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  1. #41
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Only around 14% of people finished what is a fairly short game from all accounts. Is 'from the creators of bastion' a selling point to the other 86% who didn't, or instead a warning sign to not bother.
    I'll repeat my warning against absolutist conceptualization by saying the answer is: neither or either depending upon an individual's preferences and exposure.

    • neither 1: buyer doesn't know or care about the stats
    • neither 2: buyer doesn't care if they completed the game themselves
    • either 1: buyer cares about stats and/or completion and gets it anyway
    • either 2: buyer cares about stats and/or completion and doesn't get it


    Markets are complex and generalizations within them are weak, let alone across them (and since Transistor will cross both platforms and publishers, this particular generalization is quite weak).

    /edit: I mean, you're implying that people who want their games played shouldn't put their games on sale (or shouldn't bundle them with other games in sales, or shouldn't accede to drastic discounts, or something like that).

    Firstly, I don't agree that having one's game played is the end-all be-all result of putting it on the market. It's surely the ideal result, but taking money for undownloaded bits is only a negative if nobody played a game post-purchase. I doubt that ever happens, though. There may well be some crowding-out effects of the volume of games on these marketplaces, but that's an inevitability.

    Secondly, there are obviously different price points various markets will bear, and with a clear-enough demographic and granular sales information those points can be repeatedly tested and narrowed-in on.

    But no two games are the same, and what the market will bear for a SpiffoGameo is almost certainly not what the same market will bear for a GreatPlayable; indeed, v1.0 of GreatPlayable and v1.1 aren't the same game, either, which only complicates things. There are probably trends to be seen all through these markets, but clear, irreducible, absolute, unchanging facts? Economies don't work that way (and people who claim otherwise are grist to the mills of historical curiosity).

    To be clear, I'm not accusing anyone here of being a fundy nutter: you're all well-spoken and seemingly intelligent. I'm just saying... these things aren't very clear.
    Last edited by Jambe; 24-06-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #42
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jambe View Post
    I'll repeat my warning against absolutist conceptualization by saying the answer is: neither or either depending upon an individual's preferences and exposure.
    I'm not making absolutes. I'm simply raising a concern.

    I mean, you're implying that people who want their games played shouldn't put their games on sale (or shouldn't bundle them with other games in sales, or shouldn't accede to drastic discounts, or something like that).
    Not at all (in fact I'm perplexed as to how you're drawing that from what I've said in truth). I'm looking at it more from the perspective that someone who plays your game (and enjoys it) is likely an advocate for your product and will sell it to others through recommendations etc. Where as some one who hasn't (but has bought it) is probably less likely to throw more money at you, because in some ways they've already down for a loss.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 24-06-2013 at 03:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I'm looking at it more from the perspective that someone who plays your game (and enjoys it) is likely an advocate for your product and will sell it to others through recommendations etc. Where as some one who hasn't (but has bought it) is probably less likely to throw more money at you, because in some ways they've already down for a loss.
    'Buying and playing' is better than 'buying and not playing'. But they're both better than 'Not buying'.

    Unless.

    Someone is more likely to play a game they've spent more money on. That's probably true, but that brings the tricky bit to a small group of people: those that will play it if they've spent more money on it but won't play it if they've got it cheaply. And that needs to be offset against a more negative response if they don't like the game.

    Either way, I'm not sure that's a huge group.

  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Games should be sold by the megabyte.

    Discuss.

    Edit: Gas stations should include USB game pumps that you can plug into your laptop to fill up its game tank with several gallons of game.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    'Buying and playing' is better than 'buying and not playing'. But they're both better than 'Not buying'.
    For whom? The developer? Sure but a wasted investment is a loss for the customer.

    We now exist within an age of infinite distractions. Everything is vying for our attention, and none of us have the time to engage with it all. 15 - 20 years ago this wasn't the case. For something to be truly successful now it kind of needs to stick to the wall of a persons consciousness in some fashion. Making a game that loads of people buy, but very few in fact play might sound like a great thing, and from a purely short term financial perspective it certainly is for the developer, but they're only part of the equation because unless a product is culturally successful there's no legacy there, and without legacy you can't build brand loyalty, and that's a real issue if you're a business with a long term perspective. GTA V is going probably sell 8 million plus copies later on this year, and it's not going to sell that many copies off of slick advertising or internet site previews but by on large it's going to sell that many because as brands both Rockstar & GTA carry cultural weight. Weight they've built up through people buying and playing their products and recommending them to their friends, game after game after game. Even a few damp squibs haven't here and there haven't turned the tide of their continued success.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 24-06-2013 at 06:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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  6. #46
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    A lot of developers today use achievements stats in the like to see how players play their game. A low completion might tell them it was to long? People got bored after 2 hours? Too hard?

    If people buy and don't play your game, what will make them want to play your next one?

  7. #47
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I'm not making absolutes. I'm simply raising a concern.
    I was merely warning against hard conceptions of complex systems. My use of the word "implying" was not hinting at disingenuity on your part. If I wanted to accuse you of that I'd simply do so, and bluntly, but I don't think you are. I was fleshing out the broader topic, not impugning your motives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Not at all (in fact I'm perplexed as to how you're drawing that from what I've said in truth). I'm looking at it more from the perspective that someone who plays your game (and enjoys it) is likely an advocate for your product and will sell it to others through recommendations etc. Where as some one who hasn't (but has bought it) is probably less likely to throw more money at you, because in some ways they've already down for a loss.
    That's right, but somebody who bought and didn't play a game probably wasn't going to play it anyway. Expenditure and attention are not well-correlated in behavior. Take me, for instance (and I'm not unique here). I have bought and recommended games I knew I wouldn't play because I read an interview with the dev and liked them and wanted them to succeed. I also regularly buy games I won't play because I have friends with different preferences and I like giving thoughtful gifts. On the whole, I'm more likely to recommend a game I bought but didn't play as opposed to one I didn't buy at all because buying a game makes it likelier that I'll recall it. I have recommended numerous unplayed games for further investigation. Marketing turds bleat about "mindshare" for good reason, and it doesn't come only from buying or playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    For whom? The developer? Sure but a wasted investment is a loss for the customer.
    Again, markets and buyer motives are nowhere near clear enough to suggest that "wasted investment is a loss for the customer". Why assume you know whether investment is considered "wasted"? I don't consider charity purchases or gift purchases "wastes" and I engage in both. I also buy games I wouldn't consider even as charity buys because they're bundled with games I do want. Also, I spend time discussing games I have no interest in playing, and such discussion has at times lead to other people purchasing said games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    We now exist within an age of infinite distractions. Everything is vying for our attention, and none of us have the time to engage with it all. 15 - 20 years ago this wasn't the case. For something to be truly successful now it kind of needs to stick to the wall of a persons consciousness in some fashion. Making a game that loads of people buy, but very few in fact play might sound like a great thing, and from a purely short term financial perspective it certainly is for the developer, but they're only part of the equation because unless a product is culturally successful there's no legacy there, and without legacy you can't build brand loyalty, and that's a real issue if you're a business with a long term perspective. GTA V is going probably sell 8 million plus copies later on this year, and it's not going to sell that many copies off of slick advertising or internet site previews but by on large it's going to sell that many because as brands both Rockstar & GTA carry cultural weight. Weight they've built up through people buying and playing their products and recommending them to their friends, game after game after game. Even a few damp squibs haven't here and there haven't turned the tide of their continued success.
    There was an XKCD about media-saturation worry just the other day. We've always existed in an age of infinite distractions; that worry is damn-near as old as recorded history itself, and is extremely common. There's plenty to be discussed wrt games as a business, but as Cory Doctorow noted, making entertainment is an innately-insecure occupation because taste in entertainment is highly fluid and luck is a big factor in its traction.

    AAA titles and long-lasting legacies aren't ultimate metrics for success. Furthermore, markets aren't meritocracies. For every excellent developer of a popular behemoth or cult darling, there are untold rafts of similarly-excellent developers who worked on samey schlock and then burnt out of the industry or who produced the best game in the world that virtually nobody played because of a lack of sales opportunities. The cream doesn't magically rise.

    Getting people to notice games at all is probably the biggest concern of marketing, and getting them bought less so, and the price paid even less so, and whether they're played even less still. The active bases of social/MP games are obviously more important for them, but social games are their own fickle rabbit holes of complexity.

    lss: everything immediately might be bad, and everything perpetually on sale would probably be bad, but neither would realistically happen. I imagine you could confuse and/or fatigue consumers with volume and sale frequency, but in general I doubt it saps the competence or viability of the consumer base; it just makes it bigger.

  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jambe View Post
    That's right, but somebody who bought and didn't play a game probably wasn't going to play it anyway.
    I don't dispute that, but my concern is that such sales may send the wrong message to the developer in terms of future product.

    Indie dev 1:' Woohoo we sold 30000 unit's of moon golf during the steam sale' *high fives Indie Dev 2*
    Indie Dev 2:' Time to break out the Fanta'

    (of the 30000 units sold only 10% play it)

    3 months later...

    Indie Dev 1: 'Let's make a sequel'
    Indie Dev 2 'Bazinga!!'

    (At launch 9 months later Moon Golf 2 pancakes)

    Take me, for instance (and I'm not unique here). I have bought and recommended games I knew I wouldn't play because I read an interview with the dev and liked them and wanted them to succeed.
    How is your charity helping them to succeed as a game developers exactly? It might be lining their pockets, but it's not necessarily making them a better developer as a result. A good game will succeed commercially, because it's a good game and gamer's will extol its virtues to other gamer's through word of mouth based off their own experiences. In order for there to be good games, there also have to be bad ones as well. It's not your problem if Moon Golf 2 doesn't make the numbers. If someones smart enough to make a game, they're not going to starve, so you don't need to prop them up with 'feelgood charity' (seriously, give money to people who really need it. There are plenty of worthwhile causes out there).

    On the whole, I'm more likely to recommend a game I bought but didn't play as opposed to one I didn't buy at all because buying a game makes it likelier that I'll recall it.
    There's this thing called Steam wishlists tbh.

    Again, markets and buyer motives are nowhere near clear enough to suggest that "wasted investment is a loss for the customer". Why assume you know whether investment is considered "wasted"? I don't consider charity purchases or gift purchases "wastes" and I engage in both. I also buy games I wouldn't consider even as charity buys because they're bundled with games I do want. Also, I spend time discussing games I have no interest in playing, and such discussion has at times lead to other people purchasing said games...
    Your spiritual enjoyment at propping up indie developers so they can 'live the dream' isn't a particularly persuasive counterpoint in my view. If you buy something and never use it as intended you might as well of never spent the money in the first place. Goodwill isn't a commodity.

    There was an XKCD about media-saturation worry just the other day. We've always existed in an age of infinite distractions; that worry is damn-near as old as recorded history itself, and is extremely common. There's plenty to be discussed wrt games as a business, but as Cory Doctorow noted, making entertainment is an innately-insecure occupation because taste in entertainment is highly fluid and luck is a big factor in its traction.
    Luck might play a part initially in achieving fame, but ongoing legacy and output is what keeps you there. Charles Dickens and innumerable others throughout history are proof positive of that.

    AAA titles and long-lasting legacies aren't ultimate metrics for success.
    Well if a 98/100 on metacritic from the professional gaming press and 25 million unit sales aren't a sign of success then what is exactly? Or are we heading into the esoteric with regard to what qualifies as 'success'?

    Furthermore, markets aren't meritocracies. For every excellent developer of a popular behemoth or cult darling, there are untold rafts of similarly-excellent developers who worked on samey schlock and then burnt out of the industry or who produced the best game in the world that virtually nobody played because of a lack of sales opportunities. The cream doesn't magically rise.

    Getting people to notice games at all is probably the biggest concern of marketing, and getting them bought less so, and the price paid even less so, and whether they're played even less still.
    Word of mouth is the biggest seller going. We're living in an age of inter-connectivity where pretty much everyone will tell you what's great in their life at a drop of a hat (Books, TV, films, hair shampoo, that restaurant they went to last Wednesday), and more importantly they'll tell what's not great as well.

    We're barely a week on since the great Xbox 180 debacle, where an industry behemoth just reversed their entire product strategy going forward in light of the lukewarm reception they received regarding their DRM & second hand game policies from both the gaming press and the E3 public. MS didn't do this because they realized the error of their ways, they did it to change the conversation because absolutely no one coming out of E3 was saying 'buy the Xbone' over 'buy the PS4' and it wasn't about the gaming press they were concerned about (they're going to hedge their bets) it's the hardcore gamers coming out were all 'fuck you microsoft you can eat a bag of dicks if you think I'm buying that DRM riddled PoS'. Because they're the people that come launch time their friends are going to be tapping up for purchasing advice.

    This idea that player advocacy should be the least of a developers concerns is a fiction. It's their greatest asset, because people are far more likely to value the opinion of someone they know (and can openly question on points ) than a review at the end of the day. Why do you think EA & Bioware made such a big effort to appease their irate fanbase after the ME3 ending fiasco? They'd already sold them the game. They'd made their money, why spend needless time and resources making the extended cut, save to win back, or at the very least dampen the outrage many of their biggest fans felt over 'dat ending'. Why? because they know that those people if they enjoy a game will sell product, and they will sell it far more successfully than any number of TV spots or posters, because the first thing any casual gamer will do having heard of a new upcoming game is seek out the opinion of their hardcore gamer pal regarding its worth, and that is why it is important to keep them happy.

    You want as many people playing your game as you can, because the more that play it (and enjoy it) the more they'll recommend it to their friends.

    The walking dead did gangbusters in terms of sales, but it didn't do so because it was a franchise tie-in (which are generally an anathema to gamers) and it didn't do it because Tell tale have a sterling reputation. Coming off the mediocrity of Back to the future and Jurassic Park, they weren't exactly batting hard. The game sold well because the people who opted to take a chance on it enjoyed it and recommended it to their friends, and those people bought it and recommended it to their friends and that spiraled out into more and more sales. They didn't have a big fancy campaign or even an offical tie-in with the AMC TV series. Those sales came from people who played it selling it to other gamers through positive word of mouth.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 25-06-2013 at 12:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    On a related note: As much as I love Obsidian games, I also won't really shed a tear when they finally go under. Especially considering that even though they "got screwed by the publishers" on every single title they ever made (oh, wait, Dungeon Siege 3 didn't have any screwing. It was just weak :p), they have repeatedly been given VERY lucrative franchises to work on.
    I kind of agree on that. While I appreciate what Obsidian try to do, it becomes harder and harder for me to swallow that every broken release is entirely the fault of the publisher. It may be that the publishers rush them, but that may also be because they're taking far too long to get out a finished product. Sort of like Valve, except Valve can afford to screw around because of Steam. A team with poor management and planning, even with all the creativity in the world, still has a fatal flaw that needs to be fixed.
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  10. #50
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I kind of agree on that. While I appreciate what Obsidian try to do, it becomes harder and harder for me to swallow that every broken release is entirely the fault of the publisher. It may be that the publishers rush them, but that may also be because they're taking far too long to get out a finished product. Sort of like Valve, except Valve can afford to screw around because of Steam. A team with poor management and planning, even with all the creativity in the world, still has a fatal flaw that needs to be fixed.
    Can't say I disagree either in truth. The talented people will invariably find themselves getting snapped up elsewhere and probably with better run organisations. The slow death of managerial ineptitude is the quite the worst thing for any form of enterprise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    For whom? The developer? Sure but a wasted investment is a loss for the customer.
    Yes, for the developer. For the consumer it's probably a net loss, but sale prices tend to fall well into the disposable income bracket.

    We now exist within an age of infinite distractions. Everything is vying for our attention, and none of us have the time to engage with it all. 15 - 20 years ago this wasn't the case. For something to be truly successful now it kind of needs to stick to the wall of a persons consciousness in some fashion.
    This stuff is all true, but for it have any bearing on whether sales are a good thing or not, it presupposes the existence of a sizeable group of people that would play the game if it wasn't in a sale but won't if it is.

    There are:

    1) People who will buy at full price and play
    2) People who will buy at full price and not play it
    3) People who will buy at sale price and play
    4) People who will buy at sale price and not play

    You're assuming a weird group that are in group 1), but aren't buying at launch for some reason or other, so somehow become group 4). Whereas logically you'd expect someone in group 1) to become group 3) if they didn't pick the game up at launch.

    Now, sure these people probably exist, people who value stuff by how much they paid for it and feel like they should 'try harder' to get their monies worth out of expensive games. That happens. But I don't think that group is in anyway sizable, and even if they are, they're mostly buying games on launch and playing them anyway.

    By the time the games hit the sales, all that word-of-mouth, brand-building stuff is mostly done with. So why not sell to people who won't get around to playing it as well? If you don't have a sale, those same people aren't going to magically decide to buy at full price one day and play it anyway. And yes, some people will 'wait for the sale' on titles they really want to play, because they don't have the money to buy new. Which is also fine as those are the people who really want to play it, and so will play anyway.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I don't dispute that, but my concern is that such sales may send the wrong message to the developer in terms of future product.

    Indie dev 1:' Woohoo we sold 30000 unit's of moon golf during the steam sale' *high fives Indie Dev 2*
    Indie Dev 2:' Time to break out the Fanta'

    (of the 30000 units sold only 10% play it)

    3 months later...

    Indie Dev 1: 'Let's make a sequel'
    Indie Dev 2 'Bazinga!!'

    (At launch 9 months later Moon Golf 2 pancakes)
    Then 3 months after that Moon Golf 2 is in a sale, sells 30000 copies, and they buy Fanta again. Meanwhile 3000 people who really like Moon Golf get a sequel would otherwise not have been considered viable, and the devs get to make the game they want to make while staying fully supplied with Fanta.

  13. #53
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I kind of agree on that. While I appreciate what Obsidian try to do, it becomes harder and harder for me to swallow that every broken release is entirely the fault of the publisher. It may be that the publishers rush them, but that may also be because they're taking far too long to get out a finished product. Sort of like Valve, except Valve can afford to screw around because of Steam. A team with poor management and planning, even with all the creativity in the world, still has a fatal flaw that needs to be fixed.
    Yeah. As much as I love Valve, the dev team portion of them is definitely poorly managed and weak. They just had CounterStrike to keep them afloat before Steam and Steam to keep them afloat until the end of the current era.
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  14. #54
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I don't dispute that, but my concern is that such sales may send the wrong message to the developer in terms of future product.
    If a developer assumes sales mean people need more of the same thing, perhaps. But that's a problem with the developer, not with market signals. We can convince ourselves that the imminence of the second coming is predicted by market signals... or we could directly query purchasers, read forums, or track their play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    How is your charity helping them to succeed as a game developers exactly? It might be lining their pockets, but it's not necessarily making them a better developer as a result. A good game will succeed commercially, because it's a good game and gamer's will extol its virtues to other gamer's through word of mouth based off their own experiences. In order for there to be good games, there also have to be bad ones as well. It's not your problem if Moon Golf 2 doesn't make the numbers. If someones smart enough to make a game, they're not going to starve, so you don't need to prop them up with 'feelgood charity' (seriously, give money to people who really need it. There are plenty of worthwhile causes out there).
    The same way the $2 from a 100-hour player would help them? The word of mouth is itself why I'd kick it some money; how else would I know that it was interesting? I don't randomly scatter money around. If I feel that a game is neat or contributory to the advancement of the medium and if it seems underappreciated, I may kick it some bucks on a sale. Of course that means abandoned kittens will be sucked dead by writhing masses of ticks and fleas, but that would happen even if I donated all my estate the ASPCA and devoted the rest of my life to the rescue of felines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Well if a 98/100 on metacritic from the professional gaming press and 25 million unit sales aren't a sign of success then what is exactly? Or are we heading into the esoteric with regard to what qualifies as 'success'?
    Beyond a certain point critical reaction is more important imo than money; that's all I was getting at. And beyond that is internal satisfaction and growth, i.e. the ability to leave a project behind and feel like the experience improved you as a developer, even (perhaps especially) if it was a critical and/or commercial failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Word of mouth is the biggest seller going. We're living in an age of inter-connectivity where pretty much everyone will tell you what's great in their life at a drop of a hat (Books, TV, films, hair shampoo, that restaurant they went to last Wednesday), and more importantly they'll tell what's not great as well.

    We're barely a week on since the great Xbox 180 debacle, where an industry behemoth just reversed their entire product strategy going forward in light of the lukewarm reception they received regarding their DRM & second hand game policies from both the gaming press and the E3 public. MS didn't do this because they realized the error of their ways, they did it to change the conversation because absolutely no one coming out of E3 was saying 'buy the Xbone' over 'buy the PS4' and it wasn't about the gaming press they were concerned about (they're going to hedge their bets) it's the hardcore gamers coming out were all 'fuck you microsoft you can eat a bag of dicks if you think I'm buying that DRM riddled PoS'. Because they're the people that come launch time their friends are going to be tapping up for purchasing advice.

    This idea that player advocacy should be the least of a developers concerns is a fiction. It's their greatest asset, because people are far more likely to value the opinion of someone they know (and can openly question on points ) than a review at the end of the day. Why do you think EA & Bioware made such a big effort to appease their irate fanbase after the ME3 ending fiasco? They'd already sold them the game. They'd made their money, why spend needless time and resources making the extended cut, save to win back, or at the very least dampen the outrage many of their biggest fans felt over 'dat ending'. Why? because they know that those people if they enjoy a game will sell product, and they will sell it far more successfully than any number of TV spots or posters, because the first thing any casual gamer will do having heard of a new upcoming game is seek out the opinion of their hardcore gamer pal regarding its worth, and that is why it is important to keep them happy.
    You're probably right here. Still, there can be all manner of persuasive word of mouth without people actually playing the thing; that happens all the time. I've done it myself, as I say; I've convinced people to buy games that I myself would not play simply by recounting things I'd read about them, and I am not unique in having done that.
    Last edited by Jambe; 25-06-2013 at 02:05 AM.

  15. #55
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yeah. As much as I love Valve, the dev team portion of them is definitely poorly managed and weak. They just had CounterStrike to keep them afloat before Steam and Steam to keep them afloat until the end of the current era.
    With Valve I think it's more a case that the single player experience has become less of a priority Vs their more (highly profitable) Multi-player fare. Gabens always expressed admiration for WoW, but not so much from the perspective of 'I like MMOs' but from the perspective of regular income guaranteed. Obviously with most MMOs moving to the FTP model that idea of a subscription game probably fell out of favour (which might explain why Valve shelved that space game idea they had), and picking up Dota 2 made a lot of sense, but certainly from the perspective of someone whose pretty much moved off of MP gaming these days and would like to see a conclusion of the Half-life story, it's small beer. Leaving it unfinished is up there is a bit like HBO cancelling Deadwood prematurely & Fox shutting down Firefly in the bad decisions stakes.

    Not much time to write at present, but will address your posts Dean & Jambe as and when I can.
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    Why you gotta bring up Firefly? :(


    Its interesting that their dev team has done little, other than Global Offensive and DOTA 2.

    Source was big for like a year then it fell out of favor for developers. Titanfall is surprisely using Source. I expect at this point HL3 will be a Source 2 launch game. Even then, is Source licensing really going to bring them much money? Or is it a way to get more people on Steam?

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    Why you gotta bring up Firefly? :(


    Its interesting that their dev team has done little, other than Global Offensive and DOTA 2.

    Source was big for like a year then it fell out of favor for developers. Titanfall is surprisely using Source. I expect at this point HL3 will be a Source 2 launch game. Even then, is Source licensing really going to bring them much money? Or is it a way to get more people on Steam?
    Well, their devs are generally hard-ish at work making engine updates and the like (I think there have been two major revisions of the source engine since HL2 first came out?). I suspect the delay on Ep3/HL3 is that the team focused on design have been iterating a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    Source was big for like a year then it fell out of favor for developers. Titanfall is surprisely using Source. I expect at this point HL3 will be a Source 2 launch game. Even then, is Source licensing really going to bring them much money? Or is it a way to get more people on Steam?
    The problem is that Source isn't a particularly good engine anymore. Even back in 2004 its great claim to fame was its facial animation and that it powered Half Life 2... and physics I guess, which power the same see-saw puzzle every friggin' game. Otherwise it relied heavily on static lightmapping in a year when Doom 3 and FEAR introduced dynamic lighting and shadows. Also it has a horrific content pipeline and a map editor which is a renamed and updated Worldcraft from the Quake era. They've just been bolting on bits and pieces since then.

    Anything that looks good in Source can be attributed directly to Valve's excellent artists and designers using their content for maximum impact. Nobody's going to use Source today when there are much better engines out there which are also a lot easier to use. They've tried a few times to entice people into using it but very few ever seem interested. They're doing much, much better in content distribution than they are pushing their own engine. Either way they win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Yes, for the developer. For the consumer it's probably a net loss, but sale prices tend to fall well into the disposable income bracket.
    Unless you're fortunate enough to owe money to no one, disposable income is an illusion. Just because that unplayed game you bought on sale only cost you 2.50 on Steam it doesn't make it any less of a bad investment decision compared to that barely used 250 Rowing machine you have languishing in your garage gathering dust.

    You're assuming a weird group that are in group 1), but aren't buying at launch for some reason or other, so somehow become group 4). Whereas logically you'd expect someone in group 1) to become group 3) if they didn't pick the game up at launch.
    I think you're the one assuming Dean, assuming you can read my mind and that I operate on some weird one track level. As a broad rule I don't categorize, I weigh up probabilities, look at real world statistics and existing models and draw likely conclusions from those.

    Most business start ups fail within their first five years.They don't fail because they're necessarily bad people, they fail because whatever it is they are selling (be it products or services) doesn't gain traction within the markets that they are operating in, to the extent that income exceeds expenditure.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Then 3 months after that Moon Golf 2 is in a sale, sells 30000 copies, and they buy Fanta again. Meanwhile 3000 people who really like Moon Golf get a sequel would otherwise not have been considered viable, and the devs get to make the game they want to make while staying fully supplied with Fanta.
    If your business is fundamentally reliant on the revenue from occasional fire sales of your product to stay alive (sales that will disincentivize people from buying titles at full price vs waiting for another sale) then there's something wrong with the value proposition of your product.

    The idea of a business is grow it and expand it to mitigate against market change. You don't make a game on the basis of making just enough money to stay in business to make the next game, you try and make enough money so you can afford to make two games at the same time and thus mitigate the risk that one might under perform, especially if you're in a competitive market. Because if some else comes out with a superior product to yours (Saturn Pro Golf: The winning) no amount of fire sales are going to save your bacon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Unless you're fortunate enough to owe money to no one, disposable income is an illusion. Just because that unplayed game you bought on sale only cost you 2.50 on Steam it doesn't make it any less of a bad investment decision compared to that barely used 250 Rowing machine you have languishing in your garage gathering dust.
    Do what? Is all collection of things which don't increase in monetary value "bad investment" then? If life and investment were zero-sum, perfectly-logical, amoral endeavors, then sure, but that's not how life and investment actually work. People have emotions and incomplete information and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    If your business is fundamentally reliant on the revenue from occasional fire sales of your product to stay alive (sales that will disincentivize people from buying titles at full price vs waiting for another sale) then there's something wrong with the value proposition of your product.
    Quite true! Although I don't think any game has ever been absolutely reliant on sales; it's probably something asymptotically approached. The worst and/or most poorly-marketed games are most reliant on sales, and the best and most effectively-marketed games are the least reliant. Again, though, it's perfectly conceivable to me that big fire sale promotions can be effective marketing even for the most well-made and playerbase-focused of titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    The idea of a business is grow it and expand it to mitigate against market change. You don't make a game on the basis of making just enough money to stay in business to make the next game, you try and make enough money so you can afford to make two games at the same time and thus mitigate the risk that one might under perform, especially if you're in a competitive market. Because if some else comes out with a superior product to yours (Saturn Pro Golf: The winning) no amount of fire sales are going to save your bacon.
    This notion that commercial endeavor is engaged in merely for sustainable growth is baldly wrong; many people and groups are content with sustainability itself and actually refuse growth past a certain comfort level, and indeed there are all manner of tales about people who made a popular thing not expecting any significant return at all.

    Consumerist adoration of the capitalistic ideal – the view that we're all just "temporarily embarrassed millionaires", ever-awaiting our chance to rise above our unfortunately-fellow rabble – is one of western culture's more insidious ideas.

    Where do market inefficiencies come from, beyond the obvious effects of technology and luck? From different people and different groups valuing the same exact goods & services in different ways, yes?

    If economies were zero-sum or otherwise rational social systems – if Rand and her hatefully-egotistical ilk were to be praised rather than decried – then market transactions stripped of context could be meaningfully reduced to trite moralistic observations. Alas, economies are not so simple, and nor are the individuals which power them.
    Last edited by Jambe; 26-06-2013 at 09:01 PM.

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