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Gopher's Minions

(RANT) Dear Game Companies : Make What You're Good At Making!


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I agree with the sentiment, but I think that Gopher slightly missed the point on one count: I think that it's perfectly natural for a company to branch out, otherwise it ends up stagnating and dying (there are very few successful "single product companies"), but the problem is the scale. Right now most companies are selling these "experiments", these first forays into already crowded niches of the market as if they were the next big thing, the platform for their future identity, and this is where the shit it the industrial size fan.

Fallout Shelter was a game completely unlike anything Bethesda ever tried, but it was overall well received, whereas Diablo Immortal was booed from day one. Why? Because the audience saw Fallout Shelter as a mere test, a side project, a cute filler and low maintenance game released while the studio worked on the next big thing. Diablo Immortal, on the other hand, was announced with all the fanfare of a main title (or at least a big DLC), making everybody think that Blizzard was going to develop and maintain just it, instead of their array of existing games and properties.

Given all of the above there's one more element: learning from mistakes. Titles like Anthem and Fallout 76 are problematic for the above reasons and because of the development problems Gopher outlined in the video (Anthem in particular took 6 years and was nowhere near a decent release state). Neither of these titles took advantage of the mistakes made by their competitors, nor learned how to avoid them and this is simply unacceptable in any way shape or form.

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9 hours ago, Woodclaw said:

I agree with the sentiment, but I think that Gopher slightly missed the point on one count: I think that it's perfectly natural for a company to branch out, otherwise it ends up stagnating and dying (there are very few successful "single product companies"), but the problem is the scale.

that would be the case with ubisoft releasing a new Assassin's Creed game every year in the past for example, but BGS makes a new game every 3-4 years, that is long enough for people to want more of the same in updated technology with some tweaks to gameplay included.

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9 hours ago, Woodclaw said:

I agree with the sentiment, but I think that Gopher slightly missed the point on one count: I think that it's perfectly natural for a company to branch out, otherwise it ends up stagnating and dying (there are very few successful "single product companies"), but the problem is the scale. Right now most companies are selling these "experiments", these first forays into already crowded niches of the market as if they were the next big thing, the platform for their future identity, and this is where the shit it the industrial size fan.

Fallout Shelter was a game completely unlike anything Bethesda ever tried, but it was overall well received, whereas Diablo Immortal was booed from day one. Why? Because the audience saw Fallout Shelter as a mere test, a side project, a cute filler and low maintenance game released while the studio worked on the next big thing. Diablo Immortal, on the other hand, was announced with all the fanfare of a main title (or at least a big DLC), making everybody think that Blizzard was going to develop and maintain just it, instead of their array of existing games and properties.

Given all of the above there's one more element: learning from mistakes. Titles like Anthem and Fallout 76 are problematic for the above reasons and because of the development problems Gopher outlined in the video (Anthem in particular took 6 years and was nowhere near a decent release state). Neither of these titles took advantage of the mistakes made by their competitors, nor learned how to avoid them and this is simply unacceptable in any way shape or form.

I agree that companies should look for new products, but I think Gopher is complaining about game like FALLOUT. Bethesda basically failed with Fallout 76 because they were trying to break into a new platform. Bethesda's problem was calling it Fallout 76. It should have been a new game, online. It probably would not have done very well, but it would not have made everyone panic. Basically what people are now saying is: I will not buy the next Elder Scrolls game because I don't trust Bethesda.

CDPR is facing a similar backlash if Cyberpunk 2077 does not live up to the excellent story writing style of Witcher 3, From what they have demoed they may have a problem because the story telling in what they showed was extremely weak and uninteresting. It was all action and jumping around like a MarioBros game. If that is all the have to offer it will fail. Yes they changed platform but at what cost?

Fallout Shelter doesn't really count. It was seen as a temporary throwaway. Like a bobblehead handed out at a convention. Nobody expected anything from it.

 Fallout76 was badly advertised. I knew exactly what it was months before it was released and published what I knew here on this forum. People didn't listen to me and got the wrong expectation. Fallout76 is not a bad game. It's problem is that there are far better online games out there. Fallout76 is free to play after you buy it but it just isn't that good a game. Fallout does not fit in the online niche. It is a great single player RPG. Trying to play it online was just plain frustrating.

I totally agree that the companies are not learning from mistakes. There were so many problems addressed by FFO and ESO that they practically rebuilt the games from scratch because of the flaws... then Fallout 76 had many of the exact same flaws.

These companies should concentrate on the old successes and maintain their fan base. Then they can build a few new games  that are not very big to test the waters. Prey was a good example of a market test. It wasn't a huge game but it was clearly experimental. It was a success, I think, for what it was. The only problem with it was that fans wanted a new Fallout similar to Fallout 3 or NV, or a new Elder Scrolls, or even a DLC. Fans are getting tired of old promises.

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15 hours ago, Cryzeteur said:

CDPR is facing a similar backlash if Cyberpunk 2077 does not live up to the excellent story writing style of Witcher 3, From what they have demoed they may have a problem because the story telling in what they showed was extremely weak and uninteresting. It was all action and jumping around like a MarioBros game. If that is all the have to offer it will fail. Yes they changed platform but at what cost?

It will be interesting to see how they tackle storytelling without a firmly established main character like Geralt of Rivia. Then again, the Cyberpunk RPG is in essence — a sandbox. Honestly, if Cyberpunk 2077 turned out to be a solid Cyberpunk sandbox, I'd chalk them up a win. Wouldn't even be mad. I'll judge it when it's ready. Cyberpunk is a new IP. They can make it any way they want it. I don't expect Witcher... anything.

Companies evolve. They should. It's progress. They should just be careful with doing it over an established IP. Make something new, by all means. But understanding and serving your fan base is playing the long game, and that's the way you make a legacy and avoid being seen as trendy and greedy.

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My gut feels is Cyberpunk with feel and play like an updated Crysis in a some what open world. Which is not a bad thing I enjoyed those games.

The one thing that kept The Witcher 3 from being my all time favorite game was 3rd person only.

I believe Cyberpunk will offer both 1st and 3rd person so that will be a real plus for me.

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23 hours ago, Cryzeteur said:

I agree that companies should look for new products, but I think Gopher is complaining about game like FALLOUT. Bethesda basically failed with Fallout 76 because they were trying to break into a new platform. Bethesda's problem was calling it Fallout 76. It should have been a new game, online. It probably would not have done very well, but it would not have made everyone panic. Basically what people are now saying is: I will not buy the next Elder Scrolls game because I don't trust Bethesda.

CDPR is facing a similar backlash if Cyberpunk 2077 does not live up to the excellent story writing style of Witcher 3, From what they have demoed they may have a problem because the story telling in what they showed was extremely weak and uninteresting. It was all action and jumping around like a MarioBros game. If that is all the have to offer it will fail. Yes they changed platform but at what cost?

Fallout Shelter doesn't really count. It was seen as a temporary throwaway. Like a bobblehead handed out at a convention. Nobody expected anything from it.

 Fallout76 was badly advertised. I knew exactly what it was months before it was released and published what I knew here on this forum. People didn't listen to me and got the wrong expectation. Fallout76 is not a bad game. It's problem is that there are far better online games out there. Fallout76 is free to play after you buy it but it just isn't that good a game. Fallout does not fit in the online niche. It is a great single player RPG. Trying to play it online was just plain frustrating.

I totally agree that the companies are not learning from mistakes. There were so many problems addressed by FFO and ESO that they practically rebuilt the games from scratch because of the flaws... then Fallout 76 had many of the exact same flaws.

These companies should concentrate on the old successes and maintain their fan base. Then they can build a few new games  that are not very big to test the waters. Prey was a good example of a market test. It wasn't a huge game but it was clearly experimental. It was a success, I think, for what it was. The only problem with it was that fans wanted a new Fallout similar to Fallout 3 or NV, or a new Elder Scrolls, or even a DLC. Fans are getting tired of old promises.

I'm sorry but I think that merely concentrating on the existing IPs isn't a good idea. They shouldn't be neglected, but I don't think that merely reiterating the same formula over and over is a good idea. One one hand it's true that many fans just want their "daily fix" to scratch a certain hitch, but from what I've seen over the past decade or so, this is also how a company ends up regurgitating uninspired "clones" of its own games. Granted a game with a solid (I like to say maniacal) enough fanbase would sell well enough no matter what, the EA Games sports titles are a pretty clear indicator, but there would always be a trickle of disgruntled players leaving after a while.

On the other hand, producing a high quality remaster of an old game (e.g. porting Morrowind on Skyrim's engine) is a different beast, but it doesn't address the main problem that any company tend to face: getting new players by the ton!

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52 minutes ago, Woodclaw said:

I'm sorry but I think that merely concentrating on the existing IPs isn't a good idea. They shouldn't be neglected, but I don't think that merely reiterating the same formula over and over is a good idea. One one hand it's true that many fans just want their "daily fix" to scratch a certain hitch, but from what I've seen over the past decade or so, this is also how a company ends up regurgitating uninspired "clones" of its own games. Granted a game with a solid (I like to say maniacal) enough fanbase would sell well enough no matter what, the EA Games sports titles are a pretty clear indicator, but there would always be a trickle of disgruntled players leaving after a while.

On the other hand, producing a high quality remaster of an old game (e.g. porting Morrowind on Skyrim's engine) is a different beast, but it doesn't address the main problem that any company tend to face: getting new players by the ton!

I agree within limits. Game sequels are important because players want to follow the story. Sequels need to do that. They need to progress the story in new and innovative ways. The transition from Arena, the Morrowind, to Oblivion, to Skyrim is a good example. Dishonored is another good example. The entire Final Fantasy Series is a good example. Each sequel advanced to players understanding of the universe in new ways. They were not boring clones.

You are right about innovation. The gaming world is and has always been in a state of flux. New tech makes it possible to use that tech in new ways. However, games are approaching a state parallel to books. Book technology relies on text and there is not much you can do to text. Still people love to read because everyone who reads a book reads a different story. 

Comic books and graphic novels become cartoons and movies. Entertainment will not go away.

Games allow the player to make their own story. The whole point of the technology is to make your own story. It is like a game of chess. Every time you play a game, you create your own new story. RPGs are the next step. VR is a step beyond where we are. VR is in its infancy. But technology will peak or platform. The holodeck may be the future of VR. But the basic principle remains: Players want to create their own story in a world they are drawn to.

Immersion in shooters is shallow and wears out quickly.

In other words,  technological advances are peaking and game companies need to concentrate on better RPGs with game worlds players love.

Edited by Cryzeteur
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€0.02

“Nobody remembers bad games shipped on time.”
“Games - it's a business, we can be proud of it, yeah? It's inovation. It's creation”
Marcin Iwiński - Co-founder CD Projekt Red

“Nobody remembers bad games shipped on time.” Marcin Iwiński - CD Projekt Red - Retrospective Pt . 1 | The Origins Of CDPR | PS4

Martin: [Drops mic.] B)
[proceeds to continue doing God's work]

Full video:
CD Projekt Red - Retrospective Pt.1 | The Origins Of CDPR | PS4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63Ii7uBXZaQ

 

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