SimCity Was Never Meant To Be Online

DiamanteGeeza

New member
Jun 25, 2010
240
0
0
geizr said:
Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Certainly I'm of the opinion that the triple-A industry is not sustainable in its current form...
I've been saying this for a while now, but it is nice to see that someone with a lot more visibility and clout than me now shares the same opinion.
Most of us in the industry saw the writing on the wall a long time ago, usually with every hush-hush, brand-new, top-secret dev kit we got given that now has fifty times the memory and disk space to fill, and we ask ourselves... how the hell are we going to generate enough content in exactly the same time frame with not much more budget?

It's just not sustainable, and Microsoft and Sony aren't helping with their who's-got-the-biggest-dick competition every few years. Take the next round of consoles... there is absolutely no need for them. It's tons more RAM and super-beefy GPUs just for the sake of it. Neither first party actually asked the question: "does the industry need this", because the answer would have been no. I'm not too sure what the guy-in-the-street is expecting from these whizz-bang machines, but I can tell you now - he'll be disappointed. Same games, but with more realistic water and lighting. Whoopdey-do.

What do they mean for us actually making the games? Much larger teams (and we've proven quite conclusively that we can't manage the ones we have in a sensible manner), huge budgets, and that means unrealistic sales predictions otherwise the game's budget sheet can't possibly show a profit. The games, of course, won't sell nearly that many, and lots of publishers are going to be taking big losses on title after title. Is this going to (finally) be the wake-up call for the industry? I really, really hope so.
 

DiamanteGeeza

New member
Jun 25, 2010
240
0
0
Trishbot said:
But that's so weird because, in every OTHER industry, you can be damn sure the business people actually EXPERIENCE their products. Nobody signs a musician to a record label without LISTENING to them. Nobody fronts the money to a movie without seeing screenings of the movie they just put money into. And yet I doubt most of the business heads have ever played any of the games they publish, thus they also have no sound measure of what constitutes a good game!
I couldn't agree more, and I find it baffling. This is speculation on my part, but I'm convinced that it's because making a video game is still seen as this 'kids thing' and therefore easy to do, or perhaps unimportant. It's just like churning out chairs, right, or cans of Coke... I don't need to sit on every identical chair my factory makes, so why bother playing the video games that my company forces down people's throats? They're all the same...


PS. I don't have a factory that makes chairs. ;-)
 

TK421

New member
Apr 16, 2009
826
0
0
thaluikhain said:
OTOH, they could have just made that an option, rather than a focus.
This is what is driving me insane in today's gaming world. No one understands the concept of option anymore. Maybe some people want to play online, great, let them. But what about those who don't? We need more options and less "People said they wanted x, so we made it the entire focus of the game." No, people didn't want 'x' to be the focus, they just wanted it to be included.
 

Abomination

New member
Dec 17, 2012
2,939
0
0
DiamanteGeeza said:
Trishbot said:
But that's so weird because, in every OTHER industry, you can be damn sure the business people actually EXPERIENCE their products. Nobody signs a musician to a record label without LISTENING to them. Nobody fronts the money to a movie without seeing screenings of the movie they just put money into. And yet I doubt most of the business heads have ever played any of the games they publish, thus they also have no sound measure of what constitutes a good game!
I couldn't agree more, and I find it baffling. This is speculation on my part, but I'm convinced that it's because making a video game is still seen as this 'kids thing' and therefore easy to do, or perhaps unimportant. It's just like churning out chairs, right, or cans of Coke... I don't need to sit on every identical chair my factory makes, so why bother playing the video games that my company forces down people's throats? They're all the same...


PS. I don't have a factory that makes chairs. ;-)
I think the chairs analogy falls flat because you don't spend hundred of thousands of dollars (or even millions) designing a new type of chair - and if you did you're damn sure the business owner would at least sit on this new flagship project at least once to see what all his money is being invested in.

A chair is designed an replicated, but even a chair factory will test the prototype before going into mass production. EA seems to apply the idea of mass producing prototypes.
 

Colt47

New member
Oct 31, 2012
1,065
0
0
Anti-Consumerism is pretty much the name of the game right now. The fact is that some companies are going overboard on taking advantage of the public because of fear of going bankrupt, and the AAA games industry in particular is attempting to one up the movie industry on DRM practices. We even got the court siding with the companies on stopping pre-owned digital sales.
 

aelreth

New member
Dec 26, 2012
209
0
0
itsthesheppy said:
The village stoned the victim together, so that the rock that finally did the job couldn't be traced back to a single thrower. They're all to blame. EA as a whole needs to fall apart for the industry to have hope of real growth.
Is this yours or another's statement?

I'm going to use this to advance a paradigm that I may have overlooked.
 

Dooly95

New member
Jun 13, 2009
355
0
0
DiamanteGeeza said:
geizr said:
Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Certainly I'm of the opinion that the triple-A industry is not sustainable in its current form...
I've been saying this for a while now, but it is nice to see that someone with a lot more visibility and clout than me now shares the same opinion.
Most of us in the industry saw the writing on the wall a long time ago, usually with every hush-hush, brand-new, top-secret dev kit we got given that now has fifty times the memory and disk space to fill, and we ask ourselves... how the hell are we going to generate enough content in exactly the same time frame with not much more budget?

It's just not sustainable, and Microsoft and Sony aren't helping with their who's-got-the-biggest-dick competition every few years. Take the next round of consoles... there is absolutely no need for them. It's tons more RAM and super-beefy GPUs just for the sake of it. Neither first party actually asked the question: "does the industry need this", because the answer would have been no. I'm not too sure what the guy-in-the-street is expecting from these whizz-bang machines, but I can tell you now - he'll be disappointed. Same games, but with more realistic water and lighting. Whoopdey-do.

What do they mean for us actually making the games? Much larger teams (and we've proven quite conclusively that we can't manage the ones we have in a sensible manner), huge budgets, and that means unrealistic sales predictions otherwise the game's budget sheet can't possibly show a profit. The games, of course, won't sell nearly that many, and lots of publishers are going to be taking big losses on title after title. Is this going to (finally) be the wake-up call for the industry? I really, really hope so.
I was going to post a rebuttal on how they'll be taken over by the PCs (or, as it is now, really) and we'll get back to the stage where developers wanting to develop high-graphic fidelity games will be hamstrung by the limited space on the consoles. So they develop for the consoles instead of the other way around.

But then... I haven't seen a high-graphic PC game for a while. Many of the stuff isn't needed, or doesn't add anything to the experience (Please feel free to prove me wrong). When did games need to represent real-life? Sure, having nice backgrounds and stuff is nice, but is it worth it to see developers needing to close shop just because they couldn't meet their unrealistic quota?

So yeah. I hope that this 'cycle' is it, but I doubt it. Too much to be still squeezed from the consoles just yet. With the announcement of the Steambox I'm pretty sure both Sony and Microsoft are taking note. Maybe they'll produce their own version of a 'Steambox' and leave it at that.

One can hope.
 

itsthesheppy

New member
Mar 28, 2012
722
0
0
aelreth said:
itsthesheppy said:
The village stoned the victim together, so that the rock that finally did the job couldn't be traced back to a single thrower. They're all to blame. EA as a whole needs to fall apart for the industry to have hope of real growth.
Is this yours or another's statement?

I'm going to use this to advance a paradigm that I may have overlooked.
Mine. Maybe. If I got it from somewhere I don't remember where from.
 

nomis101uk

New member
May 23, 2010
25
0
0
I've become increasingly convinced recently that the games industry is actually run by incompetent morons. And I'm really talking about the big publishing houses here, not developers. We're trained in the West (being the home of capitalism) to think that if there's a big industry with several large competitors, then the people at the top must really know what they're doing because of competition and meritocracy and pixie dust and stuff.

In reality these people have proved to be highly incompetent. The games industry is growing every year, yet these companies are struggling to survive (THQ having already bit the dust). Contrary to the excuses of these publishers the problem has exactly nothing to do with piracy. Piracy on consoles is so insignificant as to be non-existent. Piracy on the PC however is absolutely rampant. Yet it is on this piracy-ridden platform that Valve have established themselves as the most secure, profitable publisher by far. How? By engendering good will from the community through pricing and convenience. It's really not rocket science. Keep the customers happy.

The likes of Activistion, Ubisoft and EA - which predominantly target the piracy-free console markets - are failing miserably, while Valve - the people who could legitimately complain about piracy - are effectively printing money. And it's not for lack of competition. EA have Origin, Ubisoft have uPlay and Activision have...a store...

The difference between them is that Valve actually tries to be on the side of the gaming community (or at least makes an effort to look that way), while all the others treat their own customers like The Enemy - hostile combatants who will steal and rip you off at the first chance unless you keep the noose tightened.

If I haven't yet convinced you that these people are legitimately stupid, let's consider one current, pervasive industry trend: shoehorning multiplayer into a singleplayer game. They seriously thought that putting online multiplayer into games that people buy for their singleplayer content will cut piracy and allow them to monetize the used game market?

We shouldn't lament the downfall of these companies or worry about the state of the gaming industry's finances. These companies are in trouble because of their own incompetence, not because of the "state of the market". Not competition from mobile devices, not competition from Facebook games, not piracy, and - I'm willing to bet - not even from increasing development costs.
 

Edguy

New member
Jan 31, 2011
210
0
0
"You are a washed out game journalist that seeks the story, to get your career back on track. To accomplish this, you set out to the desolate ruins of "EA-Land", the remains of a once great city, built upon a mountain of money. There you try to unearth the secrets behind the city's downfall, but soon realize it's not as deserted as it seemed at first glance. The citizens of "EA-Land" are still there, though corrupted and deformed by overuse of the bio-technical "micro-transactions", body modifications that give you power bonuses and special skills. Unlock DRMs, complex puzzles, to enter special zones like The Citadel or The Ishimura. Meet interesting characters, like the anti-bureaucratic renegade "Garrus", and fight your way through the city.

Can you solve the mystery of EA-Land? Can you get out alive?"
 

Chessrook44

Senior Member
Legacy
Jul 3, 2020
558
1
23
Country
United States
DiamanteGeeza said:
Trishbot said:
But that's so weird because, in every OTHER industry, you can be damn sure the business people actually EXPERIENCE their products. Nobody signs a musician to a record label without LISTENING to them. Nobody fronts the money to a movie without seeing screenings of the movie they just put money into. And yet I doubt most of the business heads have ever played any of the games they publish, thus they also have no sound measure of what constitutes a good game!
I couldn't agree more, and I find it baffling. This is speculation on my part, but I'm convinced that it's because making a video game is still seen as this 'kids thing' and therefore easy to do, or perhaps unimportant. It's just like churning out chairs, right, or cans of Coke... I don't need to sit on every identical chair my factory makes, so why bother playing the video games that my company forces down people's throats? They're all the same...


PS. I don't have a factory that makes chairs. ;-)
Yanno, I think I can actually explain this with one phrase: Time is Money.

How long does it take to listen to a song? A couple minutes
How long does it take to watch a movie? A couple hours.
How long does it take to play a game? In general, a full day's worth of solid play, IF you're good at playing it and IF it's one of the shorter games.

Many times these bigshots just don't have the TIME or SKILL in order to actually try out the game and make sure it works right. So they have to rely on others. And since they don't want to hear their money is being wasted, they look for the people who are more yes-men, or work for cheaper, or can make more guarantees. And those who make more guarantees look for the safer options so they can save their own skin ("Hey, the numbers say everyone loves multiplayer. I don't know why it's failing, it's not my fault."). It just falls apart because of that.
 

Frostbyte666

New member
Nov 27, 2010
399
0
0
Yep hit the nail on the head there yahtzee. Also with the simcity 5 fiasco I was keeping an eye on this kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584821767/civitas-plan-develop-and-manage-the-city-of-your-d/posts

And according to their latest update they have secured private funding for the project so hopefully we will have a true simcity experience soon.
 

weirdee

Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
2,634
0
0
Undomesticated Equine said:
You know, as much as I hate the practice of naming a new game after the original in the series with no change to the title
I bet you are in love with the new Thief game name.

captcha: THAT'S ENOUGH. How fitting.
still beats thifourf.

lets all pray for a not human revolutioned game.
 
Mar 12, 2013
96
0
0
It's a bad DRM. However, no day one piracy for SimCity. As matter of fact, I don't believe it's has been cracked yet.
Also sold over 1.1 million copies for a niche city building game. So, makes you wonder maybe the always online DRM method is the way to go.
 

Deimir

New member
Jul 3, 2008
69
0
0
The first page of the article wasn't really anything we haven't heard already, but I can't find anything wrong with the second page, you're pretty much dead on with this one, Yahtzee.
 

Requia

New member
Apr 4, 2013
703
0
0
Tom Waits said:
It's a bad DRM. However, no day one piracy for SimCity. As matter of fact, I don't believe it's has been cracked yet.
Also sold over 1.1 million copies for a niche city building game. So, makes you wonder maybe the always online DRM method is the way to go.
SimCity3000 sold about 5 million copies, so 1.1 million doesn't suggest much of a boost given the genre and franchise, I suppose I have little idea what the sales will be from here though.
 

TurkeyProphet

New member
Aug 18, 2009
73
0
0
I've always felt the "if you give people the ability to easily download something they won't pirate it" argument to be a bit dishonest or at least a tad deluded. Obviously if you made it cheap and easy to get then people are less likely to pirate it but it has to be a throwaway cheap price so I feel as though I have nothing to lose by buying the product. Really you either have to stop people being able to easily steal the product risk-free or you have to make it so they have to buy the product rather than getting a pirated version. Or I guess some kind of subscription/streaming service type thing but there are limitations to that kind of thing that I don't see anyone overcoming for a while.
 

Andrew_C

New member
Mar 1, 2011
460
0
0
Requia said:
Tom Waits said:
It's a bad DRM. However, no day one piracy for SimCity. As matter of fact, I don't believe it's has been cracked yet.
Also sold over 1.1 million copies for a niche city building game. So, makes you wonder maybe the always online DRM method is the way to go.
SimCity3000 sold about 5 million copies, so 1.1 million doesn't suggest much of a boost given the genre and franchise, I suppose I have little idea what the sales will be from here though.
Also probably at least 75% of that was preorders and day one sales to people who don't read gaming news and so weren't aware of the always online requirement, lack of terraforming, small cities and fixed city entrance. Which is your average Simcity player, who is also not your typical power gamer and who has also been waiting 9 years for a new Simcity (Societies doesn't count).