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


Lothar Hex
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I don't think three months would've saved ME:A. It might have given them enough time to iron out some of their technical kinks, but the fundamental problem is that it's just another retread of the previous games' mechanics with none of the flair or charm. It's exactly the sort of game you'd get if you sent out a survey to a bunch of Mass Effect fans and built a game around the results.

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12 minutes ago, Harsin said:

Also chock full to the brim of the worst kind of mindless filler fetch quests, the same as it's stablemate DA:I. Presumably so EA could crow about how much 'content' was in there in press releases.

 

Exactly. When they realized how W3 changed the entire gaming landscape they started saying "we took a lot of inspiration from W3 side quests" weeks before launch I think. Bullshit, of course. Classic corporate marketing talk.

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17 hours ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

But I'm convinced that there will always be room for proper games even if all the big publishers were to go full Destiny.

 

I'm sure there will be, just not with the production values people are used to. Pretty much every head of any publically listed major publisher has seen the evidence and gotten the memo by now that SaaS is the future of big budget games.

 

 

14 hours ago, RobNoyce said:

Hopefully we'll get a splinter team of ex visceral staff working without EAs poison touch and we might get the real Dead Space 3 one day. 

 

The blokes who lead Visceral in the first place already jumped ship to Activision, they ended up doing mainline CoD after the Infinity Ward divorce, who now slightly ironically are working for EA making another single player Star Wars game themselves, though how that is now going to turn out is going to be interesting given the reboot of this internal EA project.

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3 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

I'm sure there will be, just not with the production values people are used to. Pretty much every head of any publically listed major publisher has seen the evidence and gotten the memo by now that SaaS is the future of big budget games.

 

 

In terms of western development you could be right, although it wouldn't surprise me if at least one savvy big publisher takes advantage of the others chasing after Destiny while they're the only ones catering to a still significant market for single-player experiences. But as far as Japanese development goes, traditional big single-player games have seen a resurgence lately after going full mobile and handheld for awhile there. And they've done pretty well, from BotW to Persona 5 to NieR to Nioh. There's a market and I think there always will be.

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I don't get where this fear of multiplayer games diminishing single player ones is coming from. There are more than enough single player games out there even with the rise of multiplayer and the production values are getting higher and higher. The market is big enough to support plenty of diversity in games and the last 5 years are a grand example of that. We are actually living in a golden age, more or less, and it doesn't look it will slow down any time soon. 

 

if EA and every EA want to spend their millions creating multiplayer shooters they are welcome to it. We have our Naughty Dogs, our CD Projekts, our Nintendos, our Atlus, etc and we are pretty happy about them.

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But Japanese games don't have Western dev budgets in the first place :P They'd all fall into the mid-tier/low-tier when it comes to budgets and sell like mid-tier/low-tier games in the West.

 

Take-Two, Ubisoft, Warner Bros, Activision-Blizzard and EA are all clearly signed up to Service Games as the future, which leaves Zenimax Bethesda as the last man standing and their stuff outside of Bethesda's own WRPGs aren't doing what look like long term sustainable numbers to not at some point pivot to SaaS or GaaS which seems to be the current preferred industry term for it.

 

Nintendo are an interesting case, but it is arguable that they are just a gen behind when it comes to industry trends as DLC is their main current extra revenue push, which is something everybody else did last gen already.

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Sony still seem to largely be sticking to their focus on big-budget, single-player cinematic games. Last of Us 2, Spiderman, God Of War, that other zombie game I can't remember, the inevitable Horizon 2. Of course they have the advantages of being platform holder, owner of some very highly regarded IP and lucky enough to have the likes of Naughty Dog in their stable. Will be interesting to see what moves they make over the next couple of years but I do think they'll still devote a big chunk of resources to more traditional cinematic games. It's kind of what they're known for at this point.

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Yeah, it's going to be interesting/depressing to see how the big budget stuff evolves, I usually see the parallels with how the film industry evolved over time at the big budget end, some depressing similarities.

 

Out of the platform holders, Microsoft are clearly the most pro-SaaS, well it does help with retention if you get a big hit with it, not a bad thing when you have online subscriptions to sell people :)

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21 minutes ago, mushashi said:

But Japanese games don't have Western dev budgets in the first place :P They'd all fall into the mid-tier/low-tier when it comes to budgets and sell like mid-tier/low-tier games in the West.

Interestingly, all the games I listed I considered high-tier because each one of them is so much better overall compared to most of the single-player experiences the likes of EA or Activision put out! So, it wouldn't be such a big loss as you'd think. I think I would mourn Arkane, Monolith and MachineGames the most if your doom scenario came to pass. 

 

And as you say, Sony still seems to be doing very well in this regard. Both in terms of critical acclaim and sales numbers. Horizon for example. The future isn't as dark as WB and EA mame it seem. Beyond that huge wall of loot boxes there are still plenty of promising traditional single player experiences awaiting us.

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7 hours ago, Vemsie said:

 

Less games and less variety? Here's 2017 for you.

 

Resident Evil 7, Gravity Rush 2, Nioh, Nier Automata, Persona 5, Yakuza 0, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Prey (note that all of these are SP, which is supposedly dead), For Honor, Rime, Little Nightmares, Nex Machina, Lone Echo, What Remains of Edith Finch, ARMS, Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Polybius, Uncharted The Lost Legacy, Destiny 2, Steamworld Dig 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Forza Horizon 7, Gran Turismo Sport, Cuphead, Divinity Original Sin 2, Hellblade, Hollow Knight, The Evil Within 2, Super Mario Oddysey and the upcoming Assassin's Creed Origins, Xenoblade 2 and Wolfenstein II The New Colossus.

 

Less games and less variety how? It's one of the greatest gaming years of all-time.

 

 

Variety??  Look at how many of those are sequels 

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1 minute ago, jeebus said:

 

 

Variety??  Look at how many of those are sequels 

Jesus fucking a duck dude, the likes of Resi 7, NieR Automata, Persona 5, BotW, Odyssey,  and Original Sin 2 are sequels in the same way that The Godfather 2 was a sequel. There's standard, run of the mill sequels and there's high quality, innovative sequels like those. You have to make that distinction. 

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You've missed out all the bits where the Yakuza cutscenes are weird, barely animated drawings ;)

 

I tried to get into Yakuza 0 a couple of months ago but struggled. I will give it another try but I thought its low budget roots were extremely clear. You had like 3 different standards of cutscene ranging from pretty good (see Harsin's picture) to 'we don't have any budget for this'.

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28 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

It will be interesting to find oit whether Red Dead 2 still has its usual single-player campaign or whether Rockstar have combined the highly successful sandbox MMO experience ftom GTA5 into the traditional campaign. 

 

The quotes from the head of Take-Two would suggest they will be evolving what they've learned from making GTA V into this one, which is most definitely a SaaS title thanks to the continuing success of the online element and the amount of virtual money they sell for it every year. I suppose that would be the preferred type of product for most people, has a single player element, can be played for hundreds of hours, not really my preferred type of single player focused game though.

 

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What I want from gta and red dead is a one and done amazing single player experience, not some ever-evolving, always online, multiplayer hybrid thing. Apparently I'm in a minority, given how many people actually play GTA v online and cause it to continue to ride high on various charts well past its initial release. 

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I used to work as a management consultant and, during that time, one of the big things consultancies were trying to push was the "gamification" of services, so it's only natural that things have gone this way and now games are going through, I dunno, "servicification", I guess? :facepalm:

 

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21 minutes ago, TehStu said:

I want to play certain titles offline, but they're primarily multiplayer. 

 

That can be a problem, yes, but surely if a game is made as a multiplayer that is not a problem within the industry, it's just not for you. There's myriad of single player games to choose from. 

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I don't think this is anything like the end of single player games, any more than F2P was the end of conventional games a couple of years ago. This feels more like EA being EA. We've had nice EA for a bit, and we had nice EA for quite a while in the period 2007 - 2011 where they put out Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, NFS: Hot Pursuit, Burnout Paradise, etc, but it feels like they've swung back to evil EA again.

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3 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

That can be a problem, yes, but surely if a game is made as a multiplayer that is not a problem within the industry, it's just not for you. There's myriad of single player games to choose from. 

But if the industry is tending towards multiplayer, in certain genres, what do you do? This was the original problem posed, I've just added a little nuance.

 

e.g., where's my single player Star Wars RPG? This story is literally about such a thing being canned and, potentially, Star Wars as a Service popping up in its stead.

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Just now, TehStu said:

But if the industry is tending towards multiplayer, in certain genres, what do you do? This was the original problem posed, I've just added a little nuance.

 

Which genres are that? Nothing indicates that successful single player franchises are heading to multiplayer only environments. Even FPSes still have single player campaigns. Mostly.

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2 minutes ago, K said:

I don't think this is anything like the end of single player games, any more than F2P was the end of conventional games a couple of years ago. This feels more like EA being EA. We've had nice EA for a bit, and we had nice EA for quite a while in the period 2007 - 2011 where they put out Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, NFS: Hot Pursuit, Burnout Paradise, etc, but it feels like they've swung back to evil EA again.

That's probably the long and short of it, it just utterly pains me that they hoovered up BioWare and got the Star Wars license, among other things.

 

Does anyone else tend to shoehorn MP into what would classically be an offline game? I mean, potentially beyond co-op, who wants to play these games in MP for any length of time? It feels like wasted resources. Likely a separate discussion to the OP, though.

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2 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

Which genres are that? Nothing indicates that successful single player franchises are heading to multiplayer only environments. Even FPSes still have single player campaigns. Mostly.

Driving. Some FPS titles. I don't have an exhaustive list, I'm surprised this isn't commonly accepted.

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Just now, TehStu said:

That's probably the long and short of it, it just utterly pains me that they hoovered up BioWare and got the Star Wars license, among other things.

 

Does anyone else tend to shoehorn MP into what would classically be an offline game? I mean, potentially beyond co-op, who wants to play these games in MP for any length of time? It feels like wasted resources. Likely a separate discussion to the OP, though.

 

Yeah, it's really shit news, don't get me wrong. I've been after a decent single player Star Wars game since Jedi Knight came out. And there are plenty of shoehorned-in MP modes. Spec Ops: The Line is probably the most egregious example - experience the horrors of war with your buddies! Kill them while utterly desensitised to the most brutal acts of violence for ultimate bragging rights! Commit war crimes over voice chat! - but off the top of my head, there's Bioshock 2, Riddick, Dead Space 2, FEAR 2, etc.

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8 minutes ago, TehStu said:

Driving. Some FPS titles. I don't have an exhaustive list, I'm surprised this isn't commonly accepted.

 

Most driving games have single player campaigns and most FPSes too. All other genres, which are not inherently multiplayer, like MMOs, still have single player. Hell, even Elite Dangerous was released with a single player which doesn't make much sense to me. Most highly anticipated games are also single player and single player games still dominate best of the year lists.

 

There is no indication that we are seeing any major industry shift that will hurt single player games when you actually put down the numbers. Far from it. Maybe we don't like how a couple of genres have become more multiplayer like, I understand that. But there is nothing more than that.

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