CliffyB: Microsoft Tried to "Have it Both Ways"

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Studio's are closing because the market is competitive and they just aren't. You need to deliver quality efficiently.

In the longterm, digital drm cannot stop this. The studio's will simply have more money to play with because competition dictates that your competitor will invest more so you have to too..or you will be left behind.

In the shortrun publisher's will make ridiculous abnormal profits....which would just tempt more entrants into the market and then no more abnormal profits and they will be crying again. An industry crash is more likely in this scenario then it is now.

Obviously there are other factors to consider such as the established brands with a good foothold would have an increased steady stream of revenue but it's not concrete

Robetid:

Bix96:
Am I the only one left on the planet who likes physical media? I'm proud to look at my bookshelves full of games dating all the way back to the NES and when my friends bring their kindles over and say "look I've got like 100 books on this thing" it seems so lame.

If there is a neat collectors edition I'll grab it physically, but other than that no, not really. I have transitioned fully to digital media, from books to games, i even burned all my dvds to my hard drive and run it through a media player to my TV. It prolly has something to do with my dislike for clutter and my requirement for everything to be tidy and neat. That's just personal preference though.

Same for me, I can understand some people like having a collection and feel comforted by having physical media but for me I like the convenience of having almost everything digital. I do not need to carry disks around and can watch my media on any connected device in the house. With good 3G or a hot spot I can access my stuff anywhere, a 8 phone accessory allows me to display media on almost anything. If I want to watch a movie at a friends no need to take the disk, I can just use my phone as a media extender. That's great for those spontaneous "lets watch xxxx tonight" moments. I save almost 10M of shelf space with digital games, movies and music. Then there are the books as well.

I prefer to save space and reduce clutter, its more convenient to access my stuff too.

All other media can be purchased in digital form yet (as far as I know) owning physical copies is still the most popular option. Alot of people (myself included) like holding what they buy, I know some might find this out dated but its how its always been, I don't think people are ever going to embrace digital on the scale these guys want. I know there are exceptions, downloadable music for one (although there's another reason for that being so popular) and Steam is alright.

CriticalMiss:
I bet Cliffy B is taking it both ways from Microsoft. HIIIYOOOOO. Can I get a high five? *hand up*

*high fives*
Very nicely done.

OT: Mr. Bleszinski. I would rather see the death of Triple A games than I would the death of game ownership.
What is it about AAA that is so special I should want to sacrifice my consumer rights? What AAA game is that good?
Gears of War? Fuck off.

Digital games may be cheaper? I call bullshit. There's no precedent.

Just look at Ubisoft's UPlay, EA's Origin, and MS's XBL. New releases on those platforms are the same price as physical media and most older games (the ones no longer available on physical media) are still their full release-day price.

That guy is a prick. No getting rid of used games will not solve the issue, if their so stupid that their not able to budget accordingly then that won't fix the issue. All it will do at best is put dumb companies on life support while they screw their consumers for more money. If AAA companies like EA need to go out of business for the industry to grow then so be it. It's normal for companies to rise and fall, others will take their place. We have an amazing indie industry ready to grow with smarter ideas into the next Rockstar etc. This is just greedy corporations trying to keep control and people like 'cliffyB' support them because it help THEM and/or their too dumb to see the issue. No other industry on earth treats the consumer like the gaming industry, no other industry treats their consumer like criminals, while stealing from them all the time, and no other industry has removed the right of resale of the product or licence. And no games are not special they don't have magic rights just because they have a licence, movies and music also give you licence to watch/listen to them when you buy their disc, and yet everyone agrees you have the right to give away the copy of Avatar you no longer watch.

Cliff, when you were actually making games, we semi-cared about your existence. Nobody could make cookie cutter shooting games about gruff and burly (yet soft hearted) men, like you could, at least not with as much projection, I mean, machismo. But you see, anybody could have made those games. Your presence was as disposable as the characters in the game. So, now that you're on early retirement, you've made this 'Fox Contributer' style transition to gaming industry pundit, and we don't actually want you. Go remake your space rabbit game, or make a 'spiritual successor' to Gear of War, like Gizmos of Gore or how about, Tools of Conflict.

MinionJoe:
Digital games may be cheaper? I call bullshit. There's no precedent.

Just look at Ubisoft's UPlay, EA's Origin, and MS's XBL. New releases on those platforms are the same price as physical media and most older games (the ones no longer available on physical media) are still their full release-day price.

Apparently Wii U game downloads from 3rd parties have reduced in price over time. Is that true?

WOW, just WOW! Lemme break this down for you, Cliffy. It is up to the game industry to cater to the market, not the other way around. If the market (read gamers) considers the terms of sale unappealing, they will turn the seller down. That is the reality. You are in the business of "want", not "need". I may want your game, but you're the one who needs me to buy it. And at the end of the day there are only so many hoops people are willing to jump through for a few hours of escapism.

mechalynx:
WOW, just WOW! Lemme break this down for you, Cliffy. It is up to the game industry to cater to the market, not the other way around. If the market (read gamers) considers the terms of sale unappealing, they will turn the seller down. That is the reality. You are in the business of "want", not "need". I may want your game, but you're the one who needs me to buy it. And at the end of the day there are only so many hoops people are willing to jump through for a few hours of escapism.

its worth noting that one of the biggest games in The Escapists particular "gaming consciousness" atm appears to be Persona 4 (and by extension the Persona/SMT series)...which is basically "a PS2 game"...

At times like these, I wish someone would make a YouTube clip of Alan Rickman from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves of him saying "SHUT UP, YOU TWIT!" It would be so perfect anytime CliffyB opened his mouth and proved to the world once more what a colossal twat he is. -_-

UberNoodle:

Apparently Wii U game downloads from 3rd parties have reduced in price over time. Is that true?

Uh, unfortunately, I don't know and I can't seem to find any pricing for digital Wii U games online. I just have a Wii at home and I've not even turned it on in over a year.

But it'd be good news (and good business practice) if true.

Hey Cliffy, we've got a chicken and egg problem here. If they want us to embrace digital, they have to give us an incentive first. You alluded to that in your statement and it is correct. The best incentive is a cost reduction for digital purchases. If the on-disc game is 60 and the digital version is 40, we'll eat that 40 dollar version up.

The other thing you can do is stop expecting to sell umteebazillion copies of JustlikeCoDbutnot 4. Instead, you can produce quality games with lower budgets that aren't attempting to 'broaden the audience'. They do this with movies too, by down playing elements and watering things down to get a PG13 rating. They reason this works for films is that people can't trade their watered down screening of notagoodhorrorflick 5. They CAN trade in their eight hour, bland-as-hell, tacked on multiplayer JustlikeCoDbutnot 4.

If you want to hurt used game sales, make games we'd actually like to play more than once!

when will these AAA publisher/devs realize that the market isnt here to please them, they are here to please the market

He is right about how DLC and microtransactions will become more abundant in this next gen. But I don't believe it will be because Microsoft failed to choke us to death. It's probably because they make a lot of money while costing very little.

I love DLC because it's just more content of the game I love. But I don't appreciate Day One DLC. I know how development works where parts of the team aren't doing much on the main game for the last month before release so they start working on DLC. But could you release it a week after the initial release? And not announce it 6 months beforehand? That'd at least give me a false sense of satisfaction that I'm playing a fully fleshed out title. Also, follow the Blood Dragon route more often. That's the way DLC should be done.

I think microtransactions are fine. As long as it's hats or skins or camos or whatever. But if it has anything to do with actual gameplay (Deadspace 3), fuck you. Fuck you and your mother. I'm okay with Battlefield 3's "Pay $10 to unlock all the multiplayer unlocks immediately" because the game is pretty balanced and there's not actually that much difference between what you start with and what you get later. And it doesn't take very long to unlock everything anyways. It's not pay to win. You could argue that the unlocks shouldn't be there in the first place, but I'll argue against that the unlocks help push you into exploring different ways to play the game. And the false sense of achieving something is pretty good, too.

I'm a PC gamer, but I can see the appeal of (current and past) consoles. It's usually small and portable, it works without a hassle, it works without installing your games, and apart from a TV, it's not dependent on any external factor. You can bring it over to a friend's house, along with a few discs, and you know you'll be having a good time playing together; it's much easier and more guaranteed to work than setting up a PC LAN party.

Going digital simply isn't the way to go for consoles, IMO. PC already does that, and it does it better, because it's an open platform, which enables competition. Sure, Valve has a near-monopoly, but that's because they offer the best service by far. If they'd stop doing that, they would lose their position. And despite their near-monopoly, there's still enough room under the big tree for a few smaller, more niche services to flourish. And because of the low cost of games and advances in hardware, it's probably even cheaper in the long run than console gaming these days. The "hassle free and independent of any external factors" properties of consoles is what makes them attractive, removing that just makes them crap PC's.

I point to Nintendo's stance on this and say "pretty much that".

Just make better games.

Digital for me just isn't doable for the amount of games I like to play (I don't do multiplayer so I have more time for other games). My download bandwidth is capped at 80gigs a month and is expensive to upgrade. I download a game like Bioshock Infinite and guess what, 30% of my monthly bandwidth is gone right there. That maybe not seem like a lot but with the general browsing of myself and other people in my house I'd get pretty darn close to breaking the cap. I like to play more than one game a month plus I also have a library of physical games dating back to my NES days.

Digital is fine for little indie games or people who don't have a cap, but the next gen games are probably going to be sitting at the 15-24gig range. Also my internet is fast but I really don't want to wait 1-2 hours to download a game, there's a Game Stop within a 5 minute walk of my house and 3 within a 5-10 minute drive.

nodlimax:

MasterOfHisOwnDomain:

"When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change."

The development costs and the prices that the consumer is expected to pay. That's what has got to change.

Exactly! They're wasting millions in marketing and huge development teams to shorten development times. At the same time as soon as the focus goes "broad audience" you can see that in most cases there is absolutely no real challenge in the game and the mechanics are just downright insulting to real gamers.

And no 50 Million marketing budgets are not necessary to market a game for "gamers". Real gamers read about new developments themselves and are going to buy good and interesting games.

state of decay fastest selling game on Xbox live and its on its why to aut sell minecraft.
marketing budget for state of decay $0.000.000.

tdylan:

"...Day One Digital will (hopefully) be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one.

Except Jim already covered why Publishers are afraid to make digital cheaper than disc - the fear of reprisal that will come about as a result of undercutting/undermining retailers such as gamestop. According to Jim, there is still too much money being made from Brick & Mortar sales for publishers to ignore. They're depending on gamestop etc to take preorders, sell consoles, and digital copies. They're not going to risk gamestop ordering less titles due to more enticing digital day one sales overshadowing them

That would also explain why Gamestop get's the best retailer specific pre-order dlc. If everyone is so worried about gamestop, why not put all the cool pre-order dlc on the digital download version? That's something they could've been doing for years. We already know that MS will spend millions to make dlc exclusive to their console for a short period of time.
And yet they still manage to get plenty of gamers to believe that used games are a real problem and have to be stopped. Not that I'm a fan of gamestop specifically but I think the used game market was a good thing before they gouged the hell out of the prices.

On the one hand, what he's saying makes perfect sense, and sounds like it may actually be right.

On the other, it's CliffyB who's saying it, so I'm tempted to assume it's wrong just on that basis.

in the end "it just works" is the fundamental principal behind a "games console".

the more they add that can prevent that the more people will reject it.

my TV is my TV because it demands nothing more of me than to switch it on to be able to watch TV on it...

my DVD player is my DVD player because i put a DVD in it and it plays...

there is no "if".

and a "games console" is supposedly supposed to sit amongst these things.

Clif largely raises good points, but the thing that irritates me the most is the "Pitchfork Mob who can not see six inches beyond thier face"

it is not the Customers responsibility to worry about or ensure the survival of industry. our job is to get the products we want, and we are going to do so in the manner that is going to get us the most value for our dollar. if AAA games are on life support cause they are not making enough profit from thier wares, maybe thier production costs are too high and they need to start slashing budgets.

this can range from hiring actual voice actors instead of big names, to scaling back the scope of projects, limiting cut scenes for more in game exposition, etc etc etc.

Remind me why Cliffy B is still relevant. He's left Epic Games, and as far as anyone is aware he's doing...Something? It seems all he seems to be filling his time with is being a Shock Jockey as he insults consumers and publishers to fuel his ego-machine.

Someone really needs to sit CliffyB down and calmly explain to him in the simplest possible terms what cognitive dissonance is and why it's annoying to deal with someone (him) who doesn't understand this concept when they pop-off.

I am also continuously amazed at how much this man talks as I would have thought it would have been a lot more difficult to be as prolific in their spouting of garbage as him when they're choking on Microsoft's dick.

Yes used games are the death of the games industry.

The man needs to stop spouting out of his ass.

Cant see Cliffy being happy if the 55 a game becomes the norm for PS4/Xbone. Its hard to justify 40 for most titles, but 55? Also, digital distribution still exists on the xbone so a company can produce a AAA game and make it DD only. But, i know they would still expect 55 for it. But i think with some AAA titles, a lot of money is spent and wasted.

If they really want to block people buying used versions of his game. Make them digital downloaded for 25 and let the copy in the shop sell for 55. A lot of people would get the DD version, developers get more money and wont to worry about used sales as its digital. Its how Steam works, and no one has ever moaned about used games, not sharing/lending because its all digital and those complaints arnt applicable.

StewShearer:
internet pitchfork mob who can only see 6 inches in front of their face,

This from man who doesn't see how pushing to kill used games is nothing more than a pitiful stopgap of an attempt to deal with ballooning game budgets.

Yes, something needs to change. The game industry needs to reign their budgets in. Just because you can spend $200 million to create a 4-hour long "cinematic" experience with no cultural or artistic value in an already crowded market doesn't mean that you should. There's only so much money to be squeezed out of any given market, and no amount of DRM or DLC is going to save you when you decide to spend more than that amount because you totally can't ship your game fully of crappy dialog unless it's all lavishly voice-acted with mo-cap facial expressions.

This crap again.

Why is this man still talking? Has he not picked up on the not-so-subtle hints that the entire internet wants him to shut the fuck up?

Uhh, Cliffyb does realize there's been used games and video rentals since the 80's? You know, NES days? Used games aren't the problem, it's studios wasting millions that is the problem. You can make a great "AAA" quality game on a lower budget, just look at Torchlight2. Awesome game, better than Diablo.

As for digital downloads...

kamay:
Digital for me just isn't doable for the amount of games I like to play (I don't do multiplayer so I have more time for other games). My download bandwidth is capped at 80gigs a month and is expensive to upgrade. I download a game like Bioshock Infinite and guess what, 30% of my monthly bandwidth is gone right there. That maybe not seem like a lot but with the general browsing of myself and other people in my house I'd get pretty darn close to breaking the cap. I like to play more than one game a month plus I also have a library of physical games dating back to my NES days.

Digital is fine for little indie games or people who don't have a cap, but the next gen games are probably going to be sitting at the 15-24gig range. Also my internet is fast but I really don't want to wait 1-2 hours to download a game, there's a Game Stop within a 5 minute walk of my house and 3 within a 5-10 minute drive.

There are millions of gamers just like kamay. I'm one of them too. We have a 100GB cap, shared between five people, so maybe I can download one or two games.

Until ISP's around the world increases bandwidth caps, makes high speed in more areas, digital distrobution is not the way to go. Maybe in 10 years when we all have fiber connections, but not now when there's a chunk still using dial-up.

captcha: bath water. Think Cliffyb has been drinking it

Bix96:
Am I the only one left on the planet who likes physical media? I'm proud to look at my bookshelves full of games dating all the way back to the NES and when my friends bring their kindles over and say "look I've got like 100 books on this thing" it seems so lame.

You're not. Hell, I just went out to the bookstore last week to pick up the box collection of A Song of Ice and Fire Books 1-4 + A Dance with Dragons and a few Terry Pratchett novels. Sadly it seems that more and more people are turning digital these days though. Of course, I've been parroting the same thing so much the past few days that I feel like a broken record, but suffice to say that I find digital more convenient on my PC, which is usually connected to the internet, and I like physical disks for my consoles, which are never connected to the internet--Partly because of the way I grew up and partly because practically everyone else in my family has been a collector and hoarder.

But I also fear for when Microsoft and Sony do push their consoles into a more digital future. As much as people like to bandy about Steam having a 'monopoly', it's not actually quite true. Sure, many, many games use Steamworks for DRM, even in their physical retail copies. But GoG has a massive collection of DRM-free games, often including new indie titles. Though I don't know whether they're DRM-free or activate on Steam, Green Man Gaming does the same. And if you don't feel like giving money to Steam even though the games you buy will activate on Steam, you can buy from Amazon or occasionally retail stores as well. Microsoft and Sony jumping into the digital marketplace at this point would be a lot like what EA tried to do with Origin: Stifle competition by pulling your titles from the largest competitor you have to worry about and offer them exclusively on your system. Especially if they kill physical copies, because the console space doesn't have alternative sites like Green Man Gaming or GoG.

TL;DR? I don't see a digital future for consoles going well. When Microsoft can offer all of their titles on XBL and Sony can offer all of their titles on the PSN without worrying about competing in a retail space, what's to stop them from trying to exert complete control over their customers once again?

Bluh. I'm not going to lie, every time this guy opens his mouth something worse comes out... Love how he just dismisses ALL OF US as ridiculously shortsighted.

I was personly banned from Epic forums by this guy, well, I was threatend to be, so I jumped before I was pushed and never looked back. Needless to say I've never been a fan of anything he's got to say.

There is nothing wrong with digital distribution.

MS's version of it, with 24 hour checking in (like we are on parole or something) and complicated "permissions", however is asinine. MS has set back digital distribution by a decade with the mess that was the Xbone.

Scrumpmonkey:
The industry has a strange habit of blaming the consumer for it's own shortcomings.

This basically sums it up. The industry seem to have forgotten we don't owe them shit.

All I can say about used games is, DealWithIt. The movie, music and book industries have.

Ok, I read The entire Rant from the guy with the boner chainsaw gun, and wathched 26 of the 28 minute long video he posted.

Boner gun is complaining that AAA titles don't have a smart medium to make enough money to keep going.

In the video Boner gun links, Used game hater rambles on for almost 30 minutes explaining that used game companies are bad b/c they take money from publishers.

Both dance around the idea that the real problem is that neither developers or companies like Microsoft have come up with a system which is competitive to the one we currently have: Consumer choice is mainly driven by cost: GameStop provides games and the cheapest cost for consumers.

Showing my age here, remember when Apple first introduced iTunes and the fact every song was 99 cents? Youngins may not, but the firestorm was that not every song is as good as the other and therefore should not cost the same. Also the idea was that 99 cents was too cheap either way because how could the poor music artist make money? The consumer didn't care because it was the simplest way to get legal music and cheaper than having to buy an entire CD for maybe one or two songs you wanted from an artist. Today we still have music and artists make money. No one (the avg. consumer) didn't care about the DRM which hovered on your songs for years in iTunes, it was so much easier than cassettes or cd players.

Everyone talks about Steam being the perfect system, but who can remember how weird it was taking your Counter Strike keys and trading them in for this new Steam platform? Nothing was guaranteed that Steam would be a success, but all it took was for one steam sale to show up on a title you've wanted to play but didn't want to pay full price for to see the benefit. Not often do people mention that Steam is in fact always-on DRM for your game because it does a great job of not cluttering up the gaming experience. It's more convenient to launch steam, have the platform check for updates on my games, buy new hats for TF2 in game, browse Steam sales, than it is to use a browser window.

These two events are important because they show how smart companies can solve problems that benefit both the industry and the consumer.

Boner gun is right. iOS devices stand to reap the rewards from the greedy mess MS, Sony and Nintendo have put the industry in because it's a much larger, stronger, much more stable and reliable base for developers than any other platform on the market right now besides steam for gaming.

TLDR: If publishers don't make money making games for consoles, make them for a PC / iOS. The market is large, there aren't any used games. or BS licensing with Sony/Nintendo/MS.

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