This Week In The Business: Buying Broken Games

This Week In The Business: Buying Broken Games

"At that point, we're asking people to part with their money, and they should not be getting a broken product." -- Tripwire VP Alan Wilson, explaining why he thinks Steam's Early Access program is being abused by some developers.

Elsewhere in the business of gaming this week...

QUOTE | "Optimisation never stops. You can always do more -- until you break." -- Veteran developer Jurie Horneman, talking about the endless work cycle facing game developers, whether indie or AAA, and the uncertainty of the market.

QUOTE | "AAA has always been fun for me, but I do ask myself, 'when is the last time you have done something for the first time?'" -- Remedy Entertainment CEO Matias Myllyrinne, explaining why he's leaving the Quantum Break developer for a position at World of Tanks developer Wargaming.

STAT | 90 million -- Number of monthly active users for League of Legends in April, the most for any MOBA according to SuperData; DoTA 2 was a distant second with 10.8 million monthly active users.

QUOTE | "It's really crazy, I realise that... It's a lot of work. I'm pretty sure it's the biggest output of any dev at the moment." -- Eipix CEO Mirko Topalski, talking about how his 300-person studio is scheduled to release 25 hidden-object games in the next year.

QUOTE | "I see a lot of our business as almost brokering a truce between the content creator and the consumer." -- Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham, talking about how publishers often find it hard to offer games at a very low sale price without help like the Humble Bundle.

STAT | $US500 million -- Amount that Glu Mobile expects to be making annually in 2020 purely from celebrity endorsed mobile games; currently the company makes 30 per cent of its revenue from Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and it's signed deals with Katy Perry and Britney Spears.

QUOTE | "My core goal is to complete the game to the level of quality that we want and believe in, and then cover how we get the word out separately" -- Ex-Irrational dev Bill Gardner, talking about the progress on his Kickstarter game Perception.

STAT | 11 million -- Number of units sold so far for Bioshock Infinite, according to Take-Two; the company reported lifetime sales of the Bioshock franchise at 25 million units.

QUOTE | "Apple's move shows that they're serious about reversing the race to the bottom, and putting companies that treat players like cattle on the backseat." -- Alex Nichiporchik, CEO of Tinybuild, talking along with other developers about Apple's recent changes to the App Store, removing algorithmically generated categories.

STAT | $US93 billion -- Forecast for the total revenue of the global game industry in 2019, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers; the firm estimates a compound annual growth rate of 5.7 per cent until then, despite what it sees as a downturn in traditional consoles around 2017 or 2018.

Top image via Shutterstock


Comments

    “At that point, we’re asking people to part with their money, and they should not be getting a broken product.” — Tripwire VP Alan Wilson, explaining why he thinks Steam’s Early Access program is being abused by some developers."

    This situation has begun en masse ever since the last generation of consoles became little more then re-badged PCs. It's the same consumer market which accepted this model who are now forcing manufacturers like Nintendo into the rubbish game apps market.

    I'll give Alan Wilson props... Tripwire's Killing Floor 2 early access doesn't have a lot of content, but what it does have actually seems to work quite well.

    Meanwhile take the 'new hotness' Ark: Survival Evolved as an example, it is being praised to no end while being absolutely horrendous as far as optimisation and general performance goes.

    It's all well and good to say "It's Early Access, you should expect that!", but the fact is they're still selling a semi-broken product.

    In Ark's case also claiming things I'd wager currently aren't reality for most of those playing it. As the game options currently list low-medium-high, etc, settings and then also what equivalent video cards it would take to run those settings. Yet it's quite clear people with these setups aren't getting close to acceptable performance even below the suggested settings for their systems.

    Early access doesn't bother me, developers making claims and not delivering does.

    Contrary to what rabid fanboys would have you believe, being in early access is actually not some all forgiving excuse and/or protection from criticism. If your game currently isn't up to what its own options screen claims, then maybe it simply shouldn't be advertising such things at this point in time.

      Consider an alternate perspective to your own, consider it without insulting or dismissing, use it to inform your original perspective and round out your opinion. - how not to sound ignorant.

        Just because you see it as ignorant, does not make it so. Telling someone to not be insulting or dismissive while insulting and dismissing them is an interesting tactic I might add.

        I might be ignorant, the jury can get back to me on that, but hey... At least I'm not dropping this arrogant, holier-than-thou shtick on people.

        Now I suspect you'll claim you didn't mean it that way, to which I helpfully suggest informing your own perspective more thoroughly first before dishing out 'advice' to others.

    QUOTE | “It’s really crazy, I realise that… It’s a lot of work. I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest output of any dev at the moment.” — Eipix CEO Mirko Topalski, talking about how his 300-person studio is scheduled to release 25 hidden-object games in the next year.

    Is... Is that a lot? I've been out of the loop on hidden object games. :p

      Not really. Hidden object games are about as simple as you can get, once the engine is made you could crank them out one or more a day. 25 a year is one every 2 weeks.

      Of course, the other side of the coin is why anyone would take pride in mass-producing garbage games like that. Especially for a 300 person studio, that's just degrading.

    New flash for those gamers and devs who still live under rocks - the industry has changed. Early Access is the biggest QA team you could hope for, it weeds out the shit early, and of the options a) go open beta and get no money and starve, or b) go early access and get some money and eat, it's a no-brainer.

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