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Thread: Why can't mainstream Publishers/Producers make basic good games anymore?

  1. #1
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Why can't mainstream Publishers/Producers make basic good games anymore?

    I've heard every excuse under the sun from various publishers about how games are 'massive investments' these days and about how online piracy limits the potential to make certain types of new game even if there is a strong demand etc etc etc.

    Yet every now and then a tiny outfit goes and makes an excellent game that looks every bit as polished and professional as the best games from the biggest publishers.

    The difference between game quality between publishers that have been in the industry for decades and those just starting up is often zero. Yet the big players seem to make such a fuss over every part of the process.

    I get the impression that these days publishers and producers debate the merits of a new game idea based on how popular it will be online or what the DLC revenue potential will be. It's as if they all go to conferences where someone speaks for an hour about 'the future of making money in the games industry' and then they just make a game that fits the bill.

    My point is, big publishers and producers seem more concerned with making games that tick very specific boxes than simply making the best games they can. Which is odd, when you look at how often tiny developer self-release games that do incredibly well. Sure the big boys have a few franchises that sell billions on the consoles, but most of these started out life as PC only games from small teams. Why can't the big boys produce anything original themselves? It's not as if they have an easy life with the way they do things at present, many big outfits have financial problems and are forever looking to invest in the 'next big thing'. Why not just make the next big thing from scratch - what happened to all the talent?

    Rant over

  2. #2
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    First off let me say I don't see this as a rant. Rather a fair criticism of the large game developers. They are unoriginal to say the least. EA most notably. I think it comes down to safe bets. Smaller Companies are willing to roll the dice. Giving them the freedom to do what they want. They have no guarantee of success. You can tell games that are developed by small dev teams. They feel very personal. you have moments where you look at their creation and realize they really took the time to get every detail right. Why? Because it was make or break for them. Atari lost the console wars in it's hey day. Now it's on it's last leg. Why? The drive to build a good game has been lost. They are so concerned with self preservation that they'll do whatever they can to make a buck. This trailer looked rushed and Atari had convinced themselves. Idk how or why. That this game would sell on name alone. That dev blog was a lie plain and simple. As one youtube comment read and I quote - "They looked me right in the eye and puked in my face" It seems Atari mired in legal trouble and just coming out of bankruptcy rushed this game out the door. In the end all they did was make things worse. We get it Atari your facing hard times. But the last thing you need to do is alienate your most loyal fan base.
    We are the last one's left that might actually buy this game and 50% of us already walked out after that dismal "Trailer" if you can even call it that. If I could tell Big Developers one thing it would be. Stop being concerned with shareholders and get back to focusing on the consumer. Oops! Now I went on a rant

    It should also note some big game devs get ti right. Naughty Dog is a shining example of this. They are not corporate. They are very laid back and always interact with their fans. They've been this way from the beginning and haven't changed.
    That's why they deliver high quality games like Jak And Dexter Uncharted and The Last of Us. IMO Uncharted 2 which won game of the year was one of the best games I ever played. And The Last of Us wasn't far behind. Rock Star again another great example. I could go on but you get the point. Straighten up Atari.
    Last edited by OTR24; 05-13-2015 at 11:40 AM.

  3. #3
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTR24 View Post
    First off let me say I don't see this as a rant. Rather a fair criticism of the large game developers. They are unoriginal to say the least. EA most notably. I think it comes down to safe bets. Smaller Companies are willing to roll the dice. Giving them the freedom to do what they want. They have no guarantee of success. You can tell games that are developed by small dev teams. They feel very personal. you have moments where you look at their creation and realize they really took the time to get every detail right. Why? Because it was make or break for them. Atari lost the console wars in it's hey day. Now it's on it's last leg. Why? The drive to build a good game has been lost. They are so concerned with self preservation that they'll put whatever they can to make a buck. This trailer looked rushed and Atari had convinced themselves. Idk how or why. That this game would sell on name alone. That dev blog was a lie plain and simple. As one youtube comment read and I quote - "They looked me right in my eyes and puked in my face" It seems Atari mired in legal trouble and just coming out of bankruptcy rushed this game out the door. In the end all they did was make things worse. We get it Atari your facing hard times. But the last thing you need to do is alienate your most loyal fan base.
    Were the last one's left that might actually buy this game and 50% of us already walked out after that dismal "Trailer" if you can even call it that. If I could tell Big Developers one thing it would be. Stop being concerned with shareholders and get back to focusing on the consumer. Oops! Now I went on a rant

    It should also note some big game devs get ti right. Naught Dog is a shining example of this. They are not corporate. They are very laid back and always interact with their fans. They've been this way from the beginning and haven't changed.
    That's why they deliver high quality games like Jak And Dexter Uncharted and The Last of Us. IMO Uncharted 2 which won game of the year was one of the best games I ever played. And The Last of Us wasn't far behind. Rock Star again another great example. I could go on but you get the point. Straighten up Atari.
    All excellent points.

    The way I see it, you can compare the games industry to the music industry. In the 90's all the money was in manufactured bands. So that's what all the big players did, they built bands on a basic formula that they calculated would appeal to enough ppl to make money. But eventually interest died off and people went on their own searches for actual 'artists'. So then big player started signing genuine talent from YouTube, makes sense.

    And in the same way the games industry decided that the best way to make money was to buy up established franchises and 'give them legs', or in other words, port them across all possible platforms. So the franchises became simple investments that you could buy, add value to, then sell. But that meant the big game companies didn't need expensive in-house talent, they just needed managers and accountants to plan their strategies for each franchise. So it's hardly surprising they eventually lost touch with what gamers really want.

    As a result of their lack of passion, just like in the music biz, their customers started to look at Indy developers and fund kickstarter projects. The difference is, the games industry big players don't seem to have adapted, they just get further in debt while they keep peddling the old approach that 'used' to work.

    All it can do is result in a slow death. For the life of me I can't understand why Atari don't take a sink or swim approach and try something new. They could have approached parkitect and given them cash to complete the game and get it working on mobile devices too, how much better would that have been than RCT4? I wouldn't even have minded 'some' dlc if the game was solid.

    And as for RCT3... Pantera were half way through making a game that looked great. But as a commercial product, it has several issues. But they're passionate and will make a good game. Atari does have plenty of commercial experience so why not put the two together? Why compete with passionate people when you can bring them onboard in some way?

    Those are just two wacky examples but my point is that there are more imaginative ways of dealing with a lack of funds and lack of passion than just throwing a few quid at whichever developer bids the lowest to make a game that at best will be 'passable' but in reality easily forgotten.

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