Gaming reaffirmed as central tentpole of Apple TV revamp - report

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Comments

  • Reply 121 of 136

    Ah I see what you mean.

     

    I misunderstood.

  • Reply 122 of 136
    Marvin wrote: »
    When it comes to prices, I don't see the games being able to sustain even $10. Over 90% of the $14b per year Apple makes is from freemium apps. People just aren't buying apps outright. This can change if buying habits get adjusted:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2032847/a-5-app-isnt-expensive-customers-need-to-help-fix-the-app-store-economy.html

    To do this, there needs to be a quality assurance process that buyers can rely on. Some people don't like the idea of big studios having their apps in a separate section because they can put out poor quality apps too but it's far more likely that a handful of developers will put out an app that is lower quality than a big studio.

    The way I think Apple should go about getting decent games is to actually commission game ports themselves. Pay the studios to port the games over to iOS. They make 30% of it back anyway and they can even agree to take back 100% until the port is paid for and 30% afterwards. Just take 100 of the top games made in the last 10 years or so and port them over (to the Mac too). They can set the price at whatever they want but if they showcased these ports together, they should be able to get $5 per game and just 1 million copies would cover the porting cost.

    It would help good Indie developers if Apple could filter the really poor apps out and start convincing buyers that there are good games worth paying for. When you come across a dozen or more really terrible apps, it completely erodes the buyer's confidence in paying for anything. It almost needs two separate stores. You'd have one that is a discovery store and another that is a quality store like an App Showcase or Premium Apps. The discovery store would be an unsorted pile with undiscovered and low rated apps and the quality store is apps that people like or play a lot. An app would only make it into the Premium Store if it satisfied certain criteria of high production values, good publisher, highly rated etc - it wouldn't have things like fart apps or flashlight apps at all. Looking through over 1 million apps for any individual is impossible so why not crowd-source the curation so that the best 5% get moved into a separate app and buyers at least have a chance of finding good apps within the top 50,000. That will build confidence for buying apps and encourage developers to actually make an effort to get their app recognized as being premium where they have no incentive just now.

    At the risk of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic ...

    I think you (and others) have said that a [console] game's success isn't only about the graphics.

    Interesting, here's an example of Epic's Zen Garden running on an iPad A8 iOS:


    [VIDEO]


    And another showing Epic's Fortnite running on a Mac OS X 10.11.


    [VIDEO]


    Both use Metal, and Zen Garden runs on a year old APU and iOS, while Fortnite runs on this year's Macs and OS X.


    To my eyes the graphics on Zen Garden are superior to those of Fortnite.

    Why? That shouldn't be so ...


    I realize that there's a story in Fortnite -- but it seems a little dorky.

    Will a game like this sell for $20-$60 on a console? Why?


    Now, I posted earlier that Trip Hawkins seems to be more than casually interested in Apple's offering (New Apple TV, SDK, Game Store) -- to the point where he is publicly teasing today's event.


    I agree with what you say in your comments above, except for prices.

    I think Apple can sell games approaching console quality and command prices accordingly.


    IMO, this is a marketing problem -- not a tech problem ... Make it easy, fun and safe (your quality assurance) to try/buy these games.


    So, How?

    Here are some thoughts:
    • separate ATV Game Store
    • professional rating system -- respected GJs (Game Jockeys)
    • freemium model -- try before you buy
    • satisfaction guaranteed
    • advertise the hell out of this policy


    When a user DLs a game he gets a token that allows a reasonable amount of full play before he is required to buy or abandon -- unique token based on AppleID to prevent abuse. No more privacy-invasive than logging on to current console games.

    Simple easy, no-questions-asked refund policy (AppleID & Token prevents abuse)


    IMO, this should be similar to, but much better than, buying a movie from iTunes:
    • watch a trailer, read pro ratings, customer reviews
    • rent for 24 hours or buy -- priced accordingly
    • earn credits for next purchase based on game play (token)
    • Available on Apple Game Store first -- 2 week exclusive
    • ApplePay to ApplePlay convenience

    If done right, this new genre will attract many millions more paying customers than the advanced gaming consoles.
  • Reply 123 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member

    I don't think we should assume the Apple console will be about casual gaming. The Zen Garden demo above shows what the Ax GPU can do, and that's on a Retina device: most TVs are only 1080p remember. Plus we are talking one generation ahead of that. They might surprise everyone by showing a AAA game on stage.

  • Reply 124 of 136
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Marvin wrote: »
    When it comes to prices, I don't see the games being able to sustain even $10. Over 90% of the $14b per year Apple makes is from freemium apps. People just aren't buying apps outright. This can change if buying habits get adjusted:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2032847/a-5-app-isnt-expensive-customers-need-to-help-fix-the-app-store-economy.html

    To do this, there needs to be a quality assurance process that buyers can rely on. Some people don't like the idea of big studios having their apps in a separate section because they can put out poor quality apps too but it's far more likely that a handful of developers will put out an app that is lower quality than a big studio.

    The way I think Apple should go about getting decent games is to actually commission game ports themselves. Pay the studios to port the games over to iOS. They make 30% of it back anyway and they can even agree to take back 100% until the port is paid for and 30% afterwards. Just take 100 of the top games made in the last 10 years or so and port them over (to the Mac too). They can set the price at whatever they want but if they showcased these ports together, they should be able to get $5 per game and just 1 million copies would cover the porting cost.

    It would help good Indie developers if Apple could filter the really poor apps out and start convincing buyers that there are good games worth paying for. When you come across a dozen or more really terrible apps, it completely erodes the buyer's confidence in paying for anything. It almost needs two separate stores. You'd have one that is a discovery store and another that is a quality store like an App Showcase or Premium Apps. The discovery store would be an unsorted pile with undiscovered and low rated apps and the quality store is apps that people like or play a lot. An app would only make it into the Premium Store if it satisfied certain criteria of high production values, good publisher, highly rated etc - it wouldn't have things like fart apps or flashlight apps at all. Looking through over 1 million apps for any individual is impossible so why not crowd-source the curation so that the best 5% get moved into a separate app and buyers at least have a chance of finding good apps within the top 50,000. That will build confidence for buying apps and encourage developers to actually make an effort to get their app recognized as being premium where they have no incentive just now.

    At the risk of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic ...

    I think you (and others) have said that a [console] game's success isn't only about the graphics.

    Interesting, here's an example of Epic's Zen Garden running on an iPad A8 iOS:


    [VIDEO]


    And another showing Epic's Fortnite running on a Mac OS X 10.11.


    [VIDEO]


    Both use Metal, and Zen Garden runs on a year old APU and iOS, while Fortnite runs on this year's Macs and OS X.


    To my eyes the graphics on Zen Garden are superior to those of Fortnite.

    Why? That shouldn't be so ...


    I realize that there's a story in Fortnite -- but it seems a little dorky.

    Will a game like this sell for $20-$60 on a console? Why?


    Now, I posted earlier that Trip Hawkins seems to be more than casually interested in Apple's offering (New Apple TV, SDK, Game Store) -- to the point where he is publicly teasing today's event.


    I agree with what you say in your comments above, except for prices.

    I think Apple can sell games approaching console quality and command prices accordingly.


    IMO, this is a marketing problem -- not a tech problem ... Make it easy, fun and safe (your quality assurance) to try/buy these games.


    So, How?

    Here are some thoughts:
    • separate ATV Game Store
    • professional rating system -- respected GJs (Game Jockeys)
    • freemium model -- try before you buy
    • satisfaction guaranteed
    • advertise the hell out of this policy


    When a user DLs a game he gets a token that allows a reasonable amount of full play before he is required to buy or abandon -- unique token based on AppleID to prevent abuse. No more privacy-invasive than logging on to current console games.

    Simple easy, no-questions-asked refund policy (AppleID & Token prevents abuse)


    IMO, this should be similar to, but much better than, buying a movie from iTunes:
    • watch a trailer, read pro ratings, customer reviews
    • rent for 24 hours or buy -- priced accordingly
    • earn credits for next purchase based on game play (token)
    • Available on Apple Game Store first -- 2 week exclusive
    • ApplePay to ApplePlay convenience

    If done right, this new genre will attract many millions more paying customers than the advanced gaming consoles.

    You can't compare the graphics of a 2D cut scene to the graphics of a virtual world the you can pan around, and walk around in.
  • Reply 125 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    You can't compare the graphics of a 2D cut scene to the graphics of a virtual world the you can pan around, and walk around in.



    It's not just a cut scene, you can download Zen Garden from the App Store yourself and freely pan around and interact with the world.

  • Reply 126 of 136
    Here's a thought ...

    If they really want the ATV to be disruptive -- put an A9X APU in it ....

    That, with a few major games written for it ...
  • Reply 127 of 136
    The other shoe department ...

    Apple announces the acquisition of Unity Technologies ...
  • Reply 128 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,326moderator
    I think you (and others) have said that a [console] game's success isn't only about the graphics.

    To my eyes the graphics on Zen Garden are superior to those of Fortnite. Why? That shouldn't be so ... I realize that there's a story in Fortnite -- but it seems a little dorky.

    Will a game like this sell for $20-$60 on a console? Why?

    Different games have different art styles. Zen Garden can use a lot of baked data like they don't have to dynamically calculate any shadows. Dynamic lighting and shader calculations slow down games a lot. Zen Garden was mainly meant to show off the amount of objects that can co-exist in a scene (petals, fish, butterflies, sand particles) because Metal enhances draw calls. It still demonstrates that iOS devices can achieve graphics quality close to last-gen consoles, game engines these days use physically-based shading, which is very realistic. The PS3 had a similar tech demo to show off the number of objects it could handle ( ). I think current iOS devices are just below PS3/360 and the next ones launched today should surpass them.

    The game Fortnite will be free-to-play, which is a genre of games that emerged in recent years. Developers/publishers like having recurring revenue (all companies do). If you have a linear narrative, people play it for 10-20 hours and usually that's it. This revenue model is risky and isn't great for a studio that has worked for years on it and it's why they tend to hold content back in these games to sell later as DLC.

    Fortnite looks like a mix of Minecraft (which Microsoft bought) and Team Fortress 2 (made by Valve who run the Steam store), which people have been playing for years. If you look at Steam stats, you can see the top played games are the replayable kind, usually with multiplayer modes:

    http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

    Some of these games even have e-sporting events broadcasting multiplayer. Team Fortress 2 was launched in 2007 so people are still playing it 8 years later. This is pretty much the same model as casual gaming where they try to find a game mechanic that people will want to keep doing over and over. Then they monetize it with in-game purchases like tools, clothing, powerups:

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/03/08/how-and-why-team-fortress-2-made-valve-super-rich

    Valve opened up the in-game market to players to let them sell items and one individual made $500k in a year just selling things like hats. These kind of games take less time to make and have some replay.

    These are essentially casual games with the graphics of AAA games. Call of Duty is mostly played for multiplayer maps too so in a way fits into this category but they don't monetize it with free-to-play because people have been willing to pay $60 for it due to the single player narrative included.

    Ken Levine who made the Bioshock games spoke about doing this with narrative games by using narrative blocks like macros to allow gamers to play essentially unlimited sessions and carve out their own story while still experiencing meaningful events. I don't think it'll work very well though.
  • Reply 129 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,326moderator
    An interesting article was posted with information from a free-to-play developer talking about how they monetize mobile games:

    http://toucharcade.com/2015/09/16/we-own-you-confessions-of-a-free-to-play-producer/

    It mentions how ad companies are 'selling data' beyond what people are aware of online. It's not direct of course but they use dozens of trackers that are used across multiple outlets (in-game, online) and collate the data to build up profiles. It says they can now track as much as 300GB of data on users per day - they don't mention how this data is stored or protected. Some of the games use online services for level information so every time someone starts the game, the server knows when you play, it knows how you play so it can tailor the game difficulty and figure out how to get you to pay for IAPs. The article said they even targeted a wealthy individual player with some IAPs. They know who your friends are via Facebook and IP and what they play so they can figure out ways to get you to recommend games to them.

    The reason they mentioned for getting into mobile games was because of layoffs and mergers with companies developing console games. The amount of money a successful mobile studio can make vs the effort put into making mobile games is higher than AAA games.

    This is the same trend that's happened with the media. Newspapers turning into ad-monetized blogs that can get a much better understanding of what people want to read on a global scale.

    Not all developers will go to this level of tracking because it needs resources to manage the data but even small developers will use SDKs that pull data in and send it to companies that will be profiling on a larger scale.

    The purpose of the tracking is to sell IAPs or just like online ads/tracking, to ultimately sell products so it's not that they are selling your identity for the identity itself but to use it to connect it with a purchase. People involved in ad-supported businesses would see it as a positive being able to connect readers to news they like to read, buyers to products they want but when you can see individual targeting happening, it's clearly invasive. It's like someone stalking you online.

    This is very hard to make go away because consumers aren't aware it's going on and are conditioned from a young age to get the best value products. When you can see no downside to a purchase and it's free or very cheap, not only does it make you feel good about the purchase but you would then recommend it to others e.g AAA games are a ripoff, just get free-to-play or $0.99 games. You see this all the time with Android products. People comment all over the internet about why should you pay more for 'overpriced' products when you can get products from ad companies that put out hardware with little to no profit margin.

    The way to get away from it is to condition people that software and services are products just like tangible products and convince people to pay for them just as people still go to the cinema and pay for movies and in return offer the assurance that there's no data tracking involved. As long as people don't see it happening though, it won't be seen as a problem in need of a solution.

    The biggest downside that I see as far as gaming is concerned isn't as much about the privacy but the motive, which is that they are no longer selling you an experience and as a parallel, the media is no longer selling you the truth, they are indirectly selling you a product. This doesn't happen exclusively but over time, the process devalues the whole notion of selling you an experience or the truth and conditions people to only listen to what they want to hear and prioritize price over everything.
  • Reply 130 of 136
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,340member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    Here's a thought ...



    If they really want the ATV to be disruptive -- put an A9X APU in it ....



    That, with a few major games written for it ...

    iOS demands power efficiency; tvOS does not require it.

     

    If Apple wants disruption, and I'm not sure that they are fully ready for games anyway, they would be better off upping the die area/TDP in an older node, and using that die area for more GPGPU cores, and DSP's for audio/video, acknowledging that AppleTV is a gaming platform, and well as a home theater platform. They should throw in USB 3.1 Type C, not just for diagnostics, but as the interface to both home theater, home kit devices, and data storage.

     

    My ideal would be an A9G specifically for tvOS, but apple won't use that core for anything but iOS for the next two generations of iPhones, or until the next node at 7nm/10nm.

     

    It baffles me that Apple hasn't any branded home theater accessories; perhaps the margins are too low to care.

  • Reply 131 of 136
    pmcdpmcd Posts: 396member
    Games will not be a disruptive force for the Apple TV. A lot of media players have games. The key to a successful Apple TV is content. They need good music, good radio, good games and most importantly killer video. Apart from streaming current TV content, with a very modified ad structure, they should have an Apple Video subscription service based on their iTunes Store video content.
  • Reply 132 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,326moderator
    If the following report is true then this is another loss for high quality games production:

    http://www.polygon.com/2015/9/18/9351779/report-konami-quits-aaa-production

    Konami is one of the major players in the games industry with over 5,000 employees. They are responsible for Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Frogger, Contra. By games company revenue, they are listed at number 20 in the world (Apple's revenue will be calculated from the 70% reported outlay to developers - this includes non-games but most app revenue will be from games):

    http://www.newzoo.com/free/rankings/top-25-companies-by-game-revenues/

    One of the biggest is Tencent who have a majority stake in the company that makes League of Legends:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent

    Some of those online games MMORPG make hundreds of millions in revenue every year:

    http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-has-made-almost-1-billion-in-microtransactions/

    Konami scrapped one of the Silent Hill titles that was being made with Guillermo Del Torro. They put out a preview game for the PS4:


    [VIDEO]


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Hills

    This seems to revolve around Hideo Kojima's relationship with Konami. He and his team were responsible for Metal Gear Solid:

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/07/14/hideo-kojimas-name-removed-from-metal-gear-solid-5-box-art

    From the link above, it says Konami will focus more on mobile:

    "In May, new CEO Hideki Hayakawa told Nikkei Trendy Net that mobile is the platform that is "always closest to us ... mobile is where the future of gaming lies." In a followup from Konami, however, the company said it would continue to pursue console and PC games.

    "Konami will continue to embrace the challenge of creating entertainment content via different platforms; across not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times," Konami said in a letter provided to Polygon.

    Gameblog's report suggests that Merceron leaving is related to Konami's focus on mobile.

    In March, hiring listings for a new stealth-focused project were posted on Konami's site. A separate page added that the company "has resolved to embark on production of a new 'Metal Gear' series."

    Konami released Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on Sept. 1. According to a Nikkei profile released in August, which described Konami as an abhorrent workplace, The Phantom Pain was the final project before the company would shift to mobile games."

    Julien Merceron headed up development of Konami's Fox Engine, which Metal Gear Solid runs on:

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/09/17/report-fox-engine-overseer-julien-merceron-quits-konami

    Konami mostly makes lower-end titles so there's only a couple of bigger franchises:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Konami_games

    but this is happening more and more often. Guillermo Del Torro was working on another game a while ago that was going to take at least 3 years to make and was ultimately scrapped by THQ (a games studio that went bankrupt). THQ defaulted on a $50m loan ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THQ#Bankruptcy_and_liquidation ).

    The same thing happens with the movie industry. You have the biggest studios who can afford to take the big losses due to having diversified income but smaller ones just go under:

    http://whatculture.com/film/9-awful-movies-that-bankrupted-studios.php
    http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-33730563
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_Media#Production_Company

    It seems to be reflecting what happens in the economy overall where it diverges between poor and wealthy and the middle ground gets eroded away.

    The creative industry is especially vulnerable because there may come a time when people run out of unique stories to tell. When was the last time you saw a truly original and meaningful movie or game franchise? Games and movies combine familiar mechanics, plot devices and characters and while they end up with some unique elements, there's a lot of commonality in the themes. This happens with casual games where it starts out as a free-for-all and people throw out dozens of games to see what sticks and then you get endless clones of the successful game models and few other games make any money and you get the same economic effect where a few big players control well over half the revenue and the masses at the bottom make next to nothing.

    It would be nice if the big companies would invest more. Notch who made billions from Microsoft buying Minecraft is sitting on billions of dollars and doesn't know what to do with it while major studios are going under because of tens of millions per year in costs. Very talented artists and developers like the people from Irrational Games lose their jobs because the big games studios who profit from games directly can't take the sustained costs.

    Creative companies would survive better being funded by income that doesn't come from them directly. For example Netflix, Amazon, Comcast funding original content by getting most of the money from the service they provide and not the content sales directly. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo getting exclusive software to make money from the platform as well as direct sales. Apple has stated openly they don't want to be in the content business but they don't need to go all the way in and risk heavy losses. Their platform clearly benefitted from having exclusive software like Final Cut, Logic, Aperture, Garageband, iPhoto, iMovie and so on and their own OS.

    Exclusive software is just like exclusive content - it differs in that software tends to be used continuously and can be monetized continuously whereas content is consumed in a short-term. That's where studios keep failing and why they keep turning to online, mobile and microtransaction models to get people to keep paying. You can't get people to keep paying for one-off experiences. You have to go big budget like movies and if it fails you go under with layoffs and mergers or you go low budget and try to get people hooked on repetitive games.

    If Apple bought up some of the talent from the failed studios (like Irrational, Hideo Kojima Productions, THQ) and committed a relatively inexpensive budget to multiple teams (e.g 20x 50 staff x $50k per employee = ~$50m budget per year) that worked on offset timescales of 1-2 years per game to produce games like the Vanishing of Ethan Carter, they could come up with at least 10 exclusive games every single year. This can include casual games. There's the risk that 10 games don't make back $50m per year but this loss is insignificant for Apple and they could make a random hit like Candy Crush that pulls in over $1b per year and they can set the examples for new technologies like Metal. They don't need to have any exclusive game engines, just work with Unity and Unreal to make them work efficiently for their platform and they can help put motion capture tools, Swift coding and other supporting tools to help developers invest in the platform.
  • Reply 133 of 136
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,340member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    If the following report is true then this is another loss for high quality games production:



    http://www.polygon.com/2015/9/18/9351779/report-konami-quits-aaa-production



    Konami is one of the major players in the games industry with over 5,000 employees. They are responsible for Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Frogger, Contra. By games company revenue, they are listed at number 20 in the world (Apple's revenue will be calculated from the 70% reported outlay to developers - this includes non-games but most app revenue will be from games):



    http://www.newzoo.com/free/rankings/top-25-companies-by-game-revenues/



    One of the biggest is Tencent who have a majority stake in the company that makes League of Legends:



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent



    Some of those online games MMORPG make hundreds of millions in revenue every year:



    http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-has-made-almost-1-billion-in-microtransactions/



    Konami scrapped one of the Silent Hill titles that was being made with Guillermo Del Torro. They put out a preview game for the PS4:









    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Hills



    This seems to revolve around Hideo Kojima's relationship with Konami. He and his team were responsible for Metal Gear Solid:



    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/07/14/hideo-kojimas-name-removed-from-metal-gear-solid-5-box-art



    From the link above, it says Konami will focus more on mobile:



    "In May, new CEO Hideki Hayakawa told Nikkei Trendy Net that mobile is the platform that is "always closest to us ... mobile is where the future of gaming lies." In a followup from Konami, however, the company said it would continue to pursue console and PC games.



    "Konami will continue to embrace the challenge of creating entertainment content via different platforms; across not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times," Konami said in a letter provided to Polygon.



    Gameblog's report suggests that Merceron leaving is related to Konami's focus on mobile.



    In March, hiring listings for a new stealth-focused project were posted on Konami's site. A separate page added that the company "has resolved to embark on production of a new 'Metal Gear' series."



    Konami released Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on Sept. 1. According to a Nikkei profile released in August, which described Konami as an abhorrent workplace, The Phantom Pain was the final project before the company would shift to mobile games."



    Julien Merceron headed up development of Konami's Fox Engine, which Metal Gear Solid runs on:



    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/09/17/report-fox-engine-overseer-julien-merceron-quits-konami



    Konami mostly makes lower-end titles so there's only a couple of bigger franchises:



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Konami_games



    but this is happening more and more often. Guillermo Del Torro was working on another game a while ago that was going to take at least 3 years to make and was ultimately scrapped by THQ (a games studio that went bankrupt). THQ defaulted on a $50m loan ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THQ#Bankruptcy_and_liquidation ).



    The same thing happens with the movie industry. You have the biggest studios who can afford to take the big losses due to having diversified income but smaller ones just go under:



    http://whatculture.com/film/9-awful-movies-that-bankrupted-studios.php

    http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-33730563

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_Media#Production_Company



    It seems to be reflecting what happens in the economy overall where it diverges between poor and wealthy and the middle ground gets eroded away.



    The creative industry is especially vulnerable because there may come a time when people run out of unique stories to tell. When was the last time you saw a truly original and meaningful movie or game franchise? Games and movies combine familiar mechanics, plot devices and characters and while they end up with some unique elements, there's a lot of commonality in the themes. This happens with casual games where it starts out as a free-for-all and people throw out dozens of games to see what sticks and then you get endless clones of the successful game models and few other games make any money and you get the same economic effect where a few big players control well over half the revenue and the masses at the bottom make next to nothing.



    It would be nice if the big companies would invest more. Notch who made billions from Microsoft buying Minecraft is sitting on billions of dollars and doesn't know what to do with it while major studios are going under because of tens of millions per year in costs. Very talented artists and developers like the people from Irrational Games lose their jobs because the big games studios who profit from games directly can't take the sustained costs.



    Creative companies would survive better being funded by income that doesn't come from them directly. For example Netflix, Amazon, Comcast funding original content by getting most of the money from the service they provide and not the content sales directly. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo getting exclusive software to make money from the platform as well as direct sales. Apple has stated openly they don't want to be in the content business but they don't need to go all the way in and risk heavy losses. Their platform clearly benefitted from having exclusive software like Final Cut, Logic, Aperture, Garageband, iPhoto, iMovie and so on and their own OS.



    Exclusive software is just like exclusive content - it differs in that software tends to be used continuously and can be monetized continuously whereas content is consumed in a short-term. That's where studios keep failing and why they keep turning to online, mobile and microtransaction models to get people to keep paying. You can't get people to keep paying for one-off experiences. You have to go big budget like movies and if it fails you go under with layoffs and mergers or you go low budget and try to get people hooked on repetitive games.



    If Apple bought up some of the talent from the failed studios (like Irrational, Hideo Kojima Productions, THQ) and committed a relatively inexpensive budget to multiple teams (e.g 20x 50 staff x $50k per employee = ~$50m budget per year) that worked on offset timescales of 1-2 years per game to produce games like the Vanishing of Ethan Carter, they could come up with at least 10 exclusive games every single year. This can include casual games. There's the risk that 10 games don't make back $50m per year but this loss is insignificant for Apple and they could make a random hit like Candy Crush that pulls in over $1b per year and they can set the examples for new technologies like Metal. They don't need to have any exclusive game engines, just work with Unity and Unreal to make them work efficiently for their platform and they can help put motion capture tools, Swift coding and other supporting tools to help developers invest in the platform.

    I appreciate your analysis. I'm not a gamer, but it seem obvious what is happening.

     

    I believe that mobile gaming will be seen as "good enough" on AppleTV, FireTV, et al, especially to the people that typically buy consoles for children and teens; parents. It won't take much for parents to forgo, or delay purchases of Wii, Xbox or Playstation, with the resultant reduction in game sales and shift the game market.

  • Reply 134 of 136

     

    So that’s it, then. No MGS VI. I guess that’s a good thing since they canned Kojima and would have only wrecked it, anyway.

     

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

    I'm not a gamer, but it seem obvious what is happening.

     

    The casualization–and, by extension, destruction–of the industry and the dilution and bastardization of nearly every property therein, kicking out the crowd that made the industry and replacing them with more idealized imbeciles with a “better” ideology.

  • Reply 135 of 136
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,340member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    So that’s it, then. No MGS VI. I guess that’s a good thing since they canned Kojima and would have only wrecked it, anyway.

     

     

    The casualization–and, by extension, destruction–of the industry and the dilution and bastardization of nearly every property therein, kicking out the crowd that made the industry and replacing them with more idealized imbeciles with a “better” ideology.


    The industry is being commoditized

    Not better; cheaper and more ubiquitous. No different than all the taxi drivers that are losing and will lose their jobs to the contract workers of Uber. Console games are being disrupted by "casualization", and the only solution is better productivity to reduce the cost of the very game titles that differentiate consoles and PC's. That likely means better development tools, though that will be true of mobile as well.

     

    The issue of console hardware is even more tenuous; is it even possible to stay ahead of the development pace of mobile hardware with the lengthy times between major upgrades?

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