This Week In The Business: 'What A Bunch Of Elitist B.S.'

What's happened in the business of video games this past week ...

QUOTE | "That idea of saying, 'you're not allowed.' What a bunch of elitist bullshit. Go [expletive] yourself." — David Jaffe, veteran designer, talking about consulting on a Kickstarter for Autoduel and why critics of some Kickstarters annoy him.

QUOTE | "The downside didn't appear until sometime later when we found it difficult to develop the games we wanted to do." — Tony Goodman, founder of Ensemble Studios, talking about his company's acquisition by Microsoft.

QUOTE | "Is the crowd really wise or just mediocre, incapable of recognising and rewarding the new and different?" — Veteran designer Warren Spector, talking about why Metacritic should be irrelevant.

QUOTE | "A lot of those big companies that were the poster children for social games are really struggling now." — Rob Small, CEO of MiniClip, talking about the difficulty of doing free-to-play games.

QUOTE | "THQ was brilliant at what it did from 1991 to 2007." — Former THQ exec Danny Bilson, talking about the downfall of THQ and how he felt terrible about it.

QUOTE | "The serious gamers are much more stable, and they're going to be around for a long time and will keep playing games." — Legendary designer Sid Meier, explaining why he's continuing to make games for a core audience, regardless of the platform.

QUOTE | "There's also a tension between headline-grabbing creative indie mavericks and 'microstudios' like ourselves." — Paul Taylor of studio Mode 7, talking about making more traditional games on multiple platforms.

STAT | $US3.75 million — Amount of money mobile game Puzzle & Dragons was earning per day in April; publisher GungHo Entertainment's market cap of $US15.1 billion is now greater than Nintendo's $US15 billion.

STAT | 25 per cent — Drop in retail sales of games, game hardware and accessories in the US in April, versus sales in April 2012; software sales were down 17 per cent and hardware sales dropped 42 per cent.

QUOTE | "I think people really are fairly thrilled about what we have now." — ESA senior communications VP Rich Taylor, talking about why the E3 show is still vital to the game industry.

This Week in the Business courtesy of GamesIndustry International

Image by Shutterstock


    David Jaffe angry and shooting off at the mouth... in other news the sky is still blue and water still wet.

    Last edited 19/05/13 9:03 pm

      And no inclusion of the article from Friday stringing up the WiiU. Imbalanced and ranty though it was, it was an important article.

        For those interested:

          I really wish people would stop with the WiiU bashing, but i know it won't happen in fact there will be the same kind of bashing when the PS4 and Nextbox comes out and its sad that people just can't let things be instead of trying to stomp them into the ground.

          EA has there own problems and they will be back porting games to the WiiU as soon as the figure out how to fix them, if they hand no interest in the WiiU they would have announced that they had no intention of supporting the console for the remainder of it's life cycle, instead they said "We have nothing currently planned"

          EA will fix them self, Nintendo will do fine, Sony will do fine and Microsoft will do fine if the don't make there console online only to play the games.

          Last edited 19/05/13 11:02 pm

      Although as usual the man has a point.
      "I do think it's kind of absurd; this idea of 'this is what Kickstarter is for and this is what Kickstarter is not for.' If you don't like something, don't fund it," Jaffe stated. "If you think someone has a name that's too big, whether it's me, Dyack, or Molyneux, don't #$%^ing fund the thing. It's so simple. That idea of saying, 'you're not allowed.' What a bunch of elitist bullshit. Go $%^& yourself."

      The guy may not be the most PR friendly guy but he has passion for what he does and he has to get credit for that.

        I don't doubt he's right, but he's always SO angry... it's like he hires someone just to piss in his cornflakes every morning to set up his daily mood.

          I'm always angry. I don't start off that way. Mostly it's because I'm at work, in the mood to do a fantastic job and am forced to do a lacklustre one because of other destractions and incompetence of others.

          "I'm going to finally get this done right? What's that? I have to help them because they're slow and their boss is an idiot? Oh well, today's problems become tomorrows problems yet again."

          After a while, passion becomes disdain. Love becomes hate and motivation becomes nonchalant.

          Honestly, Jaffe just seems about as angry as the rest of us.

      LOL they had him on Bonus Round the other week - every second word out of his mouth was F---!

        No fucking way fuck me fucking for fuckin real?

    Awh, no more Spector bashing here? Let me then!

    QUOTE | “Is the crowd really wise or just mediocre, incapable of recognising and rewarding the new and different?” — Veteran designer Warren Spector, talking about why Metacritic should be irrelevant.

    Metacritic has to exist for Publishers to be able to quantify - in a number, not 'feelings' - critical success compared to commercial success so they can analyze their sales. Did the game sell well? No. Was the game good? If yes: analyze marketing/distribution. If no: analyze the dev studio/game. If you don't have a metric on whether the game was 'good' or not, how exactly are you going to make that call? Ask the devs who made it? Right. Genius idea, that. Ask one or two reviewers? Go suggest that to a statistician and see how long it takes them to froth at the mouth. You need a large sample size of reviews. If metacritic wasn't doing this, the publishers would be aggregating those reviews themselves.

    It's pretty fucking simple and anyone who thinks this kind of critical thinking and logical analysis doesn't have a place in the games business is either so naive they still believe in Santa, or whose ego is so badly damaged by the unfortunate reality of their business that they have to try and argue against it to feel better.

    I'm thinking Spector has a little from column A, a little from column B.

      It's more when stuff is tied to metacritic regardless of actual performance. A game gets a 70 on metacritic but sells 100 million copies. Going by the metacritic data the game is a failure so the devs see nothing. Meanwhile the publisher rakes in the cash. It's a way of doing it but its easily abused.

        Ohyeah, and I don't agree with tying dev bonuses to metacritic. ESPECIALLY in the case of critical failure but commercial success. But that's on them for signing that contract when they really, really shouldn't.

        But, to play devil's advocate: if the game was critically panned but sold amazingly well, it's entirely possible (if not probable) that it's NOT the dev team's success to be celebrated or rewarded at all, but rather the success of the publisher and marketing. The folks being rewarded in that case would be through achieving great saturation through compelling/deceptive advertising, negotiating distribution channels and timing that work for the title, and bringing franchise loyalty - where the publisher owns the IP, not the developer, knowing that many IPs get shifted between devs.

        Example: Say, for example, a third-party dev group bearing no resemblance to the original two makes Diablo 3. It's critically-panned, but still manages to bring in record-breaking sales, 60% of which are pre-orders. Would you say that's thanks to the work of the new dev team, or due to something else?
        Maybe that's too dodgy, because there are folks who think D3 was good... let's try...

        Do you think Maxis did an amazing job with Sim City (Online)? Is the game - as objectively as possible - 'good', with all its pathing/simulation errors, tiny city sizes, failures in social cooperation to adequately control the city simulation, and removal/bugging out of features, combined with (still ongoing) city rollback/save-loss/network outage issues? Is this a 'good' game? Is it worth the record-breaking sales?

    Kotaku writing an article about business?

    Never laughed harder in my life.

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