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In response to "Playing the Spread" from The Escapist Forum: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love seeing some analysis with more than a selective dash of math thrown in to support the assertions. I think it's because I'm an engineer.
Overall, I'm inclined to agree with your conclusions. In the private sector as a whole there seems to be an overemphasis on short-term returns - when a company's quarterly figures are announced, they're generally compared to the preceding quarter and the pervious year's time-equivalent quarter... and that's it, at least as far as investors are concerned. The pressure to perform on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis lends itself to some questionable decisions, in my opinion.
Things look a LOT better for internal IP when you rule out both sports licenses and kids licenses - two exceptions that make a lot of sense to pursue for publishers. The particular licenses I think the game industry relies too much on are the Hollywood licenses. I've done a lot of research on Hollywood licenses versus internal IP (as you call it), and internal IP wins hands down, year after year after year, if you look at the top 20 charts each year.
Brash Entertainment has no chance in the game industry, because most Hollywood licenses do not have the stuff to becomes games. And by "stuff," I mean inherently unique and compelling gameplay mechanics. Spider-Man works beautifully as a game, because it has two things that translate into unique, compelling gameplay: wall crawling and web-slinging/swinging. Star Wars, too, makes for a great cross-media IP, because it brings to the game industry the force and the light saber, not to mention a deep storyverse ripe with possibilities. But, really, most Hollywood licenses lack uniquely compelling gameplay crossover potential. Brash will soon discover this.
- Scott Miller, 3D Realms
In response to "Xbox Repairs to Cost Microsoft One Billion Dollars" from The Escapist Daily: A 3-year warranty won't persuade me to buy a defective console. I'll hold off until they come out with their redesign. However, the 3 year extension is a nice gesture to existing owners. It's a good thing Microsoft doesn't have to worry about, you know... money.
As much as I admire microsoft for fronting up to help the people they've screwed over with shoddy hardware, it doesn't change the fact that they screwed people over with shoddy hardware.
It shouldn't take such a massive percentage of failure for microsoft to admit that a one year warranty wasn't quite long enough. If the failure rate was lower, then anyone who's system broke after a year plus a day would be out of pocket, just to continue playing games on microsofts system and in turn continue giving them money.
While I will admit that nintendo's old lifetime warranty was a little over the top, it certainly wasnt unjustified. 15 year old nintendo hardware still works in the majority of cases.
If hardware companies expect a certain lifetime out of a console, they should be willing to keep that console running for that length of time with no extra cost to the consumer.
Next xbox expected to come out 5 years after the 360? Give the 360 a 5 year warranty.
PS3 is a 10 year console? Give it a 10 year warranty.
This is simple. Stop making consumers pay for your mistakes.
In Response to "When Story Gets in the Way" from The Escapist Daily:I suppose that much like great films, it will be up to the player to interpretate the messages.
Having a solid story, but without taking the player by the hand, and offering alternative viewpoints regarding his actions, would make for a smarter experience, and ultimately, one that could be accepted by most.
You can play the bad, but as long as doing so raises questions, or as long as you understand the drama that fuels the fate that unfolds, I think (back)stories can get even more engaged than now.
I think that a more mature medium would actually aim at more intelligent ambiguity.
Of course, it is possible that the author would restrain the ambiguity within certain boundaries which may not strike a cord to everybody. But at least, like films, you would be clearfully offered the possibility to come with your own interpretation of the events.
As long as the story is good, really, and doesn't pretend to school you, that is.