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French gaming mafia: "We don't get no respect."
May 26th 2002, 22:50 CEST by m0nty

French games publishing giants Vivendi and Infogrames have been quoted at the E3 2002 show complaining about the lack of recognition they are getting in the US sector of the games industry.

"This show for us is to showcase the results of the investments we've been making," said Bruno Bonnell, chief executive of both the parent and the subsidiary [of Infogrames]. "We still (see) this perception that this company is like a nice, second-tier company."


The French technology industry has always beaten a different track, even to European neighbours - after all, they even have their own version of the Internet - but their incursion onto foreign soil has occurred rather stealthily, with mixed results. Vivendi now owns Blizzard, Sierra and Universal Interactive; the Caen brothers' Titus Interactive has the dubious honour of controlling Interplay; and Infogrames recently added Shiny to its stable of dev companies like Legend, Oddworld Inhabitants and Beam Software.

Mind you, the French aren't the only ones demanding to be given props. E3 briefings from THQ and Activision pushed the message that gaming revenues would spike later this year as console sales strengthened. THQ has also has some favourable financial press of its own resulting from its E3 presence.

THQ has been overshadowed largely because it hasn't turned out blockbuster hits like EA's Madden football franchise or Activision's new Spider-Man game. But that may be about to change. If THQ can deliver on its promises and turn in a strong holiday season later this year, analysts predict its stock will soar past $40 over the next 12 months.

If you believe the E3 hype, the industry-leading position enjoyed by Electronic Arts is under threat from all sides, just as the industry goes on a console-centric upswing that may sort the winners from the losers. Perhaps it's the reliance by EA on its existing franchises that makes it look vulnerable: the numerous sports titles and the Sims phenomenon are keeping it number one. Is EA really under threat from French invasion, or the American heel-snappers? Is there really any xenophobic sentiment amongst US analysts? Will The Sims Online remove all doubt as to EA's dominance?
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Home » Topic: French gaming mafia: "We don't get no respect."

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#1 by Sgt Hulka
2002-05-26 22:51:39
UNO!

....Don't be Left with the chimps. Evolve with us...
#2 by Charles
2002-05-26 22:53:31
www.bluh.org
So what exactly are we supposed to talk about?

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#3 by Charles
2002-05-26 22:54:17
www.bluh.org
If EA is under any threat, it's from Quebec.  Fucking french manuals!  Release of various Square games were delayed cause of that shit.

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#4 by Matt Davis
2002-05-26 22:57:49
http://looroll.com
Is there any publishing company that isn't being a whiney bitch lately?
#5 by "me"
2002-05-26 22:58:52
is there anyone who really considers this a problem?
#6 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-26 22:59:05
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I concur with post #2.  EOD!

LPMiller - "Really, I'm just a get along kinda a guy, all about the love."
#7 by Stralutia
2002-05-26 23:14:55
stralutia@hotmail.com None
Nova Z:

Is EA really under threat from French invasion, or the American heel-snappers? Is there really any xenophobic sentiment amongst US analysts? Will The Sims Online remove all doubt as to EA's dominance?


I think this is what we're supposed to discuss.
#8 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-26 23:25:29
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I don't really see EA as having any kind of dominance.  In sports titles, maybe.  And yeah, they have a few big brands, but so do most publishers.

WoT?
#9 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-26 23:28:43
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
#8
You realize that's anti-topic and you can be shot for that around here.

LPMiller - "Really, I'm just a get along kinda a guy, all about the love."
#10 by BobJustBob
2002-05-26 23:30:18
So, we discriminate against the French and against women. Who else?
#11 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-26 23:35:06
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
third world countries...  and pretty much anyone else we can get away with it.

LPMiller - "Really, I'm just a get along kinda a guy, all about the love."
#12 by saintigor
2002-05-26 23:35:49
no
how about germans can we hate them?
#13 by The_Joker
2002-05-26 23:37:41
http://www.jackinworld.com
my wang feels weird today. probably should use a different brand of handlotion.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka
#14 by Creole Ned
2002-05-26 23:41:58
Question: What company regularly has at least three titles from the same franchise (and occasionally four) in the top ten sales every week?

Answer: EA, with The Sims and its various expansion packs. Ergo, EA dominates. EOD!

I found a new friend underneath my pillow.
#15 by "Stralutia"
2002-05-26 23:43:54
stralutia@hotmail.com None
Granted, EA relies pretty heavily on it's existing franchises.  I always thought that was par for the course for companies who have successful franchises (be they in the game industry or any other).  And if EA has a large dominance where they are a head above and beyond the rest, as Warren pointed out above, it is probably in the sports titles area, and for seemingly good enough reason.  Even if some of their sports lines have stagnated in the last few years (or so I've heard from some of my sports-game playing friends, I don't play many sports games myself), they still put together the best product overall, and nobody has came along to knock them off their throne.  

I don't see why this is a problem.  If they put out a good game in a genre I enjoy, I'll probably buy it.  If someone else puts out a good game, in the same genre that I enjoy, I'll probably buy that one too.  It doesn't matter where the game came from.  I won't generalize and say that's the case for everyone, but I'd like to think it is.  Confirmation, anyone?

-Stralutia
#16 by crash
2002-05-27 00:17:17
from the press release linked in #0:

Vivendi's gaming name plates -- Blizzard, Sierra and Universal Interactive -- have strong name recognition, but Vanhal said the idea was to unify those brands and their games under a single corporate umbrella.

right. so... dilute the brand that's making you money so you can feel good about yourselves. wise business move. yeah, get that Blizzard name off the box entirely--this is a Vivendi game, goddamnit! well, not really. to put this in perspective: think Activision gives too much of a shit when gamers associate Doom3 with id rather than Activision? think Take 2's gonna care too much when 3DR's name is front-and-center on DNF? hell no--they'll be too busy counting all the money.

there's a time to assert publisher-brand superiority (e.g. EA Sports games, Need for Speed, Tomb Raider), and there's a time to assert developer-brand superiority (e.g. Blizzard, id). it all depends on what your audience has come to associate the brand with. to get pissy about it seems... well. to stay on-topic, it seems French, i suppose. or not.

in my opinion, in order to be known as the publisher associated with the title, rather than the developer, you need to (a) own or have a controlling interest in the dev before their first game is released; (b) have a contract that emphasizes same; and (c) minimize the developer's name whenever and wherever possible.

if the developer becomes known as a separate entity prior to their first game's release, the publisher will usually forevermore be seen as the vehicle for the dev to get their games out. to put that another way: i could give a shit less if the semi pulling the Pepsi trailer is a White Freightliner, a Peterbilt, or a Mack. either way, the soda gets to the store the same.

and Peterbilt doesn't get pissy in press releases about it. well. maybe they do in France.

Whoops, sorry, was my common sense showing again? -HoseWater
#17 by "chiro"
2002-05-27 00:33:05
French Sims?
#18 by Squeaky
2002-05-27 00:48:08
from linkage in #17:
More than 20 lawyers to manage

w00t!

We've also revolutionized the boob technology
#19 by Bailey
2002-05-27 01:06:46
Wow, it's like Ally McBeal meets the Sims. What a great idea! What a celebration of life! (cocking pistol, pressing firmly against temple)

As it is, the French are comprising a significant chunk of the publishing industry, and are dumping a good deal of the money into the american dev market. Sounds like insecurity issues which could be traced back to the "Five Second Surrender". Being a significant member of any group means you don't have to be recognized as a factor, because you have the power and weight to throw around. If they're going to insist on throwing hissy fits about it, well, one more reason to sink France into the ocean.

Though there is something to be said for good wine and a sharp cheddar.

#20 by steve
2002-05-27 01:14:19
www.manic-pop-thrills.com
Electronic Arts has done what Vivendi is proposing, "diluting" Westwood Studios and Maxis without a negative impact by putting "EA Games" prominently in the center of every box (they now have two brands, EA Games and EA Sports). The individual brands (i.e. Sims, Command & Conquer) are more important than the name on the box. I'd guess DOOM and Quake are bigger than id, as in more people can name the games than the developer/publisher. (And this kind of goes with those IP discussions, as in the IP is more valuable than the developer, so you sell it seperately.)

And if people don't think EA dominates the industry, um... they're a billion dollar/year game publisher, the biggest of them all. They probably sell more PC games than any other publisher as well, thanks to the Sims and Command & Conquer and Medal of Honor, etc. The only company they legitimately fear is Sega, I'd guess, particularly on the sports game front.

My life is a patio of fun.
#21 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-27 03:09:36
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Infogrames needs to follow-up their song, I guess.

"Infogrames Rocks My World In A First-Tier Way"

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#22 by Bailey
2002-05-27 04:04:32
Please god... NO.

#23 by JMCDaveL
2002-05-27 04:14:54
The Life Partners?

--jmc
ICQ-121684 AIM-jmcdavel U=FAG0T
#24 by LesJarvis
2002-05-27 05:43:03
Warren wrote:
I don't really see EA as having any kind of dominance.  In sports titles, maybe.  And yeah, they have a few big brands, but so do most publishers.


umm, ea typically doubles it's nearest multi-platform competitors in annual revenues (nintendo is usually second.)  i'll see if i can dig up some numbers.
#25 by LesJarvis
2002-05-27 06:13:14
bleh, the npd website won't give me the numbers, but in the realm of anectdotal evidence, take the fact that ea published 10 of the top 20 selling pc games of 2001, and in any given week will typically hold 4 or 5 of the top ten for that week.  ea is huge.
#26 by m0nty
2002-05-27 06:38:07
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Take market capitalisation as an indicator (all amounts in US$):

ERTS: 9.201B
ATVI: 1.846B
THQI: 1.265B
TTWO: 939.8M
IFOE.PA: 614.1M
EIDSY: 259.8M
THDO: 35.5M
IPLY: 35.4M
#27 by Arach
2002-05-27 08:23:31
http://www.ng-gamers.com/
Interplay, they just refuse to die. I do have a morbid hope that they fold, so Volition can get the Freespace rights back. Maybe Sierra will pick up BIS and throw em in a pot with Troika.

If only. *sigh*.

Burger King - Where ALL Dragonmasters eat!
#28 by Ashiran
2002-05-27 10:04:15
#26 by m0nty
Attack of the abbrevations I don't recognize!

Apart from the first three.
ERTS : Electronic Arts
ATVI : Activision
THQI : THQ Inc. (Does THQ actually stand for something?)

Someone cares to write the rest of them out in full?

"...so I can send him a dead dog with the word "YOU" taped to its face." - Cliff Yablonski
#29 by crash
2002-05-27 10:06:34
TTWO: Take Two
IFOE.PA: probably Infogrames
EIDSY: Eidos
THDO: 3DO
IPLY: Interplay

Whoops, sorry, was my common sense showing again? -HoseWater
#30 by Duality
2002-05-27 10:38:12
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Aww yeah.  The Star Wars thread dropped off the main page for this?
*weep*

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#31 by "Balderama"
2002-05-27 14:08:42
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
I'm telling you people, the topics are lame. Morn has to take a second look at his topic voting code. Make that a second and a third and probably a fourth look.
#32 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-27 15:00:11
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
He should also take a second look at the code which allows non-registered people to post.

WoT?
#33 by "Balderama"
2002-05-27 15:05:16
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
That's true, they should be allowed to vote for topics as well without requiring you to register. There should be a law against websites which require you to register for any additional functionality.
#34 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-27 15:08:02
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
A winnar is yuo.

WoT?
#35 by Darkseid-D
2002-05-27 15:15:02
rogerboal@hotmail.com
Mr0ns busy with something..


something big, something fun, something evil, something more than just ip.....


now if I can manage to unfuck my user info at home, Ill be golden.


Ds

Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#36 by "Balderama"
2002-05-27 15:34:07
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
#34 by Warren Marshall:

Ph34r m3, m0rt41!

Whatever morn is busy with, i sure hope it doesn't require registration and/or an email address.
#37 by "Balderama"
2002-05-27 15:45:56
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
Did you guys hear about Microsoft's plans to disable the leaked volume license key for Windows XP? I mean, how dumb and stupid can you be? As you all know Devilsown released that copy of Windows XP last year weeks before Microsoft's official release of Windows XP. Now Microsoft has notified the company the key belongs to, gave them a new one, and will disable the key with the release of Windows XP SP1. This means people who are running Windows XP with that key, will not be able to download and install RC1, and will not be able to use Windows Update.

And who tells me Devilsown or another warez group wil not just release another Windows XP CD including RC1, with a whole new volume license key after the release of RC1?
#38 by Greg
2002-05-27 16:38:34
Yeah, how dumb it will be for Microsoft to disallow updates on warezed keys. A pity, that.

-RAWWWWWRRRRRR!!! Quit cramping my style, bitch! RAAAAAWWWRRRR!!!
#39 by "Balderama"
2002-05-27 16:53:22
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
sarcasm will get you nowhere.
#40 by Creole Ned
2002-05-27 16:54:41
Incorrect. Sarcasm is PlanetCrap's gateway drug. It gets you everywhere!

I found a new friend underneath my pillow.
#41 by "flamethrower"
2002-05-27 17:27:12
sheep register at planetcrap, 100% true
#42 by Ashiran
2002-05-27 18:12:36
Still no email-address eh flamie?

"...so I can send him a dead dog with the word "YOU" taped to its face." - Cliff Yablonski
#43 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-27 18:19:53
http://departmentofinternets.com
sexy sheep.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#44 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-27 18:22:39
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Neuter sheep.

WoT?
#45 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-27 18:25:09
http://departmentofinternets.com
i got your neuter sheep right... oh

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#46 by Duality
2002-05-27 19:04:40
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Neuters don't have a 'right here'.

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#47 by Jens Christensen
2002-05-27 23:14:23
thug666@e-mail.dk
Where?

That's a big trunk. It fits a tuba, a suitcase, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly.
#48 by The_Joker
2002-05-27 23:32:56
http://www.jackinworld.com
What?

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka
#49 by Bailey
2002-05-27 23:33:16
Right here.

#50 by Ashiran
2002-05-27 23:34:59
Or here.

"...so I can send him a dead dog with the word "YOU" taped to its face." - Cliff Yablonski
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