@mb: The thing is that most of that money comes from just a dozen or so free to play games like LOL and DOTA2, not from the sale of AAA titles. The NPD doesn't give exact numbers anymore, but from my understanding the PC version of a game will sell between 10% and 25% of each of the console versions. According to VGChartz which isn't entirely accurate but is usually a good estimate, even Battlefield 3, a game that is much better on PC than on consoles only sold about a third as many units as the 360 and PS3 versions. And to bring this back to Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, Assassin's Creed 3 sold about 5 million units on the 360 and PS3, and only around 750,000 on PC. I'm not using AC4 just because VGChartz tends to increase in accuracy by a wide degree after you wait a year from release. And Far Cry 3, another game that was vastly superior on PC, again sold only about 750,000 units on that platform compared to about 3 million on the PS3 and 360. So while I can't actually tell you for certain how many copies of AAA games are sold on PC today compared to a decade ago (no one can outside of a handful of analysts and executives and they aren't allowed to say), I can say with a degree of certainty that while the PC market today is much more healthy than it was a decade ago, those increases are coming almost exclusively from the sales of free to play games as well as cheaper indie titles.
Raven10's forum posts
I think Japanese developers are slowly starting to realize that what westerners want from them are the same types of games they have always made. The thing is, like other have stated, you can't make a AAA game just for Japan anymore. The thing is that the solution is not to make western games. The solution is just making the types of games you make well really well, while trying to at least make the story understandable to those that aren't intimately familiar with Japanese culture. To use an anime analogy that like five people are going to understand, if you are Studio Ghibli make more Miyazaki and less Takahata. The former is undoubtedly Japanese but the themes of his stories are universal and don't require an understanding of Japanese culture or folklore to enjoy. You'll get more out of some of them if you do, but it is not required. The latter often makes movies that just don't make sense to those outside of Japan (My Neighbors the Yamadas or Pom Poko are two really extreme examples). Both directors make great films that are well received in their home nations, but one makes films that are beloved worldwide while the other makes films that are largely successful only in Japan.
@rorie: I always say the same thing when these types of threads pop up. While games did traditionally cost $50 (which is a hell of a lot more than $60 in today's money) quite a few games, especially RPG's, cost $70 or more. And the prices were much, much, higher is much of Europe. Steam has brought prices down so much over the past decade that people either don't know or don't remember that PC games used to cost just as much as console games if not more. In fact the first game I can remember that cost more than $50 this century for the base edition was Warcraft 3. I believe Blizzard sold that for $55. And Doom 3 also went for that if I recall. Valve pushed prices down with Steam but it's not like making PC games has gotten cheaper and sales aren't that much higher than they were 10 years ago.
@mrcraggle: Well it's the same reason Microsoft doesn't charge 30% less for Halo or Sony 30% less for Uncharted. You can't undercut your licensees. If EA sold Battlefield 4 for $40(or Euros) then other publishers would have trouble selling their games for $60 on the same storefront. As a platform holder part of your job is to manage prices. If you start selling your games for much less than others are able to charge then it will reflect poorly on those other companies. And that 30% you make off hosting other company's products is almost pure profit. Unlike a retail store you don't have to buy the copies and then sell them to consumers. Outside of server hosting, every single game another company sells makes you pure profit. That is how Microsoft and Sony make money off of consoles. It's not their own games or the boxes themselves. It's that 30% from 3rd parties. So it is incredibly important to make those third parties want to publish games on your system. And part of that is making your first party AAA titles cost the same as the 3rd parties. Of course I'm not going to deny that EA is also trying to just make as much money as possible, but I would also point out that they hold pretty regular sales on their first party lineup, and give away at least one game a month for absolutely nothing, no strings attached. I think they are doing a good job of keeping third parties happy while also offering their first party stuff for decent prices.
@pcorb: They give Valve 30%. That's the exact same amount they give Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony (and Apple and Google on mobile phones). You can release a PC game directly from your own site and not use a storefront like Steam but that is going to drastically limit your sales. All digital games cost about $5 less a game to release which is why Valve usually sells games for 10% off on release day. But outside of that the costs are pretty much the same.
Uncharted us almost always a big hit with non-gamers. I've been told by several girls that they hated when their boyfriends played too many games but they really enjoyed watching Uncharted. My Mom who hates games actually watched me play Uncharted 3 for several hours. The thing I would most recommend if she just wants to watch for the story would be to turn the game down to easy. I actually turned Uncharted 3 down to very easy and made sure I had played all the puzzles recently. The thing that loses most people is when you die (especially more than once on the same part).
I would recommend Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite just because they have awesome visuals and stories, but the issue with them (and also with The Last of Us) is you have to spend a lot of time looking for resources. My parents would enjoy watching the story and combat in The Last of Us, but they would get super bored while I then proceeded to search through each area for resources and collectables. In the case of Bioshock the problem is that much of the story is told through audiologs so you need to be collecting those things. For The Last of Us I would recommend playing through the game multiple times to upgrade yourself enough that you don't have to worry too much about dying and then play on the easiest difficulty.
The core with making games fun to watch is making sure you keep the pace up. Spend too much time exploring and going off the beaten path and people will get bored. The other key is that you should choose games that have characters talking during gameplay. That is what makes the Uncharted series so perfect. Even while you are playing you are still getting story. Prince of Persia works really well for that. Heavenly Sword and Enslaved are also good examples.
I have nothing against the concept. If they provide a good value for the price then that is fine. On the same token this is $5 a month right? That's more than PS Plus ($60 a year compared to $50) and the same price as Xbox Live Gold. PS Plus and Gold though give you new free games every month (4 games in Microsoft's case and 6 in Sony's case). EA just isn't going to be able to match that. With this being an Xbox One exclusive thing they are already including almost every game they released for the system thus far. So what do you add to that? Do you put games onto the service when they are six months old? If so you are still only going to get a couple of games a year. I guess my issue is that compared to the value for PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold I just don't see it. Of course we don't know the degree of the discounts. If every EA game was also 50% off on release then I might say it is worth it, but you would have to really like a lot of EA series, which just doesn't seem especially likely for most people.
- Put it together your self and feel accomplished. Always good to know the inner workings of the thing you're using.
- Every PC you build is a custom piece of equipment. You choose it's parts, you put it together, and no one has anything else like it.
- Games on the PC are pretty good.
- Putting one together your self is cheaper and more efficient then buying store bought junk.
- Buy the right parts, and unlike your laptop, it won't sound like a wind tunnel every time you turn it on. (For graphics cards and power supplies, make sure you see multiple positive feedbacks on a piece of equipment that note how "quiet" they are before buying.)
- Laptops are garbage
- Apple is over priced
Also you say you're developing for Java, but that platform is hella old, maybe try something else? I actually don't know how relevant Java is in the current computing landscape maybe I'm wrong.
This pretty much covers everything I would have said. I'd also add that in addition to being "pretty good" PC games more often go on sale and can sometimes be modded or altered in ways that console games can't. If you can afford a decent gaming PC I don't know why you would choose a console outside of the exclusive games on those systems. At 13 years old I should mention that making a good gaming PC is costly. I don't know how wealthy your parents are, but before you begin this process understand that you'll need around $1000 to build a decent system assuming you already have a monitor. If you don't then add another $200-500 onto that depending on the quality of monitor you want. For that price, assuming you are patient and wait for good sales, you should be able to play any game released on close to max settings at 1080/1200p and at least high settings on most current releases should you go with a 2k or a 4k monitor. If you want to assure 1080p/60fps for every single game completely maxed out then you'll probably have to spend closer to $1300 without monitor although I wouldn't recommend getting such a computer if you have any sort of budgetary restraints.
Look up the term player agency. It's the concept of a player placing himself into the game and feeling that he has a direct effect on the game world. Early academics theorized that a player would be more easily able to become engrossed in a world if they felt they were playing a representation of themselves. To allow for this the character had to be silent so that he or she wouldn't say something that the player wouldn't say in the situation. The reason it is popular in first person games is because you don't ever see your character so it is easier to place yourself in the role of that character. Gordon is supposed to be a shell for the player to inhabit. This line of thinking is also why Square traditionally makes the lead characters of the Final Fantasy series the least interesting or detailed of the group. Cloud, Squall, Lightning, Vaan, and so forth are supposed to be as blank a slate as possible so that the player can imprint him or herself onto that character. In White Knight Odyssey Level 5 actually had the player create a character to represent themselves in the game who played only a minor part in the story. The idea is that players are trying to role play and it is easier to do so with a character who is silent and/or who has few background details. Even characters that do talk in shooters usually have very little to say. Why does Master Chief never take off his helmet? Why did Bungie not ever say his name(John) until Halo 3? Because Master Chief can be any race. He can be from any part of the world. With no name and no face, players can put themselves into the role more easily. Another example is how Insomniac gave Nathan Hale almost no lines in the Resistance series. If you play the first game I believe Hale speaks two sentences the entire game. The second game he speaks a bit more, while in the third game the character you play doesn't speak at all during gameplay, just during cutscenes. It's all about making the player feel that sense of agency.
Now in recent years the whole concept of creating greater agency through a silent protagonist has been debated with many people now saying that the concept doesn't work. People point to Bioware and how they made Commander Shepard have a voice while still allowing players to create a character they could attach themselves to. I personally think that is the future. But Valve continues to push silent protagonists and they hold a ton of sway in the industry. I think if Gordon Freeman talks in Half Life 3 then you'll see silent protagonists go away permanently.
I guess my response would be that for fans of comic books this won't matter because this is true of the comics as well. I mean Batman is always going to succeed. Hell DC tried killing off both Batman and Superman and neither stuck. If you enjoy comics then you enjoy them despite knowing that at the end of most story arcs everything will be reset. You get occasional major change, but that is like a once a decade thing at most. Look at the films like episodic TV shows if you aren't into comics. One of my favorite episodes of Family Guy has a fourth wall breaking conclusion where after a bunch of crazy shit happens, Peter just looks directly at the camera and says that people were crazy if they thought any of that would stick because everything has to reset for next week.
I totally agree that the lack of tension takes away a lot from the Marvel Cinematic Universe but I also think that comic book fans are used to this type of thing. At some point you know Spiderman is never going to die. Nor is Wolverine or The Hulk. We just heard this week that Thor is being recast as a woman in the comics. Let me tell you how long that will last. About six months after which things will revert back to how they were. Same with Captain America. Completely changing a superhero is a very rare thing. I can think of three examples off the top of my head. The original Robin became Nightwing and was replaced by several characters over the years. Green Lantern was recreated to become Hal Jordan but that was in the 1950's after the character had been left unused for over a decade. He has been Hal Jordan (among others) since. And lastly Nick Fury started out as a white guy before becoming Samuel L Jackson.