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Next Gen Squeezes Existing IP

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the make-the-most-of-that-clancy-dollar dept.

Games 47

The transition from the previous generation to Next-Gen consoles is hitting game publishers right in the intellectual property. Existing franchises are going to struggle to keep their publishers afloat, because of the immense costs and problems involved in adapting to the new console market. From the article: "The strong possibility of a new Medal of Honor game from EA could also affect Activision's numbers. The analyst estimates Gun sold 980K since launch, and that any sequel will struggle to match this, probably hitting no more than 780K. Another declining franchise is X-Men. The 2004 game X-Men Legends sold 1.2 million with last year's X-Men Legends II probably hitting around 750K. A third game this year is estimated to manage only 550K."

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Tired of sequels? (2, Insightful)

Spez (566714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447265)

Maybe people are tired of sequels?

Anybody want to try something new?

Re:Tired of sequels? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447349)

It's not just sequels -- it's repetitive sequels. X-Men Legends II was little more than extra boards for Legends I.

Ditto for Baldur's Gate: DA and Champions of Norrath.

When you have a sequel that uses the same engine, and has very similar graphics and gameplay, of course it will sell fewer copies -- for many people, playing the first iteration or two is enough. The upside to this is that dev costs are lower, so reduced sales are still profitable.

The problem occurs when you develop a sequel for a next-gen system without making big changes to gameplay.

Then you still have high dev costs, but are still struggling with sluggish sales due to repetition.

This is a lesson learned early and applied well to the FF series -- ever notice that the gameplay (especially combat/item systems) changes with every sequel?

Re:Tired of sequels? (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447673)

Well, sluggish sales on some of those are not due as much to their being sequels as to their being bad games.

Baldur's Gate: DA was pretty good. Its still pretty good. The sequel is horrible (bad player classes, ugly texturing and modeling, very poor color palette, and very bad level design, etc).

X-Men Legends was also pretty good. Its sequel is also horrible (removed better characters than they added, levels with bad design and/or no sense of scale, combat balance tedious, etc).

Champions of Norrath I'll agree with you on. They're both pretty good, but 2 is more boards for 1, more or less. I rented 1 and bought 2 when it was $20, but I don't think I'd get another sequel unless it was moved to a next-gen console that I also happened to have bought (I'm still not sold on them). Overhead camera games are one area where I can actually see HD resolutions being very nice.

For another similar game, look at Hunter: The Reckoning. The first game was pretty good. The sequel totally blew it away, and was awesome. I would definitely pick up a sequel for that, and if it was on a next-gen console it might sway me a bit more towards its platform.

Any idea if the sales on the second Hunter were better/equal to the first?

Re:Tired of sequels? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447771)

"Baldur's Gate: DA was pretty good. Its still pretty good. The sequel is horrible (bad player classes, ugly texturing and modeling, very poor color palette, and very bad level design, etc)."

That's why I treat CoN as a sequel to BG:DA (Same engine IIRC, even if different franchise, slightly different gameplay -- this is how sequels should work, IMO).

I've never played Hunter, so no idea on that one -- but I'm sure you can Google sales figures.

Re:Tired of sequels? (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448174)

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment about sequels that use the same engine...I *hate* those.

Total waste of money.

Yeah, I know, "It's not just about the graphics..."

Well, I want a new engine to go along with my new game.

Unless it's a $20 add-on pack.

Re:Tired of sequels? (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448347)

I wonder whether Doom I or II sold more, since they are also a case of two games and one engine. Perhaps Doom is an exception though, since I imagine Doom III, which did sport a new engine (understatement), sold far less than either Doom I or II.

Re:Tired of sequels? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448585)

There's also the issue of publicity. Lesser-known, less-hyped original titles often will have significantly more sales in the 2nd iteration. The article is mainly looking at titles that were hyped and well-marketed for consoles.

The other issue, when comparing PC and console titles, is hardware capabilities. Even with the same engine, Doom II could have much better graphics than Doom I, just because the hardware imporvements in PCs are not so much a step function. With consoles, once you've released your sequel, there's generally only so much further you can go with presentation, until you hit the next gen -- and then you have to rebuild your engine anyway.

More likely people are buying last years titles (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448215)

why pay $50 for X-Men III when you can get I and II for $40 ($30 off ebay)? There's a real glut of A-Grade titles in the market right now. I've got 30 some ps2 games I've paid and average of $7 bucks for. Except for Star Ocean 3 they're all used (and I paid $20 for Star Ocean). Making sequels that are substantially different from the first game'll help the industry, but they're still going to have to face the glut of used and cheap games from the last generation, and all that backwards compatibility isn't helping. Heck, in this way Nintendo's lucky, Sony's got 2 generations of software to compete with on the ps3, Nintendo's only got the Gamecube, and then they get to sell the last 3 generations back :).

State the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447292)

Nobody wants to buy 20 American "football" Madden games that are obviously the same. The true advancement in next generation consoles will come from Nintendo and Square Enix, which are Japanese companies that know how to innovate.

Re:State the obvious (2, Funny)

heavy snowfall (847023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447348)

EA sports: The clone wars.

--

There must be a lot of frat houses with Xboxes.

Re:State the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447433)

Yes, there are. Frat houses buy Xboxen* because they're big, and frat boys are stupid, and they think "big = good."** They also buy alot*** of EA Sports games and alot*** of cheap beer.

* Not "Xboxes."
** Should be "big == good," but frat houses don't understand the difference between assignment and comparison operators
*** Should be "a lot," but yada yada yada frat boys Xboxen

Re:State the obvious (1)

CoderBob (858156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447587)

There are plenty of other innovative companies out there than Nintendo and Square Enix. I'd like to see more stuff that was innovative in the manner of Ikaruga than another FF "innovation". Granted, gameplay changes from game to game, but it always seems to fall back to different gimmick mechanisms to allow you to perform the same option.

Renamed "summons" between VII and VIII- Oooo, now their "Guardian Forces!". I can't learn spells, and I don't equip items to get them this time...I have to Draw them! Oh, and in IX, I get to learn them BY equipping items!

Honestly, as far as Gameplay, Squaresoft (and later, Square Enix) realized that it's not INNOVATIVE gameplay that keeps a franchise going- it's familiar yet innovative gameplay that does it. And that's why I'll keep buying the games- I have a good idea of what I'm getting.

Nintendo suffers from the opposite problem- too much innovation and change between games, and a constantly irritated fanbase. I know I'm not alone in skipping Wind Waker. I don't care how great of a game it is- I don't like how it looks, and I'm not going to force myself to play it. That would take a potentially "Great" game and make it mediocre. Super Mario Sunshine? Great game. I still wanted the familiar "mario" game for that system, though. Something that I could feel nostalgic about, but that had enough change in it to not feel like Super Mario World all over again.

Re:State the obvious (1)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447888)

I know I'm not alone in skipping Wind Waker. I don't care how great of a game it is- I don't like how it looks, and I'm not going to force myself to play it


Don't worry. They don't need your purchase. There are plenty of us that are pretty damn happy with Nintendo, and also don't base our game purchases off of looks alone (of course wind waker looks gorgeous, so it wouldn't of even been an issue anyways). You might want to try PS2 or Xbox if you're looking for game franchises that generally don't change much. You'll be much happier, and we'll have one less troll on /. whining about Nintendo.

Re:State the obvious (1)

CoderBob (858156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448246)

I wasn't trolling. I stated my opinion, what I thought the problem was, and you'll notice that I even stated that my turn-off from the graphics would make me think less of the game, so I wasn't going to play it and then bitch about a game that didn't deserve it gameplay-wise. Did you even read the post, or did you just see I mentioned Wind Waker and rip into me?

Re:State the obvious (1)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448851)

I didn't think this was a troll at all. Thats a very good point about keeping some familiarity. I completely agree.

Re:State the obvious (1)

spir0 (319821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449082)

Nintendo suffers from the opposite problem- too much innovation and change between games, and a constantly irritated fanbase. I know I'm not alone in skipping Wind Waker.

I argue that changing an existing game is not true innovation. it's still the same franchise. McDs can change their wallpaper and put stylier tables and chairs in their restaurants, they can change the Big Mac boxes, but it's all still McDs.

all you're doing is updating an existing license.

if they want to innovate they will give us new games with new stories and new characters every time. but they're too lazy and it will cut their profits down from billions to millions because they had to put extra work into the creation.

Re:State the obvious (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450089)

Did you ever notice precisely how much change there is between any two games in a Nintendo franchise (other than Mario Party)? It's less like repackaging the Big Mac and giving it a new name, and more like changing the recipe - little enough that it's still recognizable as a burger, but different enough that most people will feel justified in calling it something new.

You might have a point if, say, Mario Sunshine was essentially Mario 64 with updated graphics and new levels (which is what most sequels are these days). But it's not. It plays differently. You've got a new gameplay mechanism (namely, the freaky talking water jetpack thing) which is integrated into the level design fundamentally (that is, it's not just a gimmick whose uses are distinct and separate from the platforming).

Making a game with a talking-water-jetpack-thing would not have worked as well if they had to invent an entirely new franchise to display it - particularly if they wanted to integrate the jetpack-thing with Mario-style platforming. In that case, you'd have people on Slashdot complaining about how the game played too much like Mario, why can't they just give us a proper Mario title god damn it.

Stagnant rehashing is bad, but there's a great deal to be said about not reinventing the wheel every time you have a new idea.

Re:State the obvious (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451437)

That's not entirely true, especially when you're speaking of Nintendo's core franchises.

Or do you really think the original Pikmin, a totally new IP & game mechanic, took more work and money than Wind Waker, Mario Sunshine or the upcoming Twilight Princess? I'm pretty certain of those 4 games, Pikmin was the cheapest & easiest to make. If there's one thing Nintendo is known for, it's going all out on their core franchises. They even spent tons of money on Metroid Prime, a game that was guaranteed not to sell well in Japan, just because it's so popular in the US.

It isn't laziness on their part. It's the certain knowledge that Mario, Link & Samus sell games, no matter what they're actually doing in the game (see the entire breadth of Mario Sports titles).

Re:State the obvious (1)

spir0 (319821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457750)

While I agree with you in that particular instance, I was referring to games in general. You just managed to pick the littlest, cheapest game :)

But even when coders don't write a game completely from scratch, and they use dev kits like Torque (or any of the big expensive commercial ones), they still have to do a lot of work on characters, story, levels, graphics, sounds, etc. But when they get a franchise game, a lot of the time (no, no all the time, mario sunshine is completely different and would have involved a lot more work) they can cut down on stuff. Even Sunshine would not have needed all the work on characters because they already existed. OK, so overall that may not have been a huge part of the dev effort, but when you jump to non nintendo franchises -- I don't know, EA sports games for example... those games are absolutely the laziest coding ever.

Often they'll just change a list of player names, some clothes and some faces. And they may tqeak gameplay. But overall, punters are paying full price for the same game every damn year.

There are different scales of rework required, and we can point to specific examples where it can be claimed that a new innovative game required sod all work and we can point to unoriginal franchises that have had new life breathed into them by completely changing the way they play, but I'm asking you to look at the big picture.

In general, it's laziness and greed that result in sequels.

Re:State the obvious (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14461909)

Well, I'll be honest, I was pretty much just talking about Nintendo's big franchise games. Nintendo puts an awful lot of effort into each sequel. Of course, even with the big N there are exceptions (Mario Party being one hideously glaring example, sure they're all fun, but they're all exactly the same fun).

Myself, I'm fine when a good game has a sequel that cleans up what was wrong with the original, but after that, there's no point in sequels unless you're going to improve gameplay. I don't mind playing the same game twice. I draw the line at playing it three or more times.

Re:State the obvious (0, Troll)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449324)

That's odd, I was skipping past many comments just to see if anyone had pointed out "Of course SHITTY sequels won't sell, just look at Nintendo, they can take anything and slap a "mario" or "zelda" on it and it will be guaranteed it's a good game", but then I remembered I didn't even buy the gamecube : "correct" mario (equals failure), shitty "oh yeah, we have, like, five dungeons" zelda, shitty "zelda-like" starfox, disappointing "normal" starfox, correct metroid primes, and the shittiest EVAR mario kart, that was quite a blow to my fanboyism. Now, the GC does have many good games - But the "immortals" aren't as numerous as on the NES, SNES or even N64 (anyone up for some goldeneye?).

When a sequel is well-made, and that the developer's talent shines through the whole game, I am more than happy to feel "at home" with my pal Mario. I mean, really, I'm not some kind of no-lifer or anything, but Nintendo games feel just like family, for the kid that grew up with the NES. Seems like they're back on the right track with the DS, so we'll see if a correct mario sequel will sell well enough.

I sure hope the holy Mario Kart DS has outsold the gamecube episode I will only refer to as "Mario Kart : In name only".

So, I understand where you're coming from. There is a large difference between asking for legitimate, good sequels filled with optimization and playing PES fucking FIVE. (tired of the madden meme)

It's not the next-gen consoles, it's the franchise (3, Interesting)

mindhaze (40009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447296)

Listen, it's not the next generation consoles that are doing this, it's the freaking franchise! If I played X-Men legends 1, unless you drastically change this up, and make X2 extremely compelling (i.e.: the Splinter cell guys have made each revision far more interesting then the last), then why would I even bother playing X2?

It's the content that hurt sales, not the development platform or anything else. How many X-Men do we really want crammed down our throats anyhow?

Re:It's not the next-gen consoles, it's the franch (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447729)

While I completely agree with the above poster, I also believe that the other thing hurting all publishers is the high entry cost to the next-generation market. Because of this, they are more likely to go with a known franchise, which will have known sales, even if it has predictable gameplay and a tired plot. If they have an innovative game, such as Katamari Damacy, they are less likely to green light it due to the (larger) cost of creating the game. And until the game is created, it's somewhat uncertain that it will do well in the market.

Sadly, I think the Xbox 360 Marketplace might solve some of these problems, allowing a publisher to put forth a unique but low cost game. If it does well, they have a better case for producing a full blown version. But, on the flip side, they might notice that Millipede is being downloaded more than other games, and revive the IP associated with it to make a new 'and improved' version that has a bunch of bullshit we don't care about.

But given the choice between these two options, I think corporate america would favor the revived branding, relying on people's memories of the old game, rather than having to market a brand new product. And it just creates a sad gaming environment. On the plus side, we get the occational independant hit that quite good and keeps us occupied.

I think the video game industry is just now getting the memo that the movie and music industries have been getting for years (and are ignoring): Stop producing (expensive) crap.

Re:It's not the next-gen consoles, it's the franch (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448677)

splinter cell is interesting?

oh wait, if the first one is abysmally UNinteresting and each one gets more interesting its still hovering around....crap!

nice :)

The larger issue (3, Insightful)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447382)

I think the issue that is not covered is that companies are now expected to make certain profit margins. If they don't, their stock tanks and so do they. I realize the old saying is true. "Either you're growing or you're dying." This however, does not mean you need to maintain a 20% growth rate every single year.

OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447418)

Hold on, companies that make crappy games are getting less money? Let me bust out my kleenex.

It's about time for another crash (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14447460)

Like the one we had in 84. That'd be refreshing.

When you're crossing your fingers on a sequel... (1)

Durrill (908003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447583)

... you might as well try something new. Of course there's little predictability in introducing a brand new concept in gaming or even inventing a whole new genre. But, if a big name publisher is sure to lose money on a sequel, while hoping for some sort of success, then why is it a big deal to try something new. If you aren't gonna cut with the old stuff, then take that same investment and push it into something outrageous. Losses will likely be the same, but its a gamble too. The Sims was such a gamble which from what I understand took alot of pushing just to get it released, and it exploded into a whole phenomenon which got my 50 year old mother into gaming. Honestly, these publishers need to stop thinking like the uptight suits that they are and get into the gamer mentality. We aren't a static resource that can be drilled for money, we are an ever changing, ever evolving gaming client base!

Smarten up!

What do YOU want to spend your $400 on? (2, Insightful)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447601)

People are tired of eye-candy being the only compelling thing about a game. If you simply remake the -same- game again and again with "more polygons" is it still significantly more fun to play? For -many- games the answer is "no". Companies have to either allow you to do something new or have a unique idea in order to attract customers - and 30 iterations of EA NFL Exxxplosion 2130 isn't going to be better then than the current sequel "blah" that they put out. In short- if I want to play a good football game, why not buy a PS2 and 04 or 05? For the difference in cost, the game has to be that much more compelling. Of course, the other argument can (and should) be made that at some point we're going to get graphics -so- good, and controls -so- intuitive that we max out the abilities of the current hardware tech. There is, after all, only so close of an approximation of reality you can reach on a screen and gamepad...... Personally, I can't wait for VR :)

A simple reason (0)

TheLoneDanger (611268) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447759)

"The 2004 game X-Men Legends sold 1.2 million with last year's X-Men Legends II probably hitting around 750K. A third game this year is estimated to manage only 550K."

Here's one (of many) simple reason why this happens. In 2004, X-men Legends was new, the first time (to my knowledge) the X-men had an RPG. People bought it, and as the year went on, the price dropped on it as new releases came out. Then the next X-men Legends was announced and the price dropped even further. Now, you could get X-men Legends 1 for bargain bin pricing, and MOST people wouldn't even know an X-men Legends 2 was coming. So they buy X-men Legends 1, have some fun with it, and a few short months later, X-men Legends 2 is out.

Having just finished Legends 1 which they bought for under $20, do they really need/want to spend $40-50 to play something similar? Why the hell do they feel we need an X-Men Legends every year? Yeah there's a constantly changing roster, but it still ain't sports.

What bugs me... (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447833)

What bugs me is, with all these rehashes of old games, why can't they retain past good ideas? Why are they still selling console FPS games without individual button control customizeability? Why don't they all have eight or more bots in four-player multiplayer mode? Why don't they all have a decent camera system? Why don't they all standardize on what "Invert Y Axis" means? I've been hooked on FPSs since Goldeneye 64, but I can only count two FPS games that have somewhat improved on what Rare presented us with almost a decade ago?! Almost every single other console FPS game has completely blown it on one aspect or another (the worst being the lack of control customizability).

Re:What bugs me... (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447904)

I agree. In fact, I posted something similar, but you beat me to it. Damn!

Re:What bugs me... (1)

chrnb (243739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448613)

Yeah so sad to see Rare leave nintendo, hope the big N's ability to entice 3rd party developers will rise with the revolution.

Re:What bugs me... (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 8 years ago | (#14452598)

Not really all that sad if you've played what's come out of Rare this generation.

I don't know if they had a major developer shift or what, but Rare is a shadow of what it once was. The new rare is Retro Studios.

Re:What bugs me... (1)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14453007)

A number of Rare developers went over to Free Radical [frd.co.uk] in the late 90s.

Re-quels (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14447883)

I think the problem is that the 'sequels' we are getting are actually more of a mix between remakes and sequels (call them 'requels'). There's very little innovation, but there are enough changes to disappoint gamers who liked the original.

Let me give you an example: I am playing Wild ARMs: Alter Code F. I thoroughly enjoyed the original Wild ARMs, but this game changes a few 'minor' things, that I think take away from the game (no equipment? why, oh why do new RPGs hate letting you have equipment?). OK, this is kind of a bad example because this game actually IS a remake and not a sequel and in the case of remakes there's a fine line, because if you don't make any changes, there's no point in remaking the game, and any changes you do make will be appreciated by some, but not others.

Bottom line, either make sequels that are new enough to be interesting to appeal to those who want something new, or make sequels/remakes that are true to the original to appeal to those who LIKED the way it was.

Say what?! Those used to be successes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14448303)

WOW. Like WOW. Back in 1994 publishers were LUCKY if they could sell over 100,000 units of any given title. Now they are saying anything under 780,000 is a failure? That's just nuts.

Don't develop for a new console then. (1)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448308)

Falling right into the trap of forced updates. What's wrong with XBox? PS2? Nextgen consoles are not so damn next-gen when a first-gen PS2 game beats a XB360 game not only in quality, but in *visuals*! Pathetic.

The XB360 is truly dead on arrival. Shoot it, go back to developing for an established console that's known to already be in millions of homes (XB, PS2), and let the crappy "next-gen" pile of crap die as it should have way back when some overpaid idiot at MS came up with this piece of garbage.

Mod me down for trolling, but you'd be modding down the damn TRUTH. Funny how people don't like to be shown that the emperor has no clothes these days.

Re:Don't develop for a new console then. (1)

chrnb (243739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14448672)

"Nextgen consoles are not so damn next-gen when a first-gen PS2 game beats a XB360 game not only in quality, but in *visuals*! Pathetic."

Which game are you reffering to exactly??

Re:Don't develop for a new console then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14449370)

What's wrong with XBox? PS2? Nextgen consoles are not so damn next-gen when a first-gen PS2 game beats a XB360 game not only in quality, but in *visuals*! Pathetic.

I find it amusing that you speak of first gen PS2 games like that. Why don't you look at a first gen [gamepilgrimage.com] Dreamcast game like Soul Calibur?

But, seriously, first gen Xbox 360 graphics beat first gen PS2 graphics. Period.

Re:Don't develop for a new console then. (1)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449943)

Well, yeah, SC1 for DC looks very similar to screenshots (quality-wise) of DOA(4? 3? Whatever the latest one is, I can't be bothered to look). Especially when you have the DC hooked up to a monitor and not your TV to combat the HD pictures being thrown around for XB360, which ain't what you're going to get on a plain old TV.

Seems that's the only real difference -- we're looking at next-gen systems attached to HD displays vs. last-gen on plain TVs. Course there's gonna be a bit of difference. Get a PS2, XBox, or even the GC or DC to do HD display and you'll see very similar graphics on both systems. Hook up a 360 to a plain TV, same thing.

Of course there's going to be a little difference in graphics, though. Mostly subtle visual tricks and such, but not the huge technological leap that we expect from next-gen systems. Look at the leap from PS1 to PS2 -- can you honestly tell me that the leap from XBox to XBox360 compares with that?

Re:Don't develop for a new console then. (1)

ratman69 (741506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450220)

I'm sorry, but how are these two even close?

http://media.dreamcast.ign.com/media/010/010953/im g_1326128.html [ign.com]
http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/545/545798/img_ 2796682.html [ign.com]

Yeah, the character models in DOA4 are only a little bit smoother than the models in SC1, but the DOA characters were always slightly anime-like rather than realistic. But the hair is much more detailed, and I never played SC for the Dreamcast but I'm betting most of the hair moved very little if at all. And the differences in the enviroment is enormous! The textures are much shaper and more detailed, you have a blurred backround effect to simulate depth of field.

Re:Don't develop for a new console then. (1)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451653)

As I said, if you had actually read what I wrote, difference in HD display and standard TV display. Sure, there are some better hair movement (really, who cares?) and the backgrounds and textures are a bit more defined and alive but again, my point remains valid: *there is not that much difference in the two!* Comparing a low-definition still of a game with a high-def still of another makes you think there are, but there's really not.

Take a screenshot of any PC game running at 640x480@16-bit color, and then compare it with a screenshot of 1600x1200@24/32 bit color. Same game, same capabilities, much different screenshot result. While in this case we have a game on the 360 that is marginally better than the older game, the difference in the screenshots are still a product of their default output.

AAA titles for 360/PS3 will cost $20mil to make. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14448359)

At least, that's what I've read.

The risk for developers is much, much higher in this next round.. at least, if they choose develop for those two consoles.
There will be casualties, oh yes.. and I'm gonna laaaaaugh.. :P

Wait wait wait! (1)

gnovos (447128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449702)

So you are saying pushing the same crap out the door over and over again doesn't mean you win big every time?

Well Duh... (1)

BruceTheBruce (671080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450034)

It makes sense that if someone wasn't interested in the previous iteration, that they won't be interested in the next, and thus of course customer numbers are going to decrease over time because some of your old customers just don't want to play franchise X anymore. Also, you're competing with your own previous title that's sitting there in the bargain bin with a much more attractive price.

Bad Math (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451606)

The "transition drought" appears to be coming from analysts who believe that there will be a transition drought. As such they pencil in lower current generation sales, and don't believe there will be enough next-gen consoles to sell any games to. And this gets used as evidence that there will be a transition drought. See the circular logic?

The Genesis and Playstation both had some of their best games (and best-selling games) after their successors had come out. There is some life in the old systems yet.

Furthermore, old franchises are penciled in as fading out, which makes sense given how much people have been milking them these days. However, no new games are penciled in to be the big surprise hit. Because you can't plan for the surprise hits as an analyst. But the surprise hits are what keep publishers afloat... they're the new franchises that will be milked to death mercilessly. But none of these appear in the analysts numbers, because they can't be predicted, only expected.

All of these little biases add up to a terrible, terrible year where all gaming companies everywhere will go out of business. Just like last year. And the year before. And 2000...

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