Jimquisition: How Skyrim Proves The Industry Wrong

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vivster:

it's an open world game for at least 50+ hours...

That was one of his points. He said it right in the video. Give gamers lots of gameplay and they'll keep their games.

of course it doesn't need an online mode

Tell that to Bioware who are shoe horning in multiplayer everywhere these days it seems. The point wasn't no game should have multiplayer it was that not all games need it to survive. Which, as the example of Biohock that he cites, proves some devs do think that way.

and of course because it does not need an online pass because there is no such thing as server fees

Online pass also refers to the codes for day one DLC.

where do you come from to assume that any of that can say anything about any other game?

I imagine all the other deep narrative driven games doing the things Jim talked about probably had something to do with it.

what are we comparing next?
minesweeper to assassin's creed?

Well I've never been locked out of a game of minesweeper due to poorly handled DRM.

Does anyone think it ironic that he talks about elder scrolls being smart with DLC when they started DLC with horse armor?

Everything past the "Fus Ro Dah" was more adorable than every filly version of every pony crammed into one cute ball of d'awness.

You are truly a mysterious wonder, Mr. Sterling.

He misspoke. Instead of "if you want people to buy a game, just make a good game", I believe what he should have said was "if you want people to buy a game, start a long-running series that slowly grows a dedicated fan base by having each successive title becoming larger and utilizing more marketing, until the series has such a large fan base it can't possibly fail". Goddamn, Skyrim is not some mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone. It didn't "beat the market without being the market" because IT ALREADY WAS A PORTION OF THE MARKET. Games with multiplayer or shooter games like CoD and BF3 command a large portion of the video game market because they appeal to people who don't like locking themselves away on a game for 50+ hours. The audience for these games is so wide because it appeals to a wider base. But it will never be THE market because there'll always be the RPGers, the RTSers, and everything in between that'll clamor for more specialized games.

Look at the sales figures for it's predecessor. Oblivion took around six months to sell 3 million copies, but it didn't release a PS3 version until a year later. It's hard to tell what those figures would look like had a PS3 version been released at the same time, but a comparable equation is not what we're looking for. We looking at the fact that at least 3 million people played essentially the same game. If we assume that a great majority of those 3 million were such fans that they decided they were going to buy Skyrim when that came out, (remember we're not even counting the number of people that picked up the game in the last three other years between the two games or the PS3 customers that were included in 2007), then the fact that the game sold that many in the opening days isn't so remarkable.

TL;DR: Resounding sales figures for Skyrim is just the slow culmination of almost a decade of a growing fan base. This is not a new or original game that spat in the face of industry standards. In fact, congratulations RPGers, you've essentially become the CoD fanboys you despise so much, since this game is pretty much the RPG version of Modern Warfare 2.

roflcoptor @ the ending

Sorry for the lack of content, but "IN YOUR FACE GAME INDUSTRY! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-"

That'll be all *continues playing Skyrim*.

"You can kill dragons galore."

Why is that a selling point for a 2011 fantasy game? Congratulations Elder Scrolls, you finally included something every other fantasy RPG game has had since the beginning of video games.

Its not going to change anything.

Probably some people who tried Skyrim then were pissed that there was no rails guiding them or something.

irishda:
He misspoke. Instead of "if you want people to buy a game, just make a good game", I believe what he should have said was "if you want people to buy a game, start a long-running series that slowly grows a dedicated fan base by having each successive title becoming larger and utilizing more marketing, until the series has such a large fan base it can't possibly fail". Goddamn, Skyrim is not some mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone. It didn't "beat the market without being the market" because IT ALREADY WAS A PORTION OF THE MARKET. Games with multiplayer or shooter games like CoD and BF3 command a large portion of the video game market because they appeal to people who don't like locking themselves away on a game for 50+ hours. The audience for these games is so wide because it appeals to a wider base. But it will never be THE market because there'll always be the RPGers, the RTSers, and everything in between that'll clamor for more specialized games.

Look at the sales figures for it's predecessor. Oblivion took around six months to sell 3 million copies, but it didn't release a PS3 version until a year later. It's hard to tell what those figures would look like had a PS3 version been released at the same time, but a comparable equation is not what we're looking for. We looking at the fact that at least 3 million people played essentially the same game. If we assume that a great majority of those 3 million were such fans that they decided they were going to buy Skyrim when that came out, (remember we're not even counting the number of people that picked up the game in the last three other years between the two games or the PS3 customers that were included in 2007), then the fact that the game sold that many in the opening days isn't so remarkable.

TL;DR: Resounding sales figures for Skyrim is just the slow culmination of almost a decade of a growing fan base. This is not a new or original game that spat in the face of industry standards. In fact, congratulations RPGers, you've essentially become the CoD fanboys you despise so much, since this game is pretty much the RPG version of Modern Warfare 2.

May I direct you to minecraft? a "mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone". Like it or not, minecraft is a runaways success, is not part of a franchise did not have steller marketing or big budget. sooo..... the point stands?

Darkmantle:

irishda:

TL;DR: Resounding sales figures for Skyrim is just the slow culmination of almost a decade of a growing fan base. This is not a new or original game that spat in the face of industry standards. In fact, congratulations RPGers, you've essentially become the CoD fanboys you despise so much, since this game is pretty much the RPG version of Modern Warfare 2.

May I direct you to minecraft? a "mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone". Like it or not, minecraft is a runaways success, is not part of a franchise did not have steller marketing or big budget. sooo..... the point stands?

Minecraft is an exception, not a rule. May I direct you to Psychonauts, Okami, Eternal Darkness, No More Heroes, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, more than half of the games on XLBA and the PS Store, etc.? Occasionally, awesome games with no marketing, budget, or established fan base break through and become popular like minecraft. But more often than not, they simply whither on the shelves, and just prove game publishers right about which games they should invest in. Skyrim is a part of the problem, not a solution like minecraft at all. Besides, Jim's point was that Skyrim was a dark horse that spat in the face of convention, so no, the point still doesn't stand.

As much as I love Jim Sterling, I gotta say he looked like a complete ass at the end.

irishda:

Darkmantle:

irishda:

TL;DR: Resounding sales figures for Skyrim is just the slow culmination of almost a decade of a growing fan base. This is not a new or original game that spat in the face of industry standards. In fact, congratulations RPGers, you've essentially become the CoD fanboys you despise so much, since this game is pretty much the RPG version of Modern Warfare 2.

May I direct you to minecraft? a "mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone". Like it or not, minecraft is a runaways success, is not part of a franchise did not have steller marketing or big budget. sooo..... the point stands?

Minecraft is an exception, not a rule. May I direct you to Psychonauts, Okami, Eternal Darkness, No More Heroes, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, more than half of the games on XLBA and the PS Store, etc.? Occasionally, awesome games with no marketing, budget, or established fan base break through and become popular like minecraft. But more often than not, they simply whither on the shelves, and just prove game publishers right about which games they should invest in. Skyrim is a part of the problem, not a solution like minecraft at all. Besides, Jim's point was that Skyrim was a dark horse that spat in the face of convention, so no, the point still doesn't stand.

I would say the problem is a marketing problem. Minecraft is not surprising because it's a single player game, It's surprising because it was never marketed and still successful. Furthermore, the lack of marketing for those games may be as a direct result of this silly mentality. Publishers may not be willing to put their marketing power behind a game with no multiplayer because "only multiplayer can succeed" I don't remember seeing a single trailer for the games you listed (exception to bound in blood, but I only saw it once, then I bought the game). Skyrim had all kinds of marketing that attracted a slew of new customers, minecraft only got popular through fan marketing.

I say you should be supporting Jim in this, maybe the industry will be willing to actually MARKET the games instead of leaving them in the cold. Seems to me like the games you mentioned were expected to fail and were not given a fair shake because they committed the sin of "single player".

Darkmantle:

irishda:

Darkmantle:

May I direct you to minecraft? a "mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone". Like it or not, minecraft is a runaways success, is not part of a franchise did not have steller marketing or big budget. sooo..... the point stands?

Minecraft is an exception, not a rule. May I direct you to Psychonauts, Okami, Eternal Darkness, No More Heroes, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, more than half of the games on XLBA and the PS Store, etc.? Occasionally, awesome games with no marketing, budget, or established fan base break through and become popular like minecraft. But more often than not, they simply whither on the shelves, and just prove game publishers right about which games they should invest in. Skyrim is a part of the problem, not a solution like minecraft at all. Besides, Jim's point was that Skyrim was a dark horse that spat in the face of convention, so no, the point still doesn't stand.

I would say the problem is a marketing problem. Minecraft is not surprising because it's a single player game, It's surprising because it was never marketed and still successful. Furthermore, the lack of marketing for those games may be as a direct result of this silly mentality. Publishers may not be willing to put their marketing power behind a game with no multiplayer because "only multiplayer can succeed" I don't remember seeing a single trailer for the games you listed (exception to bound in blood, but I only saw it once, then I bought the game). Skyrim had all kinds of marketing that attracted a slew of new customers, minecraft only got popular through fan marketing.

I say you should be supporting Jim in this, maybe the industry will be willing to actually MARKET the games instead of leaving them in the cold. Seems to me like the games you mentioned were expected to fail and were not given a fair shake because they committed the sin of "single player".

Except Skyrim also didn't succeed "despite not having multiplayer", just like Minecraft isn't a surprise because it's solely single player (even though I think it does have a same server, multiple people mode). No other Bethesda RPG uses multiplayer, but that's not solely the work of Bethesda. Bioware never utilized multiplayer for their RPGs. Ubisoft didn't use multiplayer for a lot of their action adventure titles. Most rpgs don't have a multiplayer mode that isn't a sort of co-op (with the exception of Dark Souls and Demon Souls, but they integrated their multiplayer as part of the story). The industry standard that games need multiplayer was never true for many different genres. It really only applied to shooters. If Bethesda, or any company really, makes a great shooter that utilizes purely single player, that'll be a cause for celebration.

Tin Man:
But there are loads of great games released this year that haven't had online connection, but because they weren't THIS property, an Elder Scrolls game, then they didn't sell as well, despite being very popular things in their own right. Arkham City and DX:HR spring happily to my mind. Where was the fucking jubilation then?

Sheep.

- Arkham City relied on online pass activations to access the Catwoman missions in order to drive up new sale copies.
- DX:HR was also praised by Jim as he made an entire episode saying that because he was so addicted to the game that he would be back in a week to do a proper one. It's just when DX:HR was released the whole issue of online activations, passes and disc locked content was not a huge issue in his eyes. However he gave that game glowing reviews.

Robert632:
I hate his video.

It has the gal to say this 1 game proves the entire system wrong, yet barely mentions the others that have done the exact same damn thing in the last 2-3 years. It also bases it's entire argument on saying that because 1 example of a video game does what isn't generally though of as successful content yet manages to be successful, it therefore proves the entire industry wrong. To use an analogy, it's like saying all turkeys are poisonous to humans if all we have to go on that statement is 1 damn turkey killing someone by somehow containing poison. that just doesn't work. It certainly shows evidence, but not sufficient to make such a blanket claim.

Also, if I somehow missed the point of this video, someone can enlighten me if they feel like it.

The point of the video was how companies were looking toward the online aspect of gaming to appeal to the current buying habits of gamers to the point where they shoehorn multiplayer into titles that don't need them. Bioshock was a great single player FPS known for its storytelling and atmosphere and it was a shame to see them tack on a rather mediocre multilayer mode as it felt like they weren't secure about their single player campaign. Batman and Saints Row the Third fell into this trap as well as while they withheld on disc content (Catwoman missions/online modes) and were only available if you bought a brand new copy. Saints Row takes it a step further with their announcement of 3 DLC mission packs right after the game was launched as if to imply that they need to promise more content in the future in order to entice players to get their game right now.

In comes Skyrim, a MASSIVE single player game with near infinite repeatability that does NOT force its players to jump through hoops in order to access content locked away in the disc. Nor did it feel to add a multiplayer mode in order to encourage more players to buy it. Instead they focused on giving their paying customers (new or used) the FULL game experience. By industry standards this would be suicide but when it sold over millions of copies it just goes to show that treating gamers with respect and making great content will win over their wallets as well.

I've been ragging on Jimquisition before but I actually find myself agreeing most heartily in this video. He makes his point clear and states evidence that backs it up. Good work.

Nicely said about copying other games, individuality and originality beats copying something that did well.

I actually hesitate to say the entire industry has been claiming things, but on the other hand... they really are. Many of the biggest companies are shameless, promoting DRM and DLC and multiplayer and carbon-copy games over innovation and creativity. Thankfully, companies like Bethesda are around to give us something good when we need it.

bushwhacker2k:

Nicely said about copying other games, individuality and originality beats copying something that did well.

You know Skyrim is basically an amalgamation of Oblivion with some of Fallouts most liked elements right? There is literally nothing original in Skyrim. It's a great game to be sure, but original it ain't.

G-Force:

- Arkham City relied on online pass activations to access the Catwoman missions in order to drive up new sale copies.
- DX:HR was also praised by Jim as he made an entire episode saying that because he was so addicted to the game that he would be back in a week to do a proper one. It's just when DX:HR was released the whole issue of online activations, passes and disc locked content was not a huge issue in his eyes. However he gave that game glowing reviews.

I wouldn't say AC relied on online passes, that seems a bit strong. It was basically the first true DLC pack released on Day 1. Now, I'm aware that's a whole ugly topic in and of itself, and I'm not defending it, but it's hardly 'holding to ransom' needed elements of the game. A dick move, maybe, but you get a complete Batman experience without it. I would actually argue you get a better one without the Catwoman stuff. I won't go into that cause it kind of borders on spoilers to discuss it properly, but if you've played the game or just don't care, feel free to ask me what I mean and I'll happily share that view with you.

As for DE, it did indeed get a great review from Jim, and many other people, it deserves it, I think it's one of the finest games we've had in years. Easily one of the most thought out and intelligent I've ever played, despite the lacklustre boss fights and some of the dodgy plot points... But my point wasn't that Jim only has eyes for Skyrim(we're talking about the man who recently gave the latest Kirtby 10/10 lol), my point was that Deus Ex also did exactly what Skyrim has done that impresses Jim so much, i.e, DLC purely to add to an already complete and rich experience, and no bullshit along the way. Sure, a couple of neat in game weapons for the early buyers, but that's fuck all compared to what some people do, and we all know that.

But despite doing the same thing, and being a successful game(despite having a much smaller market to boot), DE wasn't even mentioned in this video, and it certainly didn't get a entire video fan wanking over it. My key point though is that Skyrim doesn't even prove anything in and of itself. It's the fifth game in a popular and influential series, with huge backing and investment. It proves that giant, established games will sell really well. Hardly a revelation is it?

miso2002:
Does anyone think it ironic that he talks about elder scrolls being smart with DLC when they started DLC with horse armor?

In the interest of keeping it real, DLC started with the Dreamcast and was free mostly, until Mechwarrior on the Xbox. Microsofts legacy in gaming is getting the ball rolling with the charging for DLC thing. And they did it four years before Oblivion shipped...

This video suprised me because of two things,

1. Jim Sterling is actually right, and made his point without an ironic twist, and
2. Jim Sterling can still go FUS ROH DAH! after nearly getting an hernia from it in podtoid 176. Dragonborn, he is not.

Tin Man:

bushwhacker2k:

Nicely said about copying other games, individuality and originality beats copying something that did well.

You know Skyrim is basically an amalgamation of Oblivion with some of Fallouts most liked elements right? There is literally nothing original in Skyrim. It's a great game to be sure, but original it ain't.

It certainly has elements of Bethesda's older games, but it's definitely different enough that it can be called a completely different game. That's something that Bethesda does in every Elder Scrolls game, it takes elements of the older games but changes enough that it can't be called a copy or unoriginal. I guess what I'm saying is that if what you're saying is to be held true then pretty much no games are original... so Skyrim is original. It DOES take elements of the other games, but it's a different game.

So, so true.

irishda:

Darkmantle:

irishda:

TL;DR: Resounding sales figures for Skyrim is just the slow culmination of almost a decade of a growing fan base. This is not a new or original game that spat in the face of industry standards. In fact, congratulations RPGers, you've essentially become the CoD fanboys you despise so much, since this game is pretty much the RPG version of Modern Warfare 2.

May I direct you to minecraft? a "mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone". Like it or not, minecraft is a runaways success, is not part of a franchise did not have steller marketing or big budget. sooo..... the point stands?

Minecraft is an exception, not a rule. May I direct you to Psychonauts, Okami, Eternal Darkness, No More Heroes, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, more than half of the games on XLBA and the PS Store, etc.? Occasionally, awesome games with no marketing, budget, or established fan base break through and become popular like minecraft. But more often than not, they simply whither on the shelves, and just prove game publishers right about which games they should invest in. Skyrim is a part of the problem, not a solution like minecraft at all. Besides, Jim's point was that Skyrim was a dark horse that spat in the face of convention, so no, the point still doesn't stand.

Dark horse or not, the market for this type of game is expanding when 3 million copies are sold in 2 days vs. 6 months. You talk as if it's the same base of bethesda gamers behind skyrim, but it's gonna make the rounds to a much wider audience this time.

People play the shit the industry shovels because they don't remember anything else. Beyond an overarching appearance of linear progression in any business, there's a cyclical behavior as to what drives a market.

Jim Sterling is an idiot. I do agree with him though, that Skyrim proved the industry wrong is certain ways, but it proved the industry 100% right in the only way that matters - that you can be unoriginal and without any innovation whatsoever and still get away with huge sales and being proclaimed by the scum of the earth as the greatest thing since Mt Dew.

Then Dark Souls turns around and proves to Bethesda that RPGs don't need to cater to the lowest common denominator to sell.

Jim Sterling has neat arguments that prove reason to his madness, but I still would never want to meet him in person.

You know, that's what I call truly great music (referring to Skyrim's main theme) - it even makes Jim's awkward laughter at the end look awesome and epic.

Before Skyrim, the industry was playing it safe by adding multiplayer so people can blame themselves for not having a good multiplayer experience (AKA You suck at having good friends to play with or even friends to begin with)

However, now thanks to Jim, the industry has found the way that single player IS the profitable. Therefore, the industry now will PLAY IT SAFE by coping Skyrim and by proxy, the fact that Skyrim story is a walking cliche that has been overdone before.

So in retrospect, Jim didnt change anything at all. The industry will do a minimal effort to make sure to use the same tiresome Tolkieneske-formula over and over.

Thanks John.....i mean Jim

Gubernaculum:
Jim Sterling is an idiot. I do agree with him though, that Skyrim proved the industry wrong is certain ways, but it proved the industry 100% right in the only way that matters - that you can be unoriginal and without any innovation whatsoever and still get away with huge sales and being proclaimed by the scum of the earth as the greatest thing since Mt Dew.

Amen

Darkmantle:

irishda:

Darkmantle:

May I direct you to minecraft? a "mystical dark horse that exploded onto the scene and surprised everyone". Like it or not, minecraft is a runaways success, is not part of a franchise did not have steller marketing or big budget. sooo..... the point stands?

Minecraft is an exception, not a rule. May I direct you to Psychonauts, Okami, Eternal Darkness, No More Heroes, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, more than half of the games on XLBA and the PS Store, etc.? Occasionally, awesome games with no marketing, budget, or established fan base break through and become popular like minecraft. But more often than not, they simply whither on the shelves, and just prove game publishers right about which games they should invest in. Skyrim is a part of the problem, not a solution like minecraft at all. Besides, Jim's point was that Skyrim was a dark horse that spat in the face of convention, so no, the point still doesn't stand.

I would say the problem is a marketing problem. Minecraft is not surprising because it's a single player game, It's surprising because it was never marketed and still successful. Furthermore, the lack of marketing for those games may be as a direct result of this silly mentality. Publishers may not be willing to put their marketing power behind a game with no multiplayer because "only multiplayer can succeed" I don't remember seeing a single trailer for the games you listed (exception to bound in blood, but I only saw it once, then I bought the game). Skyrim had all kinds of marketing that attracted a slew of new customers, minecraft only got popular through fan marketing.

I say you should be supporting Jim in this, maybe the industry will be willing to actually MARKET the games instead of leaving them in the cold. Seems to me like the games you mentioned were expected to fail and were not given a fair shake because they committed the sin of "single player".

The original Star Wars was also expected to fail. Hell, even James Earl Jones (Darth Vader voice) didnt want to appear in the credits of the first movie for what little he did.

And no, Minecraft IS a multiplayer focused game or otherwise it couldnt have the ammount of fanbase it has now. Why you ask? well its obvious that the gameplay on Survival just BEGS to have more people helping you because:

1)The game doesnt teach you crap and you need help from outside to achieve a successful first night (You need bloody Youtube to even begin to know what the game is about)

2)Making anything memorable with the blocks requires patience for resource gathering and constant revisionism with the help of more people to achieve it

Minecraft reminds me of a MMORPG and i dont say for the Enchantment crap that people keep complaining about, that is a retarded excuse for complaining. It feels that way because like a MMORPG you COULD try to kill alone the uber-sided-epic-monsters-of-the-week but it will take forever to do so, however with someones help you could do this monster and more more often and in a more satisfying way

Why do you think that people stopped playing 1.8 with the new Creative mode now? Because it was too easy, you can replace blocks with no efforts whatsoever and you dont have to suffer the consequences of having to redo all your work again and have your tools be destroyed. Why do you need people now?

irishda:

Minecraft is an exception, not a rule. May I direct you to Psychonauts, Okami, Eternal Darkness, No More Heroes, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, more than half of the games on XLBA and the PS Store....

......Legacy of Kain, Tyrian, Sacrifice, Heroes 3 of Might and Magic, IJI, Bastion, The Binding of Isaac, Grim Fandango, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, Populous, Stretch Panic, Alien Soldier, Chakan The Forever Man, Gunstar Heroes, Mischief Makers, Thunder Force IV, Messiah, MDK2, Evolva, Hyper Princess Pitch, Frozen Synapse, Blood, Turgor (The Void), God Hand, Fat Princess, Dynamite Headdy, Warzard (Red Earth), Vectorman, Killer7.............

The piano arrangement in the background is from Final Fantasy IX, called "Jesters of the Moon".
As I am a great fan of this one, I was happy to recognize it here.

Kevin Butler belongs to Sony Computer Entertainment America and since Sony didn't copy the Wii, bashing him is not really a bold move. As far as I know.
Playstation Move is way older than the Wii itself and Sony has the only claimed patent since 2004.
For further information, read this:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-the-case-for-playstation-move-article

@ Topic
Nevertheless, I would really like to see a multiplayer option for a TES game.
But the announced MMO will make that one dispensable for the creators, I'm afraid.

Heyho.

Midoryu

No mention of Modding, Jim? Odd. One of the reasons I bought Skyrim was the same as why I bought Oblivion (which I bought after finding this out from Morrowind)- I knew there'd be a rich selection of Mods coming down the pipe to change the game around in a multitude of ways, that would keep the game fresh and interesting even longer than it would be on its own. And I don't have to pay a single penny for them.

But hey, if people want to pay $15 for a handful of multiplayer maps only superficially different from what's already in the game, well....

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