1. Arcinferno

    Arcinferno
    Member OP

    https://wccftech.com/hennig-people-ask-story-based-games/

    Amy Hennig (former creative director of Naughty Dog) talks about the current state of the video game industry
     
  2. lupinko

    lupinko
    Member

    Pretty much this, I see many people on social media saying I want to support X game with Day one or whatever, but they never ever do.
     
  3. blonded

    blonded
    Member

    I think you could've put Amy Hennig in the title
     
  4. sredgrin

    sredgrin
    Member

    Framing her as "former ND employee" seems kind of dismissive of Hennig's role in the industry.
     
  5. Chindogg

    Chindogg
    Banned Member

    Yup.

    Price of games have been exceptionally devalued by steam sales, PS+/XBL, etc despite people asking for more and more cinematic elements like voice acting, film writing, and incredible graphics while just watching Let's Plays on Youtube instead of buying them.

    Why bother?

    Edit: Yes Hennig is a huge influence on our industry, but stop being dicks because they didn't put her name in the title. It wasn't meant to devalue her importance. Sometimes this group gets too hung up in trivial shit like this.
     
  6. Kyoufu

    Kyoufu
    Member

    Thread title offends me.

    She's not completely wrong but not completely right either. People do buy story-based games and last year we had quite a few that were both critical and commercial successes.
     
  7. DarkDetective

    DarkDetective
    Member

    Hit the nail on its head.
     
  8. GSR

    GSR
    Member

  9. kami_sama

    kami_sama
    Member

    Sadly, that's what happened with Deus Ex Mankind Divided :(
    We 9n era love linear games, those with an story, but the industry, and the game buyers, are going on a different direction.
    It's true you can have success with those types of games, but it's much more difficult now, I think.
     
  10. SHØGVN

    SHØGVN
    Member

    Amy Hennig may be onto something. Watching stuff like MOBAs and PUBG take off, can you really blame the big publishers for ditching linear single player experiences?
     
  11. DynamiteCop!

    DynamiteCop!
    Banned Member

    This essentially echoes what Phil Spencer has said about GaaS, as much as people don't like it they are largely going to be the way forward unless the price of games dramatically rise with inflation. We've been paying roughly the same price for games for over 20 years. The reality is through inflation games should be $90 right now yet they're still stuck in the $50-$60 range.

    To avoid a service based future they have to increase cost, and people need to not bitch about it and actually pay it. The cost of everything else around us has increased, why not games?
     
  12. Nirolak

    Nirolak
    Member

    Well, there's also the extent to which they're buying them when they're on notable sale, but the issue is that a game sold for $20-$30 at a retail store in only fetching $3-$10 for the publisher due to the static licensing fee and the retailer margin.

    Like Dishonored 2 has actually moved 1 million copies on Steam, but around 600-700K of that was around $20 or less, and the first 300-400K certainly was well below $60 on average.
     
  13. Calibro

    Calibro
    Member

    Already a thread, but that's no excuse. Look at Hellblade for an example how to not burn through millions of unnecessary dollars and make money. And the game isn't even $60.
     
  14. Amy Hennig would use less characters. Why would you do this?
     
  15. c0de

    c0de
    Banned Member

    I guess this is a complicated topic as this will turn out "players against devs". If it is true that $100 million projects are a fact (even if it less), then you have to do something to get that money back, obviously.
    GaaS is here to say and we will see a lot of "creative ways" this gen and many more next gen, for sure. And yes, not every game has to be that expensive, look at Switch and its games which clearly don't see such a budget but then again you can ask why we are hungry for new, more powerful tech at all.
     
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  17. silva1991

    silva1991
    Member

    Amy Hennig is very popular and known. Put her in the title.

    People will buy story driven games games if the quality is there(with strong marketing and good release time of course)

    GoW will probably sell like hotcakes.
     
  18. dbcyber

    dbcyber
    Member

    There's truth to this. My watch to play ratio is skewered towards watch. Also I don't understand why the standard price in NA must remain $60 when the price increased everywhere else this gen.
     
  19. Giolon

    Giolon
    Member

    People are also watching multiplayer games like PUBG and Overwatch online. To say that nobody's buying linear games b/c they're watching them online is an oversimplification. I think they pull different types of customers. Certainly there is some segment that will watch a game online, but how can you translate that 1:1 to lost sales? It's like piracy. A viewer may never have bought the game anyway. But you might also get some people that see it and say "hey! I want to play that myself!". I know that's happened with Giant Bomb Endurance Runs.
     
  20. Servbot24

    Servbot24
    Member

    I believe it.

    For my own part, I buy almost only single player games and really buy more of them than I should.
     
  21. Chindogg

    Chindogg
    Banned Member

    To be fair, if you watch a linear story driven game there's not much incentive to buy the game and play it yourself. Multiplayer games will always have unlimited replayability because of their nonlinear nature.

    Not gonna lie this is how I got through the Assassins Creed games I didn't care for but wanted to understand the story.
     
  22. Retroarnold

    Retroarnold
    Member

    I must be out of touch, but are there really that many people who prefer watching somebody play through a whole game on Twitch/YouTube, rather than actually play the game and experience it their self?
     
  23. Gerwant

    Gerwant
    Member

    Probably that's why most of Sony's single player games are open world. Even God of War is somewhat open-level and much longer than previous games, because it's hard to sell SP only 8 hour game for 60$ these days.
     
  24. Mariolee

    Mariolee
    Member

    Yes. Many of them.
     
  25. Mr G

    Mr G
    Member

    Funny that they blame people streaming games while they were already selling season passes and multiplayer focused games (fifa, cod etc) before streaming was a thing.
     
  26. Neural

    Neural
    Member

    Man, we're on ResetEra. Anyone knows who Amy Hennig is, you don't need to label her as a random ex-ND employee. Especially why she's talking about her SW project here, not something she did at ND.

    Absolutely. It's entertainment, like watching football/basketball instead of going out and play yourself. Obviously, video games are less physically demanding than sports, but people like to watch others do these things. My 11yo kid plays a lot of Minecraft and R6 Siege, and also loves watching at YouTubers playing those same games. Hell, we even did it 30 years ago when we went to the arcades and stopped watching others play games we liked.
     
  27. MrHeisenbird

    MrHeisenbird
    Banned Member

    I mean we DO buy them. There is still a huge market for single player games.

    What has she worked on recently anyway?
     
  28. IIFloodyII

    IIFloodyII
    Member

    Unfortunately seems only really Naughty Dog have consistent success with their big budget linear games nowadays and even they are sightly moving away from strictly linear stuff. Seems it's a big gamble for everyone else.
     
  29. kpaadet

    kpaadet
    Member

    The game have just now turned profitable iirc, not something that would be acceptable for any major publisher.
     
  30. Lyriell

    Lyriell
    Member

    I don't understand why we can't increase the price of games? Some budget games can be cheaper, normal games $60 and your big budget games say $80-90.

    I'd take that over losing single player games with high production costs.

    Or, you know.... don't devalue your game so much. Nintendo knows what is up by barley ever discounting stuff.
     
  31. Drencrom

    Drencrom
    Member

    Former ND-employee? Why not say Amy Hennig in title, also the last studio she worked at was Visceral Games.
     
  32. Equanimity

    Equanimity
    Member

    I dont think that's a good example. Hellblade is a 6 hour restricted linear cinematic adventure.
     
  33. Retroarnold

    Retroarnold
    Member

    Then I'm truly out of touch with modern gaming. I thought playing the game was more fun than watching somebody else play through for you. Guess I was wrong.
     
  34. Giolon

    Giolon
    Member

    Anecdotal evidence: Giant Bomb Endurance Runs. Many people have testified to buying P4 so they could play it for themselves (and in fairness many have said they didn't play it because they watched it, but many of them in turn bought P5 because they got into the series via GBER of P4.)

    There is often something different to the experience when watching someone play a game vs playing it yourself.
     
  35. Noppie

    Noppie
    Member

    Sure, watching one of the personalities you like playing through a game, while you interact with said personality and other followers creates a mood you don't get playing through a game on your own. I've watched some games being played on Twitch, most recently the Literature Club thing. Aimbotcalvin got a couple of his friends to voice each character and played through it in one sitting, it was wonderful.

    On-topic: I can see linear, story-driven games being in a rough patch. Can't make the games too long, can't shorten them and it's mostly a one runthrough kinda thing. I don't think you can blame people watching the games online for not buying them though, that only seems like a small segment.
     
  36. FairyEmpire

    FairyEmpire
    Member

    I mean, I guess I'm part of the problem? Given how quick games devalue, no way in hell I'm spending 60-70EUR for a 6-8 hours single player game anymore, knowing that in a month I can buy it for half of that or even less if I wait longer. On the other hand, an open world game will likely give me dozens of hours of fun, so I can justify the investment easier. Even better with multiplayer games where I'm 100% sure I'll be engaged for dozens/hundreds of hours, thus making the initial investment seem like peanuts compared to the amount of fun I've got. I loved games like Alan Wake and Remember Me last-gen, paid the full price for them and I don't regret it per se, but to me the days of paying 70EUR for a 6 hours game are gone.
     
  37. BigTaffy

    BigTaffy
    Banned Member

    I'd be more inclined to if they didn't all release at the same time.

    Last spring I wanted to support Yakuza, Persona, Horizon, Nier, and Resident Evil 7. Problem was that they all released within 3 months of each other. There's just not enough time in my life to play them all.

    This isn't just a problem aimed at single player games though. I'd have the same problem with multiplayer games.
     
  38. Saucycarpdog

    Saucycarpdog
    Member

    Odd. From my experience, games that are streamed by popular streamers or played by popular youtubers almost instantly jump up on the sales charts. (At least on Steam this seems to be the case)
     
  39. IIFloodyII

    IIFloodyII
    Member

    They pretty much have increased the price with all the editions most games have. Increasing the base price will just turn more people to wait for a sale and pretty much everyone (but Nintendo) have shown they'll quickly put their game on sale.
     
  40. Mass_Pincup

    Mass_Pincup
    Member

    It’s true.

    People will say that they want linear SP games but at the same time will look for every reason to not buy the game.

    “It’s too long”
    “It’s too short”
    “It’s too buggy”
    “It’s not pretty enough”
    “It isn’t worth $60 to me”
    “It’s too formulaic”
    “It’s too linear”
    “There’s too much bloat”

    When at the same time people are willing to overlook plenty of those details for multiplayer games.

    For a publisher right now, when looking at what you can work on, there’s basically no encitive to make a single player games.

    It’s high risk, low reward.
     
  41. Noppie

    Noppie
    Member

    In a world where we have 4 steam sales a year, new year sales, winter sales, summer sales etc. on all platforms, further increasing the price of your games seems like shooting yourselves in the foot. The industry already causes most people to frown upon a $60 price point, 80-90 for a non-special edition will not sale I feel.
     
  42. Spoo

    Spoo
    Member

    Is what Ninja Theory was able to do with Hellblade a counter-point to this that isn't just talk? I mean, a 30-dollar price-point for a SP only, linear but AA quality experience for a budget of half the low-end AAA cost. It was well-received critically and (I think) commercially has earned everything back and is now bringing in reasonable profit for NT.

    It's just a data point, but I feel like it's a pretty big one. The AAA SP game may be in danger, but is the AA and A market getting underexposed by big companies?
     
  43. takriel

    takriel
    Member

    I gotta say, thank God for Nintendo and Sony first party titles. I hope they will never stop making single player focused games without greedy monetization techniques.

    Especially Nintendo is in a good place because of their gameplay first approach. They don't necessarily need to spend a huge amount of money on graphical fidelity etc.
     
  44. MrHeisenbird

    MrHeisenbird
    Banned Member

    I don't even see the point of her making this argument to be honest.
     
  45. Wolfenstein 2 launched at the end of October. Base game is €60 on Steam (around €50 on retail) and the season pass is €25.

    One month later I got the Digital Deluxe version for €30 which has the game and the season pass. No DLC was even released yet at that time.

    Publishers are actively making it not worth buying their games at launch, so there will be more people waiting for sales.
     
  46. darz1

    darz1
    Member

  47. Mass_Pincup

    Mass_Pincup
    Member

    Look at how much time Ninja Theory needed to just break even and look at their experiences and the actual quality of the game.

    Why would a studio want to risk that? I personally only play SP games (except sports games and Nintendo games) but if I’m running a business, I would choose the option most likely to ensure the viability of the studio. Right now SP games aren’t cutting it.
     
  48. Bhonar

    Bhonar
    Member

    and how much net profit did Hellblade make?

    anywhere close to PUBG, Overwatch, MOBAs, games like that?

    it's not enough to just make any amount of money. the total amount matters in comparison to other games
     
  49. Angie22

    Angie22
    Member

    How many linear story-based game were released last year?
    I can only recall Hellblade, and for what I read that game was a success.
     
  50. Jack Orion

    Jack Orion
    Member

    There is an obsession with the blockbuster game on PS4 (and I assume Xbox), but to some extent it’s reinforced by the platform. Even going to the PSN store you can see that downloadable titles are given their own little ‘digital games’ section as if it’s a second class purchase. Everything is directing people towards the biggest and longest and shiniest games. Yes that’s what people want, but it’s partly fuelled by what they’re presented with.

    On Switch everything is treated equally on the store front, and directs give as much attention to the indies as the AAA games (mostly). Devs are selling more on Switch than many other platforms, and the console is being described as an opportunity for AA. Why are the Switch fans finding different games appealing than PS4 fans. They’re mostly the same people.

    (I’m not just fanboying the Switch, I still play my PS4 way more. It’s just a problem I’ve noticed).