Big risk that 'nobody cares' about next gen - Epic prez

Mike Capps talks about the changing industry and what the Gears of War developer thinks about microtransactions and the future of the AAA boxed retail game.

Next month, Epic Games president Mike Capps will be delivering the keynote address--"Size Doesn't Matter: How Epic Brings AAA Attitude to Every Game, from Gears of War 3 to Infinity Blade"--at the Game Developers Conference Europe in Cologne, Germany. While the show doesn't kick off until August 15, Capps made time for a GameSpot interview to give a sneak peek at his talk and answer questions about where Epic thinks the industry is headed, the fate of the AAA game, and the explosive growth of microtransaction-based games.

Epic Games president Mike Capps.

GameSpot: What's your GDC Europe talk about?

Mike Capps: I think people often think of AAA game development as big budget, lots of time, and console. We've been doing what we think of as AAA games for about 20 years now. And all those projects are not big-budget console games. We were just noticing a trend between those projects. Even the small projects we do, we've seen some threads in common between why they're successful. It sounds kind of simple to say, but a lot of it is about passion for quality and caring more about the end user experience than how long it takes to make it.

GS: So if that's the biggest thing that has stayed the same, what's the biggest difference in what you guys are doing now?

MC: I'd say the biggest difference is in looking for efficiency. It's one of the most difficult things we do here.

If you can imagine hiring some amazing soloists and maybe a couple two- or three-man jazz bands and putting them all into a building and telling them to be an orchestra, it doesn't work. You can't make a marching band out of them because they're all soloists, and you need to give them room to do what they do best. And at the same time, you can't have them all off doing something completely unrelated.

Trying to find that sweet spot between letting people have the freedom to really put their love and soul into a product, but also making sure they're not working really hard to build a helicopter that's never going to go in the game because there was never a plan for a helicopter? That's kind of the tricky part. So freedom, but still some structure.

GS: At the Develop conference, we heard lots of talk about the current model of AAA games being replaced by free-to-play and service-focused offerings. Is that traditional AAA model doomed?

MC: Oh man, I hope it's not doomed. I'm still planning on betting big on that business. What we're saying is it's a really confusing time for the industry. It's hard to know exactly what's going to happen. We're bullish on the next generation. We're excited about it. But there's a big risk that nobody cares because they're all too busy playing [Zynga Facebook game] Empire and Allies, and they don't need a next-generation console box. So we're a little worried about it, and you see us experimenting some in the mobile space, partially because that's where the developer base is moving to. It used to be they just wanted an iPhone port, and now they just want an iPad SKU as their main SKU, and we're adapting our technology to meet those needs. We're definitely experimenting in those spaces, and we'll be doing some interesting things in spaces other than pure HD AAA console gaming.

Epic is banking on AAA retail games like Gears of War 3, but that model might not last forever.

GS: Do you have a specific attraction or aversion to microtransactions or subscription-based games?

MC: Hmm. The only aversion we have is that I think that market's still very confused right now. You see a lot of people, both on the customer side and the service side doing things that don't make sense. I don't think people meant to spend $500 on gold in whatever social game they were playing. I don't think that can really last. I doubt they're going to keep doing it. I think chasing after millions of people who will pay you $500 a month to play your game online doesn't really make sense. So there's a little bit of unrealism in that market that I'm hoping susses out.

But in terms of having people pay for what they want and not having people pay for stuff they don't want, that just makes sense. And we don't have that kind of marketplace in the console space. You get to choose to play or not for $60, and there may be some additional things you can buy for a little bit more money after that. But there's really not a scaling market--a vertical market, I guess--where you can choose how much you want to get into the game. It makes sense that there are some people who are lost at the $60 price point. And with darn ol' used game sales, they do come in at a lower price point, but one that only benefits retailers, not the developers of the games themselves. So microtransactions and free-to-play games are a great way to make sure the revenue is going to the developers and the publishers instead of the retailers.

GS: There's a lot of talk at conferences like GDC Europe about the "next big thing." Like you said, there has been a lot of confusion in different parts of the market right now. What do you see as the one biggest change the industry is heading for?

MC: Wow. Well, I think Ray Muzyka put it pretty well when he said, "Everything's changing." It's kind of hard to know where we're going to be, what kind of company will Epic be five years from now. It's hard to say we'll be like we are today, working to finish up Gears of War 3, a big console AAA game that we expect people will be very interested in because they've preordered a bunch of boxes and discs. We could be in a very different world five years from now where retail doesn't play as big a part. I think it's too many things coming together to say there's one big thing.

I wish I could give you that perfect quote to say what's going to change everything is digital distribution. But the reason digital distribution works so well for us is because there's a different model for monetization with microtransactions and subscriptions. And the reason that's working so well is because Nexon tried it out in Korea with a base that's really happy to use that model. And it's moving its way here, growing in the United States, but it's growing faster elsewhere. So our customers are moving, they're coming from different places. It's a chaining of events putting those things together, and when you get to the end, everyone has console-style hardware in their pocket on their phone. Everyone's connected, and half the gamer space or more isn't in the United States or the [English-French-Italian-German-Spanish] countries, and that completely changes the picture.

I'm not sure how we get to the other side of it. But one of the cool things about being Epic is we're just going to bet on technology getting better, like we always have. We're going to make great tech and have everybody else hopefully use our technology and figure out the market. So even if our games don't find a way to succeed in the new market, hopefully our engine will be useful for it.

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287 comments
EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@witelite i've never edited any post hahaha. And saying they don't have to look the same isn't the same as "ALL UNREAL ENGINE GAMES LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME HURRDURR" Physx tech is in UDK, i use it, look up apex destructibles broski, or cloth physics, they are both integrated into the unreal engine, it is true that only pcs can use it as of right now but it isn't "apart of the engine" physx is part of Unreal and has been for a while. I didn't say epic made bulletstorm a second time...nice job And once again, many companies aren't soley trying to sell as many copies as possible...just ask thatgamecompany, or team ico... i do agree that big companies like EA and Epic do typically go for sales but the devs who worked on mirrors edge clearly took a risk...unlike Epic I hope they don't think twice before making another one, i wan't more unique IPs, if they make a sequel with co-op/multiplayer functionality just to boost sales i wouldn't care, Asassins Creed worked well with mp and so did Dead Space, co-op for ME could work well

WiteLite
WiteLite

@EdibleFood Once you try attacking on a personal level youv lost control. it was nothing more than a civilized conversation up until the "your a moron, and secondly your an idiot" nice redundancy. - i nvr accused you of saying the story line in ME was good...your taking my comment out of context, which you have been doing the entire time - nvr compared sales to quality. out of context again - i nvr doubted the lighting engine from ME. so im not sure how i can be wrong about something iv never mentioned ?? - confusing unreal tech....you said every unreal game looks the same. (but then you edited your post and took it out) now it says "Unreal engine games don't have to all look the same" which is basically the same thing...just broader - what part of the game were running apart of the engine....you were confusing "physx" tech with the game engine - who made what game....epic didnt make bulletstorm kinda thought we had cleared that stuff up already - This was never and still isnt about what game "looks" better. it was always about your opinions on a storyline and so on not being fact. - you had said gears was a product and designed to sell as many copies as possible. ??? its a business, thats what EVERY developer is doing. trying to make money by selling as many copies of the game as they possibly can. which is why when it doesnt sell well (ME) the developers think twice about making another one. -

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@witelite Once again, i never said that every unreal engine game looks the same, its just that the overwhelming majority of them look really similar. Obviously it is far easier to make a highly detailed environment than a beautiful environment, but these games just look like disguising piles of garbage. Examples http://mashthosebuttons.com/gallery/the-ball/madscreenshotspecial8.jpg - http://www.get-free-wallpapers.com/wallpaper/preview/p1758-1201654191/unreal-tournament.jpg - http://ve3dmedia.ign.com/images/06/55/65500_orig.jpg - http://videogamesdaily.com/content/hunted-demons-forge-2.jpg - http://stopgame.ru/images/games/damnation-1245037555.jpg - http://www.game-savers.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/gears-of-war-screenshot-_6.jpg http://nerdiest-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/quantum-theory-screenshots-3.jpg Ewww. Unlike those games, these unreal engine 3 games actually look decent, wait, no, they look great.. here they are http://images.wikia.com/americanmcgeesalice/images/1/13/Londerland.png http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/2095/mirrorsedge201003311842.png http://mediakick.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/enslaved-5.jpg http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/102/1020479/borderlands-20090901033714522.jpg Although, once again, mirrors edge looks the most unique due to the simple fact that they used Beast for lighting instead of UDK.

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@witelite "Confusing unreal tech" Lolwut. Look who's talking Mr. TLDR.. It seems like YOU never read any of my comments...You keep mentioning my pc comments because you think i'm trying to compare pc games to console games.... No...you are a moron. Secondly it seems like you are a freaking idiot, i never said the story in mirrors edge was good...in fact, i said it sucks but once again, you don't read my comments. I did say the art design, gameplay, and ideas like the 3rd person model attached to a free cam were completely innovative and unique to games. Also sales don't equal quality...just ask justin bieber, or miley cyrus, or twilight, or call of duty, or yeah, a ton of other extremely successful things. And no, Mirror's Edge was lightmapped in autodesk beast, once again, you are wrong... " confusing unreal tech, who made what game, and what parts of what game were even part of the engine" hahahahaha dear god you should be a comedian. Brown and grey shooter with horizons of modular environments, chest high walls, etc...yeah thats pretty original :)

WiteLite
WiteLite

@EdibleFood your gonna tell me to stop responding, if you dont want to then stop posting. funny. "Unreal games don't all have to look the same" "Textures are extremely crisp on the pc" - gears was a crap port to pc....as in never coded to run on a pc. You still wont realize its your OPINION anyone can talk about a game like you do... mirrors edge was so uncreative. lets make a game that portrays the new rise of free running. give it a crap story about delivering bags but never explain why there important. combat system was atrocious. ohh look i can see someone walking on the street....how exciting. i love how your dogging a game that sold EXTREMELY well, and comparing it to one that barely sold..which is why mirrors edge 2 was initially cancelled. you keep making statements that are completely wrong. confusing unreal tech, who made what game, and what parts of what game were even part of the engine....etc. but yet i dont know what im talking about. may your opinionated facts and yourself have a wonderful day :)

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@WiteLite Can you stop responding to me now? This is a pretty old article and i'd rather not argue with someone who has no no idea what he's talking about.

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@WiteLite Also about unreal engine, i use it, mirror's edge TECHNICHALLY used it (i talked about this in the comment you didn't read as well.) Mirror's Edge used the beast lighting system to push its art direction, the horrible lighmass system in UE3 is one of the many reasons why most UE3 games can be immediately identified as a UE3 game. Also making high poly environments is a ton easier than making an environment as impressive as Mirror's Edge, in fact, most of the Gears of War 1/2/3 environments are extremely simple for Unreal. Textures, uv mapping and lighting are more difficult than creating high poly models with reused textures. Also i lold when you talked about the chainsaw gun...yeah like some guy working at epic was thinking "how could i make a gun that can be as disgustingly violent as humanly possible? well, what is the most disgusting movie i've ever seen? oh, texas chainsaw massacre, lets put a chainsaw on the gun...DONE!" Gears had a great cover system for its time, but many games have outdone their cover system and they haven''t done anything original since. Bioshock Infinite looks to be the first Unreal Engine game that is released with original art design a great story and great, original gameplay. Because everyone knows gears of war is missing all 3 of those things...

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@ WiteLite apparently you didn't read my comment hahaha. My original comment SAID mirrors edge was on unreal engine, it also said that many unreal engine designers go for realism over art design which is a fact. And when did i ever bring up cod? I know cod sucks too, I'm simply saying that its funny that epic games is talking about risks when they haven't made a risky game in years. And again, its just a fact that gears of war has no story outside of the cutscenes and the cutscenes were hilarious. (Cutscene: people sitting dinner, GIANT TENTICLES POP OUT OF THE GROUND OH NO!!! Marcus in jail, "sh** f***" they have good voice actors, the writing is just terrible. Also, the comment saying that every game is designed to sell as many copies as possible just destroyed your entire argument, this is now over, you lost, that was hilarious and all, but we all know that the last guardian, ice, shadow of the colossus, okami, katamari damacy, mirrors edge, etc were not designed purely to sell copies...if they were, they would look more like gears or Cod. Read an interview with Keita Takahashi or even Peter Molyneux, they make games for many reasons...money isn't their main goal, but you are a sad individual for thinking that. Also, don't use quotation marks for emphasis in place of italics next time...k thanks

WiteLite
WiteLite

@EdibleFood im off to play another unoriginal game....starcraft 2. cant believe they made another off world rts! lol Edit: no your original comment was that all unreal engine games look the same. and never do anything different. you do know that mirrors edge was on the unreal engine right?

WiteLite
WiteLite

@EdibleFood -as far as not taking risks...the same can be said about almost every game releasing this year. cod nvr changes anything. battlefield looks awesome, but its still the same game. resistance, infamous, forza, its all standard...no "risks" mirrors edge was one of those rare games that did something different. you expect every game to be dramatically different from every other game out there? then there wouldnt be nearly as many games being released. Choice is good! -your hatred of the story, graphics, gameplay of gears is all your opinion. There are hundreds of thousands of ppl that would say the exact opposite. -a games graphics are not all about what lighting system among other things they use...its about the style. borderlands had horrible lighting, and graphics. but the style is what pulled it all together. -"every" game is made to sell as many copies as it can! -before gears, what game came close to it? bloody, chainsaw on a gun? single spawning system the main game type? one of the few third person games. you talk about gears as if its some kind of clone of something unoriginal. -Again, there are hundreds of thousands that would disagree with just your "lame story" comment. your opinions are just that....opinions. you do not speak for the masses.

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@WiteLite Mirrors Edge uses beast lighting, which is far superior to the archaic lightmass system that is built into udk and the same one used in Gears, Bulletstorm, etc... Not only that but the truly impressive details that Epic Games wouldn't even consider putting into their products are found in Mirrors Edge: details like the ability to look down 20 stories and see three dimensional citizens walking on the sidewalks, cars drivng through the streets, real time object based motion blur, etc. It was by no means a perfect game, the combat wasn't very good, it was really short and the last few missions were really lame but still, my original comment was about epic games not taking risks. Mirrors Edge was a risky, unique experience that i enjoyed far more than any game epic has, and likely will ever produce. Gears of War is a product, every aspect of the game is designed to sell it to as many people as possible. "Awful story? Check. Tons of gore and chainsaw guns? Check. More f***s than actually dialogue? Check. An impressive opening cutscene so people can claim that it's trying to say something with the story when it is actually a nearly plotless pile of copy paste garbage made of modular environments, low res textures? Check. Creativity? Not check :) good job gentlemen, i think we are ready to ship our product" - Cliffy B

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@WiteLite last i checked mirrors edge wasn't a "pc and mac game" i was just saying that the textures didn't look like a blobby pixelated mess like gears of war. I didn't play it on consoles so thats why i clarified that i was talking about the pc version. I think everyone understands the gears story is trash. But they apparently have no art director and the gameplay is so utterly generic that the only thing i found entertaining about Gears 2 was horde. Gears of war represents the pinnacle of homogeneity in the game industry, it is one of the many games that make people lose hope in the game industry. Also Mirror's Edge looks significantly better than gears on both a technical and artistic level. Certainly Mirrors Edge isn't filled with the modular environments, the gritty detail and the dust particle systems from Gears...but if it did, it wouldn't look like Mirror's Edge...and I'm pretty sure pursuing a new art direction is greater than putting tons of polygons on screen to compensate for the lack of creativity... Continued in comment 2.

siiixon
siiixon

i agree with him on most, i think the solution is to sell boxed games with a shop for customization .. BUT all customization should be visual ONLY.. no shop items should give you an advantage... this way people who have endless amounts money still can waste they money, and the rest of us just play the game... this concept ( buy and shop) would work a lot better then free2play

Khasym
Khasym

@another_drew Dude, totally disagre. I've been playing for going on 30 years, and I've never seen anything in the way of 'fast paced innovation' in the game industry. Every step forward, has been mired in dozens of steps backward. To throw it all on developers, who feed their families and live their lives on the money they make from games, is fairly insulting. WE PAY FOR ALL OF THE SAME THING! When FPS's were trending, we were funding the cycling of plots and gimmicks around a traditional FPS. When MMO's were hot, we were plunking down $50-$60 on unfinished, poorly tested games that didn't have a chance in hell of making it. If you want change in the industry. If you wanna see real development, fund a game yourself. See how much forging the new road gets you.

WiteLite
WiteLite

@EdibleFood well theres the problem...your trying to compare a pc game to a 360 game. ???? Yes, Epic's games have a dark tone, but thats their m.o. There all about grit, both in story and visuals. your right about the emotion...they should stay away. They put out an entire game portraying how animalistic and butch not only the main characters were, but the entire aura of the game....then try to bring a softer side in the middle of the chaos. dreadful. though, nothing to do with the unreal engine. Aside from trying to compare a pc game to a 360 game. the paper blowing around and other extras would only show on machines running a "physx" compatible card. so technically it wasnt really even apart of the game. it was a separate specialized piece of hardware adding additional effects into an already existing game. now unreal engine game all looking the same? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games

AiGeeEn1
AiGeeEn1

Sucks the industrys getting more cunning and aggressive when it comes to raping their "supporters" of their hard earned cash. But in the end the "option to spend" is still with them.

another_drew
another_drew

Face it the game industry these days is nothing but a generic hodgepodge of crap on top of crap. This article only proves how far "developers" have fallen. The fact that this guy says hes noticing a trend where popular games are focused on quality over length of development just proves how ignorant and lazy these companies are anymore. Give me one single game within the past ten years that has introduced anything new or thoughtful. No instead they push out the same crap year after year with a new title. OH BOY GoW 3!!! Ya it's going to be the same crap heap with a different story. MW3!!!! Oh boy more running around blindly with no skill and still thinking you're good. To all of you who think that the industry today is the best it's been, GTFO. I understand most of you were probably too young to realize this, but games were made with quality in mind, not graphics, at one point. You all need to be slapped and deprived of anything past the PS2, XBOX, and GC era. Then we'll see exactly what you think of the industry today.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

I already care no more about the current gen... The gamers are stuck in a financial scam... It's not about games anymore, it's about big money... I bought an PS3 slim a year ago, I don't plan to buy anything else before 2020. I've been disapointed by the road the gaming world is taking... Incomplete games, saturation of dlc and only a few good games per years :-(

demonic_85
demonic_85

I can think of plenty of reasons why the market needs new consoles like last year. It's more than just graphics. A lot of newer games dont even play at 720p and even then they're barely getting by on 30fps. Not to mention the lack of decent AA. It's about having more capable hardware that can handle more complex scenarios on screen like smarter A.I. The capacity of DL-DVD's which the Xbox 360 uses is seriously holding back developers on how much content they can put into a game. A lot of game developers have become lazy and just keep rehasing the same game over and over again. I believe newer and more capable hardware could jump start them to create better games.

jmc88888
jmc88888

It's the wall street model that is failing. There will always be a demand for AAA titles. Just not from bloated, ineffective, inefficient Wall street enterprises that subtract from the game instead of add to it. Besides, you need to actually have a benefit to a new console before you make a new console. Right now we're only about 1/2 to justify a new console. A new console for dx11? It's cool but not THAT cool. The games aren't very much different, and they need to wait another few years to get at least Unreal 4 engine (or better) type power under the hood and then you are taking enough of a leap for a new console. Of course it costs more to make a game, the dollar is constantly devalued. No Glass-Steagall, no recovery, dollar continues plummet. There will always be a desire for a AAA game. The question is, who is unencumbered and nimble yet resourced enough to do it?

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@witelite Yes i have played through both gears 1 and 2. There are reasons why people make fun of the gears story... While the cutscenes are dramatic and interesting most of the in game dialogue is laughable and for me the missions all felt like 30 minutes of filler until they actually resume the proper story. Every character from the gears of war series is one dimensional and when they tried to add emotion with the whole dom/maria thing it was so poorly executed that it has become one of the major jokes that people make of the Gears franchise. --About the Mirrors Edge graphics...the lighting is technically superior to the gears of war lighting, they used Autodesk Beast for the lighting engine since the default Unreal Engine lightmass is awful. Textures are extremely crisp on the pc, they didn't fill the game world with mounds of rubble but the details that should've been there, like wind, blowing pieces of paper, high poly objects, etc... were done well. --About art design: I don't think gears of war's art design took any risks, it looks ilke most other Unreal Engine games. --Didn't know about the Bulletstorm thing, but i remember last month that some guy from epic was talking about how it was a risky game to publish and they didn't make as much as expected.

WiteLite
WiteLite

@EdibleFood Posted Jul 29, 2011 11:43 pm ET ----- 1st, every developer has a different look, a different style. 2, story, art design, graphics, gameplay, creativity. thats all your opinion, not fact 3, this is the best part.....epic didnt make bulletstorm. "people can fly" was the development team. Epic was just helping the studio make a name for themselves. They had no direct control over the development. 4, mirrors edge better than gears of war? the art style was cool, ill give you that...however thats just a preference. but graphically? it was just brightly colored *flat* textures of red, white, and blue. 5. bioshock infinite has a better story line than gears of war? hows that, have you played infinite? creativity? have you played gears? its got the weirdest story line iv seen from a fps in a long time. infinite's the same thing but its brighter now instead of dark and drab.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@raptures330: "Please man. Don't compare the extent and ease of piracy." It was easier then because you didn't need major tools to do it, and back then, few agencies were looking for it (and most of them didn't know how to track piracy back then). "Go look at release schedules for the year of 1985..." You're forgetting the C64, and the IBM 8088 PC (soon to become the 80286, 80386, 80486, 80486-DX2 and 80486-DX4 PCs). Consoles are not the be-all and end-all of gaming. Hell, I was playing Star Trek on an Apple 2C when I was a teenager.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@raptures330: "PC games might have been cheaper in a direct comparison." All games were. And your money went a longer way back then. Plus, you're forgetting the expansion packs of later decades, and the stupid idea of console microtransactions (which can be lost permanently in case of developer collapse). How much for the complete rosters for Disgaea 3, or Mortal Kombat - and MK's were on the disc already? I won't even mention MMO's except to say that they're a complete waste of money (since you own nothing at all). The 80's were a much better game environment than today. Companies like BiowarEA, ActiBlizzard, SonyEidos, et al. make it really impossible for good games to happen on consoles and PCs by single developers. It takes too much money, and there aren't any new-gen developer tools to take the geometric rocket science out of developing games (otherwise, the space flight and space trading games would come back in force). When they make Visual DirectX with a great 5th-generation scripting language, then maybe the glory of the 80s will return (and the massive game conglomerates will collapse under their money-grubbing weight).

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@raptures330: "Platformers were the FPS of the 80s." Maybe on the new-gen consoles. The C64, Atari 2600, Colecovision, et al. had quite a few types of games other than you're specifying. And they came out before the Nintendo/etc. generation of consoles came out. Even then, yeah, you're not going to have much selection for a new console. I remember the PS1 and its horrid lack of games, which is why I didn't get one until Final Fantasy 7 came out much later. And yeah, the 80's wasn't liquid happiness in a bottle, but it was easier to program games, the games would come out sooner than today (how long for Skyrim after Oblivion?), and the story made the game instead of the visuals. The shift to 3D made everything much more complicated, and as a result, developer tools got far more complicated. Some things are easier to design than others, and if you spend all your time trying to make a game look good, you won't have much time to devote to story. I hate to say it, but Diablo 3 looks like a graphically better version of the Gauntlet console game than Diablo 2, and that's something that worries me. That's what happened to the Might and Magic series before it died (they ran out of money due to time-related engine development costs).

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@mister_scowl Totally love your rant by the way :P

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

I hate micro-transactions. I'd rather pay full price for a complete game, by which the company then releases worthwhile expansion packs at a fair price. Not 15 quid for four maps on COD - joke. It's the youth of today with their pick up and put down nature. Games have got easier, shorter and a whole less emptier on initial release. I blame EA. Hahahaha. No Really. I absolutely do.

mister_scowl
mister_scowl

Dear "Young Gamer Snot" raptures330, First off, I agree with you on some points: the games today are on average better than when I was a "young gamer snot" myself. Nine out of ten times if I have a choice I will play Portal 2 or GTA IV on my PS3 before dusting off my Colecovision to play some Donkey Kong. Technology has evolved since the 70's-80's and will continue to do so. When the NES came out in 1985 my mind was indeed blown; it looked so much better than the Atari and the other consoles of the previous generation and had a bunch of great games on top of that. My mind was also blown when the Genesis came out, then the PSX, PS2 etc. I am constantly amazed by the graphical improvements as well as the improvements in other areas such as how big some of these games' environments are, the amount of things you can do in the games etc. As old as I am the era of the N64 does seem like a very long time ago to me...now we have handhelds that are more powerful. That is indeed impressive. I am not one of these codgers who will bemoan the modern era and rant about the "good old days" of pixelated games while wearing nothing but an open robe exposing my wrinkled junk to the world. I will however say that there are just as many garbage games as there were in the old days. As long as games are being made crappy ones will also be made. Perhaps it is you wearing the rose-colored glasses in this current generation. Signed, Old Fart

mister_scowl
mister_scowl

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GarGx1
GarGx1

When Epic, Ubisoft (and their DRM), EA, Activison etc. go off and focus on the mobile/facebook market, others will come along and fill their spot, there's a ton of money to made from peeps like you and me. As for the next gen consoles, keep delaying it guys it'll bring more people over to the PC as the current gen lags further behind.

pszone
pszone

This Guy talk of rubish. He afraid not to spend out next gen hardware. K I think the next gen tech will be its last. And ya moblie gameing could take over potable hardware what could happen. Epic games wrong they need new hardware for next xbox so if you dont want to find new hardware to create better games next gen. Thats fine with me and others there more pubishers better than Epic.

SgtDarthVader
SgtDarthVader

I cannot imagine that Mobil gaming will be the end of hardcore console/pc gaming, especially because of the large sum of money that's being made on huge titles such as Gears of War, Mass Effect, Uncharted etc (and the fact that these people most likely will not make the jump to mobile gaming)... As for Free to Play, unless they make F2P games that are of the quality of current AAA titles, I cannot this this happening either, I'm ok with some DLC, I'm not normally interested in spending money on map packs, but I don't mind spending some money on a new case for L.A. Noire, but Microtransistions? Come on! This is really pushing there luck. So they want people to spend there RL money on a new gun for a game? This would mean that the kid with the most money would be having an unfair advantage, which at the very least would be highly controversial. I cannot imagine any of these things happening (not on a large scale at least), but if it does happen, then I can rejoice by the fact that I have hundreds of classic PS2, PS3, X360 & PC games that I can play.

barleybosh
barleybosh

this guy is talking out of his ass. you can tell just by looking at his picture and the fact that he's associated with "epic games", before you even start reading the article. epicac games will drown when all the male teeny boppers grow some balls and start playing real games like farmville and angrybirds

gamenerd15
gamenerd15

The used games bit has got to stop. If developers actually sold their games for cheaper through digital distribution, then maybe more people would get it that way. For example, games like Mass Effect to on PS3 should not be $60 for a downloadable title. Bioware does not have to share profits with the retailer, so the game should cost less.

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

Ok epic...Maybe i will play one of your games once you actually take a risk. You only make shooters...The 3 main reasons why bulletstorm didn't sell well were 1. Terrible marketing 2. Small online component/short campaign 3. Focused entirely on immature toilet humor. Unreal games don't all have to look the same...ironically other developers seem to make much better use out of the unreal engine than Epic Games. Look at bioshock infinite and mirrors edge: both used the unreal engine and are lightyears beyond any game from Epic in terms of story, art design, graphics, gameplay, creativity, etc.

pyrojazz
pyrojazz

Why doesn't the developers go over to licensing system for used games... If a retailer buys a developer's license then that retailer has permission to sell the corresponding games at whatever price point but the developer gets a percentage of the profit and whatever licensing fees the industry as a whole agrees upon.

raptures330
raptures330

@VarietyMage Harder to find games: Platformers were the FPS of the 80s. You had: Brawlers, Platformers, Racing. Then slowly other genres popped out. Those that were good remain now. We not only have the genres that the 80s had, we have more. Remember the Mario 2 and Zelda shortage? Or any other shortage which were common for big titles? Yeah. No happening so much now. You can live in some pretty obscure places and still get to game. If not by retail then online or by mail order. Ease of access is 10x better now. Don't say the tech now sucks: I never said I was not blown away by the tech back then when I was a kid. I was referring to the people who I started my post with that look down on the game industry as it is now and it was "so much better back then". Like if they had been given today's tech back then they would have been disappointed in it. I had a blast in the 80s. It was great. Yet it was far from the perfect world people are making out to be more and more. Referring to it like it was a magical land of amazingness in every nook and cranny. I wasn't saying it was bad, was just pointing out that it wasn't liquid happiness in a bottle.

raptures330
raptures330

@VarietyMage Piracy: UItrabyte Disk Nibbler? Did it allow you to download any game you wanted from a place hundreds of millions of people could access and make thousands of copies per day per person? Please man. Don't compare the extent and ease of piracy. Truer Today?: Go look at release schedules for the year of 1985 and see how many titles came out. Check now. We had 2 major console makers while the rest flopped like mad. Now we have 3, with various handhelds, and the PC. Gaming was not cheaper: PC games might have been cheaper in a direct comparison. Warcraft was $45 where I got it/ Console games were expensive ($60-80 1985 money). Also, $30 back then got you MUCH more than $60 gets you now. $40 from the 80s is about $80 today.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@raptures330: "Piracy had little to no effect on the industry." You obviously never met the Ultrabyte Disk Nibbler. :) "Gaming was not cheaper." Wrong. Most EA titles cost around $30 - $40 new back then, and when they went to the bargain bin, they cost anywhere from $5 - $20. I know this because I was there, buying new games like mad, and when I beat or got tired of them, I shopped the bargain bins for oddities like "Realms of Impossibility" and "The Last Gladiator" (you couldn't stomach playing them now, believe me). "It was harder to find games and there was little variety." Yes and no. Each year, the games got a little bigger, and took a little longer to develop, just like now. The main problem today is that there's no easy toolkit for making 3D games that doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars to get a developer's kit for (*COUGH*PS3*COUGH*), or requires near-assembler-level knowledge to get to work correctly (*COUGH*DIRECTX*COUGH*). It takes forever to make so much content by hand (or rather, multiple hands).

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@raptures330: "There were fewer games coming out and a lot of them were freaking terrible." This is actually truer today than 20 years ago. We weren't so stuck on graphics, so tile graphics dominated the scene for a long, long time. As long as the story was passable, and there weren't so many glitches, it was a good game. "I promise if you were 6 years old now and got to play the DS, PSP, Wii, PS3, or 360 it would blow your f***ing mind." Of course it would, and it does (I'm waiting for Persona 5 and FFT2, people). But your inability to have a C64 game blow your mind doesn't invalidate our experiences, either. We've just been having our minds blown for a lot longer.

dylan35
dylan35

AAA titles kill the online multi player comunities of smaller games ,company not Retail should get the money , but i do not want to live in a world with no shops to look at stuff ... instant gratification online but i remember the days of record/cd stores ,books stores are next to go i guess what im saying is it used to be nice to get out of the house ...

Paintballa
Paintballa

Microtransactions are a good business model, I would pay for a new weapon or clothing for my character, but it needs to be cheap and the game needs to be supported with constant updates and things to buy. Dont release a game then only support it for 3 months then move on. It's a money hungry world out there.

Paintballa
Paintballa

I understand why he thinks that AAA games are not the future anymore. In my opinion the price of consoles and games are not outrageous but they need to come down. If your game offers both a multiplayer suite and a single player campaign, then offer $30 for one and $30 for the other. Give gamers a choice. Don't force them to buy what you make and then blame it on the developers. Nobody wants to pay full price for something when they havent played it and dont know what a game is about. Give them a choice to play a demo or try out a game. For example the OnLive service. They let your preview any game for 30 minutes at a time before it restarts. Another thing is they set such high goals for their games to sell well that the expectation is usually never met.

zequex
zequex

@raptures330 I wish I could upthumb you more than once. Totally agree with you.

mrvercetti91
mrvercetti91

I'm not a huge fan of Gears but I respect Epic for not releasing a game every other year like Infinity Ward/ Treyarch...

thepyrethatburn
thepyrethatburn

So he's betting big on the AAA titles but then he's advocating microtransactions and other monetization schemes which are driving demand for AAA games down due to the customers feeling that they're only getting 3/4 of the game?

megamanfan
megamanfan

@Stabby, The problem seems to be that developers cannot see past their pocketbooks when mobile games and apps do not require the budget of a AAA title, but still pays big dividends. I would think that that mobile games and AAA title can coexist, but the bean counters at these companies only care about the bottom line.

Stabby
Stabby

Every time mobile gaming comes up as a topic, regardless of what "side" you're on, it's always talked about at the expense of the other such as "console gaming dying" or "mobile gaming a fad" etc. Here's a wild thought, can they co-exist?

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

I miss the time where there were more than 5 good games released in a year!