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The Financials of Xbox Live

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the bucks-from-points dept.

35

Via GameSetWatch, a post exploring the cost and payoff from an Xbox Live game. From the article: "Let's say you are a publisher or a developer that is able to fund your own development, so, a $10 game (800 Gamer Points) would net you $6.50, or 120,000 units * $6.50 per unit = $780,000. Again, if you are a starving Indie developer this sounds like an infinite amount of money. But, in the world of publishers, this is not considered a big hit."

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Just make (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16141856)

Mybox Live aka run it on your own server

Nice new first rung on the ladder for a developer (3, Interesting)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16141884)

Want to eventually be a super dev but don't have the budget to fund your dream project?

Sell your car and raise some money from friends and make a cell phone game. Or a portal game. Or now an XBL game. Make enough money from that to make another two causal games. Next you can do maybe a budget title with a respectable publisher.

Do a good job, you have self-generated the capital to do the blockbuster.

Yeah yeah, money isn't everything in making a great game, but it sure helps a lot when you have an expansive vision that requires artists, writers, programmers, etc.

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16141919)

Sell your car and raise some money from friends

But only if you're prepared to lose the money AND the friends.

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (4, Informative)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16141969)

To go from:

Next you can do maybe a budget title with a respectable publisher.

to:

Do a good job, you have self-generated the capital to do the blockbuster.

indicates you have much to learn about the games industry, and in particular, how publishers treat developers that are not already cash rich.

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142108)

Maybe you should read up on Jeff Tunnell. He's associated with some major companies and could probably find a way to do any game he pleases. He's worked with Sierra, as well as with the group "dynamix" which produced many of Sierra's biggest games.

He didn't do this for "fun" or to make a huge profit, he wanted to do casual games and that's where he is now.

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142339)

What's your point?

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145962)

The Parent of my original post thought that they are in this for money or in this to make enough to make blockbusters. This guy has been there done that multiple times. It's obvious with a name like Garage games, and with his track record/ company's track record he's happy to be working on casual games and probably will never stop.

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16148417)

The Parent of my original post thought that they are in this for money

No, he didn't say that. He said just in general it was a way for new developers to make money. He didn't comment at all on the INTENT of the dev in the article.

Verbal SAT sub-400?

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142595)

alot of the games on live are ports so most of the work as been done.

Re:Nice new first rung on the ladder for a develop (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16144323)

"Do a good job, you have self-generated the capital to do the blockbuster"

Then lose money on it like 90% of games do and go back to step 1...

To be pointlessly anal... (4, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16141947)

This article refers to a Xbox Live Arcade game. Not a regular game that happens to support Xbox Live.

Re:To be pointlessly anal... (1)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16141955)

Not pointless at all...there's a HUGE difference between an Xbox Live Arcade game and a standard Xbox 360 title. The headline should be changed.

Steam is doing it too... (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142153)

Just got done shelling out $10USD for Defcon [everybody-dies.com] on the PC. I would not have paid $50-30 for it, which is usually what the going rate is for shelf space. Also an indie as far as I know. If it goes well, may buy more games that way.

Re:Steam is doing it too... (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143232)

It's listed as $17.50USD - how did you get it for $10?

Re:Steam is doing it too... (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143614)

Look for it on Steam. Logging in for a quick game of CS:Source, and they listed it for 9.95USD if you buy it before they release it (end of this month).

Re:Steam is doing it too... (1)

MarkAD88 (971843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143270)

That game looks pretty nice. I couldn't find a demo, only a "demo coming soon" announcement. Do you have any idea when the demo is supposed to be released?

Re:Steam is doing it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16144521)

Do you have any idea when the demo is supposed to be released?
Roadmap [everybody-dies.com] . The same day the game is released.

Re:Steam is doing it too... (1)

PretzelWagon (770175) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143829)

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?"

How about Nintendo? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142538)

Will Nintendo release a (free?) devkit to make Nintendo Wi-Fi games (for the Wii and/or the DS)?

Since they'll already have the setup in place to sell games for console emulators, why not indie games too?

Virtual Console - open to indie developers? (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142615)

Will Nintendo release a (free?) devkit to make Nintendo Wi-Fi games (for the Wii and/or the DS)?

Since they'll already have the setup in place to sell games for console emulators, why not indie games too?

I agree. The concept of the virtual console just begs for low-cost development of more casual games, which is precisely the crowd Nintendo is going for. Alas, I don't think they've announced anything like that yet, focusing more on the retro titles that many fans are looking for first (old NES, SNES, N64 games). But I can't imagine why Nintendo WOULDN'T want to open it up. Besides, I believe Sony is doing the same thing with their online network, so it'd be yet another thing Nintendo is "left out" of (and arguably, something they should be driving in full force to begin with).

However, I highly doubt it would be a free devkit. Come on, this is Nintendo we're talking about. Just Google around ... they aren't exactly known to be developer friendly. :) (*cough outrageous licensing fees back-in-the-day cough*)

Re:Virtual Console - open to indie developers? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16144956)

I've been thirsting to play or develop some SNES or better sprite-based games. My brother and I used to dream of making them, but then harsh reality kicked in and we both worked in a warehouse/retail/office grunting stuff for the last 7 years. I went to college for a couple years for computer science, but frankly, I sucked at it.

Re:Virtual Console - open to indie developers? (1)

Flame0001 (818040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151370)

I don't have a link, but Nintendo _has_ said that they are supporting indie developers with the Virtual Console. And the devkit costs MUCH less than a Sony/Microsoft devkit. You know, cheap enough to where an indie would buy it, but keep those that truly don't have the desire to make games out.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142693)

Will Nintendo release a (free?) devkit to make Nintendo Wi-Fi games (for the Wii and/or the DS)?

We have to wait and see, so far there hasn't been any indication that they will, beside of course their talk on E3 2005 (on Wii big idea will triumph over big money, or something like that), that however might just be natural, since the Wii isn't released and final devkits havn't been around for long. Things might change if the Wii actually got released.

On the plus side however the Wii will come with Opera browser that should be able to handle Flash, so even if there would be no devkit, that at least might be enough for some fun little lightgun games.

Re:How about Nintendo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16142869)

slim to none.

in the past, the big boys (even MS) were veerry protective of anything released on their consoles. nintendo the most, sony next and ms third. Nintendo just can not take a chance that (pardon the pun) some porn game ends up on someone's wii, especially that of a 10 year old kid.

MS is opening it up, but you're gunna have to pony up some cash and it'll be very interesting to see how they manage any issues that arise. i.e. shutting down or allowing 'clone' games that are developed. i.e. just cuz u develop a tetris clone, doesn't make it legal, people making 'Halo' based games, etc.

also, the 360 is based on directX so its more or less, if you can program a PC game, you can program a 360 game. not as easy a transition to the ps3 or the Wii...

Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (2, Interesting)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16142662)

The way I see it, development costs work out this way by console from most expensive to least expensive:
1. PS3, Cell Processor and 25 GBs of space on a disc. PS3 owners are going to expect a lot of pre-rendered high definition content for the $599 they are shelling out.
2. Xbox 360, high defintion console with DVD-ROM
3. Wii, standard definition console
4. Xbox 360 Arcade, games are less than 64 MB each

I think Microsoft should allow games that are as large as 512 MB. The larger games could cost $15 to $25. This would fill out the spectrum between 30 MB fun Arcade games all the way up to multi-DVD RPGs. You would need a hard drive for the larger games which most Xbox 360s have and the Core Xbox 360 owners can always add one if they want to purchase the intermediate games. There are a lot of games that really need to be a few hundred megabytes to be worthwhile, but would have a hard time fighting it out on store shelves. Niche games such as adventure games would be pretty cool.

I think a lot of developers will want to produce Arcade titles. Low cost development, no need to deal with retailers other than Microsoft, no advertising costs and everyone with a Xbox 360 can see your title available for purchase. There is also the advantage that Xbox 360 owners don't even have to go to the store to buy your title on a whim.

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (3, Interesting)

ddt (14627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143295)

Actually, 50Mb is plenty because of ProFX (http://www.profxengine.com).

Check out RoboBlitz (http://www.roboblitz.com).

It's the first Unreal Engine 3 game coming for Xbox Live Arcade.

Procedural textures are your friend. :)

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (1)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143472)

Impressive visuals for something about 50 MB. I still think that there may be reasons to lift the 64 MB cap, but you do make a good point. The bigger implication: why does the PS3 need a Blu Ray drive again? I guess if you insist on pre-rendering everything or you are trying to piggyback a Blue Ray install base on the PS3.

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16144863)

I guess if you insist on pre-rendering everything or you are trying to piggyback a Blue Ray install base on the PS3.

A) Procedurally generating everything is about as common as... oh... something extremely uncommon among developers right now.

B) They are. 8-P

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (1)

normal_guy (676813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16147642)

Here's a good example [theprodukkt.com] of procedurally-generated content. A basic fps in 96k.

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (1)

unDiWahn (599102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16148535)

I'm guessing that the grandparent meant pre-rendering as in FMV clips, rather than using the in-game rendering engine for cutscenes. It is pretty common to use the engine for movies. Only games like Final Fantasy still use pre-rendered content, although I'm not really complaining -- they're a lot prettier.

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (1)

wedgewu (701989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16144158)

Oh wow, Roboblitz is coming to the arcade? Time to drop some pianos on some people... :)

Re:Arcade broadens Xbox 360 development options (2, Informative)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145846)

I think Microsoft should allow games that are as large as 512 MB.

The reason MS put a cap at 50 MB per live game is they sell a 64 meg memory card. They want all users to be able to buy at least 1 game, and have room for save files. It also doens't hurt that with a 50 meg cap you can buy/store a crap load on the 20 gig Hard drive.

Reminds me.. (-1, Troll)

deepb (981634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16143459)

You know how Spike Lee calls all his films "A Spike Lee Joint"? For some reason, when I read 80% of the stories posted by Zonk, I can't help but think how perfect this fits:

A Zonk Troll

It's like he picks stories relating to the little guy vs. the big guy, money hungry corporations, articles that are critical of Microsoft/Apple/Dell/etc. .. all with the intention of getting people riled up. Sadly, it usually works - but I guess that's what A Zonk Troll is all about. Holla!

lol [nt] (1)

James A. V. Joyce (798462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16144111)

.
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