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If You Love a Game, Buy It at Full Price says Days Gone Creative Director


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28 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Yet that’s the exact same setting at The Last of Us 2 and that sold incredibly well.

Which is the sequel to one of the best games ever made. 

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3 minutes ago, Hylian said:

Which is the sequel to one of the best games ever made. 

Yes but my point is that it wasn’t the tired or overdone setting that affected sales. 

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4 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Yes but my point is that it wasn’t the tired or overdone setting that affected sales. 


Well no, but the existence of LoU may have impacted them by Bend picking such an overdone setting. Oh I'm in the mood for a zombie game, should I have steak (LoU) or the game equivalent of a takeaway van burger. That's before you even get onto the abundance of competition for open-world games. Hell if you're just looking at Sony exclusives, Horizon is far better post-apocalypse open world game.

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2 minutes ago, Harsin said:


Well no, but the existence of LoU may have impacted them by Bend picking such an overdone setting. Oh I'm in the mood for a zombie game, should I have steak (LoU) or the game equivalent of a takeaway van burger. That's before you even get onto the abundance of competition for open-world games. Hell if you're just looking at Sony exclusives, Horizon is far better post-apocalypse open world game.

Sure but the difference is that all of those games sold well, the guy said it himself it opened to a bunch of 7’s on metacritic and Sony wasn’t interested thereafter. Horizon also reviewed extremely well. 

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I love Day's Gone, but I would rather they took everything they built from that game and used it to make something a little fresher. 

Yes, the settings and - elevator pitch - of the whole game feels a bit of a Frankenstein of other games from PlayStation Studios. 

...but I'd like to see them get the support they need to make something cool, and not just sidelined as a support studio as suggested by that "report". 

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Yep, there's absolutely no need for a sequel. Is the team moving onto new IP? They should be excited about doing something different. I'm sure a lot of teams would love not to be making endless sequels. 

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If you buy a game at a discounted price, then find out you love it and feel a bit bad for not paying full price, it'd be nice if you could go to the developer's website and give them some extra cash via a 'Discount Purchase Guilt Assuager' button. 

 

Maybe some smaller studios already do something like this or have generic 'Donate' functionality.

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Days Gone is a strange mix of things. As said, it launched buggy. I think it suffers from a slow and very underwhelming intro, an over-played scenario (zombies and post-apocalypse, and open-world Ubi template) and its big gimmick isn't something you get into until well into the game. And then the characters! Deacon and Boozer. I think of biker gangs in the American north west and I end up very quickly at the Proud Boys (probably unfairly, but still.) The story fantasy of being, at best, a sort of semi-criminal Son of Anarchy but also devoted to your wife and dragging around Boozeman just didn't click either.

 

So sure, they patched it up. And there's some post-game content added for challenge modes and the like. And the hordes were good fun! But it's not all down to an over-fragility of focus on Metacritic that it doesn't get picked up for a sequel, I'd guess. You'd presumably want some idea of commercial success (probably not guaranteed, given its lukewarm reception) some idea that the sequel would do something new/better (it's notable that none of the leaks about this talk about any gameplay stuff in the pitch) etc.

 

I would play a Days Gone 2, I think, but I wouldn't be queuing up for it. Make something new instead!

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For me it comes down to income earnings primarily. I'm no wealthy individual, and as much as I love games, I'm extremely hesitant to drop £40+ on any game, especially in the modern climate when eshops and indie titles have a wealth of highly rate titles available for a fraction of that cost. Like others in this thread, Days Gone was a game I thoroughly enjoyed (far more than I anticipated) but when looking at the metrics, the cost of it on day one could have gotten me both Enter the Gungeon and Hollow Knight on Switch at full price and still have almost £20 spare. In this instance, an absolute no-brainer. Expand upon that to what they're hoping to charge for PS5 games and a single title could borderline equivocate to an entire year of eshop purchases for me.

 

When viewed on a money spent/time derived perspective, videogames are terrific value for money (especially a big one like Days Gone if you gel with it). But that upfront cost is discouraging when you compare it other mediums. A quick check on Statista says that the current average cinema ticket in the UK is about £6.75 (sorry to all the London residents), and though the ratio of time spent is far less than a videogame, you can rationalise that as less than an hour's work on minimum wage. £40+ on a videogame, in my mind I contextualise that as enough food for two weeks (no kids), with maybe a treat or two in there as well, and now I'm far more hesitant to drop it in one go.

 

It reminds me of the Terry Pratchett piece about rich people and boots. Enough consumers aren't financially comfortable enough to justify dropping those amounts of money on entertainment. Then pricks like Brighthouse appear to take advantage of those people. Give me a combination of a good demo and perhaps a payment plan and I'd be far more open to buying on release. Better yet, don't treat said products as disposable and have them retain resale value so I can at least entertain the idea of selling on and recouping should I feel like (Nintendo first party and in fact just a decent amount of Switch physical games).

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1 hour ago, chipsgravy said:

Now if it did something brilliant and different and could expand the audience- maybe.


This is an interesting one actually. How did watch dogs 2 perform? I feel like franchises can recover from an underwhelming entry but it’s a lot harder if that entry is the first one, because there’s no momentum to recover.

 

1 hour ago, AlexM said:

With the odd exception, the only games I buy at full price are Nintendo’s. 
 

I can be reasonably confident that their games are ‘finished’, enjoyable, and the price won’t be cut to the bone before I find time to play it. 

 

This cuts both ways though. I am more likely to buy a Nintendo game I definitely want at launch because it’s not going to be any cheaper in a year so I may as well grab it as soon as I can. But I also don’t end up checking out Nintendo games I’m not sure about because two years down the line they’re still full price. I definitely end up spending a lot more overall on Steam and PSN because I’m much more likely to chance a game at £10-£20 than £50. So Sony end up with £50 of my money for two or three games and Nintendo get nothing unless it’s something I already know I’ll enjoy.
 

1 hour ago, Stanley said:

Yet that’s the exact same setting at The Last of Us 2 and that sold incredibly well.

 

A lot of the hype surrounding TLOU from day one was about its story though. That game sold people on its characters and plot rather than its setting. I’ve still not bothered to play Days Gone even though it was free and a big part of that is because I assume it will have the same focus on cutscenes that most big Sony games do and the trailers made the characters look incredibly boring and generic.

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42 minutes ago, Chosty said:

If you buy a game at a discounted price, then find out you love it and feel a bit bad for not paying full price, it'd be nice if you could go to the developer's website and give them some extra cash via a 'Discount Purchase Guilt Assuager' button. 

 

Like any publisher is going to green light this. It's almost hilarious.

 

I totally get it, though. I still feel wrong after paying just €4 for Bayonetta. I felt like somehow sending $100 of Domino's vouchers to Platinum Games' HQ. I've since triple-dipped, but I'm still a fair bit away from reaching €60 total. Even €60 feels like a piss-take for something that's given me at least 500 hours of deep, hypnotic, and at times immersive-to-the-point-of-transcendental gaming entertainment.

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2 minutes ago, Broker said:

This cuts both ways though. I am more likely to buy a Nintendo game I definitely want at launch because it’s not going to be any cheaper in a year so I may as well grab it as soon as I can. But I also don’t end up checking out Nintendo games I’m not sure about because two years down the line they’re still full price. I definitely end up spending a lot more overall on Steam and PSN because I’m much more likely to chance a game at £10-£20 than £50. So Sony end up with £50 of my money for two or three games and Nintendo get nothing unless it’s something I already know I’ll enjoy.

 

The core problem here is that whilst Sony end up with your £50 the developers/publishers didn't because we're buying at discounts.

 

When you buy one Nintendo game at £50 they get full value and it pays for the development.

When you buy 10 cut price games for £5 each on another platform we're covering a much smaller percentage of their development costs.

 

Now obviously publishers hope the result is that they sell 10 times more copies at 1/10 price to create the long tail but I'm not sure it's really working. The constant closure of studios seems to prove that the model isn't sustainable. Make hits or stay away from making big budget games.

 

There's a lot of fixation on Days Gone in this thread (and fair given who said it) but it's a much wider issue. The yearly updates that eat their own market. The over competition in certain genres and themes. And fundamentally that I think games are much more marmite than other media particularly because of their RRP.

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56 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

The story fantasy of being, at best, a sort of semi-criminal Son of Anarchy but also devoted to your wife and dragging around Boozeman just didn't click either.

 

The romanticising of 1% biker gangs was certainly something that rubbed me the wrong way during the game. In real life they tend to be incredibly dodgy organised criminal  gangs (not talking about dads' weekend bike clubs here where they play dress up in leather jackets on a Sunday, but the sort portrayed in this game) involved in some heinous stuff and split along race lines. So Deacon and Boozer being just good guys who just didn't want to be beholden to THE MAN, but are friends of all races, respect women and have a strict honour code, never sits right. Sons of Anarchy (which you mentioned) is good comparison, after the first season it romanticised biker gangs to an absurd degree, compare it to something like The Sopranos.

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Days Gone would've been infinitely better if you controlled the zombie horde instead. Role reversal can be done, look at Carrion. Imagine tearing through the countryside as a zombie horde, losing/gaining members of the horde as you kill/get killed. Just thinking about it is exciting especially if you've played Carrion. That concept would be so fresh, unique and wild, compared to the relentlessly dull, predictable and borrowed feel that Days Gone actually had.

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21 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Days Gone would've been infinitely better if you controlled the zombie horde instead. Role reversal can be done, look at Carrion. Imagine tearing through the countryside as a zombie horde, losing/gaining members of the horde as you kill/get killed. Just thinking about it is exciting especially if you've played Carrion. That concept would be so fresh, unique and wild, compared to the relentlessly dull, predictable and borrowed feel that Days Gone actually had.

 

This has me thinking of Pikmin, for some reason.

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My personal angle is that, with so many very good (long) games now, and an ever-expanding backlog, new full-priced releases are just not something I'm interested in, barring once in a generation behemoths like GTA or Last of Us.  I wonder if that applies more widely to others?  I expect it does. 

 

If there was no race to the bottom on pricing, would the industry be able to support so many big budget open-world games?  Would people buy them all at full price?

 

If you can buy something like Days Gone for £20 or less, 12 months after release, and just chuck it on the pile for later, which I expect most of us do, would you necessarily do the same if it was £50-70 for the duration of its lifetime?  I don't think I would - I would definitely buy fewer games. 

 

That said, I can't help but wonder if there's an industry-wide software bubble here, being fed by zero-sum pricing/free to play/free through subscriptions.  Perhaps we're kidding ourselves that the industry is really able to support so many games without such a pricing strategy. 

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40 minutes ago, Harsin said:

 

The romanticising of 1% biker gangs was certainly something that rubbed me the wrong way during the game. In real life they tend to be incredibly dodgy organised criminal  gangs (not talking about dads' weekend bike clubs here where they play dress up in leather jackets on a Sunday, but the sort portrayed in this game) involved in some heinous stuff and split along race lines. So Deacon and Boozer being just good guys who just didn't want to be beholden to THE MAN, but are friends of all races, respect women and have a strict honour code, never sits right. Sons of Anarchy (which you mentioned) is good comparison, after the first season it romanticised biker gangs to an absurd degree, compare it to something like The Sopranos.


oh 100%. The game at times critiques that lifestyle but never quite commits to saying “gangs are crap” or doing anything other than surface level. It feels like a lot of “pre apocalypse” content got cut. 
 

Spoiler

Jack, the leader of the gang, is talked about as if he’s not a good guy, and Deacon seems to feel real regret for the violence he inflicted on Jesse pre apocalypse. The group also doesn’t seem to give Deacon any happiness or support except from Boozer - they all refuse to show up at his wedding. 

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It's the own fault. the industry is too quick to slash the sales of games, sometimes a couple of weeks after launch. This also devalues your game if you want to sell it. I think a lot of people are just happy to wait for the price drop.

 

At least with Nintendo, you know your game retains it's value and they don't price drop anywhere near as quick. Sure it sucks if you want to buy the game cheaper but still.

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1 hour ago, thesnwmn said:

 

The core problem here is that whilst Sony end up with your £50 the developers/publishers didn't because we're buying at discounts.

 

When you buy one Nintendo game at £50 they get full value and it pays for the development.

When you buy 10 cut price games for £5 each on another platform we're covering a much smaller percentage of their development costs.

 

Now obviously publishers hope the result is that they sell 10 times more copies at 1/10 price to create the long tail but I'm not sure it's really working. The constant closure of studios seems to prove that the model isn't sustainable. Make hits or stay away from making big budget games.


Yeah I see that there’s a problem there, but from a consumer perspective it’s difficult to justify one game for the price of 3. Much like buying “ethical” products, choosing to spend more money because you want to support something is a luxury for people with disposable income to burn, and I’m just not in that position. I suspect the same is true for a lot of the people buying games.

 

1 hour ago, Harsin said:

 

The romanticising of 1% biker gangs was certainly something that rubbed me the wrong way during the game. In real life they tend to be incredibly dodgy organised criminal  gangs (not talking about dads' weekend bike clubs here where they play dress up in leather jackets on a Sunday, but the sort portrayed in this game) involved in some heinous stuff and split along race lines. So Deacon and Boozer being just good guys who just didn't want to be beholden to THE MAN, but are friends of all races, respect women and have a strict honour code, never sits right. Sons of Anarchy (which you mentioned) is good comparison, after the first season it romanticised biker gangs to an absurd degree, compare it to something like The Sopranos.

 

I found the whole atmosphere totally repellant. Deacon seems like the kind of guy who would wear a MAGA hat and passionately argue that all lives matter and that’s why he supports the police. 

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13 hours ago, Majora said:

I thought it was pretty common knowledge that most developers stopped doing demos, after them becoming relatively commonplace at the start of the 360/PS3 era, because they very rarely helped sales. If anything, I believe they were found to be more likely to have a negative effect on sales.

 

Yeah, because people found out about buggy half arsed snoozefests :)

 

But the thing is, we didn't replace it with anything, so the problem is he's literally asking people to part with £20 more than last gen (in street prices) based on little to nothing.

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Just wanted to say Days Gone is great. It has an incredible challenge mode that takes the best scenarios of the game and turns them into excellent slices of arcade action. You certainly don't face off 200 enemies at once in The Last of Us, Horizon or Resident Evil and that alone gives it a unique spin on the genre.

 

It's a technical beast as well. Here's my PS5 stress test video - always 4K 60fps, no hitches, that inexplicably blew up into 350K views

 

 

 

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“I do have an opinion on something that your audience may find of interest, and it might piss some of them off,” Garvin replied. “If you love a game, buy it at f****** full price. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen gamers say ‘yeah, I got that on sale, I got it through PS Plus, whatever...don’t complain if a game doesn’t get a sequel if it wasn’t supported at launch”

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Broker said:

Yeah I see that there’s a problem there, but from a consumer perspective it’s difficult to justify one game for the price of 3. Much like buying “ethical” products, choosing to spend more money because you want to support something is a luxury for people with disposable income to burn, and I’m just not in that position. I suspect the same is true for a lot of the people buying games.

 

Absolutely. The industry has taught us we can have basically unlimited entertainment for not much money. Be it through the scheduled and predictable price cuts not long after launch, Steam sales, Indie bundles, subscription services. It makes no sense for a consumer to pay £50 for a game on launch outside of FOMO (and that's FOMO around the discussion of the game nearer launch than the actual game itself which will be exactly the same - if not better due to patches - a few months later).

 

As it stands there are just too many games that are too similar being made to sustain the prices they want to charge on release.

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I feel like there’s even less chance of the next generation of gamers being willing to pay the crazy prices. My kids have grown up fully accepting that there are totally free games that offer the same or better experiences as £70 games. I still look at free to play with mild suspicion but they’re totally immersed in that culture.

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21 minutes ago, deerokus said:

I hated the main character constantly muttering to himself in Days Gone. Very strange decision that. 

 

Oh god yeah, he'd go from being a complete unhinged madman hobo in the cutscenes to well spoken Mr. Reasonable in cutscenes.

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Sam Witwer did a series of tweets about this. Apparently Deacon was supposed to be a much, much angrier and darker character and the tone of the game in general was supposed to be much more brutal, but this shifted last minute so the dialogue often seems uneven as he's performing the character with two different sets of parameters and both ended up in game.

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3 hours ago, Broker said:

This cuts both ways though. I am more likely to buy a Nintendo game I definitely want at launch because it’s not going to be any cheaper in a year so I may as well grab it as soon as I can. But I also don’t end up checking out Nintendo games I’m not sure about because two years down the line they’re still full price. I definitely end up spending a lot more overall on Steam and PSN because I’m much more likely to chance a game at £10-£20 than £50. So Sony end up with £50 of my money for two or three games and Nintendo get nothing unless it’s something I already know I’ll enjoy.

 

This is absolutely true, there's a number of Nintendo games I'd like to try out, but I'm not willing to pay £40+ per cart. It's more likely that I'll buy one, play it until I've had enough, then sell it to fund the next one - whereas other games I'll buy digitally (in a sale) and never sell. Which is more beneficial to the publishers?

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If I'd paid Forty or Fifty quid for Days Gone I'd dumped it into CEX or flogged it on here before it started getting good to try and get some cash back from what would have seemed like a shitey purchase :/ 

 

Except I never would have bought it full price because it looked shit.

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