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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #31

Default Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #31

July 12th, 2013, 03:54
The latest post-funding update for Wasteland 2 brings us news that Deep Silver will distribute the physical copy's. They even give some new screenshots.

inXile partners with Deep Silver to distribute Wasteland 2

inXile Entertainment and Deep Silver today announced a distribution deal for inXile’s upcoming cRPG Wasteland 2. Deep Silver is a veteran publisher and already a long-standing partner for inXile.

inXile is currently working on Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, both funded via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

The deal allows inXile Entertainment to focus on all creative aspects of developing the game, while Deep Silver handles the retail release of the game and the physical good fulfillment for the Kickstarter backers.

“This is a perfect opportunity for inXile: it allows us to continue to focus all of our energy and money into the creative aspects of the game while letting Deep Silver take our game outside of the pure digital space. This has the added bonus of allowing us to spend more of the Kickstarter funds on development while continue to retain all ownership and control”, says Brian Fargo, CEO inXile Entertainment. “I’ve known the people at Deep Silver for many years and they have always been a first rate organization to deal with.”

Deep Silver will also assist inXile in the QA testing of the localized international versions of the game.

“The uber-successful crowdfunding of Wasteland 2 through Brian Fargo and his team has shown how much interest for an RPG with traditional values still exists on consumers’ side aside from what large publishers think the market needs. Deep Silver is very happy to support inXile Entertainment in bringing Wasteland 2 to the retail market”, comments Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media.
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July 12th, 2013, 03:54
The new UI looks truly excellent. I actually kind of like having the character portraits on the side bar on the left.

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July 12th, 2013, 03:58
The UI in the lower left looks a little clunky. Love the rest of it though. I wonder what screen resolution that's at? They said they have a new version of the game play video, but I'm still just seeing the old one.
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July 12th, 2013, 07:06
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
The UI in the lower left looks a little clunky. Love the rest of it though. I wonder what screen resolution that's at? They said they have a new version of the game play video, but I'm still just seeing the old one.
They don't say they have a new version of the gameplay video, but a new version of the HUD. They use a bit of a run-on sentence to do so though. And yeah the buttons dangling all about the lower left area is a bit messy isn't it?
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July 12th, 2013, 07:17
I really like the options they are giving to move things around. I would want the text box in the middle, like baldur's gate had it, for example. The interface is looking great to me so far.
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July 12th, 2013, 09:08
I like how the game turned out but this announcement has stated a huge uproar among backers, and the internet. Many can't see the difference between a publisher and a distributor.

It's very easy to understand distributors do not fund development. Letting Deep Silver handle distribution, and QA means inXile gets to make a better game.

Then you have the segment who see no reason for a physical copy that I have to laugh at them. Keep up the good work internet you never fail to amuse me.

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July 12th, 2013, 09:44
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I like how the game turned out but this announcement has stated a huge uproar among backers, and the internet. Many can't see the difference between a publisher and a distributor.

It's very easy to understand distributors do not fund development. Letting Deep Silver handle distribution, and QA means inXile gets to make a better game.

Then you have the segment who see no reason for a physical copy that I have to laugh at them. Keep up the good work internet you never fail to amuse me.
Yeah wow there is some intense stupid emanating from some of the backer comments.
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July 12th, 2013, 16:20
From what I see, the majority of backers don't have their heads up their asses and are able to see the logistical and infrastructure problems with the production of physical goods within a software development studio…

As for the others, well, hopefully they don't get around to procreating while they're being ignored.
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July 12th, 2013, 16:37
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
From what I see, the majority of backers don't have their heads up their asses and are able to see the logistical and infrastructure problems with the production of physical goods within a software development studio…

As for the others, well, hopefully they don't get around to procreating while they're being ignored.
Well yeah that's why I used the qualifier "some." I wonder how many are trolling and how many are just seriously confused and/or deranged.
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July 12th, 2013, 17:41
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
They don't say they have a new version of the gameplay video, but a new version of the HUD. They use a bit of a run-on sentence to do so though.
Okay yeah, I need to stop skipping text.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I like how the game turned out but this announcement has stated a huge uproar among backers, and the internet. Many can't see the difference between a publisher and a distributor.

It's very easy to understand distributors do not fund development. Letting Deep Silver handle distribution, and QA means inXile gets to make a better game.
This really shouldn't be a problem. It's cheaper for a company that specializes in physical distribution to perform that task, and doing so leaves more money available for game development.
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July 12th, 2013, 18:24
The press normally does not make a difference between the role a company plays in the production chain and their main operations. They often do not use the term correctly. So everyone just thinks they are a publisher so when they distribute the game they also have to be the publisher for it. Having said that, I can't remember any good press article in years, that explains in detail how a game gets finished from gold master and shipped for retail.

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July 12th, 2013, 18:58
IGN: The Economics of Game Publishing
A look at the costs that go into making videogames.
by Ralph Edwards (2006)

link


Once upon a time, not really all that long ago, it was fairly common for a game to be concepted, designed and developed by an individual or a small group of individuals with little to no budget to speak of. However, this has all changed thanks to the ever-increasing power of the newer generation of consoles that have more computing power, memory and disc space for developers to use, as well as the greater need to spend more money on marketing and getting licenses for these games to help ensure the titles sell to make it all worth a publisher's effort. Games cost a lot of money to make and, now more than ever, they need to sell as many copies as possible to help recoup the costs of publishing it. In this article, we'll give you an inside look at where all the money goes when trying to get a game from a concept to one that you're playing at home.

Development

The most important component, however not necessarily the most costly, of publishing a game is the handling of its development. According to a non-scientific poll of publishers, the costs of developing games for the next-generation of consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 is estimated to be roughly $10 million as compared to $3-$5 million for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube.

A large portion of this cost goes to paying the talent that's making the games - the programmers, artists, musicians, designers, producers, and testers. And with the size of teams required to make games for the newer consoles doubling when compared to the previous generation, particularly with the number of modelers, animators, and other artists now needed, you can see why the cost of development keeps making significant jumps for each subsequent new generation of consoles.

In cases where the game is being developed by an outside company for a publisher, the publisher typically advances the development costs to the developer in the form of milestone payments that are paid at various predetermined stages of the game's development. Additionally, the publisher will also have to pay the developer royalties for the game based on a percentage of the net sales revenue of the game after deductions, such as taxes, shipping, insurance, and returns. This royalty percentage varies greatly within the industry and deals will often include step ups in rates based on hitting certain sales goals or milestones. Based on our independent research, the typical royalty is anywhere from 10% to 20%.

Because of this and the need to try and cut costs wherever possible, larger publishers have started to buy up a lot of the smaller development studios so that the games can essentially be made in-house and the paying of royalties is no longer needed. Publishing label deals are also made where the publisher and developer actually split some of the costs of development and marketing of the game.

Licensing


The next area where money is spent in publishing a game is with licensing - both licensing the game to be released on a console and the licensing of intellectual properties for use in the game.

The first, console licensing, is a step that can't be avoided when publishing games on videogame consoles such as the Xbox 360, PS3, Revolution, and so on. In order to release a game on any of these videogame consoles, the publisher must pay a royalty to the manufacture, whether Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, for distributing a game on their system.

And as part of the deal, the game must also meet with all of the strict quality standards and guidelines as set by the manufacturer for it to be approved and released. The exact licensing fee varies based on the manufacturer, as well as any deals they may give a publisher, but it can generally be anywhere from $3 to $10 per unit.

Games published by any of the big three console makes obviously don't accrue this licensing fee, so that's why they're often able to release their games at a slightly lower cost than 3rd party publishers.

The other form of licensing has to do with the purchasing of or paying for the right to use intellectual properties such as stories, characters, music, personalities, or products in the game. This includes things such as paying the NBA for the right to use its official teams and logs in games like 2K Sports' NBA 2K6 and EA Sports' NBA Live 2006, as well as Activision paying Tony Hawk for the exclusive right to use his name and likeness in the Tony Hawk games and paying royalties to any of the music artists for using their songs in the game.

With companies needing games to sell more copies than ever before, thanks to the increased costs of developing them and the fact that the base price for games still remains relatively unchanged from 5 or even 10 years ago, many see the instant name recognition that they get by licensing a well-know intellectual property such as James Bond, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, or X-Men, as a safe way to help guarantee some sales.

All that said, with the owners of these properties knowing their importance, it's becoming even more expensive to obtain their exclusive rights so there's still plenty of reasons for companies to try and create their own characters and properties and hope to they become household names.

Marketing

Often the most expensive aspect of game publishing comes in the form of marketing the game. This process happens all throughout the development process and often lasts after the game is shipped. It includes all the buying of advertising in the form of banner ads and promotions online, television commercials, local radio commercials, magazine print ads and pullouts, and in-store promotions, displays and advertisements.

The costs of doing all this is extremely high and it's quite common for a game's marketing budget to equal or even double the actual cost of making the game. Obviously, the most costly of these is the television advertisements, but it's also regarded as the most effective at getting your game in the minds of the mass market public.

Distribution


The final cost of publishing a game that we'll delve into is the distribution of the game, and that's the process of getting the game sold to wholesalers and then to retailers where you'll then have a chance to buy it. Wholesalers typically pay around $30 per game and with the costs of getting the goods to the wholesalers, any co-op advertising or marketing, and return of good contingencies being roughly $14 per game, the publisher is going to typically get $16 for every unit sold. The key part of this arrangement, however, is for the publisher to have really good relationships with the wholesalers and retailers because space is limited and unless a company's relationship is good, the wholesaler or retailers won't want to buy-in as many units, which means the sell-through can't be as good. A lot of time, money and effort is put into making sure publishers are in good with these distributors, however the bottom line is often that if your game sells they'll want to buy it. Or, if at least one of your games sells really well, then they'll want to buy or be forced to buy others.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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July 13th, 2013, 23:47
Thx. Nice read, even after seven years.

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