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Video Game Industry Thread: This is the old one, go to the new one

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Posts

  • AutomaticzenAutomaticzen Registered User regular
    Al Baron wrote:
    So hey, Netflix will start carrying video games with its new DVD-by-mail division (Qwikster) :
    One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done.

    Is that going to double the subscription rate, too?
    They already did that. That's why they're rebranding the disc service.
    The biggest upset to me is that the sites will not communicate. Why would I want the DVD for something if I can stream it? Why would I want to log ratings on two different sites?

    I assume in this case that you'd be more up for the streaming service.
    Dragkonias wrote:
    Yeah. That's my problem with Netflix. Streaming video is nice and all but they have had any noteworthy content updates in a while. For the most part I just end up watching obscure movies I've never heard about that look entertaining.

    Which isn't bad, but having more options would be nice.

    Define noteworthy. They just added all of Star Trek. A bunch of stuff from Fox. Miramax stuff came in May.

    The larger problem is studios now want crazy money to renew their streaming contracts. Starz recently decided not to renew:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/starz-wont-renew-netflix-streaming-230357
    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings earlier this year had signaled on Charlie Rose that he expects a potential new streaming deal in the $200 million-per-year range, up from what has been estimated to be around $30 million so far, while some analysts have talked of up to $300 million in the case of a renewal.

    The Criterion Collection dropped out as well. Essentially, much like Hulu, Netflix is getting screwed hard by the content owners who would rather offer streaming through their own portals.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/
    http://www.usgamer.net/
    I write news and stuff. It is fun.
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    Huh. So apparently Nintendo and Squeenix are still cozy enough that Ninty's publishing and advertising Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 for the DS.

    Also, here's a couple of tidbits from Sony’s Shu Yoshida:
    What would you say is the most important thing Sony learned from the original PSP?

    There are many lessons we have learned, but if you ask me to pick one lesson… Before the launch, as far as the hardware goes we didn’t put enough resources in the hardware to allow us to develop games that are unique to the PSP compared to home consoles. We had many products on PSP, but most of these games like God of War [Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta] came from the console. Basically, you can play a bigger, better version of these titles on PS2. So pre-launch of PSP we were too happy with having the basic capability of PS2-class games to play on PSP, in terms of the screen and CPU/GPU. But after the launch and a few years time, just having pretty graphics isn’t enough. Especially when you can play a bigger, better game on home consoles. That’s the one big lesson when we designed the PS Vita. Because it is portable and because it’s a new technological development, we can put a touchscreen, touchpad, cameras, GPS, or 3G capabilities. We made sure that developers will be able to make use of these features that are unique to portable systems, so that with games we can continue to produce something very exciting that you cannot find on games on home console. So that’s one lesson.

    The second lesson comes post-launch of the PSP. Because we shifted development resources to the PS3 launch, we kind of stopped supporting PSP games post-launch. That was a big mistake, because we didn’t realize that third-party developers were doing the same because they were working on the new launch of software on the PS3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360 as well. So going into the PS Vita, because it’s our second time, we are making sure that we won’t make the same mistakes, meaning that we’ll continue to support PS Vita with a stream of good titles through release. So I pick these two as the lessons learned from PSP. I would also say that security and piracy was a problem with the PSP as well, and that will be fortified with PS Vita.
    ...

    Touching on the 3DS again, it seems like Nintendo responded to the Vita’s low price tag by dropping the 3DS’ cost even lower. It appears to be a direct response from Nintendo. Is it exciting to see Nintendo, which has had a death grip on the handheld market, seemingly react to the Vita’s hype?

    I don’t personally believe that they dropped the price of the 3DS to respond to our pricing. We didn’t price PS Vita to their price, either. We had that plan since the last couple years. My personal guesstimate is that they have their business plan and goals to sell a certain amount of 3DS units, and they realized post-launch was that the pricing was not helping them to achieve the goal that they set. That’s my estimate. As far as if I’m excited, I’m not sure. If the 3DS sells like crazy and no one is interested in PS Vita, that’s a problem. There are lots of analysts talking about, “well, you know there are smart phones, there’s no need for dedicated portable game machines.” I don’t believe it. But if they point to certain performance of the 3DS and say the smartphone is here, it doesn’t help us either. I like to see healthy competition between Nintendo’s system and ours because it helps innovation. It’s always a good thing to have.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/09/18/sony-s-shu-yoshida-talks-vita-psp-lessons-and-nintendo.aspx?PostPageIndex=2

    This guy is sounding entirely too logical and reasonable.

    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote:
    Huh. So apparently Nintendo and Squeenix are still cozy enough that Ninty's publishing and advertising Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 for the DS.

    Also, here's a couple of tidbits from Sony’s Shu Yoshida:
    What would you say is the most important thing Sony learned from the original PSP?

    There are many lessons we have learned, but if you ask me to pick one lesson… Before the launch, as far as the hardware goes we didn’t put enough resources in the hardware to allow us to develop games that are unique to the PSP compared to home consoles. We had many products on PSP, but most of these games like God of War [Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta] came from the console. Basically, you can play a bigger, better version of these titles on PS2. So pre-launch of PSP we were too happy with having the basic capability of PS2-class games to play on PSP, in terms of the screen and CPU/GPU. But after the launch and a few years time, just having pretty graphics isn’t enough. Especially when you can play a bigger, better game on home consoles. That’s the one big lesson when we designed the PS Vita. Because it is portable and because it’s a new technological development, we can put a touchscreen, touchpad, cameras, GPS, or 3G capabilities. We made sure that developers will be able to make use of these features that are unique to portable systems, so that with games we can continue to produce something very exciting that you cannot find on games on home console. So that’s one lesson.

    The second lesson comes post-launch of the PSP. Because we shifted development resources to the PS3 launch, we kind of stopped supporting PSP games post-launch. That was a big mistake, because we didn’t realize that third-party developers were doing the same because they were working on the new launch of software on the PS3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360 as well. So going into the PS Vita, because it’s our second time, we are making sure that we won’t make the same mistakes, meaning that we’ll continue to support PS Vita with a stream of good titles through release. So I pick these two as the lessons learned from PSP. I would also say that security and piracy was a problem with the PSP as well, and that will be fortified with PS Vita.
    ...

    Touching on the 3DS again, it seems like Nintendo responded to the Vita’s low price tag by dropping the 3DS’ cost even lower. It appears to be a direct response from Nintendo. Is it exciting to see Nintendo, which has had a death grip on the handheld market, seemingly react to the Vita’s hype?

    I don’t personally believe that they dropped the price of the 3DS to respond to our pricing. We didn’t price PS Vita to their price, either. We had that plan since the last couple years. My personal guesstimate is that they have their business plan and goals to sell a certain amount of 3DS units, and they realized post-launch was that the pricing was not helping them to achieve the goal that they set. That’s my estimate. As far as if I’m excited, I’m not sure. If the 3DS sells like crazy and no one is interested in PS Vita, that’s a problem. There are lots of analysts talking about, “well, you know there are smart phones, there’s no need for dedicated portable game machines.” I don’t believe it. But if they point to certain performance of the 3DS and say the smartphone is here, it doesn’t help us either. I like to see healthy competition between Nintendo’s system and ours because it helps innovation. It’s always a good thing to have.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/09/18/sony-s-shu-yoshida-talks-vita-psp-lessons-and-nintendo.aspx?PostPageIndex=2

    This guy is sounding entirely too logical and reasonable.

    This dude should be interviewed more often, as this is a more logical way to look at things than I'm used to with most Sony reps. Very thoughtful and reasonable comments.

    3DS Friend Code - 1032-1293-2997
    Nintendo Network ID - Brainiac_8
    PSN - Brainiac_8
    Steam - http://steamcommunity.com/id/BRAINIAC8/
    Add me!
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    The fact he came clean on the PSP's lack of support is... wow. Rare moment of honesty from Sony. Put that guy in charge, Jesus!

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • lionheart_mlionheart_m Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote:
    Netflix is largely unavailable outside the US....I'm still waiting for other companies to step up and fill in that gap, particularly with local television series, in East Asia, were broadband internet is more prolific than in the United States. There have already been some small, pay-for services that do this, though usually limited to certain channels.

    I doubt they'd ever make it stateside though.

    Just thought this would be interesting. Netflix just launched last week in a lot of Latin American countries. The current library is a bit weak but it's a start. It's funny because I can set up Netflix in my PC, PS3 and Wii but I can't on my 3DS and phone. Nutty world.

    3DS: 5069-4122-2826 / WiiU: Lionheart-m / PSN: lionheart_m / Steam: lionheart_jg
  • CadeCade Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote:
    Huh. So apparently Nintendo and Squeenix are still cozy enough that Ninty's publishing and advertising Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 for the DS.

    Also, here's a couple of tidbits from Sony’s Shu Yoshida:
    What would you say is the most important thing Sony learned from the original PSP?

    There are many lessons we have learned, but if you ask me to pick one lesson… Before the launch, as far as the hardware goes we didn’t put enough resources in the hardware to allow us to develop games that are unique to the PSP compared to home consoles. We had many products on PSP, but most of these games like God of War [Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta] came from the console. Basically, you can play a bigger, better version of these titles on PS2. So pre-launch of PSP we were too happy with having the basic capability of PS2-class games to play on PSP, in terms of the screen and CPU/GPU. But after the launch and a few years time, just having pretty graphics isn’t enough. Especially when you can play a bigger, better game on home consoles. That’s the one big lesson when we designed the PS Vita. Because it is portable and because it’s a new technological development, we can put a touchscreen, touchpad, cameras, GPS, or 3G capabilities. We made sure that developers will be able to make use of these features that are unique to portable systems, so that with games we can continue to produce something very exciting that you cannot find on games on home console. So that’s one lesson.

    The second lesson comes post-launch of the PSP. Because we shifted development resources to the PS3 launch, we kind of stopped supporting PSP games post-launch. That was a big mistake, because we didn’t realize that third-party developers were doing the same because they were working on the new launch of software on the PS3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360 as well. So going into the PS Vita, because it’s our second time, we are making sure that we won’t make the same mistakes, meaning that we’ll continue to support PS Vita with a stream of good titles through release. So I pick these two as the lessons learned from PSP. I would also say that security and piracy was a problem with the PSP as well, and that will be fortified with PS Vita.
    ...

    Touching on the 3DS again, it seems like Nintendo responded to the Vita’s low price tag by dropping the 3DS’ cost even lower. It appears to be a direct response from Nintendo. Is it exciting to see Nintendo, which has had a death grip on the handheld market, seemingly react to the Vita’s hype?

    I don’t personally believe that they dropped the price of the 3DS to respond to our pricing. We didn’t price PS Vita to their price, either. We had that plan since the last couple years. My personal guesstimate is that they have their business plan and goals to sell a certain amount of 3DS units, and they realized post-launch was that the pricing was not helping them to achieve the goal that they set. That’s my estimate. As far as if I’m excited, I’m not sure. If the 3DS sells like crazy and no one is interested in PS Vita, that’s a problem. There are lots of analysts talking about, “well, you know there are smart phones, there’s no need for dedicated portable game machines.” I don’t believe it. But if they point to certain performance of the 3DS and say the smartphone is here, it doesn’t help us either. I like to see healthy competition between Nintendo’s system and ours because it helps innovation. It’s always a good thing to have.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/09/18/sony-s-shu-yoshida-talks-vita-psp-lessons-and-nintendo.aspx?PostPageIndex=2

    This guy is sounding entirely too logical and reasonable.

    I'll bet five bucks Krazy Ken beheads the guy and brings him back as a slobbering insane zombie.

    Logic and forthcoming has no place in the video game industry!

  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Registered User regular
    For another bout of 'rare' honesty. :P
    G: Jungle Japes, Bunker, Perfect Dark credits, Atlantis, Tranquil hours… You have compose beautiful themes that I will remember the rest of my life but, do you have a favourite? What is the song or OST you are more proud of?

    GK: I really have loved writing all the music in my career to date but I have to say that my favourite is Bedtime Story from Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, I have it on my website if anyone isn’t sure which one I mean. I really poured my heart into the tunes from that game, I wasn’t happy being at Rare then, all the people that I loved working with were still there but the place just wasn’t the same, the magic had gone. I was thinking about leaving when I was writing that music which made me really sad, I think it shows.

    http://gamikia.com/interview-with-grant-kirkhope

    3DS Friend Code - 1032-1293-2997
    Nintendo Network ID - Brainiac_8
    PSN - Brainiac_8
    Steam - http://steamcommunity.com/id/BRAINIAC8/
    Add me!
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    And now most of the long-time Rare staffers are gone. Sigh.

    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • SirialisSirialis Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Henroid wrote:
    The fact he came clean on the PSP's lack of support is... wow. Rare moment of honesty from Sony. Put that guy in charge, Jesus!

    Seriously. This guy's honesty is a breath of fresh air in a bullshit filled industry.

    Sirialis on
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks License Number 137596Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote:
    And now most of the long-time Rare staffers are gone. Sigh.

    All of the good people from Rare left over a decade ago to make Timesplitters.

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote:
    And now most of the long-time Rare staffers are gone. Sigh.

    All of the good people from Rare left over a decade ago to make Timesplitters.

    Actually, the exodus from Rare during the Microsoft takeover has been pretty overstated. Other than the Timesplitters folks, nearly all of the top designers, leads, musicians etc. stuck around.

    However, over the last two years pretty much every long-timer has left. Microsoft's definitely taken much, much tighter control of Rare lately, and taken it in a direction that the old guard didn't like.

    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks License Number 137596Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Everything they've done after the turn of the century can basically be summed up in this list:

    Some ports of SNES games to the GBA
    Starfox Adventures
    A game with a slutty fairy
    Bad Xbox 360 sequels to highly rated N64 games
    Ports of said N64 games to XBLA
    Viva Pinata
    Casual Kinect sports fluff

    Not exactly a stellar decade. When the best game you've made in the past ten years is Grabbed by the Ghoulies, I think it's safe to say your studio has been in a decline.

    SmokeStacks on
  • fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Nah that's a load of old bull. Loads of games are better than GBTG.

    Kameo was average but OK, Perfect Dark should have been better in single and co-op but multi was good.

    Viva Pinata was great, Banjo Kazooie was great, the XBLA releases were all good.

    And Kinect Sports is bloody fantastic.

    Not to mention they have been busy pouring money into MS with the Avatar work.

    ...

    On the subject of 'old guard' - most of the 'old guard' from every company has left / moved on / started a new company; Rare aren't unique in this respect, it's just they have a name that has stuck around longer than most, and folks still get uppity about the MS buyout for some reason.

    fragglefart on
    fragglefart.jpg
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    How's that old thought experiment or whatever go? If you have a ship and replace a broken plank, and over the years eventually replace every single plank, is it really the same ship anymore?

    I guess Rare is that ship.

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065 (Trainer name Christopher)
  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    How's that old thought experiment or whatever go? If you have a ship and replace a broken plank, and over the years eventually replace every single plank, is it really the same ship anymore?

    I guess Rare is that ship.

    Yeah, you can say the same for a lot of game studios. I'm especially interested in seeing how CoW: MW3 does this year. Is this really going to be the same Infinity Ward that made the previous games? It's a bit different for companies like Bioware which has strong leadership that's been around since the beginning (Greg and Ray). I don't think that's been the case for Rare though.

    That said, Rare was largely responsible for the Avatar work, and while it's not a game, it's been a huuuge benefit to Xbox LIVE as a whole.

    Xbox LIVE, Steam, Twitter, etc. ...
    Spoiler:
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    On the subject of 'old guard' - most of the 'old guard' from every company has left / moved on / started a new company; Rare aren't unique in this respect, it's just they have a name that has stuck around longer than most, and folks still get uppity about the MS buyout for some reason.

    Actually, Rare's old guard stayed for years and years and years, in many cases over a decade, then left en masse starting in 2009. Not quite like every other company.

    Meanwhile, the industry continues to suck.
    Want to know why video game stocks pop or drop? Check the reviews.

    For years, investors have turned to video game reviews to help make buy or sell decisions, moving the share prices of some video game companies higher or lower.

    They consult the website Metacritic, which tracks a large amount of reviews and comes up with an average score, as well as reviews from top video game outlets such as News Corp's IGN.com and GameStop Corp's Game Informer.

    And with the holiday shopping season approaching, when companies in the $64 billion video game industry generate the bulk of their sales and earnings, investors will be scouring reviews more closely than usual.

    "The review scores are a first indicator of how a game will perform commercially," said Jesse Divnich, a consultant and analyst for EEDAR, a research firm focused on the video game industry. "Investors will keep a close eye on them to measure potential success of a game."

    Shares of Electronic Arts fell 6 percent last October after review scores for "Medal of Honor," a military game in which EA had invested millions of dollars, came in below rival shooter games such as Microsoft's "Halo" and Activision Blizzard's, "Call of Duty."

    In March, "Homefront," a first-person shooter game from THQ Inc received weaker-than-expected reviews and scored 75 out of a possible 100 on the website Metacritic. Analysts called the scores disastrous, sending THQ shares down 20 percent that day.

    Just as negative reviews can harm video game stocks, positive reviews can boost them. Shares of Take-Two Interactive surged 10 percent over three sessions and reached a 52-week high in May after its crime solving game, "L.A. Noire," received glowing reviews and achieved a high score on Metacritic.

    One of the reasons why video game reviews carry so much weight with investors is because avid gamers tend to rely on them to help make purchasing decisions.

    Case in point: Eric Choi, a 23-year-old Chicago resident who buys between 10 and 15 games a year. After having fond memories of playing the action shooter title "Duke Nukem" growing up, he was happy to spend $60 on the latest edition of the game, which Take-Two released in June. That was until the reviews changed his mind.

    "When the reviews came in about how it was apparently a terrible game, it influenced my opinion and my decision not to buy," Choi said.

    Investors also took note. Take-Two shares fell as much as 5 percent on June 14 after the game scored in the low 50s out of 100 on Metacritic.

    Reviews have become so influential on sales, Divnich said, that his firm has been hired by major video game companies to write mock ones so that they can anticipate what real reviews might say.

    Divnich, who said he consults for about 90 percent of video game companies, brought in a former video game critic from a top website to both play the game and write the review, which is designed to look like a review coming from a large video game publication. The reviews are then sent to video game makers and never appear in print.


    "We'll type up a review as if it would be in a magazine," he said. "It's critical for them to know how well their game is going to be received before they launch a title."

    While Frank Gibeau, president of EA Labels, agrees that game critics and reviews play an important role in consumers' buying decisions, he also said that they are not always indicative of a game's success.

    "There is a correlation between the critical index and sales of any given game, but there are exceptions to the rule - games that don't score high marks in reviews but sell well and others that critics love but gamers ignore," Gibeau said.

    For example, THQ has said "Homefront," which received poor reviews, may end up selling 3 million copies, which would make it a commercial success.

    THQ and Take-Two declined to comment on this story.

    A poor review of a highly anticipated game may not be enough to convince an investor to sell off shares of a company entirely either, said Ted Pollak, portfolio manager of the San Francisco-based Electronic Entertainment Fund, which focuses on video game investments.

    Besides reviews, Pollak does other research to figure out if a game might sell well, including beta testing or monitoring early versions of games. He also considers the development teams behind the game and even looks at what type of technology was used in its creation.

    "If I was in a situation where I needed to trim a position, reviews could have an influence. But I wouldn't completely dump a company because one game didn't score well," he said.

    HOLIDAY SPOTLIGHT ON REVIEWS

    When publishers release their biggest games of the year -- the games that are expected to have a major impact on a company's bottom line -- the importance of reviews is heightened.

    "If 'Call of Duty,' which is half of Activision's earnings, gets a poor review this year, it will be bad," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, referring to the possible impact on Activision's stock.

    Activision will release the latest version of the game, its biggest video game franchise on consoles, in November. Last year, the game set a new record by selling 5.6 million copies, or $360 million worth, on its first day.

    Pachter says he considers review scores on websites Metacritic and Gamerankings.com, which are both owned by CBS Corp, for his investment recommendations.

    EA is mounting a challenge to Activision with its own first-person shooter game, "Battlefield 3," which comes out in October.

    Divnich, from EEDAR, expects Activision's game to sell twice as many copies as EA's game. But, he added, "if EA can gain higher review scores, it shifts the momentum in EA's favor."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/16/us-videogame-reviews-idUSTRE78F52320110916

    tl;dr: Investors are so obsessed with game scores that one investment group hired a big-name game reviewer to write fake game reviews to share with the companies to give them advance warning of how the market may react.

    cloudeagle on
    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    Just as negative reviews can harm video game stocks, positive reviews can boost them. Shares of Take-Two Interactive surged 10 percent over three sessions and reached a 52-week high in May after its crime solving game, "L.A. Noire," received glowing reviews and achieved a high score on Metacritic.

    And then 3 months later, the developer went bankrupt.

    Yeah...

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065 (Trainer name Christopher)
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Just as negative reviews can harm video game stocks, positive reviews can boost them. Shares of Take-Two Interactive surged 10 percent over three sessions and reached a 52-week high in May after its crime solving game, "L.A. Noire," received glowing reviews and achieved a high score on Metacritic.

    And then 3 months later, the developer went bankrupt.

    Yeah...

    To be fair, they went bankrupt because they were run by utter assholes who would constantly bite the hand that fed them and actively set money on fire, to the point that nobody would hire them. Bankruptcy due to terminal assholishness hasn't really happened before, and investors are used to assholes doing well (Activision springs to mind).

    But yeah, focusing laserlike on reviews isn't really helpful.

    cloudeagle on
    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    I really wish Metacritic would burn in fucking flames.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    That fake review thing is borderline insane behavior

    camo_sig2-400.png
    icon-18x18_zps3f731cae.png Basilius | TF2 Backpack | SMITE - Laitarne | PSN - Masked_Unit
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    The fact that they consider 75% a disaster is just... God, get the fuck out of the industry I adore.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    I love Metacritic and I'm glad it's there. Thing is tho, I actually read the reviews and don't just look at a number and say YAY/NAY.

  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote:
    tl;dr: Investors are so obsessed with game scores that one investment group hired a big-name game reviewer to write fake game reviews to share with the companies to give them advance warning of how the market may react.

    Jeff Green did this for EA and, I think, Sims 3 or maybe it was a another Sims game, when he first went to EA. The thing was they didn't want to talk to him about the review itself but only the score. I got the impression that it wasn't an especially odd thing to do at least for AAA type games.

    steam_sig.png
    (Please do not gift. My game bank is already full.)
  • agoajagoaj Hey You Pichu I don't like your girlfriendRegistered User regular
    I remember when everyone complained that review scores didn't matter, and these decisions were made purely on sales.
    Though I do see the problem with metacritic. We should all move to gamerankings.

    PoMXsb6.png
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote:
    I love Metacritic and I'm glad it's there. Thing is tho, I actually read the reviews and don't just look at a number and say YAY/NAY.

    You're the outlier. Metacritic's major mistake is doubling out of 5 scores to convert them to the % shit, and just... god fucking damn it, a 3, a score that's "Hey this game is okay," is not a 60%. Jesus.

    My biggest problem is this is the fear being confirmed. That investors rely on that shit system without probably understanding it. I've been getting more and more worked up lately at the idea of investors driving the video game industry, if anyone hasn't noticed yet. It's so shit.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    You're the outlier. Metacritic's major mistake is doubling out of 5 scores to convert them to the % shit, and just... god fucking damn it, a 3, a score that's "Hey this game is okay," is not a 60%. Jesus.
    The problem is that percentage grades are inflated by academia and primary education. People expect a 90/80/70/60/FAIL scale (corresponding to A/B/C/D/F), because that's what has been drummed in their head all of their lives. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

    Even so, that just means that the really great games (the ones people score at the top of the genre, 5 out of 5 and 90%+) are moved by bias to the top of the list, which is all that anyone ever reads anyway. The conversion may not be accurate, but the net result is the same.

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  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote:
    Henroid wrote:
    You're the outlier. Metacritic's major mistake is doubling out of 5 scores to convert them to the % shit, and just... god fucking damn it, a 3, a score that's "Hey this game is okay," is not a 60%. Jesus.
    The problem is that percentage grades are inflated by academia and primary education. People expect a 90/80/70/60/FAIL scale (corresponding to A/B/C/D/F), because that's what has been drummed in their head all of their lives. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

    Even so, that just means that the really great games (the ones people score at the top of the genre, 5 out of 5 and 90%+) are moved by bias to the top of the list, which is all that anyone ever reads anyway. The conversion may not be accurate, but the net result is the same.

    At first I thought this was the problem, but then I realized it's probably not...instead, the problem is that even if 7 should mean "pretty dang good game" and 6 is "better than average, still recommended," people just don't have the kind of cash to drop on games that are merely recommended and not universally beloved by all. Lots of people just buy one game every couple months and it has to last them that whole time. Why risk it on a game that scored a 6?

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Yeah. We all know this and I don't want to spark up another "fuck review scores" thing again. Just... I hate when it comes up and I hate that it holds relevance when it shouldn't.

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  • RobesRobes Registered User regular
    I really only read reviews to find out if a game is riddled with bugs at launch, so I know if I should wait for a patch or not.

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  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    As a consumer, metacritic is a tool that I will use on occasion. I'll even just look at the number! Except that I know that a game that falls into the 60-70 area is probably still potentially good.

    But the fact that it is so widely utilized by publishers, poorly, to the detriment of the industry is just fucking sad.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    At first I thought this was the problem, but then I realized it's probably not...instead, the problem is that even if 7 should mean "pretty dang good game" and 6 is "better than average, still recommended," people just don't have the kind of cash to drop on games that are merely recommended and not universally beloved by all. Lots of people just buy one game every couple months and it has to last them that whole time. Why risk it on a game that scored a 6?
    Oh, I was just talking about Metacritic's review system, not the impact that it actually has on video game sales. And again, the results would be the same, if the consumer only tends to buy the top rated games. Regardless of your scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 or percentage, the wary consumer won't risk buying something below 4 out of 5 or 80%. The middle range bias is only bad if games that should be within the sweet spot of 80%+ aren't being rated as such, and that speaks more about the game review process than about Metacritic.

    This is going into "believe but cannot prove" territory. I wonder if there's a study out there that actually figures out what consumers will buy based on reviews that doesn't rely on Joe Blow's little anecdote about Duke Nukem Forever (which is most certainly an outlier).

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  • AutomaticzenAutomaticzen Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    I've been getting more and more worked up lately at the idea of investors driving the video game industry, if anyone hasn't noticed yet. It's so shit.

    Oh yes. If something impacts the stock price, you can expect that something to be changed within the week. But bad practices that drive up stocks are lauded.

    It's all crazy talk, but it's been that way for awhile.
    Henroid wrote:
    Yeah. We all know this and I don't want to spark up another "fuck review scores" thing again. Just... I hate when it comes up and I hate that it holds relevance when it shouldn't.
    Engadget just dropped review scores actually.
    Take the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 review, for example. That's been one of our most controversial scores of late (we gave it an 8/10) -- and for good reason. What you have is a device that is well built, nice looking, affordable, and offers exemplary battery life. It's also a device that, at its core, runs nothing more than a web browser and is only useful when it can find a solid connection.

    Do you need more than a web browser? If so, what a horrible idea for a device! This thing is like a 2, or maybe a 3. Do you do everything in a browser anyway, and live an always-connected lifestyle? Well, then this thing is awesome! Give it an 8, maybe a 9, and go play some Angry Birds in Chrome and stop worrying about trivial things like file systems and operating systems, man.

    Anyone who took the time to read the review, the whole review, to delve through to the conclusion, learned that for themselves. Anyone who just looked at the score and had already made up their mind whether a Chromebook is for them either felt fully vindicated or fundamentally wronged. Their ultimate feeling depended of course on which of the two groups described in the last paragraph they fell within.

    That pretty much sums up review scores.

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  • -Tal-Tal I'm not doing it the same, man I'm doing it betterRegistered User regular
    So how do investors react to games that get middling reviews and still sell well? The first Assassin's Creed stands out in my mind.

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  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    But that in itself raises an interesting question Hahnsoo1: Did DNF flop because of poor critic reviews or because of poor word of mouth? What was more important?

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote:
    But that in itself raises an interesting question Hahnsoo1: Did DNF flop because of poor critic reviews or because of poor word of mouth? What was more important?

    Who cares? That number is lower than other numbers! Sell! Sellsellsellsellsellsell

    /doofusinvestor

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  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    cloudeagle wrote:
    tl;dr: Investors are so obsessed with game scores that one investment group hired a big-name game reviewer to write fake game reviews to share with the companies to give them advance warning of how the market may react.

    Jeff Green did this for EA and, I think, Sims 3 or maybe it was a another Sims game, when he first went to EA. The thing was they didn't want to talk to him about the review itself but only the score. I got the impression that it wasn't an especially odd thing to do at least for AAA type games.

    Yup. I believe N'Gai Croal did similar "consulting" work (and perhaps still does).

    As for Metacritic ... I think the service/site itself is fine. It's job is to aggregate the review scores out there. That's it. The "evil" part comes when game companies and publishers do things like base bonuses off Metacritic ratings. I doubt that's something Metacritic has any say over. Also, did you know John Davison (of 1UP fame) has been the head of Metacritic for a year or so now? He was a guest on Gamers With Jobs sometime back and there was some excellent discussion over the role of Metacritic, review scores, etc.

    Also, I think a large part of the "problem" with review scores really has to do with us ... the hardcore gaming community. Why should we care what score a game got? Most of the rage I see over review scores is from a super-fan who thought a game should have been ranked a lot higher than it is. For me, reviews/ratings of anything (be it movies, games, restaurants, etc.) is really meant for someone-who-doesn't-know to get a general idea on whether or not they should buy something. It's not the be-all-end-all measurement of that item's "worth" or quality. Now granted, reviewed/rated enough times across a broad and large number of users (a la Amazon reviews or Rotten Tomatoes) ... you'll probably get a good idea of quality. But there aren't that many game sites out there, and I'd rather have reviewers with varied tastes than everyone saying the same thing.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote:
    But that in itself raises an interesting question Hahnsoo1: Did DNF flop because of poor critic reviews or because of poor word of mouth? What was more important?
    That's only interesting if you actually care about Duke Nukem Forever. A poorly reviewed game that also is a mediocre game that also sells poorly seems to point to the opposite viewpoint, that the review system is accurate. *shrugs* I would think that the case is extreme enough to be an outlier, personally.

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  • AutomaticzenAutomaticzen Registered User regular
    JCRooks wrote:
    As for Metacritic ... I think the service/site itself is fine. It's job is to aggregate the review scores out there. That's it. The "evil" part comes when game companies and publishers do things like base bonuses off Metacritic ratings. I doubt that's something Metacritic has any say over. Also, did you know John Davison (of 1UP fame) has been the head of Metacritic for a year or so now? He was a guest on Gamers With Jobs sometime back and there was some excellent discussion over the role of Metacritic, review scores, etc.
    This is my contention over on Google+, where Giant Bomb's Klepek posted this: http://www.giantbomb.com/news/power-to-the-people-until-the-powers-out-of-control/3670/

    Someone responded with the idea that Metacritic is horrible, to which I essentially replied with the above.
    Also, I think a large part of the "problem" with review scores really has to do with us ... the hardcore gaming community. Why should we care what score a game got? Most of the rage I see over review scores is from a super-fan who thought a game should have been ranked a lot higher than it is. For me, reviews/ratings of anything (be it movies, games, restaurants, etc.) is really meant for someone-who-doesn't-know to get a general idea on whether or not they should buy something. It's not the be-all-end-all measurement of that item's "worth" or quality. Now granted, reviewed/rated enough times across a broad and large number of users (a la Amazon
    reviews or Rotten Tomatoes) ... you'll probably get a good idea of quality. But there aren't that many game sites out there, and I'd rather have reviewers with varied tastes than everyone saying the same thing.
    I see enough games ahead of time, that I've stopped reading reviews altogether, so I'm not sure how people use them to make their purchasing decision.

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Why should we care what score a game got?
    We should care, for the record, because investors make decisions for the industry. Something we love may not sell or score well, and investors will say "fuck that."

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  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    All review sites that rely on user reviews, have the same problem of policing the feedback and making sure it's not being abused. It's not an easy thing to manage. It wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the unfortunate fact that low review scores can have a pretty big impact on sales. I'm sure Metacritic and Yelp don't want to be in the business of sinking game developers and restaurants due to bad code or user feedback policies ... but that's what they're facing right now.

    As for game reviews, I listen to enough podcasts and have enough gaming friends that I listen to their advice. I will sometimes check out the reviews from Joystiq, just because they're in my RSS reader. But yeah, generally when a game is coming out, I already know whether or not I want it, and for me ... reviews aren't that necessary. However, I understand that I'm probably far from the normal game buying consumer. We all are, actually, if we're posting on gaming forums. I know for restaurant reviews, I actually rely pretty heavily on sites like Yelp or CitySearch.

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