Own 10 Or More Games On Steam? You Are Too Core For Many Developers

Bat Vader

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Mar 11, 2009
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10 games? That's cute. I own 533 games on Steam. Seriously though who the heck is this guy and why should I care about what he spews from his mouth?
 

Buckets

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May 1, 2014
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Wow, so they don't want to make games for gamers anymore. Wonder how long the industry will last with this kind of attitude. Will probably end up with 400 versions of the same shitty zookeeper clone. Hope this is stays the opinion of just one arsehat and not the entire industry.
 

mtarzaim02

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Jan 23, 2014
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I would call it the believer argument.
- some guy: "Look! We're 2 billions. We can't be wrong!!!"
- me: "Except those 2 billions are more busy killing each others than anything else."

Same thing here.
Just because your theorical market is 2 billions doesn't mean it's homogene and steady like a lower core/dedicated buyers market.
Financialy speaking, he may be right. That's how moneymakers see the videogames industry: to make money, shovelware everyone on mobile and wait for the dumbs to act dumb.
Yet, any industry needs a constant cash flow, which can only be obtained from core/regular consumers.
 

Adeptus Aspartem

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Jul 25, 2011
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Okay, so i've a friend that doesn't view himself as a gamer and really only very occasionally plays a game of Civ5 or something. Also not more frequently than maybe a game per month or even less.
And even he owns more than 10 games on Steam but according to him hasn't bought one in years.

So even a customer that hasn't been a customer to anyone in a bunch of years is to "hardcore" for mobiledevs, so how do they aim to make money in the end if nobody is supposed to buy their product?
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

Henchgoat Emperor
May 15, 2010
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Oh you're a developer? I've never heard of you before. *ANALYSIS INVALIDATED*

Seriously though, dude barely qualifies as a game developer, much like the pre-crash Atari game dev's were... I never spend $$ on freemiums or mobile crap anyway so this blip on my radar turned out to be a fly on the screen.
 

cikame

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Jun 11, 2008
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Steam, the last bastion for intelligent gamers, and by that i just mean people who enjoy the traditional gaming experience instead of being tricked by new age psychological money sucking that thoroughly infests mobile games, and has bled over into AAA games also, Destiny, moba's, unfinished early releases, i'm looking at you.
 

pookie101

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Jul 5, 2015
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i sort of get the novelty seeking side.. how many of us for example own so many games on steam we have never played half of them and probably never will? it comes across as we constantly jump games rather than spending huge amount of times with a couple of purchases so why would developers put time and effort catering to that group if you are only going to spend an hour or so at most.

that said its very badly worded and insulting to say the least and has probably burned alot of bridges with gamers.

sure personally ive got 700+ games on steam but equally ive got hundreds of hours in some games that catch my attention like fallout 4.
 

Stewie Plisken

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Jan 3, 2009
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pookie101 said:
i sort of get the novelty seeking side.. how many of us for example own so many games on steam we have never played half of them and probably never will? it comes across as we constantly jump games rather than spending huge amount of times with a couple of purchases so why would developers put time and effort catering to that group if you are only going to spend an hour or so at most.
Because we still buy the things and, unlike mobile games, most of our "core" games aren't reliant on microtransactions to make their money. His assumption is that core gamers are novelty seekers, but that would mean that experimental indie games hold the lion share of the market, which I believe isn't true. Core gamers are usually early adopters and enthusiasts, that's why they overspend on games.

Which is kind of the problem with his argument, in that it discounts a lot of things. The PC market isn't the same as the mobile market, even if he doesn't want to admit it. I have 290 games on Steam and I've played maybe 50 of them. It's not because I don't intend to play the rest (even if I eventually never find the time), it's because Steam and GOG and the other distributors created a market that relies on sales, which to my knowledge neither exists nor would work on mobile.

Then, what's the drop-off rate of the mobile player base? How many of his "players" buy games or spend on microtransactions and how many just stick with grinding the free versions? What's the bounce rate for these players, i.e. how often and for how long do they play? I don't really do mobile gaming myself, but I know for a fact "core" gamers are the ones that spend a lot of money on freemium mobile games, for the same reason MMO players spend just as much on the PC. He mentions a billion players, presumably in the mobile market, but how many of them actually spend money and how much?

I'd like to see some numbers that back up his claims; regardless, I don't entirely reject his statements, it's not a bad thing for different developers on different platforms to muse and experiment with different approaches to game development. I do think, however, that he's conflating different markets, that the division exists (even if some of the audience overlaps with core gaming) and he speaks not a word of casual PC/console gamers (the COD and FIFA and GTA crowd, who also probably play mobile games).
 

Level 7 Dragon

Typo Kign
Mar 29, 2011
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Guys, guys.

Arthouse films are dead because cinemaphiles are a really small margin of the market. There is no point in dividing the populus, so let's only develop popcorn blockbusters since the niche doesn't matter.

There is no point in making sport and custom cars, since gearheads are a really small percent of the market. There is no point in dividing the populus, so let's all drive soviet VASes.

The dude should really take a few economic classes. Indeed, core audience is small, yet are way more willing to spend large ammounts of time and money in to goods. Two largest Activision properities at the moment are Call of Duty and Candy Crush. You can either charge a 1000 people a 100$ or charge 10,000 customers 10%.

There are plenty of businesses that can sustain themselves on niche markets. Kind of like Yahtzee put it, Nintendo survived for so long by appealing to a loyal demographic, they did have a spike in profits when they decided to betray them to create a more mainstream expirience with the Wii, however the casuals moved on to mobile, which ended up costing the big N quite a lot sales.
 

tacotrainwreck

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Sep 15, 2011
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Woohoo! I'm not one of the cool kids! I was scared for a second there, seeing how pop culture was hijacking all of my dorky hobbies, one at a time.
 

hermes

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Mar 2, 2009
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I agree that the discussion about core vs casual gamers is stupid, detrimental, and doomed to never reach a consensus.

I disagree that people that have more than 10 games in their steam library are novelty seekers and thus, don't matter to his point. Novelty is what supports mobile games. If I wasn't interested in trying new things, there is no way I would even glance at titles like "Bushido bear", "Panda poet" and "Alpha bear"...
 

LordLundar

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Apr 6, 2004
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You have to remember everyone that this is the GDC. This is the place where failed "artistic developers" go to screech at more successful developers about how they're failing the industry all to the wailing of other failures. The GDC is not a place for developers to get ideas, it's a "safe space" to yell about how they're the only important things in the world.

Something like this is not only common, it's expected.
 

Imre Csete

Original Character, Do Not Steal
Jul 8, 2010
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Oh boy. I remember when indie devs started feeling too important for their own good, dismissing everyone else but themselves in the industry. Then Phil Fish cancelled another project. Good times.
 

NickBrahz

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Mar 30, 2011
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Sure I may own to many games to be important to you Spry Fox, but this is the first time me and my "core" friends have ever heard of you and never have heard of any of your products so you matter so little to most of us, we don't even know you exist.
 

Rastrelly

%PCName
Mar 19, 2011
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There ARE hardcore and casual gamers. Their hardcoreness or casualness are not defined by Steam library volume, but by positioning of gaming as form of entertainment in priority list. It should be quite obvious and barely affects anything.
 

Sofus

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Apr 15, 2011
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Sounds as if he doesn't like making games. I'm not sure why he would like whale hunting if he doesn't get any enjoyment out of creating something that is good.. but I guess it might have something to do with having to put much less effort into the work that leads to the paycheck.
 

Demagogue

Sperm Alien
Mar 26, 2009
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LOL and I thought GDC the last couple years was bad... they might as well just cancel the whole thing if this is the mindset the developers going to it have.
 

Gorrath

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Feb 22, 2013
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The good news is, the developers I am too "core" for don't make anything that interests me anyway.

If core gamers are stifling the kind of "creativity" that most of the mobile market runs off of, good on them. If lots of people enjoy the kinds of games King and their ilk make, so be it, but I am quite happy about my irrelevance to that kind of publisher.
 

UberPubert

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Jun 18, 2012
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Core gamers don't have to be your audience. Core gamers are over.

From San Francisco? You don't say...

I know I'm parroting the rest of the forum here by voicing my distaste, but what really gets on my nerves about this story is how it seems to be an indicator of a growing trend of mobile and indie developers with a design philosophy of ceiling-less microtransaction systems targeting less savvy gamers. That this is happening at all is annoying, that it's being preached as the future of gaming is blood-boiling. I want to see each and every one of these people buried alive by the competition, and if it's by other mobile and indie developers pushing the new digital skinner box crack, all the better.

*That* is the difference between the "core" and the "casual". We'll still be here, who will remember you?
 

flying_whimsy

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Dec 2, 2009
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Nice to see the 'gamers are dead' and 'gamers don't have to be your audience' mentality is still alive and well in the hipster capital of the world. I almost didn't comment just because I feel like giving this guy any attention means he wins, but you'd think someone would have learned after gamergate.

Doesn't seem like much changed if self-entitled pricks like him sit there and insult his audience.