Jimquisition: Breaking the Bones of Business

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Capcom is having expectations that are too high, eh? Sucks to be DmC which hasn't been selling very well in UK and Japan. (Sold 1/3 of what DmC 4 did in the UK and 1/2 of whta id did in Japan)

The problem is that games are becoming more and more expensive because companies aren't changing how they produce games. They cut a lot of content (like 3/4s of Soul Calibur's V story mode) because they don't plan all the features or the focus of the games. The industry learns to need to manage the products it's making, it costs more to cut content in a video game than in a movie, or a cartoon.

As for monetization, I would play the games if I could pay 15 dollars to get all DLC or remove the energy systems. There's nothing worse than a game that makes you pay constantly and isn't called WoW.

. .. .. .
....................
.. . .. They did, what to Dead Space 3?

I've heard the news before about micro-transactions in Dead Space 3 which didn't bother me much, but to realize it was for the weapon bench, as in .. the very thing the game heavily relies on since you know, you're shooting necromorphs and need a gun to survive.

That's just, low. First EA demands 5 million copies of DS3 are sold or else the series dies, then they add a co-op to a game based off horror (and even though you can play it single player.. you still have the AI show up) and if I am correct ... now in order to get legit stuff, you have to pay real money for it through the weapon bench. I'm a huge fan of Dead Space but i've had enough. I'm not getting the third game. It's this sole reason why I don't want to buy any games from EA anymore, regardless of what series is produced.

I loved you Dead Space ... i'm sorry to see you go like this. I know i've said this before, but it's official.. I will only remember you for the first two games unless something changes and makes me convinced I should get the third game.

Vault101:

sadly you wont be hurting EA...only viceral

Ask yourself: Is this a product that I want? If you don't like the strings attached, don't buy the product. It sucks that the developer must suffer, but they knew what was happening when they signed on with EA. You are not obligated to buy anything.

Vault101:
if I want a game I want a game, I'm not going to deny myself on the delusion that me not buying it will somehow hurt evil old EA in any way shape or form (it wont)

This kind of argument always amuses me.

You know, money does not just magically appear. If you don't buy the product, they will not get your money. Don't buy it used, don't buy it on sale, don't buy it at all. There are plenty of games out there. There always will be.

In all honesty there are not that many games that EA has made in a while that are really worth playing that much. Even if you like Dead Space, the third is so far from the original, it just has the label. So the argument "I like Dead Space, so..." does not even work.

Loyalty to labels is pretty stupid.

CrossLOPER:
Ask yourself: Is this a product that I want? .

YES...yes it is

Caramel Frappe:
I loved you Dead Space ... i'm sorry to see you go like this. I know i've said this before, but it's official.. I will only remember you for the first two games unless something changes and makes me convinced I should get the third game.

you could just look at it like a "paid for" easy mode

Vault101:

Caramel Frappe:
I loved you Dead Space ... i'm sorry to see you go like this. I know i've said this before, but it's official.. I will only remember you for the first two games unless something changes and makes me convinced I should get the third game.

you could just look at it like a "paid for" easy mode

But .. . that's not cool of EA.
It's even sadder when John Calhoun, the producer is in favor of the micro-transaction strategy because he wants more money in. I am a huge Dead Space fan but I won't be getting this game. I'm not against the "paid for" easy mode because it would make it easier for players to beat the game, that's cool with me. No what gets me upset personally is the fact they demand money paid for things you can find in the game and it's based on the weapon bench in which you absolutely need to proceed in the game.

I would of wanted John to stand up against EA and make this game all about survival horror, but it's all for the money instead of making it like the original. Sorry for ranting, but so many missteps in this that I as a huge fan, am put off from buying this.

    - EA threatened if 5 million copies aren't sold, series will die.
    - Micro-transactions on the weapon bench, meaning you must pay real money to get items (and who knows if these are even findable in the game, perhaps for the best you have to buy them off the market.)
    - John Calhoun wants to appeal the smart phone generation with this strategy, which is selling out the series.
    - Co-op mode because multiplayer seems to do well despite that it doesn't suit Dead Space
    - Ration Seal = These ancient scraps of paper can be found by your Scavenger Bot and are counted as a resource. Ration Seals can be redeemed for resources and exclusive MK-V Supercharged weapon parts in the Downloadable Content menu.

Gosh.. the greed is so obvious here, that I refuse to buy the game. I won't judge nor bash anyone who buys Dead Space 3 but as a true fan I can't support something that's corrupting my favorite series. I mean the thing that pushed me is why they have the micro-transaction installed where you buy parts with real money. Why couldn't the producer want the game to be a challenge and consider how fans would see that strategy as a cash in? Just... makes me want to weep seeing this. Am sorry again for the rant, I shall stay optimistic and be happy if something can be changed about the third game making me feel it's ok to buy once again.

Caramel Frappe:
[snip.

says who? I'm pretty sure buying stuff is completly optional...theres nothing you cant get in-game (aparently)

Vault101:

Caramel Frappe:
snip

says who? I'm pretty sure buying stuff is completly optional...theres nothing you cant get in-game (aparently)

True, and I know it wouldn't force me to buy parts I actually need to advance but .. it feels wrong.
Think of it this way .. Mass Effect 4 comes out.

The gameplay is that you can select a character and there are races involved (as in you can have your protagonist as a Asari, or Turian, Korgan even, ect.) However, to unlock the Krogan race as a protagonist choice you must pay with a micro-transaction. Actually, imagine if you can pick any of the races but for the different models, looks, tattoos, colors, outfits, ect. you had to pay real money. Or for the guns too.

See, it's optional but truly kills the game for you. You've already paid $60 plus tax (or more depending on where you're from) for the game plus extra for any DLC or preorder you did for the game.. why do I want to pay more for things that should be in the game? It feels cheap, and making the customers feel like they're sheep. Sometimes, even when it's an optional thing .. you have to just say no and not support such content. Because if you don't say no now, EA (and I bet you they would) might consider pushing it to see how far they can get away with.

They've done it before, their history says it all. They considered ammo for guns to be a micro-transaction and you must pay money to place that in your gun or else. That is fully wrong and I wish they wouldn't be so greedy like that.

I'm sad he didn't mention Planetside 2. I have spent many hours there. Haven't paid a cent. Still get plenty of kills... Until I get in an aircraft... Yeah there is some benefit of paying but it's set up so that you can pay for what you want. Or work for it. Take a little bit longer. But get the same thing.

It works. I want to pay. I might get around to it... Or I might just play Dwarf Fortress.

But yeah. I haven't bought a game from EA since Red Alert 3.

Point blank refuse

Nothing to add, just wanted to say I relate to and agree with every single word Jim said. Best Jimquisition in forever.

*Raises hand* Umm I've been saying this since DlC replaced expansion packs. Hell even Wows subscription service is a bit much. And don't even get me started on xbox live, paying to have twelve year olds scream racail epithets in my ear. I have bought dlc for one game only, that is Arkham City. Usually if I'm really excited about a game I'll just wait for the greatest hits version with all the dlc already apart of the game to hit, ya know, the full fucking game.

Games are too damn expensive for this kind of shit. It is too the point where I pirate every game and if I like it enough I'll buy the full version. Why should I pay full price for a half finished game.

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.

Or they'll just take the massive profits they've already made, give the industry and its supporters the finger and walk away cackling into the shadows, leaving an absolute trainwreck in their wake.

Never underestimate the cowardess of big business when the chips are well and truly down.

Having played the Dead Space 3 demo I know exactly what he means by loving the game and hating it as a product. Anything I like about it is overshadowed by this market research driven homogenization to a series I once heavily enjoyed

Ironically enough, Dead Space has never been a more perfect title for the series., it is through and through dead space.

How come I always happen to be eating while watching the Jimquisition episodes where he displays images of shit?
Life can be cruel sometimes

Jim Bucks? shut up and take my money!~

Anyhow, yeah, DS3... was totally looking forward to that one, after Capcom's RE6 didn't deliver an actual game... but now I am not sure if I want to even buy DS3 anymore....

Beryl77:
I see sometimes people defending EA's decisions by saying that "they're just a company doing business". Fuck that, what a load of bullshit. There are tons of companies who do very well without behaving like they're related to the Antichrist. It's still their own, conscious decision to do those things, nothing else. Them being a company doesn't excuse that in the slightest.

Also, nice ending. Very well done.

Y'know I've always been one of those that's said EA are just being a giant corporation, about as evil as all others. But this here is taking the piss, I completely agree with Jimothy, there is absolutely no justifiable reason to put out a game at a 49(RRP, more around 40-45)/$60 price point and then charge extra for FUCKING WEAPONS. Not DLC. Not bundles of new content. Not expansions.

Fucking.
Weapons.

Know what? I be they pull some bullshit where you have to pay to beat a boss about halfway through too. I was vaguely considering giving the game a chance too, but the demo wouldn't let me couch co-op (the only kind worth a damn to me) and microtransactions.

Between this and the steady demolition of perfectly good franchies, or in the case of Medal of Honor Doorfighter, the public execution of a perfectly good franchise, not to mention that terrible SSX game that didn't have any multiplayer, the best part of the old SSX's of yore, I absolutely cannot continue to support EA in good conscience untilt hey dial back the evil from raw demon to at least Disney Villain.

Matthewmagic:
xbox live

Paying Microsoft to use parts of software you already own that Microsoft has fuck all to do with has always been morally dubious at best. The community is just the icing on the turd sandwich with Xbox Live, and Live is the primary reason I don't own an Xbox.

Especially with crap like how Halo 4's co-op requires Xbox Live Gold to play on the couch (or so I've been told/disclaimer).

Sony are evil and stupid too, but PlayStation Plus is a hell of a lot better of a deal than XBL Gold, because y'know, you get something for it and aren't paying double for stuff you already own.

Pay-to-play-to-pay-again is only the beginning
Pay-to-pay is the main goal of publishers
Games? You don't need games, you need to pay, pay again and then pay some more...

Caramel Frappe:
snp

Maybe you're not paying enough?

Alright, sorry for putting salt on the wound, but after EA butchered my favorite franchise (C&C) cynicism is my only defense from going batshit crazy.

Matthewmagic:
Honestly guys, Piracy. Fucking with these companys money is the only thing they understand.

1. It's against the rules of Escapist to make comments which support piracy.

2. If more piracy would appear, we most likely would have to deal with more SOPA BS, and companies would try to screw the paying consumers even more then they already do.

I don't know how we're going to give a message to the companies that sinks in their heads, but it certainly isn't piracy.

I can't shake the feeling that I've seen this episode several times already.

I like when a righteous, well thought out, and angry opinion ultimately results in me saving money. Nice job, Jim! This DLC business was fun back in the Fallout 3 / Mass Effect 2 days, but since then it seems like everyone's gotten lazy about it. As someone who doesn't give a shit about multiplayer, costumes, or buying games right when they come out, it makes it pretty easy not to have to put up with this bullshit. And it feels pretty good. I was so going to buy Street Fight X Tekken, too, until I heard about that on disc nonsense. I thought for sure there'd be a deluxe edition with all the stuff eventually, but there wasn't, and I don't feel I've missed anything of value having not purchased the game. Too many other fun games I have to play with much more content and way lower prices.

Loved the episode. While Jim's rants often to me are more about "situation X which relates to the gaming community and his thoughts about it", then this one is actually kinda useful. I've never liked the idea of DLC. I've been a gamer for long enough to remember the olden times when a patch or content patch was all you got - and you rarely had to pay for it. Or maybe it was expansion packs you could get for your game.

..but these days? Ya, DLC and in-game pay-to-play/win monetization schemes have gone nuts. Its just crazy

a pay-to-craft system? Really?

Reminds me of a flash game I saw on Newgrounds once. It was kinda prophetic in retrospect: You started out with pretty much NOTHING but a barebones top-down bullet-hell shooter with shit graphics, then as you earned money by shooting stuff and finishing levels you could buy content in the game... like, proper menu graphics, game graphics, sound, music, more weapon options... culminating with the fact that you had to buy 'the end' to 'win' the game.

I wonder when we'll start to see that? Imagine a triple-A game being sold as an alpha - and than you either buy a subscription to get auto-updates for the game until its gold or you pay for seperate 'feature packages' where you can get things like proper graphics, proper level design, proper game engine, cutscenes, menu graphics...

Its bound to happen sooner or later

I seldom buy into DLC or microtransactions because I always look at the content as compared to the price of the game.

Is this single hour of content worth 1/6th the cost of this 80 hour game? If yes, buy. If no, don't buy.
I can always watch a let's play and get the story I missed for free.

I do get suckered into DLC from time to time though. Diablo 3's RMAH has got some use out of me because the money I spend is money I've made in that game. It's no longer a matter of my spending $5.00 on a virtual sword but rather spending free money to get free items.

Pre-order free DLC gets me as well. See Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3.
Free character with pre-order version? *Sigh* I love the game so I might as well pay that premium.

I'm tempted to add Rock Band as well because lets face it...$2.00 or $2.50 a song is a complete rip-off when you bought 80 songs for $60.00. However, over the years I'm likely to play said song 50 times so in the end I consider worth the price.

webkilla:
snip

It's called Upgrade Complete, even got a sequel
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/499812

GoddyofAus:

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.

Or they'll just take the massive profits they've already made, give the industry and its supporters the finger and walk away cackling into the shadows, leaving an absolute trainwreck in their wake.

Never underestimate the cowardess of big business when the chips are well and truly down.

I could see Microsoft and Sony doing that as they have their fingers in many pies and the fate of the video game industry wouldn't hurt them a whole lot, but companies like EA, Activision, Sega, Capcom, and Nintendo who's sole source of profit is video games, they'll have to learn to adapt to survive or die and any of them that don't won't be missed. And any of these businesses that are out to make money want to continue to make money.

CrossLOPER:

Vault101:

sadly you wont be hurting EA...only viceral

Ask yourself: Is this a product that I want? If you don't like the strings attached, don't buy the product. It sucks that the developer must suffer, but they knew what was happening when they signed on with EA. You are not obligated to buy anything.

Vault101:
if I want a game I want a game, I'm not going to deny myself on the delusion that me not buying it will somehow hurt evil old EA in any way shape or form (it wont)

This kind of argument always amuses me.

You know, money does not just magically appear. If you don't buy the product, they will not get your money. Don't buy it used, don't buy it on sale, don't buy it at all. There are plenty of games out there. There always will be.

In all honesty there are not that many games that EA has made in a while that are really worth playing that much. Even if you like Dead Space, the third is so far from the original, it just has the label. So the argument "I like Dead Space, so..." does not even work.

Loyalty to labels is pretty stupid.

Well to be honest I consider Visceral, or any other dev bought by EA, to be the same basic thing. Once EA gets their fingers into them, I cease to really care about their survival. Me liking a developer is based on what they produce, if they produce things I don't care for, or embrace a business model I don't like, I no longer care. They can pass the blame between Dev and Publisher all they want, but at the end of the day if I don't like the product I'm not going to buy it.

It's like Bioware, I was a fan because I liked their games, I do don't care for their games and how they are marketed anymore, so I am no longer a Bioware fan. My reasons (Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 Ending) only have to be my own.

That said I do agree with what you were saying about money not appearing on trees. You don't buy the products, it will kill a product line, and the developer, but the publisher is also going to take note of why these things failed. Cost them enough money and eventually they change, or go out of business and die (over a period of time). One purchuse doesn't matter, but lots do. At the core though each individual has to choose not to buy and hope the numbers of likeminded people add up.

If Visceral dies, remember EA also loses the money it invested in getting it's fingers into that developer. On a lot of levels the more corrupted developers we kill, the more damage we do to EA and it's business practices.

I think it's also important to send a message to developers that consider selling out to EA that their fans aren't nessicarly going to go with them. Ditto for EA thinking that a popular dev is going to be a guaranteed audience of wallets ripe for exploitation.

Jim fears a video game crash, but honestly I think it might be a good thing at this point. Games will recover again. I'd rather go without games for a while than see this current nonsense continue.

Chessrook44:
In short, "This is why we can't have nice things."

DVS BSTrD:
Who says the subscription based model is outdated?

I'd say the failure of TOR, most likely.

I don't think the problem is the model so much as nobody planning to sustain the model. At the end of the day for a subscription based game to work you need to have endgame content that keeps people re-upping their subscriptions. Something that is fun, but also very time consuming, and motivates them to play.

Too many people launching subscription based games look at the industry from the very beginning and how games were launching with little or no endgame, and how they thrived just fine when there was nothing to compare them to. Right now the problem is that there ARE games with robust endgame experiences, like WoW, and if your going to pay your $15 a month you want to be doing something during the time your paying and waiting for the next major content expansion.

What killed ToR, and most other subscription based games, was simply that people would advance to the endgame, having a good time doing it, and then wind up just sitting there with little in the way of fun or challenge present to advance their character of choice. If people stop paying to wait around, that's a problem when game developers might take a year or more to release substantial amounts of content. Micro-updates only work in that they might bring people back to check out a minor addition, but once they are done with it, they leave again.

No game can produce enough unique, non-repetitive, content to keep people playing constantly and immersively for years. At least not at the current tech level. That means that you need to create an entertaining, time consuming, way to grind to take up time. Some games like WoW got it down to an artform.

Also to be entirely fair, since an MMO is by definition a time sink (it needs to be one to survive on a subscription formula) it cannot cater to casuals at the endgame. If you make it so that people can get the best stuff for their characters with what is overall a trivial investment of time and effort, that just means it's that much quicker before people have perfect characters, nothing to do, and leave.

Old WoW Raids, like Molten Core (which is what really caused the game to survive) worked so well because it was a huge effort to get them going and coordinated, and could involve a substantial amount of time and resources. Your typical person might be able to raid once a week, and get one potential roll on an item per week that would upgrade their character, while competing with 39 other people. This meant roughly 4 rolls per month. Of course all of this came with the knowlege you were doing something that took a lot of effort, coordinating some tricky fights, and of course got to see the spectacle of monsters the side of castles fighting armies of adventurers, which was all inherantly cool in of itself. Sure, casuals hated it, "I have a life, I can't do this", but enough people DID do it to keep subscriptions flowing month after month, and it lead to WoW becoming hugely successful. Eventually it became entrenched enough where it was able to become a bit more casual friendly in the endgame though, surviving mostly because it had evolved so far it had no real competition.

People love to argue with me about this, but the bottom like is that ToR pretty much failed not because of the subscription model, but because nobody was going to pay $15 a month to login and sit around a space station and grind the same few casual endgame runs again and again, month after month, long after they got everything their character needed to be at the top of their game. At a certain point ToR was just paying for a graphical chat client, and that
can be said of pretty much all the failed subscription based MMOs. At a certain point people will take their $15 and go spend it on something that actually entertains them, rather than the honor of waiting to see if maybe they might be entertained later if something new is added.

That piece of shit you used about a minute and a half in looks like a big chocolate donut.

i agree with you on every word (every single word) you said in this.

Exception bein the mobile gaming, i told you it sucks from the begining. but no, you didnty listen. well here, told you so.

Capcha: no dice
Well surely you are not going to make us pay for the dice in monopoly, are you? oh well, could have seen this coming. Monopoly - 20 dollars. Dice - extra 5.

No game can produce enough unique, non-repetitive, content to keep people playing constantly and immersively for years. At least not at the current tech level. That means that you need to create an entertaining, time consuming, way to grind to take up time. Some games like WoW got it down to an artform.

Or you could do what CCP did - let players create their own endgame. thing is, i know people playing it for 10+years and not bored yet. so there.

canadamus_prime:

GoddyofAus:

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.

Or they'll just take the massive profits they've already made, give the industry and its supporters the finger and walk away cackling into the shadows, leaving an absolute trainwreck in their wake.

Never underestimate the cowardess of big business when the chips are well and truly down.

I could see Microsoft and Sony doing that as they have their fingers in many pies and the fate of the video game industry wouldn't hurt them a whole lot, but companies like EA, Activision, Sega, Capcom, and Nintendo who's sole source of profit is video games, they'll have to learn to adapt to survive or die and any of them that don't won't be missed. And any of these businesses that are out to make money want to continue to make money.

Well, yes and no. The thing to understand that the core interests at the heart of companies like EA, Activision, and other major companies are a combination of shareholders, who generally maintain investment portfolios accross a number of businesses, and executives like Bobby Kotick that have made enough money where they are able to live in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives without lifting a finger if they did absolutly nothing else. The entire thing is motivated by rich people getting richer. If most of the powers behind these video game companies walked, it wouldn't really hurt the people at the top of the food chain, just the employees. The crash would leave massive devestation of the industry, and yes there would be some executives hitting the poverty line, but the big boys would be just fine. Most of them would just go on to other investments, find other executive jobs, or just decide to sit down like huge bloated toads on vast piles of money and live out the rest of their lives in luxury without worrying about either the gamers OR the employees whose lives they wrecked.

To be honest, I'm thinking we might very well be seeing a choice of "Video Game Crash, or supporting our own massive exploitation". Truthfully I think a crash would be better, because while we would go without games for a while, the simple fact that there is a demand means someone would rise to fill it. A crash would basically be a sort of "reboot" of the entire industry in hopes that the new version would do better this time.

I'll also say something else that is rather unpopular, as much as people like to point fingers at gaming executives, shareholders, and the big business aspects of things, the fault is also heavily with the developers. At the end of the day the cost of developing a game is largely a matter of human resources, the cost of office space, computers, etc... is minimal compared to these huge budgets. The rising cost of games is because the people making games increasingly demand more money, if a game succeeds and makes a publisher a bundle, the developer wants a bigger share of the pie due to it's success when they make their next game. A developer known for successes thus demands increasingly large amounts of money. A lot of this goes to the "faces" like Studio Heads directly, but a lot of it also goes into the increasingly bloated salaries and wages of line coders, graphics developers, music creators, and other people. Despite the popularized image of developers as ordinary people who just love games, they are hardly ordinary people, though I suppose many are jaded into thinking so if their peer group is a lot like them. Maxim once did an article called "Why Game Developers Drive Ferraris" which simply reported what differant people in the industry made on average per year based on reports, and it wasn't exactly a normal existance. The a lot of the reasons why a publisher (which is evil and greedy in it's own right) needs to do so much to make money in so many cases is because of how much it paid the devs. The devs being the reason why you might see a comparitively short, derivitive, dialed in entry in a series, or even a new franchise, that needs to sell a shocking number of copies to be profitable, having taken more money to develop than previous, comparable games (especially when tech hasn't advanced much), it's because those developers demanded more money based on their previous success. If you see a budget to produce basically the same thing raise from 50 to 70 mil the question to ask yourself is who the raises are going to.

At it's core, it's all understandable. A publisher wants a return on their investment. A developer, like any other employee or person providing a skill, wants fair compensation for their work. Of course as an industry becomes successful and makes tons of money, people's self-importanance inflates as does expectations of what fair compensation is. If your job is to be say a graphics designer, and part of your job is to learn all the new technology and such as being part of the field to begin with, your doing pretty much what's expected of you whenever you make a game no matter what technology it uses, it's part of being a professional. When what you think you should be being fairly paid becomes less about what your actually doing, and is instead based on how much your bosses/investors/publishers are making off the product you produce that's a problem. You demand more, you get it, the price of the product increases, it trickles down to the customers. Cycle continues, more and more is done to make up the differance and keep things similarly profitable, and eventually the entire thing crashes because at the end of the day it all forms to the consumers. The devs aren't willing to settle for a fair wage, and the publishers aren't going to reduce their profits (especially when they expect growth) all of it falls squarely on the consumer until you eventually break.

To be honest, in part I think a crash would be good, because while the publishers would be the big winners, I think a lot of developers need a kick in the teeth too.

One interesting question that comes up with Dead Space 3 for example is that if ne needs to sell X million copies, how much did it actually cost to make? That's the money the guys at Visceral were paid, which set the price and needs to begin with.

To be honest sometime people might want to sit down with a game, and then compare the cost with the price to produce it. You might be going "wow, that was an incredible piece of work" but then carefully analyze to yourself if you think it should have cost like 70 million dollars (or whatever) to produce that. Stop and think about what else you could have achieved with that much money. It puts things into perspective. Maybe it's a good product, but in Maxim terms, do you think it's enough where you feel justified in it allowing some line coder to go buzzing around in a Ferrari?

Can't say I don't agree with pretty much everything here.

I like Dead Space too, and was pretty saddened to hear about the in game DLC (IGP = In Game Purchases?). Even if this scheme doesn't change how I play the game, doesn't force me to seriously consider spending extra money, I'm still bothered by it being there.

I'll admit it: I'll probably buy Dead Space 3. However, there's no way I'll be buying it at full price. I'll wait six months or a year and get it for $19.99.

Therumancer:

canadamus_prime:

GoddyofAus:

Or they'll just take the massive profits they've already made, give the industry and its supporters the finger and walk away cackling into the shadows, leaving an absolute trainwreck in their wake.

Never underestimate the cowardess of big business when the chips are well and truly down.

I could see Microsoft and Sony doing that as they have their fingers in many pies and the fate of the video game industry wouldn't hurt them a whole lot, but companies like EA, Activision, Sega, Capcom, and Nintendo who's sole source of profit is video games, they'll have to learn to adapt to survive or die and any of them that don't won't be missed. And any of these businesses that are out to make money want to continue to make money.

Well, yes and no. The thing to understand that the core interests at the heart of companies like EA, Activision, and other major companies are a combination of shareholders, who generally maintain investment portfolios accross a number of businesses, and executives like Bobby Kotick that have made enough money where they are able to live in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives without lifting a finger if they did absolutly nothing else. The entire thing is motivated by rich people getting richer. If most of the powers behind these video game companies walked, it wouldn't really hurt the people at the top of the food chain, just the employees. The crash would leave massive devestation of the industry, and yes there would be some executives hitting the poverty line, but the big boys would be just fine. Most of them would just go on to other investments, find other executive jobs, or just decide to sit down like huge bloated toads on vast piles of money and live out the rest of their lives in luxury without worrying about either the gamers OR the employees whose lives they wrecked.

To be honest, I'm thinking we might very well be seeing a choice of "Video Game Crash, or supporting our own massive exploitation". Truthfully I think a crash would be better, because while we would go without games for a while, the simple fact that there is a demand means someone would rise to fill it. A crash would basically be a sort of "reboot" of the entire industry in hopes that the new version would do better this time.

I'll also say something else that is rather unpopular, as much as people like to point fingers at gaming executives, shareholders, and the big business aspects of things, the fault is also heavily with the developers. At the end of the day the cost of developing a game is largely a matter of human resources, the cost of office space, computers, etc... is minimal compared to these huge budgets. The rising cost of games is because the people making games increasingly demand more money, if a game succeeds and makes a publisher a bundle, the developer wants a bigger share of the pie due to it's success when they make their next game. A developer known for successes thus demands increasingly large amounts of money. A lot of this goes to the "faces" like Studio Heads directly, but a lot of it also goes into the increasingly bloated salaries and wages of line coders, graphics developers, music creators, and other people. Despite the popularized image of developers as ordinary people who just love games, they are hardly ordinary people, though I suppose many are jaded into thinking so if their peer group is a lot like them. Maxim once did an article called "Why Game Developers Drive Ferraris" which simply reported what differant people in the industry made on average per year based on reports, and it wasn't exactly a normal existance. The a lot of the reasons why a publisher (which is evil and greedy in it's own right) needs to do so much to make money in so many cases is because of how much it paid the devs. The devs being the reason why you might see a comparitively short, derivitive, dialed in entry in a series, or even a new franchise, that needs to sell a shocking number of copies to be profitable, having taken more money to develop than previous, comparable games (especially when tech hasn't advanced much), it's because those developers demanded more money based on their previous success. If you see a budget to produce basically the same thing raise from 50 to 70 mil the question to ask yourself is who the raises are going to.

At it's core, it's all understandable. A publisher wants a return on their investment. A developer, like any other employee or person providing a skill, wants fair compensation for their work. Of course as an industry becomes successful and makes tons of money, people's self-importanance inflates as does expectations of what fair compensation is. If your job is to be say a graphics designer, and part of your job is to learn all the new technology and such as being part of the field to begin with, your doing pretty much what's expected of you whenever you make a game no matter what technology it uses, it's part of being a professional. When what you think you should be being fairly paid becomes less about what your actually doing, and is instead based on how much your bosses/investors/publishers are making off the product you produce that's a problem. You demand more, you get it, the price of the product increases, it trickles down to the customers. Cycle continues, more and more is done to make up the differance and keep things similarly profitable, and eventually the entire thing crashes because at the end of the day it all forms to the consumers. The devs aren't willing to settle for a fair wage, and the publishers aren't going to reduce their profits (especially when they expect growth) all of it falls squarely on the consumer until you eventually break.

To be honest, in part I think a crash would be good, because while the publishers would be the big winners, I think a lot of developers need a kick in the teeth too.

One interesting question that comes up with Dead Space 3 for example is that if ne needs to sell X million copies, how much did it actually cost to make? That's the money the guys at Visceral were paid, which set the price and needs to begin with.

To be honest sometime people might want to sit down with a game, and then compare the cost with the price to produce it. You might be going "wow, that was an incredible piece of work" but then carefully analyze to yourself if you think it should have cost like 70 million dollars (or whatever) to produce that. Stop and think about what else you could have achieved with that much money. It puts things into perspective. Maybe it's a good product, but in Maxim terms, do you think it's enough where you feel justified in it allowing some line coder to go buzzing around in a Ferrari?

Holy shit, did you write me novel? Regardless given a choice between a crash and being exploited, I'd take the crash. At least then there's the possibility of coming out of it ahead as any companies (both developers and publishers) that survive it or arise from it will hopefully have learned what the consumers what and are willing to pay for. It's a slim possibility, but it's better than being exploited.

Yes Jim. It will take another game crash of 83 to fix things up.

The Signs of the coming Apocalypse are here.

Plethora of games and consoles
Ouya, Nvidia Shield, 6 Steam Boxes (High, Mid, Low,)(Mobile, Box), Non-Valve Steam Boxes, Game Stick, WiiU, PS4?, XBox 720?

Competition from home computers
Steam now works on Linux.
Android Phones
IPhones, IPads
All unforeseen forms of competition

High-profile failures
The Collapse of THQ
38 Studio

Loss of publishing control
Free to Play

You ignored the signs.
You encouraged the Devil.
You put yourself above all.
You pretended to lead us to the light only to find darkness.
You have Dammed us all.

May our benevolent lord and savior see fit to send us another messenger to lead us out of the darkness that is to come.

Well, some recent statements from DE3 devs, almost do make it look like somebody who wants to get out is attempting a "Torch the franchise and run" manouvre... :P

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