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Thread: Video game market could collapse according to this article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickstilwell1 View Post
    Then what they need to do is make some of both so everyone gets what they want. I would buy SNES/PS1 style console RPGs every time one comes out.
    Nintendo DS and 3ds are loaded of these 16-bit 32 bit era rpg's

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Rickstilwell1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreZZ View Post
    Nintendo DS and 3ds are loaded of these 16-bit 32 bit era rpg's
    That's why I don't have any of the regular new consoles yet but have a 3DS. It would be nice to see more of what the 3DS gets on actual home consoles.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    I strongly disagree. In 1982, unless you had access to very expensive development hardware and a means of distribution, the chances of being able to release a commercially viable cartridge or disc based game was very minimal. In just the past five years, the widescale adoption of broadband, mobile devices and digital distribution has allowed thousands of new voices to enter the gaming industry to create niche games that can appeal to very narrowly targeted markets. There is not only a much larger variety of gameplay types available today than at any point in the past, but also a means for the creators of those games to benefit financially without risking much more than their time. As such, I think the video game industry is more healthy and vibrant than at any previous point in time.


    In 1982, anyone with an 8-bit computer, an assembler, and descent programming skills could write a game. The old computer magazines are filled with ads selling games from smaller companies. Reasonably-sized project timelines and budgets made it viable. The notion that game development was largely unavailable to smaller developers until modern mobile devices came along is a fallacy. Sure, today we have digital distro. Back then they had mail-order.

    There's a danger here of confusing number of games with number of gameplay types. In particular, I'm referring to the amount of variety offered from the major players in the industry. From what I can see, the actual types of gameplay are fewer each year than they were prior to the first crash. Think back to the arcades of the past and the variety of approaches to in-game mechanics and even the custom interfaces that went with them. What we're seeing now is a narrowing of types of gaming experiences due to the demand by investors to give them a proven product. And by that they're referring to something that has been proven to sell. Hence the same basic games with a change-up of characters and background scenery.

    In other words, we could argue this point pretty much indefinitely (or until a truly comprehensive statistical report is compiled).


    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    It simply means that charging a consumer $60 for a new big budget game may not produce sufficient profit in and of itself to satisfy the investors and shareholders in big publishers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    Heck, I've been paying between $30 and $60 for games since the early 1980s, so adjusted for inflation it really isn't that bad compared to other consumer goods.
    Profit margin is the key thing to consider here. The profit margin on a game shipped on DVD is somewhat higher than one shipped on a diskette back in the day and is much higher than a cartridge-based game. Couple that with the increase in market size and I would hope that -- factoring in inflation -- it would be expected that the price of games be relatively lower than they were in the past. I'm not sure what other consumer goods you're using as a base for comparison, but it can be safely said that similar forms of entertainment like Blu-ray motion pictures are considerably less expensive than modern video games (as was mentioned in a previous post).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neb6 View Post
    In 1982, anyone with an 8-bit computer, an assembler, and descent programming skills could write a game. The old computer magazines are filled with ads selling games from smaller companies. Reasonably-sized project timelines and budgets made it viable. The notion that game development was largely unavailable to smaller developers until modern mobile devices came along is a fallacy. Sure, today we have digital distro. Back then they had mail-order.

    There's a danger here of confusing number of games with number of gameplay types. In particular, I'm referring to the amount of variety offered from the major players in the industry. From what I can see, the actual types of gameplay are fewer each year than they were prior to the first crash. Think back to the arcades of the past and the variety of approaches to in-game mechanics and even the custom interfaces that went with them. What we're seeing now is a narrowing of types of gaming experiences due to the demand by investors to give them a proven product. And by that they're referring to something that has been proven to sell. Hence the same basic games with a change-up of characters and background scenery.

    In other words, we could argue this point pretty much indefinitely (or until a truly comprehensive statistical report is compiled).






    Profit margin is the key thing to consider here. The profit margin on a game shipped on DVD is somewhat higher than one shipped on a diskette back in the day and is much higher than a cartridge-based game. Couple that with the increase in market size and I would hope that -- factoring in inflation -- it would be expected that the price of games be relatively lower than they were in the past. I'm not sure what other consumer goods you're using as a base for comparison, but it can be safely said that similar forms of entertainment like Blu-ray motion pictures are considerably less expensive than modern video games (as was mentioned in a previous post).
    In 1982, even a cheaper 8-bit computer like a Commodore 64 was $600. The Apple II cost $1200 and neither the Commodore or Apple II included disc drives, monitors, etc...In short, you had to be someone who was willing to invest substantial amounts of money in the equipment to even have the chance to start experimenting. Add the difficulty of actually selling a game in that era (i.e. buying blank discs and packaging, finding a distributor or fulfilling orders after taking out an ad, and the rampant piracy) and there was no real viable market for all but the biggest publishers.

    You can say what you want about the volume of games released in the classic era, but there was just as much if not more derivative game making back then. I mean I recall being an Apple II owner in 1982 and going into Computerland and seeing a wall full of text adventure games, arcade conversions that were mostly Space Invaders or Pac-Man rip-offs and a tiny handful of original, creative stuff. As the 80s went on, there were entire companies like SSI and Avalon Hill that were literally doing graphic swaps and cranking out game after game. Ironically, it was EA that seemed to be the most willing to take risks in the mid-80s, but they to were following trends to some extent and you can look at their ads from those days and see a lot of derivative stuff.

    My point is, there was always a lot of sequel making and derivative publishing because there were plenty of financial risks for game publishers in the classic era as well. If your argument is that the largest publishers today tend to focus on sequels or gameplay mechanics that are well proven, I suppose I will agree with you. Luckily, with PSN, XBLA and numerous other independent distribution platforms, there is plenty of variety in all genres of gaming, well beyond anything that was around in the classic era. Even publishers like EA and Sony have indie studios that make smaller games and Atlus, Sega and others are still around and filling the middle range of gaming while NIS, XSeed and Aksys handle the niche.

    As for the inflation argument. Games don't have other means of generating revenue for the most part other than sales digitally or on recorded media. I mean sure, the occasional game has been licensed for a bad movie, but it's still pretty rare. As such, comparing them to a product like a DVD or Blu-Ray where that is really just a secondary revenue stream to a worldwide theatrical or broadcast release is not really accurate. Similarly, the entertainment value that can be derived from a Blu-Ray or DVD is far lower for many consumers according to the surveys I have seen. A game can be played for many hours where most consumers only watch a movie a few times total.

    Adjusted for inflation, games that were $60 in 1982 would be the equivalent of $144 today. The market is bigger and media is cheaper, but everything else has gone up related to production from salaries to office space to equipment, so games really are a bargain IMHO.

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    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    I'm not sure Sega and Atlus are the best examples. Both have had some pretty serious financial troubles lately. But that being said, I don't think we should be envying gaming's formative years. One of the reasons the two dozen or so genres we have today exist is because they actually work, having been sufficiently refined. It's wonderful that quality control is an actual thing these days.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 12-19-2013 at 07:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I'm not sure Sega and Atlus are the best examples. Both have had some pretty serious financial troubles lately. But that being said, I don't think we should be envying gaming's formative years. One of the reasons the two dozen or so genres we have today exist is because they actually work, having been sufficiently refined. It's wonderful that quality control is an actual thing these days.
    You mean Aliens Colonial Marines PASSED a quality control test? Huh, I might have to hang myself now.

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    You know what, though? That's still a more functional game than many you'll find from the 70s and 80s. Of course garbage still gets through for one reason or another. But the early years of gaming was like the wild west. For whatever its faults both past and present, Nintendo was smart enough to realize that complete anarchy was not the right solution. One thing I will say about today's market that I don't think can be criticized is that through mobile gaming and the likes of iOS and Android we've struck a nice balance between low barrier to entry and competent infrastructure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    You know what, though? That's still a more functional game than many you'll find from the 70s and 80s. Of course garbage still gets through for one reason or another. But the early years of gaming was like the wild west.
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I don't think we should be envying gaming's formative years. One of the reasons the two dozen or so genres we have today exist is because they actually work, having been sufficiently refined. It's wonderful that quality control is an actual thing these days.

    I think there are plenty of examples of good and bad titles in both generations of games. I've been going through stacks and stacks of modern games and there are tons of crappy ones in there. So I'm not really sold on the idea that quality control is all that much better today than it was back then. I will concede that QA/QC must be a lot tougher now due to the sheer complexity of the projects. As for narrowing of genres based on 'what works', there were numerous approaches to gameplay developed in the late 70s and early 80s that were extremely playable. And for quality control, the early 80s Atari, SEGA, and Williams games were phenomenal.

    A few of the games that certainly pass the QA/QC test with unusual control system and/or game mechanics that come to mind are ones like:
    Robotron
    Joust
    Spy Hunter
    Paper boy
    Marble Madness
    TRON (flight stick and spinner combination)
    Discs of TRON (same, but with a vertical axis on the spinner)
    Tac/Scan
    Major Havoc
    Tempest
    Star Trek: The Strategic Operations Simulator
    Gravitar
    Mr Do's Castle
    Tutankham
    Crystal Castles
    Time Pilot
    Q*Bert


    Did many of these really need to be filtered out or refined to the point where we have numerous very similar treatments on:
    Fighting games, 3rd person RPGs, 3rd person action, FPS, racing, music interaction, top-down shooters, side-scrollers, platformers (with the last three unfortunately becoming increasingly rare)?

    And what about something we've never seen before?

    All this processing power and sophisticated development tools today. So many possibilities...

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    It isn't so much that there weren't fantastic games back then. There were plenty. Just that today when you buy a game, for the most part you don't have to worry too much whether or not it will actually function. And if you do end up with one that's just so terribly broken, there are more avenues of recourse than ever before. Steam actually gave refunds over The War Z. Not to mention the benefit of the Internet acting as an early warning system for these things. In the past, it could really be a crapshoot. Even the NES had a lot of games that barely qualify as functional software.

    As for the less common genres, a lot have found their place on unconventional platforms. A game like VVVVVV? Probably not something you'll find on a GameStop shelf but it exists in spite of that. Angry Birds? Cut the Rope? These are pretty much the modern equivalent of the "weird" games like Marble Madness and Paper Boy. The concept isn't gone. In fact, it came back. Accessible platforms like Steam and iOS have made games like this a lot more common than they were a couple generations ago. I think bloated budgets have in general caused problems for mid-level gaming but low end gaming is better than ever.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 12-20-2013 at 02:56 PM.

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    Microtransactions feels lazy

    What happened to earning it in games, Like going to try to get 1st like in GT6 and getting the Cash in Game to get the car

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    Damn right we hit a new low barrier for quality versus distro/price but it comes at the costs of actually owning your property which is to me more awful because once a company decides to drop support you can kiss your proper...I mean long term rental goodbye.

    Microtransactions now those are only partially lazy. In the case of 3DS Bravely Default from Square, it's all about being lazy and it's 100% optional which is a good thing. The larger part is microtransaction is just another word for DLC and that there is about sheer unmitigated greed and taking advantage of sheep who don't catch on. Why bother releasing an entire game anymore as it was for decades when you can put up 80% of a game, then charge $15, $30, hell full price ($60) for all the additional data to make that game 100% which is a pure scam. They defend it saying they're giving people more bang for their buck in the game but it's pure smoke and mirrors. You know what people used to call that...making a sequel. Your game is loved, you reuse the engine, make another 18-24mo down the line with all the customer feedback put to it to make it a better title.

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    This article hasn't aged well. Gaming has been an extremely profitable industry for the last 5 years with no signs of slowing down thanks to the massive success of mobile gaming and online competitive gaming as well as streaming platforms

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    I think we need to change gbpxl's level thing from Pac-Man (Level 10) to Forum Necromancer

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    Are you saying that because I have a pile of corpses in my house that I've been using to practice my black magic on? Or because I post in topics that havent been relevent in decades? actually forget that first part. you didnt hear anything

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