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"Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers and

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Saints Row developer takes aim at "ridiculously huge budgets"

The games industry's obsession with $100 million games that retail for $60 is seriously harming it, according to Saints Row 4's senior producer Jim Boone - one of the survivors of this console generation's most infamous bankruptcy, the collapse of THQ.... read more

"Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers and

Postby Metalrodent » 03 Oct 2013, 12:09

Maybe I didn't read the article properly, but is there a reason why the second image is of the Wii Draw Pad thing?
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby OXM ETboy » 03 Oct 2013, 12:12

'Tis the uDraw - bane of THQ's bottom line.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby CunningSmile » 03 Oct 2013, 12:13

Metalrodent wrote:Maybe I didn't read the article properly, but is there a reason why the second image is of the Wii Draw Pad thing?


If it's the same article as in the mag it's because he talks at some length about how the uDraw cock up basically killed THQ despite it having several highly profitable games in the same year.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby SilentDark » 03 Oct 2013, 14:02

Gotta say, man speaks the truth. Budgets have gotten way too big, the end result is you generally need just about everyone and their dog to buy a copy to see profit. I look at most of the games I bought new over the last few months, most of them tend to be either franchises I know and trust (Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers), GOTY editions (Arkham City, Skyrim) or games I've played before but found dirt cheap in a sale (Bully: Scholarship Edition)

Reign in the budgets a bit, you can make great games at lower price points. Look at the popularity of games like Minecraft or Angry Birds, I highly doubt they had the development budgets of CoD.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby Grummy » 03 Oct 2013, 14:14

SilentDark wrote:Gotta say, man speaks the truth. Budgets have gotten way too big, the end result is you generally need just about everyone and their dog to buy a copy to see profit. I look at most of the games I bought new over the last few months, most of them tend to be either franchises I know and trust (Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers), GOTY editions (Arkham City, Skyrim) or games I've played before but found dirt cheap in a sale (Bully: Scholarship Edition)

Reign in the budgets a bit, you can make great games at lower price points. Look at the popularity of games like Minecraft or Angry Birds, I highly doubt they had the development budgets of CoD.


If modern gaming becomes all about Angry Birds, then this industry is dead. It's about innovation, creativity and bringing in entertaining, intense, immersive experiences. Angry Birds and MC have their place, but it's not as a model to be followed by everyone.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby CunningSmile » 03 Oct 2013, 14:17

SilentDark wrote:Gotta say, man speaks the truth. Budgets have gotten way too big, the end result is you generally need just about everyone and their dog to buy a copy to see profit. I look at most of the games I bought new over the last few months, most of them tend to be either franchises I know and trust (Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers), GOTY editions (Arkham City, Skyrim) or games I've played before but found dirt cheap in a sale (Bully: Scholarship Edition)

Reign in the budgets a bit, you can make great games at lower price points. Look at the popularity of games like Minecraft or Angry Birds, I highly doubt they had the development budgets of CoD.


THE APOCALYPSE IS COMING!!!!!

Just look at the Tomb Raider reboot; great game, very entertaining and sold over a million copies (a success by normal standards) yet Square consider it a flop. Either they are grading on a very different scale from what most people consider a failure or they really need to get their budgets under control.

Variable price points would also allow a wider range of products to sell. One of the stupidest comments I've ever heard on these forums was someone complaining they didn't by Bioshock 1 (my game of the generation) because it was only 8 hours long and they want at least 30 hours for the price. Personally I think 30 hours play would have killed Bioshock, but if people aren't willing to pay that much for an 8 hour game there will either need to be a price drop or we'll get even more games full of needless padding.

Of course flip side is that in real terms the price of games has more than halved since the N64 and we should all stop acting so self entitled, but what ya going to do?
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby SilentDark » 03 Oct 2013, 14:31

Grummy wrote:
SilentDark wrote:Gotta say, man speaks the truth. Budgets have gotten way too big, the end result is you generally need just about everyone and their dog to buy a copy to see profit. I look at most of the games I bought new over the last few months, most of them tend to be either franchises I know and trust (Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers), GOTY editions (Arkham City, Skyrim) or games I've played before but found dirt cheap in a sale (Bully: Scholarship Edition)

Reign in the budgets a bit, you can make great games at lower price points. Look at the popularity of games like Minecraft or Angry Birds, I highly doubt they had the development budgets of CoD.


If modern gaming becomes all about Angry Birds, then this industry is dead. It's about innovation, creativity and bringing in entertaining, intense, immersive experiences. Angry Birds and MC have their place, but it's not as a model to be followed by everyone.


Well yes, I suppose the point I was trying to make was that good and popular games can be made on smaller budgets, It's not so much about being either one side or the other, but there are games out there that are made on a Triple A level budget but realistically can't really sell enough to turn over enough of a profit to make the expenditure worth it. It does seem to me though, that the more money a dev is given for a game, the less keen they are on innovating, because the expectation on turning a profit is that much higher so devs tend to play it safe. I think there needs to be a happy medium between indie and triple A, and that devs shouldn't worry too much about being either one or the other.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby vadersmyfather » 03 Oct 2013, 14:45

CunningSmile wrote:Just look at the Tomb Raider reboot; great game, very entertaining and sold over a million copies (a success by normal standards) yet Square consider it a flop. Either they are grading on a very different scale from what most people consider a failure or they really need to get their budgets under control.


I don't know what they expected. In the UK alone:

It sold more than 1 million copies in less than forty-eight hours of its release....It debuted at number one in the charts and became the biggest UK title launch in 2013 before being overtaken by Grand Theft Auto V....It set a new record for the franchise, more than doubling the debut sales of Tomb Raider: Legend...It set new week one records as the fastest-selling individual formats of any Tomb Raider title so far

Sounds to me as though they just didn't do their sums and over-egged it.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby CunningSmile » 03 Oct 2013, 15:24

vadersmyfather wrote:I don't know what they expected. In the UK alone:

It sold more than 1 million copies in less than forty-eight hours of its release....It debuted at number one in the charts and became the biggest UK title launch in 2013 before being overtaken by Grand Theft Auto V....It set a new record for the franchise, more than doubling the debut sales of Tomb Raider: Legend...It set new week one records as the fastest-selling individual formats of any Tomb Raider title so far

Sounds to me as though they just didn't do their sums and over-egged it.


Pretty impressive sales figures by any normal person's standards, and yet

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013- ... onth-sales

Basically they were expecting to get Call of Duty or GTA size sales, which was never going to happen because no one gets those numbers except CoD and GTA. This is a company that just seems deeply delusional about the industry and their products.

By contrast I've read that R* aim to break even at the million sales mark. They are a relatively small developer compared to some, but they have pretty tight budget controls that allow them to spend years in development and still have realistic aims. The fact they usually smash those aims, yet keep them in place, is a lesson that more developers need to learn from.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby vadersmyfather » 03 Oct 2013, 15:45

CunningSmile wrote:Basically they were expecting to get Call of Duty or GTA size sales, which was never going to happen because no one gets those numbers except CoD and GTA. This is a company that just seems deeply delusional about the industry and their products.


Exactly. There's always risk in spending money whatever business you're in, but all Tomb Raider highlights is that there's calculated risk and then there's plain recklessness.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby msbhvn » 03 Oct 2013, 17:02

I'm sorry, is this the developer of the same Saints Row IV that is £40 on Steam? Hypocrite.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby FishyGinger » 03 Oct 2013, 17:08

msbhvn wrote:I'm sorry, is this the developer of the same Saints Row IV that is £40 on Steam? Hypocrite.


That's as far from hypocritical as you can get. He clearly said $60 not £40 :P
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby wotsahotspotnot » 03 Oct 2013, 20:41

Whenever I think about the rising costs of making so-called ''Triple A'' games, I think of that pituitary gland disorder, forgive my spelling if wrong, acromegaly. The same disorder suffered by Andre The Giant which eventually killed him. A person just continues growing, including their organs, until they simply cannot sustain themselves any longer. Death iss slow and agonisingly painful.

The biggest fear I have is that right at the very top of the food chain in the industry, as in any other industry that's experiennced massive growth, there are a bunch of people who are in it for the money, don't give a damn what happens to gaming once the money stops rolling in, they just mosquito off to the next blood supply. In their wake are a bunch of unemployed people who love the industry, and gamers who love it equally, and between them they are left to pick up the pieces and do their own post-mortem and attempt to fix it and start again on their own, which might not be all that bad of a thing in somes ways, although clearly awful in others.

So there'll come this point of critical-mass, if it hasn't arrived already, when the money will simply not be there anymore.
Will we be in good enough shape to survive a time when there are no Triple A games whatsoever except those who are birthed by houses who have spent their budgets carefully enough, and those lucky enough to have somehow flourished despite themselves? I can't help feeling that the smaller houses are going to become bigger and fill that gap in the short-term, then the cycle will begin again, as in the early 80's, and these small houses will grow, and amalgamate and become international entities and it could all happen over again in another 30 years, they could easily end up with the same problems as now.

On the bright side, gaming is much stronger than it was in the early 80's because personal computers and handheld devices etc are so entrenched in everyday life now that it simply can't be killed unless the world finds itself back in the stone age. But there's no doubt that it HAS to go on a diet, the only question is does it go on a diet under it's own volition or only when it is forced.
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby CunningSmile » 03 Oct 2013, 21:18

I think you just described Bobby Kotick in charge of Acti with his policy of cancelling every game and closing every studio not involving a certain annual franchise :lol:
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Re: "Unbelievable" $60 game RRPs are killing off publishers

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 03 Oct 2013, 22:17

Games companies need to take a long hard look at how well they expect a game to do before committing potentially hundreds of millions to it.

Especially now with the cost of next gen development set to rise

Those expected figures for Tomb Raider are insane, Square Enix are one of the worst offenders for high sales expectations. Sleeping Dogs did pretty well for a new IP and Hitman Absolution which I actually really like did a good deal better, close to 4 million and yet Square Enix aren't happy.

If they didnt make an overall profit from those games then they have only themselves to blame.
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