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Default Fallout 3 - The Long Tail

February 15th, 2007, 10:14
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:
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.
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February 15th, 2007, 10:14
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.
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February 15th, 2007, 14:16
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.

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February 15th, 2007, 16:06
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
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*

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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February 15th, 2007, 16:23
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.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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February 15th, 2007, 17:02
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
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.
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February 16th, 2007, 11:38
I think the point of the long tail is twofold, and that both are beneficial to those with refined tastes such as myself

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.
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February 16th, 2007, 12:04
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!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 16th, 2007, 12:37
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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