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Default Larian Studios - The caveman who discovered fire

April 22nd, 2012, 02:19
Swen Vincke has posted a new blog entry, discussing his reaction to their ~$45k E3 budget and how the marketing people convinced him it was a good deal. There's no insight into their games but those interested in the business side will find this a good read, as always:
Because we are showing two games, we figured itd be a good idea to have a wall in the middle of the booth so that we actually have two booths for the price of 1. Yes sir, we are clever little devils at Larian !
Because we also want to make it a bit cosy, we figured that instead of the ugly grey these standard closed booths come in, itd be cool if wed have our walls in black with a red carpet, just to set us apart a bit.
Cost 7607US$
Well, clearly were not going to pay that much black walls and a red carpet, so we figured we might as well bring our own paint and carpet.
Unfortunately, it turns out you cant because only union workers are allowed to do anything on the show-floor, and I really mean anything. Needless to say that with such a monopoly, the prices of these workers arent exactly competitive.
More information.

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April 22nd, 2012, 02:19
You gotta love those overpriced trade show unions. We have them in my city and there prices for food and there services is outrageous.

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April 22nd, 2012, 03:57
The word is ugh. I'm not anti-union, but sometimes…
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April 22nd, 2012, 05:01
After so many stories of Devs bashing publishers, this is definitely an interesting article since it shows the other side of the fence.
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April 22nd, 2012, 05:06
It's not about unions so much as the companies that host these trade shows and conferences generate their revenues from renting specific packages to exhibitors.

Compared to Cannes and NATPE, the prices seem quite reasonable.
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April 22nd, 2012, 13:11
Personally I'd say : Omit these *huge* fairs completely and do more work on the basis ! Visit smaller cons, for example. There, you have the possibility to meet the target group directly whereas things like the E3 are on the one hand good for generating mass appeal, but can on the other hand give no guarantee that the desired target group is actually met.

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April 22nd, 2012, 16:29
I'd say to Swen Wincke to come to Denmark and make a convention. I'm sure the trade unions here wouldn't have problem with them bringing their own black walls and their own red carpets. In fact, I remember, when my parents had clothing company (they made dresses) I often had to help load the truck to go Copenhagen Fashion Fair. And we loaded everything, including the clothe's racks as well as the carpets and the walls for the division between areas.

As for E3, I don't know it works, but it probably works like this: The people who is behind E3 have probably a contract wherein it states that only union people are allowed to move anything - and this means anything. However, most companies in Denmark are fairly small, so people from these companies can move their own stuff into their own show rooms at say Copenhagen Fashion Fair. Of course, the caterers etc. are probably union members etc.

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April 22nd, 2012, 19:03
Funnily enough, I just started playing Divine Divinity a couple days ago. Definitely a fun game. I had never played it before, despite beating Divinity II DKS about a year ago. On one hand, it's clearly a Diablo clone, but, on the other, it's an actual -RPG- (imagine that!) with Diablo's combat, interface, and presentation. I mean, wow, the game is massive, and you can pretty much do whatever you want in each area. For anyone who loves RPGs and doesn't mind Diablo-style combat, definitely play Divine Divinity. It's amazing how little I care about either Diablo 3 or Torchlight II, but I'm enjoying Divine Divinity so much.
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April 22nd, 2012, 23:10
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Personally I'd say : Omit these *huge* fairs completely and do more work on the basis ! Visit smaller cons, for example. There, you have the possibility to meet the target group directly whereas things like the E3 are on the one hand good for generating mass appeal, but can on the other hand give no guarantee that the desired target group is actually met.
But it's exactly the point why they are doing it. they want to reach those who might be just outside of their target and want to convert them.
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April 22nd, 2012, 23:21
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Personally I'd say : Omit these *huge* fairs completely and do more work on the basis ! Visit smaller cons, for example. There, you have the possibility to meet the target group directly whereas things like the E3 are on the one hand good for generating mass appeal, but can on the other hand give no guarantee that the desired target group is actually met.
I understand where you are coming from but I doubt the practicalities. Every major publication (and many small) send reporters to E3, from right across the world. If someone has any interest in games such that they read any gaming site/publication, they will see at least some E3 news.

How many small events do you need to achieve the same outcome? 2? 10? 100? What about internationally? Is Swen going to come to Australia? South Africa? Taiwan? If each fair takes three days (travel + fair), do you want Swen out of the office for the equivalent of a month (10 fairs)?

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April 23rd, 2012, 00:53
Unions make everything cost more because the wages and other compensation they provide their employees are almost never commensurate with knowledge, skill, and/or work etthic. The driving factor for just about everything is, 'how long have you worked here' and not 'do you work hard' or 'are you competent at your job.'

I lost count long ago of the stories that consistenly come up where unions themselves contract with private companies to keep their own costs down (such as when building a new union hall or union building).

I always get a good chuckle every time I hear some union officer giving a speech about how they keep costs down. The emporor has no clothes at its finest.

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April 23rd, 2012, 06:04
These prices are not related to unions. It's because convention facilities and trade show producers are in business in order to make a profit, as they well should be. Supply and demand and all that. ;-)

I have attended many trade shows, conventions, etc. Companies know it costs an arm and a leg to exhibit at the big ones and they do it because it is a necessary part of keeping up important business relationships, not only with press contacts, but retailers, wholesalers, foreign licensees, etc.

And a show like E3 is a great venue to unveil upcoming titles and begin seeding awareness among consumers.
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April 23rd, 2012, 11:15
Unions have long outgrown their usefulness. I especially love when they get their employees a .25 an hour raise, then raise their dues. Half of the raise (or more) ends up going to the union anyways. Plus the usual four to six hundred dollar fee just to join. Oh yeah, sign me up for that.

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April 23rd, 2012, 11:20
Originally Posted by JuliusMagnus View Post
But it's exactly the point why they are doing it. they want to reach those who might be just outside of their target and want to convert them.
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I understand where you are coming from but I doubt the practicalities. Every major publication (and many small) send reporters to E3, from right across the world. If someone has any interest in games such that they read any gaming site/publication, they will see at least some E3 news.

How many small events do you need to achieve the same outcome? 2? 10? 100? What about internationally? Is Swen going to come to Australia? South Africa? Taiwan? If each fair takes three days (travel + fair), do you want Swen out of the office for the equivalent of a month (10 fairs)?
I understand your points of view.

But, however, if the target group are role playing folks, then they most likely won't have heard about the game becaue it just doesn't appear on role play conventions.

It's like the masses know it, but not the "potentially interested circles". Or only by chance. Because they just don't read gaming magazines or visit gaming news pages.

RPGWatch is visited by C-RPG players, yes, but only those who know the Watch.
Massive role playing sites like WOP http://forum.worldofplayers.de (they're hosting WOG) get their news from other sources. Okay, yes, they collect them from gaming sites as well, but their main focus are still role-playing related sites.


The only major problem is there that usually role play conventions are far more pen & paper oriented.

And there are even some fanatics believing that C-RPGs are not RPGs at all.

Originally Posted by Icefire View Post
Unions have long outgrown their usefulness.
Depends on the country. I think they are still useful here.

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April 23rd, 2012, 13:04
As always in interesting read from Swen showing some nice background from a publishers perspective.
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