CliffyB Thinks Used Games Are Bad, Sony is "Playing Us"

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The more I think about it, the more I think Nintendo has the right idea. I'm partial to them, having been a life-long fan, but their use of technology means that development costs don't run too high. They don't make games that couldn't be developed by a team of about twenty (although they too fall into the big development team trap). They have over 500 employees in one division alone, ensuring that (theoretically) they always have plenty of games in development. They make their own hardware, which means they know exactly how to use it. They don't do DLC or DRM, they've maintained their integrity in this regard.

The only problem is their concern with gimmicky bullshit and marketability. I've hated the last three first-party Nintendo games I've bought, and the idea that Nintendo is all gimmicks is picking up steam. If they dropped that, Nintendo are in a perfect place to cater to the wants and desires of modern gamers, i.e. the desire to have good games.

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing,"

This has probably been said a million times already, but just cut the costs of marketing and production, then? Used games are used products that have been sold already, as in THEY DO NOT BELONG TO THE CREATORS ANYMORE. Why should they be so entitled as to get paid for the same product TWICE? Used games and rentals are not going away. It's the industry's job to adapt, not the consumer's.

Carnagath:
The only thing I might begrudgingly accept is that Sony is playing us. On the conference, they made it clear that there will be no online requirement, then the next day the CEO said it's up to the publisher to use online DRM on the game. I don't know what to believe from them anymore, and as a result, I will not be buying the PS4 on day one, I will wait several months or a year to see how everything is handled and then decide.

The did pretty much say (paraphrase) "exactly like it is on PS3".

Currently on PS3, it is up to the publishers to add whatever DRM nonsense they feel like adding. Thankfully, not many do (cough*EA Bioware*cough) - as I suspect will remain the same on the PS4.

OP: So a man who develops exclusively for Microsoft attempts to stop himself from drowning as he is clearly on a rapidly sinking ship. No news here people, just desperation - move along.

Who cares about his opinion...he's the creator of Gears of War....that automatically makes any of his opinions white noise.

Yeah, I mean we all know how much used and rental cars are dragging down the car industry.

I read some of the tweets either side of that one and his dogged defence of Microsoft is nothing short of embarrassing. The guy needs to get some self respect instead of sucking up to EA and MS on a daily basis.

I'll say what everyone else has been saying: the huge dev and marketing costs are YOUR fault. Not ours. Was the launching of a copy of ME 3 into space really necessary? Good games sell themselves - who has ever seen a billboard, tv ad or any kind of advertising space for minecraft? anyone? Yet somehow it managed 10,000,000 sales. Good games sell themselves.

Kushan101:
I read some of the tweets either side of that one and his dogged defence of Microsoft is nothing short of embarrassing. The guy needs to get some self respect instead of sucking up to EA and MS on a daily basis.

I'll say what everyone else has been saying: the huge dev and marketing costs are YOUR fault. Not ours. Was the launching of a copy of ME 3 into space really necessary? Good games sell themselves - who has ever seen a billboard, tv ad or any kind of advertising space for minecraft? anyone? Yet somehow it managed 10,000,000 sales. Good games sell themselves.

I agree with you so hard that I had to quote your post just to let you know that.

Seriously, it's really frustrating that several things in the industry are being blamed on the consumers. It's also frustrating because, as Kushan said, Cliffy B will defend those practices (and MS and EA) to no end. Christ. Can't even put my frustration into words.

Maybe if "gamers" stop purchasing games based on weather their Metacritic scores are above 9.0 or not.

You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing

Then lower the budgets, marketing especially. The current high-budget development environment is much to blame for the lot of the boring, overblown games being sold today.

Altorin:
my stance is, if a game can't be purchased used on the consoles, I'm not going to buy it.

I buy new games when something comes out that I know I'll love and I either don't want to wait for the prices to drop to the bottom (5 dollars is not enough incentive for me to buy used, when I buy used they're typically 20 dollar 5 year old games).

If a console game is going to lock itself to my console then I don't want it, new, or used. I'll just buy something else. Or nothing. I'm not such a wanker that I NEED MY VIDYA GAMES WAHUUUUUU.

No. If a publisher chooses to shut out the used market for their title on PS4, then I just won't buy that game. If it turns out he's right and Sony's "playing us" and straight lying, then I won't be buying a PS4. I'm freaking 28 years old, you can't just pull this shit anymore.

Nintendo seems to get it, and even if I just get a WiiU, and somehow between Microsoft and Sony they absolutely destroy the used game market, I'll go back to nintendo as my primary system, even if I do have to buy everything new. I'm not buying new from Microsoft or Sony just because of their bullshit marketting tactics. I'll buy new from Nintendo if I must buy new. Or I just won't.

I'll collect 360 games until I have every 360 game I could concievably want to play, and then I'll just call that a fucking day. I'm sick of this garbage.

oh, and cliffy.. bought all 3 gears new. jussayn. gears 3 was an impulse purchase at best buy when I was buying my laptop, and I liked it so much I bought the other 2. Not buying Judgement though. Maybe when its 20 dollars used ;)

Amen to that. I'm already saving up for another 360, for when mine invariably kacks out. I've got an absolute arseload of 360 games, and I'm going to keep playing my 360 as long as is conceivably possible.

In an Xbone discussion the other night with some friends, I did a little bit of math. I counted up my 360 library, then I multiplied it by 59.99 (plus tax). 92 games at a $70 price point?

$6,439.08.

If I were to try to recreate my 360 library on the non-BC xbone (Which I'm 99% positive Microsoft will try to make me do), without the used game market Mr. "Waah! I can't afford a third solid gold swimming pool because you bought a game used!" is decrying, that's how much it would cost me.

So yeah.

Fuck that guy.

La Barata:

Altorin:
my stance is, if a game can't be purchased used on the consoles, I'm not going to buy it.

I buy new games when something comes out that I know I'll love and I either don't want to wait for the prices to drop to the bottom (5 dollars is not enough incentive for me to buy used, when I buy used they're typically 20 dollar 5 year old games).

If a console game is going to lock itself to my console then I don't want it, new, or used. I'll just buy something else. Or nothing. I'm not such a wanker that I NEED MY VIDYA GAMES WAHUUUUUU.

No. If a publisher chooses to shut out the used market for their title on PS4, then I just won't buy that game. If it turns out he's right and Sony's "playing us" and straight lying, then I won't be buying a PS4. I'm freaking 28 years old, you can't just pull this shit anymore.

Nintendo seems to get it, and even if I just get a WiiU, and somehow between Microsoft and Sony they absolutely destroy the used game market, I'll go back to nintendo as my primary system, even if I do have to buy everything new. I'm not buying new from Microsoft or Sony just because of their bullshit marketting tactics. I'll buy new from Nintendo if I must buy new. Or I just won't.

I'll collect 360 games until I have every 360 game I could concievably want to play, and then I'll just call that a fucking day. I'm sick of this garbage.

oh, and cliffy.. bought all 3 gears new. jussayn. gears 3 was an impulse purchase at best buy when I was buying my laptop, and I liked it so much I bought the other 2. Not buying Judgement though. Maybe when its 20 dollars used ;)

Amen to that. If I buy something, it's MINE. I'm already saving up for another 360, for when mine invariably kacks out. I've got an absolute arseload of 360 games, and I'm going to keep playing my 360 as long as is conceivably possible.

In an Xbone discussion the other night with some friends, I did a little bit of math. I counted up my 360 library, then I multiplied it by 59.99 (plus tax). 92 games at a $70 price point?

$6,439.08.

If I were to try to recreate my 360 library on the non-BC xbone (Which I'm 99% positive Microsoft will try to make me do), without the used game market Mr. "Waah! I can't afford a third solid gold swimming pool because you bought a game used!" is decrying, that's how much it would cost me.

So yeah.

Fuck that guy.

LuisGuimaraes:
Maybe if "gamers" stop purchasing games based on weather their Metacritic scores are above 9.0 or not.

Metacritic isn't as relevant as people seem to think when it comes to sales. Resident evil 6 only got a 68 and sold about 4.9 million. 4.9 people bought Resident Evil 6 and it was STILL considered a flop because it needed 5 million to break even. That is ridiculous. 4.9 million is A LOT and it's not breaking even? And even if they did meet their goal of 5 million, that is A LOT to be aiming for. If they needed that much then they spent WAAY too much on the game.

In what other industry can you make something that is almost universally reviled, sell 4.9 million of the thing, and STILL not make your sales target???

And anyways, are you suggesting gamers won't buy games used is if it's metacritic score is 9 or higher?

It's CliffyB, I respect and like the guy's games(well...Gears 1). However I lost all respect for his opinions ages ago, he just comes off as being plain dumb.

Baldr:

BernardoOne:

Baldr:

For the car example: Who is responsible for the gas, maintenance, and other necessities to keep the car running once it has left the lot? The TV manufacture is not responsible for the cable bill or other things to view on the TV. Why is the game publisher responsible for the service costs of the game?

Your analogy only works for games with online. And for that, there is a little thing called online pass.

There are service issues even for single player games. You still have to hire a customer support and QA team to take care of issues.

that's the same for a 2nd hand car or movie or whatever product.
It really is not that different, they charge for an online fee anyway, hardly anyone complains about that. Isnt it obvious observing all the free to play games out there? You want to LOWER the entry barriers to your product... not HEIGHTEN them... sigh

Cliffy B just hasn't been in the spotlight for too long so he has to say something stupid for people to know he's still an influential industry personality.

And you know what the issue is for me more than anything? I'm rarely offline and only bought a used game ONCE in my life since I couldn't find it anywhere... So why the fuzz? I can't accept the lack of respect, the patronizing arrogance, and the spectacular tone-deafness Microsoft ( and Cliffy B in this particular topic ) are displaying, I am an indie developer and a pretty serious gamer, so I feel this "deal with it" attitude of them "bringing us the future to us mere mortals" is just disgusting. No, we are not stupid, wondering if the Xbone will actually work outside the US is not a dumb question, wanting to travel with games is not an unreasonable requirement, sharing games CAN'T be such a tremendous problem. When your solution is actually complicating the problem further, it is not a solution, it's that simple.

I personally can't care less about the bloated dumbed down games MUST GET 5MILL sales to break even. If they invested in the actual quality of the game more than in marketing and god knows what (How can games like The Last of Us make a profit when they are some of the most realized, most meticulously polished products in the world? By their logic, this would be impossible). Maybe they wouldn't have these issues if they stopped treating their buyers habits as the problem ( really? think about that phenomenon, how can it be possible that they are even considering this? ), maybe if they respected consumers, players would show them some respect as well. I know I preorder games by my favorite developers, and I can hardly resist purchasing a game with the slightest bit of originality the moment I see it.

Through my dealings with Sony, they seem like a global, open, listening company, probably out of the bigger companies, the most approachable out of all of them.

SO, yeah, they want their system to be sustainable? stop making crap-ware. As it is .. I SURE hope it is NOT sustainable, when you actively water down franchises to make them fit the status-quo.

Scale down the bloody bloated budgets of the games you are making, Cliffy. Assassin's Creed is made by thousands? I would argue that the same game could be made by hundreds with the same outcome.
Budget your projects properly and realistically, Cliffy. Tighten that belt a bit - if that's too much, I'm sure there are others that would happily take your place in the market.
It is not our responsibility to support the overindulgence of the devs, what if your games grow to cost 120$? 300$? Should we continue to go along? For whose sake? Yours or ours?

Armistice:
I fail to see why we are responsible for the budgets and costs of any game.

because the audience at large wanted bigger flashier games

Coruptin:

because the audience at large wanted bigger flashier games

People aren't exactly demanding for that, devs make them so people buy them. Besides, making a good looking game doesn't automatically mean that you need to be able to fund a small country with your spending. Dark Souls looks gorgeous and that didn't need to sell 6 million copies to break even. In fact it only sold about 2 million and the devs consider it a success and are happy with it. You don't need to empty your entire bank account every time you make a game and even if you do, doesn't guarantee you'll make it all back.

What devs don't seem to comprehend is that there's a difference between hitting a high sales target and making a profit. If Dark Souls sold anywhere NEAR as much as Tomb Raider or Resident Evil did, the devs would piss themselves with excitement. Meanwhile Tomb Raider and Resident Evil are selling OVER 4 MILLION and are not making a penny. All three of these games looked GORGEOUS, only ONE of them made a profit.

The audience at large may want flashy games, that doesn't mean devs have to spend so much on it, nor does it make it our responsibility if they can't figure out how to spend their funds with some restraint. Hell, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is considered a "smash hit" and it's not even really HD, just upscaled from the 3DS version (and noticeably so).
What they SHOULD be doing is trying to make less go farther.

No surprise that a guy who has made lots of Microsoft games would lash out at Sony. Or make an unsubstantiated claim. I'm certain he knows a ton of information about the PS4. Y'know with all those games he'll be making for it.

Okay, so the evil vile thing ruining the gaming industry today is used games. Something that has been going on for... A long time. Guess that mean piracy, the last great evil, wasn't the problem. Tomorrow, after Microsoft fixes this problem, I'm sure that the new problem will be renting games. Then, sharing games. And soon, it'll be that nongamers aren't buying enough games. The selfish bastards that they are.

In related news, I am really hoping Jim makes a video on E3 and recent events, soon.

If CliffyB was right then my answer is that we need to stop making big budget games, because I'm not terribly interested in gaming where I can't get games cheaper (pre-order) or by rental.

So.... stop having stupid budgets... Just because you make a game like WoW does not mean its going to sell and have subs like WoW. And just because you make a FPS where you shoot Russians/terrorists/Nazis/zombies/(insert random bad guy here) means your gonna hit COD numbers.

You make a good game people want you reap the benefits. Skyrim, COD, Battlefield 4, WoW, God of War, Halo successful games that sell millions of units. Did they cost a lot? Of course they did! Did some of them have massive marketing campaigns? Some did some did not. You have to use your development money correctly and have well made games and effective marketing in the right place and the game has to be have something to be different than its competition. Skyrim did not have multiplayer and still succeeded. Halo had fun combat and engaging story and fun multiplayer and kicked off a great franchise. Look at movies for instance. If you make a great movie people go and see it and you make money. If the movie sucks people don't see it and you have to look at why.

The bottom line is people will always pay for what they want and if a company does not provide it than they need to learn from that. Just because you make a game does not mean people are going to buy it. Demon Souls knew it was a niche game and budgeted accordingly and made money from it.

Well I've heard Cliffy B sing this tune many a time over the last few years. He's adamant that game development costs to much and that every big release is essentially a gamble with the studio at stake. Everyone is suggesting "lower the cost of development", but that's exactly what Epic studios are doing. They've said that they are no longer making the big AAA games anymore, instead focusing on smaller games like Fortnight. That was ages ago now though. I haven't really kept up with Epic to know if they are still sticking to that decision.

"Bleszinkski went on to explain his stance, saying that games have gotten so big that there is just no way the next generation can survive if the used game and game rental markets keep taking a cut."
Then let them crash and burn in a glorious cleansing fire. We don't need more games like. I also don't like the Gears of War games and its stupid portrayal of guys. So good riddance.

Aren't these the same folks who only release on XBOX? Who refuse to release on the PC due to "piracy".

Yeah, just crash and burn and go away. I'm sad that people ever bought your games to begin with.

"The numbers do NOT work people."
Yeah, the numbers sure don't add up. How much money did y'all waste making meathead shooters?

How many poor souls did you hire doing the CG detail of some guy's muscles?

Cliffy, I get it. I do. If you want to make such big games, you need a lot of cash. You can't make a gold idol out of bronze. I get it.

But here is my question:

Why must the idol be created of solid gold? Why not bronze? Why not marble? Hell, why not wood or stone?

Are you aware that many of us are uncaring what paints the painter used if it looks good? Does it matter if the carving of wood was done with a stone hammer and chisel, and not stainless steel? If the idol is worthy of note, we do not care to fathom how it was made, but are happy for its existence.

Have your companies ever thought of making "Single-A" games? Use the resources of the AAA industry to create smaller, more focused products for specific audiences? That is what the independent scene is essentially doing. Amnesia was done on a small budget to market toward a specific audience and no one else. It wasn't even much of a looker. It was but an idol carved out of bronze with tools of stone. But the image is displayed was one of beauty for its people. That was how it succeeded. The used market would have caused some damage, yes, but I would be willing to argue that it did not do much.

And another thing: The indie scene not only has a lower budget, but a lower cost to buy as well. Such things are the spawn of unrestrained love and passion from their creators. They are games with heart and soul, and when they shown to the world, they do not ask for great demands, but comparatively small favors.

If anyone reads this, think on this metaphor. If you have yet to understand this metaphor, here is the decoded version:

"Why spend so much money on looks and features when all we want is the actual game underneath?"

P.S. Cliffy, I know it is hard to hear this, but I personally felt that GoW3 - while still pretty good - was nowhere near as good as GoW2

EDIT: Sorry, I read this later on (was tired when I initially wrote it), and I realize my grammar/spelling is terrible. Sorry. But, I will leave this as is as a reminder to myself to be more vigilant in the future. Sorry :(

Yeah, fuck Cliffy B. I'm happy for bloated AAA developers to fail if they can't manage their budgets. Just like in the forest when a big tree starts rotting. Eventually it falls and its replacement can grow.

Photorealism is not a necessary prerequisite for a good game. Games like Borderlands are a good example of using an artistic style that will always look interesting, rather than dated by superior 'realistic' graphics.

Nothing really left to add to this, so I'll just summarize all that needs to be said to CliffyB in about 6 seconds...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3o_EDYl7a4

If he is right about Sony, and he certainly is more of an expert than any of us in this thread, that would be hilarious!

EclipseoftheDarkSun:
Yeah, fuck Cliffy B. I'm happy for bloated AAA developers to fail if they can't manage their budgets.

That's a bit shortsighted, isn't it? If the AAA developers go out of business, game developers will lose their jobs which is never good for the industry. There are no studios that develop only AAA titles, and in a dev house it's common for developers to work on various different projects as once, which means that the death of a money generating AAA franchise can also mean the death of a whole lot of less famous but more original IP as the people in the dev house lose their jobs.

This "let's punish the content providers" mentality doesn't really work.

TomWiley:

EclipseoftheDarkSun:
Yeah, fuck Cliffy B. I'm happy for bloated AAA developers to fail if they can't manage their budgets.

That's a bit shortsighted, isn't it? If the AAA developers go out of business, game developers will lose their jobs which is never good for the industry. There are no studios that develop only AAA titles, and in a dev house it's common for developers to work on various different projects as once, which means that the death of a money generating AAA franchise can also mean the death of a whole lot of less famous but more original IP as the people in the dev house lose their jobs.

This "let's punish the content providers" mentality doesn't really work.

Power vacuums create new and interesting things.

This is why the more interesting and innovative games are typically indie titles. AAA devs can't take a risk due to marketing budgets and the numbers required to make a profit.

And if the publisher falls apart, that IP is up for grabs and whoever picks it up would be smart to hire some of the people who were designing it. I think a major publisher collapse would spur lots of smaller studios to pick up underdeveloped games and finish them with reasonable marketing and expectations of profit.

If they want to deal with the used market, they need to embrace digital, make it easy as hell so anyone who can do it will, and adjust their pricing models according to the demand of a game. You can keep sales going pretty long if you look at your sales numbers and adjust them a little cheaper so more people buy your game. This way, people get the used game price and the company gets some money from discounted sales.

Finally, we're not punishing them, they're punishing themselves by still demanding 60 bucks for a digital release where they get a much larger chunk of the money.

WouldYouKindly:

This is why the more interesting and innovative games are typically indie titles. AAA devs can't take a risk due to marketing budgets and the numbers required to make a profit.

All developers need to make profit sooner or later, or find a job in another industry. Indie developers are more often than not just hobbyist who work part-time with some game idea they have (and know they can't expect it to sell all that well). I love indie games just as much as the next guy, but they can't replace the big budget, sequel cycles that really bring money into the industry.

Even if the publishers die out, whatever new innovative ideas might show up in their wake would only survive if they can be turned into these big franchises with sequels coming out every year, and we're back where we started. I think what we really need is for the mid-tier of games to come back. Publishers can have their Call of Duties and what have you to fall back on, but still take risks with new IPs on the side (Like EA/Dice and Mirror's Edge).

I still agree with you in that we need to see a digitization of the market and reduced prices, I'm just saying that big publishers losing money on fewer sales won't take us there.

WouldYouKindly:

If they want to deal with the used market, they need to embrace digital, make it easy as hell so anyone who can do it will, and adjust their pricing models according to the demand of a game.

Yes, and what's what happening on the PC market with Steam. Digital games can be cheaper if you can cut out the game stores and discs and used games. To some part, that's what Microsoft is trying to do, digitalize the market. Hopefully, that can lead to games in the future costing less as developers can distribute their games directly on the platform.

And you see what kind of reaction they have been getting. This entire internet shitstorm is a result of Microsoft's movement towards online-based distribution - After all, Xbox One is not anywhere near as restrictive as Steam, and at least you can share your games with friends. It took Valve several years of reliable digital service before players stopped hating Steam, and Microsoft needs to get there as well. If people will even give them that chance that is.

PIRATED GAMES ARE BAD! Not USED GAMES!

I'm really fucking annoyed at how used games becoming bad over the actual issue of piracy. Seriously companies, get your talking points straight because no one has an issue with used games. You have issue when people pirate their games.

So lower the budgets of games, take more risks, give us better content, and people may want to actually pay full price for your cover-based slog through set pieces and cutscenes, you fucking idiot.

___________________:
Who cares about his opinion...he's the creator of Gears of War....that automatically makes any of his opinions white noise.

Absolutely, he's got the creative range of a dead mouse.

MORE GUNS WITH SWORDS ON THEM! OK GOOD, NOW SHIP IT.

TomWiley:

EclipseoftheDarkSun:
Yeah, fuck Cliffy B. I'm happy for bloated AAA developers to fail if they can't manage their budgets.

That's a bit shortsighted, isn't it? If the AAA developers go out of business, game developers will lose their jobs which is never good for the industry. There are no studios that develop only AAA titles, and in a dev house it's common for developers to work on various different projects as once, which means that the death of a money generating AAA franchise can also mean the death of a whole lot of less famous but more original IP as the people in the dev house lose their jobs.

This "let's punish the content providers" mentality doesn't really work.

You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Just as we shouldn't be over-supporting the car industry in Australia - if it'd fail without excessive consumer support, it's too big to exist. These developers will find new jobs. I can live without a few games if it means things are less draconian overall.

AAA games don't HAVE to have such high dev costs. Let's not sit here and pretend used games are to blame for 5 million sale failures.

It stuns me that someone as smart as Cliffy B doesn't get that it's not about used games.

It's about game "Ownership".

M$ wants to let me license a game. Sony will sell me a game copy.

To those of us that don't sell our games or buy used ones, that's a pretty big deal. Anyone who has ever used M$ Play for Sure knows what I'm talking about.

Sa what you want about the used games/game budgets aspect, but I think it's pretty obvious that Sony is playing us in the wake of M$ train-wreck announcements. Certainly they will introduce similar measures, when the waters have cooled and M$ have finished taking the bulk of the hate.

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