Editor's Note: State of the Industry

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State of the Industry

The videogame industry is utterly screwed, and it's all your fault - but don't feel too bad about that, because that's how it should be.

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Fantastic! Am really looking forward to delving into this week's edition.

Gonna go buy me a Zeebo then.

Wow. That's.... quite bad indeed, i guess. Also, I had some minor problems understanding if parts of the text were written sarcastically, or just angrily...but then again, English isn't my base language, so i might have just misinterpreted it.
"Developers are now being forced into contracts stating they will not get paid if their "meta-average" does not hit a certain percentage point."
Aw, come on. This cannot be right. Or was this a joke? Cause if this is true, it's just plain retarded. And really depressing.

This article is so angry I'm not sure if it's sattire or not. Great read either way.

Probably the main reason why I do not want to work in the mainstream industry at the moment. It's too damn volatile on every level right now. For now I would rather just work in the software industry in a non-games job with better job security, better pay, and better benefits than to work in a studio that may or may not get shut down because the game didn't do so well.

At the end of the day I can still come home to work on my own personal development as I please. Sure it's slow and I don't have access to much in terms of personnel or tools, but the simple truth remains: I love what I do and I can easily support myself as I do it.

I gotta agree with you there Russ. Gamers today (yes, all gamers) are a bunch of entitled twatdonkeys (this includes me).

Great read.

Russ Pitts:
article

And in all due respect though sir, the industry isn't 'fucked', its 'enourmous'. This is what happenes when things grow. You get more people to please, more difficulties that come with it, more people looking for their cut...

Things were simple in say, the nes days, because pretty much the entire market was children, so all you had to was please kids, who weren't demanding graphical leaps and major technical and story telling innovations that grow yearly, and market to parents, who only really cared about pacifying their kids. But now you've got pretty much every demographic covered, and like they say, you can please some of the people some of the time...

It'd be interesting to compare this to the state of movies today. How are game companies any worse off than movie studios? Don't they have to deal with most of these same demands?

Don't visit metacritic, i don't buy the shit that's made today, i don't use gamestop, but i do love to grumble in front of the fireplace about how fucked the industry is.

Yeah, all the amazing video games on my shelf and a never before imagined network available for indie developers to create and distribute their creative works with incredible ease sure is fucked.

/sarcasm

oooooh kay.....

so is this serious or satire? I guess a little of both

not exactally pleasant eather way :(

I'm sorry that it is my fault the game industry is fucked. I'll be better.

This is my favorite Editor's Note ever.

I <3 you Russ

can't wait to read this week's articles!

While I agree with most of your sentiments, Russ, I'm saddened to hear you knock on Gamestop and used games. I expect to read publishers whining about First Sale Doctrine, but am surprised coming from you guys.

The fact that I can turn around and sell my game (or loan it to a friend) should be incentive to publishers to make games with replayability. First Sale has been a fact of business in the US for more than 100 years now and a cornerstone of consumers' rights. What would be the results if customers could not resell, trade or loan their games? Think about it.

I like Steam, but I will never pay full price for a game there simply because I have no such rights.

Edit - to be clear, I can't remember the last time I sold a game, but am constantly trading them with my friends and loaning them out.

I'm also not sure if this is supposed to be taken seriously, as a satire, or both maybe. I do hope you're not saying we should stop having fun for the sake of trying new things. Even tho I really could not dislike games like COD or Battlefield more, if so many people are having fun with it, I don't see why I should stop them from playing it. They like those type of games, I like story based games, with character development, good writing and all that jazz. To each his own I guess (well I like both really, but I'll take a good story over anything any day).

Like there are good books and recycled ones, same for movies, I'm pretty sure the gaming industry can go on with a mix of creativity and (eco friendly) recycling.

There are definitely issues with the current business model of the gaming industry, I won't repeat them as you pretty much summed them up.

What I will say is that developers are trying to make brilliant games, and part of that is making games the public likes. Most people do not want hundreds of Vangers, totally unique but completely in-accessible. The gaming industry learnt that lesson, good or bad, back in the 90s.

If anything the increasing focus around DLC is giving developers that want to be quirky like Double Fine a chance to make money while doing exactly what they want.

Indie gaming is thriving, even as commercial games are being mass produced with 100 staff doing what 10 used to just to get all those added features in that the reviewers will love. At the same time the patch crutch and publishers pushing release dates is undermining that expense.

But hey, a few bad examples don't make a rule. Look at Blizzard, since when have they cared about release dates....

Video game industry meet Record industry. The comparison is so obvious from a business sense it is hardly worth mentioning. It's worth nothing though that for every Ke$ha, there are 1,000 indie/metal bands who are doing it for the love of music, not to make a huge profit. Sure, they'd like to eat and try get their name out there but so would I in there position.

You cannot tell me that the 80,000 registered bands with recorded material on Metal Archives are an irrelevant figure next to EMI's latest cash cow.

Russ pitts that was fucking hardcore.

good read.

I'll say what I said back when Jim wrote an article like this: the industry can suck it. If the only way the video game industry survives is by my paying hundreds of dollars a month buying crap I don't like and never expected to like, then the industry can crash and burn for all I care.

In all likelihood it would herald a new golden age of independent developers and a whole new reason to spend more money on good, interesting and innovative games (with lower graphical standards, sure, but probably more fun).

Russ is doing his Jekyll and Hyde thing again eh? Just like with with New Vegas.

Yawn.

EDIT: Why do people think this (the article) is sarcastic? I'll bet a dollar it isn't.

Okay, after typing all that, having a cup of coffee, a smoke, and reflecting on all this...

I think this is directed to the people here who bitch about the gaming industry. Being as I think the gaming industry is better than it ever has been, I am having a hard time relating to what was said in this article. But I hope the people who are upset, read this article, and then think twice about how they really feel about the industry. Then act accordingly.

Good read Russ, thanks.

Well that's just.....even more fitting. I just read the new PSN news and just
barely didn't become suicidal.
So the whole industry is fucked then? Well at least that could change...maybe.
Until then, at least I`m not alone. Misery loves company, right?
There is always Hope....until death.

Though the argument is made for DLC, really...when I think of the 'average consumer' of just about anything (even outside just videogames) I can't help but think of this clip.

Fucked is about right, yep.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who was confused about the level of sarcasm or non-sarcasm in this.

Kick ass, Russ. Kick. Ass.

We can tell Russ is being serious because he said "fuck". Just like Aria in Mass Effect 2! There is no more mature way showing you fucking mean business than by saying the naughtiest of curses. As soon as you hear "fuck", you know - yeah - he's hardcore. You shouldn't fuck with Russ Pitts.

You can tell I'm not being serious because I'm making a positive comparison with BioWare writing. I'm sure they agonized over how to communicate to the player how much of a bad-ass Aria is. Then someone made the fateful realization that bad-asses say "fuck", and the rest - as they say - is history.

Comedians in the 90s also realized that people get a thrill form hearing words they weren't allowed to say as kids.

So can we move past this now?

Russ Pitts:

The videogame industry is utterly screwed, and it's all your fault.

No it's not my fault! It's your fault!

Blame it on Russ people!

And run away, 'cause he's angry.

Brainst0rm:
We can tell Russ is being serious because he said "fuck". Just like Aria in Mass Effect 2! There is no more mature way showing you fucking mean business than by saying the naughtiest of curses. As soon as you hear "fuck", you know - yeah - he's hardcore. You shouldn't fuck with Russ Pitts.

You can tell I'm not being serious because I'm making a positive comparison with BioWare writing. I'm sure they agonized over how to communicate to the player how much of a bad-ass Aria is. Then someone made the fateful realization that bad-asses say "fuck", and the rest - as they say - is history.

Comedians in the 90s also realized that people get a thrill form hearing words they weren't allowed to say as kids.

So can we move past this now?

(inregards to ME2) oh come on...it was like one time and it was just for a little impact its not like she was throwing f bombs around and it was acceptible for her charachter (and I thourght it was kinda funny)

I mean the word was only said like....5 times (or less?) in the enitre game

Many of these reasons are why it is now my life goal to become decadently wealthy and start up a not for profit gaming company that throws millions of dollars at video game production with the sole goal of making a fun game.

Screw the profits, no shareholders or greedy CEOs allowed. I'm going to be in it for the good of the game.

I can dream, can't I?

I would have to agree with your point about Steam. Steam is a really good service mind you because you can get really good games for a low price, take Magicka as my point. However the biggest problem I have is the ridiculous DRM they've got on the games. I've got a 10 year old brother who really loves the game (thanks to Yogscast an Totalbiscuit) and would love to play multiplayer with me.

What gets me is that even though I own the game I can't play it on multiple pc's whereas if I was to buy a game from a retailer I could install it on multiple pc's and play multiplayer on LAN. Also it means making a second Steam account if I want to play games like Magicka online which is a pain in my opinion so yeah...it's pretty fucked!

meganmeave:
Many of these reasons are why it is now my life goal to become decadently wealthy and start up a not for profit gaming company that throws millions of dollars at video game production with the sole goal of making a fun game.

Screw the profits, no shareholders or greedy CEOs allowed. I'm going to be in it for the good of the game.

I can dream, can't I?

( weeping ) : ( Thats beautiful.
But according to this article,
your F@#ked out of luck.
: ) Still, its a nice dream. I hope you can.

meganmeave:
Many of these reasons are why it is now my life goal to become decadently wealthy and start up a not for profit gaming company that throws millions of dollars at video game production with the sole goal of making a fun game.

Screw the profits, no shareholders or greedy CEOs allowed. I'm going to be in it for the good of the game.

I can dream, can't I?

Well, CD Projekt Red seems to be doing that. At least according to this little message hidden in their first trailer:

Seems they're using money as a means to make great games. While most of the other publishers are using games as a means to make money. Yes they need money to survive, but its not their main goal.

After all, humans need food to survive, but you don't live solely to eat, do you?

Pretty good letter.

"They're wedged in between publishing companies that are essentially lending banks with their hands on the controls of all distribution, consumers who don't give a rat's ass who made the game so long as they're good and cheap and journalists who alternately want to make names for themselves by crapping all over their hard work and applying for jobs at the developers they're crapping on. "

Pure Gold ^^^

Sunder845:
This article is so angry I'm not sure if it's sattire or not. Great read either way.

Satire is usually angry. Very few satirists are pleased with the things they are satirising.

Aureliano:
I'll say what I said back when Jim wrote an article like this: the industry can suck it. If the only way the video game industry survives is by my paying hundreds of dollars a month buying crap I don't like and never expected to like, then the industry can crash and burn for all I care.

In all likelihood it would herald a new golden age of independent developers and a whole new reason to spend more money on good, interesting and innovative games (with lower graphical standards, sure, but probably more fun).

Or the end of the industry forever. Also "New Golden Age"? I'll wait for a Golden Age to be a Golden Age while it's happening. Every Golden Age is a Golden Age in retrospect which simply means people only remember the best parts and ignore everything else.

Bostur:
And why should games be considered different than every other piece of intellectual property? Why is it morally wrong to sell second hand games, but perfectly ok to sell second hand books or second hand CDs? The only reason I can think of is because the games industry got so spoiled that they want special treatment constantly.
I suppose now I'm also a prick just because I choose to play my old games once in a while instead of buying new ones.

For every dollar it takes to make a book or album it probably takes 100 for a game. Are you that deluded that you think one guy creating a book is the exact same as an entire company making a game?

So this crowd of millions of players are all identical and should commit ritual suicide for our crimes against gaming?

And why should games be considered different than every other piece of intellectual property? Why is it morally wrong to sell second hand games, but perfectly ok to sell second hand books or second hand CDs? The only reason I can think of is because the games industry got so spoiled that they want special treatment constantly.
I suppose now I'm also a prick just because I choose to play my old games once in a while instead of buying new ones.

I am so sick of being blamed as a customer for lousy quality products. Who made those products? I certainly didn't and it's not like I have much of a choice in terms of the selection. If the store only sells junk, don't blame the customer for buying it.

matrix3509:
I gotta agree with you there Russ. Gamers today (yes, all gamers) are a bunch of entitled twatdonkeys (this includes me).

Nah not everyone is like that. You can easily identify the entitled twatdonkeys though, they live off throwing around the phrase 'dumbed down'.

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