Jimquisition: Breaking the Bones of Business

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So... Capitalism, ho?

There's an underlying issue, too. Piracy.

The more the Big Three will keep stuffing their games with in-app purchases and twist free-to-play into pay-twice-or-more, the more pirate groups are going to respond by releasing full editions of certain titles, complete with everything you should've paid for - free of charge.

It's a never-ending cycle, really. Publishers have to nickel-and-dime their shit because games development in the AAA circuit has turned into a multibillion industry. As Jim said in another video, game devs are turning into tech developers and industry leaders - moreso than NASA. Why are games continuously being hacked up like that? Because we've been trained to expect more.

More of everything. More shaders, more polygons, more terrain deformation effects, bigger game worlds, more expansive stories. More, more, more, more. It's the only basis onto which games are sold, honestly. I'm sure publishers would cover all this by asking for a hundred dollars per game if they could, if not two hundred, but no sane customer would support that. So, they go at it the sly way, by pushing microtransactions up our asses.

So what do people do? They pirate. Which cuts profits. Which endangers projects. Which motivates more nickel-and-diming. It's hard to point out the chicken and the egg, honestly, or to figure out which goes where.

I'm honestly looking forward to another crash. The Big Three are going to collapse under their own weight and hopefully - just hopefully - the surviving companies are going to learn from EA, Activision and Ubisoft's mistakes.

Paradox is the last company I still by DLC for. Yes they make a lot of it, but it really helps to fund the constant patches they put out. Plus it helps that they don't charge "full price" ($60) for their games.

canadamus_prime:
At this point I want to see the industry crash again. Maybe then publishers will get it through their thick skulls that the way they do business only hurts the industry.

Right now they are dying from death of a thousand papercuts. Thousands of crappy decisions that are not netting more profit as companies like THQ and many developers are gone and many of them are circling the drain in the next 3 years unless they get their shit together.

When I saw the title I knew that Jim would bring up Final Fantasy. I have a friend who is the biggest FF fanboy in the universe and even he was pissed with it. Once again Jim was right.

Ever think of moving back home and running for Prime Minister Jim? The way things are going for Camaron you would win in a landslide.

aegix drakan:
THEY DID WHAT TO DEAD SPACE 3'S CRAFTING SYSTEM?!?!

0_0 ........WHAT?!

...It is now official. I'm not touching that game. That's just plain disgusting.

If they keep pushing like this, the industry is gonna come crashing down. ...You know, looks like Razorfist was right. The industry has already hit the iceberg and is taking on water, but they're not getting on the lifeboats.

If the game interests you at all do what I do and buy used for practices you hate and new for ones you support. That way you don't give the greedy publishers who don't deserve the money yet you get to play games with no worries. :)

jehk:
Not all DLC is just a missing part of the game. Admittedly a lot of DLC has turned into that.

The major problem with gaming and these perverted business models is that distribution services do not release any data about sales as a whole. This generates a huge amount of risk (specifically when introducing new IP) and basically forces the developers to take advantage of the people who love their games the most. Hopefully one of these services will do IT sometime (I'm looking at you Steam). It would be an awesome shot in the arm for the industry.

Steam are actually already doing the right thing in terms of Greenlight, several of the games in my list and LOVING THEM (in between other games I seriously need to finish), if we want better games, we have to say this is what we want.

It is also the best way to reduce the risk; if something similar failed to get interest, an indie game maker they can look at how it was marketed, look at comments and see if its worth even designing that idea.

If you want better games and you have Steam the best way to get them is by looking through Greenlight, its a minimum of yes or no they ask AND will diversify the mainstream market more as global, free market research data will exist.

IamLEAM1983:
So... Capitalism, ho?

There's an underlying issue, too. Piracy.

The more the Big Three will keep stuffing their games with in-app purchases and twist free-to-play into pay-twice-or-more, the more pirate groups are going to respond by releasing full editions of certain titles, complete with everything you should've paid for - free of charge.

It's a never-ending cycle, really. Publishers have to nickel-and-dime their shit because games development in the AAA circuit has turned into a multibillion industry. As Jim said in another video, game devs are turning into tech developers and industry leaders - moreso than NASA. Why are games continuously being hacked up like that? Because we've been trained to expect more.

More of everything. More shaders, more polygons, more terrain deformation effects, bigger game worlds, more expansive stories. More, more, more, more. It's the only basis onto which games are sold, honestly. I'm sure publishers would cover all this by asking for a hundred dollars per game if they could, if not two hundred, but no sane customer would support that. So, they go at it the sly way, by pushing microtransactions up our asses.

So what do people do? They pirate. Which cuts profits. Which endangers projects. Which motivates more nickel-and-diming. It's hard to point out the chicken and the egg, honestly, or to figure out which goes where.

I'm honestly looking forward to another crash. The Big Three are going to collapse under their own weight and hopefully - just hopefully - the surviving companies are going to learn from EA, Activision and Ubisoft's mistakes.

Please don't bring the whole correlation = causation fallacy to this video discussion. It is a nice little scapegoat that they tricked you into believing has become a relevant issue as if it never existed before.

GAunderrated:

canadamus_prime:
At this point I want to see the industry crash again. Maybe then publishers will get it through their thick skulls that the way they do business only hurts the industry.

Right now they are dying from death of a thousand papercuts. Thousands of crappy decisions that are not netting more profit as companies like THQ and many developers are gone and many of them are circling the drain in the next 3 years unless they get their shit together.

And if it takes another crash for them to get their act together then so be it. Any companies that survive it will presumably be better for it.

Ah for the days with no DLC and games were actually completed and not hollow at all because of it.
I hate capcom and square now.

Makes me glad that I never played Dead Space. See Jim, what's happening to Dead Space now is what happened to Mass Effect not too long ago, that and the introduction of really fucking stupid plot elements.

This DLC mess really does make Halo's map packs seem a little tame don't they?

Also, if you want a mobile game that avoids that, there's Battle Nations, a fun and quirky little base management/turn based strategy game. It's completely free and while it is true that you can use nanopods that you bought with RL money to get special units and buildings, it is possible to earn nanopods in games through certain quests, watching advertisements, and there's a chance to get them by winning 10 PvP matches in 24 hours (or by losing 40 PvP matches in 24 hours). If you're determined not to spend money on it, you can manage to get through without. Now then, I'm going to go play it. You should try too...oh wait it's an apple exclusive. Huh...well if you really want to play it but don't want to get an apple product, I suggest you head over to Steam Greenlight and vote for it.

The only dlc I can defend is fallout 3/new vegas. It added so much content to the said games that warranted a purchase but now.. it's just become b.s. as always.

IKWerewolf:

jehk:
Not all DLC is just a missing part of the game. Admittedly a lot of DLC has turned into that.

The major problem with gaming and these perverted business models is that distribution services do not release any data about sales as a whole. This generates a huge amount of risk (specifically when introducing new IP) and basically forces the developers to take advantage of the people who love their games the most. Hopefully one of these services will do IT sometime (I'm looking at you Steam). It would be an awesome shot in the arm for the industry.

Steam are actually already doing the right thing in terms of Greenlight, several of the games in my list and LOVING THEM (in between other games I seriously need to finish), if we want better games, we have to say this is what we want.

It is also the best way to reduce the risk; if something similar failed to get interest, an indie game maker they can look at how it was marketed, look at comments and see if its worth even designing that idea.

If you want better games and you have Steam the best way to get them is by looking through Greenlight, its a minimum of yes or no they ask AND will diversify the mainstream market more as global, free market research data will exist.

Greenlight is pretty awesome overall. However, its only a small part of Steam and only includes indie titles. It still doesn't solve the problem I'm talking about which is not having solid sales data to make informed business decisions. The markets for Steam, Xbox Live, App Store, etc are very different. There's a huge black hole of available public information about sales (unlike say film industry).

GAunderrated:
Please don't bring the whole correlation = causation fallacy to this video discussion. It is a nice little scapegoat that they tricked you into believing has become a relevant issue as if it never existed before.

Oh, right. Because my purchasing a game or pirating has about zero influence whatsoever. Because there's no reasoning behind the increase of the average triple-A title's budget. It's all just a happy sack of coincidences that nobody can possibly try to sort through. Game publishers are inherently evil and they do what they do because John Riccitello, Bob Kotick, Peter Moore and others are absolutely fixated on getting themselves a Scrooge McDuck-sized vault of gold coins.

Thanks for clearing that up. I was so naive.

Beryl77:
I see sometimes people defending EA's decisions by saying that "they're just a company doing business".

I'm also very refreshed at the lack of this argument showing up on this thread. If the company's one and only priority is to make money, why not run a lottery, or a bank? Instead of making product for consumers, they could try giving a shit about making games for gamers.

At 3:13, Jim talks about Mann Co spearheading the idea on forcing us to buy things already in the disk or something similar to that. What is he talking about? I have not yet heard about this, and while I do love TF2, I recognize that there are flaws in the game.

I would have gone with "sucked out the marrow and leaving a hollow skeleton" but that's just me.

The most hilarious part is that, when it all comes crashing down (or even before it does), we're gonna get blamed for this. The companies are always, always blameless. Capcom is going to say we were the ones who loved RE4 so much that when they wanted to give us more of that, we spat it on their faces. EA is going to blame the pirates and the disloyal customers, Activision is going to blame casual gamers maybe, Ubisoft might blame the indie games, who knows. Point is, we're going to get blamed for everything because companies are enslaved by investors, which means they must exploit their employees and customers to reach the ever-increasing goals of detached rich people who think that if a company made N million dollars in net revenue, it's not unreasonable to demand that they make N+1 without increasing the investment.

Quiotu:
There really is an easy way to do this, though it's already been said many times before. Simply let publishers know with your wallet what you'll accept and not accept. I buy EA games when they don't screw me over. I bought ME3 used, but I bought SSX new... because one had DLC practices I liked and the other didn't. I don't buy Ubisoft games on the PC period. I haven't bought a Final Fantasy game since 12, but I bought Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex: HR because those were good games that Squeenix had other developers make. Capcom is virtually dead to me, but I'll buy Okami HD just so they know that's the last thing decent they published. And I haven't bought anything from Sega since Valkyria Chronicles since they've shown they can't make and keep an IP to save their life save perhaps Total War, and a dev they own makes that instead.

Again, never say you'll boycot... because hardly anyone ever perseveres enough to stick to it. Buy what's good, buy what's fair, and let everything else fester as a signal to all publishers concerning what you're willing to put up with.

100% agree with you on this.
I have now been boycotting everything from EA for almost 2 Years and still im 98% sure i will keep doing it at this rate, unless they change their buisness module

My only gripe with FF:ATB is the extra lands you can purchase, content wise it doesn't make sense.
The original content cost's $3.99 and comes with 91 enemies and 93 weapons to unlock.
All of the premium lands you buy add up to $11.97 but is only 30 Enemies and 30 Weapons.

But seriously, anyone who want's to say "it's not a game"
Then what is? I've played a lot of shit on my phone with less "game" then this.

I mean don't get me wrong, the extra content is priced outrageously, but the base content is solid.

EA want to make money, its a business. They dont give a shit about you, just whats in your wallet. Like every company ever. Even those that have free to play, pay later just want whats in your wallet. Just that EA has the weight to push there stuff better. End of the day no one is forced to buy crappy dlc or bad games. Granted, sometimes its to late and we already bought the game. Just buy what you want, once the profits dip EA will learn. Except there are a lot of people that continue to buy this stuff so they wont stop. Like the 15 cod maps etc if a way to make money succeeds, why would they stop? Same way companys continue to post convert movies into 3D just to make an extra few quid in ticket prices......there are idiots that still pay to watch those movies.

erttheking:
Makes me glad that I never played Dead Space. See Jim, what's happening to Dead Space now is what happened to Mass Effect not too long ago, that and the introduction of really fucking stupid plot elements.

Ok...what? so first you say you never played Dead Space and now you say they are introducing stupid plot points because Mass Effect did...right.

Loved the ending, too perfect. Brought ti all together nicely.

omgeveryone9:
At 3:13, Jim talks about Mann Co spearheading the idea on forcing us to buy things already in the disk or something similar to that. What is he talking about? I have not yet heard about this, and while I do love TF2, I recognize that there are flaws in the game.

Namco maybe? Not sure.

What is a fair price for a game? Developers have to pay the bills somehow.

These tactics aren't only done by "the big nasty corportations" - indie and small developers have done this before, on mobile in particular. The reason being that when apps came out at 69p they were already slim returns after the market had taken their 30% cut (which the developer never gets back if a refund from the customer is requested), then tax, then split the salaries, then tax on those wages again.

As time went on and more apps became available competition grew ever fiercer, eventually pushing up-front prices down to zero and developers HAVING to resort to IAPs. As it turns out, iOS users buy games/apps, other platforms users don't. So to get any form of income you have to make the game free then hope people buy stuff inside...... which is TERRIFYING for any small developer (weeks/months of work for..... very little/nothing).

What I DO agree with is that companies like EA, Ubisoft, etc. CAN charge an upfront cost + IAPs because they can.... because they have some sweet IP and people WILL pay for it. They can also survive any backlash from doing so.

Games as a service (GAAS) will most likely arrive soon as (hopefully) games become more platform agnostic - start on your console, finish on your mobile etc. However it arrives, I suspect we'll see many different ways that purchases will work. However, we cannot expect them to cost next to nothing all the time - the industry is already fragmenting through a lack of or misdirected funds (look at all the studios that closed last year). Games are expensive to make.

My first impression of the "Free to play" business model was a very good one: Finally! A business model that encourages good content over grinding and bad storylines.

Still, I'm glad to see that EA, Activision, Ubisoft and the likes managed to f*ck it up this much, since it gives me something to rant on about.

The last time I paid full price (50€) for a game was Guild Wars. And for its time, it was a pretty fun game. Since then, I've rarely ever bought a game before the hype ended and I could know what was bad about it (then wait some more time until it's either in the Green Pepper or Software Pyramide libnraries -> those two are where all games go after 16 months in Germany and get sold for 10€, if not less, for the Utimate/GOTY/whatever edition).

I would have like if Jim would have addressed the inevitable talks of "entitled" gamers that will pop up when we gamers start bitching about Dead Space 3.

Also, free 2 play on mobile is anything but. Damn near every game has about an hour of decent gameplay before the difficulty is ramped up beyond comprehension. Ramped up so far, you burn through resources to make it through to the next round and are rewarded fucking nothing for your trouble. So during every load screen the devs are begging you to go download this shit for f2p gold or whatever the currency and that gets you by for a while, then you're screwed. Now they're offering you an extra 10% for their bullshit digital currency just has the difficulty gets cranked up to delete the shit and say you won levels.

I'd much rather pay up front for a game and have a shot at completion instead of being dangled a carrot every minute. And hell, even when you pay up front, they still make the game unplayable at a certain point. It's far worse than the bullshit that when on in arcades where games where designed to suck money out your pockets. At least you had fun fumbling around as quickly as possible to stuff another quarter in the machine before the ridiculous timer expires. Now, you have all damn day hit a button linked to your credit card and pay obscene prices for digital currency.

So basically, screw f2p and mobile gaming...

yellow tie alternate skin? fuck yea!

Mr_Terrific:
I would have like if Jim would have addressed the inevitable talks of "entitled" gamers that will pop up when we gamers start bitching about Dead Space 3.

Also, free 2 play on mobile is anything but. Damn near every game has about an hour of decent gameplay before the difficulty is ramped up beyond comprehension. Ramped up so far, you burn through resources to make it through to the next round and are rewarded fucking nothing for your trouble. So during every load screen the devs are begging you to go download this shit for f2p gold or whatever the currency and that gets you by for a while, then you're screwed. Now they're offering you an extra 10% for their bullshit digital currency just has the difficulty gets cranked up to delete the shit and say you won levels.

I'd much rather pay up front for a game and have a shot at completion instead of being dangled a carrot every minute. And hell, even when you pay up front, they still make the game unplayable at a certain point. It's far worse than the bullshit that when on in arcades where games where designed to suck money out your pockets. At least you had fun fumbling around as quickly as possible to stuff another quarter in the machine before the ridiculous timer expires. Now, you have all damn day hit a button linked to your credit card and pay obscene prices for digital currency.

So basically, screw f2p and mobile gaming...

I feel the same way, hate f2P and mobile gaming because its all a big money grab, at least with $60 dollar games I can get what I pay for and not be required to continue paying unless I want to.

connall:
Jim, your desk is awesome. Where did you get the terminator and darksiders mask?

The Terminator is a NECA figure my wife got me for Christmas, the mask was from the collector's edition of the game.

And if anyone's further curious, there's a plush chestburster behind them and a Perfect Cell Figuarts in front.

I refuse to buy almost any 60$ games nowadays because absolutely none of them are actually "60$" anymore. They all come with more and more unsavory and undeserved "strings attached".

EA has been the absolute worst offender for sure. Every product I've bought from them has made me sick to my stomach and I just won't take it anymore. If you're going to force micro-transactions in the midst of a story-based game, you might as well just crap on a plate and serve it to me.

Thank fuck someone finally said this! I'm sick of harping on about it. I'm sick of all the rabid facking fanbois constantly defending and supporting with cash, every evil, cynical bastard attempt to screw gamers further.

My irritation began with pay to unlock skins for Portal 2. Skins used to be part of the games you already paid for. This escalated over time into rage when I saw the horseshit that was made of Diablo 3 and it's always online DRM.

Jim, it might be early to compare you to a Thomas Paine of the games industry, but stuff it. Jim Paine, thank god for you

(well not god exactly, I am an atheist).

Mouse_Crouse:
Loved the ending, too perfect. Brought ti all together nicely.

omgeveryone9:
At 3:13, Jim talks about Mann Co spearheading the idea on forcing us to buy things already in the disk or something similar to that. What is he talking about? I have not yet heard about this, and while I do love TF2, I recognize that there are flaws in the game.

Namco maybe? Not sure.

You're right. it is Namco, it just was that Mann co and Namco sound kind of the same. That happens to me quite a lot when it comes to names.

Haha, I was very pleased to see your shout out to ETS2... But then noticed you were driving a DAF.

I'm sorry, Jim, but that's some seriously bad taste right there.

To answer the question about what I said at the 3:13 mark --

I was talking about Namco Bandai, a company very much at the vanguard of bullshit DLC. It charged for gold and XP in Tales, it sold you only half a game with Katamari Xbox 360, and it was very much one of the earlier adopters of on-disc DLC with SoulCalibur. Namco's kind of fallen into the background these days now that EA and the like have run with the ball, but that ball was kicked very hard by Namco a few years ago.

GLo Jones:
Haha, I was very pleased to see your shout out to ETS2... But then noticed you were driving a DAF.

I'm sorry, Jim, but that's some seriously bad taste right there.

Knowing nothing about actual trucks, I choose to simply dig my heels in and scream that my choice is superior.

as a consumer is is my prerogative, nay my DUTY to find the best deal possible
i'll tell you how i go about things
search amazon for games ( boxed )
compare prices with steam sales, and figure out if i want dlc or not
sometimes the steam price is far and away the best price, sometimes it is NOT
always check it takes 2 seconds to google

invariably dlc is best bought as a package deal, but not always picking and choosing is sometimes better
as you get what you want and not what a developer decides you should want

for example dlc that breaks resource systems ( ah deus ex, saints row.. you are dumb. )
i don't buy, ever.
why? all it does is deprive you of coming up with a way to generate cash, reputation or a general game currency of some kind efficiently it's not like it's really that hard
and if it is painful to grind, and grinding is a major part of the game? that's called bad game design
avoid it, frankly

however 'cool' items like the ability to summon sharks to eat people ( saints row, again ) is pretty much
an instant buy just because it's fun but i wouldn't spend major cash on it, couple /$ at most

as is extra game content, levels, chapters, dungeons, Armour sets, loot and collectibles
if all those are available as a bundle it's a great deal if it isn't a significant 'extra' cost
how do i define extra? that's difficult really depends on the game franchise and what the gaming experience is 'worth'
for example i wouldn't pay the cost of another equally fun game for the privilege of getting 4% extra content for a game
I've already experienced and am kinda done with

so 12/$19 is too-much for any dlc pack imo because i can buy a whole 'new to me' experience of decent quality for that

now some things simply aren't equatable a game you really love to death deserves every penny it asks for if it's managed to evoke those feelings because it's done it's job and it's probably wise to support that developer

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