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Default Non-RPG General News - Are AAA games really failing?

January 5th, 2017, 14:30
Lol, I seriously doubt game production will cease anytime in the near future. Some suits decide to go make a living elsewhere? Bye, have a nice lunch.
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January 5th, 2017, 14:54
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Lol, I seriously doubt game production will cease anytime in the near future. Some suits decide to go make a living elsewhere? Bye, have a nice lunch.
Thanks, so nice of you to be thinking of us non-suit guys who rely on our day jobs in the games industry to feed our families

But I guess you don't really care, as long as you keep your steady stream of bargain bin games?
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January 5th, 2017, 18:44
Too many good games, big expectations on content etc all that stuff fail to take into account that vid products are not meant to be played.

People stack up vid products, they have a huge backlog. They want to own, not to play.

With this behaviour, the quality of a vid product does not matter, good or bad, buggy or clean, empty or full of content, it cant matter.

Any product that intents to be different by its quality is penalized: it means nothing to provide a quality product to people who are not going to use it.


It is certainly not the end of AAA products (in terms of large investments) but they will be sold on a different ground, to account that players do not play, they hoard.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
There is huge competition in the gaming sector so we should get cheaper and better games. Is that not the natural evolution of things with increased competition?
Obviously not.
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January 5th, 2017, 21:31
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
Thanks, so nice of you to be thinking of us non-suit guys who rely on our day jobs in the games industry to feed our families

But I guess you don't really care, as long as you keep your steady stream of bargain bin games?
Did you care when everyone lost their jobs when Woolworths closed down? Or did you just go shopping a Walmart instead?

I don't buy games based on the number of desk jockeys they keep employed, I buy games based on whether they tickle my fancy. More often than not, the more desk jockeys a game employs the less likely I am to like it, because in orser to feed all those desk jockeys they have to make it so dumbed down and all-inclusive that I'd rather give up the hobby than merely "supply charity".
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January 5th, 2017, 21:32
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Too many good games, big expectations on content etc all that stuff fail to take into account that vid products are not meant to be played.

People stack up vid products, they have a huge backlog. They want to own, not to play.

With this behaviour, the quality of a vid product does not matter, good or bad, buggy or clean, empty or full of content, it cant matter.

Any product that intents to be different by its quality is penalized: it means nothing to provide a quality product to people who are not going to use it.


It is certainly not the end of AAA products (in terms of large investments) but they will be sold on a different ground, to account that players do not play, they hoard.
Speak for yourself!
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January 6th, 2017, 08:09
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Did you care when everyone lost their jobs when Woolworths closed down? Or did you just go shopping a Walmart instead?
I'm not holding you, or any other consumer, responsible. We, meaning the games industry as a whole, are the ones putting all those games out and keep offering them too quickly at a discounted price. So yeah, we're causing the problems for ourselves. That's why I put the smiley in my post.

My previous comments are more a general reflection on whether or not this price model is sustainable - and ultimately a good thing for the gamers.

That being said, believe it or not - I actually do generally sympathize with people who are in risk of loosing their jobs. I would at least never make such cynical and indifferent comments on it…

Anyways, I don't expect anybody to NOT make good use of all the offers that are available on games. Of course people are buying as cheap as possible, I often do that myself.

But if you guys have a small handful of favorite companies that you really like (for my own part that would include companies such as Piranha, Arkane, CDRed and more) - then it might not be a bad idea to buy their products at full price. Because otherwise - before we know it - they could be gone.
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January 6th, 2017, 09:13
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Speak for yourself!
The signature should remove the possibility.
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January 6th, 2017, 14:34
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
So combined:
- People have become extremely cheap, and will wait until a game is $20 before buying
- They expect tons of polished and complicated content
- They complain more about bugs. And with the Internet it's easy to be extremely vocal..

In my opinion we're busy killing off our own hobby with our unrealistic expectations…
Are you an employee of some publisher or studio? Your post is completely wrong.

- Is it players fault that publishers often invest more money into PR and NOT into the game itself??? Did they forced publishers to throw away so much money in that way??
- Is it players' fault that there is very big exaggerate hype only for few selected AAA while many other big titles have hard time despite decent PR?
- Is it players' fault that big publishers buy selected pre-release reviews in order to make false image of the title and in the end harm the whole genre? And if its not just my idea - its also idea of veteran developer SWEN VINCKE.
- Is it players' fault that big studios needs hundreds of developers so the cost is extreme? Nowadays we can see that small indie teams are able to produce pretty impressive graphics too with minimal cost. Even moderate teams like Warhorse (around 80 devs I think) are still far from hundreds of devs and yet they can produce impressive graphics and (at least) interesting game systems and game world. Otherside Ent should be moderate or small team too (Underworld Ascendant, System Shock remake..). Reset has impressive graphics and just 2 devs! Larian is moderate team. Etc… there are more indie teams like that. (and NO I dont say that all big titles could or should be done in 2 or 5 ppl… thats why I mentioned moderate size teams with reasonable budget)
- Is it players' fault that big publishers force devs to release very buggy games (because of business interests and set dates)?
- Do you think that players should be pretty much silent about bugs and dont criticise too much? Do you think that it will help our hobby?
- And sorry for that but… Is it players' fault that you seem like you are either uninformed or you lost your mind?
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January 6th, 2017, 15:56
Meh, people read way too much into it. The big games and studios aren't failing at all. The few examples mentioned were predictable, as they are following hyped up predecessors that failed to deliver (but made money, so the publishers thought it was fine).

The only real exception to that rule is Battleborn, which went head-to-head with Overwatch (by Blizzard). That's a losing battle from the start, which is simply an unfortunate truth for the developers and publishers behind the game (they probably started the development before Overwatch was even announced, so it was simply bad timing).

The only real problem I see here is that we might get a situation similar to the movie industry: The costs of producing each movie/game is so high, that the few people who can afford to make one will always go for the "safe bet" (Avengers #38: "Iron Man has an attitude problem", Star Wars #17: "The latest return of some Jedi intent on blowing up the latest iteration of the Death Star", and so on).
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January 6th, 2017, 17:02
This was a nice thread to read while I wait for TES VI and Fallout 5
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January 7th, 2017, 08:08
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
Your post is completely wrong.

… Is it players' fault that you seem like you are either uninformed or you lost your mind?
Impressive rant….

Entirely predictable, but the snippets I left in my quote above indicates that I should probably not invest too much time in trying to reply to your actual questions.

So let me turn it around. It seems to me that you are indicating that you have the full understanding how all this works - what's your professional involvement in the games industry btw?

In that case, please explain to me how the business case works where we have:

- an 80 man team
- selling for $20 per unit
- AAA production quality

I'm looking for an explanation of: how much would we make (actual $) per sold unit, how many units could we reasonably expect to sell, what would the salaries be (including running cost of the studio etc etc), what should we spend on outsourcing and marketing. How long would the production time be? How much money could we expect to make on the project?

When you give me these numbers, which I guess should be easy enough for you to give me (just a ball park), then we can look and see if such as model is possible to pull off.

I'm sure that since you went so far as to call me uninformed (even out of my mind) you'll already have an answer to all of the above in mind. It would be kind of ironical otherwise, wouldn't it?
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January 7th, 2017, 10:18
Seems like the same thing that happened to the music industry when modern tech hit. I know of single tracks that cost $500,000+ to cut in a studio session in the '70s. Nowadays you can do it in your bedroom. It is what it is. Things evolve and creative people will figure it out. Meanwhile I'll be playing a bunch of great RPGs…
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January 7th, 2017, 11:58
Meh. I think for each of those AAA titles that failed according to that list, it's quite understandable why they failed. There isn't really much of a mystery there, and there's no reason to go into the debate over prices of AAA videogames over this.
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January 7th, 2017, 15:45
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
Impressive rant….
Thanks. I take it as compliment.

Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
Entirely predictable,
Well if its so predictable why didnt you try to deal with some of these issues in your old post? Maybe it that case I wouldnt write my reaction.

Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
but the snippets I left in my quote above indicates that I should probably not invest too much time in trying to reply to your actual questions.
If you omit every argument/question in someone's post and leave only the least important sentences in in your quote it indicates something about you in the first place. And if someone tries to run off the topic I'm not interested to continue.

Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
It seems to me that you are indicating that you have the full understanding how all this works
There is nothing like that in my post. I think its not really hard to see that I mentioned some "small issues" you somehow forgot in your rant about players.

Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
I'm sure that since you went so far as to call me uninformed (even out of my mind) you'll already have an answer to all of the above in mind. It would be kind of ironical otherwise, wouldn't it?
If you would read as carefully as you wrote your essay about sold units you would notice that I wrote "you seem like you are…". I dont know. That was just my personal impression. But If you think you are really uninformed then I wont argue with that. You should know yourself better.
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January 7th, 2017, 16:55
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
If you omit every argument/question in someone's post and leave only the least important sentences in in your quote it indicates something about you in the first place. And if someone tries to run off the topic I'm not interested to continue.
Nice dodge! And as expected you do not seem to have an answer to any of my questions

But to be fair - there are many of the points in your list that is true enough. I wouldn't have minded discussing these things, but when you wrap them with such an opening and ending statement I admit I took offence. If that's not how you intended your post to come out then I have no problem discussing those points..

That being said, I fail to see how they relate or disprove the point I was making - that perhaps we're currently paying too little for our games, which might cause some of the financial problems some studios are currently facing. High marketing costs or not, I'll still argue that it's not feasible to develop a AAA game with a targeted price point of $20. Even $50 is not that easy to make a healthy business case from. That's all I'm saying
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January 7th, 2017, 18:32
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post

That being said, I fail to see how they relate or disprove the point I was making - that perhaps we're currently paying too little for our games, which might cause some of the financial problems some studios are currently facing. High marketing costs or not, I'll still argue that it's not feasible to develop a AAA game with a targeted price point of $20. Even $50 is not that easy to make a healthy business case from. That's all I'm saying
Ultimately its the market, itself, that determines what a game is worth. If the price of a particular game exceeds the value perceived by the gamer market, as a whole, then there's a problem, or at least less of a success for that particular game.

Just looking at price, and value, as applied to a single gamer may not be the right way to go in the current times. A huge and very important question is how many copies get sold? Half a million? One million? Two million? Five million or more?

Sales exceeding several million copies is a very real possibility and is very much happening in the case of many games, these days. But those big sales numbers only happen when gamers perceive they're getting more than their money's worth. More hours of game; better immersion and graphics; well thought out and immersive game play. When gamers perceive game value exceeds game price, those big numbers can happen.

IMO current market dynamics do offer extremely big and very positive opportunities for devs and publishers, in the case of high value games -- the Witcher 3 games, the GTA games, the Fallouts and Skyrims. Give 'em everything you promise and more and sales numbers can be staggeringly great. Give 'em less than they expect and sales numbers can be devastating.

The market is what it is. The game development game is how to best take advantage of current market structure and what it offers. Easier said than done; obviously. But there are strategies that can succeed.

Regards,

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January 7th, 2017, 19:38
Shorter version:

In a video game market dominated by bargains and bargain bins, developers and publishers can succeed by making a profit from bargain bin mass marketing; or from mass marketing video games that are bargains at full AAA pricing.

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January 7th, 2017, 19:57
Originally Posted by RPGFool View Post
But those big sales numbers only happen when gamers perceive they're getting more than their money's worth. More hours of game; better immersion and graphics; well thought out and immersive game play. When gamers perceive game value exceeds game price, those big numbers can happen.
Dogmatic speech at work.

Players have a backlog, they keep buying products, they do not play products.
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January 11th, 2017, 10:11
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
That being said, I fail to see how they relate or disprove the point I was making - that perhaps we're currently paying too little for our games, which might cause some of the financial problems some studios are currently facing. High marketing costs or not, I'll still argue that it's not feasible to develop a AAA game with a targeted price point of $20. Even $50 is not that easy to make a healthy business case from. That's all I'm saying
Has it ever occurred to you that the number of people the AAA games appeal to isn't actually "all the people who own computers and play games on them"?

The crux of everything the AAA market stands for is perpetually increased system requirements year-on-year. Better graphics mean more system requirements, it's that simple. When a new game comes out from the AAA orifice, the first thing a lot of dedictaed gamers will think is not "is this an ok game?", but "is this game worth spending $1000 on a new system?"

So when you say $50 is already quite cheap for a new AAA game, you might be technically correct, however… it wouldn't cost someone like me $50 to play said game, it would cost me $1050 at the very least, as I would have to upgrade my entire hardware to play it.

Games like Skyrim, Witcher 3, Bloodborne etc are the kind of games where people think "OMG, I so want to play that" and this feeling will be numerous enough to provide enough sales. However, just because something is AAA doesn't mean it will have that kind of appeal. People may have paid $1050 to play Witcher 3, but that doesn't mean they'll then be hoovering up AAA games just because they can.

AAA, for all its mass appeal philosophy, is already selling to a niche whatever its content, the niche of people who upgrade every year. It's not a mass audience in the first place. And then, from that position, it has to actually appeal to a large proportion of that niche to even break even. I'm personally amazed any of them sell enough to make a profit, the entire structure of the process screams of impossibility.

If you actually wanted to appeal to the real mass market then you'd make games that could be played on as many systems as possible… you know, like Stardew Valley, Undertale, Minecraft.

The whole idea that AAA is scared of innovation because it spends so much money on producing a product and therefore has to dumb down games in order to appeal o as many people as possible is all so much of an ironic joke when you consider the AAA market isn't even a mass market in the first place, it's a very specific niche, and niches have very specific requirements, requirements that usually have very little to do with mass tastes.
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January 11th, 2017, 12:37
On this account, AAA products can not come to the console market.
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