Day Z Designer Says Publishers Offer Nothing He Wants

Day Z Designer Says Publishers Offer Nothing He Wants

image

Dean Hall says publishers ought to be focusing on offering technology assistance, not marketing and retail placement.

Day Z has attracted a lot of interest from would-be publishers, but Dean Hall says none of them offered anything that his Arma 2-based zombie apocalypse game actually needed. Hall sees the new digital era, with open platforms and online sales outlets, as an opportunity that, he claims, most publishers are missing out on. He went on to claim that everyone involved in the process - developers, publishers and manufacturers - would need to make significant changes, or risk irrelevancy.

When publishers came to Hall offering to do wonders for Day Z, Hall asked what was on offer. The response was development money, marketing and retail placement. "We don't see our product at retail," Hall said, arguing that the proposition was a complete misunderstanding of Day Z's needs, indicative of a calcified mindset. "We don't need money," Hall went on to say, "so then we don't need marketing. People don't want to see 'Day Z: brought to you by x-brand.'"

There were things publishers could offer, Hall argued, suggesting that publishers' strengths lay in specialist and technological assistance. Yet in Hall's view most on the publishing and development side - with the exception of Steam - were lagging behind.

Hall suggested that the only reason companies like Microsoft insisted on a publisher model before letting a game on Xbox Live was so the console maker didn't "piss off" its publishers. "To me it's like the early days of digital music distribution," Hall said, "where they put digital music out there but you still had to buy the whole album. It's like ... you're doing it wrong."

Source: VG24/7

Permalink

DayZ would be an awesome Xbox Live Indie release.

So the one thing Publishers don't know how to sell...

...is themselves.

Ugh, is it too much just to ask trying dumping it on Steam or GoG? We are afterall paying for the game via the "minecraft model" aka "we are still in alpha/beta".

DVS BSTrD:
So the one thing Publishers don't know how to sell...

Well... when a guy can sell a couple million copies of his company's game with nothing but a mod and word of mouth, whilst a developer can get into publishing and completely trounce them all, so thoroughly that they go to it now to sell their own games, there's a solid argument the publishers don't know how to sell anything at all.

Considering the tastes of the mainstream (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way), I certainly agree with the massive marketing spend that publishers offer being a bit pointless for a niche concept like DayZ.

mad825:
Ugh, is it too much just to ask trying dumping it on Steam or GoG? We are afterall paying for the game via the "minecraft model" aka "we are still in alpha/beta".

At the moment you're not playing for DayZ, surely?

As for Arma 2/OA it's already on Steam and GoG and a million other places.

MatParker116:
DayZ would be an awesome Xbox Live Indie release.

DayZ is nowhere near being suitable for a console. Granted, I'm sure (at least I hope) they'll clean up the inventory system and controls to make them less clunky for the standalone release, it's still way too "sim" to be played on a console, I just don't see a gamepad working for this title, ever. Although if they want to go that way, by all means, the console players will be easy prey ;)

PieBrotherTB:
Considering the tastes of the mainstream (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way), I certainly agree with the massive marketing spend that publishers offer being a bit pointless for a niche concept like DayZ.

Yeah, we've seen enough zombies to bury George A Romero a million times over. The problem is the most zombie games are garbage and they have flooded the market.

That and this is an Arma2 based game. Not the most user friendly game in the world. It has boosted the sales of Arma2 significantly though. I think what may wind up hurting a standalone DayZ game is the fact that 2 million people have already payed $30 for 2 Arma games they'd have never bought otherwise. Do you think that all of them will want to shell out more cash for a standalone version?

Doesn't mean the game got so big without marketing. I mean where would the game be without YouTube?
YouTube is a form of marketing, gamers and bloggers did the hard work, that a marketing department just couldn't do. Seriously, get your game reviewed here and other gaming sites, get the Yogscast and Athene to review your game on YouTube... marketing departments and publishers themselves are becoming more and more redundant. It's like developers are digging a moat around them, and they refuse to build a bridge.

This guy is right, publishers need to do more - they need to sponsor developers until the game is done. Publishers want in on some indi project, they should get in at the start, help the developer survive and then share the proceeds fairly. What a publisher does right now, is inject cash so you can hire freelancers to do the changes that the publisher thinks the game needs, but the developer ends up paying for it. Developers have to stand their ground, because publishers are only interested in releasing a game that looks like all the other successful games, with all the successful games features - they don't encourage innovation or experimentation in any way - they just try to capitalize on it any chance they get.

Speaking as an indi developer with a sponsor and a publisher and some gray hair to prove it.

I don't think the game needs anymore marketing. With all the videos and word of mouth this game just sells itself. Fine tune the gameplay and make it stand alone and I'll buy the hell out of it but atm $30 for Arma: Who gives a fuck just to play a mod? Nah

Also, this wouldn't do well mainstream. I've only played this a tiny bit at a friends house and my god is this game hard.

AzrealMaximillion:
sneeep

Weeeeeeeeeell...

what'll happen now is that more people will pick up the standalone version through word of mouth, and someone will complain about 'casuals'.

Although with a publisher, what would happen is that they'd be given a reason to complain about newcomers.

What's good here is that something will be given a chance to reach a larger audience with no compromise whatsoever.

teh_gunslinger:

mad825:
Ugh, is it too much just to ask trying dumping it on Steam or GoG? We are afterall paying for the game via the "minecraft model" aka "we are still in alpha/beta".

At the moment you're not playing for DayZ, surely?

As for Arma 2/OA it's already on Steam and GoG and a million other places.

I know...

I just cannot bring myself to buy OA in good conscience. Arma 2 alone was left sat on my HDD for a good year and I don't find it quite a bad game.

Perhaps next sale...Or the next one after that...

mad825:

teh_gunslinger:

mad825:
Ugh, is it too much just to ask trying dumping it on Steam or GoG? We are afterall paying for the game via the "minecraft model" aka "we are still in alpha/beta".

At the moment you're not playing for DayZ, surely?

As for Arma 2/OA it's already on Steam and GoG and a million other places.

I know...

I just cannot bring myself to buy OA in good conscience. Arma 2 alone was left sat on my HDD for a good year and I don't find it quite a bad game.

Perhaps next sale...Or the next one after that...

That's a genuine shame. As interesting and exciting as DayZ is I've had a lot more good times on Arma with the Rock Paper Shotgun platoon, running missions and failing hillariously and bombing our own men and crashing loaded transport helicopters and botching ambushes. And hell, we even achieve the mission objectives sometimes and don't get killed.

If you find the right group, and I did in RPS, Arma 2/OA is some of the most fun you can have in any game.

question. artistic standards aside does he make ANYTHING off of that day z mod? He is pulling some cash for those arma 2 guys.

Epic way to stick to principals. I hope we see more developers like this, because the more developers who do the more likely it is the big names who are basically enslaved by the publisher-centric system will break free as well.

Video games sold out forever ago and it was pretty sad to watch, I mostly blame the 360 dashboard, I mean there were ads before that sure, but they were never successful, I think that's where the companies started to smell the blood in the water.

This year publishers must feel like a middle aged person who has just received their first AARP letter. A little of "No, f**k you" here & a "sorry old man, get with the times" there. Since publishers primary job function seems to be to screw over artists 6 ways for profit, I just can't feel sorry for them.

rbstewart7263:
question. artistic standards aside does he make ANYTHING off of that day z mod? He is pulling some cash for those arma 2 guys.

I'm not certain but I think he works for Bohemia Interactive (The guys that made ARMA)

surg3n:
Doesn't mean the game got so big without marketing. I mean where would the game be without YouTube?
YouTube is a form of marketing, gamers and bloggers did the hard work, that a marketing department just couldn't do. Seriously, get your game reviewed here and other gaming sites, get the Yogscast and Athene to review your game on YouTube... marketing departments and publishers themselves are becoming more and more redundant. It's like developers are digging a moat around them, and they refuse to build a bridge.

Its word-of-mouth marketing. this was not what the publishes were offering. they were offering retail. Seriuos gamin sites already took a bite at DayZ, altrough not as much as they should have considering what they bother with sometimes.

To be on topic, i think Hall is awesome, we got another samrt person in the industry it seems.

 

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