Jimquisition: Guns Blazing

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Guns Blazing

Dark Souls 2 is all about going in, guns blazing, and hoping to God it works. Oh dear.

Watch Video

As a shattered I just loved the Podtoid reference

Jim, you must be getting sick and tired of having to flog that dead horse eh?

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really don't want this to be true - but I too have been feeling this deep down in my gut and with every new thing I hear about Dark Souls 2 the feeling gets worse. It started when I heard that Miyazaki had been ousted as director by Namco.

Why must this happen? Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are two of my favorite games from this generation.

Wow, you sound quite angry Jim. I like that.

Its quite a shame company's are staring to shy away from Nische titels, Those are often the very best for those interested in that particular genre.

canadamus_prime:
Jim, you must be getting sick and tired of having to flog that dead horse eh?

He's getting really anal about homogenization and unrealistic expectations.

I was all ready halfway through, to give my opinion on why they are doing taking this direction, and then you go ahead and word it perfectly.

Hell, you even expanded into my other issue with triple A gaming, and that's the need to try to appeal to people who don't give a damn about the title. It's what pissed me off so much about Dragon Age and Mass Effect. It's not that the sequels were bad games because of the directions they chose, it's that they were not the reasons for why I got into those series in the first place.

If I wanted a cover based shooter with brilliant combat, I already had Gears of War, it's not what interested me about Mass Effect.

Publishers, developers or whomever makes the decisions on these matters are just far too greedy. Wanting to sell millions is not a bad goal, but if you are already selling millions and have a happy fanbase, then why risk throwing it away in the attempt to just make another million?

Sure, they make more money in the short term, but in the long run they just end up alienating the fans. Hell, look at Bioware fans before ME3 and DA2, and now look at them. Yes, there are still plenty of them, but I imagine Bioware have also lost a hell of a lot of them too. Or else they have made people unwilling to trust them enough to get a day one purchase, and so people are more wary.

I don't bring up Bioware and EA to beat a dead horse, but they are the people with this attitude with whom I have the most experience, so I apologise if people have a "Oh here we go again" reaction.

Wow... Just wow. It might be a bit of a early call to say this, but I think this might be the angriest that I've seen Jim in a very long time. And I have to say, he's right to be. I'm not the biggest fan of the Souls franchise myself, but I do wholeheartedly agree that have been in too much of a trend of putting in features that they don't need in games just to attempt to appeal to an audience, and not focus on what those who are already fans of the series say they want more of.

The games industry is crumbling all around us, and people like Jim are trying to quickly repair it with duct tape as it falls.

I'm imagining pieces breaking off, rotting and snapping like twigs under their own weight as Jim screams "Noooooooo" dramatically

A very sad image to be sure and it brings tears to my eyes but as I look on I can't help but feel that maybe it's time to just let it die.

Aaaaand, several users now went and looked up the Belladonna Bitch Fist just to see if this is real. It is and the comment on the Amazon page is priceless, I tell you. Priceless. I also like how the Amazon page I found says it's a package of four. I don't even want to know what someone would do with four rubber fists.

DVS BSTrD:

canadamus_prime:
Jim, you must be getting sick and tired of having to flog that dead horse eh?

He's getting really anal about homogenization and unrealistic expectations.

It's doubly obvious as he keeps putting out examples of games that only went for that niche market and ended up doing very well, ie. Dark Souls, Dead Space, X-COM, etc.

DVS BSTrD:

canadamus_prime:
Jim, you must be getting sick and tired of having to flog that dead horse eh?

He's getting really anal about homogenization and unrealistic expectations.

Don't misunderstand me. I agree with everything he said. What I meant was that he must be getting sick and tired of having to say it because Publishers refuse to listen.

You know, I think I am missing a healthy dose of undeserved mental and physical pain in my life. Whereabouts could I get my own Belladonna Bitch Fist?

To my knowledge, the moment someone utters the phrase "hope to God it works" has already dug their own grave. I have a hard time believing any normal human being could look at that phrase and think "Well gee, now I should totally go and get Dark Souls 2". The idea that a professional uttered those words makes me cringe. That's something you only see in parodies on the net, made for the purpose of comedy.

I was expecting you to talk about Nintendo and youtube this week.

Well, I'm not going to go on the offensive until the game has been released, It's a little disappointing to hear that statement but I will most likely like the game as long as it has the same attitude as the first one.

Tis true,

And it saddens me as a massive Dark Souls fan. Oh well. I still have faith that From Software will deliver a good game. As good as the master piece that was Dark Souls? One can not hope for such a thing as no Zelda game has topped a Link to the Past in almost 20 years.

I can understand why Sterling would be upset by this, and we won't know if "Dark Souls II" would turn down this route of trying to compete against "Skyrim" until it is launched or we see more advertising indicating this. But, I'm willing to disagree with Sterling on this as competition like this could encourage growth.

If games stuck to their niche audience by making the same game for them to enjoy, then that is what Nintendo is doing. Same Zelda game, same Mario game, and only trying to do something new with the Metroid franchise (that didn't work out so well, I know). The point here is that games can become stagnant and homogenous if they don't try something new. In laymans terms, if I heard that "Dark Souls II" provides all the content I like from "Dark Souls I", then why should I buy it?

On the other hand, if I heard that "Dark Souls II" was borrowing ideas and features from "Skyrim", like a crafting system or screwing the souls system in favor a skill-growth system, I might be interested in trying it. Sterling has a few videos here where we could try ideas of a modern shooter game set in a horror setting, or showing interest in "Silent Hill" done in a top-down action RPG similar to "Diablo" on the PS Vita. I don't see how it could be harmful for the developers of "Dark Souls II" to look at "Skyrim" and see how they can use what they learned to potentially make the game better. It would be an interesting experiment, I think.

Though it seems like the wording here is the developers of "Dark Souls II" want to 'compete' against "Skyrim", not 'learn' from it. In that case, they might be setting themselves up for failure as Sterling talked about. But either way we won't know until we learn more about the game.

canadamus_prime:

DVS BSTrD:

canadamus_prime:
Jim, you must be getting sick and tired of having to flog that dead horse eh?

He's getting really anal about homogenization and unrealistic expectations.

Don't misunderstand me. I agree with everything he said. What I meant was that he must be getting sick and tired of having to say it because Publishers refuse to listen.

Yeah, it's really gotten out of... hand.

Actual subject matter of that video aside:

If there was House 'Quisition in Game of Thrones, its sigil would be a black Belladona Bitchfist rampant upon a red field. That's a banner I'd flock to.

CAPTCHA: general tso... more like General Jim - the gaming industry needs a revolution.

Welcome to modern capitalism. It sucks.

Yeah, that's really the only thing to add: this isn't just limited to gaming. The world's full of people and businesses that think growth is automatic and infinite, and that not getting the return you wanted is failure even if you're in the black. A business's money doesn't come from thin air from the capitalism fairy, it comes from customers, and even overlooking how stagnant wages can hinder buying power or market over saturation can lead to even willing buyers not being able to, the reality is eventually you will sell to everyone that wants your product and nothing you can do will lure in customers not interested in any great numbers. The game industry is right now desperate to try and bring in the more casuals and get them to buy like the hardcore, but that's what makes them casuals: they don't buy in bulk, they don't buy repetitive clones, and they may not even know Tomb Raider had multiplayer as they don't visit the websites.

This is market maturity and it isn't a bad thing. I mean, if you only value share prices, yes it's bad, but if you just want more money in your pocket at the end of the day than you started with, it's perfectly viable. Know your market and appeal to it. Know your costs and don't let them get out of hand. Make something good enough and you might even draw in outside markets to see what the fuss is all about (ie: how Final Fantasy 7 brought RPGs to the mainstream). The hard part is getting over the mental block generated over the last 30 years that prevents you from going, "I was good yesterday, and I haven't moved, so I'm still good."

My first reaction that the quality Dark Souls 2 is being threatened right now.

"FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUCK"

I knew this was coming after the mini-rant on Podtoid, and to be fair, I can definitely understand the reasons for it as well, especially with it being a Souls game, that was previously praised for not doing this shit.

Didn't expect the Belladonna Bitch Fist to show up as well though.

And lo, on that day did Belladonna's rubber fist become a rallying point for all gamers disgruntled with the excesses of the AAA market to unite behind.

It has to be the bean counters right? I know Miyazaki isn't involved in the project directly.. and I have to wonder if part of the reason he stepped away was because he saw this coming. It wouldn't be so damning and downright pitiful if these publishers weren't all posting losses from their big releases.

I also wonder if down the road when this gets really bad if Kenji Inafune will catch any flak for the things he's said about the Japanese Games industry and how it needs to change.

I am one of those that Dark Souls and Demon Souls never appealed too. Sure I think they are good niche titles but they just don't scratch my gaming itch.

However, trying to make the game more like the games I own isn't going to make me anymore interested in the game I appreciate but don't give two craps about playing.

The only enjoyment I get out of mass appeal is reading the constant failing sales report of said mass appeal games.

I'm thinking the Belladonna Bitch Fist was intially a sex toy sent to Jim as an insult. It has in fact become a very cool prop doing exactly the opposite of what it's message might have been.

the antithesis:
Aaaaand, several users now went and looked up the Belladonna Bitch Fist just to see if this is real. It is and the comment on the Amazon page is priceless, I tell you. Priceless. I also like how the Amazon page I found says it's a package of four. I don't even want to know what someone would do with four rubber fists.

See, I saw that, and before he said what it was I thought "Wait, is that the Hand of Nod? Seems... somewhat appropriate considering the "Thank God for Me" thing and the fanbase he got and... oh wait, it's a porn reference. Nevermind."

canadamus_prime:
Jim, you must be getting sick and tired of having to flog that dead horse eh?

The horse keeps trying to get up so what do you expect Jim to do? I mean yes this particular horse resembles a bloody mass of giblets but somehow it keeps twitching and jumping.

http://youtu.be/uLquz4Iz-30

Mayamellissa:
I'm thinking the Belladonna Bitch Fist was intially a sex toy sent to Jim as an insult. It has in fact become a very cool prop doing exactly the opposite of what it's message might have been.

Nah, I know the guy who sent it. He's a fan of my Podtoid podcast. Given the subject matter we often broach on the show, it's a fitting gift.

A disturbing gift, but a fitting one.

Not fitting in *that* way. Yet.

The fact that Namco Bandai is doing this is, as far as I can see, no different from what happened to shooters after Call of Duty. I really thought that it would be clear what happens when companies all climb aboard the homogenization train. The fact that it is now happening to RPGs is somewhere between sad and infuriating. I love Skyrim, and what I have seen from Dark Souls I'd love it too (need to wait for money to purchase it), but they are, and should be, different games. If this continues, however, I won't be wasting my money on Dark Souls 2.

Well it's not as baffling if you allowed your cynicism to seep into every pore of your being and your perception of society. All the heroes are dead and the world is run by people so short sighted and greedy that they make Gollem jumping into Lava after a ring look reasonable.

However I am not that person. I am still at least partially optimistic in thinking that they might be able to make this work however I have to strongly vehemently disagree with Voltano. There is a difference between innovation and betraying the core of the series. There is plenty of room for innovation here without having to throw half of the mechanics that define the games over board.

I usually don't do this but if you want a skill-progression system, go play Skyrim, when however you want to play a game about slow meticulous progression to a gauntlet of challenge then you can come join me in Dark Souls, what is not going to happen is the two games meeting in the middle because you then get the Venn Diagram problem.

A game that appeals to both Skyrimthusiasts and Darksoloist will appeal to a small percentage of both of those, but disappointing the majority of both. The Skyrimians because it is not enough like Skyrim and the Darksolians because it is nothing like what they were used to. This could result in commercial success but guarantees creative bankruptcy. All the horror franchises should be a proper example where they no longer have any idea to make a good game but still manage to sell enough to warrant continued sequels.

Resident Evil 6 is the inevitable fate of any game that decides to appeal to everyone, it pleases no one and subsists entirely on nothing but fan loyalty who play each game despite their full realization that what they are playing is no longer the game that they originally liked, a success for the company a widespread loss for gaming. It might happen with Dark Souls 2, however there is also the chance it will just flat out bomb.

We shall wait and see whether this will be another Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, enter other franchise here that subsists not on quality but on user base loyalty/addiction.

canadamus_prime:

Don't misunderstand me. I agree with everything he said. What I meant was that he must be getting sick and tired of having to say it because Publishers refuse to listen.

The thing of it is, publishers don't usually listen to a single voice on the Internet. They've got passels of marketing folks, business grads all, who study the industry, research the consumer, tailor their product to earn the most money from the most people, and then realize that someone has already done that and it's called Call of Duty.

For the Internet to have an effect, it has to really scream and the message usually gets lost amid the raging. "Stop copying the AAA market! You're killing yourselves and ruining the medium! Stick to what you're already good at!" screams the Internet. "Stick to what you're good at!" hears the publisher and proceeds to tune out what is clearly an uninformed opinion advising stagnation. Such opinions have no place judging a highly-paid, well-educated marketing team that spent years doing costly research to advance profits. It's the Internet. There will be others out there who will offer support.

Jim's been consistent in his message and, one day, he will probably be proven right. Dark Souls 2 will crash and burn because of its hubris, taking hundreds of jobs with it, and the once-highly paid, well-educated marketing team will be out on their butts wondering how it all went wrong. There will be plenty of people to say "I told you so" but I imagine the message from Jim will be "What did you expect?" As Jim pointed out, this is where it starts. Dark Souls 2 might just become the textbook example of how not to do it, something that the video game industry apparently needs to realize that AAA business practices do not work anymore.

I don't think what you quoted in the video was quite damning enough. You are making some safe assumptions, but they are still just that: assumptions. Skyrim is referenced many times in this video and, interestingly enough, it's one of the best counterpoints to your video I can think of. TES started off as a super niche franchise. Hell, I didn't even know about it until TES III: Morrowind debuted on the original Xbox. In every TES since Daggerfall they have worked to widen that "net" and bring in as many new fans as possible.

While I believe Morrowind to be the best in the series, I recognize Oblivion and Skyrim are still great games that have not yet abandoned the things that make TES games great. There's a right way and a wrong way to widen the net. Yes, Bethesda's made some mistakes in this regard (over reliance on voice acting, hand-holding mechanics, etc.) but overall I would say that they're doing good work. If a niche game can garner new fans without losing its soul... more power to it.

I think it's too early to say that Dark Souls 2 will drop the ball, but I can certainly see where you are coming from. As you've sited, there are plenty of franchises who've recently done the same thing and failed miserably.

As always,

Thank God for Jim.

I'm more concerned that these people are actually making executive decisions and have presumably gone to business school.

If you say, presented a yearly plan to a board at a fortune 500 company and essentially your plan boils down to "Do this and hope to god it works" you'll be thrown out on your ass. Does no one do market validation anymore?

Jimothy Sterling:
Guns Blazing

Dark Souls 2 is all about going in, guns blazing, and hoping to God it works. Oh dear.

Watch Video

Thanks for voicing these concerns Jim, I just hope sooner rather than later it reaches the publishers.

The relatively new trend of trying to appeal to everyone, with every game bothers me. Instead of trying to cover as much of the potential market as possible in a series of smaller games, every game apparently has to target a single, albeit large, group of consumers. Some of these games will be successful, sure, but there are only so many games people can by. By appealing to as many people as possible, you're still only targeting one segment of gamers. You're dooming yourself to failure simply by over-saturating this audience.

There's a reasonably large number of gamers who aren't being delivered to very often, and have the desire and money to buy new games. There is room for profit here, but you have to be moderate in your investments. You don't even need to constantly create new IPs if you're that scared of unproven titles, just don't mutate niche titles into something they aren't. It's truly bizarre that large publishers can't seem to grasp a business concept as basic as supply and demand.

Instead, my wallet remains closed for the majority of the year.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here