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Marvelous execs take pay cuts instead of layoffs of the lower orders

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Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Castlevania, Disgaea and Katamari aren't exactly huge sellers themselves. None of those games have passed 500k this gen actually, and Muramasa's outselling some of them even.

Yet they still get major attention from sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers for being popular, even 'core' games and their sequels are hyped.  This would only further prove my point that Muramasa is being labeled as 'miche' only because it didn't have a marketing push when it was released.  In other words, since people didn't hear about it on TV or from an article on IGN hyping it, they automatically default to thinking its a 'niche' title.  Although in the case of Muramasa, there were multiple articles/videos on sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers previewing the game.

I'd call it "niche" but that's mainly due to the merits of the game itself.  I mean it a Japanese made side scrolling 2D action RPG.  Those might've been big in the 16bit days, but they're practically an endangered species now and usually reserved for nostalgic enthusiasts like me.  In fact, I can count all the likeminded games we've gotten this gen on two hands and the only one that sold really well had Mario in it. :/

These days, I'd also call Castlevania "niche" to be honest, though it definitely still has some brand cache.

On consoles, I would definitely agree there's a limited amount of 2D side scrollers being made.  However, on handhelds, we're being flooded with them still.  So I guess I have a different view of the situation.  I mean, while some people will call a game like Muramasa niche, I'm also seeing many people starting to call the entire JRPG genre 'niche'.  Yet we have games from both genres selling in the multi-millions. 

What I was trying to get accross was that terms such as 'niche' are being used to describe games people precieve to be unpopular or they personally don't think are as good as another type of game, not based on sales or actual popularity.  And for the most part, I feel that comes from their lack of being hyped for the game personally (due to a lack of marketing for the game compared to highly advertised western games like Mass Effect, Halo or GTA).

I dunno, the only similar games (JP made sidescrolling ARPGs) I can think of this gen are...

  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS) 2005
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS) 2006
  • MegaMan ZX (DS) 2006
  • Super Paper Mario (Wii) 2007
  • MegaMan ZX Advent (DS) 2007
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) 2008
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii) 2009
  • La-Mulana (WW) 2010
  • Cave Story (WW) 2010

...that's not much.  If we extended out to similar western games, then there's Shantae 2 and (sort of) Shadow Complex?  :/



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As a genre, jRPG's are niche. A couple of franchises managed to break out in the West, like Final Fantasy, but in general the appeal of jRPG's is much more limited than first person shooters, racing games, action games, platformers etc.

 

And I'm sorry, but it is possible to exercise our judgment in determining what games have limited appeal or not, it's not just 'what I don't like' or what I percieve to be unpopular but not based on popularity (?). As soon as I saw Madworld I could tell people would be turned off by it. My favorite games are games like X3: Terran Conflict, space sims with an empire/economy side to them. I know full well that game is incredibly niche, even though it's my personal favorite.



A game I'm developing with some friends:

www.xnagg.com/zombieasteroids/publish.htm

It is largely a technical exercise but feedback is appreciated.

MaxwellGT2000 said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
mike_intellivision said:
Four Wii games this half year.

One poorly received series (Eldar Saga)
One not yet released out of Japan (Arc)
One niche (Muramasa)
One bungled cover art (LKS).

That sums up the problems on the Wii.

Mike from Morgantown


People need to stop blaming the sales of games based on excuses such as a game being 'niche' or 'bungled Cover Art'.  Muramasa falls under the same genre as Metroid and Castlevania, its not niche.  And the concept art for Little Kings Story is no different or obscure than something such as Katamari Damacy or Disgaea.  The simple reason these games didn't sell is because they didn't have good marketing (IE: any aside from limited online advertising) and were poorly distributed (were only available in limited venues such as Game Stop and certain department stores, but not found in most Best Buys, Wal Marts, Toys r Us, etc).

The simple fact is, hardly anyone is buying Marvelous games because hardly anyone knows about them.  Not because of things like 'niche genre' or 'bad cover art'.

This is very true, they don't get their money directly from consumers they get their money from retailers and retailers restocking, if you can't convince the retailer that you've got a good game that will sell, they'll buy a couple of copies for each store and be done with it, if you can't even convince them to stock it, then you've got some issues, cause they'll even stock rubbish games in the masses (there was this Christmas Minigame collection on Wii that was recalled due to not a single copy being sold locally and they seriously had 20 copies)

Admittedly my comments were a bit simplistic.  But the "cover art" comment was actually put forth by someone associated with Marvelous, so I do not feel bad about that.

Also, my comments about "niche" and "bungled release" work well with the other comments about people not knowing about these games. A lack of PR and presence leads to a lack of sales. People can't buy what they don't know about or what stores won't stock because people don't know about.  

That being said, those problems, no matter how you describe them, are generally failures at the executive level rather than the programmer level. So the pay reduction by executives is approrpriate.

 

Mike from Morgantown



      


I am Mario.


I like to jump around, and would lead a fairly serene and aimless existence if it weren't for my friends always getting into trouble. I love to help out, even when it puts me at risk. I seem to make friends with people who just can't stay out of trouble.

Wii Friend Code: 1624 6601 1126 1492

NNID: Mike_INTV

jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Castlevania, Disgaea and Katamari aren't exactly huge sellers themselves. None of those games have passed 500k this gen actually, and Muramasa's outselling some of them even.

Yet they still get major attention from sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers for being popular, even 'core' games and their sequels are hyped.  This would only further prove my point that Muramasa is being labeled as 'miche' only because it didn't have a marketing push when it was released.  In other words, since people didn't hear about it on TV or from an article on IGN hyping it, they automatically default to thinking its a 'niche' title.  Although in the case of Muramasa, there were multiple articles/videos on sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers previewing the game.

I'd call it "niche" but that's mainly due to the merits of the game itself.  I mean it a Japanese made side scrolling 2D action RPG.  Those might've been big in the 16bit days, but they're practically an endangered species now and usually reserved for nostalgic enthusiasts like me.  In fact, I can count all the likeminded games we've gotten this gen on two hands and the only one that sold really well had Mario in it. :/

These days, I'd also call Castlevania "niche" to be honest, though it definitely still has some brand cache.

On consoles, I would definitely agree there's a limited amount of 2D side scrollers being made.  However, on handhelds, we're being flooded with them still.  So I guess I have a different view of the situation.  I mean, while some people will call a game like Muramasa niche, I'm also seeing many people starting to call the entire JRPG genre 'niche'.  Yet we have games from both genres selling in the multi-millions. 

What I was trying to get accross was that terms such as 'niche' are being used to describe games people precieve to be unpopular or they personally don't think are as good as another type of game, not based on sales or actual popularity.  And for the most part, I feel that comes from their lack of being hyped for the game personally (due to a lack of marketing for the game compared to highly advertised western games like Mass Effect, Halo or GTA).

I dunno, the only similar games (JP made sidescrolling ARPGs) I can think of this gen are...

  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS) 2005
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS) 2006
  • MegaMan ZX (DS) 2006
  • Super Paper Mario (Wii) 2007
  • MegaMan ZX Advent (DS) 2007
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) 2008
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii) 2009
  • La-Mulana (WW) 2010
  • Cave Story (WW) 2010

...that's not much.  If we extended out to similar western games, then there's Shantae 2 and (sort of) Shadow Complex?  :/

And with those examples, half of those sold very well (above 500,000) and were also considered popular by both fans and critics.  So I really don't see why they are considered 'niche' by some people.  Because there's not 100 clones of those games?  Because they're very diverse and don't conform to one specific type of gameplay?  Again, it goes back to what is 'niche'.  Is it a definition of lackluster sales or the lack of a genre being popular or a vague perception of each indavidual to what is 'liked' by others?  I definitely believe most of those titles, including Muramasa, are not limited to the first two traits.  As for the third, I'm arguing that its pure speculation.

As for my comments of saying there's a lot more games on the DS, I thought you were pointing to 2D Platformers in general, not just 2D action platformers such as Paper Mario and Cave Story (which even then, are on the border of the same genre as Metroid/Castlevania/Muramasa). 



Six upcoming games you should look into:

 

  

'Niche' has been defined in this thread. 'Niche' is something with limited appeal, something that will not be appealing to a wide audience. It's a relative term.



A game I'm developing with some friends:

www.xnagg.com/zombieasteroids/publish.htm

It is largely a technical exercise but feedback is appreciated.

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That is how it should happen as a companies losses are not the fault of the workers. Its poor planning and management.

I will be buying something from them.



marvelous decision marvelous!



All hail the KING, Andrespetmonkey

More than nice. These guys do not only put out great and different games, they have great ethics as well. All the respect in the world to Marvelous and their great development teams.



Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Castlevania, Disgaea and Katamari aren't exactly huge sellers themselves. None of those games have passed 500k this gen actually, and Muramasa's outselling some of them even.

Yet they still get major attention from sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers for being popular, even 'core' games and their sequels are hyped.  This would only further prove my point that Muramasa is being labeled as 'miche' only because it didn't have a marketing push when it was released.  In other words, since people didn't hear about it on TV or from an article on IGN hyping it, they automatically default to thinking its a 'niche' title.  Although in the case of Muramasa, there were multiple articles/videos on sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers previewing the game.

I'd call it "niche" but that's mainly due to the merits of the game itself.  I mean it a Japanese made side scrolling 2D action RPG.  Those might've been big in the 16bit days, but they're practically an endangered species now and usually reserved for nostalgic enthusiasts like me.  In fact, I can count all the likeminded games we've gotten this gen on two hands and the only one that sold really well had Mario in it. :/

These days, I'd also call Castlevania "niche" to be honest, though it definitely still has some brand cache.

On consoles, I would definitely agree there's a limited amount of 2D side scrollers being made.  However, on handhelds, we're being flooded with them still.  So I guess I have a different view of the situation.  I mean, while some people will call a game like Muramasa niche, I'm also seeing many people starting to call the entire JRPG genre 'niche'.  Yet we have games from both genres selling in the multi-millions. 

What I was trying to get accross was that terms such as 'niche' are being used to describe games people precieve to be unpopular or they personally don't think are as good as another type of game, not based on sales or actual popularity.  And for the most part, I feel that comes from their lack of being hyped for the game personally (due to a lack of marketing for the game compared to highly advertised western games like Mass Effect, Halo or GTA).

I dunno, the only similar games (JP made sidescrolling ARPGs) I can think of this gen are...

  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS) 2005
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS) 2006
  • MegaMan ZX (DS) 2006
  • Super Paper Mario (Wii) 2007
  • MegaMan ZX Advent (DS) 2007
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) 2008
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii) 2009
  • La-Mulana (WW) 2010
  • Cave Story (WW) 2010

...that's not much.  If we extended out to similar western games, then there's Shantae 2 and (sort of) Shadow Complex?  :/

And with those examples, half of those sold very well (above 500,000) and were also considered popular by both fans and critics.  So I really don't see why they are considered 'niche' by some people.  Because there's not 100 clones of those games?  Because they're very diverse and don't conform to one specific type of gameplay?  Again, it goes back to what is 'niche'.  Is it a definition of lackluster sales or the lack of a genre being popular or a vague perception of each indavidual to what is 'liked' by others?  I definitely believe most of those titles, including Muramasa, are not limited to the first two traits.  As for the third, I'm arguing that its pure speculation.

As for my comments of saying there's a lot more games on the DS, I thought you were pointing to 2D Platformers in general, not just 2D action platformers such as Paper Mario and Cave Story (which even then, are on the border of the same genre as Metroid/Castlevania/Muramasa). 

Er, Super Paper Mario's the only one above 500k afaik?  Maybe DOS managed it too?

And these aren't platformers, they're all action RPGs and adventure games (though they do have some degree of "platforming" in each).  Cave Story's chief influence is actually Metroid.



jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Kenryoku_Maxis said:
jarrod said:
Castlevania, Disgaea and Katamari aren't exactly huge sellers themselves. None of those games have passed 500k this gen actually, and Muramasa's outselling some of them even.

Yet they still get major attention from sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers for being popular, even 'core' games and their sequels are hyped.  This would only further prove my point that Muramasa is being labeled as 'miche' only because it didn't have a marketing push when it was released.  In other words, since people didn't hear about it on TV or from an article on IGN hyping it, they automatically default to thinking its a 'niche' title.  Although in the case of Muramasa, there were multiple articles/videos on sites like IGN/GameSpot/GameTrailers previewing the game.

I'd call it "niche" but that's mainly due to the merits of the game itself.  I mean it a Japanese made side scrolling 2D action RPG.  Those might've been big in the 16bit days, but they're practically an endangered species now and usually reserved for nostalgic enthusiasts like me.  In fact, I can count all the likeminded games we've gotten this gen on two hands and the only one that sold really well had Mario in it. :/

These days, I'd also call Castlevania "niche" to be honest, though it definitely still has some brand cache.

On consoles, I would definitely agree there's a limited amount of 2D side scrollers being made.  However, on handhelds, we're being flooded with them still.  So I guess I have a different view of the situation.  I mean, while some people will call a game like Muramasa niche, I'm also seeing many people starting to call the entire JRPG genre 'niche'.  Yet we have games from both genres selling in the multi-millions. 

What I was trying to get accross was that terms such as 'niche' are being used to describe games people precieve to be unpopular or they personally don't think are as good as another type of game, not based on sales or actual popularity.  And for the most part, I feel that comes from their lack of being hyped for the game personally (due to a lack of marketing for the game compared to highly advertised western games like Mass Effect, Halo or GTA).

I dunno, the only similar games (JP made sidescrolling ARPGs) I can think of this gen are...

  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS) 2005
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS) 2006
  • MegaMan ZX (DS) 2006
  • Super Paper Mario (Wii) 2007
  • MegaMan ZX Advent (DS) 2007
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS) 2008
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii) 2009
  • La-Mulana (WW) 2010
  • Cave Story (WW) 2010

...that's not much.  If we extended out to similar western games, then there's Shantae 2 and (sort of) Shadow Complex?  :/

And with those examples, half of those sold very well (above 500,000) and were also considered popular by both fans and critics.  So I really don't see why they are considered 'niche' by some people.  Because there's not 100 clones of those games?  Because they're very diverse and don't conform to one specific type of gameplay?  Again, it goes back to what is 'niche'.  Is it a definition of lackluster sales or the lack of a genre being popular or a vague perception of each indavidual to what is 'liked' by others?  I definitely believe most of those titles, including Muramasa, are not limited to the first two traits.  As for the third, I'm arguing that its pure speculation.

As for my comments of saying there's a lot more games on the DS, I thought you were pointing to 2D Platformers in general, not just 2D action platformers such as Paper Mario and Cave Story (which even then, are on the border of the same genre as Metroid/Castlevania/Muramasa). 

Er, Super Paper Mario's the only one above 500k afaik?  Maybe DOS managed it too?

And these aren't platformers, they're all action RPGs and adventure games (though they do have some degree of "platforming" in each).  Cave Story's chief influence is actually Metroid.

No, you're right, they're all avg around 300,000 each in sales.  Yet my point still stands.  Why do these games, such as the recent Castlevania and Mega Man games, classify as some of the best in their genre or 'core' titles, while a game like Muramasa is considered 'niche' by some?  Especially when Muramasa is only 100,000 units away from them in sales and also considered one of the better games on the Wii by 'core' fans.

I guess what I'm trying to lock down is, I don't think one game should be labeled as 'niche' just because it doesn't conform to the standards of what's the best selling game out there or what some people precieve as 'popular'.  As I already gave examples, stuff like Katamari Damacy and Disgaea are hardcore Japanese and hardly anyone would consider it a 'core' title by the standards of today.  Yet since it came out last gen, when the PS2 was king, those games were considered 'core' and hot stuff.  And may I venture to say Odin Sphere got the same treatment for being on the PS2.  So now I just find it rather hypocritical that now Muramasa, Odin Spheres spiritual successor, is getting labeled as 'niche', possibly because of the system its on and because the style/genre it uses.



Six upcoming games you should look into: