Beauty Is in the Eye of the Destroyer

Tom Mc Shea responds to Crytek CEO's comments about the importance of graphics in video games.

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"It's always been about graphics driving gameplay." Cevat Yerli's sentiment echoes a belief that many within this industry hold dear. From boardroom executives focused on marketing strategies to forum-goers obsessed with benchmarks, a strong contingent of individuals advocate cutting-edge visuals above all else. Yerli believes that game design evolves when technological improvements are made, forever tying these two aspects together in a harmonious, symbiotic union. And there is some truth behind this philosophy. However, Yerli's evangelistic views have contributed to a blight that has slowly eroded the structural supports that are fundamental to a healthy marketplace. Publishers have pushed all of their chips to the middle of the table, positive that visuals are the main draw of a video game, and their reckless gambling has sent many to the poorhouse.

Yoichi Wada presided over Square Enix during a tumultuous period for the Japanese gaming industry. Console sales have been struggling recently as many people have moved on to the handheld scene, so Square Enix was forced to improvise to appeal to a more Western-focused fan base. And it seemed as if it was headed in the right direction. Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, and Tomb Raider have all been released in the last six months, and not only did they resonate with critics, but they made waves at retail as well. With almost 9 million sold between them, they should be the poster children for how to resurrect a struggling company. However, those sales fell so far below the company's expectations that Wada was forced to step down as president. Another casualty in an endless stream of studio closures and executive restructurings.

That Tomb Raider moved more than 3.4 million units and yet still was considered a failure is an absurdity that can no longer be ignored. Budgets have ballooned so dramatically of late that even selling millions of copies may not be enough to recoup investments, and a major reason for the escalating costs is directly related to the increasingly preposterous visual demands. The emphasis on state-of-the-art graphics has forced studios to hire a small army of programmers and artists, and though the result is often breathtakingly gorgeous, the cost of such beauty is too much to bear. Said industry analyst Billy Pidgeon, "For games with development budgets approaching $100 million, to be truly profitable, ratings have to be above 8.5 and sales need to be in the five to ten million unit range."

That Tomb Raider moved more than 3.4 million units and yet still was considered a failure is an absurdity that can no longer be ignored.

It's no surprise that Yerli would proclaim that "making things look spectacular and stylistic is 60% of the game." He runs a company that makes and licenses a high-end engine, after all, so he has a financial stake in raising the bar for visual fidelity. And you can't blame Wada for going along with the latest trend, either. To create a cultural sensation, a game that would make the viewer take notice when it appears in a commercial or on a late-night talk show, you have to make sure first impressions are positive. If Tomb Raider bore the rough, polygonal edges of the 1996 original, it would have looked like an outdated relic, retro to a fault. So Square Enix was forced to sink a fortune into development costs. The end result was a finely tuned, emotionally rich experience that has made its way into the homes of millions of people. Its legacy is a failure so extreme that the president was replaced.

That so many studios have been shuttered or forced to restructure could be seen as inevitable growing pains as the industry goes through a transformation. But the shift that's occurring has had negative reverberations that have severely affected the landscape. Blockbuster games demand an expensive commitment that few publishers can afford. And because the cost of development is so high, and the risk so great, we've seen homogenized experiences that are the antithesis of what publishers need most right now. The only way to offset the rising cost of game development is to attract a larger and more diverse audience. But games have become narrower in focus to minimize the risk of releasing something that doesn't succeed at retail. It's a deadly cycle that has halted the growth of console games at the same time that the mobile and social spaces are gaining in popularity.

The rising cost of game development--which is tied to the graphics evolution that Yerli touts--has forced many studios to abandon AAA releases entirely. Lightbox Interactive, Double Fine Productions, Spicy Horse, and others have packed up their supercomputers to work on mobile, free-to-play, and downloadable games. And though these teams have been able to stay alive by shifting their focus, many others have been closed completely. LucasArts and Junction Point Studios are just two recent examples of developers who are no longer in business. There's a depressing number of people who have lost their jobs in recent years as the industry continually loses money because of the virtual arms race it has entered into.

The rising cost of game development has forced many studios to abandon AAA releases entirely

Sadly, this trend may not be slowing down anytime soon. Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat recently forecast the continued decline of the industry's middle. "On one end of the spectrum you will have all the big, AAA blockbuster games that [offer] more and more production values, more value for the players, but there will be fewer of them taking a bigger chunk of the market," Mallat said. At the other end, he believes, is where mobile and social games will thrive. "The in-between, the belly of the market, is the one that just collapsed in a way and disappeared." Mallat is most likely right in his prediction--recent trends show that this is the case--and that's a worrying sign. Cutting-edge graphics have separated the industry into the haves and the have-nots, and that segregation is only going to be more pronounced as the technological gap between the two extremes widens.

It doesn't matter if Yerli is correct in his assessment of the importance of graphics or not. What is important is that people believe that he is. The industry's reliance on pushing visuals above everything else has become a serious detriment to game design. Inflated budgets have ensured that only the most successful games are able to turn a profit, which means that all the studio closings may not be a trend at all, but a fact of life in today's marketplace. Development teams are going to keep going under until only the most powerful few remain. And if you think games are too similar now, just wait until only a handful of studios are producing all of the high-profile releases. We have to move away from our fascination with expensive visuals if the industry is going to thrive now and in the future.

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1582 comments
dj_pulserfan
dj_pulserfan

It's not really. It's the development cycle that's causing it.

Let's take this comparison-

Metro 2033 and Witcher 2 are arguably the best looking games on the market right now. They were made for FRACTIONS of what high-end development is for the "AAA" holiday market.

The Witcher 2 cost 9 million dollars to make, had 40 hours of content, 25 of which varied depending on your choices in the games second chapter. They didn't have an outlandish marketing budget that cost more than the game itself (See: Battlefield 3, 50 million dollar budget, 100 million in advertisement, Every Call of Duty game in the last 4 years, etc) and they budgeted themselves correctly. Same for Metro Last Light, the game was made in sh*t hole conditions and is now the new benchmark for PC graphics and while the actual budget hasn't been released, it''s been said that the budget was a fraction of what you'd expect.

There is NO WAY that games "High End Graphics" is leading the crash for video games. And before you start screaming "Graphics W*ore* know this. Graphics ARE important whether it's artistic OR realistic. Doesn't matter if it's realistic like Crysis, artistic like Killer 7, hyper-realistic-art like Uncharted or Metal Gear Solid or downright obscure like Minecraft they help draw you in on different levels and drive the gameplay home certain cases like Okami. Art AND Graphics DO matter, video games are a visual medium as much as they are an interactive one. I doubt Shadow of the Colossus would have been nearly as interesting on a SNES.

ArcoJawa
ArcoJawa

ART is important to videogames. Graphics are only an extension of that fact.

Gamelander
Gamelander

This article touched on very important points, and they are all valid and sound. I do however, want to touch on what Yerli said from a game designing standpoint, rather than his reasoning behind the statement and how it affects Crytek and the rest of the industry, as was mentioned in this article.
What was said by Yerli, from a game design standpoint, is a complete fallacy. Graphics, are one aspect of designing a game, if at all one. There are a lot of games (old and new) that are text heavy, and rely on many other aspects that are the foundation on which they find greatness. In fact, many indie and some non-indie games challenge this thought process, and manage find success in the industry.
Good game design (in my humble opinion), is made up of a lot more elements than I can mention. Some of these variables are, but not limited to: Writing, level design, gameplay design, innovation, story, sound (which includes everything from music to sound effects and other things), character design, AI, etc.. Of course, these are just some of the many game design elements (not every game relies on all of them combined either), and not one single aspect should be the main focus in all of video games in the industry.

I hope this didn't drag on for too long. I just find this misconception to be widely accepted sometimes, and I wanted to voice my opinion on the matter; I'm no game designer, but I do enjoy the different aspects that go into designing a game.

Cheers.

pittster777
pittster777

Look at all the awesome indie games coming out of Steam Greenlight and other marketplaces.. Minecraft is the exact opposite of what Yerli is saying. 

Limbo was beautiful, excellent production qualities, but didn't need to be a 100 million dollar project to be successful.

The Ouya shows that people are willing to play games with slightly less fidelity for a reasonable price.

Lexxurious
Lexxurious

Graphics are semi-important when creating a great game. Story and gameplay mechanics are more important.

Wayne_Alfonz
Wayne_Alfonz

Dear Mr. Cevat Yerli,


If what you're saying is "If a game has GREAT graphics the Gameplay will also be GREAT"...

then go f*** yourself.


Sincerely yours,

Wayne

Wayne_Alfonz
Wayne_Alfonz

"It's always been about graphics driving gameplay." Cevat Yerli's sentiment

No wonder the best selling games are on the Playstation 2 (GTA San Andreas -17 Million copies), Nintendo DS (New Super Mario Bros. -30.18 Million copies ), and the Wii (Mario Kart Wii -34 Million copies). Oh and one PC game that doesn't have Crysis 3's insane graphics -The Sims 2 -20 Million copies.

It's originality and fun factor that drives gameplay. Thanks for treating us like dumb-gamers who only care about graphics, Mr. Yerli.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games

Mehdi Lashkhor
Mehdi Lashkhor

yea both are importand but in fact if graphics be very poor u cant play game any more

KBABZ
KBABZ

Mary Beth Campe, you are a credit to librarians everywhere!

svenjl
svenjl

Dishonored - fantastic gameplay, average graphics (although the art style and overall effect was captivating). Dragons Dogma same deal. To be honest, I was so engrossed in the worlds and gameplay of those games that I couldn't care less about graphics.

TrappedInABox91
TrappedInABox91

Rather play a game will horrible graphics with great gameplay ect. Graphics don't impress me much anymore. Hell.. I play more SNES than Xbox 360.  

shiroouka
shiroouka

IMO, great game consist of 3 main point that if only 2 of them is there it's still called a good game. the three of them are Gameplay, Graphic, and Story. so if they wanted to reduce the quality of the graphic they better make a superb gameplay and story to make sales.

OgreB
OgreB

I think better Q / A and optimization can make a beautiful game not require a bajillion dollars.

If some modder can completely redo STALKERs lighting and shading code and make the game look not only better but also run better..?

In his spare time..?

Not to mention almost every game since that has been fixed or enhanced by modders ( Example the 4 gb memory address tweak so not only did they run better, you could also add texture packs and amp the quality of the graphics...you know what games I;m talking about )

List goes on..

Frankly a few company enemas wouldn't hurt. Get rid of the slackers and layabouts. 

Of course you have to include the management...that's where the money is really wasted. 

huskerman1995
huskerman1995

I don't think the solution is lowering the graphic appeal of future games. I think the solution is spending the extra money to make a game look great and at the same time delivering a story that is unique and engaging. When developers give equal priority to story and graphics, you end up with epic games i.e. Red Dead Redemption, Assassin's Creed, Gears of War, etc.


Speranza318
Speranza318

Companies need to realize that graphics are only important for certain types of games. You want a realistic driving game?  Graphics and physics are extremely important.  You want a realistic war game?  Graphics are important here, too.

However, if you want a game that will affect someone emotionally with an amazing story/character development, you do not need the fanciest graphics.  In fact, you are an idiot if you think graphics are important.  People like the CEO of Crytek seem to forget that people used to read books (OHMAIGAWD BOOKS?)  and experienced just as vivid an experience (if not more so) from words on a page.  If game developers focused on writing an amazing story you'd find within a book, it doesn't matter if you have amazing graphics and quality voice acting to go with it or basic 3D rendering and text boxes for "voices".  The audience will appreciate either one and the message will come across the same in the end.


In Crytek's case, no one cares that you have an amazing looking shooter if the other side of the coin is repetitive gameplay and a shit story.  It gets the "wow" factor when you see it for the first time, but it is gradually lost as the player does the same actions over and over in different yet the same environments.


Conclusion: A company head should have 20+ years of gaming experience so they know what their target audience wants.  Hiring a movie director to make pretty looking games with no substance is a mistake.

kreegan64
kreegan64

Graphics hardly sell games, sure good graphics are important to people, but not I-can-see-every-speck-of-dirt-on-their-shirt kind of graphics. You don't need expensive graphics to have good graphics. SSBB didn't come near to competing with games on the ps360 but it still had great graphics, same with TP, Metroid Prime, etc. all these games could have been done on the original xbox, and all sold like hot cakes. Of course, by today these graphics will not get the same praise, but I wouldn't care if the next halo had the same techincal graphic quality of the 360 games (just as long as they make certain stylistic changes)

devs are pouring millions of needlessly spent dollars to graphics who people  either think that they'd be good enough or just don't care for them.

gbernalesp
gbernalesp

I think that saying that Tomb Raider is a failure implies that Square Enix have done very little analysis in this issue., because:
1) They haven't considered online downloads, which nowadays is an essencial sales channel, 
2) It has only been a month since the game release
3) All the costs associated to game development, characters, technology, movements, etc, can be considered as an investment for the continuity for the franchise, therefore the future Tomb Raider games would have a considerably lower cost of production making them very easy to be profitable. They could release one title per year like Assassin's Creed, making the subsecuent games very profitable.

Considering all this I think the only explanation for Square Enix declaration is that they needed an excuse to change the CEO, and they blame it on an excellent game who already has sold millions of copies. I hope this doesn't stop the production of future Tomb Raider games.

icebox98
icebox98

No kidding, Tomb Raider was great,..... really. but i think i also hated the ending because it was too direct rather than twisted . the game play was great, the game felt more open world more like FC3, only without cars and that much freedom and the great graphics added to the fun no doubt.

i don't know much about The new Crysis Games (2 &3) but putting tomb raider the list of beautiful but boring games is a SHAMELESS LIE Mr AUTHOR!

jdookee
jdookee

Crytek = Professional turd polishers

ZOD777
ZOD777

A great looking girl that is lousy in bed and has a terrible attitude problem might work for some people, but the majority of us prefer a mediocre looking girl that is great in bed, and has a great personality.  I think the same goes for games.  A great looking game that sucks is only like a trophy wife/girlfriend that you show off to your buddies.  Now on the other hand, if you can find a great looking girl that is also a hellcat in bed and is great to be around, well then....Yerli wins.  Otherwise, Tom has some good points.  Being happy in a relationship with a game or a girl has to do with finding an appropriate medium between all of the factors that make one great.  Give me gameplay over graphics any day, but I cannot deny that having the best of both worlds is really where it is at.

tyrant002
tyrant002

Great gameplay with graphics that compliment the gameplay is the key to a successful game.  Examples:  Plants Vs Zombies, Angry Birds, Super Mario Galaxy, Borderlands, Bioshock, The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker.  These are all examples of games with unique, some with simplistic art styles that have managed to out perform even the most realistic looking AAA games.  

Greyfeld
Greyfeld

A stronger focus on artistic license instead of graphical power would balance things nicely.  Unfortunately, too many developers seem to believe that it's graphical power or bust.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

RAD_RADIO
RAD_RADIO

This is idiotic, and misses the point. Not much else I would expect from Tom though... he's pretty regularly missing the point.

GrahamZ
GrahamZ

Great article.  For many years, us old-timers have been lamenting the increasing emphasis on graphics over gameplay.  This is one of many reasons why I've embraced indie gaming as well as kickstarter.  Games don't necessarily need huge budgets to be good.  Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the next Elder Scrolls game as much as anyone.  But I think a lot of the more interesting stuff is happening with the smaller companies.

gouldjw
gouldjw

Tom, boy, you got it right.  This is exactly what Richard Garriott was lamenting when he said that game designers today just plain suck!  And why not, if the big studios don't really give a crap about good game design as long as the visuals are spectacular?  This is also where Nintendo tends to shine, outdoing and outselling the boring sameness of Xbox and PS.

I look forward to Shroud of the Avatar to show everyone how to design a decent game the right way, and all of the great, independent games that are bound to come out for GameStick and Ouya.  And in the mean time, great titles on mobile such as Sword and Sworcery and the many independent casual games are doing a great job on tiny budgets.

freedomspopular
freedomspopular

Believe it or not, fairly recently I just played the original Half-Life. I instantly realized why it was considered so revolutionary and why it's been hailed as one of the greatest FPS's of all time. I can honestly say that most games today pale in comparison to it, despite its crappy graphics. If companies put half the effort into AI and deep gameplay that they put into graphics, games would be so much more amazing and would sell like hotcakes.

Hossein Nasseri
Hossein Nasseri

Story & Gameplay Definitely! But Graphic is important to make atmosphere...

bigtruckseries
bigtruckseries

Why is it Crysis - who claims to have the best graphics ever - can't give me fully destructible enemy bodies like 1998's SOLDIER OF FORTUNE did???

CRYSIS games have ADDICTIVE, multiple approach combat - which is what made the game worth playing. Fortget the graphics quality, it is the "Battlefield"-like chaos of vehicles and soldiers interacting which allowed Crysis to make a name for itself. Problem is, you get none of that on the consoles. 


Give me Crysis graphics with Battlefield's multiplayer and Soldier of Fortune's level of physical violence. 


slong
slong

Mr. Yerli's statement is so wrong as to be an intentional deception.  Games that are graphically beautiful without having engaging gameplay and good story DO NOT SUCCEED.  "It's so beautiful!" will get it bought, played, and then reviewed poorly if that comment does not go along with "It's so FUN!" and "It's so absorbing!"  The mobile game market is an easy example to point to.  The graphics on those devices are in no way comparable to the graphics on a console or PC, and yet MILLIONS of copies are sold of popular games.  On consoles and PCs, games with terrible graphics (Minecraft, anyone?) but fun gameplay will sell millions of copies.


Gamers want FUN.  Pretty is good, but not without FUN.

gf61
gf61

6th gen (ps2) had middleware lots of it. Not just 3 big ones. One of the Main reasons EA purchased Criterion was how many profitable games dev's made with their engine. No one call their engine HD but it was spanking some of their franchises which they put way more money into. Sega's ESPN threatened one of their billion dollar franchises then they started doing sports contracts. If the industry doesn't have profitable mid budget games, growth and creativity will stagnate.  Big publishers like Activision and EA will continue to put out yearly tweeks instead of new games.  Its the mid budget games that take the most innovative risks.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

Well said, Tom.  I think some of the highest points in gaming were during the times of the super nintendo, N64, playstation, and playstation 2 because ideas and implementation capability seemed to reach a golden mixture with the technological limitations of the hardware.  There was enough hardware to show the gamer what you wanted, but enough was left out that their imagination could fill in the blanks and make them care.  Of course, there was a lot of crap back then too, but today the crap just looks so pretty that it is hard to throw out.  But back in my day, we played the whole game, and we threw it out if it wasn't good.

Provenhuman
Provenhuman

Crytek develops very high detail games, but high detail is not the only way to make graphically impressive games.  Bordlerlands and Journey come to mind as visually compelling games that don't require the massively detailed engine, or the millions of hours of painstaking design, that Crytek would prefer.  

Crysis 2 didn't sell all that well (3 million in its first 3 months, worse than tomb raider) and it doesn't seem like Crysis 3 will sell all that well, despite all the reviews talking up the graphics.  The "a cookie cutter FPS with great graphics" sales pitch doesn't really seem to resonate.  

joalopes
joalopes

Since were all sharing opinions. I play games like FIFA a lot. They're not visually as good looking as other games like Crysis 3 or Tomb Raider, but I really love the gameplay.
With that said, part of the enjoyment I have playing games like Bioshock Infinite, is how good they look.
My point is. Some games focus on gameplay. Other games give more focus to immersion or cinematic look. Making you feel part of that world. So while not all games need to look great, it is still important that some games push graphics fidelity. We all want the next Elder Scrolls game too look a lot better than the last one. Another thing to take into count. People don't want games to look less good. They want more variety of games that LOOK good.
One example is the recent success of the fund raising campaign for the space sim Star Citizen.
There are other space sim games out there. They aren't as succeful as for instance a Crysis game. Does that mean people don't want a space sim? No. It just means people expectations today are higher and they simply don't feel immersed in the current crop of space sims.
The only way a space sim will sell millions is if someone invests millions in making one that is capable of living up to what people expect.


KnocturnalGS
KnocturnalGS

For development costs to go down, "new" high end tech needs to reach a saturation point. For me, graphics are important, but cannot justify poor gameplay.

deathblow3
deathblow3

it could also be said that the low sales of great games is the fact that the market is so over saturated with games with this much competetion devs are going to fail more and more till only the strongest survive. this will cause a smaller market & then less choices for your dollar. this has been proven with every new console its first year even bad games sell well becuase of a lack of titles to buy, this loss of varity how devs get gamers to buy new ips with little marketing its simply want a new game there it is you dont have any other options.

deathblow3
deathblow3

Fo_Fai makes a lot of good points on his blog. i think the industry has lost its mind in this bizare chase for better graphics. the better the graphics the more developement cost just  look at the cost of a computer generated movie it's upwards of a 100 million to make i dont know why devs are willing to except these cost and why gamers are so eager to demand this just to see the dev fail by not recouping it cost for the game. i think graphics should increase only after cost go down or we could see the fall of the gaming market again. the last time was because a lack of innovation and being lazy. a lot of people dont know this but the 2600 was a 8 bit machine jsut like the nes. but all american devs gave us was games mad e with 8 blocks. i remember playing a faithfull copy of kung fu master on my 2600 but that is the only game i remember looking that good on that system. it will be a shame if the industry fails because of a ridiculous belief that graphics make the game and no cost is to high. game play is what keeps us playing

deftond
deftond

I don't know about you but how many $60 games do you buy? 


I bought Borderland 2 when it came out because of co-op..its awsome.   Dead Island...pretty awsome.   These guys need to realize that with now GOOD online gaming aspect there is no replay value.  You will sell 5 million more copies when it hits the shelves at $30.  Is it worst to sell 100 million units at $30-35 (pc games used to be) or 3.5 million units at $60?  Because with selling games for less you have more people buying them new and not renting them.  ITs better to take a $25 loss with a cheaper game than a $55 loss because someone rents the game.

N0madS0uL
N0madS0uL

Gaming is not gaming as we know it, back in the day games were more arcade style and were just an adrenalin rush and done for fun, GFX and story didn't matter that much. But games today changed, I play for the involvement, the characters and story is key. 

I believe you can let GFX suffer for richer game play and story or just content, games like WoW still do well considering the GFX are very dated. Personally I never liked the TR games, the latest was very good considering I am surprised its called a failure, the story compels me to play and I like that in a game.

Developers don't need amazing GFX but should try to create a game that is well polished in every other aspect, I take ToR as a game that had a lot of potential but EA's poor management and concerns of its profits and not investing rather into the game engine, mechanics & systems, what of the poor ME3 story...game had the same GFX practically as the first 2...GFX had nothing to do with these games failing in my opinion so I don't agree that you need great GFX. 

Invest in story, gameplay, sound game system and mechanics, worry about GFX last, its nice to have. I take Skyrim...came out was awesome for me, GFX were good but you can now get HD pack to make it look even better but that came after...

Ban Video Games NOW
Ban Video Games NOW

This game is a discusting rape simulator, which is turning America's children into a perverts, thugs, and catamites! Please stop promoting such base forms of entertainment!

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

If you compare to the likes on San Andreas that sold over 27 million copies GTA4 over 25 million world wide its quite low I think comparing to the population of the world, I mean 3.5 million sound a lot but is it? really?

I think most gamers don't do they're research and at first glance thought it was just another TR game, nothing special, If this is the case maybe it's the last TR from these devs.

icebox98
icebox98

@ZOD777 i go for both worlds and nothing less. its like dumping my rated mediocre battlefield 3 to play BF 1 because some people say it was more fun back then. like it or not, our eyes and brains are impressed by all the elements: the gameplay, challenge, the story and the graphics.

icebox98
icebox98

@tyrant002 The author dint specify Realism. thats why people take these graphics versus topic the wrong way. the games you have mentioned all all neat looking so don't fool yourself into thinking a game looking cartoon like has poor graphics. the way i understand it, a game looks poor when they attempt to make realistic graphics *such failure is common in underfunded war games and 10 year old games which looked good back in the day but now look like crap*

ZOD777
ZOD777

@slong True, but you also have to consider the affordability of mobile games vs. AAA titles.  Especially when you factor in that most people already have a mobile device anyway, and don't need to buy any additional hardware.  There isn't as much risk involved when buying a 1-20 dollar game.

gf61
gf61

@N0madS0uL Dev's where pushing story back in the day, well before tech caught up. Just not as successful.

gf61
gf61

@LukeWesty For single player in this economy that's damn good.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

@LukeWesty not every game is going to sell that much. that is like 1% type statistics

deftond
deftond

@amdreallyfast @deftond 


thanks!!  it does.  I have a life, I have a family and I have bills to pay.  Usually 3-4 really good games come out at the same time.  I am only buying one game.  And I will still hunt around like green man gaming group for a discounted price.  I refuse to pay $60 exept for battlefield because I am a huge fan since the beginning.