Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Opinion: Gamers are behind the Game Industry Implosion

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I am not a Malstrom fan by any means but I find this article interesting. Its a long read but I hope you guys can get to the end.

"The Game Industry is not just in a ‘transition period’,  it is in serious trouble. The macro environment has changed. Economic growth has turned into economic depression in the West. Population growth is no longer there.  With the rise of even more development costs, gaming will only be done by a few big companies (EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Console companies) and everyone else will be a $1 game making peasant of either iOS games or ‘Internet transactions’. This is what an industry collapse looks like."


http://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/gamers-are-behind-the-game-industry-implosion/

 

What do you think guys? 

 

 

 



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That guy still exists? Someone still reads him?

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Faxanadu said:
That guy still exists? Someone still reads him?

I check his articles sometines. I do not agree with him most of the time but I think he has some lights.



Didn't read it. The West is in economic recovery, not depression. The United States GDP was healthy for 2011, and it is projected to be healthy for 2012.

As staggering as 8% unemployment is, 92% are employed and coping, so this entire premise is outlandish to me.

Population growth was low for 2011, but will increase with the economic conditions.

“Can’t we all just get along? It’s all about the games, people!” is bullshit, irrelevant anti-discussion drivel. No, we’re here to disseminate and discuss and debate and prove each other wrong and set the stage for the industry at large. Playing games ‘n being quiet’s got nothing to do with it.

Places like Neogaf are more interested in ‘setting the stage for the industry at large’ instead of being interested in the games.




woah! that sounds familiar

 

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Collapse? More like an adjustment. I'm not going to bother reading Malstrom, but I'll talk about it, anyway. :P

Game development is overinvested. On game consoles the problem is that the games have grown too expensive, on iOS the problem is that the games are too abundant, on all platforms there's a problem with a lack of diversification.

The result is a very hit-driven industry, and a bunch of suits (publishers and retailers) take over and decide they know what it takes to make a hit, just as we see in other entertainment markets. The result is that games stop being made for the benefit of consumers and start being made for publishers and retailers. This is why Kickstarters pop up promising point-and-click adventures, space flight sims and isometric RPGs and raise millions of dollars. Everybody's looking for the next hit shooter, and nobody cares to serve niche markets.

But gaming isn't dying, publishing is. The necrosis is well-advanced in music and print, and video games have the advantage of having a far less established publishing industry. Publishing does three jobs: It funds, it distributes, and it markets.

Distribution is going digital, which means that job is getting done by companies like Valve, Apple, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Marketing is going social, with email, Twitter and Facebook campaigns replacing print and television ads.

And now we see funding going to the crowd with Kickstarter. This not only means that underserved markets that publishers don't care about get served. This mitigates risk by testing the market before you even make a product. If your product needs $1 million to get made and can't raise $1 million worth of interest, you know you need a new product, no need to finish production or ship a hundred thousand copies to retailers to find out.

Publishers are running out of jobs to do, which is why they have to flee upmarket where they can keep dealing with Best Buy, running TV ads, and funding $50 million developments.

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dsgrue3 said:
Didn't read it. The West is in economic recovery, not depression. The United States GDP was healthy for 2011, and it is projected to be healthy for 2012.

As staggering as 8% unemployment is, 92% are employed and coping, so this entire premise is outlandish to me.

Population growth was low for 2011, but will increase with the economic conditions.


Although I pretty much agree with what you're saying, the unemployment rate does not include the amount of people are unemployed and stopped looking for a job, or those who only work part-time and are considered "underemployed". The amount who are "employed and coping" is definitely less than 92%.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48468748/Real_Unemployment_Rate_Shows_Far_More_Jobless



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famousringo said:
Collapse? More like an adjustment. I'm not going to bother reading Malstrom, but I'll talk about it, anyway. :P

Game development is overinvested. On game consoles the problem is that the games have grown too expensive, on iOS the problem is that the games are too abundant, on all platforms there's a problem with a lack of diversification.

The result is a very hit-driven industry, and a bunch of suits (publishers and retailers) take over and decide they know what it takes to make a hit, just as we see in other entertainment markets. The result is that games stop being made for the benefit of consumers and start being made for publishers and retailers. This is why Kickstarters pop up promising point-and-click adventures, space flight sims and isometric RPGs and raise millions of dollars. Everybody's looking for the next hit shooter, and nobody cares to serve niche markets.

But gaming isn't dying, publishing is. The necrosis is well-advanced in music and print, and video games have the advantage of having a far less established publishing industry. Publishing does three jobs: It funds, it distributes, and it markets.

Distribution is going digital, which means that job is getting done by companies like Valve, Apple, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Marketing is going social, with email, Twitter and Facebook campaigns replacing print and television ads.

And now we see funding going to the crowd with Kickstarter. This not only means that underserved markets that publishers don't care about get served. This mitigates risk by testing the market before you even make a product. If your product needs $1 million to get made and can't raise $1 million worth of interest, you know you need a new product, no need to finish production or ship a hundred thousand copies to retailers to find out.

Publishers are running out of jobs to do, which is why they have to flee upmarket where they can keep dealing with Best Buy, running TV ads, and funding $50 million developments.

I pretty much agree with everything you posted here. Technology is driving power away from the publishers and back into the consumers hands. That's not to say publishers can't take advantage of this tech as well (viral ads on social media/youtube for marketing) but unless they update their business models to take advantage of the new tech and consumer powered changes, they're going to be left behind.



Isn't this more of "Gaming Discussion" and not "Nintendo discussion"?

I stopped reading the article after this one point . . .
I was wrong because I thought game developers would look at the bigger picture concerning the relationship of their jobs to society.

It's like he expected game developers to all choose to develop to Nintendo because they intrinsically understood that this would be better for "society".

I love video games but I understand very much that gaming is not at all essential to society. Strangest argument if I ever heard one. - -



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Read the whole thing, pretty much agree with all of it once you filter out Maelstrom's usual personal biases.

To those that haven't read the article, the title can be misleading.

He's basically talking about the fact that Nintendo tried to expand the gaming population with Wii, in order to help the industry become larger, more relevant to society, and more stable in the long run.

His logic is sound: most people care about literature and film, and because of that those mediums are able to survive through difficult times. They are perceived as an integral part of our culture. And by 'our culture' I mean the everyday man on the street culture, not a small and highly specialized sub-group that has too limited an income and too narrow a taste to sustain an industry.

In fact, despite the provocative title, developers are equally to blame as us 'hardcore gamers' for basically shunning the casual crowd when we should have been working overtime to gain their trust and appreciation.

3rd parties shat all over the Wii and produced subpar 'casual' products which to the majority of the audience was their first encounter with this medium. Can you blame them if after years of being exposed to so much crap and so little quality that they come to the conclusion that all gaming must be 'meh'?

A soccer mom or a senior couple that got into gaming in recent years did so because they had a few enjoyable experiences with high quality games, but they never took the time to investigate which publishers were more serious about quality and which didn't care. To them a PartyZ game from Ubisoft looks the same as a Brain Age game from Nintendo, when sitting on the shelf at Walmart.

In order for them to make the effort to begin distinguishing between the two they have to care enough in the first place. That's just natural human behavior in any circumstance when you are exposed to something new.
You develop a more refined taste in *a hobby* because you have something to gain from it, not because you just want to lose less. If losing less is the main concern, then you aren't gaining enough to sustain interest in this *hobby* in the first place.

In other words, if you spend $50 on games that are crap more than once or twice, and you have yet to become emotionally invested in gaming, then you stop buying $50 games. Either you quit altogether or you come to the perfectly reasonable conclusion that games aren't worth $50, but maybe $1 or $5.

This is exactly what Iwata was talking about in his GDC speech that was so badly received by developers. A bad game doesn't tarnish the reputation of the developer or even the publisher if it is made with newcomers in mind. It tarnishes the reputation of the entire industry, or worse the entire medium. The fact that developers so easily dismissed Iwata's words is indication that they were (and probably still are) disconnected from reality.

Maelstrom is also right in saying that Nintendo should have done more to cater to newcomers than they did. There should have been more Wii Sports style games of the same level of quality as the first two, especially given the output of third parties which was mostly inexcusable. But as much as you can criticize Nintendo, there is a clear difference between them and the rest of the industry. Nintendo saw the problem, was aware of it, and made real efforts to address it. They made mistakes along the way, but they clearly got the message. The rest of the industry however, not only failed to address the problem, some of them were completely blind to it and some of them actually made it worse by dismissing it.

Personally I also believe Nintendo eventually was swayed by the rest of the industry to distance itself from its original, correct, path. I believe if other players in the industry weren't so stubborn as to pull with all their might in the wrong direction, Nintendo's output this past generation would have been even more in line with their original vision.

So yeah, "hardcore" gamers are to blame for dismissing the "casual gamer".
Developers are to blame for dismissing the "casual game".
Publishers are to blame for severely underestimating the intelligence of the average consumer, who has no preconditioned positive bias towards games.
And "Casual Gamers" (aka the real world) are "to blame" for packing up and taking there money elsewhere.



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