- Oct 9, 2008
Okay, let's consider this point. Looking at the corporations that remain, are they growing, shrinking, or remaining stagnant in regards to the AAA gaming segment?Deshara said:EDIT:
For every developer you point to and say "Look, AAA is still around and not going anywhere!", there are hundreds that tanked and died long ago. Yeah, Microsoft and Sony are still around. But where's sega? Where's atari?geizr said:snip
Also, the notion that companies need to be losing money in order to be in trouble is incorrect. Big corporations don't tank when they lose money, they tank when they stop growing. As a great man (John Green) once said (about the Aztecs), if your bussiness model is around the assumption that you can keep selling smash hits, once you dump a few million (borrowed and loaned) dollars into flops a couple times in a row, the whole ship sinks. While I may have been paraphrasing there, but it's still true.Really, though, the biggest indicator that the AAA publisher system will fail is that it's not succeeding on its own merits in the same way that the american banking system doesn't keep getting supported on the merits of its awful bussiness decisions. They're only as big as they are because our country consumes an insane amount of nonrenewable fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels that, it should be noted, we can only acquire in such large amounts and for such cheap prices because of the political power that we grabbed during WW2 by letting britain get destroyed by germany, germany destroyed by russia and fire-bombing japan into the dirt. We're currently in the same position that Nazi germany, the british monarchy and the romans were once in; we're the most powerful around because we've smashed everyone else that could compete with us to bits, and so we hunker down and settle in for some nice good self-congratulating on how perfect and amazing we are and going on about how we don't need to change or pay attention to shifting political tides, until we look up from our mound of jizz-filled tissues to realise that the rest of the world has surpassed us.
Really, the only thing that'll make us special is that when the US and along with it the bussinesses and corporate structures that survive off of the socioeconomic environment that the US breeds in the rest of the world via its aggressively awful bussiness practices falls, it'll break the streak Western Culture's had thus far of its Rise of the Rest being violent.
Because really, who would fucking want to invade america?
I think I have to take exception to your idea that big corporations only tank when they stop growing. They are plenty of large corporations which aren't seeing any significant growth in market or size but are holding up just fine (I think IBM may be in exactly this state). Their market may be in an equilibrium in which as one contingent leaves their market another contingent of equal size enters. Thus, such a corporation maintains a refresh of revenue that is comparable with their costs. In fact, the very quote you use as an example is exactly a case of losing money (tossing money to repeated flops), not just non-existent growth. What you want is an example of successfully selling a product such to recover all production and operation costs but seller ultimately going out of business due to not having progressively increasing sales.
Companies shrink when they start losing market such they no longer have enough to sustain their current size, which would be a loss of income relative to costs, hence losing money. The shrinkage could be occurring due to any number of reasons, but the typical response to shrinkage is to shed parts of the company deemed superfluous or no longer sustainable at current size, in other words, they downsize. Unfortunately, the dynamics can be more complex than mere size balancing. If the company fails to make decisions that properly address the equilibrium dynamics of their market and corporate structure, i.e. the exact reasons for the shrinkage, then no amount of downsizing will save the company from inevitable collapse.
I think this is what really happened to a lot of the companies that have died in the past. The dynamics of their market changed, and they failed to adapt properly to those changes. Instead, they went through a lot of downsizing and strategic reorganization (SEGA did this one to a ridiculous degree), but they never addressed the real problems of their market. Consequently, their market went elsewhere, and these companies no longer had sufficient market to sustain their size at the time. By the way, SEGA is still around, but it is a very small shadow of its former glory. In some ways, Nintendo may be headed down the same road, but it remains to be seen.
The square-cubed law is only roughly applicable in that we can say there is a limit to the size of anything, which is true. But the exact limit depends on the equilibrium dynamics, both thermal and physical forces, and how that equilibrium is related to volume and area of the object. However, the problem I have with your apparent assertion is that every company is exactly doomed. If it doesn't grow, it's doomed because it will tank due to non-growth. However, if it grows, it's doomed because it will no longer be able to sustain its size, due to the square-cubed law. You don't allow for a point of equilibrium, which, as far as I know, DOES occur. If I go by your assertion, the entire game industry is just inherently doomed, no matter what it does. EDIT: One has to be careful. You can't just apply ideas like this blindly.
BTW, your post has a lot of text that doesn't show up properly, even clicking on it as a spoiler. You may want to edit it. Although, reading through it (can only see it in the quote version as I'm typing this post), it seemed non sequitur.