Ask Me Stuff

Every Wednesday I ask you to Ask Me Stuff. If you have a burning question about the games industry, leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it this afternoon.

I’ll be doing this every Wednesday.

Now, fire away with those questions.

UPDATE: Sorry guys, a crazy busy afternoon has meant I've been unable to answer a whole bunch of your questions. Instead I'll get to them tomorrow. Stay tuned.


    How are you?

      In dire need of coffee, thanks for asking.

    I was interested in the relative profitability of games on each platform.
    I understand that a good Wii games cost a lot less to make than a good 360/PS3 game. But if they sell a lot more games on PS3/360 who cares

    Can you give us a breakdown of what the top games(SALES WISE)for each platform cost to make and how many games they actually sold. Close approximates are good enough.


      At the beginning of this console generation, some publishers and analysts were predicting that the Wii would potentially be a more profitable platform due to its lower development costs. That is, because they'd spent less making the game, they'd need to sell fewer copies to turn a profit, compared to the 360 and PS3.

      I'm not sure this has proved to be the case. Yes, in general, the average 360/PS3 game costs more to develop than the average Wii game. Much of this difference is due to the higher cost of producing art assets on the HD consoles.

      However, the average Wii game also sells for considerably less than the average 360/PS3 game. If you're selling your Wii game at half the price of the 360 version, you're almost certainly making more money on the 360 version regardless of how cheap the Wii version was to make.

      Also, bear in mind that development costs vary enormously between games on the same platform, let alone those on different different platforms. The difference in development cost between, say, Assassin's Creed 2 (PS3) and Demon's Souls (PS3) would be significantly larger than between Modern Warfare 2 (360) and Mario Galaxy (Wii).

      Certainly in the west, for third-party publishers the Xbox 360 is the most profitable platform right now.

    Just curious... what's Kotaku's motivation behind the Community service award? More exposure, get people more involved, shift more goodies out of your offices, etc?

    Kotaku's probably one of the better (best?) videogame reporting sites for AU-relevant news going around, and has generally had well-educated and valid discussions/debates in the comments section (with regular feedback from editors/contributors such as yourself).

    That said, I'm weary that encouraging people to post comments purely to win stuff (well, with that as an added bonus) is going to encourage... um... put simply, crap-spamming. I'm sure I'm not the only one that's noticed this over the last week or so, since the competition was announced, but I really hope this is a move for the better, and not a step backwards.

      It's about rewarding you guys for the contribution you make to the site. As much as you come here for the latest news and games culture, you do so to interact with a like-minded community in the comments of every post. This is our way of saying cheers.

      And it's about getting rid of this big pile of crap on my desk.

        Ta - I guess the post moderation goes some way to filtering out the complete flame-posts, fanboy-comments, etc...

        Oh and piles of crap on desks are good things; can't say I trust people at work with spotless desks - they're either obsessive-compulsive, or not doing enough work ;)

    Hi Dave,

    Forgive me, but I never played Portal.
    What is the cake, and why is it a lie?

      Oh how I hope that's just a really poor joke. Otherwise, play Portal. You're depriving yourself of one of the most magnificent games ever.

        Not a joke.

          Then please refer to the second part of my reply. It's on Steam I think, get amongst it.

      There IS no lie. That was in fact the lie, they have been lying to you about there being some lie, but its all a lie. So eat cake, eat it well, fear not the Funniest Home Videos style face pushy into the cake, nor the hilarious exploding cake... Just eat the cake, the cake is good. ALL HAIL CAKE.

      All judgement aside, Portal takes place in a lab, the lab's computer promises you cake, and there's crazy scribblings around the lab ( suggesting that this cake may in fact be a lie.

      It's an amusing theme that makes a lot more sense if you play through the game, though it's not nearly as hilarious as the Internet has made it out to be.

    Hi Dave,

    Do we have a release date for Transformers war for cybertron? Also will it have multiplayer and is there going to be a tie in with the next Transformers movie. Thanks.

      It's out in May, no firm date as yet. It does have multiplayer, but the exact details have yet to be revealed. We do know, however, that you will not be playing as a leg.

      I don't know anything about a tie-in with the movie.

    Hi David,

    Are you considering ever making an appearance on byteside?

    Hi Dave,

    Any news on when AFl 2010 will be released? Seems to be an enigma! Also any plans for an NRL game? Thanks Dave

      An NRL game did just come out NRL 3

        Thanks Andrew, but thats only Wii.. I am wondering for the Xbox 360... Anyone know anything bout AFL10? Thanks

          The developer site has a small Q&A on AFL10, but no real details are out yet (no release date), as for Rugby games on the 360, its not a large selection, infact i dont think any are out for the 360, you will have better luck with the original xbox or PC, or you could wait for the port of NRL 3 to hit the current gen consoles, but by the look of it you dont want to.

    Are you heading to E3 this year?

    If so, will we get your on-the-ground updates here on Kotaku AU or will we have to get our updates from Crecente, McWhertor and the rest of the US Kotaku crew?

      I'll be there. My US colleagues will have all the news covered - after all, there's only one of me, while there will be six or seven of them at the show. For me, attending E3 is more about educating myself on all the games coming out before the end of the year. I'll still endeavour to provide some sort of unique insight into the event for you guys, but I've yet to determine what that will be.

    Whatever happened to the super street fighter IV announcement :(?

      I'm not sure which announcement you're referring to...

        someone posted about that they heard owners of SF IV will get something special if they buy SSF IV and you said that you are posting about it the next day and never did :( as far as i can tell anyway

          Gotcha. If I recall, I said we'd hear about it soon. I still haven't heard what it is.

    Hi Dave,

    I was wondering if there was any logical reason as to why Nintendo has not released a version of the Virtual Console for the Nintendo DSi?

    I have had a DSi since launch, and have not spent any money on DSiWare as I believe there is nothing that great available. But, I have always dreamed that Nintendo would launch some sort of Virtual Console for the DSi.

    I understand that there would be limitations, but I would be happy with just NES, SNES, Megadrive etc...heck I'd even be happy if it was just GB, GBC and GBA games with the hope for support from Sega for some Gamegear games.

    Maybe there has been some rumours that I have just missed out on? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

      this is just my view but i would think it would have something to do with the fact that people would expect it to use the DSi features and not just be a straight port and also it may currently be they are holding it back for the next DS

      the DSiWare in itself may just be a way of testing whether people will actually buy the content for there DS

      I'm as baffled as you are, given that there's surely no technical reason why the DSi cannot handle such emulation. Indeed, while I've enjoyed a few Virtual Console titles, I know I'd much rather play them on a small screen than on the much larger TV hooked up to my Wii.

      I'll see what Nintendo has to say about it, if anything. (I recall asking them at the time the DSi launched and they had no answer back then.)

        Could it be that they simply didn't think to make the Virtual Console cross compatible with the Wii and the DS?

        I'm under the impression that if I was to buy an DSi XL, that I would have to re-purchase anything I have already bought on the DSi. There is no function to allow me to use of a 2nd license of the product I've bought on a 2nd DSi (even if it wasn't mine, I can understand this gets abused on the PS3, I do it myself with a friend and have 2 PS3's).

        So perhaps the same for VC games? If they opened up the VC store to the DSi users, you would again have to re-purchase them?

    Having only just played Dragon Age: Origins lst week, it's weighing pretty heavily on my mind. So my question, what is your opinion on the way the DLC was marketed (I suppose marketed is the right word) as quests in game? Almost like it was targeted to say "pay for this or your missing out" rather than the DLC being an option externally.

      Damn I wish there was an edit. I'm aware I missed an "a" and that I used your instead of you're.

    Did you announce the final winner of the Gillette Fusion Gamer competition? When will you be contacting the fortunate?

    I was going to ask you your thoughts on this article re the Zoo editor (being the classy publication that it is), but then finished reading it and noticed that you were actually interviewed :)

    Just curious if you had more to add on the topic, and whether they'd construed your take on it all correctly, or used some poetic license of their own?

    Has there been any further word on the Mechwarrior reboot that was teased / announced by Smith and Tinker and Piranah Games last year?


    Thanks your reply.

    Not sure I fully understand your point about differences in development costs between games. I do understand that games that can borrow graphical assets from a previous installment of the same title, surely can be cheaper to develope, and therefore more profitable.

    I only wish that Wii games were half as cheap as PS3/360 Games. Currently, considering the quality, they should be. Is Aust. a new Wii game is $80-90, a new 360/PS3 game Approx.120. Not that much difference!

    When will Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 be available in the Aussie Itunes store?

    Is Sonic 4 just a sign that the Sonic team have raised the white flag?, I know that recent sonic games weren’t great, unleashed certainly wasn’t. But does essentially remaking sonic 1, 2 and 3 mean that any notion of an actual “new” sonic game is gone?.

    Disregarding all that extra stuff like sonic racing and all the other tie in games.

      I like to think of it as Sega actually listening to what people wanted for a change. Sonic is very different to Mario, as speed is the biggest trait.

      So moving that into a 2.5 or 3D element will always be a challenge to keep the insane speed mechanic and have responsive controls.

      Also like to think that Sega caught wind of the successfulness of New Super Mario Bros on the DS first, then Wii and hoped the same would happen for Sonic.

      In saying that, there is some leaked gameplay footage of Sonic 4 floating around, particularly of a level where you ride a Mine Cart and LocoRoco style, you tilt the world to make you move. Playing the level looks terrible and for me has already killed any hype I had for the game.

        I think its just lazy on the part of SEGA, if they really did “listen” to the fans then I would expect to see improvements to the current game formula, not just go right back to the sure thing from their heyday. To me developers shouldn’t just be able to metaphorically say “we screwed up, here is something popular we made 15 years ago”

        I guess I’m just against the idea of paying for something I already own, I have all of the megadrive Sonic cartridges and buggerall seems to have changed, they expect people to pay real money for what is essentially a few levels from Sonic 3?, I’ll pass.

          Can see what you are saying, but I got the feeling there has always been more want for a 2D Sonic over the weird directions they tried to take it.

          Sonic The Hedgehog (2006 Game)
          Sonic Unleashed
          Sonic And The Black Knight

          2D Sonic back on the Mega Drive were damn good, arguably some of the best games release then and obviously spawned all of the spinoffs we have today. Sequels will always happen and I don't think it's fair that we think that developers have to reboot or dramatically upgrade a game with new features for each game in a series.

          There are some games whose premise lend themselves better to simpler gameplay mechanics. Most Megaman games are still on a 2D plain and they work. The first 2 Oddworld games were brilliant, but when they made Munch's Oddysee, it wasn't bad... it just wasn't all that great.

    Hey David.
    What is the most successful game developer in Australia?

    apart from the video teaser, is there any more news on Ghost recon future soldier? and will they follow the original GR open map theme instead of the usual channelled path?

    What happened to Junglist?


    Lately I find myself no longer enjoying serious or competitive games as much as I once did. Are there any games that you would personally recommend purely for their fun factor?

      Have you checked out the indie gaming scene? Download an episode of the Bytejacker podcast, they cover new and upcoming indie games in very short (10 mins?) episodes and can point you towards some very fun and very not serious games.

      Red Faction : Guerrilla - can find that on the cheap also... at one point saw GAME selling it for about $30

      Just Cause 2 - picture these senarios...

      Gas Cylinder + Gun Shot + Grapple Hook = Instant Rocket into the sky, then you can 'base jump' from it and parachute to safety.

      Grapple Hook + Moving Car + Grapple Tether To Ground = Hilarity!

      Yeah, Just Cause 2 is pretty fun just for it's ridiculous voice acting, B grade story and awesome stunts :P

    David, I've installed the WoW Feeds application on Facebook. Will you hate me now?

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