That Video Game Looks Great, But Who Can Afford It?

from the paying-more dept

It's a bit self-serving for the largest video game company to put out a statement that's designed to push smaller video game companies out of business, but some of what they say still does make sense. With all of the new processing power in next generation consoles, EA is pointing out that games are getting really expensive to make. Some are apparently worried that this is holding back the development of new games -- since it's not worth trying if you don't know there's a "built-in audience" such as with a movie tie-in or a game sequel.


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  1.  
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    Griffon, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 8:41am

    proffit mazimizers

    Heh, yeah and there is nothing like crushing all the small competitors who might innovate to truly inspire competitive and original design... being the only game in town certainly makes a company want to take risks :p.
    EA is a very nasty meat grinder, they chew up and spit out smaller companies all the time. Developers working for them have very little job security. Project dates are often tied to very unrealistic development cycles (ie how much profit in a given quarter must be made). No wonder 90% of what they churn out is derivative crap, that is where the reward is at EA. The sad thing is clearly this cut throat behavior and so so game release schedule with a few gems works, they didn't get that big by playing nice but they do turn a good proffit.

     

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  2.  
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    Oliver Wendell Jones, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 9:07am

    Making? Try PLAYING...

    A co-worker just went out and spent $700+ on upgrading his system ($600 video card and 512 MB of RAM) so it would play Doom 3 faster.

    That's right, he spent over $700 to speed up a game he had already spent $55 on.

    Based on the messages I'm seeing on message boards all over the net, he's not the only one.

    My guess is that the game companies own significant stock in computer video card manufacturers, RAM manufacturers, etc. and are making their money not off of the software, but all the hardware that is sold to support the software...

    I used to work with a guy who was with Origin Systems, Inc. before Electronic Arts bought them out and fired them all. He has a great t-shirt with the EA logo (a cube, sphere and cone) overlayed with the Borg ship appearance and underneath are the words "You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile".

     

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  3.  
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    Gish Lova, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 9:19am

    It's coming back 'round

    It's precisely because of these monolithic game companies releasing formulaic 3D rendered crap that there has been a recent backlash trend towards 2D & Sprite based retro games. From SNES emulators, 8 & 16 Bit game re-releases, the popularity of Gameboy Advanced SP, the underground buzz surrounding Gish, better and better flash games cropping up, the resurrection of Sega Dreamcast, to the hot anticipation for Alien Hominid, gamers are no longer willing to tolerate the mostly crap games that have come out in the past couple of years. They are discovering more entertainment from non-traditional retro sources than ever before, and I think that companies like EA need to realize that at this point flashy graphics don't mean a damn thing if gameplay sucks. Support your independent game developers!

    ATA

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 10:10am

    built-in audience

    "since it's not worth trying if you don't know there's a built-in audience such as with a movie tie-in or a game sequel."

    This is a bad situation too - movies based on video games are awful movies, and game sequels are usually milking a dead cow, so nobody ends up winning.

     

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  5.  
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    Brian Day, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 11:29am

    Passing on the cost.

    EA doesn't seem to have a problem passing on the cost. Their Madden 2005 runs at least $50 vs the new ESPN football at $20. Perhaps ESPN is dumping to get into their franchise started.

     

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  6.  
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    RJD, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 11:31am

    No Subject Given

    Just shows the industry has 'matured'. The big public companies like EA cannot afford to take many chances when producing games as they must continue to show increasing profits and/or revenues.

    What this does do is make it possible for a smaller company to 'dare to be great' and come up with something new/unique.

    Course if they do, a bigger company will probably swallow it and brand it as it's own (think MS acquiring Halo).

    From what I've seen, Doom 3 is very pretty but isn't revolutionary so much as evolutionary. Wonder who will be the next ID ?

     

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  7.  
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    blairkincaide, Aug 26th, 2004 @ 1:04pm

    Popular Games = Advertising $$

    The game giants are probably only going to get bigger, unfortunately. According to the article in the New York Post, Viacom is considering EA as an acquisition target.

    The entertainment industry is wising up to how large the game audience is and, more importantly to entertainment, that this audience consists of the 18-34 year old male demographic that is bored with television. The obvious result of this is going to be very product-conscious(centric) game titles as advertisers figure out the best ways to crawl into your console. Couple this with online gaming and it will be interesting to see the resurge of modified Push technology.

     

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  8.  
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    Grizzly, Aug 27th, 2004 @ 12:51am

    Re: proffit mazimizers

    Just like them buying the rights for Command And Conquer (by far the best games i have ever played) and buying out Westwood Studios. Grrrrrrr I hate EA!

     

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