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Old 08-27-2006, 06:25 PM   #1
ZFR
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I promised myself not to get into these types of discussions, I told myself not to start it when Luvian posted, but after Sever's post, and seeing how similar posts to these pop up quite often when discussing NWN2, I decided to write this post, especially seeing how quite a few members seem to want another bickerfest.

Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:

Monetary success is more important to those companies right now that making a masterpiece.
Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:
They are owned by stockholders, not artists.
Quote:
Originally posted by Sever:
$$$ is the current trend in game design
Quote:
Originally posted by Sever:
and at the very top of every games company lies a fat corporate whore who really doesn't give a shit about whether or not fans are happy once they've handed over their cash.
Well, Sever hasn't told us who should be at the top of the games company instead of the "fat corporate whore". I would appreciate an answer. A concrete answer. (On a side notice, why is the adjective "fat" used in a negative way? Would a thin corporate whore be better? or is it really the hidden belief that prosperity is evil behind such usage?)

Saying that NWN2 would be bad because the only aim of the producers is money, is a contradiction. If NWN2 will be bad, it might indeed sell well because of the name, but no one would ever buy another game from this company. As it is, already quite a few people are saying they are not going to buy it. If it turns out to be really this bad, not even the most devout neverwinter nights fans are going to buy NWN3. The producers won't gain money this way. That's why the above statement is a contradiction. You cannot make money in the long run by making terrible games, so if they release a terrible NWN2 their aim cannot be money. Whether it is on purpose or because of their ignorance or stupidity, the producer's aim is not money.

Taking the example of art (since Luvian used the word "artist"). So long as the artists' aim was to make money, they reated good works of art, because they knew that otherwise no one would buy it. Right now, when art is being funded by the government and "artists" declare monetary gain is not their goal we get not art but shit (metaphorically and literally, I've seen feces claimed to be art by "artists"). They can afford to do it, after all $$$ is not what they're after so they don't bother whether people will buy this art or not. And if you say you don't like it you will be called a person without finer feelings, a crude materialist who can't understand such a high concept as art, which is beyond such vulgarities like money.

"Monetary success is more important to those companies right now that making a masterpiece." - the *only* way for those companies to create "monetary success" is by having people buy their product. If you create a mediocre product, you make mediocre monetary success, good product - "good monetary success". In order to create greate monetary succes, you have to create a masterpiece.

It is not the corpoate whore who decides what games are to be made. It's the gamers who decide by voting with their wallets.

"really doesn't give a shit about whether or not fans are happy once they've handed over their cash." - If he wants to make money he would give a shit. Would anyone buy another game from such a producer. Would you buy another game from such a producer?

So, I hope $$$ is and remains the current trend in making games. No businessman whose trend is $$$ will ever realease a bad product into the market, even if he knows people will buy it. His greed and aim for money will prevent him from doing it. Only a person whose aim is not money doesn't care if his product is good or bad. I hope all game producers get filthy rich, because if they do, it means they have done so by realeasing games for which I was happy to give them my money.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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One more thing, in the other thread Larry gave an example of phrases which sould not be used. For me, the ones I'm particular about are "I was just kidding around", "I'm not really here for a serious discussion on this topic." If you don't want to post seriously on this topic, post somewhere else.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:51 PM   #3
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Well, it's complicated. Take a look at a couple years ago with games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Planescape: Torment, Morrowind, and NWN. Yes, back then it was about money too, but the companies cared about their customers.

They were complete when they were released, they had original content, and in most case the devs kept working on the game and creating new content and patches after release. Morrowing had some extra plugins, NWN got a tons of stuff etc.

Then we got Lionheart, a game that I'd say wasn't even 40% completed when it was released. There was the Fallout console game debacle, where they wanted to create a game with rock and roll, almost naked chicks, and big guns. There was Return to the Temple of Elemental evil. Remember how Atari didn't want to patch the game at all and only did after the community released a user made patch? How about Oblivion? They are now selling the extra content they used to give away to the fans last game.

NWN2? We couuld probably write a whole book about this one. NWN1 was about the community, they're still releasing content and tools for it, it was marketted as the computer version of D&D, with DM and all that. NWN2? They admitted they are focusing on the single player campaign, that there is no DM client or support for persistent worlds, and you can bet they are going to sell all the module they release for it, huge departure from the first one and that's just the surface, I'm sure there are more broken promises other people could talk about. These days it's always like that, companies release games before they are 100% complete, don't want to spend time to patch them up, and in some cases even try to charge you for more stuff.

Now you're saying. "That's stupid, if they do that people will stop buying their products and they will go bankrupt". And you'd be right, but you're overestimating these companies, how many gaming companies went bankrupt these last years, or are on the point to?

They only have the short term in mind. Before you figure out you got ripped on a game, you have to buy it, and in most places, you can't return used up games. A game can sell for millions and still get bad ratings, and they don't care, they got their millions and only paid a fraction of what a good complete and original game would have cost them.

I think the problem is that these companies are owned by shareholders. The guy is probably on 10 different board in 10 different companies, he probably never played a video game, he want money at all cost, and if after too much abuse it look like the company is going down? Sell and move on, like locusts.

[ 08-27-2006, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Luvian ]
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:10 PM   #4
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Let's face it, companies are in business to make money not make masterpieces.

The BG series was a fantastic and well polished game the likes of which have yet to be seen since in a CRPG but where is Interplay today?

The more time (read: $) that is spent on developing a game means less profit to be made on that same game, so sometimes it's more profitable to release a game that less people will buy, but at a higher profit margin.

To generate the same profit on a game with a longer development cycle would require an increase in the price to the consumer, and people aren't will to accept that. Sure there may be a handful who'll jump up and say "I will," but a minority never wins.

A company that doesn't make a profit, and continue to increase profits will likely not be around for long. Shareholders don't give a skinny rat's ass about the quality of Company XYZ's latest game they are interested in profit, profit and profit.

Gamers decide by voting with their wallets? A true statement. Unfortunely the majority of gamers don't vote in the manner that the minorty agree with.
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:21 PM   #5
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Well Zebodog, there used to be a time when a Company's image was important for it's owners, it's always been about the money, but now they don't even care about their image, so there is nothing to stop them.

Customers deciding with their wallet? No way, how can you decide when you don't even know what you're getting into. You know what the product actually is after you buy it, not before.

It's so easy to have a good marketting campaign, shiny box art, and empty promises.

Edit: Who should be at the top of these companies? A somewhat fat corporate whore, with ethics.

[ 08-27-2006, 06:24 PM: Message edited by: Luvian ]
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:
Yes, back then it was about money too, but the companies cared about their customers.
You *cannot* make money without caring about your customer. Your only source of money is your customer.

Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:
Before you figure out you got ripped on a game, you have to buy it
I can argue with that. You can read lots of reviews about how a game is. Granted these are not always true, but do provide at least some guidance. You won't get all bad reviews for a good game or vice versa.
But what's more important is the fact that even after you get ripped on a game after buying, you will think 10 times before buying another game from same company. The producer knows it, so if he wants your money he won't produce such a game.

Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:
I think the problem is that these companies are owned by shareholders. The guy is probably on 10 different board in 10 different companies, he probably never played a video game, he want money at all cost, and if after too much abuse it look like the company is going down?
You said it. He cares about his money so wouldn't invest it in a company that makes bad games.
How can you want money "at all cost"? If you really want money you wouldn't want to get it at the cost of not being able to get it ever again.
And there is only so many times you can fool people into buying a terrible product.

Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:
These days it's always like that, companies release games before they are 100% complete, don't want to spend time to patch them up
Again I'll repeat my point. If so would you buy another game from them? "Hey I brought this game from this company, it wasn't 100% complete and they didn't patch it up. But I'm buying their new game. I bet this time it will be all patched."

Quote:
Originally posted by Luvian:
and in some cases even try to charge you for more stuff.
Some contradiction. Would you bother to buy any extra stuff for a terrible game? If you want to buy extra stuff you're admitting the game is good.
And what's wrong with them wanting to charge for extra stuff. If I want to get any extras for my car, I'd be charged too.

Now back to all the examples you gave at the beginning.
In games, like in all things you buy, there will always be good products and bad products. It was always like this and always will be. The only thing which ensures more good products are being produced and less bad ones is the fact that producers want to make money and in order to make money have to make good products. Money is the only good objective medium to determine what should be produced and what not. Like I said it's the customers who vote what's good with thier wallets. In case of games, it's the gamer's decision.

Look at this example: Warcraft Adventures. This game was not produced because Blizzard felt it was not good enough.
Now looking at the amount of fans waiting for this game, it would have sold amazingly well. So why didn't Blizzard produce it? Was it becuase they "cared for customers"? It was because they cared for money. They wanted to get money from future games like Starcraft, Diablo2, Warcraft 3, WoW... Starcraft 2. It was their love for this money, that made them withdraw the game, because they knew they wouldn't have gotten it if they released a terrible product.
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:38 PM   #7
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Luvian, I'm not arguing with your statements and agree that the customer should be in charge of corporations but that doesn't happen.

Sure, some game companies used to care about their customers but where did it get them?

It can be said that NWN was for the community, but the community does little to generate revenues past the initial sale. Good feelings and warm wishes from a customer, while nice, does little to pay the bills.

Don't blame the companies for this switch blame the customer, the gamer who wants the graphics without the story. Companies have to cater to a different generation of gamer since the BG era, and that generation is defining what is being sold on store shelves today.
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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It is a shame that the gaming industry is turning into what it is, but as more and more people try to bite into the gaming pie, the industry becomes more competative.
It's getting to the point where companies cannot take time with their games, the only perfect window for relese is before a similar game comes out.

Back in "the day" (BG2) there were few games like it, and few games out there/due to be released, so any release date was acceptable.
The game was also somewhat unique, but now days, there is are games that simulate everything, from playing the guitar to cooking.

So I guess the companies just rely on famous titles to help them get their game sales and be done with it.

[ 08-27-2006, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: Hivetyrant ]
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZFR:
Yes, back then it was about money too, but the companies cared about their customers. You *cannot* make money without caring about your customer. Your only source of money is your customer.
Tell that to a con artist, or anyone that used fraud to abuse his clients, I'm sure he'll disagree.

Quote:
I can argue with that. You can read lots of reviews about how a game is. Granted these are not always true, but do provide at least some guidance. You won't get all bad reviews for a good game or vice versa.
But what's more important is the fact that even after you get ripped on a game after buying, you will think 10 times before buying another game from same company. The producer knows it, so if he wants your money he won't produce such a game.[/qb]
Most sells happen the day or couple of days after a release, the only reviews you have to go by then are the pre-release ones from big names. Funny how every time they pre-review a game it's the game of the year, and once the game actually came out their second review is often bad. It's almost as if they are lying to us, so that they keep receiving new games to review, keeping their business alive. IGN's title of their Lionheart preview was "Be there when Black Isle and Reflexive change the course of human history." I'm not joking.

Quote:
You said it. He cares about his money so wouldn't invest it in a company that makes bad games.
How can you want money "at all cost"? If you really want money you wouldn't want to get it at the cost of not being able to get it ever again.
And there is only so many times you can fool people into buying a terrible product.
They are not bad games from an outsider's point of view. They are a monetary success. If you can make a couple millions and move on, who care? Better that than just making a couple of thousands over the years. Who has time for the long term these days? I've been to that kind of conferences, and the talkers like to throw around phrases like "Buy my book and you'll make your first million before 25", or "This is how I made my first million by XX". That's the way it work, make money while you are young and can still enjoy the coke and whores, not when you are old.

Quote:
Again I'll repeat my point. If so would you buy another game from them? "Hey I brought this game from this company, it wasn't 100% complete and they didn't patch it up. But I'm buying their new game. I bet this time it will be all patched."
Black Island released Lionheart. They still have a good image don't they? Atari released countless crappy and buggy games, including Temple of Elemental evil, they didn't want to patch it and yet people are still buying their games right? Look like they can get away with it. People will even buy NWN2. That's just a couple examples. It's not rare to see someone post swearing he'll boycott a certain company to turn around and buy another game from them.

Quote:
Some contradiction. Would you bother to buy any extra stuff for a terrible game? If you want to buy extra stuff you're admitting the game is good.
And what's wrong with them wanting to charge for extra stuff. If I want to get any extras for my car, I'd be charged too.
Free extras create goodwill and raise your company's image, as it show you care about your customers.

Quote:
The only thing which ensures more good products are being produced and less bad ones is the fact that producers want to make money and in order to make money have to make good products.
No, that is only true about the people that have their life depending on the company. For someone else, it pay more to make lots of money fast than making some money over a long period of times. It's better to ruin 10 companies and make 5 millions in one year than play nice, and make one million in 5 years. Like you said, it's all about the money.

Quote:
Money is the only good objective medium to determine what should be produced and what not.
And a company that release tons of bad games that sell well will have a better quarterly report than one that spent time and money polishing one game. By the time the customers realise you're ripping them off you're already on your tropical island.

Quote:
Like I said it's the customers who vote what's good with thier wallets. In case of games, it's the gamer's decision.
That is a lie prepetuated by companies to give customers the illusion of control, just like "The customer is always right" Haha.

Quote:
Look at this example: Warcraft Adventures. This game was not produced because Blizzard felt it was not good enough.
Now looking at the amount of fans waiting for this game, it would have sold amazingly well. So why didn't Blizzard produce it? Was it becuase they "cared for customers"? It was because they cared for money. They wanted to get money from future games like Starcraft, Diablo2, Warcraft 3, WoW... Starcraft 2. It was their love for this money, that made them withdraw the game, because they knew they wouldn't have gotten it if they released a terrible product.
Blizzard is one company that actually care about their image.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hivetyrant:
It is a shame that the gaming industry is turning into what it is, but as more and more people try to bite into the gaming pie, the industry becomes more competative.
It's getting to the point where companies cannot take time with their games, the only perfect window for relese is before a similar game comes out.

Back in "the day" (BG2) there were few games like it, and few games out there/due to be released, so any release date was acceptable.
The game was also somewhat unique, but now days, there is are games that simulate everything, from playing the guitar to cooking.

So I guess the companies just rely on famous titles to help them get their game sales and be done with it.
I have yet to see a game similar to BG, Torment, or Fallout. It seem to me that a company that would actually try to make a good rpg would get good money.

Or they can keep releasing crappy diablo clones and unknown shooters, I'm sure releasing the exact same product than everyone else is a good idea. Market saturation is a good thing, right?

[ 08-27-2006, 07:17 PM: Message edited by: Luvian ]
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