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Would the game be a budget title if it was something ground breaking or totally awesome?

Well, to a certain extent the game is buget BECAUSE its groundbreaking. We had incredible difficulty finding a publisher for this title because, despite lots of people in acquisition departments liking it, it was considered too 'different' by marketing departments, and not in a familiar, 'sales-predictable' genre.

'Ground breaking' is a distinct disadvantage when trying to sell a console game to a publisher, unless the ground that you are breaking is production value / development budget.

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Well, to a certain extent the game is buget BECAUSE its groundbreaking. We had incredible difficulty finding a publisher for this title because, despite lots of people in acquisition departments liking it, it was considered too 'different' by marketing departments, and not in a familiar, 'sales-predictable' genre.

'Ground breaking' is a distinct disadvantage when trying to sell a console game to a publisher, unless the ground that you are breaking is production value / development budget.

Possibly...

Don't get the distinction of 'Ground Breaking' and 'Niche' mixed up tho.

When I think of ground breaking I think of the re-invention of a genre ala Mario 64 or the introduction of a completely new genre (not seen for a long time...) eg. the FPS

I think Pillage would have been looked at as a niche title, and in cases like this it doesn't matter how good it actually is if its not going to appeal to the masses publishers don't want to know.

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When I think of ground breaking I think of the re-invention of a genre ala Mario 64 or the introduction of a completely new genre (not seen for a long time...) eg. the FPS

FT doesn't really have a genre though. It's named and marketed as part of the "tactics" genre, because that's the closest point of reference (and it is a turn based game where much of the fun is in your tactics). But it doesn't have the menus and stats that you see in Final Fantsay Tactics et. al., and has elements that you might see in action adventures / platformers.

It certainly is original / breaking new ground / whatever, if only in a small way. Clearly it's not going to have an impact like a Mario 64 or a Wolfenstein. In the old days, a large proportion of games were original. It's a shame if originality = niche = publisher resistance, whatever you think of FT.

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Possibly...

Don't get the distinction of 'Ground Breaking' and 'Niche' mixed up tho.

When I think of ground breaking I think of the re-invention of a genre ala Mario 64 or the introduction of a completely new genre (not seen for a long time...) eg. the FPS

I think Pillage would have been looked at as a niche title, and in cases like this it doesn't matter how good it actually is if its not going to appeal to the masses publishers don't want to know.

I take 'ground breaking' to mean breaking new ground. Doing something new. Adding new ideas to a genre, mixing genres which haven't been mixed together before, not duplicating an exisiting game with only details changed.

Don't get 'ground breaking' and 'production quality' mixed up, as these aren't the same thing.

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What ground has been broken though, in all honesty?

I'm on Episode 11/12 (can't remember which), and it's not like I haven't played similar/familiar things before.

But that's not to say it's not a good game. Just nothing that leaps out at me. And the slow-down made me cringe a bit, thought that wouldn't have been evident at all in a game from yourself. Meh.

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What we tried to do was to take the usually stat-heavy turn based japanese style tactics games, which we loved, and make this style of game more accessible by dropping or hiding (virtually) all stats, and making the game feel and look like a real time action game.

Sure, this isn't a massively ground breaking idea, but what we found when showing it to publishers, or the all-powerful marketing depts at least, was that this mixing of ideas from different genres was considered to be very problematic.

The game didn't have an existing, pre defined market of customers who'd already bought the same game before, so therefore taking this game was seen as being too risky. And the same would be true of any truly ground breaking game - by definition! - and only high development budget & high production value & high marketing spend can overcome this.

To be honest, Pillage isn't a particular ground breaking game, and I don't want to try to pretend that it is. I was really just responding to Goemon's original comment that 'ground breaking' was a feature expected of decent console games, and contrasting this to my experience of selling a game which was ever-so-slightly ground breaking, and finding that 'ground breaking' is a feature that the industry at large doesn't want to touch with a barge pole, unless its hand in hand with very high production value.

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This is probably a complete cliche and has probably been said before, but do you think if this game had come out 10/15 years ago when the market wasnt so flooded and the people who bought games did so on the basis of magazine reviews written by people who loved games, it would have sold well?

I dont want to wear my rose tinted glasses for to long but there definately was good things about the good ole days

I think games reviewers back then knew they needed to dig beneath crap graphics to find the game

edit: not that future tactics has crap graphics i havent even seen it.

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Oh, yeah, Licence to Kill.

A golden age indeed.

Honestly, I think this would've done well if it had been considered a major title by its publisher. With the sort of brand-drive that things like Advance Wars get, it could've been a hit.

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I have a horrible feeling that if it wasn't budget then the reviewers possible would have invested more time in it.

From reading about it here, from looking at screenshots it looks like the kind of game which is old school style ie great fun.

The reviewers seem to be missing that out.

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I'm sure John's mentioned this on the board before, but we both worked at a developer in the late eighties which produced 8-bit computer games. We developed games for release at full price (£9.99), and also games for release by Mastertronic at budget price (£1.99 or £2.99).

All of these games were developed by exactly the same development teams, to exactly the same budgets and deadlines, but we became well aware that the budget games generally got lower review marks than the full price games, and reviewers would regularly comment that they could 'tell it was a budget game' or 'percieve' deficiencies in the games which justified their lower price.

Hmm, maybe they were just being generous to our £9.99 games ;)

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We became well aware that the budget games generally got lower review marks than the full price games, and reviewers would regularly comment that they could 'tell it was a budget game' or 'percieve' deficiencies in the games which justified their lower price.

Bah! All I know is that those £2.99 games you guys made in the '80s were part of what made my childhood great.

Zub, Feud, Amaurote, Rasterscan....ah, the memories ;)

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Guest somerseteye
I see a couple of sights are saying it's PAL release is September, published by Big Ben Intercative.

No mention of pricing, and they state it's an RPG developed by Crave. ;)

Jowood were announced as the European publisher during E3 (link), with the name remaining Future Tactics. Today's Koch Media release schedule has it down for 27th August, with the three console versions at £29.99 and the PC version at £19.99.

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Jowood were announced as the European publisher during E3 (link), with the name remaining Future Tactics. Today's Koch Media release schedule has it down for 27th August, with the three console versions at £29.99 and the PC version at £19.99.

I'd say your source of information on the publisher is sound and I have no reason to doubt the pricing and release date. Of course it'll come with its own set of problems, the UK reviewers will know it was budget in the states and most likely complain that it's not quite so budget over here. Rip off Britain!!111 etc.

Of course the relevance of whether it's worth £30 in the first place won't be so highly featured in the review, erm, probably.

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  • 1 month later...

Just been playing the game this morning after nicking it off suprnova. Sorry.

Anyway, its pretty good. Sort of like 'Worms' of old, but in 3d. Its also a nice and simple concept and dead easy to control. Admittedly, I've only had time to do the first stage, but I like it so far. Yes. Well done.

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Nice one  :) .

From what I understand, JP wouldn't have got any money from it anyway. But its not really a lost sale because I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.

I also d/l Crazy Taxi 3 if that makes you feel any better. Thats also quite good.

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From what I understand, JP wouldn't have got any money from it anyway. But its not really a lost sale because I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.

Not having a dig at you but.

Do you think publishers will keep getting niche, fun games published at a budget price if even people who are supposed to like it prefer to play it for free?

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Well, regardless of the reviews, I will be getting this when it comes out.

First and foremost I am a gamer, and it is innovating and fresh ideas that keep this industry alive, we all like the standard pap that is churned out by huge development teams, but without the willigness to try something just a little bit different the industry will stagnate.

Balls to EA M$ etc., support the smaller developers and bring some life back into this MTV generation of gaming.

My 2p worth

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I'm having a bit of a moment here.. Are you the debaser that I have met? Just wondering because your attitude seems a bit cuntish and not at all like the person I thought I knew.

Hey man, I'm essentially just exercising my 10 day return policy a while before the game comes out. Is it really any worse if I yarr a game, than get it from Game on release over here and return it 9 days later after completing it?

Anyway, don't lie, you've always known that I'm a bit of a cunt. :)

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Hey man, I'm essentially just exercising my 10 day return policy a while before the game comes out. Is it really any worse if I yarr a game, than get it from Game on release over here and return it 9 days later after completing it?

Anyway, don't lie, you've always known that I'm a bit of a cunt. :)

You do have a point about the GAME thing. Nice for the consumer but if we all did that, all the time (or even d/l stuff), then we'd bust the industry. I did 'rent' singstar from GAME for the manc meet...

I did buy it again off the net, ten quid cheaper. I was sort of double justified, one of the mics from my earlier purchase didn't work.

Alright, I don't like to get my cunts mixed up.

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Not having a dig at you but.

Do you think publishers will keep getting niche, fun games published at a budget price if even people who are supposed to like it prefer to play it for free?

Not if they keep making them redundant.

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