|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout 3 - PC Zone UK Article @ NMA

Default Fallout 3 - PC Zone UK Article @ NMA

March 29th, 2007, 18:46
Originally Posted by Kharn View Post
And don't try to shift the burden of evidence. You claimed that turn-based games wouldn't sell in today's market. You have yet to back up this claim. If you can't prove it, just admit so, don't try to shift the burden of evidence. I agree with you that big turn-based titles are unlikely. However, if you're going to try to argue that the unlikeliness of these titles is actually caused by a *real* lower demand for turn-based games rather than the delusional thinking of investors, I'll disagree.
The investors think the other way: provide proof that your game is going to sell. So, what's the proof? The problem is, there isn't much, if any. Turn based games by major studios gradually died out. All the mega hits today are not turn based. Any investor is going to look at that and put their money where?
BillSeurer is offline

BillSeurer

BillSeurer's Avatar
Eternal Supreme Dictator

#41

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 1,728

Default 

March 29th, 2007, 19:40
If you're talking about success purely of turn-based games, you could point to Advance Wars, Final Fantasy, Civilization IV, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Silent Storm, and maybe Arcanum, which supposedly sold pretty well. Does that mean that you could acheive that same success with a turn-based post-apocalyptic RPG? Perhaps not. But the commercial successes for turn-based games are there. There are more real-time commercial successes than turn-based successes, but there are also more real-time games period. Does the market favor real-time games as a whole? Probably, but there is a healthy place for turn-based games.

I agree with a previous comment — there's basically no point to this debate anymore. Bethesda is making Oblivion with guns or a heavily modified version of that. They haven't said so specifically, but all indications are that it's true.
doctor_kaz is offline

doctor_kaz

Keeper of the Watch

#42

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 622

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 10:15
I'm talking about turn-based RPGs, turn-based strategy games have always been fairly popular.

Regarding Arcanum. Yet another example of a game that didn't sell well despite many hardcore fans thinking it did. Hardcore players do not make up a big percentage of the market, so games targeted towards that segment simply won't sell enough - hence why Troika went down like a sack of potatoes. Arcanum sold 234.000 copies, which is more than Fallout did, but still far from enough to be a profitable game to make.

I know this is all a bit sad; hardly any of the truly great games (except Baldur's Gate 1-2) sold enough to be profitable for developers to make. We have to understand one thing - we here at RPGWatch do not represent the average gamer, and average gamers are the ones you need to reach if you're going to make money in the gaming industry. As much as I hate the fact that the most successful games are very often not the best ones, I still understand why investors force developers into making such games - there's a whole lot more money in it.

The most selling game in the history of gaming, The Sims, sold a total of 16 million copies worldwide and happens to be the most casual game I can think of. Sadly enough, you need to make ten Fallout games to match one of the Sims games in terms of income. Scary isn't it?
Last edited by Maylander; March 30th, 2007 at 10:24.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#43

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,571
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 10:23
The whole turn-based and perspective debate doesn't touch me all that much. I am much more worried about the care taken with setting, dialogue, and a healthy dose of difficult decisions with actual consequences and different outcomes, plus a good diversity of skills allowing different approaches to the game - all the things where Oblivion was frequently a setback compared to Morrowind. If they can nail those aspects, I would personally consider it a worthy Fallout sequel, real-time first person or not. I'm not too hopeful.
GhanBuriGhan is offline

GhanBuriGhan

GhanBuriGhan's Avatar
Wose extraordinaire

#44

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,488

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 10:23
Which is the point I've been continuing to make. I don't like it, but I realise the economic reality. This is a key reason why I'm keen to support the small Indie developers; they are our only hope!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#45

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,562
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 10:29
Ghan has a very good point - Fallout 3 might still be a very good game if it's Gothic in the Fallout setting, instead of Oblivion in the Fallout setting. We can't be sure they're going to make it a modern version Oblivion just yet - the developers are Fallout fans as well, and hopefully they realize that Fallout *can't* have a world with no consequences.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#46

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,571
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 12:01
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Which is the point I've been continuing to make. I don't like it, but I realise the economic reality.
'k. Somehow I don't feel the necessity of defending the investors' point of view. When I think a product is crap, I say it is crap, I don't go "ooh, but I get this decision, y'know, it's economic reality to produce crap pasta."

If you want to, ok. I don't play the defeatist game.

Maylander, you still haven't backed up your claim that turnbased games wouldn't sell enough to make a profit in today's market.

That said, your idea of the market is skewered and you're not reading what's being said. Nobody is questioning that the potential of the casual market is big, but who the hell thinks this is a safe market to play in just because the Sims sells 16 million copies? Arcanum turned a profit, as did both Fallouts (you need to stop spouting factually incorrect remarks on that topic. Troika has affirmed Arcanum turned a profit, we know the Fallouts did*). Did Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel? Nope. Now which one of these fits in which of your imaginary market models, exactly?

*The Fallouts that are still selling, by the way. Chuck Cuevas cited NPD Funworld as putting cumulative Fallout 1/2 sales at 900,000. This is vs Brotherhood of Steel's 19,000 copies.
Last edited by Brother None; March 30th, 2007 at 12:10.
Brother None is offline

Brother None

Brother None's Avatar
SasqWatch

#47

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,554

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 13:50
So basically what you're saying is that over the course of 10 years and with 900k copies, the 2 Fallout games have sold as much as half of what Gears of War sold in the first month alone … yes I can see the big bucks are rolling in

And just to make this clear: It is not being a defeatist to know thy enemy.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
fatBastard() is offline

fatBastard()

fatBastard()'s Avatar
Hello, I'm a Zombaholic

#48

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just outside of Copenhagen
Posts: 778

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 14:38
Kharn, if we turn the argument around: Could you describe a turn-based RPG of your imagination that you would recon would sell on the level of the current crop of action/ real time RPG's. Who would be your target audience, how would you advertise it. Just curious.
GhanBuriGhan is offline

GhanBuriGhan

GhanBuriGhan's Avatar
Wose extraordinaire

#49

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,488

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 15:48
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I'm talking about turn-based RPGs, turn-based Regarding Arcanum. Yet another example of a game that didn't sell well despite many hardcore fans thinking it did. Hardcore players do not make up a big percentage of the market, so games targeted towards that segment simply won't sell enough - hence why Troika went down like a sack of potatoes. Arcanum sold 234.000 copies, which is more than Fallout did, but still far from enough to be a profitable game to make.?
Considering that Arcanum was only made by essentially three people, 234,000 probably was more than enough to make it very profitable.

When people look just at copies sold, they only look at one part of the equation. How much did the game cost to develop? How long did it take? Fallout and Fallout 2 probably cost a mere fraction of what it took to develop Oblvion. A 1st person Oblivion style shooter will have to have a huge budget. One need look no further than a game like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to see this. That game has only a fraction of the content of what a 1st person shooter/RPG would have and it took six years to make. The standards for a game like this change completely when you have to create competent shooting mechanics. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is basically the model that an "Oblivion with guns" game would have to follow to be any good.

Gears of War is another game that has been mentioned in this thread, and it also cost a fortune to make. Games like this require much, much higher sales levels to break even. The Madden series is the top selling US game series and I have seen analysts speculate that it still loses money! (because of the astronomical licensing fee). And in the console market, for every Gears of War, there's at least one Viva Pinata.
doctor_kaz is offline

doctor_kaz

Keeper of the Watch

#50

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 622

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 15:51
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
So basically what you're saying is that over the course of 10 years and with 900k copies, the 2 Fallout games have sold as much as half of what Gears of War sold in the first month alone … yes I can see the big bucks are rolling in
Considering the budget of the one game vs that of the other…yes, bucks. It's Interplay's only current source of revenue, amusingly enough.

Unless you're arguing all games should be Gears of War because that such a hit grrrrlol!

Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
And just to make this clear: It is not being a defeatist to know thy enemy.
It is if you shrug and do nothing about it.

Could you describe a turn-based RPG of your imagination that you would recon would sell on the level of the current crop of action/ real time RPG's. Who would be your target audience, how would you advertise it. Just curious.
Sell on the level of? Do you mean sell like Oblivion or sell like a flop? Because that's the thing…you may think linking hits and flops arm in arm is a good idea to float a business upon, but it's come down crashing around our ears more than once.

I'm not pretending a turn-based Fallout 3 could outsell Oblivion, I'm "pretending" that to demand of any and all games to sell those kind of numbers is ludicrous. The market simply isn't that big.

Oddly enough, in profit margins, a market with big sellers with high budget and a market with low sellers with low budgets are roughly the same. The difference between the two markets is that the latter is low-risk and the former is high-risk.

I don't think you paid attention to Economy 101 if you think that the market for games like Oblivion is "better" than for niche RPGs just because the numbers are bigger. Smart money would invest in both markets. Apparently there isn't much smart money in the gaming industry, as evinced by the high frequency of companies going belly-up.

As for your question, I don't know, I'm not best equipped to answer that, I haven't been trained in PR, but I know enough to know that Troika was a profiteable company by doing low-budget games tailored to a niche market. So is Spiderweb. Neither are taken serious by the industry and the consequences of that hurt both. In a healthy market, a Troika could produce mid-budget games for its fairly large niche market sans problem.

Unless you think there's some kind of Godly "minimum budget" that games now have, something that's been amusingly implied with "games are more expensive to make now!" A drôle if uninformed remark.
Brother None is offline

Brother None

Brother None's Avatar
SasqWatch

#51

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,554

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 16:42
Originally Posted by Kharn View Post
Unless you're arguing all games should be Gears of War because that such a hit grrrrlol!
Heck no! … but try to explain THAT to the publishers

Originally Posted by Kharn View Post
In a healthy market, a Troika could produce mid-budget games for its fairly large niche market sans problem.

Unless you think there's some kind of Godly "minimum budget" that games now have, something that's been amusingly implied with "games are more expensive to make now!" A drôle if uninformed remark.
Very true … but again try to explain that to the publishers/investors. As far as I can recall Troika had financial problems with basically all of their titles because they couldn't get the necessary investors to cover their development costs. The result was very buggy games and even though they did sell (and I bought the lot of them) there can be no doubt that the word of mouth + lack of marketing cost them quite a few potential customers.

The whole sequel focus, franchise milking and license based games, like for instance movie tie ins, is a clear indication of the resistance the investors have towards betting on "unproven" game models. It is sad but that's what the market looks like today and that is also why there is no way in heck that if Bethesda is going to be making Fallout 3 then it will be "Oblivion with guns"

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
fatBastard() is offline

fatBastard()

fatBastard()'s Avatar
Hello, I'm a Zombaholic

#52

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just outside of Copenhagen
Posts: 778

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 17:18
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
Considering that Arcanum was only made by essentially three people, 234,000 probably was more than enough to make it very profitable.
Mobygames lists way more than 3 people in Arcanumīs credits. No idea how many of them really worked on the project full time but itīs certainly closer to 20 than to 3.

When people look just at copies sold, they only look at one part of the equation. How much did the game cost to develop? How long did it take?
And maybe even more important when talking about sales numbers: Whatīs the effective net revenue after COGs? Because thatīs (AFAIK) the basis for the calculation of developer royalties. For example 234k * 20$ = 4680k. Thatīs about 4.5M for the publisher. If the dev gets 15% of this his royalties are about 702k, which practically equals 0 because the publisher deducts the gameīs budget.
If Arcanum sold primarily on a budget price point the numbers might be clearly smaller. It would be interesting to know if 234k was US sales or worldwide sales though.
Anyway, itīs not clear whether Troika earned more than their advance with Arcanum.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#53

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,852

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 21:18
And most probably even less with ToEE. Does anyone know the sales figures for VTM:Bloodlines? It would be somewhat ironic if they went out of business directly after making their best-selling game.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
magerette is offline

magerette

magerette's Avatar
Hedgewitch

#54

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,929

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 21:47
Publishers don't like having sales volume or profits published. The contracts devs have to sign almost always include limits on how much they can disclose, plus publishers seldom provide the numbers to the devs — after all, if the devs don't know how many units were sold, they won't know if/how much they're getting shortchanged by the publishers. Granted, there's more than a bit of personal cynicism in that statement, but how sales are tracked for units shipped vs. units sold vs. returns vs. whatever else… It's all a huge, complex mess. And the publishers certainly like it that way. Same is true across all of the entertainment industries.

Getting accurate figures usually requires taking the publisher to court, and you can kiss your company good-bye if you do that. There was one dev house that was doing that recently, but the coverage of it has dropped off the radar. I can't even remember who it was any longer.

Apparently Bloodlines is making its way to Steam. Anyone know if Steam provides info about sales figures? I'd hope Valve would be better about it, given their own wranglings with publishers.

Hammer, anvil, forge and fire,
chase away the hoofed liar.
Roof and doorway, block and beam,
chase the Trickster from our dream.
Stanza is offline

Stanza

Stanza's Avatar
Lighthouse Keeper

#55

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 249

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 21:50
Troika did not go bust because their games did not sell, they went bust because they didn't sell quickly enough. This is what one of the top guns at Troika said in an interview about a year ago if I recall correctly. Their games are still selling today. I still see arcanum boxes sitting on shelves where I live

EDIT: Interview here:

http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/troikagames.php

GB: Of the three games you developed (Arcanum, ToEE, and Bloodlines), which game was the most successful commercially? Were you disappointed at the sales figures for any of your games?

Leon: To date the most successful in terms of units sold has been ToEE, I believe – though I don’t have any exact numbers on Vampire yet. I think that when all is said and done Vampire will be comparable to ToEE numbers, if not surpassing them. One of the problems with our games is that they sell good numbers, but it takes a long time for them to do so. Arcanum is still selling a small but steady number of units each quarter, for instance. But longevity doesn’t matter in this business – it’s all about how much you sell in the first few months.
They had 12 developers/designers at the end of production on Arcanum, 35 employees after TOEE/Vampire:Bloodlines.

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 (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
Last edited by bjon045; March 30th, 2007 at 22:07.
bjon045 is offline

bjon045

bjon045's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#56

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sigil
Posts: 960

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 22:08
So ToEE was tops. Interesting interview, bjon045.

I suppose this means Atari is garnering the proceeds at this point. Now that's ironic, being as how making Troika push the bugfest out the door before it was ready is one of the main reasons it sold so poorly initially.

Edit: I use the term bugfest affectonately. Not affection for the bugs, but for the game that hooked me despite them.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; March 31st, 2007 at 01:17.
magerette is offline

magerette

magerette's Avatar
Hedgewitch

#57

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,929

Default 

March 30th, 2007, 23:34
Rights donīt simply disappear. Somebody picks them up. Either Troika still exists as an empty shell to collect royalties for their 3 games or somebody else jumped in.

Chris Sawyer (owner of the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise) sued Atari for incorrect accounting.
The other case is Spark Unlimited vs. Activision over Call of Duty: Finest Hour. Full(!) annotated contract on Gamasutra.

The Escapist had a long and detailed Troika post mortem some time ago.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#58

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,852

Default 

March 31st, 2007, 00:04
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Mobygames lists way more than 3 people in Arcanum´s credits. No idea how many of them really worked on the project full time but it´s certainly closer to 20 than to 3.
The majority of the effort for that game was done just with three people. At least that's what I read in an interview with one of the Troika founders.
doctor_kaz is offline

doctor_kaz

Keeper of the Watch

#59

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 622

Default 

March 31st, 2007, 13:27
This is actually a much more deeper and complex problem (or challenge) than we think it is. On the bottown or basis of this lies the very core of how our society runs. Investors, banks, shareholders etc. want to see a quick return of their buck (aka dollars). For that very reason they focus alone on the first months or so shipments or selling of copies. And if a game doesn't sell (or ship) like a million copies in the first month or so, the investors are going to be grumpy. (it's like the movies where the first weekend often decided whether or not the film is hit or not).

That's way the three guys that made Arcanum is saying: that investors only look for the quickest way possible to get their bucks, dollars, yen and eruos, back. They don't seem to understand that a game that sell maybe 250,000 copies in the first month or so, or 500,000 copies in the first 6 month or so, can be slow hit, and that over time such a game might actually outsell a game that has sold maybe 1,5 million copies in its first 1-2 months. (if we look at it over a 10 year period).

And that's the way it is

And that's why investors won't invest in a turnbased game…
Last edited by aries100; March 31st, 2007 at 13:31. Reason: content added
aries100 is offline

aries100

SasqWatch
RPGWatch Team RPGWatch Donor

#60

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 2,036
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout 3 - PC Zone UK Article @ NMA
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:39.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch