Capcom’s Daivid Reeves talks to MVC magazine.

I found this a while ago, it is an interview with David Reeves. He highlights a lot of bits and bobs about how his time at the company has been spent but he also does a bit of future gazing. In which he describes how game sales vary through regions. The UK has alwasy been known to battle on, whereas Spain and Italy are doing poorly apparently and places like Dubai and Russia’s sales are sky high. Although I have not foundanything else on the regional and international aspect of sales, I do feel like it is relevant for my future gazing report even though I don’t mention it, it is still nice to know! Possibly a reason as to why mainstream games cost so much – they are well recieved everywhere!

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Revision of The Future Of The Video Games Industry

The future of the video games industry

The video games industry has been constantly growing larger ever since it rose out of the ashes of arcade games. Its fan base is no longer refined to the stereotypical ‘teenage boys’, it stems across all ages, both genders and all genres. This is down to massive companies, like Sony, Nintendo and Ubisoft, who are fuelling the growing demand for video games. Nintendo and the DS console branched out to female gamers that would otherwise be uninterested in typical blood, gore, and guns seen in first person shooter’s (FPS), by producing games about cooking, weight loss and fitness, and murder mysteries.  The growth and expansion of the gaming industry is being led by these big brands but a lot of independent games are also becoming well known, even so they are still shunned out by games with a bigger amount of funding. Are the big brands dominating the market?

 

 

Money –

Mark Cerny a veteran within the industry believes that the problem currently lies with ’50 million dollar games’. On edge online he asks whether mainstream games need to have large amounts of money spent on them. Is the funding what makes them such a good game? Using money does bring good graphics and other aesthetical value to the game but Cerny asks whether we need this, stating that narrative can be told without all the shiny stuff on top. After all this is where games originated from, back in arcade games you didn’t have the photo-realistic graphics but they were still amazing games. The point Cerny puts across is a valid one in the current state of the industry and how it should progress, he states, “There is no intrinsic value to a fifty million dollar game.” (Cerny, M Feb 2011).

 

 

Jamil Moledina, the director of GDC, gives an opposition to Cerny’s view; she describes the current state of the industry as a ‘very exciting time’ due to the growth that is taking place. This relies heavily on the recognition within the big companies of casual and family-orientated content that is being reflected within the $60 packaged games and $10 downloads. In comparison with Cerny, Moledina explains that these advancements are creating “a perfect storm of factors poised to really expand the game industry” (Moledina, Jamil, 2008). The factors that she is referring to are based on the target audience, so like Cerny, Moledina believes that the growth in the future will be decided by the gamers. Whether it is with the mainstream high-class games or lower budget games.

 

 

Nicholas Lovell suggests another view; he thinks that “only the very biggest titles will survive” (Lovell, 2010), using examples such as Red Dead Redemption, Farmville etc to portray how games are infiltrating peoples time and money by comparing them to movies and TV shows. Lovell suggests that few companies can afford $200 million dollars bets and compares the idea of a blockbuster game that massive companies are making against the lower budget companies that need a portfolio of games just as a defence against them. This shows a massive divide in the industry now that these experts are trying to solve.

 

Summary –

The general ethos from the suggestion is that the target audience will decide the future of video games. The industry relies heavily on people to buy the games at $60 a go, but that is because the games they are producing are costing $200 million dollars and this is because as an audience gamers are demanding high quality, cutting edge design. Saying this it seems like the future of the industry is going to be within cutting edge technology, which will mean game prices will go up and up until it reaches breaking point; this is what Cerny believes. Another factor within this is how the games industry seems to be being driven by consumers, like Nintendo supplying games for casual female gamers, a lot of companies are developing games that are outside of the more generic form/style of game.

 

Bibliography –

Lovell, N (2010), The Future of The Games Industry?, GamesBrief [online], http://www.gamesbrief.com/2010/10/the-future-of-the-games-industry-its-in-three-parts/ (Accessed 16 February 2011)

Moledina, J (2008), Future Of the Video Game Industry Taking Shape At GDC, news.cnet.com [online], http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-9873852-52.html (Accessed 16 February 2011)

Cerny, M (2011), The end of 50 million dollar games, Edge [online], http://www.next-gen.biz/features/dice-the-end-of-50-million-dollar-games?page=0%2C1 (Accessed 16 February 2011)

 

The future of the games industry.

The future of the games industry.

Money –

Mark Cerny believes that the problem with the current industry lies with ’50 million dollar games’. On edge online he asks “Are these games stories that you couldn’t tell without fifty million dollars? By and large all we have done is competed to raise the visual bar and been rewarded for it, and costs will rise until these economics no longer make sense… There is no intrinsic value to a fifty million dollar game.” (Cerny, M Feb 2011) Whereas, Jamil Moledina, the director of GDC says “It’s a very exciting time in the game industry, in that we have this growing recognition of the important of casual and family-oriented content, you’re seeing it in the $60 packaged (games) and in the $10 downloads. It’s a perfect storm of factors poised to really expand the game industry.” (Moledina, Jamil, 2008) These are both very different points of view and suggest opposite sides to the gaming industry. the difference in dates would suggest that the surge of family-orientated games was pushed through in 2008 onwards but Cerny suggests that this buzz of ‘$60’ games needs to end.

Another view is suggested by Nicholas Lovell. He states ” Modern Warfare 2 cost $50 million to make. It costs a further $150 million to manufacture, distribute and market at launch. Very few companies can afford to take $2o0 million bets, still less to build the portfolio of games that are the only defence against the hit driven nature of blockbuster games…For the games industry, Red Dead Redemption is the blockbuster movie; Farmville is the soap opera. Games on Facebook, iPhone, PSN, XBLA and the web are drawing user’s time and money. Only the very biggest titles will survive.” (Lovell, 2010) This suggests that games need to have a big budget to survive in the future, maybe this is because of the rising demand/expectation gamers have from the industry. Lovell back this idea up by saying, game companies that aren’t good at making blockbusters and don’t have the financial strength to make half a dozen games a year, they will be squeezed out of the industry. He finishes by saying “The future for game makers is very, very bright. New technologies like Unity make coding easier. Distribution channels like the web, XBLIG, Steam, the App Store and the Android Market mean that it is easier than ever before to publish a game.”(Lovell, 2010).

Cut backs to staff –
At the moment a lot of game companies are cutting back on staff due to a lack of funding, this can be seen in Harmonix. “Rock Band developer Harmonix has let go between 12 and 15 per cent of its 240 staff, according to reports.” (Edge Online, 2011). Also, “Activision has responded aggressively to its poor financial results, closing down its Guitar Hero business unit, cancelling DJ Hero and True Crime: Hong Kong, and announcing plans to trim its workforce by 7 per cent, or some 500 staff.” (EDGE online, 2011) For the future this means that the industry is going to become even more competitive than it already is, causing trouble for newcomers.

Summary –

All of this information suggests that the future of the gaming industry is going to be a tough one. There will be less jobs available, causing a lot more competition. There are mixed reviews about the idea of ’50 million dollar games’. This suggests that it could go either way but also shows a difference in the market. Some people seem to like the idea of games costing so much to make and the gamers seem to demand this more; this amount of money is often being spent on the technology and skills that are being put into the game, which gives it the quality that people want. On the other hand some people think that there is no need to spend these enormous amounts on one game, and say that this is pushing smaller companies out of business because they cannot keep up.

Bibliography –

Brown, N (2011),Activision “Closes 7 Studios”, Edge [online], http://www.next-gen.biz/news/activision-%E2%80%9Ccloses-7-studios%E2%80%9D (Accessed 16 February 2011)

Lovell, N (2010), The Future of The Games Industry?, GamesBrief [online], http://www.gamesbrief.com/2010/10/the-future-of-the-games-industry-its-in-three-parts/ (Accessed 16 February 2011)

Moledina, J (2008), Future Of the Video Game Industry Taking Shape At GDC, news.cnet.com [online], http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-9873852-52.html (Accessed 16 February 2011)

Cerny, M (2011), The end of 50 million dollar games, Edge [online], http://www.next-gen.biz/features/dice-the-end-of-50-million-dollar-games?page=0%2C1 (Accessed 16 February 2011)

C.I. Task 2 – Presenting Yourself.

1.
Clarity-5/10 she gives examples when she speaks but shedoesn’t give enough information as to why i.e. why is locking your elbow ‘the wrong position’?
Drama-0/10 she seems enthusiastic but not dramatic
Design-3/10 i feel a tad on the weird side being in a dark room with shutters in – it isn’t the best background. Plus she is very stiff in her standing position.
Substance-3/10 well rehearsed, looks confident
Flow- 5/10 not very interesting or engaging

2.
Clarity-6/10 very clear but speaks to fast, leaving no time for the audience to think.
Drama-9/10 she is very confident and gives a good vibe across, very over dramatic with her hands
Design-2/10 over does it abit
Substance-4/10 good backing to her points, funny
Flow-4/10 looks like she is so in depth with her topic, sort of like she is obsessed with it

3.
VIDEO HAS BEEN REMOVED

Creative Industries Review – Assassin’s Creed 2 Brotherhood

Written in the style of popular game review website, Gametrailers.

 

Assassin’s Creed 2 Brotherhood

The £40 Expansion Pack?

The Assassin’s Creed series has, over the past few years, become the pinnacle of the action adventure genre. With intriguing story lines and a previously unheard of playing system, every gamer is always on alert when a new installment is due. However, many have criticized this game for being too similar to it’s predecessor, calling it a glorified expansion pack. Is this the case?

Gameplay – Essentially the series has been unchanged since it’s initial release. This wasn’t so much of an issue when AC2 was released, polishing the issues which needed refining from the original. This release couldn’t work on the same basis; it needed to do something special and as far as I can see it hasn’t broken any boundaries. New features that were added in the second game, such as purchasing shops have been expanded alongside the addition of the Assassins Guild in which you can recruit enemies of the state to your cause is enough to add initial intrigue to a game which is very much the same engine wise. Combat is as comfortable for the main protagonist as on the previous game with the flaw of enemy-to-enemy switching being ironed out with a new system of chain moves. The game once again used the free-running travel mode from the previous games with only minor differences and in all fairness, no changes were really necessary. The main problem this system faces is the automatic assumptions the character makes for you. Frustration almost always ensues, but there aren’t many ways around this. Most people’s mind’s don’t work in the same way as a master assassin! The AI in the game often faces issues when they are taken away from their predefined paths and other than a few occasions, most missions follow the basis of tailing or assassinating an enemy. Improvements have been made with the producers borrowing from other successful franchises such as Tomb Raider with the idea of a set path for which the assassin must follow. Some would criticize this, however without sacrificing on the general city designs, there is no way to ensure the assassin is in the right place at the right time.

Score: 8.7

Story – The initial game was ground-breaking in story line. Not many other games can say they are so well researched, containing real life characters and places, as well as involving a compellingly wrote conspiracy theory which is unrivaled in any genre. For many, including myself, this is the series main selling point and possibly the only thing which makes you feel the game was worth producing. Although some characters appear out of the blue with little background story and in some cases are poorly written and predictable, they are most certainly involving and with the world at steak, there is no justification not to be interested in the cause. Despite these compliments, the game did seem to suffer from sticking with the main protagonist, with nothing new to really bring to the table with certain characters.

Score: 9.2

Presentation & Design – Living in the footsteps of, what in it’s day was to date the best produced living and breathing cities ever made, this game was destined to be something special. However, with an aging engine there was no improvement to general textures and it still suffers from the same draw-in problems as other games in the same genre. The city itself still manages to impress, being as close to historical accurate both placement and development-wise that you would struggle to find anything which even comes close in any genre to recreating a city, past and present. Clothing and buildings are once again designed brilliantly despite Ubisoft making few improvements from the previous installment. Some textures are laughable for 2010 and people most certainly struggle to appear ‘real’ given improvements made in the genre as a whole. Praise is necessary for the flow between cut scene and game however, although this only masks the graphical inabilities of the engine.

Score: 8.1

Overall, the game certainly reignites the passion which most gamers appreciate the series for, but it certainly feels like a considerably large expansion pack with added in game additions used to pad it out into a full release. Essentially,  I don’t see this as a problem, considering the scale of the game and the poorly received DLC of the 2nd game. To keep the series fresh the developers need to come up with something special to keep the franchise from falling off it’s pedestal in the genre. The story is certainly interesting enough to keep you wanting to play and the amount of side quests tagged on mean you will not put this game down for some time. In some senses, this game can come across as an expansion pack, but given the playing time, it is much more than this.

Score: 8.7