Obsidian Lost Bonus for Fallout: New Vegas by One Metacritic Point

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Frostbite3789:

The Gentleman:

Quality incentives gives the studio reason to polish and perfect the product to a higher grade.

And if you recall, polishing was something they did a horrid job at with New Vegas.

And suffered for it. Hence the above article.

It would not surprise me in the slightest to learn that the 'Metacritic dependent bonuses' are just a way for the publishers to cheat developers out of money they should have been paid to make the game in the first place. Pay them less with the vague promise that they'll pay them more should the game preform really well on some hokey internet review site probably means that the publisher shells out less money if, I don't know, the slightly more solid promise to pay them more if the game ships a metric fuck-load of copies more than expected.

Just saying.

The Gentleman:

Frostbite3789:

The Gentleman:

Quality incentives gives the studio reason to polish and perfect the product to a higher grade.

And if you recall, polishing was something they did a horrid job at with New Vegas.

And suffered for it. Hence the above article.

Yeah. These things have a way of coming full circle.

ugh, this is despicable.

You guys couldn't let that one point slide eh boys? it's bad enough you are using metacritic ffs. now every reviewer won't want to give a game an honest score in case someone is screwed out a a bonus.

The Gentleman:

Frostbite3789:

The Gentleman:

Quality incentives gives the studio reason to polish and perfect the product to a higher grade.

And if you recall, polishing was something they did a horrid job at with New Vegas.

And suffered for it. Hence the above article.

9 times out of 10, the publisher is in control of QA btw.

HA good fallout new Vegas was the most disappointing piece of crap iv ever sat through.

Fappy:
What kind of backwards bullshit business deal is that? Is this common? For fucks sake gaming industry, forget about Metracritic scores! They are meaningless as many of the publications are bought off anyway (looking at you, Gamespot and IGN). This makes me sick.

Mike Kayatta:
Obsidian Lost Bonus for Fallout: New Vegas by One Metacritic Point

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If sites like "Armchair Empire" and "Gamekult" had rated the game just a teensy bit higher, Obsidian would have walked away with a financial bonus for its work on New Vegas.

Deals between game publishers and developers are just as varied as one might find in any other production business, though the details that comprise them often never come to light. In the case of Fallout: New Vegas, the community recently got some rare insight from Chris Avellone, the co-owner of Obsidian, as to the nature of their arrangement with publisher Bethesda. According to a recent Tweet, his company's work on the post-apocalyptic RPG was to be a one-time payment unless the game garnered a positive response on review aggregator Metacritic.

"[Fallout: New Vegas] was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn't," Avellone wrote. If you're a fan of New Vegas, or of people getting paid well for hard work, this admission is made more poignantly gloomy by the fact that it reached an 84, just one point away from the extra compensation. The bonus was likely a big deal for Obsidian, considering that the developer doesn't see one cent on a per sale basis.

Avellone's disclosure comes just one day after the reported wave of Obsidian staff layoffs, said to include over thirty people, some of who were reportedly just hired between one and seven days before the sweep. The firings came joined with the news that the studio had cancelled development on a next-gen project (codenamed "North Carolina") and its continued progress on the recently announced South Park RPG remains unclear.

Source: Joystiq

Permalink

Chriiiist. Well if Metacritic is what's driving the developers/publishers these days, ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE. Stick to football.

Darkmantle:

The Gentleman:

Frostbite3789:

And if you recall, polishing was something they did a horrid job at with New Vegas.

And suffered for it. Hence the above article.

9 times out of 10, the publisher is in control of QA btw.

But the studio is in charge of debugging. And no publisher is going to cancel a project that far along (with the sole exception of Blizzard in one instance, possibly two depending on how far along Ghost got). With the money already invested into a project of that scale, if the product is shipable, you accept it and ship it (and I actually got New Vegas, the game was playable prior to the first patch and the first bugs usually didn't show up till a few hours in). Better to be able to recoup your losses via bad sales then total loss via no sale.

On the one hand, the fact that people were laid off because of one point on metacritic is sad.

On the other hand, it's OBSIDIAN. Obsidian has NEVER released a quality game (or even a complete game) in the entire time I've followed them. They were the people behind KotOR II, a buggy mess of unfinished quests, and they were the ones behind Fallout: New Vegas which was, let's be honest, a buggy mess of unfinished quests.

If Obsidian collapsed completely, the games industry would be better for it.

Way I see it, F:NV sold farking shedloads, and thirty of the people involved with creating a massive hit are now not around to create more massive cash cows for you, because you decided to hold back on a bonus over a single point.

If only there was some kinda humanity involved in these things "Well, you only made it to 84, but as you've sold five fucking million, here's yer bonus, now, get back to work, we need Fallout 4!"

Who's for hopping on Metacritic and giving Superman 64 that 100 review it so missed first time around?

Off topic, the new captchas, much better, readable now!

Title makes me think of oblivion lost (STALKER is sooooo good).

They. Got. Paid. For. The. Game.

If you're laying people off, then you're not managing your finances properly.

Relying on a bonus to not fire staff is exactly the same as waiting staff relying on tips to .. well .. live.

The problem here is not when some customer refuses to tip when they think the service is mediocre.
The problem here is not even because the service is mediocre enough to get such a reaction.
Sure, the billionz of bugs in F:NV is probably responsible for the 84, and had it 10% fewer bugs, it may have made the target.

However, that's still not the fucking issue.
The problem is, THE FUCKING RESTAURANT ISN'T PAYING STAFF ENOUGH TO LIVE ON.

Orange12345:
from now on every single game reviewer should give every game a 10/10, just write a honest review and give the game a ten regardless of what was actually said in the written review.

reminds me of when I watched gametrailers Metroid Other M review, the guy spends most of it talking about the terrible voice acting, the bad story and script, and how he hates what they did with samus, which apparently only knock down to 8.9 or something like that.

I don't know what's sadder.

The fact that people think that those scores matter...

Or the fact that those scores are now costing people their jobs.

This is why I prefer video reviews. With text reviews, anything can be said to your face, and you wouldn't exactly be able to tell from the screenshots or from the text whether they're omitting a few things or not. Even with things like Zero Punctuation, you can tell that they had to go through some trouble playing through the game, and in the case of some video reviewers, capturing footage that outlines their points. Granted, some of them are extremely critical in their complaints and have a bar set so high that getting any kind of praise from them is difficult, but you can tell that they're being a lot more legitimate than most game sites.

Or hell, I'd even prefer something like GFaqs's review system, because if you're going to make text reviews, just have them open to the public. Sure, you're probably gonna have every CoD fanboy and their mum saying that Modern Warfare 7: Nuclear Combat was the best game of all time, but you'll also have the rest of the community pointing out its flaws, so you'll have a (slightly) balanced system.

uncanny474:
On the one hand, the fact that people were laid off because of one point on metacritic is sad.

On the other hand, it's OBSIDIAN. Obsidian has NEVER released a quality game (or even a complete game) in the entire time I've followed them. They were the people behind KotOR II, a buggy mess of unfinished quests, and they were the ones behind Fallout: New Vegas which was, let's be honest, a buggy mess of unfinished quests.

If Obsidian collapsed completely, the games industry would be better for it.

Neither has Bethesda. All the games starting with Morrowind had to be fixed by modders. Hell, modders had to fix something as amateur as missing textures and mesh problems. Ever wonder why zombies in Oblivion had black hair? It was supposed to be white. Not to mention the HOLES INTO THE GAME ABYSS in MANY of Bethesda's games interiors and exteriors like Fallout 3 or Skyrim.

Besides, Bethesda did the QA for NV. Get over it.

Never have I seen people bitch so much about a single company. If it isn't the star wars fanboys who cant accept star wars has been milked to death decades ago, its something else.

Darkmantle:
ugh, this is despicable.

You guys couldn't let that one point slide eh boys? it's bad enough you are using metacritic ffs. now every reviewer won't want to give a game an honest score in case someone is screwed out a a bonus.

How exactly is it despicable?

Fallout 3 has scores of 90, 91 and 94 on Metacritic, depending on what platform your on. The fact that they set the target for bonus's at 85, rather then 90 like they most likely could have justified is downright benign by most big companies standards these days. I mean seriously, its FALLOUT, half the sites most likely added a couple of points simply because of the brand behind it, let alone the fact it possesses half the original developers from fallout 3.

The bonus was practically there's to lose, regardless of any interference or whatever from Bethesda. They had an established IP, a generous target to reach, and according to the fan reaction, they would smash it out of the park. Not to mention they inherited quite a few assets and code from Betheseda.

Due to the way the contract was no doubt worded, and the advantages they had, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if both sides considered the bonus target to merely be a formality. I mean, it was a quasi sequal, with features that brought everything back to their roots and crap.

If anyone screwed Obsidian out of the Bonus it was obviously Obsidian. It was most certainly theres to lose, and not bethesedas fault if they screwed it all up.

Seriously, why the hell is there so much Betheseda hate around. If it wasn't for them, there wouldn't have been ANY fallout 3 or Fallout New Vegas at all. Instead there would have been more Fallout Brotherhood of Steels, developed from a dying brand that likely would have ended up getting snapped up by EA or Activision.

Think about it. Fallout by Activison or EA, in the same vein as post westwood command and conquer, Syndicate or X-Com.

Coming soon, from EA. Fallout 1942. A newly innovative cover based shooter that takes us from before war ever changed. Live the war against chin wait we might offend them, can't have that,) South africa. Experience the moments when the Nuk wait, thats not very family friendly candy bombs dropped yourself!

The Gentleman:

Quality assurance (i.e. alpha and beta testing) is better handled in house. If something is bad, it takes less time (and therefore, money) to fix if the person finding the problem is already in the studio. The quality clause in this contract (which is what we're referring to) provides an assurance that the product they would be getting is off the minimum desired quality.

I think that depends on the house. This is Obsidian we're talking about, after all.

I have to admit, this does give me a certain amount of schadenfreude after Avellone's bitch fit

It takes more than a nostalgic pedigree to achieve greatness.

I was all prepared to make some comment about how maybe they should have released it without so many bugs, and then I read to the part about the layoffs and all the snark went right out of me.

Damn. That sucks.

Obsidian signed the contract... Maybe a less buggy game next time.... Oh wait... Obsidian....

Adam hits the nail on the head. If you depend on scores as a publisher you're doing it wrong. Look at the market. If you know you made a good game, but it isn't selling worth shit you need to talk to your PR guys.

Using Metacritic score as some sort of measurement is BS
Why not using sales figures for let's say first 6 months?
That would make more sense.

RaikuFA:
[quote="Fappy" post="7.354393.14073964"]
Same here. I love JRPGs but you can tell from a good amount of professionals that review them that they don't even feel that the genre should even exist.

WRPG: Save the world = best story ever made
JRPG: Save the world = JRPG cliche would not play again

As a fellow JRPG fan, I couldn't agree more. That said I do still love a good CRPG, but only for how deeply you can intervene in the plot. My love for JRPGs mostly rests in a fond mixture of nostalgia, love for a good Japanese storyline (because that scene where the party ventures into Cloud's head will always stick with me), and an odd love of grinding (but not the WoW kind, MMO's just turn me off, mostly due to their endless nature).

The good news is that Famatsu still seems to love JRPGS, so they'll still keep getting pumped out, the only question is how many will make it over-seas.

It's shit like this that make me wonder if i should keep on trying to get into the AAA gaming industry or just hop aboard the indie development train.

Fappy:
What kind of backwards bullshit business deal is that? Is this common? For fucks sake gaming industry, forget about Metracritic scores! They are meaningless as many of the publications are bought off anyway (looking at you, Gamespot and IGN). This makes me sick.

While what you say is true I personally, ie THIS IS MY OPINION TO ANYONE READING THIS!, believe that the game doesn't deserve the scores it got. It was a glorified mod/expansion/DLC/Whatever you want to call it. The game was mediocre at best.

While using metacritic is asinine in itself, its almost said that when the game first came out, it was a "70" game. Fun; if you weren't raging against a game locking bug.
But now that the game has been patched up a bit, its a good solid 90+.

Only if they gave themselves 30 more days to find a bit more of those game locking bugs and nearly every review would have been above 80%.

I mean, there are 3 sites that rate it 70% or lower, which really drag down the score. If those 3 sites happen to have been even a minimum of 75%...

I think a better we just found a reason for "omg you gave us a 8 you haters" reasoning.

better system would be:
8.5 = bonus
8.0 = 0.75 bonus
7.5 = 0.5 bonus
7.0 = 0.25 bonus
that way this 0.1 point wouldnt be such a terrible thing for them.

This is why people rage against reviewers having tough standards to give a perfect score. Does it seem like Bethesda does not like people from Interplay?

Well I'm glad I bought FO:NV used, no money for you either Bethesda.

This is madness!

Madness?

THIS. IS. CAPITALISM!

Basing such an important thing on Metacrock though? I didn't even realise people still treated that site with any attention, let alone base financial rewards on it.

well, Bethesda, that's a dick move. And to think everyone honestly believes Bethesda can do no wrong. It doesn't help I already think Skyrim is the most massively overrated game of 2011, then they gotta do something stupid like this

Thanks for making the games industry such a shit place to be Publishers.

Strazdas:
I think a better we just found a reason for "omg you gave us a 8 you haters" reasoning.

better system would be:
8.5 = bonus
8.0 = 0.75 bonus
7.5 = 0.5 bonus
7.0 = 0.25 bonus
that way this 0.1 point wouldnt be such a terrible thing for them.

All or nothing is more incentive to do well.

Falseprophet:

Fappy:
What kind of backwards bullshit business deal is that? Is this common? For fucks sake gaming industry, forget about Metracritic scores! They are meaningless as many of the publications are bought off anyway (looking at you, Gamespot and IGN). This makes me sick.

Agreed. Why wouldn't you reward a bonus for sales? You know, the metric every other IP-based industry uses for success? I thought this was capitalism, not a popularity contest.

Very very good point.

Games have gotten high metascores but low sales, also low metascore but high sales, but it is SALES that is what the publishers actually want the developers to generate. Publishers have repeatedly intervened in games design to make them sell more copies or with greater returns... now it's drawing lines at arbitrary sales?

Or am I missing something. Are publishers saying:

"High metascore means it SHOULD HAVE sold well, and the only reason it wouldn't have is some non-developer factor, a screw up on our (the publisher's) side such as insufficient marketing or bad luck in timing against competition"

Still crazy to put thins much absolute value on metascore.

CardinalPiggles:
Thanks for making the games industry such a shit place to be Publishers.

Who has made things hard for publishers? If they have any hardship they have made it for themselves.

Treblaine:

CardinalPiggles:
Thanks for making the games industry such a shit place to be Publishers.

Who has made things hard for publishers? If they have any hardship they have made it for themselves.

I think there's a missing comma in that sentence that drastically changes the meaning (hint: it should go before the word "Publishers".)

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