up costing you $10-$20 in the long run anyway. Or you could buy it used. Or even rent it.

Unless the global economy crashes, the video game industry will not crash. The price could go way up and it would be still okay. Sounds like someone is druming up drama.

Chaduke
12-02-2005, 01:38 AM
I remember reading an interview about a year ago, I'm almost certain it was with American McGee, where he was talking about how games take so long to complete, not only from a developers perspective but from a players perspective as well. Lots of people don't really even have 20-30 hours to put into a game in a reasonably short enough time span to stay interested in the whole story.

What he was suggesting was a trend in games that contain all the bells and whistles of modern 3D engines but are more like short stories, lasting say 30 minutes to an hour and maybe cost 5-10 bucks.

I know for a fact that American McGee was looking into something along the lines of distributing "mini-games" on CDs that they would give away possibly at a theatre or fast food restaurant and the theme would be based along characters that help market a specific business. Its an interesting idea for sure, but I've yet to see anything like it being done.

Still, I'd personally love to see the "short story" approach gain popularity. I have about 5 games installed on my machine that I haven't finished and probably never will.

PhilOsirus
12-02-2005, 01:54 AM
It's funny how people say "I don't mind paying more for a great game" but then say "games today are all the same and boring" and "I used to pay the same price in the Atari days than we pay today for next-gen video games". All of this is a major alarm bell:

1- The first two statements mean people are not finding a lot of great games they are ready to spend money on, yet as I said more games than ever are being made with higher production costs than ever. But you people say you are only ready to spend money on a very few of those games since most are crap.

2- You pay the same price today than years ago, yet the industry is more competitive than ever, which means a lot of companies are going to fail at selling their games (see point #1) because while the industry is producing more games you people are not ready to spend money to buy more of said produced games especially considering they don't cost less. You have a low purchase power AND low purchase will.

SO regardless of what you think of how fun or boring games are today, most of you seem to be saying that indeed the industry is currently spending a lot of money down a toilet about to be flushed. Incoming crash or no?

Bazooka Tooth
12-02-2005, 02:07 AM
You should work for the news, trying to stir up a panic like this.

SalmonGod
12-02-2005, 02:10 AM
I would love to see the short story approach as well... and I know that some people are starting to do this... Valve has done a little bit of this (Lost Coast, plus the old Half-Life packs Blue Shift and Opposing Force)... the new series of Sin games is going to be released on Steam in cheap, short episodes... there's an HL2 mod called Minerva I believe that's mostly a bunch of custom maps being released in episodes...

NeptuneImaging
12-02-2005, 02:18 AM
I am with SalmonGod about creativity being a huge risk. The gaming industry is sweet, but as of late innovation has gone out the window, like everyone is making the game for the quick buck.

Although I am a fan of all games in general, and how I have been praying for a game that takes realistic graphics to the next level, some of the games are not truly realistic as far as aesthetic is concerned. If that were the case, they should STOP painting on light on textures since the consoles are stronger now.

If I were a developer, I would not be so focused on graphics and focus on the needs of the gamer, like longer games and better content. But yeah, I would push the envelope on innovation. The cinematic quality graphics come last.

As a gamer, I'd be pissed off because my game is too short. I remember when I was a kid, that games were really long and fun to play. I feel that, the more realistic the graphics the shorter the game. And that is not fun, at least for me. It feels like high end game graphics is a shortcut to less content. That is why most games I see are not appealing.

As far as the cost of game prices are concerned...I can see if the game was a high profile title. But it really sucks ass especially for me who is still finding Conker's Bad Fur day for $50.

just my two cents

HaloAnimator

NeptuneImaging
12-02-2005, 02:27 AM
Well Project Offset is a very realistic game graphically, while being very much fantasy in style. Realistic graphics for an "unreal" world leads the player to a great gaming experience as far as the visuals go. A realistic dumpster is not much of a sight compared to a realistically-rendered flying boat.

Yup, I read about this Offset Engine. And it looks so awesome. I rather have hyper-realism in a fantasy world than looking at dog shit in a real world game. And the guys would made this, probably started from nothing. If I could purchase a license to use it, I would go for it. And if it is easy to program for, most definitely.

Chaduke
12-02-2005, 02:34 AM
It's interesting that Project Offset was brought up because I was reading about the Silverback engine at s2games, the company these guys used to work for and probably the engine they helped develop.

The big selling point is how easy it is to modify it and how everything can be practically tweaked from right inside the engine. I wonder if they'll carry on that tradition.

PhilOsirus
12-02-2005, 02:37 AM
You should work for the news, trying to stir up a panic like this.

I'm not trying to stir up panic. Here are a few cheerful views on the industry:

1- Going to the movie theater is too expensive, movies are getting boring, many movie-goers tired of that form of entertainment might move to video games soon, especially with the graphical quality games have today which brings them closer to the experience people had when watching movies.

2- The industry could attempt to spread out the holidays season across the year. Currently one of the major issues is that most high profile games are released in the same time period. With a spread out release window the high competitive nature of today's industry would lessen, less companies would take a hit profit-wise if gamers purchased as much across the year.

3- You can now find experienced workers across the world in this field, for cheaper, which can reduce production costs if supervised properly.

4- Asia is a new market for western companies, Blizzard has demonstrated it is possible to achieve success in that region even if your company is foreign. With adapted content it might even become easier in the long run as the content of videogames start to reflect its world-wide demographic.

:thumbsup:

slaughters
12-02-2005, 03:48 AM
... like the fun is being sucked out of the whole thing...I have only two words to say to that: EA

SalmonGod
12-02-2005, 04:29 AM
I have only two words to say to that: EA

ya I was thinking EA alot when writing these posts... but they're definitely not the only ones... just the biggest... although that may not be true now that Microsoft is firmly grounded in the console industry... and I definitely want them OUT NOW before they make things any worse!

opus13
12-02-2005, 05:24 AM
www.gamerankings.com (http://www.gamerankings.com)

funny.

i have no idea what you were referencing with that list, but it looks like IGN hates everything.

CIM
12-02-2005, 06:00 AM
I remember when some new Super Nintendo games were $70 USD. :argh:

Video games clearly are expensive, but people are still willing to fork over their money for them. I guess they're not too expensive then.

Rook
12-02-2005, 07:15 AM
- Creativity is alive and thriving as ever in the game industry. Let's say 10% of games are worth buying. ALOT more games are being made today, so while there are more games to buy there is still that 90% of games that suck. In the Nintendo and Super Nintendo days there where tons of rip-offs and junk games and a few gems.

- Some gamers are older and don't like how much the industry has changed. Many older gamers WANT the industry to crash. It's like breaking up with someone; many times it is harder to deal with a break-up, then it is a death because the person is still around, seeing new people. It is hard to talk to gamers who got into games because of Madden 2004 and Halo. Both games are nice but what happened to my good ol Half-life and Tecmo bowl... (or Adventure and Foot ball for Atari..ect)

- The games industry has been expanding for years, it's only a matter of time before it peaks or shrinks. It's simple impossible for any industry to infinitely expand.

- Game columnists and reviewers are jack asses. They spent their childhood watching witty cartoons and sitcoms. Now their main goal is to be just as witty in writing. When they can't be witty or insightful they write about a gaming dooms day. They also smell like cabbage...

Solothores
12-02-2005, 10:08 AM
- Creativity is alive and thriving as ever in the game industry. Let's say 10% of games are worth buying. ALOT more games are being made today, so while there are more games to buy there is still that 90% of games that suck. In the Nintendo and Super Nintendo days there where tons of rip-offs and junk games and a few gems.

Well, it's hard to have any basic ground for a fundated discussion, since we simply lack all the key market figures for the years between 1990-2005 to make an objective comparison. So 'till anyone want's to invest like a couple of ten-thousand bucks for some market intelligence reports, this discussion will just resolve around isolated perspectives.

I have no problem agreeing upon the fact that total revenues and sales output has been higher than ever before. Which is not a big surprise, the industry absorbed more market volume when the benefits of prof. consumer-good marketing and streamlined "premium-brands" etc. have been explored.

The interesting question however would be, if we still have as many different title releases in single player pc-games each year as we had in the years before? And here I would place a bet on a "no", I would guess the peak in # of titles lies somewhere in the later 90's. Everything else would surprise me.

Another interesting question that thus arises would be: how many different game studios are currently active within the industry. No argument about total employment being higher than ever before, but I again would place a bet on the assumption that the peak in # of active game studios was again somewhere in the late 90's.

This would lead us to the last figure that I would find interesting to know. It's about genres and their appropriate market share on the yearly total market. Here, my bet would be, that a clear consolidation has happened with clear preferences, that haven't been in place before.

-> Mind you we are talking about pc-games here. I will not argue that we have new emerging markets like games on mobile phones, handhelds and via web that have a broad choice to offer.

Now the general question would be, can you make a general claim that a more diversified market leans more toward innovation and winning new customers, while a consolidated market favours evolution and added value and thus is a lot more about customer retention?

To provide an abstract insight we need to take the first goal of most enterprisers into consideration: It's ultimately selling the company.

So our "problem" is, that markets will consolidate: It's a natural progress almost everywhere, that goes hand in hand with harder competition, growing marketing budgets, less agile customer habits and rising costs making it hard for small companies to survive in direct competition with the big fish.

cheers
Solo

Bliz
12-02-2005, 10:22 AM
A note about realism. As a casual gamer I'm more interested in realism of the ingame 'world system' by this I mean I consider GTA3 and it's sequels more 'realistic' to play than say Doom3. Doom3 is visually more realistic in it's shading and lighting systems but the game world isn't anymore realistic than the first Doom (well I suppose you can jump now). At least in GTA3 the player can do more but there's still a long way to go.
HalfLife2 is another case in point, the graphics look realistic, you can pick certain objects up and the physics give you a sense of believibility but at the end of the day you are still being funneled down the same linear tunnels. Your level may look like a city but it's a tunnel decorated to look like a city. There's only one path of escape to finish the game.

My ideal game would let you pick everything up that a human could realistically pick up, climb walls or fences that look climbable, light fires and have flammable things catch fire, leave taps running and flood rooms, dig into soft earth, cut or break branches from trees, track enemy footprints in snow or long grass, plant a tree etc. etc.

Most games to me feel like my game character is walking around in some disneyland-esque theme park attraction. Even MMORPGs that claim to be open ended are so restricted in what your character can actually do. I can fight huge dangerous beasts in WoW but I can't go in a tavern and move a chair from one table to another.

Anyway, that's my take on what direction I'd like games to go.

NeptuneImaging
12-02-2005, 12:59 PM
A note about realism. As a casual gamer I'm more interested in realism of the ingame 'world system' by this I mean I consider GTA3 and it's sequels more 'realistic' to play than say Doom3. Doom3 is visually more realistic in it's shading and lighting systems but the game world isn't anymore realistic than the first Doom (well I suppose you can jump now). At least in GTA3 the player can do more but there's still a long way to go.
HalfLife2 is another case in point, the graphics look realistic, you can pick certain objects up and the physics give you a sense of believibility but at the end of the day you are still being funneled down the same linear tunnels. Your level may look like a city but it's a tunnel decorated to look like a city. There's only one path of escape to finish the game.

My ideal game would let you pick everything up that a human could realistically pick up, climb walls or fences that look climbable, light fires and have flammable things catch fire, leave taps running and flood rooms, dig into soft earth, cut or break branches from trees, track enemy footprints in snow or long grass, plant a tree etc. etc.

Most games to me feel like my game character is walking around in some disneyland-esque theme park attraction. Even MMORPGs that claim to be open ended are so restricted in what your character can actually do. I can fight huge dangerous beasts in WoW but I can't go in a tavern and move a chair from one table to another.

Anyway, that's my take on what direction I'd like games to go.

That is the key here: Interactivity. Forget the total focus on graphics and the game more immersive.

eliseu gouveia
12-02-2005, 01:12 PM
I only buy 5-6 games a year (donīt have the time I used back then to play, so I only go for the absolutelly Canīt-miss! ones), but a lower price would definitelly be welcomed, $60 is too pricey.

SalmonGod
12-02-2005, 01:42 PM
That's a great direction to work towards, Bliz... but it also creates a lot of problems... many games are so linear because they're made to tell a story... the more open ended a game environment is and the more options you give a player, the more impossible it becomes to tell a story... you can create a game that can calculate realistic reactions to player choices... but when a player has hundreds of different options in any given situation, you cannot write a story that accounts for all possibilities

and that's fine... I think both games have their place... a game cannot survive without either good story or good gameplay... there's GTA where it's 90% gameplay and there's Final Fantasy where it's 90% story... I'm fans of both

kees
12-02-2005, 02:03 PM
You should work for the news, trying to stir up a panic like this.

Quoted for agreement!
Another 'dooms-day' theory for the already large list.


This thread is so not based on actual facts.
If you actually worked in the industry, you'd KNOW why games cost what they cost.

Can you give us some of those magical tips to make our pipelines 50% cheaper?
Yet increase the 'fun' and 'originality' you claim we should be putting into our games?
And then also increase the number of copies we sell?

Oh and the video games industry growing by billions every year, that's a complete lie right?
Tomorrow, all people in the world no longer want their entertainment, they will all stop buying video games and stop watching movies? ....right.


-Kees

Apoclypse
12-02-2005, 02:06 PM
I had this great idea for a serial game. It was supposed to be an rpg, taht was going to be developed on linux thus it was going to be opensourced. The idea was that you would download episodes like you would with a tv show. Every month or so you would go ahead a download the latest episodes. The reasoning behind this was that since the game was going to be opensourced I figured there was going to be quite a few bugs and since enybody can look at the source or compile the game they wouldn't be surprised by the story. So I figured with every point version (after the initial engine was written ofcourse) there would be an episode in order to surprise the user with both graphical changes and new areas and stuff.

richcz3
12-02-2005, 04:18 PM
Prices for games Console or PC have held pretty solid for over 12 years or longer. Heck, I remember laying down $55-60 for Intellivision games back in 1982.

As for PC Games and Mods. Modability is a seling point regardless of the small number of people who take part in it. If a developer provides accessable code or quality tools, one solid Mod can help with increased sales. BattleField 1942 = Desert Combat and Forgotten Hope Unreal 2004 = Red Orchestra.

Unfortunately the Mother of all Mod companies Valve porked Half-Life 2 with the Source engine. The reason why there are so few mods for Half-Life 2 is that the engine is so bug ridden. Everything from poor network code to questionable audio decisions saps what could have been a great follow up to HL1. Excellent MOD tools but one sloppy engine.

bluemagicuk
12-02-2005, 07:28 PM
My ideal game would let you pick everything up that a human could realistically pick up, climb walls or fences that look climbable, light fires and have flammable things catch fire, leave taps running and flood rooms, dig into soft earth, cut or break branches from trees, track enemy footprints in snow or long grass, plant a tree etc. etc.

Anyway, that's my take on what direction I'd like games to go.

Quoted for whole hearted agreement.

I do think half life 2 is the best grahphic representation of this dream to date .. but imagine the amount of programing gurus (the real kings of the gaming empire) it would take to realise a project like above.

Oh and games already have a higher turnover than movies and nothing is going to change that in the future.

--I reckon--
20 years ago people would never have envisioned that computers would ever be as popular as the are today and the same thing applies to games .. virtual simulations will take over the entertainment industry no doubt about it. They need to learn a lot from movies though before this happens.

Boone
12-02-2005, 10:19 PM
I find it laughable when back in the days of the NES, SNES, Megadrive etc they gave us this "the price of producing a cartridge is astronomical!" crap - but now that they have lost that excuse( due to CD & DVD-ROMS ) its "Oh! The craftsmanship that goes into these games is astronomical!".

The only thing thats astronomical is their bullshit & greed.

If its a standard release, the most I will part with is £20. If its a special edition or "must have" - £35. But there is no game around that is worth more than £40. :hmm:

jason manley
12-03-2005, 12:17 AM
Quoted for agreement!
Another 'dooms-day' theory for the already large list.


Can you give us some of those magical tips to make our pipelines 50% cheaper?
Yet increase the 'fun' and 'originality' you claim we should be putting into our games?
And then also increase the number of copies we sell?



-Kees


I would be happy to let you know how the industry is doing it. Outsourcing.

one thing not being considered is that game budgets and thus prices will stablize. the games industry is quickly moving to create the majority of 3d assets...especially models and textures...overseas. china is where it is headed. Their rich history of traditional art training makes this possible...more possible than india or vietnam or thailand etc...

assets are and were the first to go. first was simple assets like props, but now that people are being trained, the higher end creatures and characters are also being shipped overseas. animation is proving to be difficult to get in the cheaper markets like china or romania or...but getting models and textures done for much less than half the cost of a staff here in the states means more jobs will move over. As companies train their overseas staff, game budgets will stablize once they get up and running full steam. Most the major game pubs are over in china already, as is Massive Black. We will never not have a team of artists here in the states. However, most the pubs and developers simply do NOT want to pay american or european rates for game assets anymore. they can not afford to.

our china team kicks ass...some are as strong as our best here in-house and have been trained one at a time. All do approved work for various pubs and developers. Without the china team, we would not be able to meet publisher and developer budgets right now. Two years ago this was not an issue. Today it is.

game companies want to deliver games for much less than the fifteen mil that they are currently paying for high end titles. their only choice is to move development overseas or raise prices significantly in the stores. The market will not support the latter and thus the move has happened.

It is my current guess based on what I am seeing, that the majority of all in game assets, props, characters, creatures, and monsters etc...will be created by 3d modelers and texture artists overseas within four years.

Thus, I do not see an industry BUST happening because of development costs in the future. A couple pubs I know of would prefer to simply do concept and design here in the states and get everything else done overseas. With each passing day the overseas teams get stronger. perhaps rates will increase there in time...but not within the next four or five years as development shifts to more affordable places.

China is investing billions in game development and training right now. I believe a balance of work being done here and overseas will bring things down to respectable levels budget wise.


best,


jm

PhilOsirus
12-03-2005, 12:58 AM
A couple pubs I know of would prefer to simply do concept and design here in the states and get everything else done overseas.

They want to get concept and design done overseas as well. Take a look at what Koreans and Chinese have been doing 2D-wise, it's not just dragons and lanterns. There is nothing that is done here that cannot be done overseas as well.

But I'll repeat it, when China and Korea make their own WoW-like game and their gamers switch from playing American games you can say goodbye to the west's hopes of expanding in Asia. Just as it is difficult to sell non-Japanese games in Japan, so will it be for selling games to China and Korea a few years from now. In fact, it's already very difficult to market games to Korea now that they produce a whole lot of their own games, soon it will be the same for China.

So while companies are investing a lot of money overseas they will soon end up facing competition from asian companies, salaries will rise in Asia, the west will loose the Chinese market like it did with Korea and Japan, and by then a lot of jobs will have been lost here.

kiaran
12-03-2005, 01:03 AM
It's kindof exciting to think that we may be the first generation to finally see a truly balanced world economy. I don't doubt that this is still many many years away, but how cool would it be to be able to work anywhere in the world at a competitive salary?

I hope both China and India will continue to lead the way for future generations of worldwide skilled artists. :)

PhilOsirus
12-03-2005, 01:18 AM
It's kindof exciting to think that we may be the first generation to finally see a truly balanced world economy. I don't doubt that this is still many many years away, but how cool would it be to be able to work anywhere in the world at a competitive salary?

I hope both China and India will continue to lead the way for future generations of worldwide skilled artists. :)

There can't be rich people without poor people. There is no economy without rich and poor.

pogonip
12-03-2005, 01:19 AM
I think the real problem is charging 60$ for a game that you can beat in 5-9 hrs ( King Kong 360 ) . If the game has the content and replay value to demand that kind of expense then yeah but when companies go and burn gamers by charging 60 for a very short and most of the time bad game ... damn..I mean you have Bioware and Blizzard and other AAA game companies leading by example why do these other companies still choose to put out crap as fast as possible when in the end it only hurts the bottom line .

SalmonGod
12-03-2005, 02:16 AM
There can't be rich people without poor people. There is no economy without rich and poor.

which is why capitalism doesnt really work...... or rather... it only works for the lucky or talented

Dirtystimpy
12-03-2005, 03:47 AM
which is why capitalism doesnt really work...... or rather... it only works for the lucky or talented


thats a bunch of BS...its not called lucky, its called working your ass off.

SalmonGod
12-03-2005, 04:30 AM
and most of the world still lives in poverty no matter how much they work their ass off

living in a well developed country counts as being lucky because most of the world's population doesnt...

but even in America I know people who work 3 jobs, get 4 hours of sleep a night, and barely support their families....

people in that situation are victims of the following things: first they werent born with a talent that could make them money... second they werent lucky enough to live in a situation where they could develope their talents and become successful... or third they were either born into or at some point happened into the bottom of the ladder, at which point if you spend 90% of your time working your ass off for the bare basics of living then you have no opportunity to seek a better life do you?

a system that traps people at the bottom like that doesnt work... except for the lucky or talented... hell that's the very nature of the system at its core... the way it works at the most basic conceptual level is there is a limited amount of money in the world and everybody has to compete against eachother in order to collect that money to survive...

tell me that doesnt sound just ****ing evil?

sorry if I've just destroyed this thread with my lack of restraint

Rook
12-03-2005, 04:34 AM
From what I have seen, outsourcing does not give any real costs savings. The time spent dealing with outsourced material gone wrong and the general sub-par quality of the products produced ends up costing the company as much money as if they made it in house.
If outsourcing was the way to go most game jobs would already be gone. Any of the artists I know, that are extremely talented, are offered gobs of money by companies.
Mass produced fodder will never rival the quality of hand crafted art.
How many EA Bond games would you trade for one Resident Evil 4 or God of War?

Even if outsourcing could lower the cost of production, the prices would not come down as long as people are will to pay $60.

Ninjas
12-03-2005, 05:11 AM
the way it works at the most basic conceptual level is there is a limited amount of money in the world and everybody has to compete against each other in order to collect that money to survive...


I agree with most of what you said, but the above statement is not true. It is wrong on a factual level because money can and is produces on printing presses, and is hardly limited. It is wrong in spirit because what we can produce of value is almost unlimited. Technology allows access to never imaged utility, increasing crop yields and making useless junk into a valuable resource.

Here is some advice for your the people you know; Don't have kids unless you can bear the cost. I live on around $6,000 a year.

PhilOsirus
12-03-2005, 05:28 AM
How many EA Bond games would you trade for one Resident Evil 4 or God of War?

I see no reasons why modelers in Asia could not do the visual side of the job for games like Resident Evil (http://bloodpen.net/docillgun/cgi-bin5/doc/index.php?pl=69&ct1=4) or God of War (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=296939&highlight=china).

Also, it isn't very much more complicated to have someone in China produce 3D models based on 2D artworks than it is to make whole animated TV shows in China. It's going overseas, no doubt.

Also, one of the key reasons for outsourcing is to reduce cost of the product, since in highly competitive markets such as the game industry this becomes quite an important factor in what makes a game profitable. People might be willing to pay 60$, but around Christmas there are more than one games people are willing to buy.

SalmonGod
12-03-2005, 06:11 AM
I agree with most of what you said, but the above statement is not true. It is wrong on a factual level because money can and is produces on printing presses, and is hardly limited. It is wrong in spirit because what we can produce of value is almost unlimited. Technology allows access to never imaged utility, increasing crop yields and making useless junk into a valuable resource.

Here is some advice for your the people you know; Don't have kids unless you can bear the cost. I live on around $6,000 a year.

the fact that money is made on printing presses makes it a renewable/expanding resource, not an unlimited one... if it were unlimited, it would have no value

not everybody has kids by choice... I know I didn't... not that I dont love my kid... but graduation seems a more distant goal every day... I'm find myself running lower and lower on the time and energy I need to get through classes while still supplying my family with the basics

besides... it's not just kids... for instance, there's been a homeless guy I've seen almost every time I go into Indianapolis for a couple months now... one day he appeared on the side of the road with a couple large pieces of luggage and a cardboard sign saying he got stranded on the way to Colorado and was broke and hungry... as time went on those bags eventually disappeared, he didnt seem to bother looking for rides anymore, and his signs have gotten continually shorter and more desperate... the last few times I've seen him it was just "TIRED. HUNGRY. GOD BLESS."

although I havent seen him for about a week now... I seriously wonder if he froze to death

now I dont know his full story... but I can understand being hopeful to get on with his trip and not bothering to look for a job the first couple weeks while he still had the energy... and then after those couple weeks, he's realized he's going to be here for a while... but at that point he was probably so desperate with day to day survival that he couldn't bother... especially if he didnt happen to have skills that were in-demand in the first place

unlucky... that's all I can say... things just arent always as simple as working your ass off

Rook
12-03-2005, 06:33 AM
Osiris I never said artists from Asia can't produce high quality content, I said outsourcing teams tend to produce sub-par quality. The nature of outsourcing is fast and cheap. If you add a language barrier to that process things get even harder to manage.
Shows like the Simpons get outsourced to Korea for animation, Films like The Incredibles are not.

This thread is getting too wacky with Communism vs Capatilism mixed in.

pearson
12-03-2005, 08:18 AM
Wow. Lots to respond to in this thread.

1) For those who don't remember, the industry did crash once before. The reason was that lots of non-gamers jumped into the industry and were shoveling out crap games...hmm, sounds like now. ;) I don't think it will happen now, however, because there are too many people playing. There is much better info now on what the good games are, so you don't have to get burned if you don't want to. I do think the trend of consolidation will continue since few companies are really profitable.

2) Osirus, you twice mentioned that you think Asia has been playing US made MMOs...you are way off. This chart (http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html) has been tracking MMOs for a long time. Lineage and Lineage 2 (Korean made) had long dwarfed all other MMOs until WoW came out. EverQuest was the "king" at a mere 400k, lol, when Lineage had 3 million. He hasn't updated that chart for a few months, but the latest announced world-wide numbers for WoW were 4.5 million. Too bad Blizzard wasn't very generous about sharing all that money with their team members...

3) I think the kind of outsourcing Jason and Rook are talking about are two different things. Setting up a team in China and constantly working with them yields very different results than shopping for the lowest bidder for a quick bit of work. The former should work quite well, while I've never seen the latter save either money or time. No matter how carefully you lay out your requirements, there are (at best) little things that end up costing your local team's time to fix, or (at worst) major misunderstandings which cause the outsourced work to be completely unusable.

Of course management only hears the magical benefits of "outsourcing", and when they shop around, sure enough, there's a team that will do what you need for pennies on the dollar...and so the cycle continues.

[edit] Last I heard the outsourced work on the Simpsons is only the tweening; all the keyframes are drawn here in the states (that was a couple of years ago). Even that, which seems like a nobrainer, took a while to train the Korean team on how they wanted the animation to be.

paintbox
12-03-2005, 12:21 PM
I don't know what's to worry, you can always play :

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pacman.html

for FREE ! :thumbsup:
Endless entertainment !

SalmonGod
12-03-2005, 02:26 PM
This thread is getting too wacky with Communism vs Capatilism mixed in.

sorry about that :P... though for the record I'm not communist...

actually I'm anarchist... I know alot of people will want to jump down my throat for that... I just dont think any form of government will ever bring us peace, equal opportunity, or any of the other utopian prospects that everybody wishes to see... progress towards that goal can only come from the individual... when each individual in this world is motivated to understand one another, and knows that everybody deserves a level of respect simply for the fact that they're human... then there will be nothing to hold us back from utopia... and nothing less will get us there

I have never heard of any form of government which does anything but seperate people... people want governments to solve these problems and create utopia for them, but it doesnt work that way... thus I'm anarchist and especially anti-capitalist because capitalism places all the world in competition with one another, and in a state of mind where everybody believes that their life is more important than anyone else's

Ninjas
12-03-2005, 03:41 PM
thus I'm anarchist and especially anti-capitalist because capitalism places all the world in competition with one another, and in a state of mind where everybody believes that their life is more important than anyone else's


Capitalism is usually defined as a system where there is private property. It is an economic system, not a form of government. If you are against it then by definition you are a communist. Capitalism doesn't set up competition-- it is in fact the nature of the world. This is why every living thing down to the smallest microbe fights for access to the scarce resources it needs, or dies.

I don't think anyone is happy that the world is a harsh and unforgiving place but so long as there are more people than there is stuff to go around, capitalism will be a useful system for getting the most use out of the stuff we have. Not only that, but technology flourishes under capitalism, and it is this that may one day help us to create enough stuff for everybody.

Personally, I find the fact that a human is a human a completely trivial detail. I respect people who earn it.

although you seem smart, I find it hard to endure your muddy thinking. Money is not a resource like you said earlier. It is a medium of exchange for resoucres. You being an anarchist is fine (I have no love for any of the existing governments) but it has nothing to do with what economic system you favour.

I think you should read more about economics and governments before you really settle on what you believe.

1541
12-03-2005, 05:22 PM
I have a question which maybe a few people who are in the industry can answer. Why has the packaging of games become poorer and poorer over time, and is actually at a point now where it probably can not become any poorer anymore. Most of the time all you get is a dvd case with a dvd and some 10 page booklet.

I remember when games had cardboard cases, thick manuals, (cloth) maps and all sort of stuff. If you're lucky you can still have all that stuff today when you buy the Collectors Edition, but it will cost you an arm and a leg.

There is little difference (in the whole experience) for me nowadays between buying a game in a dvd case and getting the game on a DVD-R.

Cyborgguineapig
12-03-2005, 08:31 PM
I have friends in the mod community and they say the same thing about the level of quality that is expected. Unless you have zbrush and modo to make high poly models and their normal maps the quality of the mods begins to really show, this kills off any casual modder interest since it raises the bar too high.

Another thing is it now costs money to develope for most games now which is shutting alot of people out. Quake gave out its source code and anyone could do what they wanted and they didn't expect anything back. Now that the companies know there is some money to be made out of mods they charge the developers, even if it is just for fun. Companies need to loosen up on the mod community

$60 is high, but it has always been that high. I always buy behind the curve so this christmas I'll get a PS2 and start getting used games and pay 15-20 bucks. Maybe full price for shadow of the colossus. My Dreamcast was getting pretty flakey anyway.

As far as what you said and As far as the mod community side of things goes, I agree with you. It seems as though every gamer has become a critic. People just can't simply play and enjoy games anymore, they have to be a flippin critic. Visit any mod community and you'll see that with every new media release from a mod, the focus of comments and critisizm comes in the form of issues the players have with the quality of the mods assets. Complete Blashphemy if you ask me. Why, because most of these graphic critics of games are 15 yr olds with no respect for how far graphics have come in games because they've been spoiled with the Doom3's and Fear's and HL2's of today. The state of the Mod community and an issue I personally have with it is that too many "players" have too many flippin opinions about things they've never even done or tried themselves. Yes the opinion of the customer is important but if they are non-educated in the realm of game production or art in general, I don't see why they should have a say in what looks good. Just play and enjoy damnit. I'm sure to be pelted for my thoughts, but I really believe this is a big issue in the mod comunity right now. Nobody can be pleased.

And as far as Counter strike clones go, I partially see the blame in the community itself making the decisions for the mod teams. People play the latest Title game with the uber rifle and next thing you know that same player wants mod(x) to implement the same thing... the average casual gamer is not creative and has the imagination equivalent to a boulder, and although mod team(X) has tons of unique and creative ideas for their mod, the sheep that want to play their mod will be uninterested unless Uber rifle(x) is put in. Trust me I've seen mod teams get man handled by the community underneath it. And the Mod teams have only two choices. Adapt to what the whiney community wants or simply die a quiet death somewhere in a cold corner of a dark room in a cardboard box.

Ps. I remember paying (er my parents paying:D) exactly $77 for Marathon2 back in 1995. But it came in an awsome 3D box case and had a pretty nice manual.

ChrisMann
12-03-2005, 08:44 PM
Rook, Pearson, Kees and a few others are on the right track of thought. It comes down to content that has mass market appeal, while at the same time being made with care and attention to detail. Marketing after that will take over, but thatís another ball of wax.

I think blaming political ideologies really muddies the waters btw. How much a product costs on the shelf is subject to quite a lot of factors, the amount of effort it takes to muscle a title out the door being a huge one. What, me bitter aboot overtime? Nahh...:scream:

Throwing money and resources (be they outsourced or local,) at a product in development will not make that game or movie sell. If the product is all eye candy in its advertizing and content, word of mouth sales will not follow. I have a hard time believing that a product that isnít finessed by a small/medium team under one roof will have the kind of quality to reach legendary status.
Now, if one is comfortable shoveling out mediocre content by the truckload, you will make a living ;) but your product will show why you are in the business.

In this day of Penny Arcade style reviewing, crap will be called crap.

Oh and Kiraran? My hunch concurs with your hunch, heh.

Peace.

SalmonGod
12-03-2005, 09:07 PM
ok... no more talk of my idealism, I promise... I just cant help but comment when somebody goes with the whole jaded "there must be poor people or there cant be rich people" approach... and then without fail the whole thing blows up

and guineapig... it's not only that most gamers have never tried it themselves... but they seem to forget that these mods are being made by a bunch of guys who just get together and say "hey wouldn't it be cool to do this"... they dont have the experience or resources of a professional studio the size of Valve, and they're not being paid to do it...

it's amazing how often many gamers need to be reminded of this fact when criticizing a mod... so ingrateful

I have a couple ideas for HL2 mods that dont even involve any graphical modifiction and would be incredible fun, but I'm not a programmer and very few people are ever interested in such ideas anymore... they want everything to be a whole new game

Boone
12-03-2005, 09:09 PM
Today, I have encountered the biggest insult of them all - Age of Empires III.

My Brother asked me if it would work on my machine( "ALWAYS check the reqs", I say it everytime ) in which my machine is pretty much over-kill, so I said yes - buy it. We get home and pop the first CD in the drive...

"1628: Failed to complete installation"

...is what appeared on the screen. Being a sensible lad, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and decided to pay the website for the game a visit...

What do I find? Loads of other customers, like me, who have handed over their money only to find similar issues of not being able to install the game! Most of them have been rather patient and posted up the problem to see how the studio will do about it. Afterall, they have supported the studio by buying the game at full price, but have a product that won't work. After letting the mob of angry customers mount up - they simply reply with "we're working on a patch".

My brother purchased the game for £35 - a rather considerable amount for a PC game( usually one would snag it for no more than £25 ) - but is unable to play it.

Is this really the "craftsmanship" we keep hearing about? No, its not - its simply a studio that gives its loyal customers a kick in the nuts for complaining and cannot be bothered to accept responsibility for its poor "product" craftsmanship.

The game itself maybe a different story, but this is why the PC games market certainly does not deserve a large price tag for it's products.

Luckly for my brother, we shall exchange( from the shop ) AOE3 for the PS2 version of King Kong and I shall give him the money for it. But why do we go through all this hassle of refunds & exchanges and then be accused as "whiners"?

I don't recall any console game that I have ever had to return... :hmm:

Boone
12-03-2005, 09:22 PM
Actually, one that last note - maybe console games are worthy of the £30-40 pricetag.

C'mon - name one console title that had a bug that prevented it from functioning. :D

SalmonGod
12-03-2005, 10:20 PM
well this point has two sides to it... on the one hand console games are generally more polished and dont require all this mess of getting around bugs and downloading patches and trading them in because you just cant play them... PC Game Developers are definitely often lazy and get games out before they're ready...

but at the same time, patchability is an awesome thing because it's not always bug fixes... many companies often release completely new material for old games through patches as time goes on, plus PC Games may often be riddled with bugs... but they also often try to do a whole lot more than console games in terms of gameplay, non-linear storytelling, and general flexibility... plus trying to leave the game open to mod-ability in the process... PC Game developers kind of have a bit more on their plate

JMcWilliams
12-03-2005, 10:22 PM
PC Game Developers are definitely often lazy and get games out before they're ready...


More like console developers don't have an endless amount of custom configurations of hardware and software to develop for. :p :) Everyone rushes them out before they are ready

-Vormav-
12-03-2005, 10:33 PM
OT, but although I would certainly defend a company that has bugs when actually running their game (understanding that they DO have loads of compatibility issues to deal with), I find it to be completely ridiculous when the freaking installers don't work. And it seems like every time I go to a website to look for the answer to a problem that I've encountered trying to run a game, I see loads of posts from people that couldn't get past the installation step. :shrug:

ChrisMann
12-03-2005, 10:34 PM
Hmm. Sorry to hear that Boone. Having not been involved in that project or played the game, I could attribute the problem to one of the many random configuration of OS, drivers, cards etc that the company will inevitably have to contend with during an initial PC game launch. Perhaps that answers your second point as well?
Theories aside, it is a kick in the ol' egg sack when you hand over hard earned money for a defective product.

Edit-Good gravy. In the time I posted my reply, there were already several answers in the same vein. Must remind meself, not linear not linear..... Heh.

Boone
12-04-2005, 04:05 PM
Re: EnginesOfCreation.

Well, thats the thing - if you can't trust a company with the name of Microsoft( who developed the OS that runs the game ) attached to it to produce a stable game - who can you trust? :shrug:

I think its about time they introduced better standards & practices to avoid these kind of faults.

I would like to say good things about games companies - as most do really put in a hard graft - but not when they churn out rushed products and then blame the customers for their mistakes.

If I were the team responsible for AOE3 - the first thing I would do is communicate with the distraught customers and assure them that they are aware of the problem and are working their asses off to set things right. An apology is also good manners. 9 out of 10 customers will usually give respect for notifying them. Its all it takes. :wip:

SalmonGod
12-04-2005, 06:12 PM
alot of it goes back to publishers and business decisions... developers are artists... they dont want to rush work... any developer who's proven themselves distinctly popular enough to earn some freedom from publisher's decision-making will always say "when it's done" when asked about release dates...

again... I really hope venues like Steam go a long way towards cutting publishers and businessmen out of the picture... leaving everything up to the developers

JeroenDStout
12-04-2005, 06:18 PM
Steam can be so good for the Indy-market it almost makes me jump :)

SalmonGod
12-04-2005, 06:48 PM
Rag Doll Kung Fu is such a cheap, fun little game that would have never made it to market any other way :)

mojoman
12-04-2005, 10:51 PM
Um....games have to go up in price....

Gosh, inflation is 3% or more most countries! The companies have to keep up with inflation at least...

KayosIII
12-06-2005, 10:12 AM
Forget Story - Story can be done a shit load better with Movies - And even better with books.

Make a game that is fun - try to make it simple enough to pick up easily but with a richness of interactivity. I don't want at 30 hour wank-fest - give me a 15-30 min game that I can bring out at a party and we can all sit around (including my non gamer friends) and have a good laugh. Add enough variation so it can be different each time it is played.

Immediately GTA, Worms and that new musical quiz game pop to mind - anything else?

phexitol
12-06-2005, 10:22 AM
Katamari Damacy - roll things up in a ball. Simple, but addictive gameplay will make you giggle for hours.
Trapt (or any of the Deception series) once you become familiar with the game, there are countless combinations of traps and room hazards that will keep you busy for a while.http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon10.gif

DieByTheSword
12-06-2005, 03:48 PM
WoW - I will never EVER buy that game to have a monthly fee.. thats outrageous! Its a dream
come true for the big corps..

I love my warcraft2 and i play online for free every day.. imagine if i had to pay (more)?

All of us must say no to that, or sure every new RPG game will be like that!

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