Sunjammer's forum posts

#1 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

@wemibelec90: Yeah it's difficult to rationalize any perspective on it really.. The games press exists to report on the industry, but the press also exists because the industry is healthy. It seems like there needs to be some sort of TLC between the two, or some "gentleman's agreement". Heck, I don't know. But it bugs me an awful lot these days.

I'm a multiplat guy anyway, I buy all the systems and all the games and I want everything to be healthy and nice, so consumers have lots of choice and developers have lots of work. "Picking on the new guy" seems like a Bad Thing.

#2 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

So here’s a thing that’s been bothering me for a while.

PlayStation Vita sales struggling in Europe

Comparing Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft Black Friday Sales

Nintendo’s Wii U sales struggle

3DS sales struggle in recent weeks

My perception of this is probably somewhat skewed but I’ll talk about this anyway: I think for as long as I can remember, every system launch has been paired with a games press that is, it seems, real happy to be discussing hardware sales numbers. I cannot fathom why this information is of any value to consumers, and indeed if it isn’t actually detrimental.

The most recent pair of “ailing” products (they are not ailing) are the PlayStation Vita and the Wii U. System sales are one thing, but then we get into a lack of exclusives, or exclusives going multi-plat. I can’t help but think that any product fresh out of the gates will have a challenge ahead of it to build a user base, and that everyone involved in that product is taking a risk.

I think the games press is hurting the industry by reporting so gleefully on the failings of a platform.

It’s not even a particularly wide leap to make; If everybody says a system sells poorly or lacks value, then less people are going to invest in it. The relationship in terms of marketing is practically 1:1. It is, however, “marketing” over which the platform holder or their third parties hold little immediate agency. Building a user base is pretty tough business.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s perfectly laudable to report on the Wii U crashing, or Diablo 3′s connection problems and so forth. But reporting on those things are not directly counterproductive to solving those issues.

I’m torn. And maybe there just isn’t a good way around this.

I’m doing a lot of game development these days, and it takes a long, long time to finish something. I mean really finish. As in having something up to Nintendo scratch, and you just know it’s going to be fantastic for everyone who plays it. I’d even say you can’t realistically meet that goal unless the stars are perfect and you have some substantial savings. Then there’s the question about profitability.

Here’s my (possibly naive) business plan.

  1. Within a reasonable budget, make a game that encapsulates the essence of what I want to create (realizing that there will always be more things I want to do with it)
  2. Put it up for sale in a fun, stable state.
  3. View user comments and reviews.
  4. Spend income on updates to add content and fix any objective flaws.

This ties into another plan, which is to never do a title update simply for bug fixes. Every update should include a content update of some sort. This both to reward users for keeping up to date (with more than just bug fixes), but also to keep myself lean and mean (to myself).

If I got consistent press immediately after launch about how few features my game had, or how poorly it ran on device x, I’d likely have less sales, and less opportunity to rectify. The product would just die, and my reputation as a developer would be tarnished.

I guess I just believe a craftsman should be given the opportunity to redeem himself for his mistakes, and by reporting on ailing sales, I feel the games press is not affording the platform holders that opportunity. It looks like the games press meddling with fundamental platform marketing, and it stinks to see the apparently joyful way that information propagates through the media.

I think the press should at the very least be considerate of what they publish in terms of sales statistics, and consider the wider effects of such information elevated to such prominence. I’d expect something like Gamesindustry.biz to report on this stuff. I have no idea why Eurogamer or IGN believes the gaming consumer should give a fuck.

#3 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

@Vigil80: If you found that content cherry picked to offend, I wonder just what kind of content would not offend you. That article is plain as day; It presents the elephant in the room in simple, direct language. It doesn't blow it out of proportion. It simply shines the torch on it.

If you don't think a thing is worth reporting on because "it's obvious", you are failing to see the difference between correlating evidence to build an understanding, and simply telling people how it is. The latter, done right, is more valuable than trusting public intuition, which is generally speaking pretty shitty.

No, it seems to me you are Quixoting your way through this. The article is, in actuality, fairly respectful of every party involved, and leaves you to draw your own moral conclusions. The purpose of it, I feel, is to make us discuss guns not as a FUCK NO GOTTA GET RID OF THAT SHIT and rather observe the debate on gun control in the light of the industries that perpetuate their popularity; Both games and gun manufacturers are equally complicit in this.

It is not sensationalist to simply report. Nothing in Parkin's writing is blowing anything out of proportion.

#4 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

@Vigil80: If you read that article as "sensationalist" you either didn't actually read it, or you don't know what sensationalism is.

#5 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

I reckon Simon Parkin is about as good as games journalism gets these days. Every single time that guy gets published it's fantastic work, even when I don't agree with him.

#6 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

This is what happens when the games you make simply aren't good enough. I really wish Epic Mickey had been something special, but it wasn't. I hope everybody involved goes on to greater things.

#7 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

I reckon Alex is the single best writer on Giant Bomb's staff right now. This kind of content almost seems out of place, considering how much better it is than most of the editorial content that gets published here. Bravo, seriously. This article was up there with the best of Rock Paper Shotgun quality

#8 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

Thanks for reminding me how many kinds of dead dubstep is.

#9 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

Dante in DmC is objectifying men. I think it's fucking cool that games dare do that nowadays. We need more of it.

#10 Posted by Sunjammer (907 posts) -

@JoeShadows: This is not a conversation. This is pontificating.