Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Arcinferno, Jan 22, 2018.
Capcom has huge problems listening to their community.
I guess I'm part of the problem. I buy games when they a sub £20. The occasional odd multiplayer game I buy day 1 to not fall behind competition, though most of the time I don't buy multiplayer games.
Firewatch is basically Uncharted 2 Tibet, minus all the combat. Maybe Amy is right, and she admits she only has so many games left in her now. Might as well be creatively fulfilled and make the kind narrative driven games she wants to make by going indie.
My favorite games lately aren’t the bombastic AAA titles. The kind of games she cares about can be made on a smaller budget, not beholden by publishers. Little Nightmare/Inside/Hell Blade. I don’t think she needs to subject herself to the shit fest that is EA.
i'm fine with this development.
Maybe story titles go away from AAA. By nature of them being a story based game they should be focused on characters and plot lines not graphics and tech. Bring them back to turn based games. Bring it back to the switch, 3ds, vita and even cell phone. Nintendo may have it right about having 'enough' power. All those dialog scenes for less than a hundred line of dialog probably cost millions to make. Leave more to the player to fill in the visual gaps. I have played SE FF games 1-10 on handhelds based on older limited graphics and had great experiences. Strange Journeys is coming back from the DS to the 3ds and it was a great title back then....as was the Fire Emblem Series. If there is no voice acting that is okay on the handheld because usually its easier to read there than on the console, its more like a book. I would hate to see this genre of games go away. But I do understand cost. So just focus on story and less on tech and see what happens.
And again, this is Star Wars, not Elmo. No one can say with a straight face that a linear game about one of the most popular and profitable IP of our time wasn't going to sell and make a profit for EA.
We're framing the issue in a way where consumers are the problem ( they can be), but publishers aren't (they are definitely more of a problem).
I made a thread on this a while back about why we're seeing less AAA linear single player story driven games at the $60 price point.
Amy isn't exactly wrong here. Those games don't sell as much or have as much long term engagement / spend as live service games. Just look at the top 10 best selling games of the year in the US.
Call of Duty: WWII
Madden NFL 18
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
Grand Theft Auto V
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Super Mario Odyssey*
Mario Kart 8*
Odyssey is the only one I would consider a traditional $60 linear single player game.
All the others are live service titles, open world games, multiplayer / co-op focused etc...
I’d be interested in seeing more break downs as to why AAA budgets have increased by such an astronomical amount over the last generation or so. It feels like there must be better ways to cut back on the budget rather than trying to push that increased cost onto consumers through predatory methods like loot boxes.
What's the downside of AAAA moving to nothing but open world/multiplayer, honestly? It's not like linear story based games will die out. They'll just be made for cheaper by smaller devs that see a hole in the market to fill, and unless you're playing them only for the production values (god help you) you'll still have plenty of games to play.
Hennig is talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. That's a stupid amount of money. Of course everything that expensive is going to fit into one of like, three archetypes and be the death of any creative elements that dont appeal to absolutely everybody. Movies also have this problem, and there's no reason to think gaming is any different.
I mean, profits are at a record high for all the major publishers.
The "we can't raise prices from $60!" argument she uses is disingenuous. There's literally no proof of that because no one has even attempted it. Why? Because they'll make revenue leaving the prices at $60 but shifting to revenue-based game design instead of say, increasing prices to $80 but not including loot boxes and progression based microtransactions.
I love story based SP games but I can see why they're not really the smartest business move. Gamers now more than ever look at the value proposition and how many hours they can get out of the game vs what they paid, which is why multiplayer has dwarfed Single player, and the single player games that remain have shifted to adding open world filler to increase perceived value.
I've often thought the best solution going forward for big budget story based SP, is to go episodic. Split the game in a way that each smaller part can help fun the development of the next. Either way it's a tough position to be in.
A mix of different strategies can be applied. Have your mobile gatcha, your AAA blockbuster and your AA spring release. Trying to make one game being everything does not work most of the time. Square Enix is doing just that, milking their franchises on mobile with gatcha games, developing AAA like mainline Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider and financing AA games like Nier and it seems to be working.
1) it was bad
2) no, really, so bad it actually ruined a bunch of people's saves, including my own, and I had to start over after 19 hours in the game
3) man, that ending, it was so bad
4) this is a game that takes like an hour to get going, with lengthy, dull cutscenes and frequently-interrupted linear levels
5) the game's focus on being in just one (incredibly small) location really hurt it
6) remember when the writers tried to make it about apartheid, but that didn't really work because people with cool robot bits whining that their bodies are cool robot bits comes across as disingenuous? (DEHR had way smarter plotlines, like the lady who felt she had to upgrade to compete, but couldn't afford expensive implants)
7) remember when the "augment your preorder" campaign backfired and upset a lot of people?
8) Remember when they added in a really un-fun side mode that wasn't exciting and nobody liked it?
It didn't really have much of a narrative hook, it didn't keep itself exciting, and all the technical issues early on led to a ton of complaints which killed its chances at success. It didn't help that hyperbolic YouTubers like Jim Sterling were out there making up shit or repeating bad rumors about how the game had been split in half (it wasn't) and the second half would release like a year later or something (which didn't happen, as you all know).
Mankind Divided didn't fail because it was single-player, it failed because it sucked. It sucked because it didn't have a solid, clear vision about what it wanted to be, and a lot of the ideas it did have were genuinely bad ideas (like the apartheid and augment your preorder stuff, as well as a bunch of huge, ultra-linear missions like Golem City).
Personally I'm entirely comfortable with single-player titles shifting towards a lower budget AA or indie spaces. Blockbuster linear story-driven AAA titles rarely hold my interest unless anyways with only a few exceptions nowadays.
Much as i agree with her, it doesnt apply to EA. Theyve done fuck all for single player this gen and lootboxes and streams are largely only prominent for multiplayer games. Nobody minds paying more for games that arent outright designed to scam you. Compare the backlash of Bf2's 'free' dlc to paid dlc like old hunters, zelda, frozen wilds or witcher 3 or hell even far back as skyrim. I would understand if ND tomorrow said theyre not gonna improve graphics anymore to keep dev costs down, i would understand if theyre selling a season pass day 1 but EA can fuck right off for sitting on the star wars ip for so long and not making a single good game out of it and outright cancelling the two that actually looked good.
EA can talk this talk the day they make another kotor, i couldnt give a rat's ass how many A's it has, look like the first two games for all i care.
So yeah while her message makes sense, lets not ignore there plenty of greedy asshats simply using this as an excuse to continue with this trend.
She’s not wrong at all.
The fact that people point to Nier, Yakuza, Hellblade or Persona as "huge sucesses" says everything a big publisher needs to know about just how many people are buying SP games.
Unless you are a GOTY caliber SP game or a huge brand you don't pass the 5+ Million mark.
Whereas if you do a reasonably good job with an MP focused game, you do. If one wants to bring up breakout hits for MP we are looking at Rocket league, PUBG, ARK, Rainbow Six Siege ect. Those players are also still putting money into the games.
The thing is that they just don't care. It's the quest for a bigger profit that drives them. Framing a linear game as a GaaS is hard to work it out, so they make it something else where they can make it a live service. It's not "linear games can't make a profit", they definitely can. It's more "I can make a live service that can profit off the consumers instead". This is the basic argument.
But from that point, do you think that a game being priced 90$ is going to put a leash on their live service ? Is it going to give more options to devs to make what they want ? Remember that Amy's studio was already in an incredibly low morale because the studio had to be splintered for the Battlefield Hardline live service, which put several devs into distress. EA was already starving and draining the studio of their capability to create a great product.
I don't know, it just seems clear there's one target here. And it's not us. At least not in this specific case.
I'm pretty sure many SP games in the recent years (like TW3 or Uncharted 4 for example) sold more than decently.
The problem is not with people who will buy anything as long as there's a proper marketing behind it (all the more if the game is critically acclaimed). The problem is that publishers don't really publish a lot of big AAA SP games.
Well, I exclusively buy single player games these days but I know I'm in the minority. I don't really play or spend money on multiplayer games at all.
Trophie/achievement stats already tell you enough about completion rates, i'm surprised that games like COD don't drop the single player portion considering that it's probably the most expensive part of their development.
Single player games will thrive on AA experiences and AAA productions by console manufacturers like Sony and Nintendo because they don't need to compete with service based games that are on their platform.
I have my suspicions with publishers sales expectations. Corporations should consider looking at themselves in the mirror if they need their games to sell +10 million to be a success.
It's not that people aren't buying single player games, it's just EA's idea of a "successful" game has become a 10 million+ PUBG like behemoth that has high profit turnover post launch.
So basically Amy, the fact we were looking forward to a Star Wars game made by you notwithstanding, you get into bed with the devil, you should always expect the worst.
Publishers are just not trying anymore because there's simply more money to make in MP games (player retention and micro-transactions go along with each other)
Make a good, single player, linear game, which is 5-8 hours long, and I'll buy it.
If you make it open world just because, shove it full of shit side content, make it last 20-30 hours just to say it's long, I won't buy it.
Problems that your Activision, EA and Ubisoft of the world would not have.
For people saying they need to increase price, your free to go buy the 99$ gold edition or limited edition what ever it is, you can even support them by buying their micro transaction if they have it in their game. As for me I'll keep buying for 60$ if it's worth it and if they have a DLC that's reasonable I'll buy that too. Dont feel sorry for non of this publisher most are making profit with their MP games If they can't make anymore SP games that's fine with me I'll just move on to the next game that do.
That's the point Amy Hennig is making.