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06-21-2013 06:31 PM
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  1. PhoenixSoul's Avatar
    Credit goes to ncxcstud



    Of Sony vs MS/Used/etc..

    Before I get into this subject, I need to lay a few ground rules.


    This console launch is the most unique in the business history. Even last time when we did have the internet it wasnt as vocal or amplified as it is now. Giant Enemy Crab, anyone? (Sonys terrible showing at that e3 proved to not really matter as the PS3 went on to do well in the long run.) What bothers me is the internet pitchfork mob who can only see 6 inches in front of their face without thoughtfully analyzing a situation. Any ***** can go to quickmeme.com. Try writing a fully thought out article on a subject, like the folks at Polygon, Giantbomb, Rock Paper Shotgun, or Kotaku do. (Sorry Gamespot, back of the bus.)

    Microsoft tried to and ultimately couldnt have it both ways. You cant still have discs and then expect everyone to embrace digital. And, fundamentally, if you take something away that a consumer has been used to without some seriously smooth handling theyre naturally going to get upset.

    I love community. I always have, going back to the Unreal/UT days. (Remember Ownage?) I used to love hanging out in the UT chatrooms late at night. My interest did wane a bit in the Gears days as I was frustrated with our mistakes that were made in that era and the negativity that came out of it. But now I see the positive aspects of places like Reddit and GAF (not the negative) and I recognize that community is the backbone of any entertainment experience in 2013 and beyond.

    What I hate is the knee jerk dog-pile mob mentality that hit. I realized that not all Internet Memes are truthful or make full sense when I saw this one.


    Ha ha, **** the airlines, right? I mean how obvious is this. The plane can carry a ****ING SPACE SHUTTLE and the mean anti-consumer airline wants to bill me on luggage fees?

    Anyone who actually stops and thinks about this situation would realize that its about fuel costs. With Americans weighing more than ever and with fuel costs skyrocketing the airlines were forced to charge fees on overweight luggage so when youre transporting your dumbells for vacation on muscle beach the cost is passed onto you. This is a business decision, albeit one that wasnt handled the smoothly when it came to messaging, but my gut is telling me that running an airline is probably as hard as running a game development studio. Richard Branson, the ninja entrepreneur responsible for Virgin Airlines is famous for saying:

    If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.

    Now, the other day I tweeted I mean, I want developers to get money on every copy of their game over Gamestop **** me right?

    Theres a story behind this. For years Gamestop was a good partner for retail and console games. And then they started looking at their numbers. (And dont believe what they say about what % of their profit is new to used, believe how they ACT at every single store. Basic life lesson there folks.) And they realized that ****, we keep all of the money from giving someone five bucks on a game that they paid $60 for and we can then go and undercut NEW by reselling the used copy for $55 or so.

    Profit. Id then wager that an executive order came down to rewire every manager to push used whenever possible. And thats part of the problem. They claim to developers and publishers to want to come to the store for new but when youre there what is the staff taught to preach? Buy it used!

    Ive said it before, when I was younger and had $42 to my name I traded games all the time and would have bought the **** out of used. Just because Im successful now doesnt mean Ill ever forget that feeling of not knowing how I was going to pay my bills or how wonderful Ramen tasted.

    A few years ago Microsoft asked me to go to the Gamestop Managers show in Las Vegas. I was knee deep in development of Gears 3 and had already had a ton of press related travel, plus, I ****ing hate Las Vegas. (You want to see anti consumer, hoo boy.) But my Microsoft marketing guy told me it would go a long way. He reminded me that its a big fun event for the managers who would love to press the flesh. So I flew out there, came on stage, shot a T-shirt gun at the crowd (so fun) met the managers, and did my best to not remind myself that I was in a city that I really dont like.

    Next up was the big exciting midnight launch for Gears 3. Exciting stuff; Big Sean played the event in NYC, the fans were stoked (sent over a few dozen pizzas to the fans in line as a goodwill and fun PR stunt!) and I got to show my future in-laws how amazing this business can be. Cut to flying home and people start sending me pictures of the extremely well put together finely printed leaflets at the Gears 3 launch that said Trade in this game by November 6th and get more than you normally would on your trade in!

    Mother****er. We had done a lot of work to keep the disc in tray, but those retail practices are deliberately set up to create a revolving door of game trade in. Folks say Yeah, but Gamestop helps out a lot of games by pushing them! to which I quote Chris Rock Yeah, theyre like the uncle who paid for your collegebut molested you.
    Last edited by Dave Blake; 06-21-2013 at 06:39 PM.
    06-20-2013 08:00 PM
  2. PhoenixSoul's Avatar
    Capitalism? Sure. Its a free market and theyve got every right to do this. I accept that. However when I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know somethings got to change.

    But Cars and Movies and Books havent had this problem, why are games different?

    Watch this video, and then come back to this blog, please.

    Now, I know only blaming used games really does come across as a whiny answer. There was a brilliant post on GAF that was quoted on Kotaku saying We didnt ask for increased budgets, or phoned in sequels, or tacked on multiplayer. It was incredibly well worded (and I cant find it in the mountain of e3 news now so someone link it to me and Ill update this blog with the link.) Its up to the developer and the publisher to find a way to solve these problems. (And yes, by voting with your dollars, the consumers have shaped where were at to some extent. In the AAA space there is a certain graphical fidelity required and rich feature set expected that are causing costs to skyrocket.) Add in the fact that theres more things than ever in 2013 competing for your dollar and you have to have 8+ figure marketing budgets to run ads and what not.

    So heres whats going to happen now that Microsoft has largely matched Sonys (well played) move at E3. The shift to digital is still going to happen (FOR BOTH) but its going to be slow and subtle. Suddenly more DLC will be made available. More microstransactions will appear. And Day One Digital will (hopefully) be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one.

    But you know, none of this **** matters if the GAMES ARENT FUN AND FANTASTIC. And if they are? No one seems to mind throwing money at them. (Zynga, this is your problem now, btw.)

    Ive said before if I worked at Microsoft I would not only POSITIVELY motivate users to go digital but also offer their own trading system in which they give you MORE money for your game than Gamestop and sell the used games for LESS than Gamestop. Include a Netflix style mailing system and move along your merry way by engaging the customer as opposed to treating them like criminals.

    Years from now college courses are going to be taught in proper messaging and theyre going to use Microsofts E3 delivery as a worst case scenario. Ive known many of the folks over there for years, and folks, you know better. Before any presser youre given a booklet that only says Heres what you should say if asked X. They also brief you on the journalists youre about to meet with This is the guy from Giantbomb. Hes smart but has been good to work with in the past. He also likes Hot Pockets and long walks on the beach. With the stakes this high those executives should have memorized that book and not have been rope-a-doped by savvy journalists who laid a trap for them to walk right the hell into. (****in Keighley strikes again)

    When users were complaining about changes to Gears multiplayer my (bad) answer was often If you dont like it, play the previous game you liked so much! (Which is a thinly veiled **** You to the customer, honestly. Holy **** I just admitted I was wrong.)

    Microsoft was trying to sell well lit houses that require a fully intact electrical grid to a world that doesnt have that yet. Nothing made this more obvious than the fact that our servicemen and women of the armed forces are often in poorly connected places. Even Gears had a HUGE military following. And nothing looks worse than saying forget the troops because hey, your *** isnt getting shot at or dealing with IEDs, are you?

    Ill admit, the once every 24 hour check was pretty silly. Customers can smell from a mile away when youre treating them like children, peeking your head into their bedroom on a regular basis in an attempt to catch them doing something. Heres the thing about Steam. It doesnt FORCE you to be online. The ecosystem of Steam is so brilliant, from the community, to the summer sales, to the indie games, that you WANT to get online.

    My money is on the PC, mobile and tablets for the near future. I wandered around E3 looking at (too many) fantastic games shaking my head and worrying about how many are going to be deemed a failure due to the fact that yes, it may have sold 4 million copies, but it cost too much to make and market, so it was a wash. (Do your homework, several very high profile games have had this issue and no, Im not going to call them out here.)

    At the end of the day I suppose its a beautiful thing that so many gamers actually give a **** and are willing to participate in the debate. Just remember one of the (positive) aspects of Capitalism is that it encourages competition. You dont want one system to win because what happens is that the winner then becomes fat and lazy and the consumer has no choice. That choice is what often forces a business hand. (Look at the mess that is cable right now; many markets only have one choice so you could wind up ****ed with Time Warner.)

    By the way, Apple may be the ones who wind up winning this entire thing now.
    HeyCori and MERCDROID like this.
    06-20-2013 08:20 PM
  3. Jazmac's Avatar
    That decision has been repealed by Microsoft. So its on to the next debate.
    06-20-2013 08:24 PM
  4. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Hard to give him much credit or praise for that article. The guy works for a major developer, and he had every opportunity to post something like this to support the system beforehand. That he decided to jump on the "we want it back!" bandwagon kind of falls on deaf ears here. I get what he's saying, but he's not saying anything I haven't heard before, if not something I myself have said before.

    If he supported the system so much, he should have volunteered himself (and tried to get other developers) to the Microsoft E3 keynote. They should have been the ones to push the new system of DRM and such, not some suit who couldn't handle a simple interview if a console depended on it (lookin' at you , Donny). His article doesn't seem like anything special or new from the pro-DRM crowd, but he has clout. He could have led the defensive change for the DRM and touted its benefits for consumers AND developers, but he elected for a post-problem complaint article.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of what he said, but he shouldn't have sat back and watched this unfold quietly then jumped up AFTER the fact.
    06-20-2013 09:43 PM
  5. ncxcstud's Avatar
    actually, if you look throughout his twitter feed for the last week or so you'll see that he did do a lot of the things that you don't think he did. In fact, his message on twitter pointing people to that post was something to the effect of - because twitter is not the place to give a full argument - go here...

    And, just to be clear, Blezinski actually isn't attached to any developer at the moment - he's taking a sabbatical and hasn't revealed what he plans on doing in the games industry in the future - Granted he was a big part of Epic Games for years, he just isn't there anymore.

    but, he makes a valid point about Gamestop though - and one of the reasons that I really don't like shopping there. giving me 25 dollars for a brand new game and then selling it for 55 is a rip off and it undercuts new games sales.

    Sure, lots of people sell their games to Gamestop in order to put it towards a different game purchase, but many will opt for the cheaper 'used' title instead of the fresh unopened one next to it.

    Of course, people bring up movies, tv shows, and songs - except they have licensing deals in place every time that movie, show, or song is played. The people responsible for that work are continually getting paid. Sure, the older it is they get less and less, but they're getting something. Game developers don't have that luxury so it isn't an apples-apples comparison...
    Reflexx likes this.
    06-20-2013 10:06 PM
  6. HeyCori's Avatar
    The dude Cliffy linked to does make a lot of good points.

    06-20-2013 10:23 PM
  7. theeboredone's Avatar
    The skeptic in me says that we would still see DLC and possibly Micro-Transactions, even if this DRM was administered.
    06-20-2013 10:52 PM
  8. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    actually, if you look throughout his twitter feed for the last week or so you'll see that he did do a lot of the things that you don't think he did. In fact, his message on twitter pointing people to that post was something to the effect of - because twitter is not the place to give a full argument - go here...
    That's the point, though. He said Twitter wasn't the place to give an argument, yet he did that anyway.
    06-20-2013 11:00 PM
  9. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    The skeptic in me says that we would still see DLC and possibly Micro-Transactions, even if this DRM was administered.
    Oh, no doubt. I don't even mind paid DLC, though. It's when you have pay-to-win DLC and the crappy system of forcing Achievements into a person's Achievement log when the person didn't even get the DLC it was related to. Like I never bought DLC for Gears of War, but its DLC Achievements are still on my profile. I know that GamerScore and Achievements have no real bearing on anything, but as someone who likes to try for SOME level of completion of games, it's annoying to see that because I didn't want to spend $30 on DLC, I have this gaping hole of 500 GamerScore or something.
    06-20-2013 11:02 PM
  10. theeboredone's Avatar
    Honestly, I think video game companies should also take a look at other means of making...well video games. I alluded to this in another topic about business models. Not every game has to be some gritty, HD textures, supreme physics, intense story line game. There's a reason why Nintendo doesn't care about used games. Because their games are replayable. Mario, Zelda, and DK don't have some intense story lines, amazing physics, or AI. They are just fun games you can pick up and play over and over. Single Player mind you, so you don't even have to account for servers.

    When I look back at my game collection, I see there are games I kept, and some I sold off. The ones I keep are usually do to some replay value. And by replay value, I don't mean "collecting" things you forgot in certain levels. I mean just having fun with the game. I understand it's hard to make a re-playable game when it's very story geared (Last of Us), but for a game like Uncharted, they do have a very fun and still supported multiplayer.
    06-20-2013 11:11 PM
  11. Reflexx's Avatar
    Hard to give him much credit or praise for that article. The guy works for a major developer, and he had every opportunity to post something like this to support the system beforehand. That he decided to jump on the "we want it back!" bandwagon kind of falls on deaf ears here. I get what he's saying, but he's not saying anything I haven't heard before, if not something I myself have said before.

    If he supported the system so much, he should have volunteered himself (and tried to get other developers) to the Microsoft E3 keynote. They should have been the ones to push the new system of DRM and such, not some suit who couldn't handle a simple interview if a console depended on it (lookin' at you , Donny). His article doesn't seem like anything special or new from the pro-DRM crowd, but he has clout. He could have led the defensive change for the DRM and touted its benefits for consumers AND developers, but he elected for a post-problem complaint article.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of what he said, but he shouldn't have sat back and watched this unfold quietly then jumped up AFTER the fact.
    1. He's not with any company right now
    2. He's bbee in support of DRM on Twitter since even before E3. After E3 he became VERY vocal.

    So out of your two accusations, you're 0/2.

    Did you just feel the need to talk crap about him without bothering to raven check?
    06-20-2013 11:21 PM
  12. Reflexx's Avatar
    That's the point, though. He said Twitter wasn't the place to give an argument, yet he did that anyway.
    That's not the point.

    He made A LOT of statements on Twitter and then wrote the blog as a follow-up to make the argument.
    06-20-2013 11:23 PM
  13. theeboredone's Avatar
    You're really not convincing anyone with 140 character statements. Best to pick up the phone, call some journalists, and say "QUOTE ME" and give a rant on why DRM is good.
    06-20-2013 11:24 PM
  14. Reflexx's Avatar
    Honestly, I think video game companies should also take a look at other means of making...well video games. I alluded to this in another topic about business models. Not every game has to be some gritty, HD textures, supreme physics, intense story line game. There's a reason why Nintendo doesn't care about used games. Because their games are replayable. Mario, Zelda, and DK don't have some intense story lines, amazing physics, or AI. They are just fun games you can pick up and play over and over. Single Player mind you, so you don't even have to account for servers.

    When I look back at my game collection, I see there are games I kept, and some I sold off. The ones I keep are usually do to some replay value. And by replay value, I don't mean "collecting" things you forgot in certain levels. I mean just having fun with the game. I understand it's hard to make a re-playable game when it's very story geared (Last of Us), but for a game like Uncharted, they do have a very fun and still supported multiplayer.
    There are a lot of different kinds of games.

    Do you think the market would be better for everyone without AAA big budget games?

    What's funny is that the biggest complainers are the "hardcore gamers" that demand these big budget games.
    06-20-2013 11:26 PM
  15. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    That's not the point.

    He made A LOT of statements on Twitter and then wrote the blog as a follow-up to make the argument.
    Yeah, it's EXACTLY the point. He said himself that Twitter wasn't the way to provide a defense, but that's what he did. He basically said it was an ineffective strategy, but it was the strategy he used. As for leaving Epic, didn't even know. and the other "accusation," which wasn't an accusation, he DID take too long to provide a well-made statement defending the DRM. He could have been doing this from the get-go, or he should have not done it at all. Fighting to get the DRM back in a lengthy post when you wouldn't fight to keep it before isn't really sensible.
    06-20-2013 11:27 PM
  16. theeboredone's Avatar
    There are a lot of different kinds of games.

    Do you think the market would be better for everyone without AAA big budget games?

    What's funny is that the biggest complainers are the "hardcore gamers" that demand these big budget games.
    I never said we can't have those AAA games. There are a lot of good AAA games. I just said companies should consider making games of different varieties. It seems like we've been getting more of these nitty gritty types.
    06-20-2013 11:32 PM
  17. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    It seems like we've been getting more of these nitty gritty types.
    Can you clarify this statement? I don't quite get what you're talking about here.
    06-20-2013 11:36 PM
  18. Reflexx's Avatar
    Yeah, it's EXACTLY the point. He said himself that Twitter wasn't the way to provide a defense, but that's what he did. He basically said it was an ineffective strategy, but it was the strategy he used. As for leaving Epic, didn't even know. and the other "accusation," which wasn't an accusation, he DID take too long to provide a well-made statement defending the DRM. He could have been doing this from the get-go, or he should have not done it at all. Fighting to get the DRM back in a lengthy post when you wouldn't fight to keep it before isn't really sensible.
    It's not his job to build a defense.

    He was commenting on the news, and only blogged about it because his comments were generating enormous amounts of nerd rage.

    His post wasn't an attempt to fight to "get the DRM back." It was a statement about the stupidity of mob mentality. It was about jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts. Kind of like what you're doing.

    You dont even know the history or timeline of what happened with him, yet you are trying to make an attack. It only makes you look foolish.
    06-21-2013 12:02 AM
  19. Reflexx's Avatar
    I never said we can't have those AAA games. There are a lot of good AAA games. I just said companies should consider making games of different varieties. It seems like we've been getting more of these nitty gritty types.
    They're out there. They just don't have the budgets to get you to know about them.
    06-21-2013 12:05 AM
  20. theeboredone's Avatar
    Can you clarify this statement? I don't quite get what you're talking about here.
    Sure. Tomb Raider. Hitman. Last of Us. AC3. Dishonored. Call of Duty. These are all games that have come out in the last half of the year, and they all have that approach of emphasizing a serious tone. In contrast, Nintendo is on the opposite spectrum where their games tend to be more laid back and easier to "enjoy". Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the games I mentioned, but it's a different type of enjoyment. It's more of a "serious" atmosphere. I can pop in Mario, and just have fun by jumping on Koopas or having some absurd power up that grants me the ability to jump higher, shoot fire, make me invincible etc. Donkey Kong riding a Rhino? An ally named Funky Kong? Yes and yes.

    More or less, I wish developers would challenge themselves to make games like that just as much I would wish Nintendo would make a few "serious" games. Ubisoft does have Rayman, but in recent releases, that's all I can think of that's playful in nature that's come out recently. If Nintendo really doesn't care about used games, due to the fact people "keep" their games...then you have to try and assess what it is they are doing. What I see is games that a person can pop in anytime and just have a good time with. There is no "rage quitting". It's all good fun (Unless it's Mario Party). If you're playing with a friend next to you, there's this awesome feel of helping each other.

    I can't tell you how many times in college, we would just pop in New Super Mario Bros, and practically try to beat it, while also trolling each other. Lord knows how many continues we had. There was a similar feeling when we would play Little Big Planet. The amount of times we would try to go on ahead, or leave someone behind can get you some hilarious results.
    06-21-2013 12:08 AM
  21. Reflexx's Avatar
    Dance Central! Just Dance! Kinect Sports! Little Big Planet. Project Spark.
    06-21-2013 12:12 AM
  22. TonyDedrick's Avatar
    Very interesting read
    06-21-2013 12:20 AM
  23. TonyDedrick's Avatar
    There are a lot of different kinds of games.

    Do you think the market would be better for everyone without AAA big budget games?

    What's funny is that the biggest complainers are the "hardcore gamers" that demand these big budget games.
    I think ultimately what the poster was trying to say was cut down on the yearly AAA games that are losing these companies money and people's jobs and look to make smaller scale, but just as high quality. That's not to say there aren't some franchises that do sell very well with yearly additions. But the fact Tomb Raider selling 4 million copies is considered a disappointment is troubling.
    06-21-2013 12:29 AM
  24. Musicman247's Avatar
    Hahahahaha! You know what would happen if those developers started making "light-hearted" games? There would be an outcry of "they're catering to the casual gamers instead of the hardcore gamers like me!" Same thing happened when Bethesda made Skyrim. Same thing happened when MS showed off the non-gaming features of the X1. The cry of "casual" has become the mantra of this generation.
    curseoftheninja likes this.
    06-21-2013 12:37 AM
  25. TonyDedrick's Avatar
    Hahahahaha! You know what would happen if those developers started making "light-hearted" games? There would be an outcry of "they're catering to the casual gamers instead of the hardcore gamers like me!" Same thing happened when Bethesda made Skyrim. Same thing happened when MS showed off the non-gaming features of the X1. The cry of "casual" has become the mantra of this generation.
    I said nothing about lighthearted games. I said smaller scale games. Like a Braid, Bastion or Journey. Games that can give you just as much enjoyment, challenge and emotional wallops. But at a fraction of the price.

    And I seriously hate the terms hardcore and casual. What exactly makes someone a hardcore or casual gamer?
    06-21-2013 12:44 AM
33 12

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