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Hmm, Nintendo after all...
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Fost
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Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Hmm, Nintendo after all... Reply with quote

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050517/latu045.html

If you don't want to read all that (and I don't blame you), here is the key quote with regard to independent development:

'A dynamic development architecture equally accommodates both big-budget, high-profile game "masterpieces" as well as indie games conceived by individual developers equipped with only a big idea.'

So, does this mean you'll see Starscape, Mr. Robot, Project # and Battlescape on Nintendo Revolution? Well, to be honest - we've heard this kind of thing before, and it turned out to be a pile of ****. All I can say is: we promise to investigate as far as we can, and that you'll hear about it here first...
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happymonster



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 38
Location: Nottingham, UK



PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, PomPom have been signed up to do a new version of MutantStorm for Xbox360. So maybe you guys can get in on the act too!
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Fost
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Pod Team


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are pretty sure that Xbox 1 (180?) live arcade hasn't done anybody many favours in terms of sales , but we are hoping that having live arcade integrated into the dashboard, and the account based payment system might make for greater uptake. There are a few things that worry us about it though:

*There are talks of earning points that you can spend in the xbox live marketplace. There's a slight worry that this will mean live arcade games being used as lowest common denominator incentives. In a similar way to the bundle scams that bad budget publishers do (multiple games on one cd earns the publishers the same amount but the developer a pittance). Some of the big portals have similar tricks - like cheap subscription passes so they can sell games for next to nothing. Of course, we'll have to wait and see.

*Already, all live arcade games have to go through a third party 'aggregator' that basically saves the publisher (Microsoft) the time of talking to people (which is understandable - I'm sure they get inundated with game submissions). This means there's yet another finger in the cash pie. We generally try to avoid business with too many middle men - our profit margins are slim enough as it is. I think Pompom had a direct deal with Microsoft to make one of the live launch titles, and I'm really happy for them.

My big hope is that XB360 Live Arcade can become another outlet for indie developers. However, with 2 companies taking a cut already, and potentially games not being sold at full price (I wouldn't blame MS for taking on the practices of the major portals, since they seem to work for them) you may need to sell as many as 3-10 times as many copies to make the same as you would selling yourself on a PC. Do you think there'll be 3 times as many people with Xbox 360s, online access, and an interest in the live arcade section, as there are people with PCs, internet access and an interest in downloadable games?
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Rup



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 363
Location: London, UK



PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
*There are talks of earning points that you can spend in the xbox live marketplace.

But if that's essentially free money into the system, it's a good thing provided you still get a fair price for the game? I'm surprised they go through a third-party game aggregator, though - that's something they could easily manage in-house.

Fost wrote:
Do you think there'll be 3 times as many people with Xbox 360s, online access, and an interest in the live arcade section, as there are people with PCs, internet access and an interest in downloadable games?

I guess the one big hope is the console launch: if there are Xbox 1 emulation problems, few launch titles and the public hasn't adjusted to higher game prices yet, then there might be a good demand for live arcade games. Which, if everyone gets used to buying from live arcade, might keep up?
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Fost
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Pod Team


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rup wrote:
it's a good thing provided you still get a fair price for the game?

...but why would you get a fair price? Nobody does currently. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be, based on what happens with current portals, although I'd be happy for Microsoft to prove me wrong. What's likely to happen, is that points will reduce the cost of the game to something very low, and be an excuse (I call it an excuse anyway) to sell the game at a cheaper price. The developer usually gets the same percentage after costs, but of course costs eat into a smaller sale price far quicker, and a percentage of $8 is far worse than $20. Anyway, MS wouldn't be doing anything particulary out of the ordinary if they did this.

Btw - the portal's argument against this is that putting games on offer sells far more copies and you end up making more. Many people will support this argument, but I've never seen any hard facts regarding it, and I personally believe it to be untrue, especially when you consider many have all games on permanent offer.

Rup wrote:
I'm surprised they go through a third-party game aggregator, though - that's something they could easily manage in-house.

Why bother though if you can still earn the same money? It makes business sense. What usually happens is that an aggregator comes along and says they will provide the same percentage profits and take care of all the hassle if they get an exclusive deal. The aggregator then takes its money out of the developer's cut. This happens all the time with mobile phones and even some places like yahoo games only deal with a few aggregators.

Rup wrote:
Which, if everyone gets used to buying from live arcade, might keep up?

It seems unlikely it can ever get anywhere near PC indie games sales, because there would have to be a hell of a lot of XB360s out there for that to happen (more than all the consoles put together right now in fact). Combine that with the fact you'll need to sell more than twice as many to get the same return, and my suspicion that Xbox owners will be more interested in big budget releases...

Still, I'm hoping it can become another outlet for indies, like Mac and linux are- maybe it won't match PC in terms of sales, but it would still be worth it. If MS offer the right support to indies and make it easy for them to get their hands on devkits then it could happen. This has been Microsoft's great strength with Xbox1 - the Xbox team went out of their way to support developers (in fact Microsoft generally go the extra yard with helping developers). Hopefully this will still extend to developers on XB360 live arcade.
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope they'll be dev friendly too. One of the things I can see in all this is even if developing for a console like the X360 and you know it won't garner the kind of profits games for PCs can, its certainly one method to get the company name spread around. In this context, perhaps it'll even boost Indy PC titles because of having had some console exposure?
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Fost
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's probably worth doing if you can recoup your development costs. I think that might be more likely on an xb360, as it's going to be easier to port a PC product over if it suits console controls.

However, I can't help but think that most indie developers would be better off spending the time working on more games for PC (win/mac/lin). Sounds to me like the installed user base is always going to be far bigger and far less risky. I think a lot of people see getting on consoles as the holy grail; it's something we'd love to do and wouldn't pass up the opportunity - but not at the expense of our core online business which we actually see as more important (mainly because we already proved to ourselves that it works Wink )
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, I can't help but think that most indie developers would be better off spending the time working on more games for PC (win/mac/lin)


Speaking as primarily a PC gamer, I'm actually glad its this way. There's simply much more variety I feel. Although its a shame there isn't a decent balance between games that are pushing technological limits, and me needing a massive PC overhaul Smile
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