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February 10th, 2011, 00:41
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Top ten PC games sold in 2009. The only one that would be discussed here is Dragon Age (which is hated by many here anyway) and that's behind THREE Sims games THREE WoW games/expansions and Spore, which was released an entire year prior to DA (which admittedly came out late in the year).
Perhaps but check the consoles list:
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • WII Sports Resort
  • New Super Mario Bros
  • WII Fit w/ Balance Board
  • WII Fit Plus
  • Mario Kart
  • WII Play
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Halo 3
  • NDS Pokemon Platinum Version

Lol you really think that this can appeal anybody here?

Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Retail sales of all games in 2009 was $10.5 billion. Of that, $538 million in 2009 was for PC, down 23 percent from the year prior. Console games declined 8%.

http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_100114.html
Those numbers doesn't include digital sells, and those same NDP that produced those numbers, did the same recently with estimated PC digital sells, and some major digital sellers (Steam, GamersGate and Impulse) communicated about those numbers because they doubt a lot those NDP numbers are right.

About numbers, as unsafe, there's been recently an estimation made for Steam only of 1 Billion coming only from the top ten sells through Steam.

So well if all those numbers are right it's more like digital sales rise up of 100% and more in just one year… All that numbers are very doubtful.

EDIT: Not to mention that this 2010 year, DS game market crashed brutally and was before one of the most successful one.

EDIT2: And still about consoles it seems that new portable consoles coming from sony and nintendo seems far to attract ton of developers.
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February 10th, 2011, 01:20
Dasale:

That's besides the point. Karma Powered and Rich Ruffo upthread were claiming that I didn't know what I was talking about and then posted a link to a study from a biased industry group claiming somehow that sales of PCs with discrete graphics cards somehow proves me wrong.

My point is that the PC games market is smaller than the console games market, and is hurting more lately. In addition, the bulk of the top ten sellers for the PC are WoW and Sims games, which you can't even get on consoles, and WoW is unique. One single game (with the Blizzard WoW name to help sell it!) boosted PC games sales by 100% one month. That's extraordinary. And a full 14% of Pc game sales are Starcraft and WoW.

Even though there are way more diverse options availabe on the PC, the vast majority of even the PC gamers are going for MMOs, Blizzard and Sims games. What is to gain by jumping into that pool? Want to compete with WoW, Starcraft or the Sims?

My point is that the console market is a MUCH SAFER MARKET in which to put your money if you are a developer or are investing in a developer. I think the links I provided show this to be so. And you also get the marketing and merchandising arms of Sony and/or Microsoft to sell and "bless" your product to the average consumer who doesn't read gamer blogs all day. Also, as a developer, you can shoot for a KNOWN hardware goal… the PS3 or the Xbox… there's no aiming for some nebulous PC configuration that you hope most of your customers will have when you finally finish your game. It's a done deal. Add to that the simplicity of popping in a disc and playing versus PC compatability issues and there's a bunch of reasons why developers are making things so console friendly.

Also, some apparently believe that PC game piracy is such a vanishingly small issue that they won't even follow up on it in this thread. I think it's a pretty big issue, and apparently many game companies think so too.

Claiming that I or anyone else has been "brainwashed" by the gaming industry is so stupid that I will say no more about it.

EDIT- about the digital sales, no doubt that's a part of PC sales and growing. But if you have a link to these numbers I'd like to see it. Again, it's fairly suspicious to claim that Steam, GamersGate and Impulse would want to say anything other than how great things are for themselves. And regardless, I cannot believe that with PC sales at 14% of the market, the digital downloads would do any more than another 15%, putting PC sales overall at ~30%… generously.
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February 10th, 2011, 01:27
I know my beloved hobby is dying to to publisher greed. Why invest in a pc game or port when you can triple your profits on the console. Sony and Microsoft are also part of the problem. They pay to have the game made only for there systems. Microsoft's pissed because that cant make you pay to play online. Ask yourself how the game is made on a pc with a development kit.

Let say this and hopefully any idiot can get this through there head piracy is on every platform. Yes every system has pirates and the consoles dont feel it because millions more play on them.

You can also see how developers treat us as second-class citizens and were told at least you got the game. Ask a corporate suit why they cant port a game it is an easy process. Typical answer would be why bother if we only sell 500k units its not enough to buy a mansion or appease there shareholders. How is it not enough if you make millions on the console with the 500k pc sales? That is the problem they want more and what they get is never enough.

So people stop using piracy is killing the pc when its simply greed and publishers just brushiung us aside. Its not going to get better it will just get worse. Thank god for indie publishers who love the pc.

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February 10th, 2011, 01:34
Eh, just google Dragon Age Torrent and see how many hits you get for PC. I'm going to guess that DA2 will be up on Bit Torrent before it's even released.

I buy what I play and I'm sympathetic to what people are feeling here, but you can't take this stuff personally. Money talks and always has. I also hope more indie developers come out with more and better RPGs.
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February 10th, 2011, 01:51
I agree with what you're saying in this thread and others, Ovenall. I don't have anything to add beyond that, but I just thought I throw you some support, since I see a lot of people getting up in arms about what you're saying. It seems quite accurate to me.

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February 10th, 2011, 01:52
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Eh, just google Dragon Age Torrent and see how many hits you get for PC. I'm going to guess that DA2 will be up on Bit Torrent before it's even released.

I buy what I play and I'm sympathetic to what people are feeling here, but you can't take this stuff personally. Money talks and always has. I also hope more indie developers come out with more and better RPGs.
I will also see its been downloaded thousands of times on the console to. Yes everyone every system/handhold/smart phone have game torrents. So were is the excuse about pc sales now.

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February 10th, 2011, 02:12
Thanks Anderson. Apparently if you post something that is an uncomfortable truth, there are some here who will see you as an enemy or a stooge of some kind.

I wish the facts I'm pointing out weren't true. But they are.
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February 10th, 2011, 02:22
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Thanks Anderson. Apparently if you post something that is an uncomfortable truth, there are some here who will see you as an enemy or a stooge of some kind.

I wish the facts I'm pointing out weren't true. But they are.
Yes it is fact but as I pointed out its everywhere NOT JUST THE PC. Its a excuse I'm tired of being used.

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February 10th, 2011, 05:46
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Yes it is fact but as I pointed out its everywhere NOT JUST THE PC. Its a excuse I'm tired of being used.
Absolutely true. It's not just PC games that are being pirated, but PC games are far easier to pirate than most console games, especially when you consider that PC users are far more likely to be older and more tech savvy than console users. Five minutes of googling turned up this nugget on piracy and it's impact on the industry. In a nutshell, piracy is an obvious negative force in the PC games industry, but the lack of transparency by developers and publishers makes it hard to really quantify how much damage is being done.

This does not excuse developers and publishers from making over-intrusive DRM systems, or consolizing (as long as we're inventing words) most of their titles. However, we, as PC gamers, must also look at the culture to which we belong. I buy all of my games, music, and movies. I know a lot of people here do as well, and I applaud you. I have however, received my fair share of "you're weird" looks from people who pirate just about anything they can get their hands on. I've also deployed to Iraq 3 times, and I see just how prevalent piracy is in developing countries as well. I've seen DVDs on the shelves less than a day after the movie hits theaters, and I've seen hundreds of cracked and duped video games. Of all the games that I saw, nearly all of them were for the PC, because that's where the market for pirated games is.

PC gamers, especially RPG fans, have a legitimate gripe with publishers and developers, and I sympathize with people like you, Couchpotato, to a point. Games should be made for the love of making them, and in a perfect world, the bottom line wouldn't be a factor. Unfortunately, video games is big business and a good friend of mine that used to work for Black Isle Studios, and then Pandemic, and then Microsoft was, for about a decade, just about starving, because he was making games for the love of making games. He didn't care about the pay, because he got to do what he loved. Once he got married and had kids, however, he had to start thinking about ways to keep a steady income, so that his family wouldn't be sleeping on a twin mattress bought at a garage sale, eating cereal and ramen noodles. I think that's where a major disconnect exists between developers and publishers, and gamers. This industry is one of the most competitive in the world, and the people who have the money to invest as capital only care about getting their money back, plus some. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact, that a dev could make a beautiful, incredibly well polished, balanced, engaging and smart (think Planescape: Torment) game, and be out of the business in a couple of years, because it didn't ship for shit. Games cost a TON of money to make, (especially for the PC, where there are a lot more hardware variables that you have to code, test, debug, test, and patch for) and when you only ship 750,000 copies total (what Planescape: Torment sold, including the recent release on GOG.com) it's hard to compete with the Final Fantasy and Madden series, which sell bajillions of copies when they're released. Now take into account the amount of piracy that exists, and where the largest concentration of piracy occurs (the PC) and it's no big shock that developers are hedging their bets by making games for the console and then porting them to the PC, if they port them at all.

Another factor in the decline of our - and by "our" I mean the people who frequent sites like RPGWatch - favorite genre is that a lot of us are as old, or older, than the "average" gamer's age. I believe the stats that the average gamer is in their 30's but I also believe that the data skews younger for console players, and if the money is in consoles, then devs and publishers are making games for what console players want. I don't need shit like HDR, bloom, anti-aliasing, lots of explosions, big, jiggly titties, or the option to nail someone of the same sex, complete with a PG-13 cinematic of the whole experience, but some kid who's just barely 20 years old might find that awfully interesting, and the sales figures prove it. I mean, ME2, Fallout 3 and NV, and DA:O sold obscene numbers, so there's no way in hell that developers are going to change their tune any time soon.

It's easy to blame all of this on greed, capitalism, sellouts, and pandering to the lowest common denominator, and to a certain extent, it's a fair assessment. But piracy and development cost is a much bigger issue for the PC format than it is for any other. Pointing the finger solely at faceless entities like developers, big-budget publishers, corporate greed, and bottom line strategy avoids issues on the consumer end of the spectrum, and does a disservice to people who pour countless hours into making games, only to see their product ripped off by another kind of ugly, greedy, soulless parasite. If this were a perfect world, big developing houses would be creating thoughtful, mature, sophisticated titles across all platforms, and websites like The Pirate Bay and bitjunkie wouldn't exist.
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February 10th, 2011, 07:38
Captain Buzzkill you put it in better words than I ever could, Just remember now if anyone wants to make games its not about passion its all about the money. I was going to join the industry but decided it wasn't worth it. I'm 30 grew up on the early rpgs and agree the current generation wouldn't buy them to fund a company with returned capital.

Its sad when a persons dream gets destroyed by a soulless publisher and board of directors.

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February 10th, 2011, 08:58
Interesting post, Buzzkill. Couchpotato - I think you're being somewhat unfair to publishers. They are, in fact, investors by trade. It's the developers job to be passionate but the publisher is "lending" the money in the first place. When I look at the performance of my investment portfolio, so you think I check on whether the employees in those various companies are looked after — or do I just check on the dividend?

It would be nice to return to the "good old days" but we can't - and in many ways, the consumer created this world. That demand for graphics and presentation means a never ending search for bigger audiences to pay for it and we all contributed to some extent or another.

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February 10th, 2011, 09:55
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Interesting post, Buzzkill. Couchpotato - I think you're being somewhat unfair to publishers. They are, in fact, investors by trade. It's the developers job to be passionate but the publisher is "lending" the money in the first place. When I look at the performance of my investment portfolio, so you think I check on whether the employees in those various companies are looked after — or do I just check on the dividend?

It would be nice to return to the "good old days" but we can't - and in many ways, the consumer created this world. That demand for graphics and presentation means a never ending search for bigger audiences to pay for it and we all contributed to some extent or another.
In a equal world you would do both. But the reality is ever one thinks about themselves first before everybody else. Its harsh but true even with a few exceptions. I wont apologize for the publishers for most suffer from want. Just like GTA4 DLC where johnny asks why this happened and the answer is they want more and what they have is never enough. Thats the truth. I'll leave it at that and move on.

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February 10th, 2011, 10:32
Well, no need to apologise for them — they are bastards sometimes.

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February 10th, 2011, 10:32
The consumers, yeah, but not the enthusiasts. I most certainly didn't ask for them to become what they have become.

I don't blame the casual market for becoming interested in gaming, as it's a great way to pass the time. I also don't blame investors for being investors.

I would never expect people to stop being greedy. That's human nature, and it's hopeless to explain the long-term scenario if you decide to make money your focus. That sort of thing needs to be experienced to be fully understood, I guess.

I have no illusions or expectations about people who're in the gaming industry as a business before anything else. They want to make money, and if they can make a great game doing it - good - but it's not at all essential.

However, I actually do believe you can make a tidy profit from quality alone - and sometimes quality can be art. That's probably what I think is particularly sad - that so few developers/investors are willing to make the effort and trust in their own ability to create art. The key, of course, is that they shouldn't invest millions of dollars in production values - and that's one of the primary misconceptions of the industry. At least the American gaming industry.

It's like everything has to be big and sell big - but why is no one big interested in investing in something smaller, to a smaller audience. Profit will come, only in smaller bits. You don't actually entice the enthusiast market by throwing money at the game - you do it by developing a strong design document - and with people who both love and understand the concept of interesting gameplay. Sure, you need to make it look good - but you don't have to make it into a Hollywood movie.

I can fully understand that as a development house, you want to attain a certain size - and you want to position yourself so you can make the kind of game you want, and with a strong enough team to pull it off. What I DON'T understand, is when it becomes a race to grow, grow, and grow ever more. There is a point where growth will overtake and become the goal in itself. Great games don't make themselves, and a huge team with zillions of dollars is not a recipe for art or even quality games. You still need passionate people with the freedom to make what they love to make.

That's one of the key misconceptions of the entire capitalist mindset when dealing with art or its kin - that the MOST money is always better than SOME money, no matter what the hell you're producing. Money in itself as the goal is a futility. The dream is never about the money - but what you can do with it. If you have a lot of money, you can do a lot of things - but don't forget what you give up for all of that money.

Even so, the majority always ends up at the top people, and not the people doing the actual work. The most they can hope for is some bonus or whatever.

People honestly believe that getting bigger and bigger, making more and more money will make you happier.

Just trust me, that's not the case.

In the entertainment industry, show me a huge business making zillions, and I'll show you a small but profitable one with people who're actually invested with passion and with some semblance of a worthwhile goal still left.

The bigger something gets, and the more people are involved - the less creative and flexible it becomes. People start playing the power-game, and it no longer revolves around making something good or fulfilling an actual demand - but rather telling people that they always had a demand they didn't know about, and THEN filling it. Shoving new products down the throats of the audience - whether they like it or not - and people are mostly gullible enough to swallow.

Sigh…

I find it really unfortunate that so many people think in these black and white terms. That you either focus on profit, or you go bankrupt. It's basically the entire argument supporting the current AAA industry. They HAVE to make money, and so they HAVE to make a sure thing. Who do you think put them into that position? They did themselves. No one told Bioware to be all about the money or to grow so big as to force themselves into a creatively weak design philosophy - sticking to the same blueprint over and over to maximise the proft potential, and the rest is marketing.

There are other ways to go about having success.
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February 10th, 2011, 11:33
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
However, I actually do believe you can make a tidy profit from quality alone - and sometimes quality can be art. That's probably what I think is particularly sad - that so few developers/investors are willing to make the effort and trust in their own ability to create art. The key, of course, is that they shouldn't invest millions of dollars in production values - and that's one of the primary misconceptions of the industry. At least the American gaming industry.
I don't disagree conceptually at all but, as always, the devil is in the details. The industry isn't geared that way at the moment and to "make it look good", usually means a least a couple of million. Which usually means a publisher. Which usually brings us back to the same position.

It can change, of course, - so maybe the future will be different.

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February 10th, 2011, 11:47
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I don't disagree conceptually at all but, as always, the devil is in the details. The industry isn't geared that way at the moment and to "make it look good", usually means a least a couple of million. Which usually means a publisher. Which usually brings us back to the same position.

It can change, of course, - so maybe the future will be different.
It depends on what you mean by looking good. I'm mostly talking about doing away with needless cinematics, high-profile voice acting, and superfluous "experience content" - and focusing on doing the best with what you have. A basic engine, licensed or not, with a huge focus on the game design.

Don't try so hard to make a first impression - because you don't have to with an enthusiast audience. If you look at a game like Bioshock or Dead Space - you can clearly see a GIGANTIC effort to pour endless "experience" content in your face within the first hour - because the perception is that it's needed. It IS needed for the average casual gamer - but not at all for the enthusiast. The enthusiast just wants something that looks good "enough" - so he can enjoy a deep and challenging game, without having to look at subpar visuals.

The price of such a thing is really dependent on the people working and how much they're paid. I've seen amateur work with free engines that is truly amazing. It doesn't have to cost millions - at least not anything near a true AAA game.

If you can make a level with a handful of textures and models, then that's what you should do. Don't invest endless millions trying to cram scripted explosions around every corner - or Hollywood moments with impressive actors. That's not really needed.

But it's a matter of figuring out the target audience, and investing accordingly.

I don't know the actual wages, but I do know that we have indies approaching the level of quality I'm talking about - and if you consider the size of the team and the limited revenue - it can't be impossible for a developer with more clout.

A publisher shouldn't be impossible to find for such a project either, if said publisher understands that it's not all about the profit - but about gaining respect and position.

But you're right, the industry is not geared for that - which is the sad thing I'm talking about. It's pretty unfortunate that it seems so far-fetched - but I have a feeling the market will change eventually.
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February 10th, 2011, 13:38
According to a new German study I had almost posted somewhere here, but refrained from doing so, the numbers of illegally copieed console titles is rapidly growing … meanwhile PC titles stagnate.
Unfortunately I don't remember anymore where I found this study … I think it was presented on the web site of German "PC Games".

A different statistic is this : http://torrentfreak.com/100000-p2p-u…wsuits-110130/
Found via PC Games : http://www.pcgames.de/Softwarepirate…zessen-810459/

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February 10th, 2011, 14:37
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
Unfortunately, video games is big business and a good friend of mine that used to work for Black Isle Studios, and then Pandemic, and then Microsoft was, for about a decade, just about starving, because he was making games for the love of making games. He didn't care about the pay, because he got to do what he loved. Once he got married and had kids, however, he had to start thinking about ways to keep a steady income, so that his family wouldn't be sleeping on a twin mattress bought at a garage sale, eating cereal and ramen noodles.
My blood boils when I read sob stories like that. I know that some of you are totally disconnected from how the majority of the world lives -in real poverty - and I don`t particularly blame you, for sometimes it`s hard to envision other mindsets without the experience.

And yet, in times where the whole countries` economies are endangered because of some greedy jackasses & people are dropping like flies from malnutrition/disease/etc -whining about someone who apparently happened to work for one of the best companies in the industry is perhaps, well, inappropriate.

And that`s putting it mildly.
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February 10th, 2011, 14:42
I once had a friend who ate Bioware games and spit out Troika games.

So, it can be done - and I suggest we all start by eating Dragon Age 2.
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February 10th, 2011, 14:42
I always wanted to make games but once I actually started to understand what it involved I quickly turned to focus on normal 9-17 IT work.

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