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[Industry] And with strange fiscal quarters, even death is doomed.

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    shadowaneshadowane Registered User regular
    Allforce wrote: »
    The industry is chugging along making billions a year. You can bet your ass they made a nice profit on DMC sales, and they would have with 600k copies sold as well.

    Not every game is GTAV with a 100 million dollar budget. Most games can (and are) made on reasonable budgets and turn a major profit for the publisher.
    Do you have anything to back up these statements and numbers or are you just pulling them out of your ass?

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    AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    I think the problem with arguing about gaming budgets.

    Is that we don't know the development/marketing budget of most games so we really don't have a leg to stand on.

    I think we only hear when budgets spiral out of control, or a publisher mismanaged things so badly it's widely reported.(THQ) and so the story is blanketed across the entire industry. You never get reports of "game developed with modest budget turns profit for company" because that's not sexy news. Meanwhile there are hundreds of games released a year that fit right into that story.

    Allforce on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    Allforce wrote: »
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    I think the problem with arguing about gaming budgets.

    Is that we don't know the development/marketing budget of most games so we really don't have a leg to stand on.

    I think we only hear when budgets spiral out of control, or a publisher mismanaged things so badly it's widely reported.(THQ) and so the story is blanketed across the entire industry. You never get reports of "game developed with modest budget turns profit for company" because that's not sexy news. Meanwhile there are hundreds of games released a year that fit right into that story.

    With that said, don't games usually like to brag when they've made a profit?

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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Allforce wrote: »
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    I think the problem with arguing about gaming budgets.

    Is that we don't know the development/marketing budget of most games so we really don't have a leg to stand on.

    I think we only hear when budgets spiral out of control, or a publisher mismanaged things so badly it's widely reported.(THQ) and so the story is blanketed across the entire industry. You never get reports of "game developed with modest budget turns profit for company" because that's not sexy news. Meanwhile there are hundreds of games released a year that fit right into that story.

    ...except that industry officials have been saying for years now that a good rule of thumb is that it takes about two million in sales for an AAA game to truly make a profit. (Also the number of traditional, non-indie games is shrinking rather than growing, but that's another issue.)

    So, there's the question -- is DmC an AAA game? I think it is, but we don't have any solid info on its budget.

    Edit: Come to think of it, haven't "mid-range" games died off pretty much completely by now?

    cloudeagle on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Allforce wrote: »
    You don't think the OR could add a level of immersion and dread to the genre outside of a monster jumping out of a closet? I think that's selling the concept of the device a bit short.

    I think he's saying (and I agree) that the OR could add that level of immersion, but that larger dev houses in particular are going to take the lazy way out and make it all about jump scares.

    Like the aformentioned Hollywood "horror" movies.

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    AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Allforce wrote: »
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    I think the problem with arguing about gaming budgets.

    Is that we don't know the development/marketing budget of most games so we really don't have a leg to stand on.

    I think we only hear when budgets spiral out of control, or a publisher mismanaged things so badly it's widely reported.(THQ) and so the story is blanketed across the entire industry. You never get reports of "game developed with modest budget turns profit for company" because that's not sexy news. Meanwhile there are hundreds of games released a year that fit right into that story.

    ...except that industry officials have been saying for years now that a good rule of thumb is that it takes about two million in sales for an AAA game to truly make a profit. (Also the number of traditional, non-indie games is shrinking rather than growing, but that's another issue.)

    So, there's the question -- is DmC an AAA game? I think it is, but we don't have any solid info on its budget.

    Edit: Come to think of it, haven't "mid-range" games died off pretty much completely by now?

    I don't even know what the fuck this means? So all games are 100 million dollar budget COD clones? You've got games from Atlus, you got games from Vanillaware (Dragons Crown, their most expensive title to date, cost just over 1 million to develop), and you've got dozens of other titles that are successful and making money without spending a fortune.

    There's a thriving "mid range" game development scene and always will be. If you're ignoring it then that's your own problem and your arguments are always going to be dismissed.

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    DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    Wait...

    Dragon's Crown only took a million dollars to develop?

    Damn!

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    BlindPsychicBlindPsychic Registered User regular
    Yeah, all of their games have been made on shoestring budgets.

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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Kamitani must work cheap or something. Say what you will about his art, he produces a fucking ridiculous amount of assets and animating 2D art is super time consuming.

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    DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    You know something I'm really interested in seeing next gen is if the increased presence of DD on consoles will see more varied pricing models.

    Like right now all we really have are the $10-$15 "arcade" games and the $60 "AAA" games. But there are plenty of games out there that fit somewhere in the middle and I wonder how receptive people would be of the $20 or $30 game.

    Dragkonias on
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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Allforce wrote: »
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Allforce wrote: »
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    I think the problem with arguing about gaming budgets.

    Is that we don't know the development/marketing budget of most games so we really don't have a leg to stand on.

    I think we only hear when budgets spiral out of control, or a publisher mismanaged things so badly it's widely reported.(THQ) and so the story is blanketed across the entire industry. You never get reports of "game developed with modest budget turns profit for company" because that's not sexy news. Meanwhile there are hundreds of games released a year that fit right into that story.

    ...except that industry officials have been saying for years now that a good rule of thumb is that it takes about two million in sales for an AAA game to truly make a profit. (Also the number of traditional, non-indie games is shrinking rather than growing, but that's another issue.)

    So, there's the question -- is DmC an AAA game? I think it is, but we don't have any solid info on its budget.

    Edit: Come to think of it, haven't "mid-range" games died off pretty much completely by now?

    I don't even know what the fuck this means? So all games are 100 million dollar budget COD clones? You've got games from Atlus, you got games from Vanillaware (Dragons Crown, their most expensive title to date, cost just over 1 million to develop), and you've got dozens of other titles that are successful and making money without spending a fortune.

    There's a thriving "mid range" game development scene and always will be. If you're ignoring it then that's your own problem and your arguments are always going to be dismissed.

    Um... it's not just me or my problem. (What does that even mean?) Industry people have been saying over and over that mid-range development is dying off. Atlus is the exception to the mid-range rule. Haven't you been hearing all the big publishers saying, again and again, that they're cutting game development to just the humongous games that can sell bajillions? And if there really are "dozens," can you name them? I'm curious.

    At any rate, according to this:

    http://devilmaycry.org/community/threads/dmc-devil-may-cry-development-team-has-over-90-members.12242/

    ...DmC had 90 employees, which makes it a smaller-size AAA game, which means it's quite possible it lost money assuming the marketing push was sizeable.

    cloudeagle on
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    MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    Here is the lesson you learn from DmC: First impression is incredibly important

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    Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    shadowane wrote: »
    Allforce wrote: »
    The industry is chugging along making billions a year. You can bet your ass they made a nice profit on DMC sales, and they would have with 600k copies sold as well.

    Not every game is GTAV with a 100 million dollar budget. Most games can (and are) made on reasonable budgets and turn a major profit for the publisher.
    Do you have anything to back up these statements and numbers or are you just pulling them out of your ass?

    1.x mil copies is ~$50 million dollars gross

    I have a real hard time believing DmC cost more than $50mil to make and market

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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    shadowane wrote: »
    Allforce wrote: »
    The industry is chugging along making billions a year. You can bet your ass they made a nice profit on DMC sales, and they would have with 600k copies sold as well.

    Not every game is GTAV with a 100 million dollar budget. Most games can (and are) made on reasonable budgets and turn a major profit for the publisher.
    Do you have anything to back up these statements and numbers or are you just pulling them out of your ass?

    1.x mil copies is ~$50 million dollars gross

    I have a real hard time believing DmC cost more than $50mil to make and market

    you uh

    don't get back 100% of the money that people pay at retail for games

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    We also need to remember that "Made $1 more than it cost to produce" in the real world isn't "profitable" in the sense that anyone would choose to do it.

    If you can spend all of your time and energy doing something, you want to see a margin of profit on it comparable to what you'd have seen if you did anything else.

    What is this I don't even.
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited September 2013
    When did 25% become the retail profit margin on new games? When I was with GameStop we were lucky to see 10-15%, which was why we pushed used so hard.

    Edit: the slide is courtesy of OnLive. I'd like to see something a bit more trustworthy. :/

    Shadowfire on
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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Also worth noting that "returns" in that pie chart is not games returned to the retailer, that's games returned from the retailer to the publisher. If Capcom thought DMC was gonna sell shit hot and overprinted by a million or two? Bigger slice of the pie.

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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    You know, I've been wondering if overprinting's been a problem in general lately. I keep seeing games that sold really well and made their publishers very happy like Far Cry 3 get very cheap very fast. Far Cry 3 in particular can be had for a pittance now.

    Granted, overprinting's not THAT big a problem if you're making money hand over fist. But if your margins were pretty slim to begin with that can be killer.

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Nintendo August Sales (Digital + Physical):
    Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: 190,000
    Pikmin 3: 115,000
    Huh, I wonder if payday 2 will chart again in September then, because it looks like only half the physical sales they had were charted in august if it's between those numbers

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    DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    Hell
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    You know, I've been wondering if overprinting's been a problem in general lately. I keep seeing games that sold really well and made their publishers very happy like Far Cry 3 get very cheap very fast. Far Cry 3 in particular can be had for a pittance now.

    Granted, overprinting's not THAT big a problem if you're making money hand over fist. But if your margins were pretty slim to begin with that can be killer.

    I think overhead and stuff like that is why you're seeing more of a push towards digital.

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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Perhaps also competing with digital distribution platforms, which have no returns but sure do love deep discounts. I have no data, but it sure feels like new games hold their value significantly less well than they used to except for some very niche examples (say, collector's editions with desirable content and TINY print runs).

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    DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Well...honestly I have to wonder if those big discount you see on Steam and such are really hurting the developer that much.

    Sure you can get like 40 dollar games day one and stuff but I wonder if in the long run that still makes the publisher about as much money as a retail copy does when you factor in shipping and stuff.

    Dragkonias on
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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    There's also the continued price war between Gamestop, Amazon, Best Buy and everyone else, but it doesn't entirely account for the way some games get cheaper faster than others.

    Which reminds me... Nintendo just last week lowered the price of Mario Galaxy 2. Ah, that wacky company.

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    BlindPsychicBlindPsychic Registered User regular
    I think its pretty clear that all publishers hold certain titles to be evergreens that can never be submitted to the humiliation of a sale. Activision certainly feels that way about all of the Call of Duty titles, especially if you were watching last weekend's steam sale.

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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    The mid range title is definitely not as big of a thing as it used to be. These are your Tak and the Power of Juju's, your Hobbit platformers, most of your movie licensed games.

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    Well...honestly I have to wonder if those big discount you see on Steam and such are really hurting the developer that much.

    Sure you can get like 40 dollar games day one and stuff but I wonder if in the long run that still makes the publisher about as much money as a retail copy does when you factor in shipping and stuff.

    Well DD platforms take 30% off, but other than that...Returns are negligible since steam makes it a pain in the ass to do so, it's PC so there's no platform holder's fee, and the distribution costs are drastically reduced

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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Yeah, with digital the publisher generally gets a much higher percent of revenue than they would with physical retail. However, with constant price warz, I'd be unsurprised if average revenue per unit sold was similar or less for digital compared to retail.

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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    Spoit wrote: »
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    Well...honestly I have to wonder if those big discount you see on Steam and such are really hurting the developer that much.

    Sure you can get like 40 dollar games day one and stuff but I wonder if in the long run that still makes the publisher about as much money as a retail copy does when you factor in shipping and stuff.

    Well DD platforms take 30% off, but other than that...Returns are negligible since steam makes it a pain in the ass to do so, it's PC so there's no platform holder's fee, and the distribution costs are drastically reduced

    That's why people's love of steam as an alternative distribution channel always baffles me: we're great for developers because we're so anti-consumer! That'll have to get changed at some point by legislatures. One hopes.

    As to the AAA title profit/loss discussion, I would be wary of "hollywood accounting". Often better for developers to show a loss for tax reasons, and to book expenses to mitigate higher revenue of AAA titles. So accounting teams are likely to overstate the cost of AAA games by overallocating fixed costs like leases, legal, and admin/support staff to AAA titles.

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    SyphonBlueSyphonBlue The studying beaver That beaver sure loves studying!Registered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    Well...honestly I have to wonder if those big discount you see on Steam and such are really hurting the developer that much.

    Sure you can get like 40 dollar games day one and stuff but I wonder if in the long run that still makes the publisher about as much money as a retail copy does when you factor in shipping and stuff.

    Well DD platforms take 30% off, but other than that...Returns are negligible since steam makes it a pain in the ass to do so, it's PC so there's no platform holder's fee, and the distribution costs are drastically reduced

    That's why people's love of steam as an alternative distribution channel always baffles me: we're great for developers because we're so anti-consumer!

    You can't return a physical PC game either.

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    urahonkyurahonky Cynical Old Man Registered User regular
    Hard to complain when you buy hundreds of games at more than 66% off.

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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    Hard to complain when you buy hundreds of games at more than 66% off.

    Steam's pricing structure must be considered when people draw comparisons between it's DD model and others, but it so rarely is.

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    Shady3011Shady3011 Registered User regular
    The whole point of DmC was giving it to a British studio to see if it worked.

    No. That was not the reason they did it. They've been pretty transparent about this whole thing being about boosting the series from respectable numbers to God of War sales. They couldn't wait for Hideaki Itsuno to finish work on Dragon's Dogma for a sequel, so they outsourced it to have a new entry sooner. They might have changed their tune about this whole project, but it doesn't change the fact of why it came to be.

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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    That and the EVERYTHING SHOULD BE WESTERNIZED mentality. I remember whatsisass going on and on about how the new Dante would be influenced by modern street culture and such. And Capcom loved it. Well, then.

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    Snake GandhiSnake Gandhi Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    Personally I assumed that the reason publishers are so big on digital is the 1-2 punch of cutting the retailer out of the profits and killing the used game market at the same time. For publishers that's a win/win.

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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Hard to complain when you buy hundreds of games at more than 66% off.

    Steam's pricing structure must be considered when people draw comparisons between it's DD model and others, but it so rarely is.

    It's kind of fascinating how still having a glut of physical games available for cheap months later is an expensive disaster for a publisher, while an infinite supply of virtual games available for cheap months later is good marketing.

    That's another aspect of digital distribution where everyone but the former middleman benefits.

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    Care Free BombCare Free Bomb Registered User regular
    The cheapest physical games are used so publishers don't see any of the money and physical discounts on games tend to be permanent but most digital sales are temporary, this keeps the game in the public eye even after the game reverts to full price so they get a tail where people are picking it up because they heard about it or their friends are suddenly playing it.

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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    Don't shoot the messenger.
    Information broker The NPD Group's "Kids and Gaming 2013" report found that children aged 12 to 17 are spending seven hours per week on mobile gaming, up from five hours per week in 2011. The report studied the gaming habits of children aged 2 to 17.

    While more children still use computers and consoles for gaming, the report notes there are now "almost" as many kids playing on mobile devices as there are on the more prominent platforms.

    Liam Callahan, an industry analyst with The NPD Group, said in the report that "kids are engaged as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before."

    The report's findings were gathered online from a sample of female adults, aged 21 to 60, that are part of NPD's online panel and house children between the age of 2 to 17. The report is based off the answers of 3,842 children and, in the case of younger children, answers provided by adults on their behalf.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2013/09/14/npd-almost-as-many-kids-gaming-on-mobiles-as-consoles-comput/

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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    jothki wrote: »
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Hard to complain when you buy hundreds of games at more than 66% off.

    Steam's pricing structure must be considered when people draw comparisons between it's DD model and others, but it so rarely is.

    It's kind of fascinating how still having a glut of physical games available for cheap months later is an expensive disaster for a publisher, while an infinite supply of virtual games available for cheap months later is good marketing.

    That's another aspect of digital distribution where everyone but the former middleman benefits.

    I would love for 1) Valve to release the Steam sales data and 2) for Valve's economist to provide their analysis of the figures and how publishers benefit from the sales. It really is the bulk shopping model of the video game world where you make more money selling games cheaper than you would selling fewer games at a higher price. Costco Wholesale had similar difficulties when it began to court higher end suppliers who thought that selling their products cheaper, but in greater quantity, "devalued" their merchandise regardless of the fact that they would 1) make more profit and 2) get their product in the hands of more people. Fast forward twenty years and high-end brands like Lucky Jeans love selling their products at Costco because they like making money.

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    SyphonBlueSyphonBlue The studying beaver That beaver sure loves studying!Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Don't shoot the messenger.
    Information broker The NPD Group's "Kids and Gaming 2013" report found that children aged 12 to 17 are spending seven hours per week on mobile gaming, up from five hours per week in 2011. The report studied the gaming habits of children aged 2 to 17.

    While more children still use computers and consoles for gaming, the report notes there are now "almost" as many kids playing on mobile devices as there are on the more prominent platforms.

    Liam Callahan, an industry analyst with The NPD Group, said in the report that "kids are engaged as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before."

    The report's findings were gathered online from a sample of female adults, aged 21 to 60, that are part of NPD's online panel and house children between the age of 2 to 17. The report is based off the answers of 3,842 children and, in the case of younger children, answers provided by adults on their behalf.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2013/09/14/npd-almost-as-many-kids-gaming-on-mobiles-as-consoles-comput/
    Makes sense. Everyone already has a cell phone so you don't need to purchase another device.

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    ShenShen Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Don't shoot the messenger.
    Information broker The NPD Group's "Kids and Gaming 2013" report found that children aged 12 to 17 are spending seven hours per week on mobile gaming, up from five hours per week in 2011. The report studied the gaming habits of children aged 2 to 17.

    While more children still use computers and consoles for gaming, the report notes there are now "almost" as many kids playing on mobile devices as there are on the more prominent platforms.

    Liam Callahan, an industry analyst with The NPD Group, said in the report that "kids are engaged as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before."

    The report's findings were gathered online from a sample of female adults, aged 21 to 60, that are part of NPD's online panel and house children between the age of 2 to 17. The report is based off the answers of 3,842 children and, in the case of younger children, answers provided by adults on their behalf.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2013/09/14/npd-almost-as-many-kids-gaming-on-mobiles-as-consoles-comput/

    Haha, seven hours a week. That's what, two gyms in Pokemon?

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