From what I've been reading, it just seems that if not a crash then a huge adjustment is coming.
Everyone that is jonesing for new next-generation consoles (PS4 and Xbox 720) are going to be surprised when there are fewer and fewer AAA games released on those platforms and more and more indie-/mobile-/Facebook-type games flooding their consoles. It's like what Nintendo has been doing recently but for different reasons.
Nintendo needs games for the next year to year and half while Wii U game development gets going so it has opened the flood gates to independent developers. Sony (and I think Microsoft) will have to make a similar push because despite what anyone says development costs are going to be even higher with the new consoles and that means fewer not more games from traditional publishers and developers.
All of these closings and disappointing sales point to that.
Right now, it's hard to sell current gen games that aren't AAA. Some have suggested that game devs and publishers try selling their games at a discount rate of $20-30 (Enslaved: Odyssey to the West comes to mind), but that ignores that said game still cost the developer and publisher big bucks. And there is no real guarantee that selling a game at discount rate translates to consumers--save for the budget conscious and parents of course--that it is a good game. Enslaved probably wouldn't have been pilloried for not living up to whatever standard a $60 price point comes with, but a discount price comes with its own stigma.
Originally Posted by RandomRob
In the past 2 weeks, the CEOs of EA and SquareEnix have resigned in the midst of terrible end of year financial statements for both companies. SquareEnix cited 'poor sales' because it has only managed to sell 3+ million units of Tomb Raider and other titles... layoffs at SE's California offices started today...
So far only one analyst that I've seen actually said that Tomb Raider probably cost Square Enix about $100 million to develop and would have had to sell 5 million units to break even. Take that with a grain of salt. But if true then it is no wonder that having sold 3.4 million units in a couple of months spelled catastrophy for Square Enix. Dead Space 3 was also costly for EA. It only sold under a million so far and you know that game cost EA a pretty penny.
If you can't make money selling over 3 million units of a game then you won't be around for very long. That goes for everyone and not just poorly run companies like Square Enix and Electronic Arts.
While we're on Electronic Arts, maybe this will change after the CEO change, but notice how Dead Space and Battlefield have been altered at their core so that they are more like Call of Duty or would appeal more to Call of Duty fans? Did you see the Battlefield 4 demo? Is that what Battlefield fans want from their game? It seems there are only one ortwo franchises that sell in the tens of millions and one of them is Call of Duty. With budgets where they are devs and publishers are just trying to cram their game into that mold.
This can not continue. Maybe Nintendo was right after all and companies need to abandon the graphics race? Maybe Ouya is the future? Maybe it's Steam Box or whatever Apple has in the works.
Originally Posted by RandomRob
Disney has scrapped LucasArts, and laid off 150 people just yesteday.
I'm sort of torn when it comes to LucasArts. I remember the company when it was in its prime, but how many people still playing games today can say that? Today LucasArts makes mediocre Star Wars games, both online and off. This is the company that made a Star Wars fighting game for crying out loud. It's fall from grace began long ago and sales of its titles are camouflaged by its popular Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones titles and the hype for this Star Wars 1313. I think when it comes down to it you can dismiss this closing as the unfortunate consequence of a merger. Disney looked at the balance sheet and saw what was making money and what wasn't. LucasArts was not
carrying its weight. Still sad though.
Sorry for the rant.