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T O P I C
Insert witty religious pun here.
May 2nd 2000, 12:15 CEST by andy

Gathering of Developers has been bought by Take-Two Interactive.



In a refreshingly plain-speaking press release, it was announced that GoD will "act autonomously as a wholly-owned subsidiary", which should come as a relief to people who have put their faith in GoD's vision of developer-driven publishing.

Mike Wilson, God's CEO, acknowledges that Take-Two once had a reputation for "shipping crap and not paying people", but claims "they've changed 1000%" over the last two years. Take-Two's CEO Ryan Brant is the only remaining member of the old management team.

According to Wilson, Take-Two has been a long-time partner, and the acquisition is simply a logical step that will allow GoD to thicken its portfolio: "We will be able to say YES to a lot more great teams/projects now. We've turned down so many teams in the past year that most publishers would kill themselves to get to, just because we didn't have the resources to handle them."

GoD has its offices in an old church. (You know that already, but every GoD story is obliged to mention it and we'd hate to break with tradition.)

Thanks to Blue and GameSpy for the links.

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-02 14:26:25
palutkek@asme.org
<quote>. . .Take-Two once had a reputation for "shipping crap and not paying people."</quote>

Just what I like to hear from the head of the company I just bought.
#2 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-02 14:27:09
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#1</b> "Karl Palutke" wrote...
<QUOTE>Just what I like to hear from the head of the company I just bought.</QUOTE>

Well, it is supposed to be a clever marketing scheme. "Here comes GOD to save the day!"


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#3 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-05-02 14:57:42
tc10NOSPAMPLEASE@st-andrewsNOSPAMPLEASE.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom
<b>Andy:</B>
<quote>GoD has its offices in an old church. (You know that already, but every GoD story is obliged to mention it and we'd hate to break with tradition.)</quote>
Actually, I didn't know that, but there ya go :)

As for the actual sale... well, I have no issue with that. It's business; they're entitled to do what they want. Add to that the fact that, while Take Two may not have a decent reputation, they do have experience - and a big, single publisher for the GoD teams to deal with can only be a good thing - and I think that both parties have made a good decision. Whether it all pans out OK is another matter, but we'll soon see; GoD is, I think, important enough in the industry, and (as far as I know) Mike Wilson strong-minded enough that there should be very little strong-arming on the part of Take Two. We'll see what happens.
#4 by "Chango"
2000-05-02 15:03:02
papa_chango@hotmail.com http://www.btinternet.com/~jedi99/
I have a problem with, firstly: "Take-Two once had a reputation for "shipping crap and not paying people"

and then:  "they've changed 1000%" over the last two years"

and finally: "Take-Two's CEO Ryan Brant is the only remaining member of the old management team."

So, basically, the only person left from the old "Don't pay your employee's" bandwagon is THE most powerful and influential man in the company.  In fact, you could say, he's the only one who could still not pay his staff and get away with it.

Oooohh, nice strategy Mike Wilson, sir!



give me a fucking break.



-Chango
#5 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-02 15:08:49
yay. a game thread.
 
:)
 
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "Jafd"
2000-05-02 15:09:37
jNOaSPAMfPLEASEd@zombieworld.NOSPAMPLEASE.com http://www.hereticii.com/skull/
Hey, you know; people _do_ change. People make mistakes, people learn from them. It can happen.
#7 by "G-Man"
2000-05-02 15:18:47
jonmars@earthlink.net http://www.shiftlock.org
<quote>Take-Two once had a reputation for "shipping crap and not paying people"</quote>

Too bad that's the reputation GoD has now. They've been giving some of their developers the run around for a while I've heard...

GoD: oh Take Two hasn't paid us yet
Take2: oh we paid them... go ask GoD
GoD: oh Take Two hasn't paid us yet

Guess they are just formalizing the arrangment.

Note: I have no doubt they are honest/will pay all outstanding debts... just stating their are strapped for cash which helps explain the acquisition.

 - [g.man]
#8 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-02 15:44:44
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#6</b> "Jafd" wrote...
<QUOTE>Hey, you know; people _do_ change. People make mistakes, people learn from them. It can happen. </QUOTE>

People rarely change ... companies can change thou. Much more likely that they just learn to be more discrete when fucking over you. Depends if this head guy was responsible (or at least in a position to veto decision) for past actions will determine whether company changes.

But least lets give them the benefit of the doubt .... for a bit .. until they screww up and then we nail em to wall :P.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "David Long"
2000-05-02 15:56:06
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Good points G-Man. I think GoD's recent releases speak volumes about their cash availalbility. The only real hit they've had was Railroad Tycoon 2. That's the first big game they got out the door (Jazz Jackrabbit doesn't count). From the lists I've seen, FLY, Nocturne and Darkstone all did OK but they weren't the blockbusters that we were told every GoD game would be.

Throw in all the delays surrounding everything else including Max Payne and the future wasn't too rosy I'm sure. Heavy Metal? No way it will be a commercial success. Kiss? The fans will eat it up and the game looks great but who knows.  The license could turn off as many gamers as it excites. Tropico should be good, but will people play it is another question entirely.

Overall, they had to be financially strapped. This move makes it all "work" again. At least until Take Two starts telling them their games aren't accessible enough. Talonsoft isn't the company they were before they were acquired either.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#10 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 16:30:37
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#3</b>, Tom Cleghorn:
<QUOTE>GoD is, I think, important enough in the industry, and (as far as I know) Mike Wilson strong-minded enough that there should be very little strong-arming on the part of Take Two.</QUOTE>
GoD's importance in the industry, and Mike Wilson's strength of mind, probably won't matter all that much if Take-Two have (or later decide to have) a different attitude to development and publishing. "You think we should do it your way? Tough, we own you."

Everyone knows that sensibly, GoD's attitude is the right one, but will that matter? Look at the number of publishers who have forced games to be released when they're even just a matter of days away from being finished. Publishers make incredibly bad decisions, just because they can.

But I'm optimistic. I've always been optimistic about GoD. This acquisition made me a little less optimistic for a few minutes, but I got over it.
<b>#8</b>, RahvinTaka:
<QUOTE>People rarely change ... companies can change thou.</QUOTE>
Good point. It just depends what sort of person Ryan Brant is. If he was the trouble-causer before then he's probably still going to be the trouble-causer now, but that's not the impression Mike Wilson gives.
#11 by "Riddlewire"
2000-05-02 16:40:00
riddlewire@cbnnow.com
GoD is based in an old church.

Isn't Third Law based in an old church, too?
This is a disturbing trend.
#12 by "El Asso Wipo"
2000-05-02 16:45:10
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
I'm going to start a development company called "Old Church Interactive" and we're going to work in an office building!

About GOD Selling out to Take2.  It smells.  You have a company who prides itself on stand alone, apart from the suits, then what does it do, it sells its soul to them and says "We can still do what we want"..  You can continue to keep fooling yourself MIkey Wilson, but you are now OWNED.  

They will tell you when to shave, shower, shoot & shit.  You are at their mercy, as well as all the developers you've fooled into working for you.
#13 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-02 17:14:28
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
Getting back on topic here...

Back when GOD launched, I said they were going to get bought up within a year. Okay, so maybe I was off by a year, but still...I think this was inevitable.

The gaming industry is shrinking VERY rapidly. I don't know about any of the other press guys that read this, but my appointments list for this year's E3 is significantly smaller than last year's because I no longer have to make individual appointments for several companies - they were all bought up by Infogrames, Sierra, EA, or Eidos (which may be bought up itself soon).

Games are expensive to make, and to do so requires big bucks. Companies that are loosing money or need to expand their distribution will get bought. Pure and simple.

GOD isn't loosing money (at least I don't think so, they've got two games in the top ten) in fact they're doing great - BUT they acknowledged a short while ago that they needed to align themselves with a major publisher if they were going to get taken seriously in a number of major markets. What markets? Easy: Wal-Mart and Europe.

Wal-Mart won't take games from an upstart company like GOD. They realized this, and sold a chunk to Take Two.

After some time, Take Two saw that GOD was doing well, and wanted to swallow it to increase their overall bottom line.

It's a logical thing, and the only thing that really suffers here is all the rediculous hyperbole they like to spout about being a "different" publisher than everyone else.

They may be kinder to developers, and they may have different policies for selecting games, but ultimately they're a publisher, and they need to do certain things to stay afloat.

-jason
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 17:59:40
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
w3rd loonyboi

This industry is shrinking faster than something involving cold ocean water

The only question is, where are these individualist companies going with their attitude factor.  Meaning, will being sucked in mean giving up their personality?

Infogrames (check my IP) just bought GT Interactive.  Infogrames publishes mostly kid-teen games (beetle buggin', outcast).  But, with the acquisition of GT and Accolade, we got Redline (cars + people = splat) and Duke Nukem.  

With Infogrames being a family-game company, and yet having Duke/UT as part of the games.. I'm afraid of seeing our adult games go down the tubes because of the mainstream view of video/PC games as kids only, and the publishers wanting to only go for the biggest cheese.

Me, I can't wait for the day when video games are seen as a legitimate adult market in the U.S.

-Houston
#15 by "Chango"
2000-05-02 18:20:00
papa_chango@hotmail.com http://www.btinternet.com/~jedi99/
"Infogrames publishes mostly kid-teen games (beetle buggin', outcast)"

last time I checked I don't recall Outcasr being aimed <i>anywhere near</i> kids or teenagers.
#16 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-02 19:00:44
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
<b>#14</b> "Houston" wrote...
<QUOTE>The only question is, where are these individualist companies going with their attitude factor. Meaning, will being sucked in mean giving up their personality?</QUOTE>

Well, that remains to be seen, doesn't it?

In the case of GOD, i'd have to say yes. I think Take Two will reign in Mike Wilson a little. As long as they make money they'll have a certain degree of independence, but the second they slip up, they'll be screwed. Fortunately for them, I don't see that happening in the near future...but you never know. The whole Blair Witch craze could blow up in their faces.

<QUOTE>Infogrames (check my IP) just bought GT Interactive. Infogrames publishes mostly kid-teen games (beetle buggin', outcast). But, with the acquisition of GT and Accolade, we got Redline (cars + people = splat) and Duke Nukem.

With Infogrames being a family-game company, and yet having Duke/UT as part of the games.. I'm afraid of seeing our adult games go down the tubes because of the mainstream view of video/PC games as kids only, and the publishers wanting to only go for the biggest cheese.</QUOTE>

I wouldn't call Infogrames a family-game company, although you're right, a large percentage of their internally developed games are for kids (like the WB characters, etc). If anything, their purchase of GT shows they are looking to diversify.

The big bucks in gaming will always be in mass-market titles (look at The Sims as a great example) but the hardcore does make money, and as long as there is money to be made, any publically traded publisher is going to want to cash in on it.

Infogrames showed a <b>remarkable</b> committment to gaming when they funded Outcast for all those years (and are continuing it with the sequel in development now). Outcast was a monumental achievement with little financial return (at least in the US anyway) and they saw it through to the end.

<QUOTE>Me, I can't wait for the day when video games are seen as a legitimate adult market in the U.S.</QUOTE>

Who says it isn't? Have you noticed the number of times The Sims has appeared in The New York Times lately? Three times so far since its release. THREE TIMES. For any video game that's impressive. For a PC game even more so.

If you look at the people buying The Sims, very few of them are kids, if any. It's a brilliant, mass-market ready game (just as Sim City was before it).

Certain games deserved to be accepted by the mass-market but weren't due to their reluctance to accept a videogame, such as Outcast and System Shock 2 (all but overlooked by the hardcore as well). But The Sims has proved that a game can be sold to the general public. Walk into any software store and look at the people buying the game...most of them have never bought a PC game in their lives, but their friends told them about this great thing they must have, so they're getting it.

We have a long way to go before a game like Outcast makes as much as Titanic, but we're getting there.

-jason<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "Jafd"
2000-05-02 19:01:24
jNOaSPAMfPLEASEd@zombieworld.NOSPAMPLEASE.com http://www.hereticii.com/skull/
<QUOTE>People rarely change</QUOTE>

Pardon me. This has not been my experience.
#18 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 19:10:52
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
Sure, preach on about the sims, but...

"Who wants to be a millionaire"

Now THAT's a money-makin' mass-market machine.

Damn I wish I had more legitimate sources as far as sales information, but for a game that would probably take as much time to code as "Hello, world"... you can rake in a lot through mass appeal, name recognition, and of course, the magical powers of Regis Philbin.

So, who wants to work with me on starting a company making one-month dev. cycle games that'll sell millions?  ;)

And thanks for the good word on Outcast, what a great yet so little known title.
#19 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 19:17:18
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#13</b>, loonyboi:
<QUOTE>It's a logical thing, and the only thing that really suffers here is all the rediculous hyperbole they like to spout about being a "different" publisher than everyone else.</QUOTE>
Americans - <b>there is no 'e' in ridiculous!</b> :)

I'm surprised that you describe GoD's image as hyperbole. How so? You suggest that they're not a "different publisher than everyone else", but I think history shows that they are.
#20 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-02 19:19:39
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
<b>#18</b> "Houston" wrote...
<QUOTE>Sure, preach on about the sims, but...

"Who wants to be a millionaire"

Now THAT's a money-makin' mass-market machine.

Damn I wish I had more legitimate sources as far as sales information, but for a game that would probably take as much time to code as "Hello, world"... you can rake in a lot through mass appeal, name recognition, and of course, the magical powers of Regis Philbin.

So, who wants to work with me on starting a company making one-month dev. cycle games that'll sell millions? ;) </QUOTE>

Hey, I can tell you how: learn Shockwave, and make a dozen crappy hunting games. :)

As for Who Wants to be a Millionaire (which I couldn't watch even if I wanted to, since my cable company yoinked ABC) it's a fad game. It'll sell billions of copies because of its name, and then dwindle off into obscurity.

But who cares! They'll have made a fortune by then.

<QUOTE>And thanks for the good word on Outcast, what a great yet so little known title. </QUOTE>

For all intents and purposes, Outcast <b>should</b> have been a huge success. It's got all the right things.

Oh well...maybe if the commerical had aired on MTV or something. :)

-jason<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 19:37:33
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
It'll sell billions of copies because of its name, and then dwindle off into obscurity.

But who cares! They'll have made a fortune by then.

yup
and making it instantly all to yourself, as far as bottom-line goes, rules.

Having a game like Quake, (again, pardon my Lack of Facts) which

1 - Isn't insta-million seller
2 - allows other companies (fansites, copy-cats) to make money off of your original concept

isn't the bestfor money.  It may still stay in the heart of many a fan, but when was the last time love payed your bills?  (unless you rent it out  ;) )

Oh, and for more lovely advertising.. try Beetle Buggin'.  It's $20, and it's a lot of fun for the money.  Trust me, I can say that the Test Drive series (in general) sucks, so I'm not exactly a company-man.  But Beetle Buggin' was a cheap blast with nice cheesy surf tunes to cruise in to summer
#22 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 19:45:29
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
BTW, that outcast commercial is at

ftp://ftp.infogrames.net/movies/oc_eng.mov

If you haven't seen it, watch it.. cracks me up.
#23 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 19:54:33
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#21</b>, Houston:
<QUOTE>Trust me, I can say that the Test Drive series (in general) sucks</QUOTE>
I thought TD5 was one of the best racing games I've played, right up there with TOCA.

This reminds me, as someone whose experience with games nowadays is 99% first-person shooters, I'm always impressed by comparitively how far ahead driving games are compared to stuff like Q3A and UT that are regarded as the best in terms of technology.

For their purposes, the Q3A and UT engines are excellent, but for <i>their</i> purposes, the Test Drive and TOCA engines are years ahead.

Let's just pretend that Test Drive: Off-Road never happened. :)
#24 by "Apache"
2000-05-02 20:00:26
apache@warzone.com http://www.voodooextreme.com
Andy: TOCA kicked ass, Mobile 1 is also pretty good. Everytime a racer from Infrogrames comes to to review I shudder with anticipation ;)
#25 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 20:10:31
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#24</b>, Apache:
<QUOTE>Andy: TOCA kicked ass, Mobile 1 is also pretty good. Everytime a racer from Infrogrames comes to to review I shudder with anticipation ;)
</QUOTE>
Ooh, I've not heard of Mobile 1 - a good racer I've missed! /me hurries off to read up about it...

Did you like TOCA2? I tried the demo and hated it.

Craig, if you're reading - good job on the new CrapSpy! Love the preview feature.
#26 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 20:16:38
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
Let's just pretend that Test Drive: Off-Road never happened. :)

It's in my mental blocks category, along with that incident in kindergarten with the gym teacher, and my entire high school dating experience.

Industry Factoid (since I know noone else at Infogrames is reading this, and if they did, I wouldn't care):

Infogrames shipped an early version of Test-Drive Off Road 3 to Wal-mart in order to meet Wal-mart's own demand.  The version that was shipped to Wal-mart was a late beta, and actually contained several "A" class bugs, missing textures, and incomplete features.

All other stores were shipped the completed (but still crap) cersion of the game.


and now you know the pow-ah of Wal-mart.
#27 by "David Long"
2000-05-02 20:21:41
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Wow, that is power. I could understand shipping the same buggy piece of crap to everyone, but to ship specially buggy crap to Wal-Mart takes the cake. I guess they reap what they sow, eh?

Mobil 1 Rally Championship is THE rally racing game. I don't think there's a prettier racing game around with the possible exception of Superbike 2000.  The best thing is both of them, while beautiful, are a joy to play as well.

If you have the slightest interest in cycles, SBK2000 is an absolute must have.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 20:26:26
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#26</b>, Houston:
<QUOTE>
Infogrames shipped an early version of Test-Drive Off Road 3 to Wal-mart in order to meet Wal-mart's own demand. The version that was shipped to Wal-mart was a late beta, and actually contained several "A" class bugs, missing textures, and incomplete features.
</QUOTE>
That's terrible! Did Wal-Mart <b>know</b> it was a beta version and didn't care, or was Infogrames just scared of losing the order?

<b>#26</b>, Houston:
<QUOTE>
All other stores were shipped the <b>completed (but still crap)</b> cersion of the game.
</QUOTE>
Can I propose the bold bit as the tag line for Monolith's next game? (Although something tells me 'completed' would need an asterisk.)
#29 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-05-02 20:34:30
Darkseid@captured.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
*takes the americans to task*

will you PLEASE learn

it is a lot, not alot

it is losing money, not loosing money

/me utilises his clue by four *whap whap whap whap whap*


Outcast rocked, but was a power hog with all those voxels. Its a French game (they have the reputation of being quirky here) and got quite a bit of press (gaming) coverage. It sold quite well all told (and didnt warez easily).

The score ... oh man .. Ive rabbited about the music before, its _easily_ the BEST music in a game that Im ever likely to hear, on a par with John Williams' music in the Indianna Jones / Superman and Star Wars movies, hugely orchestral and sweeping. I should burn a copy for the car ... *hunts for outcast cd*

ps the game rocked, hard, and is the sort of adventure game Jeet was bleating about lacking :)

Pardon the coherence, I passed out in work today and Im fuzzy ...


DS
#30 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 20:44:38
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
Wow, apparently I'm the only person who thought Outcast was an incredibly overrated and mediocre FedEx game. You were trying to save your world, yet doing these completely mundane tasks... ugh. The plot was formulaic dreck, the sountrack was impressive for a game but shared that John Williams tendency to be overbearing and tell you how to feel (they should have spent the sountrack money on a writer), there was endlessly dull dialog... feh.
#31 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 20:46:39
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Infogrames shipped an early version of Test-Drive Off Road 3 to Wal-mart in order to meet Wal-mart's own demand. The version that was shipped to Wal-mart was a late beta, and actually contained several "A" class bugs, missing textures, and incomplete features. </quote>
I-Magic also released a buggy Wal-Mart version of a game early (I think it was Destiny); basically, if you say you'll have a game to Wal-Mart, you better have it on that date or else you lose a ton of money. You've spent X dollars to buy the space, worked on cross-promotion... the company decides it's better to release the buggy version than lose the $100K or so Wal-Mart effectively extorts from them.
#32 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 20:51:13
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Some Americans DO know that it's "a lot".  We also know the difference between to/too/two...let's not over generalize (yes, that's a Z) based on country. :)

color/colour Aluminum/aluminium

After all, one could point out that most dictionaries, including dictionary.com list YOUR version as a variant of ours.  Of course, those ARE American dictionaries...so I guess that doesn't give a definitive answer.

I really hoped that Crap 3.0 could stay away from this again.  Uneducated, lazy and stupid people exist in both countries.  Not to mention the fact that some people type incredibly fast and "a lot" can easily end up as "alot" even if you know better. :)

-Valeyard
#33 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 20:57:04
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Do enough people REALLY buy their software at Wal-Mart?  I realize there's a large market and that different games target different markets but frankly, if *I* made a game, I don't think my target audience is going to be anywhere near a Wal-Mart.

That's the kind of store where software is purchased purely on impulse.  "Oooohhh, look at the pretty box this one is in!  Oh man, look at the screenshot on the back!  Marketing...has me...can't...resist...must spend.....aaaahhhh"

Now, if strip clubs sold software...hmmmmm...

-Valeyard
#34 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 20:57:45
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
The real question.........


Will Take Two's purchase of G.O.D. affect the E3 booth this year?  Damn last year's G.O.D. booth rocked... spent half my time there, and ended up spewin' chunks in a pub down the way... LONG LIVE MIKE WILSON!  :)
#35 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 21:00:31
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
A publisher cannot exist on the motto "we'll ship when ready." Individual projects can follow that release schedule, but if you're shipping 5-6 games/year, they'd all have to be StarCraft-level smashes to sustain an entire company during those lulls when no product is shipping and no revenue is coming in.

What I think people forget about when looking at sales figures is that PC Data and the like solely focus on units sold. Movies are judged by revenue, which is considerably more important. For example, RollerCoaster Tycoon sold the most units last year, but SimCity 3000 had nearly 1.5 times the revenue on fewer sales. Which would you rather have?

So GoD has a success with Railroad Tycoon II, but it wasn't StarCraft, which sells at full price for two years. It was discounted and re-packaged. It was undeniably successful, but could it sustain not only a developer but an entire company, sales, marketing and PR staff? Not when they're off funding things like Max Payne, KISS, Heavy Metal, Nocturne (hey kids, how much money must that game have lost?), Fly (now appearing in the top 10, but at $20), etc.

But let's think a little about that entire "when it's done" shipping concept. I think games like Daikatana and Messiah show that spending more time on a game doesn't necessarily make it a better, or even more polished, game. It definitely raises expectations; I'm not sure I'd want to be working on Duke Nukem Forever myself, because it'll have to be the second coming to even come close to matching people's expectations.

So GoD was somewhat conceptually doomed, trying to both live up to expectations and trying to create a company based around the notion they would never ship anything with any fixed schedule. In retrospect, they might have made that work with a line of consistent selling and easy to produce budgetware, but I doubt they had enough money coming in on a consistent basis throughout the year to keep them afloat.

But they got a lot of good press and warm and fuzzy feelings from gamers for basically saying things that needed to be said, that too many publishers were screwing people over and games were being pushed out the door. And their candor (particularly Mike Wilson's) is always refreshing (even if it is calculated). I hope that their voices aren't squelched as part of the buyout...
#36 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 21:00:49
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#32</b>, Valeyard:
<QUOTE>After all, one could point out that most dictionaries, including dictionary.com list YOUR version as a variant of ours.</QUOTE>
Yes, but <b>everything</b> of yours is descended from us, remember. Sometimes we Brits feel like a nation of slim, sensible parents who went on a cruise and spawned a bunch of dumb fat kids who like playing with guns.

<b>I'm just kidding!</b> I have absolutely zero interest in debates about race or nationality, or fat/thin/smart/stupid people, or anything like that. As far as I'm concerned we're all just a load of breeders on a rock in space.
#37 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 21:05:46
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Do enough people REALLY buy their software at Wal-Mart? I realize there's a large market and that different games target different markets but frankly, if *I* made a game, I don't think my target audience is going to be anywhere near a Wal-Mart. </quote>
Wal-Mart is mind-boggingly huge. Deer Hunter was created specifically for Wal-Mart, at the request of one of their sales people. In some places in the US, Wal-Mart is the ONLY store in the region.

So to say your target audience wouldn't go near a Wal-Mart is really off-the-mark, because not all of your audience has a choice. (Well, they could do mail order, but Wal-Mart is awfully cheap, I think... I've never actually been to one myself). It's probably also rather patronizing, but I'll let all the Wal-Mart/Planetcrap readers chime in one that one... (erm, both of you)

But do you really care where your target market buys its game? Do you care if they buy it on impulse at Wal-Mart or at the local indie game store?
#38 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 21:09:28
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
"As far as I'm concerned we're all just a load of breeders on a rock in space."

Agreed....now it's time to further my plans to dictate WHO is allowed to breed and who isn't.  Logically the final decision will, of course, be mine.

The original plan was simple:  I get to breed with any beautiful and brilliant woman, and everyone else is sterilized.  I've since modified that to allow a few other males to procreate, as there are still some people who's opinions I respect.

:)

-Valeyard
#39 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 21:13:36
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
"Do you care if they buy it on impulse at Wal-Mart or at the local indie game store?:

Actually, I do.  I much prefer people who put a little THOUGHT behind a decision, especially a purchase.  THOSE people are the ones that are least likely to be calling my tech support saying "What do you mean by 'my system doesn't meet the minimum requirements'?"

I'd be willing to wager that the average Wal-Mart software shopper is less informed, less experienced and FAR less technically proficient than the average person shopping at a "software" store.

"Deer Hunter was created specifically for Wal-Mart"

I rest my case.

-Valeyard
#40 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 21:13:42
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#38</b>, Valeyard:
<QUOTE>I've since modified that to allow a few other males to procreate, as there are still some people who's opinions I respect.
</QUOTE>
And of course, some of those males will produce daughters. Why limit yourself to one generation?!
#41 by "El Asso Wipo!"
2000-05-02 21:14:18
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
""As far as I'm concerned we're all just a load of breeders on a rock in space. ""

Quote of the year Andy!


I'm afraid of Wal-Mart, well, not the store, but the freaks who inhabit the store.  I've got all my teeth, I don't fit it, and I don't screw my sister.
#42 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 21:17:28
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
"Why limit yourself to one generation?!"

Who said I was limiting myself to one generation?  I'll keep breeding until I die, and then I'll pick one of my great great grandsons as a successor.

Ok...enough fantasy...back to the crap. :)

-Valeyard
#43 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 21:28:35
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Actually, I do. I much prefer people who put a little THOUGHT behind a decision, especially a purchase. THOSE people are the ones that are least likely to be calling my tech support saying "What do you mean by 'my system doesn't meet the minimum requirements'?" </quote>
Instead, you're stuck with the irrational hardcore gamer who will call you to bitch that you didn't use antioscopic trilinear nib-nurbing or support the 3Dfx Q-buffer technology.

<quote>I'd be willing to wager that the average Wal-Mart software shopper is less informed, less experienced and FAR less technically proficient than the average person shopping at a "software" store. </quote>
Well, I dunno... you're looking at mall shoppers at EB and the like. Are they really more sophisticated?

<quote>"Deer Hunter was created specifically for Wal-Mart"
I rest my case. </quote>

And the success of Deer Hunter begat discounted pricing for many top-notch PC games... the $29.95 and utterly brilliant RollerCoaster Tycoon, for example... Deer Hunter was a good thing for the industry, folks.
#44 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 21:44:20
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
"you're looking at mall shoppers at EB and the like. Are they really more sophisticated?"

Perhaps not.  Perhaps I'm over-stereotyping Wal-Mart shoppers...but at least in MY town, the people who "get it" don't buy their software at Wal-Mart.


"Deer Hunter was a good thing for the industry, folks."

I disagree.  It was a good thing for the average (or below-average) consumer, but I don't think it was a good thing for the gaming industry as a whole.

Roller Coaster Tycoon (A great game) was discounted BECAUSE it was selling like wildfire...not in an attempt to stir up sales.  Other games remained at the $40 or $50 mark...as they were still trying to stir up sales.  Deer hunter didn't start a trend of inexpensive games, it's started a trend of CHEAPER games...big difference.

If anything, Deer Hunter and it's 963 vapid clones demonstrate the diversity of the home market and the ability to achieve maximum results from minimal effort - if you're willing to exploit that new market.  Any garage hack worth a damn could write a Deer Hunter clone, and any High-schooler who "likes to draw" could produce sufficient visual quality to compete on that level.

Yes, it's arrogant and elitist, but it's the way I look at it.  I don't mind if someone else likes the game, I just hate to see these pathetic attempts lauded as some sort of significant achievement in gaming.

-Valeyard
#45 by "David Long"
2000-05-02 21:53:23
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Get your facts straight bud. RollerCoaster Tycoon was released at a price of $29.99.  It went on sale at Best Buy about two weeks after release at $17.99.  I should know, I was there, bought it and went back for the refund on the sale.

Sales had nothing to do with its initial price. The Best Buy sale is a common tactic used at the store to sell more copies of a new product. They do it with just about everything. Games ARE cheaper now than ever before and we can thank things like Deer Hunter that they are.  Now you'll probably complain about them being cheaper having to do with the "decline of quality games". That's hardly the case...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#46 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 22:00:48
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
I bought Roller Coaster tycoon at $29.99 several months AFTER it's initial release - at Best Buy.  Perhaps what you thought was an initial release was a release...or maybe I'm just wrong...who knows I might have gotten ripped off.

In either case, the initial price was much lower than your "standard" title for a lot of reasons. (VERY small developer, low development costs etc.)  I'd be surprised if Deer Hunter played ANY part in determining the price of RC Tycoon.  I guess it should be simple enough to find out....

-Valeyard
#47 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-02 22:06:16
palutkek@asme.org
<quote>Do enough people REALLY buy their software at Wal-Mart? I realize there's a large market and that different games target different markets but frankly, if *I* made a game, I don't think my target audience is going to be anywhere near a Wal-Mart. </quote>

I remember reading (nope, no reference) that Wal-Mart is the biggest software retailer (in terms of sales) in the US.

Your target audience may not shop at Wal-Mart, but your publisher's does.
#48 by "Rantage"
2000-05-02 22:06:18
rantage@hotmail.com http://www.steelmaelstrom.org
<b>#13</b> "loonyboi" wrote...
<QUOTE>
The gaming industry is shrinking VERY rapidly. I don't know about any of the other press guys that read this, but my appointments list for this year's E3 is significantly smaller than last year's because I no longer have to make individual appointments for several companies - they were all bought up by Infogrames, Sierra, EA, or Eidos (which may be bought up itself soon).
</QUOTE>

Didn't something like this happen in the mid/late 80s, though...a decline in the number of game companies?  Or was I too hopped up on Def Leppard music and acne medicine to notice?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "Rantage"
2000-05-02 22:07:57
rantage@hotmail.com http://www.steelmaelstrom.org
<b>#19</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>
 Americans - there is no 'e' in ridiculous! :)
</QUOTE>

And there's <B>no 'u' in neighbor!</B>  What's yer point? ;)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-02 22:14:00
<b>#49</b> "Rantage" wrote...
<QUOTE>there's no 'u' in neighbor! </QUOTE>
 
or color.
 
damn egotistical brits, they wonder why everybody thinks of them like the whiny kid everybody at school picked on...
 
:)
 
 
 
I'll buy my games wherever they are cheapest, I don't give a damn if that's kmart, best buy, walmart, whatever.   If they can sell me the exact same software for $10 less than the competition, they have earned my business.
 
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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