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Default Why Piranha Bytes Dumped JoWooD @Eurogamer

May 6th, 2011, 21:53
Originally Posted by khaight View Post
I wouldn't consider what we have today to be a form of capitalism at all. Contrary to public perception, the United States is an advanced mixed economy subjected to significant government intervention in almost every field. This makes production, innovation and creativity increasingly difficult and less rewarding than politically-connected rent-seeking. So we see less of the former and more of the latter. Mix in the aforementioned short-term perspective and it's a recipe for disaster.
Ironically enough "deregulation" is exactly what hit american economy harder.
And not just the american one.

Milton Friedman's philosophy about anarcho-capitalism revealed itself as utter shit in the long run.
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May 6th, 2011, 22:43
Ironically enough "deregulation" is exactly what hit american economy harder.
And not just the american one.
When you build a house of cards, it's not the fault of the jolt that it collapses.

Anyway - yeah, rock and hard place situation for JoWood. They may have made the only decision they could. But the real problem is - as said above - short-term versus long-term. If you can't survive in the short-term, the long-term doesn't matter. But those decisions of expediency will hurt you in the long run. The market - your audience - remembers.

I remember reading something by the producer of Ultima 8. He made a lot of compromises to keep his bosses (who were then EA) happy, and felt he'd done well by shipping on time. In retrospect, he said he learned that "A late game is only late until it ships. But a bad game is bad forever."
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May 6th, 2011, 22:49
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
You may say whatever you want, but it's a bad business. While you say it's a situation for both sides, I don't think so. In long term only one side here failed.
Today TPB is still shining and JoWood is drowning. Next time JW will think before making a move. If there will be that next time.
I will say what I want the fact is not every company has the money or resources as Activision/EA/ or any of the major US publishers. Limited resources and a deadline that must be meet is what the smaller publishers face.

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May 6th, 2011, 23:09
Originally Posted by elikal View Post
Indeed. What people don't get is that there is good and bad capitalism. The good old fashioned one was based on production, innovation and creativity. Today more and more it is about speculation, money making money and the products are just by-products of profit. Such a thing can in the long run only be doomed. Just my 5 cents.
The problem, and I say this as an evil banker myself, is the financialization of the economies of the West. Banks and Investment Banks used to be funding sources for capitalism, now they have essentially become producers (though in reality we produce no real product). It's a problem.

The past had such intelligent enterpeneurs like Henry Ford, who saw that there was need for a balance between the income of his workers and the price of his cars, so they could afford the cars they produced. These days, such complex insights are forgotten and shareholders want money no matter the long term cost.
Umm, you might want to look into Ford a bit more. He was not a very nice guy. He basically had his own private army and he used it against striking workers on more than one occasion, with several deaths resulting.

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May 6th, 2011, 23:13
Originally Posted by Tuco View Post
Ironically enough "deregulation" is exactly what hit american economy harder.
And not just the american one.

Milton Friedman's philosophy about anarcho-capitalism revealed itself as utter shit in the long run.
Deregulation isn't the issue. Deregulation is very, very good for an economy, so long as two things go along with it:

1) Moral Hazard
2) Enforcement of anti-trust and fraud laws.

With the Too Big To Fail concept, we've removed moral hazard, whether it be GM, Bank of America, or whatever.

And we had plenty of laws on the books to combat what was legally fraud in the mortgage market (and many other parts of the financial economy). What we lacked were governments willing to enforce those laws. If the governments enforce new regulations as badly as fraud and anti-trust laws have been, it's not going to make a bit of difference.

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May 6th, 2011, 23:19
The problem is that JoWood managed to mess up a frightening amount of games they published.
Remember what I wrote about "The book of unwritten ales" ?
Remember what I wrote about the re-relerast of the NLT (TDE's Northland Trilogy) ?

I might be wrong, but the overal, German perception of JoWood is that of company that wants quick moneyy - and that means it even releasesbug-infested games,
whereas they could sell much moe of the game if it just wan't that buggy.

The impression of German gamers of Jood releasing a "half-baked" game ( = Gothic 3) was so much devastating and lasting that it is today THE example to German gamers of how NOT to do it …

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May 6th, 2011, 23:36
Yeah, we all know "the publisher who shall never be named" was having money problems back then BUT the problem is how they handled it. Not only did they try to publicly put the blame on PB but they tried the trash PB's IP with grossly incompetent decisions and actions.

PB did everything in their power to make the most amazing Gothic RPG to date, only one thing stood in their way "the publisher who shall never be named".

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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May 6th, 2011, 23:39
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I might be wrong, but the overall, German perception of JoWood is that of company that wants quick money - and that means it even releases bug-infested games, whereas they could sell much more of the game if it just wan't that buggy.
I'm reminded of that famous Ben Franklin quote about how those who trade liberty for security wind up with neither. It seems that those who trade quality for quick money also wind up with neither.
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May 6th, 2011, 23:53
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Every publisher only cares about profits they dont care about the development studio.
That may be true. But publisher's that cannot connect the dots between profits and product quality end up BK like Jowood.

Those successful in the free market understand that product quality and affordability drive profits and overall success. Those that forget this, like Jowood, go BK.

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May 6th, 2011, 23:59
At least those publishers which are too small to go on rather unharmed … If EA would release similar "bug-infested" games, it'd hardly ever go belly-up - just because of its size (horrible thought by the way !).

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 7th, 2011, 02:46
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
If EA would release similar "bug-infested" games, it'd hardly ever go belly-up - just because of its size
I disagree. If EA's games became significantly and consistently synonomous with 'bug infestation,' it might take a while, but eventually people would stop buying their products to an extent where they would have to significantly downsize and eventually go bk if they kept delivering terrible quality relative to the competition.

In short, big companies can and do fail when they fail to compete. Well, except for big government/corporate hybrids 'too big to fail' I guess…

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May 7th, 2011, 03:27
JoWooD was once again in dire financial straits when G3 was about to come out. Around that time their co-publisher/distributor Koch Media (Deep Silver) decided to jump in and save them, to protect their own investment. Via dept-equity swap Koch became the biggest JoWooD shareholder. They even needed a special permit by the authorites to avoid the obligatory take-over offer.
So it's quite possible that JoWooD believed they had no other choice than releasing no matter what. The money takes several months to flow from customer, retailer & wholesaler to the publisher, and then some to reach the developer, in the unlikely case he gets royalties. As opposed to DL services - I've read they usually pay every week.



It's an exaggeration to say every JoWooD game was buggy. They had a couple of games in good condition, for example SpellForce 2, a couple of Giant games and all casual games (Neighbors from Hell, Itch, etc.). It's of course correct they generally had a quality problem though.


The PB boss posted something at WoG a few weeks ago, after that Czech interview. He said, paraphrased, that he won't reveal what happened between PB and JoWooD during the split, but the metaphor with the gun pointing at somebody's head would be a pretty good fit.
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May 7th, 2011, 09:10
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This is because everyone is so much shareholder-oriented.

I read not too long ago that this is a relatively new movement.

Decades ago, companies (and their bosses) just weren't so much shareholder-oriented.

The thought-model / the philosophy to be FORCED to give the shareholders their revenues AS FAST AS POSSIBLE is relatively new.

Decades ago, I read, the philosophy was rather to build up a healthy company, and not to look at shareholders like a rabbit looks at a serpent.
So to say.
Non sense. The philosophy is not new. Some of the people who try to sell it as new are people who dont want to admit that it is nothing new for various reasons.

It is quite simple: fast a few decades ago was slower than fast is today. But being forced to give the shareholders their revenues as fast as possible is nothing new. Check the history of trade lines, sea trade lines for example and how shareholders looked for shorter ways to get their money back faster.

But indeed, there is a difference between how fast revenues can flow back in the sailing age and how fast they can in a world with the Internet.

People in the past did simply not demand as fast as today because as fast as today could not be delivered in their times.

There is no derailing, no transmutation, no changes in nature, the system works as it was intended to work. It is simply enhanced by technological progress.

Searching for the best profits (which means the largest under the shortest time) is the core of the system. Was before and still is now. No change.
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May 7th, 2011, 09:16
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post

With the Too Big To Fail concept, we've removed moral hazard, whether it be GM, Bank of America, or whatever.
Too big to fail a concept? What does it mean?

In a competition process, some actors have the possibility to acquire a special status that happens anytime the density of competition gets low.

Too big to fail is maybe a concept but it is a reality that is inherent to competition.

Anytime competition operates, one can acquire the too big to fail status, it can be at your local football club, small regional firm or worldwide corporation. Nothing has been removed.
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