Iron Lore (Titan Quest) closes; Developer vents frustration with PC market (IHV incl)

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by Farid, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Farid

    Farid Artist formely known as Vysez
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    The corporate site of the talented development house behind one of the best rogue-like in recent times, Titan Quest and its add-on Immortal Throne, announces the bad news:

    http://www.ironlore.com/

    The rant on the subject from Michael Fitch, Director of Creative Management, THQ, Inc:

    On piracy:

    On PC hardware vendors:

    On the audience:

    On the game reviewing press:

    You can read the whole rant here. It's obviously the result of a lot of cumulated frustration on Fitch's end, so I don't think it would be really interesting to spend most of the thread discussing the motives behind this post of his, given it's obvious. Discussing the merit of his arguments seems, however, a pertinant thing to do.
     
  2. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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  3. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    Im quite surprised but not shocked at the high piracy rate. I hope some of the b3d'ers who are (in)famous for how much they pirate, feel ashamed of themselves. Piracy doesnt hurt? :roll:
     
  4. woundingchaney

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    His piracy estimates seem to be more than a bit high dont they??

    70% is the low side (??), I suppose it could be believable although I would like to see where he is getting these estimates. Though to be truthful its not a figure I follow.

    Apparently the "complaints of crashing" didnt stop people from pirating the game so Im not overly sure why it would stop it at retail. I was thinking there was a demo available prior to release which should have been a good indication of performance.

    A shame because I enjoyed Titan's Quest and was looking forward to any future developments out of this studio.
     
  5. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Depends on how you do the math. If you count everyone who downloaded the game or some portion thereof and actually played it for less than 5 minutes it could be accurate. There's a lot of pirates who just download things because they like to have them, and many of the games actually never get played. I'm sure the number of people who would buy the game if they couldn't have pirated it is quite a bit lower.
     
  6. Sxotty

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    I never pirate games, but I also don't buy them for the outrageous prices they ask.

    Don't the companies realize how this works? You can lower the price and sell far more copies...Price elasticity of demand and all that. There is blame to go around for many different groups.
     
  7. Kowan

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    I also don't pirate but buy many games. I didn't buy any from Iron Lore though. None caught my interest.
     
  8. suryad

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    Its pretty sad. I dont pirate games. I buy them but I usually wait for the prices to drop and then I go ahead and grab them. Also PC games usually are ports from consoles nowdays and they are pretty bad ports the most of the time. Splinter Cell Double agent was a really bad port with a lot of bugs and so is GoW. I am all for PC games but I think the game development needs to improve and not use their fan base as beta testers for the games.
     
  9. humbertklyka

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    I think that something they conveniently "forgot" is that while I enjoyed TQ, it was extremely buggy from the start, to the point of crashing after 10-15 minutes of playing until the first patch was released. It then took half a year for the game to be patched up to a status where it could be considered in a playable state.

    So for early adopters like me and my girlfriend that bought us a copy each to be able to play coop, were playing it through the buggy times. And once it had been fixed, we had already batteled with it for 6 months, and frankly didn't feel like playing it anymore, and definitely not wanting to buy the expansion. The main feeling after finishing playing it was that we wanted our money back.

    So I think my conclusion is that while they can blame piracy, and that is of course part of the puzzle, if a good product would be released at a reasonable price I think a lot more people would buy it, and recommend it to others. A lot of games nowadays are just too buggy when released, that is something that THQ might want to consider, as that is something they have the control over rather than blaming the customers.

    /Humbert Klyka
     
  10. PARANOiA

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    I notice you can no longer buy TQ on Steam... is there any way to still buy the game? I did want to playi it since it's a reasonable Diablo clone. That's a damn shame if not.
     
  11. Galduta

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    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

    Other diferent vision about the piracy , the DRM and the sales from the industry and developers .
     
    #11 Galduta, Mar 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2008
  12. Berek

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    TQ was indeed a worthy Diablo clone. I really appreciated playing it with my friends last year.

    Unfortunately, it is STILL extremely buggy in Vista, so the game has its problems permanently etched now since there will not be any further patches.

    I really am glad that we have companies getting together to hopefully boost PC games. We need a comeback to get great Diablo and other games again. What we're getting now is just not what it used to be.
     
  13. Corwin_B

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    Also note that THQ refused to fund the development of patches for the TQ expansion that would have fixed some of the glaring problems (compatibilty, performance, game balance), citing low sales. I think the publisher deserves at least some part of the blame if they force the developers to include stupid DRM that breaks the game without warning, force the devs to meet deadlines that mean the product ships in a broken state, refuse to fund patches, and then hide behind the piracy excuse.
     
  14. thehulk

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    TQ was them most fun I had since D2 LOD.
     
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Yeah.

    I think the piracy topic is becoming the favorite bitching angle when your halfway decent game doesn't sell millions upon millions. Maybe this complaining will have a little impact on consciences out there though and do some good? Who knows.

    Like has been said, an awful lot of pirates are of the "archivist/collector" personality and just download to satisfy their desire to have absolutely everything even when they'll never use it. They wouldn't buy the games at all. I've known quite a few people who are like that. Sure they lost some sales I'm sure, but piracy has been around since forever folks and the game industry has never had as large of an audience as it does today.

    I've been wondering just how many torrent folks are in countries that basically sponsor piracy. Torrent apps will tell you where people are geographically. I'd like to see stats on how much various countries pirate. :)
     
    #15 swaaye, Mar 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2008
  16. Sxotty

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    Strangely I found that happened to me with regular games I bought. I have two sitting on my shelf I got really cheap and I just haven't bothered to play them. I haven't bought a game since either since I figure if I don't play what I buy why buy more? And actually part of it is I don't want to deal with the CDs since the computer room is a huge mess and I have to climb over boxes to get them any time I wanted to play :p
     
  17. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    Lots of stores still have copies lying around (more likely at a place like WalMart, where it doesn't fit with the general customer), and it's easy to pick up the $20 Gold version on Amazon.
     
  18. PARANOiA

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    Heh, I've since found out that it's not available on Steam in Australia (and possibly Europe?) which sucks. What's really bad is that PC gaming has become terribly niche here, so much so that your local game store has a tiny PC shelf, tucked way in the back. If I was to walk into a store, it'd look something like
    * eight shelves for PS3/360/Wii
    * four shelves for PSP/DS/GBA
    * three shelves for PS2/Xbox/GC
    * two for peripherals
    * one for "new" PC games - those released in the last three years or so
    * one for "old" PC games... the dinosaurs, like Starcraft, Diablo etc

    We don't have Walmart here, but the department stores have tonnes of archaic games still with their original prices. I saw the original Dark Forces (the 2D Star Wars FPS - I always get mixed up since there were a few over the years like JK, JK2. JK2:JA, etc) for $100 the other day!

    Ironically (when you look at the thread topic) you can still find the original Diablo for $30-$40AUD in every game or electronic store.
     
  19. SugarCoat

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    in my opinion his numbers look outrageously high and quite probably totally bs. If a game is fun and is marketed decently, it sells. Comparing PC sales to console game sales has been and will continue to always be a losing match on the PC side simply because of the audience you are selling to. With console gamers who have X platform, which problably cost less than your average decent CPU+GPU requirement for said modern game, you know with dead certainty you're catering to millions gamers. With PC gamers the audience is much harder to determine. Furthermore blaming piracy seems to be the new trend when the blame lies elseware, usually on the same shoulders it always has, the publishers. Great studios have been closing for years long before P2P took off and usually at the behest of the publisher and this situation seems no different. I think its an incredible cop out when all these brave souls break out and boast loudly how the pirateers caused the lack of sales on their buggy/immature product [publishers force PC games into release before they're ready all the time] or lackluster marketing job [wtf is titan quest?] which are the real detriments to any company trying to market a product.

    my 2 cents.
     
    #19 SugarCoat, Mar 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2008
  20. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    Piracy probably does hurt sales considerably but there are other things that might have an even bigger impact. Take Crysis for example - its weak sales are probably due to its ridiculously high hardware requirements more so than any piracy that may be taking place. And that goes back to the point of the lowest common denominator in PC hardware out there being laughable.
     
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