KZ2 and game budgeting in general *spin-off

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Laa-Yosh, Apr 18, 2009.

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  1. ErnstH

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    Opportunity cost is not about the amount of money you spend, it's about what you spend it on and the returns you make on your investments. You can spend the same amount of money, but receive bigger or smaller returns depending on the choices you make. Sony does not have an endless supply of money to make investments with, so the returns they make based on their choices is important.

    Sony's strategy seems to be to have a large first party developer network, which costs them a lot of money. But the resulting games are met with mixed consumer reception, even though some are critically acclaimed (e.g. Uncharted, KZ2, LBP, Lair etc). MS's strategy seems to be to rely much less on first party developers (Bungie and Ensemble are both let go, even though their titles are top-notch), but to cherry pick their titles from thirdparty developers. To me it seems their investments have seen much better returns (e.g. Gears, Mass Effect, PGR3).
     
  2. Crossbar

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    It's an FPS and they can take it in whatever direction the FPS genre allows them to do. Next installment can be set in shiny futuristic city or in a jungle environment.
    It´s all about the presentation and story line.

    Just look at Pierce Brosnans last Bond movie ("Die another day") which was complete shit and compare it to the following bond movie: "Casino Royal". Night and day of the same franchise.
     
  3. function

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    Indeed. Sony has spent an awful lot of money on technically impressive games with limited appeal.

    They should have been spending an awful lot of money on games that would sell better, grow the PS3 user base and attract people to its (paying) online services.

    The real difference between Halo 3 and KZ2 is that one of them carried over millions of users from the last console, got millions of people using a pay to play online service, got millions of people paying for add-on content packs and thanks to features like a superb co-op mode has continued to suck people into all of the above. Halo 3 was a smart choice for putting money into.

    Also look at Gears of War. A graphical showcase that shows off the platform doesn't just need impressive technology, it needs an art style that's attractive and a theme that people can buy into. I wonder how much the CGI KZ2 teaser ended up being a millstone around the game's neck. Oh, and Gears of War had an excellent co-op mode that drew people in and helped push MS's online gaming service.

    There's been a lot of talk about the "added benefits" that the KZ2 technology will give to Sony, but I think we need to look at the very tangible "added benefits" that Sony should have been getting for their money.
     
  4. obonicus

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    Sony's inability to get a Gran Turismo game out this generation is ridiculous. I've heard it may be out the end of this, the third year, but the same rumor was ambiguous and may have pointed to an earliy 2010 release. 4 years for Sony's biggest franchise is just ridiculous, Prologue and PD's perfectionism notwithstanding. I mean, the freedom Sony gives its studios is probably great if you're in the industry but surely they must realize that not having their biggest franchise is hurting them.

    3rd party exclusives are dead this generation, and maybe given the drop in PES/WE's quality it wouldn't have been a good deal in retrospect, but I felt they should have tried for an exclusive there too. People were just stupid for that game on PS2. More important than losing FFXIII, IMO.
     
    #184 obonicus, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2009
  5. catisfit

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    If only we all had the ability to see into the future :grin:
     
  6. patsu

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    Yes !

    I guess Sony will have to deliberate between the 2 paths. *If* they can build a very successful first party outfit, it may be a better route since they can earn more and be independent as well. If they can't, then they lose out in funding third parties. They are paying the "school fees" now as they attempt to build up their business. There is no guarantee that they can graduate. That's the business risk for this model.

    The first road is tougher but they have more control over their destiny and execution (e.g., Don't have to worry about competing with MS's piggybank. At best, they may only be able to match MS for some titles = No/little exclusives for PS3)

    EDIT: Forgot one thing. If they eat their own dog food, and build up their R&D (especially SPU development), they can help all third party developers too. The Cell has a new architecture, which cuts all developers pretty badly this time. Their direct exposure to gamers/customers will also help them understand and grow their userbase too -- together with partners (e.g., Some first party titles are not "mainstream". Third parties may be more likely to go after the sure hits).
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

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    As it should! We've 1080p TVs, we have the option to player 4 player split screen with each playing getting the equivalent of their own SDTV. We were happy to play split-screen Mariokart at paltry resolutions; how much moreso now that we get a good view of our game-space?! It'd be worth getting a list of multiplayer coop games versus single-player only and seeing what an average sell through is like. I certainly think a good coop system will lead to substantially better sales. People like the communal playing together.
     
  8. dobwal

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    Good thing is that we can all see into the past or what was the present a couple of years ago. Remember "Sony doesn't buy exclusivity". MS plan from the get go was to pay to play and that it would try to buy support for the 360. Its not illogical to believe that the major third players tried to use MS money offerings as leverage to get more from Sony. Sony basically underestimated MS's desire to offset the PS2 major advantage of high profile third party exclusive. They also underestimated the affects of a narrower offering of PS3 exclusives would affect overall PS3 sales especially in combination with the high retail price and the 360 head start.
     
  9. scificube

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    This is topic for another debate that has already been had. Nintendo does not do what either Sony or MS does and makes more money than both of them - had much the same strategy as they do now and was soundly trounced by them last gen.

    In any case I don't think I really want to enter into a referendum on Sony, MS, or Nintendo policy and strategy. I personally see the value in both Sony and MS's approach and I understand well why each is pursuing the course they currently are. Still, arguing my sentiments on the matter is asking for trouble that won't stop coming...I'll have to avoid the pit...I still have some life to live yet.
     
  10. jb

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    Hey there not sure if any one replied yet. But I have worked with engines 1/2 before. When you get the engine your given the tools to make everything work and lots of example code, but not enough that you can just switch out a few images and maps and have a new game out of it. Since everything is based on uscript it is not that hard for a program to start to build the things are custom to your game (maybe your guns have to re-act differently or support something that is not standard in the UE3 engine, maybe you have to teach the AI something different, you want different options in the menus, you have different hud layout in mine, different game types for MP, ect)...
     
  11. Laa-Yosh

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    KZ2's supposedly huge sales potential has never existed outside of its fan bases' fantasies.

    And the same goes for God of War 3. As good as they may be, both previous games have sold around 2-3 million for a huge PS2 userbase. GOW3 won't far much better as far as we can see at this point.
     
  12. Nesh

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    How can you blame Sony when you dont know the reasons why GT5 takes so much time?

    If PD could have had this ready sooner they would have had it. And Sony would have loved it too.

    Its not like we didnt get a GT game at all either.
     
  13. scificube

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    I'm going to assume the relevancy of this post was in response to me.

    Motorstorm, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Gran Turismo Prologue, and Resistance:FOM (barring others I'm not bored enough to look up) has all sold about as much to a considerably smaller userbase to date.

    As for the God of War franchise none of the previously mentioned carry the same clout and none of them are reponsible for moving 7+ million units to date on only three games except Gran Turismo. I'm fairly certain why Santa Monica is getting top dogg budgeting and if you don't see it like I do...that's cool...just thought I'd offer some explanation for my opinion. I wouldn't want to be accused of having some sort of fanboy fantasy or anything.
     
  14. obonicus

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    But that's what I'm saying. Sony giving them all the time in the world is part of the problem. Sure, from our perspective having the best game possible is good. For Sony, not so much. GT is Sony's main franchise and the only really huge one they have. Having lost almost every significant exclusive this generation except for MGS4, you'd think they'd need to get software that can push hardware. At this point, I feel they'll release GT5 when they can push a price-drop.
     
  15. obonicus

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    Oh, please. If we could predict what would or wouldn't be a hit, outside of the obvious, we'd be a lot richer. Let's not pretend we can tell what's going to sell and what won't, or that any of these outcomes are incredibly obvious.

    And I'm dying to hear this exact same discussion repeated when GoW sells 1 million in two months exactly one year from now.
     
  16. scificube

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    Polyphony Digital is going to release when they want and Sony is going to stay out of their way until they feel like it. Polyphony Digital also isn't going to be satiated by a "few million" sales. They've been waiting for the userbase to grow and offering GT:prologue to pacify us in the mean time...not that I'm complaining.
     
  17. Nesh

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    But would it have necessarily been a good idea?

    The series needs some serious advancements to maintain its popularity and fame as the top racing simulation. People have formed high expectations. The series has also found a strong competitor that is Forza.

    Releasing it too soon while being too similar to GT4 and not much better than Forza 2 it would have weakened its appeal.

    Obviously there is a vision behind GT that neither Sony nor PD would want to ruin for a short boost of sales.

    The series also has its huge fan-base. It is the top selling racing series. They probably can afford to wait in order to avoid sacrificing perfection
     
  18. obonicus

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    Er, it's the other way around. Without compelling software, why would the userbase grow? GT is the only major system seller Sony has. The ridiculous prologue sold 3 million copies!

    GT will sell, yes (though again, if MS can release a second Forza this year, this also weakens GT, though I don't think Forza has really made appreciable inroads into the GT fanbase). That's not the issue. The issue is trying to move PS3s, to increase the userbase for the other software offerings. Is it necessary to release GT5 with a thousand different cars? I'd mention DLC, but I have to wonder if the Prologue promise was kept at all?
     
  19. scificube

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    I was explaining what has happened not what should happen. I offered no opinion.

    To answer you question about it being the opposite way around? I wouldn't disagree that compelling software is what will establish the userbase. However, some titles are held back so that they can perform better. Gran Turismo has more demographic appeal than arguably any other PS3 franchise so it makes sense to cast nets when more fish are in the sea.
     
  20. function

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    It's hard to tell in some cases for sure, but some of Sony's sales disappointments were bordering on the obvious IMO.

    Heavenly Sword: a beautiful and technically impressive ... single player scrolling beat 'em up!? When did these last shift huge numbers of consoles?

    Lair: how was this ever going to cause the user base to surge forward?

    And now, Killzone 2: A technically impressive FPS ... without an easy to sell conflict (WW2, terrorists, aliens, monsters), without a striking visual style, without a clearly identifiable and easily promotable main character, and without co-op!

    Seriously, no co-op in a FPS you're blowing $50 million on? Co-op was a hit the previous gen, online co-op had already been massively successful in Vegas and the smash hit Gears of War, and then Sony start pre-production on Killzone and ... no co-op! Lack of co-op isn't KZ2's only issue, but it's the most unsubtle and tick-box-avoidable and a clear sign that back in 2005/2006 Sony did not have their eye on the ball.

    I wouldn't have bet money on Killzone 2 being the sales disappointment it has been so far, but neither would I have expected it to be a Halo 3 or Gears of War style killer app. And if I'm spending $50 million on a game that's exactly what I'd want and exactly the kind of bet I am making.
     
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