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Topic: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

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  1. #1
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    Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    GameDaily is running an interesting opinion describing some of the factors in which the gaming industry is just broken.

    The article writes about overwelming costs, large risks, a reduction in creativity, and stagnation in market growth as contributing factors.

    From the article:
    "The next-gen systems require publishers to place very large bets with each title. This will mean decreased risk taking and just regurgitated sequels of big brand franchises. How many publishers will take risks with multiplatform original IP? This is clearly not good news for the consumer as innovation has driven our industry from the beginning. The irony is that the amazing tools, capabilities and quality of the new systems may very well doom what is most important, which is the game itself. Reconciling what a creative team wants and what the executive suite needs in terms of profits will be a growing challenge for many companies."
    Interesting Read! Do you agree with this assessment?

  2. #2
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    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    What a laugh!

    Gears of War
    Huxley
    Assassin's Creed
    Mass Effect
    Crysis
    Heavenly Sword
    Bioshock
    Red Steel

    (just to name a few off the top of my head) all new, original next gen titles that kick ~~~ and up the ante of the game insdustry.

    No, the video game industry is not broken...it's just getting started

  3. #3

    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    I agree with Jamey. There is a good amount of top quality original IP still coming out.

    The struggle between the creative teams and the suits with the money is nothing new at all. Sequel-itis exists in the movie industry too.

    In addition to the AAA game titles, online delivery and micro-transactions will allow more small studios to sell their independent games to a large audience.

  4. #4

    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    I can see where the article is coming from, but at the same time, I'm not worried

    Beeson

  5. #5

    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    I think Will's last statement is part of the key here...All the titles that Jamey listed are excellent - but they're all AAA. What we're seeing less of is interesting, unique, creative IP from some of the smaller studios.

    Development budgets ARE on the rise due to next-gen costs (hopefully the Wii will help some of the smaller developers with that), and publishers are less likely to support smaller developers if it isn't a 'sure thing' (licensed product, sequel, etc.) Smaller developers often can't front the whole risk of developing an all-original, next-gen title themselves, and without publisher support, they often have to stick to formulas that 'work'.

    That said, I do believe that creativity is alive and well in the industry - I just think it is being controlled by the wrong people (the publishers). You can have the most creative team in the world, but if you're a developer whose sole support comes from licensed titles, the best you can hope for is a high quality license-tie-in. And then you have to expect to take a 2-3 point hit on all your reviews because reviewers are skewed against movie-tie-ins. I know Will has first-hand experience with this...

  6. #6
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    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    Publishers fund games that people buy....it really is a demand driven market. In what world would it make sense to fund a project that is doomed to fail? Let's be honest, a lot of the games that these "smaller studios" are making are lame.

    Developers need to get smarter and make better games for less money. It can be done and is being done...Gears of War is being made by a team of 40-50 people and will cost less to make than a lot of last-gen titles. Based on this example, arguments about rising costs clearly do not need to be the rule.

    -Jamey

  7. #7

    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    I have to agree somewhat with the article.

    This is the first year that the game industry revenues are down. Its been all uphill before this, so it was bound to happen. I heard that EA is losing $11 million this year, or last?
    I work for a smaller developer, and a very innovative one, and it's harder than ever to get the dev $$$.
    I haven't seen anything break the mold in gaming ideas in some time. The games Jamey mentioned are all showing some promise, but not much new premise. I don't think that the game industry is broken, but I definitely see that except for the established titles, and even those are getting tougher to retain the same sales unless your looking at a new platform to generate interest.
    I think that unless something new conceptually gives the industry a serious boost, that we are in a similar period to the late 90's when many of the smaller developers folded. I will say however that we do have the constant influx of new and younger gamers constantly added to the consumer base, but I feel we are desperate for the next "Myst" or "Sims", and I don't mean a sequel, but a groundbreaking concept that will add to the user base of both young and old. Not an easy thing to come up with, but I think it's desperately needed. I don't know how many more FPS's the market can bear. I've seen some great FPS games get lost in the shuffle, because there are just SO many of them. How many times can you kill another soldier or throw another grenade, or have a special morphing armor suit or whatever... One of the things that makes games like Half-Life 2 stand out for example are the fact that along with story there is innovative use of physics in the fiber of the game, which was new for it's genre at the time. But you still need to have the next big thing bring something new to any platform or that will stagnate as well.
    I'm not fearing for a total loss of work, as I'm sure the industry isn't really going anywhere, but I'm not excited about much that is on the horizon at the moment either. Sure there are a few, but I'd sure like to see something create the buzz that many games did 10 or 15 years ago. Right now, the excitement is in seeing what the next console will do, rather than something that generates new interest.

    Tim

  8. #8
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    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    Tim,
    you're sounding jaded, my man! Where you working at now?
    -Jamey

  9. #9

    Thumbs down Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    Heh - he said "DOOMed"...



    They should have gone to E3 before spouting off.

    Title developers must have something to hang their hat on before they can really exploit a new console or game engine. It's not something that happens overnight for any company, even entertainment companies. This must have been written by someone whose only means of having a morning shot of java comes from waiting in line at Starbucks, and has never made a pot of coffee for themselves.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  10. #10

    Re: Is the Videogame Industry Broken?

    Tim,
    you're sounding jaded, my man! Where you working at now?
    -Jamey
    lol
    For the most part I'm fortunate enough to still be working at Cyan. But also lucky enough to also work with VALVe, Ubi, Sony and Blizzard on occasion.

    You might be right to a point, I do feel somewhat jaded on occasion, but still looking for something to put back the spark. Hopefully URU LIVE might be a possibility, although it might be tough to get the hype needed that goes along with a successful launch. Also pretty excited about the Half-Life 2 episodic stuff I'm working on. Another bit of innovation in the delivery as well.
    Don't want to sound too negative, but there really is room for pushing the envelope a bit I think. Hopefully we won't follow the film model too closely and get too conservative as a result of the ever expanding development and shrinking budgets.
    It's also really a different profile of who's buying the gmes as well. The crowd today is harder to impress. The kids have seen computer games since they were 2, and CG movies as well with all the bells and whistles. The only thing left for most is the twitch factor. You can't get that from a movie, so a game still satisfies that desire. But what happened to the edu-tainment wave, or adventure games? People aren't getting the same rush out of an adventure title that they used to, and that was a huge part of the market through the 90's, until the FPS took over, and online cooperative play. The game industry has somewhat eaten itself, and now it's loooking for the next meal. Hopefully someone will be able to serve it up.

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