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-   -   Fallout 3 - The Long Tail (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1346)

Dhruin February 15th, 2007 11:14

Fallout 3 - The Long Tail
 
Bethsoft Producer Ashley Cheng's blog has an interesting post titled Before iPods ruled the earth… that ruminates on the recent coverage of Fallout fans and how online distribution may make niche markets more attractive to publishers:
Quote:

According to The Long Tail, a Borders book store carries around 100,000 books, versus Amazon.com which lets you choose from over 3.7 million books. Of course, Borders 100K stock are the best sellers, the ones everybody is buying, but surprisingly, 25% of Amazon's sales are from books outside of Border's 100,000 stock. The book suggests that there will be huge growth in niche, customizable markets, that businesses are missing out by relying on hit-driven practices.
More information.

doctor_kaz February 15th, 2007 11:14

I don't see it happening. The hit-driven nature of gaming nowadays is being driven by huge game production costs, something that doesn't exist with books. Distribution method is a minor part of the cost for a game nowadays.

txa1265 February 15th, 2007 15:16

When I saw the comment about 'adventure games last gasp' I immediately thought of the DS game Hotel Dusk that I just finished - but of course she goes on to mention it as well.

Everybody reads DS (or GBA or PSP) and thinks "oh, a HANDHELD game … that is nice for kiddies, but I want a *real* game". Guess what - these are *real* games. Hotel Dusk is a great adventure game - not a great 'handheld' adventure, but a great game regardless of platform.

Why do I mention that? Because I wish that some of these creative guys (Vogel included) would put some of their stuff out on the DS. *Nobody* would criticize Geneforge graphics on the DS, and the gameplay would translate perfectly. Heck, you'd even get the map on the upper screen!

I hope that the much-discussed long tail effect helps these games, but I also hope that some people expand their horizons and look for other avenues to get their ideas out.

bjon045 February 15th, 2007 17:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by txa1265 (Post 19744)
When I saw the comment about 'adventure games last gasp' I immediately thought of the DS game Hotel Dusk that I just finished - but of course she goes on to mention it as well.

*she* is actually a *he* ;)

magerette February 15th, 2007 17:23

It seems quite possible to me to make a game for a niche audience and be successful. By it's very definition, you have a specific direction to go in. and you can trim costs by focusing from the very first on a clear goal. You don't have to spend millions marketing it to the entire universe, and all you have to do is meet the expectations of a target group, not a vague amalgam of Everyman the Casual Gamer. If you could sell the games by download, that would make them even cheaper to produce.

Of course, you wouldn't have the huge volume of sales, but if you could create a franchise/installment selling mode, you'd have a steady stream of pretty dependable revenue.

doctor_kaz February 15th, 2007 18:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by txa1265 (Post 19744)
Why do I mention that? Because I wish that some of these creative guys (Vogel included) would put some of their stuff out on the DS. *Nobody* would criticize Geneforge graphics on the DS, and the gameplay would translate perfectly. Heck, you'd even get the map on the upper screen!

I kinda disagree about that. I think that the Spiderweb Games graphics look terrible, even for the GBA.

Zaleukos February 16th, 2007 12:38

I think the point of the long tail is twofold, and that both are beneficial to those with refined tastes such as myself:p

From a devs point of view you get to reach a global niche audience whose total absolute size might be rather significant, even if its a small share of the total market. From the niche gamers point of view one has access to niche titles without going to special stores that might be hard to find (not to mention far away).

Its kinda opposite to the movie market. In my country niche movies sometimes only go up in one or two artsy theaters in the capital, making it inaccessible to 80% of the population. That means both that the filmmakers might be deprived of 80% of the potential audience, and that a significant number of cineasts never get a chance to watch titles they'd love to see, or at best wait until it hits the rental market. Online distribution of some sort would be a revolution to the industry.

Corwin February 16th, 2007 13:04

It would be interesting to see the sales figures for a game like Arcanum, or Arx, AFTER the initial rush of sales at release; how many have been sold each year!!

Zaleukos February 16th, 2007 13:37

Yeah, that would give some sort of indication of the quality of a game, but I suspect that it also depends a lot on the quality of the support and the community. IAnd moddability:)


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