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February 16th, 2007, 18:17
Next Gen has a fascinating breakdown of the Top 100 games by sales in 2006 (sales of all games released in 2006 in NA), the genre breakdown, platform and publisher share. As it turns out, around 25% of the entire NA market is sports, with (movie and other) licenses taking around 22%. RPGs constitute 6%, although I would argue their performance is contrained by the limited number of releases.
In a list dominated by console sports and action game, Oblivion is the only western RPG on the chart and holds a commendable position, although a handful of JRPGs are listed.
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February 16th, 2007, 18:17
A few thoughts (although I've discussed it to death elsewhere)
- RPG at 6% is a rating of the top 100 games, not a real market indicator.
- Interesting thought on target marketing:
Any would-be game publishers looking at these stats would come away with one of two strategies. Either, to create an absolutely amazing game on few platforms (Gears; Zelda; Oblivion; New Super Mario; Guitar Hero) or to sign up an animated movie and release it on every platform conceivable.
- There was some later discussion elsewhere about whether the cost of developing an exclusive game like Gears of War compared to Cars, and the relative sales of each makes it worth developing big new IP.
- There is talk about how well 'exclusive games' did this year, but nearly half of the exclusives selling >200k were on the DS … take add on the PS2 (Guitar Hero 2, etc) and you have 80%. ~5% or so were PC.
- The trend towards 'blanket releases' and licenses making all the sales makes it harder to release new IP for the PC and get it seen.
- The data are sort of messed up because only 2006 releases count - so a game like Sims 2 or WoW with a 'long sales tail' doesn't count.

— Mike
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February 16th, 2007, 23:23
Do those animated movie licensed games ever profit enough to warrant continuous investment in that? I thought it was widely recognized that these animated movie tie-ins are of generally poor quality, or at least that many people understood this from reading gaming sites… Or are out of control, shopping spree-hungry parents who will offer anything to their children fueling that part of the industry?
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February 17th, 2007, 00:40
Tough to say what this means for RPGs. I mean, you could say "It shows that RPGs are moving to Action RPGs," but given the dearth of data points in there, it's impossible to say much for sure.

It does remind me in fairly strong terms that a mediocre sports or media tie-in game can still stomp all over a great RPG, though. I'd love to see an RPG company wrest the NFL license away from EA, just for one title, and put out a game where you're the coach or the quarterback (and defensive captain when you're on defense) — calling plays and watching them play out in a non-arcade fashion that makes it effectively turn-based with animations (call play, watch play, call play, watch play).

Outside of the games, you've got roleplaying opportunities like dealing with difficult players (either trading them or persuading them to become good team players), making good/evil choices like turning a blind eye to a player's substance abuse, and so forth.

Basically, take the big ol' cliche of "The Football Movie" and apply a roleplaying element to both the game layer and the coaching layer.

It'd be interesting to see if sports-fans would swallow RPG elements if their character wore a football uniform instead of chainmail.
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February 17th, 2007, 00:45
That reminds me, someone was making a sports RPG… I'll see if I can dig up where I saw that.
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February 17th, 2007, 01:43
Hey Patrick, that sounds like a really good idea for a different game; I like it. I doubt it will ever get made, too expensive a risk for most suits I suspect, but it sure would be fun. Make one for NHL hockey too, with all the fights left in!! Now that would HAVE to be a winner!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 17th, 2007, 14:19
The Anstoss games (old German soccer management games) were going a bit in that direction.
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February 17th, 2007, 18:20
I think Ascaronīs old Anstoss titles released in English were called On the Ball.
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February 19th, 2007, 14:24
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
Do those animated movie licensed games ever profit enough to warrant continuous investment in that? I thought it was widely recognized that these animated movie tie-ins are of generally poor quality, or at least that many people understood this from reading gaming sites… Or are out of control, shopping spree-hungry parents who will offer anything to their children fueling that part of the industry?
That is a tough one - LEGO Star Wars was a top seller that is a 'license', but is *QUITE* different in every way from the other licensed games I played last year for review (which included Unfabulous, Nicktoons, SpongeBob, Avatar, etc) … and LEGO Star Wars was one of the better games I played all year.

Cars on the other hand was pretty lousy and sold largely on the strength of the name.

But then how does buying a 'license' game differ from buying the latest Madden retread?

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February 19th, 2007, 14:28
Hey

I can certainly vouch for that the Lego Star Wars game was a topseller last year.

I've tried to get a hold of the PC version each time, I was in my local EB Games
(I live in Denmark, Europe, btw). Sadly —- every time, I went there to get one, they were all —- sold out . Lucky for LEGO, I suppose….
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February 19th, 2007, 15:03
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
That is a tough one - LEGO Star Wars was a top seller that is a 'license', but is *QUITE* different in every way from the other licensed games I played last year for review (which included Unfabulous, Nicktoons, SpongeBob, Avatar, etc) … and LEGO Star Wars was one of the better games I played all year.

Cars on the other hand was pretty lousy and sold largely on the strength of the name.

But then how does buying a 'license' game differ from buying the latest Madden retread?
That's true, LEGO Star Wars was pretty fun (still have to try out the second game, damn). But as you say, it's really head and shoulders over its licensed brethren.

As for Madden, I have never played any of the titles so I can't really say how much it differs from previous ones in the series. I've heard some minute additions are made, a new number is slapped and then it hits the streets. On one hand this would be no different than other series that do the same (several Street Fighter games and Dynasty Warriors come to mind). But are those Madden titles as poorly designed and programmed as animated movie tie-ins? I've tried playing a few of those and they really deserve all the negative reviews they get. Most retreads of series usually have a solid design backbone or some production values to support the minor additions - those tie-ins, by comparison, really don't.
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February 19th, 2007, 15:26
Originally Posted by Role-Player View Post
But are those Madden titles as poorly designed and programmed as animated movie tie-ins?
No - the Madden titles (like NBA, NHL, Winning Eleven, FIFA and so on) are pretty solid. They earn their ~80-ish scores. What they don't really deserve are the sales - it really is very much an incremental change each year. But it really draws people who want to capture the football season on a fantasy level.

Animated movie tie-ins are typically really mediocre crap - so it is a surprise when they are any better (Eragon for GBA, Larry Boy for GBA, etc).

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February 21st, 2007, 15:42
The Lego Star Wars games have appeared here on the budget shelves.
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February 21st, 2007, 15:54
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The Lego Star Wars games have appeared here on the budget shelves.
So have you bought them yet?

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February 21st, 2007, 17:56
No, since my PC couldn't run them. But yes, they're definitively on my list, since I'm as fan, too.
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