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EA Acquires Exclusive Rights to Star Wars - Shuts Down Visceral Games

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5 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

I think a lot of it does come down to execution, as in all things. ME3's Prothean DLC felt like they had literally stolen a bit of the main storyline to sell back to you but its Citadel DLC was a love-letter to the series; Overwatch's loot crates let me get goofy nonsense if I feel like spending money on goofy nonsense but when Shadow of War asks you to pay for stuff any other game would just randomly drop it feels cheap and mercenary. There's no hard and fast answer.

Yes I agree, the implementation in Shdow of War seems to be a poor one. (I haven't played it).

 

But I think you and I agree that just the existence or DLC and IAP/lootboxes is down to the fact that game development cost has risen far faster than revenues from said games and quality is no guarantee of sales.

 

Meaning where we are is an inevitablility until RRP goes up. and I am not sure they will go down that route due to the the inevitable hit on sales. I think that more DLC , and even moreso, episodic gaming is the future.

 

Loot boxes, not so sure, I think the backlash will mean they will go the same was "online passes" , remember those?

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16 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

But DLC is no different to loot boxes in that it boosts the profitability  revenue of a game. Of course it's a more palettable way of doing it, but the reason for it's existence is the same.

I totally understand that, with the caveat that they tend not to offer an advantage (in MP) or have any sort of RNG element to them. I have bought VIP for FM6 and FH3, when they go on sale for $5. At base price, those VIP memberships are arguably some of the worst "free money, little effort" DLCs.

 

edit - and that's before we get into the moral discussion around IAP methodologies, but we have another thread for that.

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4 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

Yes I agree, the implementation in Shdow of War seems to be a poor one. (I haven't played it).

 

But I think you and I agree that just the existence or DLC and IAP/lootboxes is down to the fact that game development cost has risen far faster than revenues from said games and quality is no guarantee of sales.

 

Meaning where we are is an inevitablility until RRP goes up. and I am not sure they will go down that route due to the the inevitable hit on sales. I think that more DLC , and even moreso, episodic gaming is the future.

 

Loot boxes, not so sure, I think the backlash will mean they will go the same was "online passes" , remember those?

 

So, which are those games then? That lose money now and had to revert to lootboxes?

 

Also, nothing guarantees you good sales. But good quality is a good start. 

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4 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

Yes I agree, the implementation in Shdow of War seems to be a poor one. (I haven't played it).

 

there are enough "I played SoW and didn't need to buy a loot box because they were pointless" articles now that I think we can put "doesn't randomly drop" to bed.

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Once all the big publishers retreat from making classical single player games without service elements/online multiplayer or openworld crutches, or a combination of all 3, anybody after that type of product is going to have to rely on the also-ran smaller publishers who can't afford to compete with the big boys and indies for their classic single player fix devoid of all that extra crap. Gabe Newell clearly saw the writing on the wall a decade ago when he dropped Team Fortress 2 into the Orange Box and began experimenting with all these new ways of monetising and making games, and Valve haven't looked back since and they aren't even publicly traded so don't have that reason to do it.

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23 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

So, which are those games then? That lose money now and had to revert to lootboxes?

 

 

I honestly don't know how you can look at the numbers and not come to the conclusion that rises cost of development has far outstripped rises in revenue, due to relatively minor increases in RRP, and very large increases in delevopment costs.  It;s about mitigating risk and increasing the chance of profit.

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To my mind, the combination of retail prices which are already so high that the market won't tolerate an increase and ever-increasing development costs are sure signs of an industry which needs a fundamental rethink. While I, in the main, understand why games are priced so highly, I don't think it's a price level that does videogames as a whole much good. In fact, I'd say that price is the biggest reason why videogames are still not part of mainstream culture in the same way as music, books and films. An album, a book or a trip to cinema all cost roughly the same (£10-15), and videogames are just ridiculously out of whack with that. And yes, you may get 100+ hours out of a game, but you could equally get that out of a great book or album.

 

I suspect the long long-term solution might be massively reduced development costs, as a result of development tools becoming standardised and much more efficient (and probably requiring much less specialist expertise). But we're still decades away from that.

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4 minutes ago, mushashi said:

anybody after that type of product is going to have to rely on the also-ran smaller publishers who can't afford to compete with the big boys and indies for their classic single player fix devoid of all that extra crap

 

Or, while they continue, just wait for all of this stuff to go on sale. ME:A? $12. Watch Dogs 2? $24. Etc. I haven't bought a full price game since NMS launched. Hell, shop around and you can pickup sealed discs containing the pre-order crap.

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14 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

I honestly don't know how you can look at the numbers and not come to the conclusion that rises cost of development has far outstripped rises in revenue, due to relatively minor increases in RRP, and very large increases in delevopment costs.  It;s about mitigating risk and increasing the chance of profit.

 

Oh, I agree with that generally. But do you have any game examples from Activision, Blizzard, Microsoft, Ubisoft and EA that show that they have to use lootboxes and other shady techniques because otherwise their games would not be profitable in lieu of their huge and unsustainable development costs? 

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11 minutes ago, Cappuccino Kid said:

To my mind, the combination of retail prices which are already so high that the market won't tolerate an increase and ever-increasing development costs are sure signs of an industry which needs a fundamental rethink. While I, in the main, understand why games are priced so highly,

But...games aren't priced highly. They are significantly cheaper, in real terms, than they have ever been I suspect.

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3 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

But...games aren't priced highly. They are significantly cheaper, in real terms, than they have ever been I suspect.

 

If that were true, publishers could just put the price up, and the market would live with it. There's a good reason why they won't. They are, compared to any comparable form of media entertainment, priced highly.

 

(To clarify, I agree that console games are, in real terms, cheaper than ever. But I don't think that automatically equates to their not being priced highly).

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7 minutes ago, Cappuccino Kid said:

To my mind, the combination of retail prices which are already so high that the market won't tolerate an increase and ever-increasing development costs are sure signs of an industry which needs a fundamental rethink. While I, in the main, understand why games are priced so highly, I don't think it's a price level that does videogames as a whole much good. In fact, I'd say that price is the biggest reason why videogames are still not part of mainstream culture in the same way as music, books and films. An album, a book or a trip to cinema all cost roughly the same (£10-15), and videogames are just ridiculously out of whack with that. And yes, you may get 100+ hours out of a game, but you could equally get that out of a great book or album.

 

I suspect the long long-term solution might be massively reduced development costs, as a result of development tools becoming standardised and much more efficient (and probably requiring much less specialist expertise). But we're still decades away from that.

You really can't get past the development costs at the end of the day, so you have a limit to how cheap you can sell your product for vs. your audience size, and there's still the fact most people don't give a solid turd about videogames and that won't change. You could give some of the greatest games away for free and they'd still not be touched due to simple lack of interest in the field. Gaming is simply not as appealing to many, or indeed as passively accessible, as film, music or literature. But that's a discussion for another time.

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15 minutes ago, Cappuccino Kid said:

I suspect the long long-term solution might be massively reduced development costs, as a result of development tools becoming standardised and much more efficient (and probably requiring much less specialist expertise). But we're still decades away from that.

 

Hasn't really worked out that way for the Hollywood film industry though, James Cameron keeps on resetting the bar for what a blockbuster film should cost to make, and as he hasn't fucked up yet, the rest of the competition will keep on attempting the same trick too, despite Hollywood using pretty much every single money saving trick in the book these days to make their blockbusters. Paying customers want ever more content and polish for the same entry cost, is that going to change? Even mobile F2P games are hardly immune from needing huge dev teams to compete at the high end.

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13 minutes ago, Cappuccino Kid said:

 

If that were true, publishers could just put the price up, and the market would live with it. There's a good reason why they won't. They are, compared to any comparable form of media entertainment, priced highly.

 

 

Well it patently is true because RRP in 2001 was £39.99 and today it is between £44.99 and £49.99.

 

So taking 2% annual inflation games should cost £56.00 to have a zero real terms increase. So they have actually gotten cheaper.

 

 We won't put up with it because of well known phenomenom, shrinkflation, it's the same reason a Mars bar is half the size it was 20 years ago. People have an expectation of cost. So what do developers do? Give you less content in stick it in DLC

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20 minutes ago, Cappuccino Kid said:

An album, a book or a trip to cinema all cost roughly the same (£10-15), and videogames are just ridiculously out of whack with that. And yes, you may get 100+ hours out of a game, but you could equally get that out of a great book or album.

 

Yes, but the album costs are also recouped through licencing for advertisements and through live concerts. The book has a life in hardback, paperback, audiobook, might be licenced for TV or film.  And the film has at least 3 separate lives revenuewise. And only the film has production costs anywhere NEAR games.

 

Games are sometimes films yes but that's about it.

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Just now, PeteBrant said:

 

 

Well it patently is true because RRP in 2001 was £39.99 and today it is between £49.99 and £49.99.

 

Weeeelllll sort of.  You've gone end of generation there.  Launch RRPs for PS2 and Xbox were £50.  And to be fair, so were they for PS1.  And certainly for Megadrive and SNES, in fact plenty were more.

 

And of course the launch RRPs of the year's biggest single player driving game on PC was the same in 1993 and 2017.

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1 minute ago, Dudley said:

 

Yes, but the album costs are also recouped through licencing for advertisements and through live concerts. The book has a life in hardback, paperback, audiobook, might be licenced for TV or film.  And the film has at least 3 separate lives revenuewise. And only the film has production costs anywhere NEAR games.

 

Games are sometimes films yes but that's about it.

And guess what, the cost of going to the cinema has risen with inflation, unlike games.

 

And even then we have things like premier seating and Imax and 3D

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Just now, Dudley said:

 

Weeeelllll sort of.  You've gone end of generation there.  Launch RRPs for PS2 and Xbox were £50.  And to be fair, so were they for PS1.  And certainly for Megadrive and SNES, in fact plenty were more.

 

And of course the launch RRPs of the year's biggest single player driving game on PC was the same in 1993 and 2017.

So they are even more of Bargain..

 

I remember Dreamcast being £39.99 which reduced to £29.99 at the end of its life. I though PS2 was £39.99 RRP but it wouldn;t suprise me if it was higher.

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2 minutes ago, Dudley said:

 

Weeeelllll sort of.  You've gone end of generation there.  Launch RRPs for PS2 and Xbox were £50.  And to be fair, so were they for PS1.  And certainly for Megadrive and SNES, in fact plenty were more.

 

And of course the launch RRPs of the year's biggest single player driving game on PC was the same in 1993 and 2017.

Also meant to say between £44.99 and 49.99.....

 

stupid fingers.

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7 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

 

 

Well it patently is true because RRP in 2001 was £39.99 and today it is between £49.99 and £49.99.

 

So taking 2% annual inflation games should cost £56.00 to have a zero real terms increase. So they have actually gotten cheaper.

 

 We won't put up with it because of well known phenmoneom, shrinkflation, it's the same reason a Mars bar is half the size it was 20 years ago. People have an expectation of cost. So what do developers do? Give you less content in stick it in DLC

 

While I do not entirely agree that the games are expensive, you have to factor in that players now are paying for DLCs also, season passes, etc. So, a fully completed game may indeed be more expensive in many instances. Also, you have to take into consideration the general state of the economy, like for example how more expensive every day life has become in Europe, whether the salary per person has dropped, etc. It's not as simple as that to reach a proper result taking into account just the inflation.

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If we could avoid descending into an entirely spurious argument about how videogames are expensive compared to other entertainment, or how the console market has managed to expand despite every metric I've seen saying it's stagnating at best, that'd be grrreeeeeeeaaaat.

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3 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

While I do not entirely agree that the games are expensive, you have to factor in that players now are paying for DLCs also, season passes, etc. So, a fully completed game, may indeed become more expensive per case. Also, you have to take into consideration the general state of the economy, like for example how more expensive every day life has become in Europe, whether the salary per person has dropped, etc. It's not as simple as that to reach a proper result taking into account just the inflation.

When comparing the cost of something in the past, to something today and measuring to see  if there has been an increase or decrease in real terms cost, the universally accepted method is to adjust for inflation. I mean that's economics 101.

 

And the reasons DLC exists is precisely what I have been going on about, the RRP has remained static, so less content for the same money and sell DLC on top.

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15 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

Oh, I agree with that generally. But do you have any game examples from Activision, Blizzard, Microsoft, Ubisoft and EA that show that they are using lootboxes and other shady techniques because otherwise their games would not be profitable because of their huge and unsustainable development costs? 

 

Mass Effect series? Dead Space series? they both introduced monetisation techniques after the first game and are both now on hiatus after still selling not enough to be worth continuing.

 

Sony stated that 6/7 out of 10 of their games don't make a profit, which leaves the last 3 to hit it out of the park to compensate for the losers. EA,et al may not have quite that loss rate, but not every game they choose to publish will be profitable, law of averages.

 

Quote

It’s a hit-driven business. We look at our financial results of the titles, and probably three or four out of ten make money, and maybe one or two make all the money to cover the cost of the others titles. So we have to be able to maintain that hit ratio at a certain level to be able to continue in the business

 

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Just now, PeteBrant said:

When comparing the cost of something in the past, to somethign today and see if there has been an increase or decrease in real terms cost, the universally accepted method is to adjust for inflation. I mean that's economics 101.

 

And the reasons DLC exits is precisely what I have been going on about, the RRP has remained static, so less content fo rthe sam emoney and sell DLC on top.

 

Oh, sure. In real terms, yes. But less content for the same money means a higher price actually for the same product. No?

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2 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

While I do not entirely agree that the games are expensive, you have to factor in that players now are paying for DLCs also, season passes, etc. So, a fully completed game may indeed be more expensive in many instances. Also, you have to take into consideration the general state of the economy, like for example how more expensive every day life has become in Europe, whether the salary per person has dropped, etc. It's not as simple as that to reach a proper result taking into account just the inflation.

So inflation, literally the system used by every financially literate individual to determine the change of value of money over time, is not an appropriate way of taking into account the changing value of money over time. Okay.

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Just now, Talk Show Host said:

 

 But less content for the same money means a higher price actually for the same product. No?

...Yes it does...

 

Which is what I have been saying for the last few pages; DLC exists in order to increase the RRP cost of the game without actually increasing the base figure.

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2 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

Oh, sure. In real terms, yes. But less content for the same money means a higher price actually for the same product. No?

So you're saying that in order for developers to account for inflation without increasing the sticker price of their titles they're moving to other monetisation methods like DLC and loot boxes?

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10 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

Mass Effect series? Dead Space series? they both introduced monetisation techniques after the first game and are both now on hiatus after still selling not enough to be worth continuing.

 

Sony stated that 6/7 out of 10 of their games don't make a profit, which leaves the last 3 to hit it out of the park to compensate for the losers. EA,et al may not have quite that loss rate, but not every game they choose to publish will be profitable, law of averages.

 

 

 

Guess what? If you make a shitty product people will react negatively. ME and DS were never that big and the third game was already low quality. If you factor in the ending, even more so. If EA had stayed true to what ME2 did instead of trying to make it an action adventure, then maybe the end result would be better. You can't possibly blame MEA failure to rising development costs either. You simply can't.

 

Also, I am not arguing if dev costs have risen or not. I am simply asking for examples of hugely successful games using lootbox techniques because otherwise they would not be profitable. Because that is the consensus of some people here: that they are necessary to save these poor franchises like SWB and Overwatch and FIFA.

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5 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

So you're saying that in order for developers to account for inflation without increasing the sticker price of their titles they're moving to other monetisation methods like DLC and loot boxes?

 

No, I am saying that they should be releasing quality products and DLC and Season Passes if they want to save their profits. Using gambling techniques is not the way to go. Also, their hugely successful series have no problem staying profitable without lootboxes. Their existence is only based on greed. If you have any games that prove otherwise, please post them as examples.

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