Microsoft rumored to be buying...... [2020-04, 2020-07, 2020-11]

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Nesh, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Silent_Buddha

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    Usually sites that do reviews will visually look at games under a microscope (magnification) and determine whether something like this is visible or not. If it's not visible to the naked eye then they generally won't comment on it. If it does visibly alter the look of the game, then they will quite often raise holy hell, and rightfully so.

    When AMD first implemented that as a driver option, many many many review sites tested with it on and off and none of them could see any visible differences. Hence, the conclusion that some games used an excessive amount of tesselation that lead to no visible improvement in the game's graphical presentation. Therefore, pretty much every review site is fine with it.

    Basically, if the only place you can visually see the difference is in a wireframe rendering, then the excessive tesselation wasn't deemed as necessary in terms of benchmarking. However, that said, some sites persisted in disabling the reduction in tesselation level. Most stopped, however, as it served no purpose.

    This was not the case when NV were doing shader replacement as well as forcing lower bit depth rendering back in the day. Those alterations actually did change how the game looked to the player, sometimes quite dramatically so.

    We've had other things over the years that have been controversial, like NV's brilinear filtering (applying a lower level of filtering when a game requested trilinear filtering). AMD also got mud on their face when they were caught changing things for certain benchmarks why certain executables were run, like the infamous quake2 (or was it quake?) exe.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. liams

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    SEGA Is 'Really Happy' With The Results Of Xbox Game Pass - Xbox News (purexbox.com)

    Hmmm.....

    An excerpt:

    I think at this point the only reason Microsoft hasn't acquired SEGA is because SEGA dont want to get acquired...


    This article is apparently from a portion of an article that eurogamer did, at the following link
    Is Xbox Game Pass too good to be true? • Eurogamer.net
     
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  3. ChuckeRearmed

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    In time...The problem with Sega is that they still have some "fat" they need to burn before acquisition. I believe it will happen eventually. Or maybe they will find great success - like Capcom - and decide not to sell.

    GamePass is the absolute boon for older games. Publishers probably will be happy to put older games there they don't sell anymore. Also maybe they will finally port Persona and put in on GamePass.

    Events like Bethesda's purchase are relatively Rare in general.
     
    #843 ChuckeRearmed, Feb 17, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  4. Silent_Buddha

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    Some interesting statistics from that article:
    • Subscribers to Game Pass spend 20% more on game purchases than non-subscribers.
    • Subscribers play 40% more games
    • Subscribers play 30% more gaming genres.
    • Developers see engagement in their games increase by 6x - 30x compared to before they put their game on Game Pass
    One developer example is Human Fall Flat. 60% of the people who tried that game on Game Pass had never played a "puzzle" game before that one. And 40% of the people who tried Human Fall Flat ended up buying another "puzzle" game after trying Human Fall Flat on Game Pass.

    I like this developer comment on their experience

    Basically putting one of their games onto Game Pass ended up being so profitable (Game Pass money + Game Sales due to Game Pass) that they could fund 3 new games entirely from the profits.

    Also good to see their payment model is flexible and roughly matches what I'd speculated before.
    • Full upfront payment. Potential to pay off the rest of a games development.
    • Licensing fee
    • Residuals based on downloads or people playing the game
    • Also, open to other flexible payment options on a developer by developer basis.
    Basically, developers and publishers are making roughly as much or more on Game Pass as they were on Steam before putting their titles on Game Pass. And this is especially true for console ports which went from "a PC port would be a nice bit of side money" to "a PC port is going to bring us a LOT of money."

    This is also encouraging

    So, studios that MS have purchased now have the freedom and security to make things that they would never have been able to make prior to the MS acquisition. And it's all due to Game Pass allowing them the freedom to experiment with game ideas that might not be easily "marketable." In other words, because it's on Game Pass, it doesn't need to be a game concept that is easily marketable.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  5. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Does the 20% more include or exclude the cost of the GamePass subscription? The 40% stat doesn't surprise me, it's a service that is definitely going to appeal to folks who play games a lot.
     
  6. Silent_Buddha

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    It was specifically in reference to game purchases. So that should preclude subscription fees.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  7. ChuckeRearmed

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    I already said but I believe with MS' new approach, more companies will be willing to be purchased if needed.
     
  8. zed

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    Yes I have no doubt subscribers are more likely to be hardcore players.
    The 20% number doesnt tell much, what would be useful is to compare these same ppl game purchases before and after joining, Im guessing it did decrease from a lot more spent than 20% down to now only 20% more spent. Due to these ppl having more gameplay options without extra cost.
     
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  9. Silent_Buddha

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    It's an average, obviously. So, some people might have decreased spending, but other people have increased spending. Overall, there are now 18 million subscribers that on average spend 20% more on game purchases than non-subscribers on average spend on game purchases.

    I still spend about the same on game purchases as I did pre-Game Pass subscription. The change is that I've played more games (same total gaming time, just more games), especially games that I never would have purchased pre Game Pass. And of the money that I spend on games, I'm now buying some games that I wouldn't have bought pre-Game Pass subscription.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  10. tuna

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    It is not the management of Sega that decides if Sega gets sold, it is the owners of Sega that decide if they want to sell Sega.
     
  11. Eolirin

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    And possibly the Japanese government.
     
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  12. liams

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    If microsoft were interested in possibly acquiring paradox this week would be the week to do it. The zenimax deal will likely be approved either today or tomorrow (someone on another forum found that the zenimax deal has the second closest provisional approval date of any pending merger, as of yesterday) and paradox just posted some disappointing financial results, and their stock is currently down ~20%.

    PDX.ST 188.00 -43.00 -18.61% : Paradox Interactive AB (publ) - Yahoo Finance
     
  13. ChuckeRearmed

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    Yeah it would be interesting. They will mostly own strategy market then.

    The fun thing is that despite buying publishers, new publishers pop up left and right.
     
  14. liams

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    been doing some poking about and saw Promethean AI, which is a company that is developing AI content creation/model placement software for the games industry, as well as AI based Asset management. (links below). I think this would be a good fit because they are small (~10 ish employees), full of talented people, and fit microsofts gaming cloud strategy to a T. The head of gaming cloud at microsoft said that they would be focusing on content creation at first (iirc, I could be completely misremembering), and this fits perfectly with that. Also a plus is that there are a few ex simplygon people on the team, so having some people who already are familiar with microsofts cloud efforts is a plus.

    Seems like a no brainer if they were willing to sell.

    Website
    Promethean AI

    gameindustry.biz article
    Promethean AI promises to unlock experimentation in AAA development | GamesIndustry.biz
     
  15. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    It depends if this is a gap in Microsoft's technology base. Procedural world generation is decades-old technology at this point so it depends on 'AI' brings. People toss out 'AI' a lot and it's not AI, it's plain old machine learning which has already been penetrating established procedural algorithms.
     
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  16. cheapchips

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    From the little they've shown, Promethean AI certainly has parts that are 'proper' is AI, in that it has understanding of intent and expresses behaviour. "Move that table closer to the fireplace" "Make the room less messy" etc.

    I still want to see a proper demo of it being used in game production. It seems to help with bedroom authoring but we've not seem much more. Most games don't take place in the bedroom. Sadly...
     
    #856 cheapchips, Feb 24, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  17. liams

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    you are totally right, and honestly looking at the employee counts of many of these AI in content production companies that have popped up (usually less than 15, often much less than that) I am sure that its nothing that throwing a team of 50-100 Microsoft employees couldn't replicate in a year. I think its pretty clear that Microsoft wants in on the middleware market, they already have simplygon and havok of course, but I would imagine they would like to expand that. If I were the head of gaming cloud I would look to acquire existing popular products and then 'infuse them with AI', I know, I know, buzzword bingo and all that.

    Take something like world creator for example, link below, it already has a ton of customers but right now it only does terrain generation, you could add a lot of value to it by adding building and settlement placement to it, even more so if it could place buildings and roads based on example designs produced by the game developer. You could even have NPC placement and schedules be generated in the world. Sure it wont produce a shipable game world but it would likely get you 70% of the way there.

    Or as another example sidefx, who make houdini and various other products, adding capability to existing products will be much smoother sailing from a user uptake perspective than making a new set of tools that are amazing on their own, but are not used because they have to be integrated into an existing content pipeline




    World Creator - Real-time Terrain Generator and Landscape Generator (world-creator.com)

    Houdini - 3D modeling, animation, VFX, look development, lighting and rendering | SideFX
     
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  18. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I've not seen any of their technology explained so a pointer to what they're doing and how it's different would be welcome. :yes:

    Populating environments procedurally is something Bethesda have been doing in Elder Scrolls for a long while. It's not a complex task for an algorithm designed to place things in an aesthetically-pleasing way, like books upright on shelves and all items upright on flat surfaces like tables to vary the algorithm so objects are randomly piled on any flat surface and objects not placed upright etc.
     
  19. cheapchips

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    https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/promethean-ai-content-production-tools-ai-based.60954/

    The long haired hat guy in their promos, Andrew Maximov, was a lead technical artist at Naughty Dog. That kind of why I'm assuming it'll be something that's actually going to work and be really useful. The videos look a little flim flamy. :-D
     
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  20. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Yeah the video is interesting but I look at it and ask.. what is the AI aspect here?
     
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