This Week In The Business: Fallen Gods

This Week In The Business: Fallen Gods

"Suddenly we're not gods any more... There are gods, and now we just licence their engines." — Positech's Cliff Harris, talking about why he hates Unity and other middleware, preferring that indies write their own engines.

Elsewhere in the business of video games this past week ...

QUOTE | "In reality, 90 per cent of them are just there to sort of leech value. They're not really adding value right now in the industry." — Plush Apocalypse owner Borut Pfeifer, talking about why indies shouldn't sign up with publishers.

QUOTE | "Games are awesome. Stop letting jerks hijack them." — Zoe Quinn, along with other industry veterans, talking about harassment in gaming communities and what can be done to stop it.

QUOTE | "You get the full power of Unity 5 for free. There's no royalties, no fucking around. It's simple. That's really what we're announcing." — Unity CEO John Riccitiello, talking about why the game engine is a great deal compared to others he didn't name (like Unreal Engine 4).

QUOTE | "eShop is actually pretty good to indies right now... it's a really nice safe haven from places like iOS and Android, which are crazy crowded and even on Steam it's hard to stand out." — Romino's Jasper Koning, talking along with other indie developers about why they are putting games on Wii U.

STAT | #13 — Placement of Riot Games on Fortune's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015; the only other game company to make the list was Activision Blizzard at #96.

QUOTE | "Zero per cent of people get motion sick." — Valve chief Gabe Newell, talking about Valve's new VR system Vive (developed in tandem with HTC) and why it's better than all other VR systems.

QUOTE | "If we felt like we couldn't move the needle with respect to genuinely evolving the play experience we wouldn't be here." — Rock Band 4 product manager Daniel Sussman, talking about why Harmonix is bringing Rock Band back.

QUOTE | "There isn't necessarily a graphics arms race for the sake of it; there are improvements in visuals that are very specific to giving essentially a blockbuster appeal to the general public." — NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil, explaining why they have worked hard to make their latest mobile game Dawn of Titans look great.

STAT | $US67 billion — The size of the market for gaming hardware in 2014, according to Jon Peddie Research; the PC market accounted for 33 per cent of that, while smartphones were 23 per cent, consoles were 16 per cent and tablets 11 per cent.

Top image via Shutterstock


    "I want game development to be the grounds of the programming elite again" - elitist jerk Cliff Harris

    Last edited 08/03/15 8:42 am

      He definitely comes of sounding quite elitist, and maybe he is. However he does have a point. Developers who spend the time writing their own engine gives the game much more freedom and varied behaviour, differentiating it from others.

      However, as a developer (well trying to be anyways) myself, I just tell myself, we all have to start somewhere. And these engines give inexperienced developers such as me a chance to learn and grow into the industry.

        I can't honestly see any benefits in writing my own engine over using Unreal Engine 4. I honestly can't.

        It's hard to tell if he's trolling or not. Sure, he could be taken as elitist, but he could also be taken as outright fucking delusional. Since when were developers ever considered 'gods'?

      When I think back to the old days of video games, it was a lot easier to make your own engine.

      Old games with simple engines where a lot easier to make. Now if your not cutting edge people call it about 3 generations out of date.

    QUOTE | “In reality, 90 per cent of them are just there to sort of leech value. They’re not really adding value right now in the industry.” — Plush Apocalypse owner Borut Pfeifer, talking about why indies shouldn’t sign up with publishers.

    Ugh. For a given value of who you consider 'the industry' to be. At best, this guy's basically considering his world the entire world, by talking about self-funded indies as 'the industry'. At worst, he has no idea what a publisher actually does.

    He might be right when talking about tiny indie games which have already done the hard work of developing and are looking for a publisher to distribute, when really they could just sign up to Steam greenlight or the app stores. Those 1-5 person studios staffed by devs who can afford to work unpaid on their passion project while doing paid contract work, but that's... that's not really 'the industry'. That's his PART of the industry, and it's not the part responsible for the best games we have to play.

    Publishers add the value of allowing a studio of a hundred or more developers to pay their bills and feed their families while working for more than a few months on a game while it hasn't been released and thus isn't earning anyone any money.

    Don't get me wrong... I would love if venture capitalists, angel investors, and studios going publicly-listed or running independently on the capital from previous successes or loans could self-fund without going to the poisoned well of kickstarter or signing their IP rights and more away to Publishers who act like record labels.

    But even in that world, the publishers won't die. They'll do what the name says: publish. Publishers are the ones who arrange the marketing, the distribution, check the legals, secure the trademarks.

    People who doesn't consider those tasks 'valuable' to game development and see the publishers purely as IP-stealing leeches are the reason that so many kickstarted projects fail. All dreams and ideas, no project management, no business management.

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