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

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Oh wow, hey could I get an address for him so I can take him golfing? Then use his testicles as the golf balls so he can sound like the rat he is. As others before me have said, how does getting a better deal put us to blame? I guarantee when the whole budget thing puts games at 100 bucks a pop (and with the way the industry is going is it really out of the question?) he will be right there cheering them on.

Well if movie studios can function in the free market I don't see why games companies can't.

If your product costs too much to make and the market won't pay for your product then you need to go back to Economics 101.

New technology means development should be getting easier, not more difficult. Just manage your budgets at least from inflating next generation and this won't be a problem. You can't force the market to change because of your own decision making processes. The market won't cater to you. That's backwards logic.

Bullshit. This isn't news. Software developers have been trying to force the Copyright licence and every disgusting part of it down our throat since the '90s (or was it the '80s? Damn I have an exam on that stuff in 2 days). They've been trying to get every single piece of the pie since then and restrict any form of sharing software to the point of family members not being allowed to use it on the same machine. Hell, under WoW's licence for example, you can't let anyone play it anywhere, not even at your computer.

Game rentals can't work because of game development costs you say? Excuse me, last I checked, movies were doing pretty fucking amazing still and we can rent them last I checked. In fact, there are a ton of services in place that make renting a movie cheap as hell and unlike games, there's a vast library of them (and again unlike games, it's easier to enjoy older movies). Considering most movies still cost more than most games to make and games are still a LOT more expensive, how exactly are you finding yourself in a poorhouse?

captcha: what's that
Bullshit captcha, is what it is

Steven Bogos:
"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people." [/b]

Well, if that's the case you could, and I know this might seem crazy, focus on making games that are actually GOOD instead of ridiculously expensive exercises in HD jackassery...

Remember one of the live action trailers for Call of Duty featuring Robert Downey Jr.?

Now, how many people were persuaded to buy the new CoD because of that trailer and does that amount of people justify the money needed to make that commercial and to have Robert Downey Jr. make the cameo?

Obviously not! So stop doing that for fuck sake.

Well, game budgets are running up against a wall. It happens in every industry - too many investors, too many companies, who over-estimate how much it is worth and overestimate how much profit they can derive from the market. What will happen (what happens with every industry) is that underperformers who cannot make a profit will die out. We'll lose some studios. We will. That will happen. The others will be forced to change business practices to fit in with the size of the market.

Will that mean that some AAA games will be cancelled? Will that mean we'll see fewer advancements in gaming technology and spectacle? Sure. But that's inevitable, and it won't last forever. Gaming budgets have blown out of proportion due to a number of things, one of them being advertising costs. If the game industry "crashes", then costs will go down since they'll be less competition.

The game industry wants to grow and grow and grow and grow, forever, like Jack's magical bean stalk. No industry, NO INDUSTRY, throughout all of human history, has managed to do that. Cliffy B is angsty that the game industry has outgrown its natural size and that an axe is being swung down upon it. Cliffy, Axes are a natural part of capitalism. Companies are going to fail, investors will sometimes lose money. You can't live in a free market and expect special protection. If the companies made errors in judging how much profit they could make, if DEVELOPERS blew out their budgets and didn't make good games, then those companies are going to die and that is the nature of capitalism. Or what, you want all your gaming industry friends to be specially protected? An intriguing idea, comrade! Perhaps we should set up a People's Commissariat for Electronic Entertainment! You can be Comrade Chairman! Or General Secretary!

Crashes and studio failures are natural parts of capitalism. If you can't compete, you're going to go under. You can blame your customers, but other studios will manage to survive - you know, the studios who made realistic, smart decisions and didn't let themselves become super-bloated under the mistaken belief that they were the "new hollywood".

Ha!

I can buy a 2nd hand blu-ray for 4-10 and sell it again if I don't want to keep it. Netflix is 6 a month and has more content than you could possibly watch. So... I'm going to spend 40 on a 6 hour game, why? It's already a hard-sell, so telling me that I can't recoup any of my loss later on, I'm afraid... is going to result in me having to say "fuck you". You made me an offer that I could easily refuse, which means you fucked up.

From a consumer standpoint, Cliffy... the numbers, they don't add up!

I suppose at the end of the day, Cliffy is angry that the survival of companies is not guaranteed in the gaming world. Buck up and deal with it! That's Capitalism! You can't compete, you're gonna go bust! You misjudge what the market wants, you're not going to make a profit! You over-invest in the hopes of super-profit, well, that comes with super-risk! Every other industry on the planet has to deal with the mechanics of capitalism, you're no different! You have to respond to market forces, and if you misread those market forces and put too much money on one game, and that game fails, you know what we call that? The other side of capitalism! You can't have it both ways! You can't demand a free market and then plead that you deserve protection from that free market! Free Market's free!

"It does NOT work that way"? Oh? Because other companies have been able to make it work that way! Maybe your company can't. Boo Hoo. Your company will go the way of the dinosaur, whereas smarter, fiercer, more consumer pleasing companies that made wiser decisions will survive and thrive. You can't compete in today's world, Cliffy. And that's why you're afraid. The Axe of Capitalism is coming for you and you're scared!

On this very site, Jim Sterling spoke about the ludicrous development cost of games, and how expectations are too ridiculously high for games today. This guy is a prime example of what is wrong with games and pricing, not the used game market.

On this very site, Jim Sterling spoke about the ludicrous development cost of games, and how expectations are too ridiculously high for games today. This guy is a prime example of what is wrong with games and pricing, not the used game market.

Or, you know, you could stop spending so much on development and marketing. Seems to have worked out pretty well for Metro: Last Light.

Just because you spent a lot of money on it doesn't mean people are going to buy it, Cliffy. Get a bloody clue.

Wyvern65:
Cliffy B's entire argument is "games are so expensive we have to hurt consumers to pay for them, suck it up."

Amazing how he doesn't even seem to consider that game devs could, I don't know, stop making games that cost more than the market can bear. It's like Michael Bay saying we need to eliminate sales of used DVDs in order to have more explosions in film.

Not interested in being held responsible for your excesses and inability to realistically budget and control costs on your projects.

Honestly I blame high costs on idiots demanding a game having EPIC GRAPHICS DUURRRRRRR. It's pretty much the Audio Visual things that up the costs of making games.

I really wouldn't trust CliffyB as a judge of "good and bad"
He thought the Gears of War series was good enough to make FOUR FUCKING games in. When it was really one mediocre game, two that were offensive garbage on every conceivable level and a fourth one that I haven't played and never will because I have some self respect.

IF the cunt buggering numbers don't work then CHANGE THE CUNT BUGGERING NUMBERS NOT THE ENTIRE FUNCTIONING WORLD AROUND THEM YOU PONCY TWAT!

"I spend so much on marketing my over produced piles of shit that if anyone got a chance to play them before I've pocketed all the cash they might realize that the best game my studio has ever released is at best inoffensively bland, and thus have no reason to buy them!"

Spend less money, set reasonable sales goals, and for god's sake stop making games as bad as Gears of War 2!

Jamous:
Except that simply isn't the case. You -can- make games that'll profit without 5 million fucking sales, you just -aren't-.

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people."

There are two solutions here. One is yours, the other is better.

Can we go back to the days when people made games to make fucking games???? When did this suddenly turn into an economic war?

How many times does Jim have to make a video relating to this issue for people to fucking get it.
Used game sales don't add or detract from the overall sale of the game.
At the end of the day someone payed the full $60.00 to purchase one unit of your game. If they give the game to someone they no longer have the game on them, and the number of sales from a purchase standpoint wouldn't change.
If 4,000 people put up Metroid for second hand sale and all 4,000 units were sold as used, guess what? Your total is still 4,000 units. No more, no less.

Also how is it OUR fault that you make incredibly over inflated budgets for games that more than likely won't make it past 5 million units? That's a lot of fucking sales, but the reason it's not is because the sheer amount used to make the game could never be covered cost wise unless it passes absurd numbers like 7 million. Only a few franchises manage to get those numbers, and niche games can forget it.

It's absolutely ridiculous.

TheAmazingTGIF:
"Huge budgets make used games a bad thing!"
You know what the problem is? THE HUGE BUDGETS.

That's the elephant in the room.

He knows how to develop but no he is not speaking the truth nor does everyone "know it to be true."

Jesse Billingsley:
Can we go back to the days when people made games to make fucking games???? When did this suddenly turn into an economic war?

That time still exists, some people just didn't get the memo.

This kind of business cannot survive. The YOY Profit model always kills a business.

You start using cheaper quality goods, charging more, and the net positive return you have on society grows smaller and smaller until it becomes a negative.

It's true in automobiles, games, banking, healthcare, everywhere.

There is no business that has not fallen apart (that I'm aware of) that follows the YOY Profit hunt.

Businesses should be shooting for profits, period, not higher and higher profits. If you make more money than you spent, no matter how little, that's success.

People thinking success is always making more profits are the source of most of the ills in the world.

It's funny. The Microsoft fanboys keep pushing the big bad Sony announcement further and further down the line. If I had a dime for every time I heard "just you wait until E3, Sony is going to reveal their DRM too!". Hey, guys, it's not happening. Microsoft screwed up and Sony isn't following suit. That's the sad truth, now re-examine your blind brand loyalty.

What a colossal asshole, just because you need spend all your money on explosions in order to sell anything doesn't mean we have to support your bad business practices

CaptainBill22:
People are really not going to like this but Cliff B. is right. Production costs are high and companies are barely making their investments back if at all on new game sales. I think it goes without saying if all major devs and producers go the way of THQ, gamers won't be happy. What Microsoft is doing may not be popular, but it's necessary.

And how do used games have anything to do with this exactly?
You want to blow 5 million dollars on advertisement then that is your problem not ours.
For a game to be used, it must of been bought new at first anyway. No game has ever come fresh off the machine and goes directly to being a "used" game.

So if your struggling to make sales it's not used games that are the problem.
It's the fact that 6 million people don't think your game is worth $60.00.

Fuck that. Used sales and rentals haven't killed movies. Besides, I can't say that all this 'graphical fidelity' has done much to improve my experience when the people who can afford it never manage to couple it with some decent art direction. If the market can't support your bloated budgets without restrictive, consumer-unfriendly policies to prop them up, then you need to start budgeting your games more reasonably. Maybe sacrifice a few polygons and put more effort into gameplay that's actually engaging.

True story: Cliffy B never once breathed through his nose.

Jesse Billingsley:

Jamous:
Except that simply isn't the case. You -can- make games that'll profit without 5 million fucking sales, you just -aren't-.

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people."

There are two solutions here. One is yours, the other is better.

Can we go back to the days when people made games to make fucking games???? When did this suddenly turn into an economic war?

I have no idea. It's fucking ridiculous, and seems to be the root of most issues people have with the industry at the moment. Bluh. At least it seems we'll be getting some more interesting titles again with the next gen. More than have been around in the console market recently at least.

"Oh no guys! We have to re-write the entire concept of ownership because realistic budgets are hard!"

-CliffyB

I think .Clibby B is being paid on the side by Microsoft to make statements such as these and because the Gears of War Franchise is hoping to reap huge benefits on the concept of NO used game sales because their GoW games do not offer much in the way of replay value

Microsoft's decision to redefine the concept of "game ownership" and Sony's decision to ridicule that decision had many people praising the PS4 developer. Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski, former bigwig at Epic Games and creator of the Gears of War franchise, was not one of them. "You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," he said via Twitter. "The numbers do NOT work people."

So pretty simple solution - cut back on the marketing, cut back on the cinematic cut scenes (we're playing video games here, not watching an interactive 20+ hour movie) either in total length or in detail (ie: a little less detail in the backgrounds, focus on smaller segments like the faces and upper bodies of the characters, not on sweeping shots of the landscape, or whatever is the most difficult, time consuming or expensive part of the cut scenes) and cut back on the marketing. And I think it needs to be said, they should cut back on the marketing.

Also? Refine the business model to something actually sane. If you need to sell 5 Million+ copies of a game to beak even, then you're doing something wrong. Maybe cut back on the marketing?

Well, as I've said before, there is no excuse for the size and pay scale of some of these development teams, the entire thing seems bloated beyond belief. What's more it seems to size of these teams ironically increase with technology coming out that should by definition be making things easier. Not to mention that from the way things seem at E3 they are basically hyping the ability to pay people to model convincing arm hair.....

At the end of the day if Cliffy B's predictions come true, it's pretty much going to kill gaming, or seriously hurt it. Games are very expensive, no matter how much you argue about the "value for the dollar" (which everyone producing a product says). Raise the price, and it will just become a pastime for the rich, and you'll see less sales overall. Right now it's difficult to continue gaming seriously as it is, and the economy hardly seems to be improving by leaps and bounds. The microtransaction systems and such also seem to largely be fueled by greed more than anything, with people fueling them because right now it's a choice of tolerate them or go without gaming... but as things progress I think more and more people are going to choose to go without the games. To be blunt I liked the "Dead Space" series, but when "Dead Space 3" included a microtransaction system I chose not to buy it and haven't looked back.

I think Cliffy is mostly speaking from the perspective of what the industry wants, and is going to try and force. On some levels I suppose looking at the trends he might be right, as gamers have generally caved to every greedy scheme the industry has shoveled on them. We're ultimately responsible for tolerating the Day #1 DLC, on disc DLC, DRM schemes, and these ridiculous, bloated design teams and their costs. We keep buying the products, and giving our money, so of course the industry pushes harder and harder.

Also, when I talk about ridiculous, bloated design teams, understand that I'm not just talking about my usual rants here. Consider that with games like say "The Old Republic Online" on which an astronomical amount of money was spent, the guys doing the modeling couldn't even solve the problem of character models clipping all over the place. You wear a cape or a cloak, which tons of outfits involve, and you can literally see it clip through vehicles you sit on like a semi-intangible dishrag. My smuggler wearing a suit of armor with a duster/long coat over it (visually) has her gun clip through the coat on the gun belt. To go one further, I don't think I've seen one MMO in recent memory that hasn't had these problems, heck in Neverwinter they will let you play a Halfling "Great Weapon Fighter" and your sword will literally clip into the ground half the time as you run because nobody could be bothered to hang the swords a little different for the small models. Don't even get me started on collar and long hair combinations, or whatever else. At the end of the day you have all these hundreds or thousands of people being hired to do art assets and models (which is where that money is going) and spending millions upon millions of dollars, and then producing what amounts to visual garbage with the current technology... and demanding to be paid top dollar for it. This kind of thing is a typical problem with things that become too big and bloated, you've probably got ten times as many people as you need working on a project, so nobody feels motivated to do anything to check anything, they sit around sucking up money, rush the product out at the last minute, with a bloated budget and a crappy result. While I mostly talk about MMOs here it also applies to single player games. A lot of it also probably comes from say hiring one team to do hairstyles and another team to do costume options, and then never having them talk to each other to compare their work...

My basic point here is that Cliffy seems to be trying to make a pseudo-common sense argument about design teams to justify the worst financial excesses of the industry and their plans for the future, while not considering that for the most part these guys don't even seem to get the job done as it is. The industry needs more efficiency, not stuffing more clowns into the car, and needs to do more with less, not engage in Caligula-like excess on hiring resources and then pass the cost on to the consumer.

At any rate, I really "look forward to" this upcoming generation where they will doubtlessly be hiring expert armhair modelers, tacking them onto every design team, and then we can see the fine hairs on peoples arms clip through their clothing, by way of showing off awesome next generation graphics technology.

Here's a hint to developers: if your game isn't Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo or something Mario or Zelda related your sales projections probably have as much to do with reality as the fevered crack dreams of the hobo at Metro Center. Adjust to reality. Do not expect reality to conform to your hopes and dreams. #dealwithit

"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."

Unless games cut back on their ridiculously overblown budgets and just focus on good (and fun) gameplay - Which sells - and makes money - as proven by the Nintendo DS, smart phones, Wii, indie games etc... Or we can keeping paying for overpriced motion capture and big name voice actors while skimping on writers and keep games predominately as a past time for under 25s.

CaptainBill22:
What Microsoft is doing may not be popular, but it's necessary.

Wow. It's.....NECESSARY?

"Games aren't making enough profit, time to remove consumer rights. It's the only way! Ends justify the means!"

CliffyB can eat a bag of delicately seasoned dicks.

He makes bad things happen.

The market is self-adjusting. People will perform activities that have the best profit (revenue - cost). If your cost are too high, you either increase revenue or cut cost. If you are unable to do either as well as your competitors, I suggest you find another job.

I don't like the concept of used games either. But MS's 1984 type solution is horrible. DRM with all sorts of rules restricting their use is plain nuts. Way too complicated.

So far 2 companies have succeeded in implementing DRM. Apple and Valve. Both are companies with considerable amount of good-will to burn when they launched their DRM encumbered systems. Even then, it has cause considerable amount of frustration among it's userbase. In the case of music, DRM is all but gone.

Edit: Also when did "listening to your customers" become "trying to play them"? Sony made a choice. Give in to incredibly unpopular publisher demands or listen to the people who are actually paying for the whole industry. I think they made the right choice.

Lovely Mixture:

CaptainBill22:
What Microsoft is doing may not be popular, but it's necessary.

Wow. It's.....NECESSARY?

"Games aren't making enough profit, time to remove consumer rights. It's the only way! Ends justify the means!"

The game industry has survived 2 decades without insane DRM. Just saying.

Lovely Mixture:

CaptainBill22:
What Microsoft is doing may not be popular, but it's necessary.

Wow. It's.....NECESSARY?

"Games aren't making enough profit, time to remove consumer rights. It's the only way! Ends justify the means!"

To be fair he's right.

If you like paying top dollar for really pretty, shallow shit, you need to stop second hand sales.

Kamille Bidan:

CaptainBill22:

GSP66:
*Starts talking to Cliff like he is a dog

BAD CLIFFY BAD! That argument was utterly assanine. Please stop urinating on my consumer rights.

Seriously this guy needs to fuck off.

Your consumer rights? How about the rights of a business to not being ripped off? If a developer and producer can't make money you can forget about new and awesome games. You have to remember developers and producers are in business to make money. It's not evil, taboo, or a sin to want to make a profit and be successful. Especially when you want to make an amazing game and get the talent and resources to make it.

Come off your high horse, I am a consumer just like you. The difference is I seek to understand why a company does what it does. Not bitch and moan about it.

With regards to the 'sin' comment, you are aware that greed, which is basically what this whole issue boils down to, is in fact one of the seven deadly sins.

You're the one on your high horse. You're telling people they have absolutely no right to be angry when a complete idiot comes out and says that people should passively accept the gradual erosion of their basic consumer rights because the people who make the products can't sustain their business model. That makes you just as bad as Bleszinski, if not worse.

Businesses don't deserve to make money just because they put out a product. They certainly don't have the right to continually find ways to steal from their consumer base just because they're not making enough money. Second hand sales are both perfectly legal and one of your basic rights as a consumer, a right that needs defending.

First off companies don't make money if you don't give it to them. They cannot go into your bank account without your explicit permission and take your money. Therefore they cannot steal your money jack-ass. They have every right to find new products and services to sell, again they cannot take your money unless you give it to them willingly. Yes with the Xbox One you can buy or sell a used disk, you'll just need to pay a fee to use it.

Yes greed is a sin especially when you are greedy for no reason. A game company has a reason for wanting to make as much as they can off a game. Think of all the overhead that goes into making a game. Then think about what it takes for a developer to stay in business when every game they launch is a virtual gamble and if they lose they can find themselves in the red really quick. Therefore the more they make off a game the better. It means if a project goes south they can cope with it. If they're well into the black they can start a new franchise which means new games for consumers.

Consumers have a right to get what they pay for. We don't have a right to complain when businesses need to change they way they do business. For crying out loud America is a Capitalist country not some back-water socialist one.

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