5-31-05


J Marv
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yoda, I know this was pretty much an opinion piece, but I would like to present the case against, as it were.

The cost of development of console games has skyrocketed, effectively eliminating independent developers and smaller 3rd party publishers from competing. EA works its developers in slavelike conditions, and there is no union to protect them from this treatment. Everybody's got a breaking point, and I'm shocked that EA hasn't yet hit its employees'. You point out that in the previous console crash, there were too many crappy games, it's beginning to happen now. Many games are being released unfinished to make holiday deadlines. It hasn't affected sales yet, but it will start to, and soon. LucasArts has nearly lost me as a customer over KOTOR 2, and I will read dozens upon dozens of reviews before I buy another LucasArts game (KOTOR 2 is a brilliant game and well worth its cost, right up until the unfinished climax, it feels like a premature ejaculation). EA has already ticked me off with their NFL and NCAA and AFL shit, and its only a matter of time before they begin to take advantage of the monopolies they have. Microsoft is pushing those Micro-transaction things on XBox Live, so that, after spending $60 on a game (which I don't actually mind, but a lot of people will), I'm gonna have to spend another 20 or so just so I can compete with other online players? It's ludicrous. More people may be gaming than ever, but that doesn't mean that's a good thing for the industry as a whole. Businesses move in cycles, and the gaming industry has been on the upswing for far too long.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not predicting the end of console gaming. But there is a very compelling argument that it might implode, whether you believe it or not.

And if all first person shooters are the same, then all 3D platformers are the same. Don't make asinine statements. You're smarter than that.

Sorry about posting this in regular Earth-2. The article was hosted on Earth-2.net, so I figured it was a mainpage article, and somehow missed the comments link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No worries about initially posting it in the wrong place. As for your comments...

Third-Party Developers

While I would like to see more third-party/independent publishers producing topnotch games, keep in mind that one of the things that led to the crash of 1983 was that there were too many third-party publishers producing whatever they wanted. Due to the fact that companies that predate the NES (Atari mostly) had little to no say when it came to approving games for their systems, this led to over saturation of the market. Too many games found themselves in the bargain bins going for pennies on the dollar, which led to these third-party companies closing their doors and filing for bankruptcy. Because parents (who, as I said in the piece, were the primary consumers at the time) lost faith in the market, even good companies came crashing down, suffering the same financial fate as the independent companies.

With the way things are now -- with the three major companies dictating what games will be released on their respective systems -- there's no way another crash could happen due to third-party over saturation. However, I realize this can lead to creative stifling.

For instance, Psychonauts was supposed to be published by Microsoft, which meant it would have been an Xbox exclusive. However, when Microsoft learned the game was going to be rated Teen and not Mature (which Microsoft believes is what their gamers want), they dumped the project and pulled all funding. Lucky for Tim Schafer and his crew at Double Fine, Majesco picked it up and flooded them with cash. (Maybe not as much cash as Microsoft was offering, but enough to get the project done.) And while the game was still released on the Xbox, it will also make its way to the PlayStation 2 by the end of this month. Had Microsoft had its way, Double Fine would have been forced to add adult content (be it language, sexuality, violence or whatever) into their game (which they obviously did not want to do), and the product might have suffered.

On the flipside, games like Katamari Damacy, Dog's Life and Alien Hominid -- three fine and rather creative games -- didn't require buckets of money. They were driven by creativity (that's not to say other developers lack creativity), a passion for the project (that's not to say other developers lack passion) and were produced independently without any support from the Big Three.

Conversely (again), Psychonauts had a huge marketing campaign that (I believe) led to good sales, while Katamari Damacy, Dog's Life and Alien Hominid had little to none and thrived on word-of-mouth alone. (Alien Hominid, of course, had a huge PC following, so that helped as well.)

So it's truly a double-edged sword. While the money that larger studios throw around can lead to the production of great games (i.e. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Final Fantasy X-2, God of War, etc.) and can even help boost sales of mediocre games (RE: advertising), there are times when they might want a hand in the creative side of things due to the perceived audience. For the indy companies, while they don't have the money to hire the cream of the crop or advertise like mad, they're virtually left alone to produce the game as they envisioned it.

But as you said, the lack of money can lead to their demise. But this doesn't mean third-party companies are going to disappear. On the contrary, I believe. First, the lack of multi-million dollar funds will force developers to work with what they have, pushing their own technological and creative limits to produce the best titles they can and hopefully word-of-mouth will sell the game (RE: Katamari Damacy) in ways limited advertising never could. Second, and more importantly in my mind, most gamers seem to be forgetting about the PC.

Sure, console gaming is where it's at right now, but there's always the PC option; they're powerful machines that can provide gamers and developers with alternatives the three home consoles cannot. And when I say "alternatives" I'm speaking in terms of creativity, button layout, presentation, lack of Big Three regulations, etc.

EA

While ex-employees will tell you the working conditions are akin to slave labor, the current staff will say otherwise. Are they afraid to tell the truth, are the pink-slippers disgruntled/over exaggerating or is it a mix of two? Until someone gets inside and writes a fair and balanced expose, I hold the right to reserve judgment.

Unfinished Games

You say that unfinished games are coming to market -- and I have no doubt about that (movies, books, comics, TV shows and all other forms of media come to market unfinished) -- but you say that this will lead to poor sales "and soon." Where are your numbers?

Fact of the matter is, gaming revenue is at an all-time high. Console and PC game sales totaled over $7 billion dollars last year. In April 2004 the industry pulled in nearly $315 million dollars, whereas the numbers topped $340 million this April -- a 9% increase. Also consider that sales rose 14% from January through April. Oh. Halo 2... $125,000,000 in one day.

KOTOR 2

Haven't played it or the original, so I have no comment.

EA and Exclusive Licensing

EA didn't initiate the deal, the NFL did. EA lobbied for exclusivity for a long time, sure. But it was the NFL that put the deal on the table. And at least five other companies bid right along side Electronic Arts. So blame EA all you want, but Take-Two and many other companies would have bought the license in a heartbeat if they could have and everyone knows it.

Microtransactions

I don't like the idea either, but where did you hear it was going to cost $20 to "compete with other online players"? Last I heard, each transaction would cost roughly a quarter (with some items going for a buck or two). Also consider that Xbox Live already charges for some downloads, and this is similar to what many PC gamers go through (i.e. paying $50+ for an MMORPG, then forking over a subscription fee... which "entitles" them to play online and provides them with the latest updates/patches). So it's really nothing new and not the fault of Microsoft.

Chocolate Cake Causes Herpes

You say, "More people may be gaming than ever, but that doesn't mean that's a good thing for the industry as a whole," but you don't explain what that means. I can just as easily say, "Chocolate cake causes herpes," but it's baseless without an explanation and data.

Cyclical Business

Business is cyclical, that's true. But saying "the gaming industry has been on the upswing for far too long" is only your opinion. Provide me with numbers to back this up and tell me what's "far too long." Since 1985 (NES), 1989 (GameBoy/Tetris), 1995 (PlayStation), 2000 (PlayStation 2 and The Sims), 2001 (new console wars begin)? When does your definition of "too long" begin?

Impending Implosion

There might be an argument out there, but, frankly, you haven't made it.

FPSs

I did not say all first-person shooters are the same; I said, "Let's also forget that all first-person shooters are pretty much the same as it is. Different guns and environments and enemies, but few actually build upon the past and attempt to transcend the genre. Those that do, however (such as Half-Life 2), obviously only exist in my mind."

There's a difference between what I said and what you said I said.

Your Closing Remark

This isn't just directed at you, Marv; it's meant for everyone. Do not use that phrase on these boards. I don't just mean the Anti-Fanboy section of the site; I mean the entire site. It's one thing to disagree with someone's opinion (especially mine; I welcome it), but saying, "Don't make asinine statements. You're smarter than that," not only tells the person "you're wrong" but it also tells them "you're dumb for having said that." I won't tolerate it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We both have legitimate arguments about independent and smaller 3rd party developers, though I think they are more important than you, probably because I'm a PC gamer by nature, and smaller developers tend to deliver more PC games.

EA

While ex-employees will tell you the working conditions are akin to slave labor, the current staff will say otherwise.  Are they afraid to tell the truth, are the pink-slippers disgruntled/over exaggerating or is it a mix of two?  Until someone gets inside and writes a fair and balanced expose, I hold the right to reserve judgment.

Maybe so, but they put out so many games a year that I'm not sure how they'd do it otherwise. Other companies tend to force long hours in crunch time as well, but usually give employees a couple of weeks off after such a period, it was reported that EA didn't. I still think that those working for major companies should unionize, especially if what those people say is true.

Unfinished Games

You say that unfinished games are coming to market -- and I have no doubt about that (movies, books, comics, TV shows and all other forms of media come to market unfinished) -- but you say that this will lead to poor sales "and soon."  Where are your numbers?

In truth I don't have any, as reliable game sales numbers are nearly impossible to find for all but the best of bestsellers. But look at the furor over the unfinished KOTOR 2. People are so ticked off that a group of angry players has actually set out to finish the game (it turns out that much of the cut content still made it onto the discs, but was untested, so it was left alone in the game). KOTOR 2 also sold fewer copies than the first game, for varying reasons, including some less than glowing reviews.

Fact of the matter is, gaming revenue is at an all-time high.  Console and PC game sales totaled over $7 billion dollars last year.  In April 2004 the industry pulled in nearly $315 million dollars, whereas the numbers topped $340 million this April -- a 9% increase.  Also consider that sales rose 14% from January through April.  Oh.  Halo 2... $125,000,000 in one day.

Actually, revenue fell in 2004 compared to 2003 though, by about $100 million dollars. A relatively small drop, but a drop nonetheless, especially considering the flood of marquee titles at the end of the year (San Andreas, KOTOR 2, Halo 2, MGS 3 among others), and considering that Nintendo had its biggest year ever in the handheld market.Article

More on this later.

EA and Exclusive Licensing

EA didn't initiate the deal, the NFL did.  EA lobbied for exclusivity for a long time, sure.  But it was the NFL that put the deal on the table.  And at least five other companies bid right along side Electronic Arts.  So blame EA all you want, but Take-Two and many other companies would have bought the license in a heartbeat if they could have and everyone knows it.

Yeah, and I would have been just as ticked off at those companies. EA signed for exclusivity, so they draw my ire. Just like Microsoft does, for being basically the only PC OS that matters for home users. It also seems odd that the NFL would seek exclusivity with EA, especially since NFL 2k5 sold better on the Xbox than Madden. I got those numbers from Gamespot.

Microtransactions

I don't like the idea either, but where did you hear it was going to cost $20 to "compete with other online players"?  Last I heard, each transaction would cost roughly a quarter (with some items going for a buck or two).  Also consider that Xbox Live already charges for some downloads, and this is similar to what many PC gamers go through (i.e. paying $50+ for an MMORPG, then forking over a subscription fee...  which "entitles" them to play online and provides them with the latest updates/patches).  So it's really nothing new and not the fault of Microsoft.

I didn't hear $20, I made it up, but it's not that far fetched. In the GDC demo, Allard used the microtransactions to increase the performance of his car. Forza has over 200 cars. If I wanted to set up each to be competitive in an online race, assuming one microtransaction at $.25 is required to max out each car's performance, it would cost me over $50. And who's handling these microtransactions, you ask? Why Microsoft is, not third party developers or publishers, which only exacerbates the problem in my first point.

Chocolate Cake Causes Herpes

You say, "More people may be gaming than ever, but that doesn't mean that's a good thing for the industry as a whole," but you don't explain what that means.  I can just as easily say, "Chocolate cake causes herpes," but it's baseless without an explanation and data.

Unit sales are up, but revenue is down. Does that sound logical? I guess you could say that budget titles are popular, since both the original Halo (XBox) and NFL 2k5 (PS2) were both in the top 10 in unit sales for 2004, but that isn't necessarily good for the industry, especially since it is widely expected that the cost of new games will increase to $60. If cheaper games are more popular now, what happens when non-budget titles get even more expensive? Nobody really knows.

And what about movies? Over the past few years, movie ticket sales have dropped, but revenue has increased. Just because more people are doing it doesn't necessarily mean that they're spending more money.

Cyclical Business

Business is cyclical, that's true.  But saying "the gaming industry has been on the upswing for far too long" is only your opinion.  Provide me with numbers to back this up and tell me what's "far too long."  Since 1985 (NES), 1989 (GameBoy/Tetris), 1995 (PlayStation), 2000 (PlayStation 2 and The Sims), 2001 (new console wars begin)?  When does your definition of "too long" begin?

From your dates, 1995. The past decade or so, either sales, revenue, or both has increased every year in the video games industry. No other industry has seen a period like that, ever. It's got to end sometime. It has to. It can't grow forever. Especially since the tech is getting way ahead of itself. How many people really have broadband and HDTVs?

FPSs

I did not say all first-person shooters are the same; I said, "Let's also forget that all first-person shooters are pretty much the same as it is.  Different guns and environments and enemies, but few actually build upon the past and attempt to transcend the genre. Those that do, however (such as Half-Life 2), obviously only exist in my mind."

There's a difference between what I said and what you said I said.

Really? Is there? There's more to different FPS's than weapons and environments. Give me a break. Play Serious Sam, then play Rainbow Six, and tell me that they're the same game with different weapons and environments. If you honestly think that, then I have no idea what to say, because that's ridiculous.

Maybe you were just talking about the comment you heard, but just watch game commercials. They want us all to think it's the same game. The Killzone spot called it a "Halo killer." The Area 51 spot says its "the next Halo." Even if the games vary greatly, it seems the publishers don't want you to know that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let the quoting of quoted quotes begin!

EA

While ex-employees will tell you the working conditions are akin to slave labor, the current staff will say otherwise.  Are they afraid to tell the truth, are the pink-slippers disgruntled/over exaggerating or is it a mix of two?  Until someone gets inside and writes a fair and balanced expose, I hold the right to reserve judgment.

Maybe so, but they put out so many games a year that I'm not sure how they'd do it otherwise. Other companies tend to force long hours in crunch time as well, but usually give employees a couple of weeks off after such a period, it was reported that EA didn't. I still think that those working for major companies should unionize, especially if what those people say is true.

I don't mean to come off as a dick, but if the EA employees feel they're being treated unfairly (RE: lack of vacations), they can quit. Having "Electronic Arts" on your résumé will surely get you hired elsewhere. Or they can simply schedule their own time off once the game has been shipped. EA shouldn't have to say, "Great job, team. Y'all can take a week off now." Again, I don't mean to sound like a dick, but other companies in other industries are the same way. The work just keeps coming and coming and there's never an opportune time to take a holiday, and suddenly five years have passed without so much as a single vacation day being used. Sadly, it happens. But to call it akin to "slave labor" is asinine.

(And while saying they should unionize is all well and good, I just watched a place attempt to unionize and it's much easier said than done.)

Unfinished Games

You say that unfinished games are coming to market -- and I have no doubt about that (movies, books, comics, TV shows and all other forms of media come to market unfinished) -- but you say that this will lead to poor sales "and soon."  Where are your numbers?

In truth I don't have any, as reliable game sales numbers are nearly impossible to find for all but the best of bestsellers. But look at the furor over the unfinished KOTOR 2. People are so ticked off that a group of angry players has actually set out to finish the game (it turns out that much of the cut content still made it onto the discs, but was untested, so it was left alone in the game). KOTOR 2 also sold fewer copies than the first game, for varying reasons, including some less than glowing reviews.

Was KOTOR 2 unfinished or was the ending simply lackluster? I do recall hearing that all of the developers were fired, but I thought that was after the game was sent to retailers.

Fact of the matter is, gaming revenue is at an all-time high.  Console and PC game sales totaled over $7 billion dollars last year.  In April 2004 the industry pulled in nearly $315 million dollars, whereas the numbers topped $340 million this April -- a 9% increase.  Also consider that sales rose 14% from January through April.  Oh.  Halo 2... $125,000,000 in one day.

Actually, revenue fell in 2004 compared to 2003 though, by about $100 million dollars. A relatively small drop, but a drop nonetheless, especially considering the flood of marquee titles at the end of the year (San Andreas, KOTOR 2, Halo 2, MGS 3 among others), and considering that Nintendo had its biggest year ever in the handheld market.Article

You're talking one percent. One percent. And if you're going to cull information from an article, make sure to note everything that's said and not the one part that "proves" your point. This is why revenue fell by one percent from 2003 to 2004:

As a result of the widely-publicized hardware inventory shortages over the 2004 holiday season, the console hardware category saw the largest percentage reduction, with a 27 percent decline in dollar volume and a 16 percent decrease in unit volume in 2004. However, portable hardware dollar volume was up 10 percent in 2004 to over $828 million, from $751 million in 2003.

But then the article goes on to say:

"This year’s positive sales results clearly reveal the increasing appeal of video game playing as a leisure time activity among the largest consumer base in the history of the industry", said Anita Frazier, Entertainment Industry Analyst, The NPD Group. "The successful launches of some of the highest quality and best marketed titles ever produced, drops in price points for hardware, as well as the introduction of new hardware systems all helped make 2004 another stellar year for the video games industry."

"The 2004 sales figures are impressive, especially as we enter the twilight of this hardware cycle, and more significantly, looking ahead, the video game industry shows no signs of slowing down," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. "No other entertainment industry has posted the sustained growth over the last decade generated by the video game sector, and given the technological and creative advances ahead, all signs point to surging growth and more record sales for many years to come."

EA and Exclusive Licensing

EA didn't initiate the deal, the NFL did.  EA lobbied for exclusivity for a long time, sure.  But it was the NFL that put the deal on the table.  And at least five other companies bid right along side Electronic Arts.  So blame EA all you want, but Take-Two and many other companies would have bought the license in a heartbeat if they could have and everyone knows it.

Yeah, and I would have been just as ticked off at those companies. EA signed for exclusivity, so they draw my ire. Just like Microsoft does, for being basically the only PC OS that matters for home users. It also seems odd that the NFL would seek exclusivity with EA, especially since NFL 2k5 sold better on the Xbox than Madden. I got those numbers from Gamespot.

Again, the NFL lobbied for it, and EA ran with the ball (no pun intended). If you're going to blame EA for having an exclusive deal with the NFL, you might as well blame them for having an exclusive deal with John Madden.

And the reasons the NFL went with EA:

01. EA offered more money.

02. EA has name recognition.

03. EA has an awesome track record.

And 2K5 sold better because it went for $20.

Oh, and just because Windows is "the only PC OS that matters for home users" doesn't mean it's the only one out there. If a viable competitor should rise, consumers will make the switch. (Think about Internet Explorer and Firefox. No one ever thought anyone would ever really challenge IE again, but then Mozilla came along with their browser and millions upon millions of people made the switch and haven't looked back.) In fact, it was just announced that all of Apple's computers will be running with Intel chips by mid-2007, meaning it will be possible to run a Mac OS on PCs relatively soon. The options are out there, people just have to look (or wait) for them.

Microtransactions

I don't like the idea either, but where did you hear it was going to cost $20 to "compete with other online players"?  Last I heard, each transaction would cost roughly a quarter (with some items going for a buck or two).  Also consider that Xbox Live already charges for some downloads, and this is similar to what many PC gamers go through (i.e. paying $50+ for an MMORPG, then forking over a subscription fee...  which "entitles" them to play online and provides them with the latest updates/patches).  So it's really nothing new and not the fault of Microsoft.

I didn't hear $20, I made it up, but it's not that far fetched. In the GDC demo, Allard used the microtransactions to increase the performance of his car. Forza has over 200 cars. If I wanted to set up each to be competitive in an online race, assuming one microtransaction at $.25 is required to max out each car's performance, it would cost me over $50. And who's handling these microtransactions, you ask? Why Microsoft is, not third party developers or publishers, which only exacerbates the problem in my first point.

First off, we both dislike these microtransactions, so I'm simply playing Devil's advocate here. But who's really going to soup up all 200 cars? Second, it's not like every item one needs to better their machines will have to be purchased; unlockables will remain the primary resource for said actions.

Chocolate Cake Causes Herpes

You say, "More people may be gaming than ever, but that doesn't mean that's a good thing for the industry as a whole," but you don't explain what that means.  I can just as easily say, "Chocolate cake causes herpes," but it's baseless without an explanation and data.

Unit sales are up, but revenue is down. Does that sound logical? I guess you could say that budget titles are popular, since both the original Halo (XBox) and NFL 2k5 (PS2) were both in the top 10 in unit sales for 2004, but that isn't necessarily good for the industry, especially since it is widely expected that the cost of new games will increase to $60. If cheaper games are more popular now, what happens when non-budget titles get even more expensive? Nobody really knows.

And what about movies? Over the past few years, movie ticket sales have dropped, but revenue has increased. Just because more people are doing it doesn't necessarily mean that they're spending more money.

Movie theaters don't make money from ticket sales, they make it from concessions. So if the nation were to become health conscious (like America was in 2004 thanks to Atkins), concessions sales will drop. Also consider that as ticket prices rise, people have less money to spend on candy and drinks. Again, this will put an overall dent into revenue.

As it pertains to video games, the difference between revenue and units sold has to do with the lack of available systems (RE: Nintendo DS, PSTwo) and the increase in popular games selling for "budget" prices.

As for the rumored $60 tag on next-gen games, I'm not so sure all titles will sell for that much. Consider this: PSP games mostly sell for $40, but EA's lineup goes for $50 (I realize I'm giving you fodder for your anti-EA mindset). Each publisher (along with the retailers) determines the final price point. While some will opt to sell their more production-heavy titles for $60, others will stick with the $50 limit we're accustomed to.

Cyclical Business

Business is cyclical, that's true.  But saying "the gaming industry has been on the upswing for far too long" is only your opinion.  Provide me with numbers to back this up and tell me what's "far too long."  Since 1985 (NES), 1989 (GameBoy/Tetris), 1995 (PlayStation), 2000 (PlayStation 2 and The Sims), 2001 (new console wars begin)?  When does your definition of "too long" begin?

From your dates, 1995. The past decade or so, either sales, revenue, or both has increased every year in the video games industry. No other industry has seen a period like that, ever. It's got to end sometime. It has to. It can't grow forever. Especially since the tech is getting way ahead of itself. How many people really have broadband and HDTVs?

The "tech is getting way ahead of itself" because the companies are wisely anticipating a huge decrease in the price point of HDTVs, so they (Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft) must be prepared for this. To not offer the best resolution on said TVs, especially when the next-gen systems will last until about 2011, would make for a poor business move.

And actually, the automotive industry has seen an exceptional trend like this. (All of the following numbers are US only.)

1900: 4100 cars sold

1915: 895,900 cars sold

1925: 3.7 million cars sold

1932: 1.1 million cars sold

Why the drop in 1932? The Great Depression.

Would the numbers eventually have leveled out had the Depression not struck. Surely, but a drop as noted above would be most unlikely. And the same will happen to the video game industry. Eventually sales will slow, that's true. But by no means will it slump as the automotive industry did. (Not unless there's another depression or great war.) However, console manufactures attempt to combat this by releasing new systems every five years or so. With new systems come new games and accessories... and an increase in sales.

Also, I chose that 32 year period of sales because I wanted to compare the growth of both industries in their infancy. Home video games have been around since 1972 (33 years), and a product always sells best during its formative years, so comparing it to the modern automotive industry or TV sales would be preposterous.

FPSs

I did not say all first-person shooters are the same; I said, "Let's also forget that all first-person shooters are pretty much the same as it is.  Different guns and environments and enemies, but few actually build upon the past and attempt to transcend the genre. Those that do, however (such as Half-Life 2), obviously only exist in my mind."

There's a difference between what I said and what you said I said.

Really? Is there? There's more to different FPS's than weapons and environments. Give me a break. Play Serious Sam, then play Rainbow Six, and tell me that they're the same game with different weapons and environments. If you honestly think that, then I have no idea what to say, because that's ridiculous.

Maybe you were just talking about the comment you heard, but just watch game commercials. They want us all to think it's the same game. The Killzone spot called it a "Halo killer." The Area 51 spot says its "the next Halo." Even if the games vary greatly, it seems the publishers don't want you to know that.

You're still not reading what I said. I never said "All first-person shooters are Halo clones." I said, "And while Halo has spawned dozens of clones, we'll pretend to ignore the unrelated and un-Halo inspired gems that are Ratchet and Clank, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Resident Evil 4 and God of War. We'll ignore them and pretend that every game has been a clone of Bungie's bread and butter."

I'm mocking the fanboy (who seemingly forgot that other/non-FPS games exist) that insists all games from the release of the Xbox 360 on will be Halo 2 (or 3?) clones.

And one more time, I said, "Let's also forget that all first-person shooters are pretty much the same as it is."

That "pretty much" absolves me as far as I'm concerned. What you're doing is comparing different FPS sub-genres. Just as Shaun of the Dead differs from Dawn of the Dead because of tone, so does Serious Sam differ from Rainbow Six.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's obvious if this argument keeps up, we're just going to end up in circles, so I'm not gonna keep quoting, but I will make the following points.

Holiday revenue is gonna be much smaller this year, recent information says Microsoft is gonna eat $75 for every XBox 360 sold. To make up for that in software, they're gonna have to sell a hall of a lot of games, just to break even. Revenue was up this April because of a system launch.

No, EA souldn't have to give them time off, but then they should pay them for their overtime work, which according to the stories, they don't. I fully realize the difficulty that EA (and any other major company, including the three 1st party publishers, EA just the biggest target because people have already attacked them) employees would face if they attempted to form a union, however, digital delivery services (such as Steam, and IGN/Gamespy's Direct2Drive, both of which are fantastic) make it much easier for developers to break free of large corporations. They don't need EA, EA needs them. Especially when such services are going to be made available for consoles.

As far as the tech comment, HDTV's are still prohibitively expensive for most people. Maybe they won't be by 2011, this is just speculation though.

The fact that NFL 2k5 cost $20 has no effect on how much money the NFL gets from it, since they probably just license the teams and players for a flat fee. I would think competition would be good for the NFL, as they could continually drive up their asking price, knowing that both Take Two and EA would leap on it. But it's not just the NFL, they've got NCAA and AFL too (though I'm not sure if they're AFL exclusive). And I do use Linux/Unix at school for large portions of my curriculum. But gamers have to use Windows, they don't have a choice.

As far as the car question went, there wouldn't be a point to trick out every car, other than bragging rights, but there would be good reasons to trick out many of the cars. For instance, you'd want to have a fully upgraded car for each competition class, as well as for any specialty races. For instance, in Sega GT, there is a series of races that require you to use a car with a Normally Aspirated engine less than 1000 cc. This, in the case of Sega GT, would be an E-class car. However, turbo'd cars are faster, so you'd want a turbo'd car for E-class races without the NA restriction. It's not inconcievable that one could run up a $20 tab just to have a fleet of cars that could enter and be competitive in any race you came across online.

And KOTOR 2 was unfinished. It had a lackluster ending, which was lackluster because it was rushed so it could be on the shelf for the holiday season. There are places and events heavily alluded to in the story that never occur, but if you dig through the game code, you'll find scripts and audio files for these events. A bit odd if the developers just forgot about these plots, otherwise why would they have the actors record the dialogue, and then leave those files as well as the animations and character scripts in the release version of the game?

Oh, and you read my movie comment wrong. Movies are making more money, with less customers. Not less with more customers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Holiday revenue is gonna be much smaller this year, recent information says Microsoft is gonna eat $75 for every XBox 360 sold.  To make up for that in software, they're gonna have to sell a hall of a lot of games, just to break even.  Revenue was up this April because of a system launch.

How can you say revenue was up this April due to the launch of the PSP, but it will be down this holiday season, which is when the 360 hits the stores? Granted, Microsoft will lose money on the next Xbox (as they have with every Xbox sold to date), but consumers will still be purchasing the unit and titles and accessories. Sales will be good. Microsoft will lose money, but the industry as a whole will see a boom.

And let's just say the 360 flops this year. To date over $3 billion have been made in 2005, and we're just halfway through the year. That number will easily more than double with or without the 360 -- especially once Sony pushes the PSP in time for Christmas, along with Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts II; and let's not forget that The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess will also hit shelves this holiday season.

No, EA souldn't have to give them time off, but then they should pay them for their overtime work, which according to the stories, they don't.  I fully realize the difficulty that EA (and any other major company, including the three 1st party publishers, EA just the biggest target because people have already attacked them) employees would face if they attempted to form a union, however, digital delivery services (such as Steam, and IGN/Gamespy's Direct2Drive, both of which are fantastic) make it much easier for developers to break free of large corporations.  They don't need EA, EA needs them.  Especially when such services are going to be made available for consoles.

I really don't understand what you're getting at here. EA needs Direct2Drive and Steam or their un-unionized employees?

As far as the tech comment, HDTV's are still prohibitively expensive for most people.  Maybe they won't be by 2011, this is just speculation though.

And business thrives on speculation. Think of it this way: DVD players were available to the consumers for roughly five to seven years before they were truly affordable. HDTVs are just about to hit that same mark. Prices will drop and sales will rise. Now I'm not saying everybody will purchase one, but it's a very smart business move to make sure the next-gen systems will look picture perfect on said TVs.

The fact that NFL 2k5 cost $20 has no effect on how much money the NFL gets from it, since they probably just license the teams and players for a flat fee.  I would think competition would be good for the NFL, as they could continually drive up their asking price, knowing that both Take Two and EA would leap on it.  But it's not just the NFL, they've got NCAA and AFL too (though I'm not sure if they're AFL exclusive).  And I do use Linux/Unix at school for large portions of my curriculum.  But gamers have to use Windows, they don't have a choice.

I meant 2K5 sold better because it was less expensive. Had it gone for $50 like Madden, I guarantee the gap between the two wouldn't have been so large.

And competition is good. As wrestling fans we both know this, but, for whatever reason, the NFL wanted this deal. Maybe they figure football is popular enough where it really isn't needed when it comes to video games. I don't know.

As for PC OSs, a new one might come along (for gamers) and will challenge Microsoft. As I said before, Firefox did it with IE when no one thought it could/would be done. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

As far as the car question went, there wouldn't be a point to trick out every car, other than bragging rights, but there would be good reasons to trick out many of the cars.  For instance, you'd want to have a fully upgraded car for each competition class, as well as for any specialty races.  For instance, in Sega GT, there is a series of races that require you to use a car with a Normally Aspirated engine less than 1000 cc.  This, in the case of Sega GT, would be an E-class car.  However, turbo'd cars are faster, so you'd want a turbo'd car for E-class races without the NA restriction.  It's not inconcievable that one could run up a $20 tab just to have a fleet of cars that could enter and be competitive in any race you came across online.

Until the release of the Xbox 360 -- until these microtransactions are a reality -- I'm going to insist that the majority of add-ons and whatnot will still come from unlockables. We'll see.

And KOTOR 2 was unfinished.  It had a lackluster ending, which was lackluster because it was rushed so it could be on the shelf for the holiday season. There are places and events heavily alluded to in the story that never occur, but if you dig through the game code, you'll find scripts and audio files for these events.  A bit odd if the developers just forgot about these plots, otherwise why would they have the actors record the dialogue, and then leave those files as well as the animations and character scripts in the release version of the game?

As for this, writers pen chapters that never make their books, directors film entire scenes that are left on the editing room floor, and so it happens in games too. I'm not saying it wasn't unfinished. What I am saying, however, is that it shouldn't come as a surprise that audio files and scripts were left on the disc but were not included in the final game.

(And whether they were meant to be resolved in KOTOR 2 I do not know, but those plots and places that were alluded to could very much be foreshadowing on the developer's end and might be resolved in KOTOR 3. We all knew it would be a trilogy, so begrudging the game for not wrapping up every plot point is akin to pissing on Lucas because Anakin didn't turn to the Dark Side in Episode II.)

Oh, and you read my movie comment wrong.  Movies are making more money, with less customers.  Not less with more customers.

I see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't understand what you're getting at here. EA needs Direct2Drive and Steam or their un-unionized employees?

Well, in the context, I meant their employees. Due to success of Steam and the proliferation of digital delivery (at least on the PC and Mac), developers don't necessarily need huge publishers to get their games out there anymore. But now that you mention it, it is kinda curious to me that the larger corporations (Microsoft did recently with the Halo 2 pack, I know) aren't dabbling more into digital delivery.

And more on this KOTOR 2 stuff. The unused content (the audio files, game scripts and animations) that was left on the disc mostly ties up these plot points, the rest is stuff that adds to the main plot and covers a lot of history that seemed to be left out. The ending really doesn't leave much, if any room for a sequel as it is, in fact if some of the stuff that was left out actually occurred in the game, it would actually expand upon the ease of story writing for a sequel.

And I say revenue is gonna decrease for XBox 360 because Microsoft is making Live free (a great move, I think, but they're gonna take a revenue hit), and because they're eating so much on the hardware. Sony wasn't losing that much on the PSP, and I doubt a movie is gonna be a system seller, especially since it is going to be released on DVD as well. And I seriously doubt that all those games will outsell last year's holiday lineup, it is possible though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There will be two Xbox Live services. While one will be free and only accessible on the weekends, the other premium service will be available all the time.

And I never said Advent Children was UMD exclusive. I said it, along with the hard PSP push and the release of Kingdom Hearts II, would help boost video game sales during the holiday season. (And even the DVD sales will be factored into overall video game revenue somehow... as an accessory maybe.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.