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Thread: What's Killing the Video-Game Business?

  1. #1
    Member TeeJay's Avatar
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    What's Killing the Video-Game Business?

    An informative perspective on the industry:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2210732/

  2. #2
    Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about that closing line, "Let the Portals bloom." It just seems ... off ... somehow, as though a similar line about Portals and thought processes would be more fitting.

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  4. #4
    Member Schleicher's Avatar
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    Wonder how much of that goes into making all that fancy DX10 stuff most users wont come to see until the current top of the line system its supposed to run on is like third place behind the then-to-be top of the line.

    Part of Portals success is that its just HL2 with some new models and textures and a new weapon and a good idea. Same with Left 4 Dead. Same ol engine, new texture/model stuff, some changes to AI, basically high quality mods which didnt need to have bazillions pumped into them.

    That said id like to add that i pulled all those asumptions outta my ass and that they might be blatantly uncorrect.

  5. #5
    Member FixXxeR's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if we're talking about single player or multiplayer entertainment here but I think that the games industry lacks very much in innovation, good plot lines and voice acting. Certainly from a single player experience. Multiplayer games are different to 'get right'

    The crap that gets produced these days... They may look pretty but that's it.

    Take two massive titles from last year. Mass Effect and Fallout3, both role play single player games. Which has more immersion? Easily IMO, Mass Effect because it's got a deep, compelling and interesting plot. Voice acting that puts daytime soaps to shame and makes Fallout3s' voice acting look like a nappy sack of sick and piss. I've not even started on the comparison of the plot lines... I shouldn't have to really as Mass Effects is an ocean deeper than Fallout3s' puddle of a story tale. Granted, they're different games, different types of role play, how do you compare them really.

    The only thing Fallout3 has over Mass Effect is immediate freedom in the sandbox of the Capital Wasteland... which is good for the replayablility factor... right? Well how many times will you play Mass Effect all the way through? Twice? Maybe three times if your a real fan bouy like me. That's still more times than you might play though Fallout3. A Fallout3 game might last a little longer, but how much of the same voice can you listen to? How many sneak head shots can you perform or hat collections in your Megaton hole can you make before you start to think... mmm, I might watch that free DVD that came with the Daily Mail on Sunday because it will be MORE INTERESTING.

    Portal is a great example in the article because Like Schle said it doesn't cost much, I think its innovative, and intriguing. Not a particularly deep plot but the gimmick of being able to make a-b portals carries it though and you look past that, but unless the plot gets thicker in the next installment of Portal is it really going to be that interesting? Are you going to be able to 'escape' into a game of Portal like when it was first released? 30 more puzzles to figure out, getting stuck on puzzle 12, not play it for 6+ months then decide to check the solution on YouTube and get past it and finish the remaining puzzles... BORING! zzzz.

    /rant
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  6. #6
    Member Machine's Avatar
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    I don't think you can ignore the economic downturn, people are loosing their jobs at least they are here in the UK, so less disposable income equals less spent on luxuries like that new computer game you treat yourself to each month.

    The points raised in the points above are true too, Left 4 Dead is graphically pretty darn good, and has exceptional playability, likewise Portal is something quirky, using an engine that we all know works, we know "well half-life 2 works smooth so portal will" and you buy with confidence. TF2, again, GFX do the job, it runs fast and you enjoy.

    It seems to me that each new game seems to want to be built on an engine of it's own when there are engines out there perfectly able to deliver albeit maybe not with the fancy effects that they seem to want to cram in there? Flatout 2 and Flatout ultimate Carnage for example, why oh why they destroyed the engine in UC is beyond me because the Flatout 2 engine was fast, smooth and looked awesome, if they'd just added more courses and improved the net code I would have spent £30 quid on it right away.

    But there are too many factors to wrap up into a 2 page article on why (and indeed even IF) the computer games industry is waning, personally I've seen it mentioned time and time again, but games still come out, and every now and then you get a gem of a game that's fantastic, new, and you talk about it for years later, so my opinion, it's a load of crap, the games industry is fine - yeah some releases lack innovation, but some don't, Mass effect was good, Mirrors Edge is good, Left for Dead is good, GTA 4 is good, Flatout Ultimate Carnage was poor, Prince of Persia was poor.... etc... (all IMO)

    To summerise this is just another wingey article about the decline of something that probably isn't declining. Ignore it, and see the value in the software you have because this is somebodies opinion and this is the internet, so it's probably not the word of god, in fact, it's probably a load of crap, just like me.
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  7. #7
    Member Firetiger's Avatar
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    I think a few of the above posts might be taking the article a bit too heavily. I won't go and double check it, but I don't recall it saying the games industry is dying, just that there are some issues with the current business model. You can't deny that some companies are in hot water though. There's news of huge losses all around. Midway just filed for bankruptcy.

    http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3172757
    http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?publ...31&bId=8980396

    You see, the lack of innovation that so many people love complaining about partially has to do with rising development costs.
    <-- Resident Nightblade suggestion attorney...

  8. #8
    I'm not interested in reading the article but I can say this. There are a lot of businesses going bust here in the UK and abroad and whether it's games, cars or hatstands it's almost always for the same reason; the company is outdated and unwieldy. They're the first to go to the wall because the only reason they survived this far was the strength of the economy giving them an easy ride. The businesses that do innovate and cover their bets are the ones that will survive and survive to gain the revenue from the customers looking for somewhere to go when their usual supplier of luxury goods has gone bump.

    Sure, I mourn the loss of favourite brands like anyone else but at the end of the day (or recession) I'll still have clothes to wear, food to eat and a car to drive and, most importantly to this discussion, fun games to play. No-one is going to keep making games that no-one buys and people only want to buy games that are fun, hence there will always be a market for fun games. The end.
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  9. #9
    Member FixXxeR's Avatar
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    So, no money means no development, which means no innovation, and then means no one will buy the games, which in turn means no money pumping into the industry.

    S'not true though... we're just talkin' here!
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  10. #10
    Member Moses2k's Avatar
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    Let the boring, rehashed game projects die out; see if I care. Indie and open source gaming and modding is the future! I'll be passing out the Slashdot koolaid in just a moment, so prepare yourselves.

  11. #11
    Member Carth's Avatar
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    In my opinion one of the things killing PC gaming is DRM and limiting what people who buy the game can do. Also publishers like EA and Midway (supposedly Midway, who are now bust, are largely responsible for UT3 being rushed, buggy and not what was promised).

    I think Steam helps both of these things and it helps smaller game developers like the creators of Audiosurf and less mainstream games being re-relased like Pyschonauts, although some people still hate Steam with a passion.
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  12. #12
    Member Ran-bot's Avatar
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    I've read in several places that despite the economic downturn video game companies are weathering the storm pretty well. People still want entertainment and diversions from their daily lives and with money getting tight, many individuals and families will find it easier to justify spending $50 on a game for many nights entertainment, than one night out of dinner, drinks, movies, etc. For example, movie tickets are ~$10 each now add any popcorn or drinks to that and one family outing to the movies could easily cost $50 for only 2-3 hours of entertainment. But even before this financial crisis there were game companies that were limping along with poor products and management. I would expect that they will get sqeezed out faster now, but the good game companies will weather the storm fine.

    As for DRM, the people that are really against it are a small but very vocal minority. Some of the recent examples, like Spore, have been pretty extreme, but it's not killing any significant amount of business. It mostly just gives pirates additional personal justification for doing what they would do anyway, regardless of DRM.

  13. #13
    Member Carth's Avatar
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    I guess I mean killing it for me, rather than the game companies. It just makes me very, very reluctant to buy a game. My purchases of boxed games have pretty much flatlined, and I'm not pirating them instead, I'm just not playing them, hence killed PC games for me. On the other hand, my purchases to Steam have steadily increased.
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  14. #14
    Member Baz's Avatar
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    I knew it.. Carth is killing the Video-Game Business!
    ..it's safer here.

  15. #15
    Member DON'T PANIC's Avatar
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    I'll bet he killed the radio star too.
    “That’s not what justice is,” the colonel jeered, and began pounding the table again with his big fat hand. “That’s what Karl Marx is. I’ll let you know what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor.

  16. #16
    Member Schleicher's Avatar
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    Plus hes always standing in the cockpit being whiny. Ugh. But hes pretty good with akimbo pistols so you should skill him in mastery rapid fire or however that was called.

  17. #17
    No, YouTube killed the radio star.

    Anyway, I'm in the same boat as Carth. For ex. I want to play GTA4 but it's still too pricey on xbox (ya, I'm rly, rly cheap) and I'm not buying it on PC because of the horror stories about DRM. I'm wary about Steam but they have such good games that I can't resist, from what I understand it's great when it's working and scratches out your urethra with rusty nails when it isn't. That means that I can either pirate GTA on PC and risk potential problems (including jail time - OMG LOL!) so I can play it properly or I'll wait until it's cheap on xbox and snap it up for a bargain. Either way I'm not buying a PC game.
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  18. #18
    Member Ran-bot's Avatar
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    Gabe Newell's DICE 2009 keynote speech hit on the topics brought up here. It's an interesting read and highlights Valve's different perspective on the industry.

  19. #19
    Member =IRON=CORVUS's Avatar
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    corporationalism kills it, the companies prefer to support projects that are based of other things that already gave them some money. In the end we have games that are repetetive not inoovative and booring repeating thesame schemes already done before.

  20. #20
    Member Moses2k's Avatar
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    I wonder if it's not slipping release dates and no updates posted to the community forums that's killing the (main part of the) vidya-game industry (that I care about)?

  21. #21
    Member Fuzzy Bunny's Avatar
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    What do you mean? Demos are released semi-regularly, and we get a new game every year or so. You haven't even played the last two games

  22. #22
    Member Moses2k's Avatar
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    Maybe this is a sign of the times that I care more now about Touhou than Alien Swarm? What has this goofy, mixed-up world come to?

  23. #23
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    For shug, i love him so much!

    I KNEW I LOVED YOU BEFORE I METTTTTTTTTT YOUUUUUUU!

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  24. #24
    Savage Garden are killing the video game business? Damn them! Damn them all to Hell!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaws View Post
    Savage Garden are killing the video game business? Damn them! Damn them all to Hell!
    hahahahahaha. Omfg. Im gonna have a freaking six pack after reading that from laughing so hard lol.

    But no seriously. it's not savage garden thats killing the video game business! its me and Homeskillet just cause we have that glow!(p.s. sorry ba i hope its not too big omg!)(P.S.S. If i was a colored dude id say that too ) ILU!
    (P.S.S.S.S.S.S Its all in good humor you know ilu ba )

    heres the pic i put it on a link though cause it was like, no i wont show it here and it wont work cause I'm a crazyHum that loves getting off to rosie o while listening to richard simmons while in an infantry omg :\ srsly

    http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/2055/theglow.jpg

  26. #26
    Star, Has anybody suggested you seek professional help? seriously.

  27. #27
    Member Schleicher's Avatar
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    I agree. That bra in that other picture...just horrible.

    A fashion consultant could do much good there, fitting earrings, a dress, viola.

  28. #28
    Art Direction oRGy's Avatar
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    Probably the new iPhone will accelerate the trend. It has a lot of potential and having only one hardware platform makes things a lot easier.
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  29. #29
    Member Moses2k's Avatar
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    It's a problem when the one platform is closed-source and by a company which favors lock-in.

  30. #30
    Member Ran-bot's Avatar
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    There are rumors that Nintendo's DSi will have a virtual store to purchase games and other DLC that will compete directly or indirectly with the iPhone. Nintendo is downplaying it, but the foundations are there and Nintendo needs to give people a compelling reason to upgrade their DS/DS Lites to the DSi. The iPhone is certainly popular, but it was never designed for gaming like the DS, so there could be room in the market for Nintendo too.

    /Too lazy to search for the recent Slashdot article about this

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