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March 16th, 2007, 16:36
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
As dteowner said: It is a matter of available capital. If you can afford to spend the money on proper QA and/or necessary delays to ensure that the product is as bug free as possible then that's wonderful. If you can't … well, then you're at the mercy of your creditors/investors and as we all know, THEY tend to prioritize a holiday release a lot higher than the quality of the product.

Does that suck? Absolutely but as Dhruin has said: If you want to see games from smaller independent companies then you have to accept that a smaller purse won't buy you a Ferrari (I just couldn't help using the car analogy )
Well, I think you have to be very careful with that line of argumentation. We were talking a lot of justifications in this thread - well, the arguments above are also justifications. For a customer it doesn't matter why he gets a flawed product, just that he gets one.
To reduce the problems of quality to indipendent labels is also quite a distortion of the whole situation in my opinion - as if the "big" lables would only deliver quality products. Take Vanguard, big names involved, big publishers involved - still fairly unacceptable product quality. Of course, everyone will say that this is SOE's fault. To a certain extent sure, but indirectly it is also Sigil's fault. It's up to them to either stand up to their publisher and tell them that they won't release the game in such a state, or to look for another publisher - who else should do it? The customer?

But well, maybe my demands are a bit high… I don't know.

Anyway, I searched the internt for some studies about game quality, but couldn't really find much - if anyone knows of a quantitative study I'm very interested in it. It would be nice to know if this is a purely subjective impression that the quality of pc games is declining or if it is true.

What I found were the sales numbers from 2006 and before. It's the NPD that usually releases these numbers, and yup if you believe them the PC games market is rapidly declining over the last few years. A 14% decline in 2005, a 19% decline in 2004… now the NPD had to admit that the numbers were not quite correct since they only cover boxed retail versions (digital downloads and mmo fees were not included). Big "ups". At least the numbers from 2006 are correct, and they show a somewhat different picture. Sales for the pc are stagnating or declining very slowly, (around 1%), while the console market is growing immensely.
That makes pretty clear why companies like ID are really developing cross-platform games. It has most likely not much to do with piracy. But with the fact that you can just earn a lot more money by developing a game that runs on pcs and consoles (at least your on the safe side if your game should not be a big hit). From my point of view that's quite understandable.
Piracy is bad - I totally agree. But drawing the piracy card on every possible occassion is pretty lame as well. Especially if you have no empirical proof. There are other possible explanations for a stagnating pc market. The NPD admits for example that the pc games market is changing - especially the mmo market is growing. Now, if I have a look at myself, I hardly buy any other games if I'm really into a mmorpg. During my whole time in Everquest (almost 5 years) I hardly bought any other games because I just wasn't very much interested in playing something else. Same with WoW really. And if I look at all my friends, then it seems to me that I'm not the only one. That's of course pretty cool for the developers that create mmos, but not so good for companies that develop other games.
If you go to the sites of IGDA, and gamasutra and have a look at their articles (which I did over the last few days) you'll realize that there are relativly few articles about piracy or intellectual property rights, but quite a few about other problems that the games industry is facing nowadays.

Of course saying that piracy is destroying a market is much easier than being a bit self-critical, or admitting that you can just make more money by developing cross-platform…
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