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Craggles086 18 Aug
Can we stop it with all these game developer amalgamations. I no longer recognise the studios that created my favourite games, and the people who were most influential in some of these projects have left the building a long time ago.

The only good news here is Take Two taking control of Zynga, might force Zynga to clean up its act a bit and create some half decent games for mobile.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/8/18/23311082/embracer-group-acquisition-lord-of-the-rings-hobbit-limited-run-games-tripwire
Linas 18 Aug
This is nothing new, it's has been happening in all sorts of industries for a long time: car manufacturing, foods, cosmetics, etc. Behind hundreds of brands there are only a few companies.

Is it good? No, I don't think so. But I also don't see it stopping anytime soon. The little guy simply cannot succeed anymore, because some large company will take your idea, make a cheaper version, and push you out of the market without you getting anything. The best case scenario is getting bought by said big company, and cash in. It's basically extortion, yes.
Anza 18 Aug
If we are still talking gaming, I'm not sure if that's true that little guy (or gal) can't succeed.

With games, making copies is as easy for the big publishers than the solo indie developer. Sales will be better for the big publisher because it probably has made several successful games or bought successful smaller studios. But it's less likely that big publisher can push indie developer out of the market by selling cheaper. That's more of a physical goods thing where mass production needs investing big sums.

Big publisher owns all the IP, so you can't just make another Tomb Raider game if you want to. And they have means to make AAA games. They just can't make same risks than indies can.
dvd 19 Aug
Quoting: AnzaIf we are still talking gaming, I'm not sure if that's true that little guy (or gal) can't succeed.

With games, making copies is as easy for the big publishers than the solo indie developer. Sales will be better for the big publisher because it probably has made several successful games or bought successful smaller studios. But it's less likely that big publisher can push indie developer out of the market by selling cheaper. That's more of a physical goods thing where mass production needs investing big sums.

Big publisher owns all the IP, so you can't just make another Tomb Raider game if you want to. And they have means to make AAA games. They just can't make same risks than indies can.

By and large it's certainly true. While there are less material costs to developing software (it's basically paying the wages) little studios have no real advantage as capital rules marketing, and marketing is what sells any product. Simply if you haven't got the bucks to advertise you need to be really lucky to 'make it' and put out several mid- to large projects while also covering the basics of your finances like feeding your family or paying student debt.

Basically all AAA games today are 'far cry x'. I had that feeling when not so long ago i gave in and bought a copy of the rererererelease of skyrim recently. You have an open world which hasn't got a strong character, not a good story and mostly everything annoying or uninteresting. Basically just far cry with swords and fireballs. This feeling got even stronger when i played Enderal, the difference to the base game is startling: the locations, the npcs, the quests, he books, the items, the audio, basically everything is full of creativity, the only bad thing about it is the TES engine. Nothing new i suppose, long before this i had the opinion that TES games are only worth it for the modding community. But then again they show the new meta of publishers pushing out boilerplate open world games with the same mechanics every year. The games that are the exceptions in some way usually get game of the year or something, like witcher 3.
Nothing will change cause there is no incentive to change......

The owners willingly sell their companies to bigger companies to get a dump truck load of cash and then if their smart enough get a cushy job sitting on the large companies board..... while the employees are cast aside like 3month old left overs in the fridge.....

Ive seen it time and time again at the companies I have worked at during my career......

And there is simply no incentive to change that...... Why wouldnt an owner happily sell, taking the dump truck full of cash and hopfully the cushy job after?? Even if they dont get the cushy job the money will mean they will likly never have to work again as long as they careful with it....
Craggles086 19 Aug
Anyone Else feeling that triple A Gaming is giving us more of the same. A mix and match of FPS, RPG with some platforming thrown in.
Nothing really stands out as truly original. Most of the gaming concepts are borrowed out of the 80s or 90s.
The only ones putting original ideas into play are the indie games.

You have Adventure, First Person Shooters, Racing, Sport, Golf, Dog fighting in aircraft or space, Trading in space or on the high seas, Point and Click and RTS, oh and Side Scrollers.

All based on ideas from the 80s and 90s.
Indie games can go with something new,
They do not count the game a disaster
if they only make a few million.
As long as they have enough money for their next project.


Triple A FPS, RPG and open world are all generally developed in the same way..

Step 1, Find something to shoot, hack / slash or throw bolts of light at.

Step 2, Add a progression tree, skills ladder, fetch quests etc...

Step 3, Find some puzzle elements, platform jumping, levers or buttons to find.

Step 4, Jazz it up with high quality visuals, sound and music..

Not terribly original whether you are talking about PS 4, PS 5, X Box or PC gaming.

Last edited by Craggles086 on 19 August 2022 at 8:05 am UTC
peta77 19 Aug
Quoting: Craggles086Anyone Else feeling that triple A Gaming is giving us more of the same. A mix and match of FPS, RPG with some platforming thrown in.
Nothing really stands out as truly original. Most of the gaming concepts are borrowed out of the 80s or 90s.
The only ones putting original ideas into play are the indie games.

You have Adventure, First Person Shooters, Racing, Sport, Golf, Dog fighting in aircraft or space, Trading in space or on the high seas, Point and Click and RTS, oh and Side Scrollers.

All based on ideas from the 80s and 90s.
Indie games can go with something new,
They do not count the game a disaster
if they only make a few million.
As long as they have enough money for their next project.


Triple A FPS, RPG and open world are all generally developed in the same way..

Step 1, Find something to shoot, hack / slash or throw bolts of light at.

Step 2, Add a progression tree, skills ladder, fetch quests etc...

Step 3, Find some puzzle elements, platform jumping, levers or buttons to find.

Step 4, Jazz it up with high quality visuals, sound and music..

Not terribly original whether you are talking about PS 4, PS 5, X Box or PC gaming.

Well, that's the problem with big companies and big games: you invest a lot of money, which in case of nowadays AAA games may be hundreds of millions, and you need to make sure it returns, so you pick concepts / designs that definitely work and attract a big audience. And then you try to create as many DLCs and sequels as possible to actually make revenue.

Even for the big players it would be a big problem if an AAA release would fail. So that's a problem when you're getting too big, you lose flexibility. Not only in game development but also other industries.

The new ideas show up through small companies or individuals that are willing to take a risk or are happy / can handle sales numbers which are a lot smaller.

And then the big companies show up and do cherry picking, take what was successful and integrate it in their portfolio or hire away the good programmers / designers. And then they end up in that giant machinery which lacks providing the possibilities that made them great. But they are gone and the small studio kind of dies.... So everything heads in the direction of monopolies / oligopolies which are more and more unable to invent and so life gets more and more boring...

...
Pretty dim perspective, huh?

Try to have a nice weekend anyway...
Anza 20 Aug
Quoting: dvdBy and large it's certainly true. While there are less material costs to developing software (it's basically paying the wages) little studios have no real advantage as capital rules marketing, and marketing is what sells any product. Simply if you haven't got the bucks to advertise you need to be really lucky to 'make it' and put out several mid- to large projects while also covering the basics of your finances like feeding your family or paying student debt.

Interesting topic.

I don't think it's all luck. Competition is quite fierce for the attention, so developer has to get several things right before starting hit some milestones that help getting more people to notice the game.

I can think of few that I have picked up from here and there:
  • make game that larger audiences want to play (no, doesn't have to be open world, but still something sensible)
  • make game that's fun to play (easier said than done, but getting positive reviews really helps)
  • make the cover art that represents the genre of the game
  • bonus item: make Liam notice the game

Steam has mechanisms to make people notice your game, but competition for attention is quite fierce. I'm not familiar enough how the other marketplaces do it, so this is only about Steam.

Discovery queue might notice the game just because its new, but there has to be reason for people to spend some time looking at the store page. Game has only chance with one person.

New and trending might need bit more effort. Based on quick glance ten positive reviews is good start.

Steam Next Fest is another chance to get some attention, though it's mean for new games. These days game get only one chance, so there needs to be good demo available right when the event starts. Event doesn't do miracles though, at least based on Cult of the Lamb, being the most popular game in last event didn't make it appear in other top charts. But still most likely helped with sales.
dvd 20 Aug
Quoting: Anza
Quoting: dvdBy and large it's certainly true. While there are less material costs to developing software (it's basically paying the wages) little studios have no real advantage as capital rules marketing, and marketing is what sells any product. Simply if you haven't got the bucks to advertise you need to be really lucky to 'make it' and put out several mid- to large projects while also covering the basics of your finances like feeding your family or paying student debt.

Interesting topic.

I don't think it's all luck. Competition is quite fierce for the attention, so developer has to get several things right before starting hit some milestones that help getting more people to notice the game.

I can think of few that I have picked up from here and there:
  • make game that larger audiences want to play (no, doesn't have to be open world, but still something sensible)
  • make game that's fun to play (easier said than done, but getting positive reviews really helps)
  • make the cover art that represents the genre of the game
  • bonus item: make Liam notice the game

Steam has mechanisms to make people notice your game, but competition for attention is quite fierce. I'm not familiar enough how the other marketplaces do it, so this is only about Steam.

Discovery queue might notice the game just because its new, but there has to be reason for people to spend some time looking at the store page. Game has only chance with one person.

New and trending might need bit more effort. Based on quick glance ten positive reviews is good start.

Steam Next Fest is another chance to get some attention, though it's mean for new games. These days game get only one chance, so there needs to be good demo available right when the event starts. Event doesn't do miracles though, at least based on Cult of the Lamb, being the most popular game in last event didn't make it appear in other top charts. But still most likely helped with sales.

Yes but i mean it's same as in other field. 1-2 big fish carves the market and the rest are feeding on the morsels. There is only so many 30-60$ games average Joe can buy a year, and chances are there is a 'big' release each month. Also the fact that kids/teenagers are a good chunk of the market has an amplifying attempt on the value of the millions the big publishers spend on marketing.
While the franchises may live on to be developed into better or worse versions of themselves. This acquisition event is necessary for more independent culture to thrive. IMO you should be upset that this is happening and you should direct your funds elsewhere to the independent developers and companies interested in making games inspired by, similar to, or clones of the games you enjoy.
Anza 20 Aug
Quoting: dvdYes but i mean it's same as in other field. 1-2 big fish carves the market and the rest are feeding on the morsels. There is only so many 30-60$ games average Joe can buy a year, and chances are there is a 'big' release each month. Also the fact that kids/teenagers are a good chunk of the market has an amplifying attempt on the value of the millions the big publishers spend on marketing.

I guess it depends on perspective. For indies, even those morsels can mean much. For good of the market though, problem is that giants rarely fall, but it doesn't happen very often. Even then, they might be just gobbled up with with something bigger.

For good of the market, people need to be exposed to something new now and then. It's not good, if people think that games are repeating themselves over and over again. Things can go viral several ways though, so I don't totally buy the pessimism.
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