CliffyB: Microsoft Tried to "Have it Both Ways"

StewShearerOld

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Jan 5, 2013
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CliffyB: Microsoft Tried to "Have it Both Ways"



Cliff Bleszinski believes "something's got to change" in the way games are sold.

While many applauded Sony and the PlayStation 4 for its affirmation of support for used games and established consumer practices, not everyone praised the move. Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski, the creator of Gears of War, came out <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/124957-CliffyB-Thinks-Used-Games-Are-Bad-Sony-is-Playing-Us>strongly against Sony and the PS4, warning gamers that they were being "played" and affirming his belief that the changes the Xbox One would bring to used games might be a necessity for AAA titles to survive.

Now, with <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125204-Microsoft-Drops-Xbox-One-DRM-Restrictions-UPDATED>Microsoft reversing its used games and always online polices for the Xbox One, Bleszinski has again expressed his opinion on matters in a (long) post on his blog. While offering few kind words for the "internet pitchfork mob who can only see 6 inches in front of their face," he isn't without criticism for Microsoft. "Microsoft tried to and ultimately couldn't have it both ways," said Bleszinski. "You can't still have discs and then expect everyone to embrace digital. And, fundamentally, if you take something away that a consumer has been used to without some seriously smooth handling they're naturally going to get upset." He also "admits" that the Xbox One's once a day online check-ins were a bad idea. "Customers can smell from a mile away when you're treating them like children, peeking your head into their bedroom on a regular basis in an attempt to catch them doing something."

Despite this, Bleszinski still believes that current practices in the used game market are a problem. "When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change." The changes Bleszinski sees happening lie largely in the realm of digital sales. "So here's what's going to happen now that Microsoft has largely matched Sony's (well played) move at E3," said Bleszinski. "The shift to digital is still going to happen (FOR BOTH) but it's going to be slow and subtle. Suddenly more DLC will be made available. More digital game sales, this is a case where Bleszinski may be right.

Source: Clifford Unchained


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Feb 28, 2008
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"When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change."
The development costs and the prices that the consumer is expected to pay. That's what has got to change.
 

jurnag12

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and affirming his belief that the changes the Xbox One would bring to used games might be a necessity for AAA titles to survive.
I was unaware that the Xbone war going to drop development costs and stop the companies from wasting money.
 

Sehnsucht Engel

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I think it's likely to happen that way too. It's probably better to do it slowly anyway, than force changes on people, which they aren't really sure about. I don't care either way, since I'm sticking with PC for now.
 

PoolCleaningRobot

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Day One Digital will (hopefully) be
cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one."
So maybe he does understand how this should work? this is how Sony and Microsoft should be handling used sales, by fucking competing. Not bullshit DRM schemes. It's clear "Cliffy B" was hoping Microsoft would get away with their DRM so AAA devs like him wouldn't have lower any prices

I wouldn't mind paying a higher price for physical games so long they're still offered. Otherwise, I'd just use a pc for my gaming
 

nodlimax

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MasterOfHisOwnDomain said:
"When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change."
The development costs and the prices that the consumer is expected to pay. That's what has got to change.
Exactly! They're wasting millions in marketing and huge development teams to shorten development times. At the same time as soon as the focus goes "broad audience" you can see that in most cases there is absolutely no real challenge in the game and the mechanics are just downright insulting to real gamers.

And no 50 Million marketing budgets are not necessary to market a game for "gamers". Real gamers read about new developments themselves and are going to buy good and interesting games.
 

Bix96

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Am I the only one left on the planet who likes physical media? I'm proud to look at my bookshelves full of games dating all the way back to the NES and when my friends bring their kindles over and say "look I've got like 100 books on this thing" it seems so lame.
 

Dryk

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MasterOfHisOwnDomain said:
"When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change."
The development costs and the prices that the consumer is expected to pay. That's what has got to change.
But then who will buy Unreal Engine 4? All Cliffy's old friends will starve!
 

omega 616

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Digital is coming, there is no doubt about it and in the next or the gen after that it will be full blown digital. Thing is Ms tried to be so future proof, it wasn't "present proof" it tried to do too much too soon.

I don't think gamers will ever want some of the things proposed by MS, I should be able to play my game without kinect and I should be able to play my games without a phone home every day.

They had some good ideas but they were too restrictive, sharing the game with family should be more than a demo, you should be able to trade a game more than once etc.

Captcha: "I'm a captcha!" ... It knows ...!
 

kael013

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[quote/]"internet pitchfork mob who can only see 6 inches in front of their face,"[/quote]
Yeah, because consumers being vocal and giving a company feedback after reading up on the product is obviously an ignorant move.

Also, since you're a game dev and most of the "internet mob" complaining about the Xbone's policies are [i/]gamers[/i], I'd like to congratulate you on insulting your entire customer base.
[quote/]"When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change."[/quote]
How about they try to maximize cost efficiency and not end up spending millions to make and market said titles?

[quote/]"Suddenly more DLC will be made available. More <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/122441-CliffyB-Microtransaction-is-Not-a-Dirty-Word-EA-is-Not-The-Bad-Guy>microstransactions will appear. And Day One Digital will (hopefully) be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one."[/quote]
OK let's break this down:
DLC: More map, weapon, armor, appearance, etc. packs. Shorter games because levels or other parts of the game were cut for DLC. It's happened before, it'll happen again.
Microtransactions: Pay-to-Win and skinner boxes. 'nuff said.
"Day One digital will [i/]hopefully[/i] be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles": Let's be honest, it won't. Those bells and whistles could be sold as DLC or as microtransactions. What route do you think a company will take: the path where they cater to the consumer or the path where the company earns more money for the same amount of content?

Maybe I'm just a suspicious, cynical person, but I don't see this vision as a good one.
 

Canadish

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Or perhaps, god forbid, developers and publishers give up on the graphical and online features arms race and refocus on things like better level design and something other than a half-baked story?


No no, you're right Cliffy, this is of course the only reasonable "solution". There isn't anything wrong with continually increasing development (marketing) costs. This won't inevitably lead to a brick wall where you price out most of those oh so desired casual gamers. Fuck those poor people, why would they even choose to be poor anyway. Must be idiots.

Seriously now, Cliffy is either just being a shill or he's a damn hypocrite who can only see 6 inches in front of him. Development costs, used games, and industry "problems" aside a moment, the gradual erosion of consumer's rights and ownership is a serious problem that is becoming more prevalent outside the industry as well and that is going to effect everyone for the worst.

This is irresponsible at best, creepy at worst.
 

Abomination

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Sleekit said:
MasterOfHisOwnDomain said:
"When I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something's got to change."
The development costs and the prices that the consumer is expected to pay. That's what has got to change.
you could make a film for a billion dollars...

you could...

but they don't.

the whole "development costs masses and masses of money" thing is rank bullshit.

when was the last time anyone pointed out the software tools that make the task easier advance at exactly the same pace as the product ? oh that's right never...

have the "Devs" nowadays have never seen a line of C++ because they don't have to and yet still the line is spun about how hard and costly it is to put a game together...on a prebuilt 3rd party engine most of the time...using APIs and industry standard modelling and art programs half the people on this site are probably familiar with...

load. of. fucking. crap.

according to Activision Modern Warfare 2 cost $40-$50 million but that's probably a lie and industry analysts put the real development costs closer to just 20. it brought in over 600 million...but Activision spent between 100-200 million (of the games "budget") on "marketing" ^^

its not the dev costs that are the problem.

if it were companies like CD project simply wouldn't be able to "come from nowhere" and make a AAA standard game would they ? no. if dev costs where a real problem the only people who could possibly make game would be the huge pre existing publishers which simply isn't reality...much as they might like it to be.
Don't forget about the Metro series either just 'coming out of nowhere'.

Really looking forward to Kickstarter AAA releases coming out and if they're successful we might see a Renaissance in the gaming industry. Stuff like The Banner Saga, Wasteland 2 and Star Citizen could have a meta effect on the gaming industry for years to come.
 

Robetid

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Bix96 said:
Am I the only one left on the planet who likes physical media? I'm proud to look at my bookshelves full of games dating all the way back to the NES and when my friends bring their kindles over and say "look I've got like 100 books on this thing" it seems so lame.
If there is a neat collectors edition I'll grab it physically, but other than that no, not really. I have transitioned fully to digital media, from books to games, i even burned all my dvds to my hard drive and run it through a media player to my TV. It prolly has something to do with my dislike for clutter and my requirement for everything to be tidy and neat. That's just personal preference though.

OT: Yea things are going to move to digital distribution, maybe completely one day, but even now moves are being made to allow digital game sharing, and with enough of that going around it will still be hard for the corporate man to squeeze every possible penny from it's customers. Plus if microsoft and sony want to stay relevent in that department they will have to go against the digital giants Steam and GoG, which means having good sales and quick price cuts on new games. I think there are a few things Cliff "Douchebag" Bleszinski hasn't considered when blowing shit from his ass.
 

Hazy992

Why does this place still exist
Aug 1, 2010
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No Clifford, what's got to change is the absolutely ridiculous budgets of AAA games and the idea that every game must cost $60. When games are selling 3 million copies in a month but are still deemed failures, then there's something fundamentally wrong with the way games are being made. Games don't need huge budgets and jaw dropping graphics to succeed, this has been proven time and time again with games like Dark Souls and the seemingly never ending wealth of awesome indie content.

For once why don't AAA publishers take some fucking responsibility for their own self destructive actions instead of blaming everyone else and screwing the consumer over? The current AAA situation is simply unsustainable and if this carries on I don't forsee anything other than some rather large ships sinking.
 

tdylan

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Jun 17, 2011
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"...Day One Digital will (hopefully) be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one.
Except Jim already covered why Publishers are afraid to make digital cheaper than disc - the fear of reprisal that will come about as a result of undercutting/undermining retailers such as gamestop. According to Jim, there is still too much money being made from Brick & Mortar sales for publishers to ignore. They're depending on gamestop etc to take preorders, sell consoles, and digital copies. They're not going to risk gamestop ordering less titles due to more enticing digital day one sales overshadowing them
 

Dragonbums

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May 9, 2013
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After the last article quoting Cliffy B., Why the hell are we still giving this dude the time of day?
 

kailus13

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Mar 3, 2013
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Digital only sales will only be feasible when the entire world has fast reliable internet. Expecting everbody to be able to download a couple of gigabytes at a time is simply stupid. Insulting people when they don't agree with you isn't the smartest idea in the world either.
 

Dragonbums

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May 9, 2013
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Bix96 said:
Am I the only one left on the planet who likes physical media? I'm proud to look at my bookshelves full of games dating all the way back to the NES and when my friends bring their kindles over and say "look I've got like 100 books on this thing" it seems so lame.
Agreed.
Nothing makes me more excited than holding the Okami box art package and seeing the IGN watermark on it.
You can say that you OWN this game. Even write your name on the back.
The same cannot be said for digital games.