Bleszinski says disc-based market 'crumbling'

Former Epic Games director Cliff Bleszinski says "the disc-based day-one $60 model" is on the way out; believes AAA games and secondhand market cannot coexist.

Former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski believes the disc-based console market is falling apart in favor of free-to-play games and microtransaction-enabled titles.

"Newsflash. This is why you're seeing free-to-play and microtransactions everywhere," Bleszinski said on Twitter. "The disc-based day-one $60 model is crumbling."

Xbox executive Phil Spencer offered a different sentiment recently, saying that the disc-based market is "really important" for the Xbox One and that the retail market will remain a major component of Microsoft's business strategy moving forward.

Bleszinski's comments came as a punctuation of a message about another industry hot topic: used games. He said AAA games and the secondhand/rental market cannot coexist due to ballooning development budgets.

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing," Bleszinski said. "The numbers do NOT work people."

"The visual fidelity and feature sets we expect from games now come with sky high costs. Assassin's Creed games are made by thousands of devs," he added.

Ubisoft has eight studios working on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

The Xbox One supports used games as a platform, though decisions about allowing secondhand titles will be left up to publishers. Sony's PlayStation 4, on the other hand, will not feature any "gating restrictions" at all for software.

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eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

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2827 comments
Ne-Plus-Ultra
Ne-Plus-Ultra

If you make good games then people will buy them, there are so so many examples of this, unfortunately there are so many devs that make half ass games then bitch about used games stealing their profits. Just for an example I have GTA5 on pre order for the PS3 and I love the game so much that I plan on pre ordering it for the PS4 when I can, I have no problem paying for it twice because the devs deserve it. But when it comes to games like Aliens: Colonial Marines for an example, I feel like the devs ripped off the gamers with that one, and whose going to compensate the gamers for their loss. So if we get rid of used/rented games to help out the devs then it would only be fair if all games come with a trial period, this way the devs can't just give us half assed games knowing we have to buy them then get stuck with unplayable crap. 

santoron
santoron

If the numbers don't work, then work within your budget, moron.  We've seen what a few independent devs can do on a shoestring budget, yet the "best and brightest" can't even make a game for 20 million anymore?  Please.

Every other form of media has learned to coexist with their used markets, or businesses like rentals.  If you can't figure out how to do it then GTFO and let some one willing to work instead of whine give it a whirl.  Crying that consumer protections should be taken away so you can waste more money on sequels and clones is the sickest, most ignorant thing I've ever read.  

Agonoize76
Agonoize76

Based upon the "Behind the Scenes" movies I have seen from Epic Games HQ, I don't get the impression what Cliff says is actually true.

I get the impression that they make loads and loads of money...

Lamesy
Lamesy

"AAA games and secondhand market cannot coexist."

Okay, keep your dime a dozen cookie-cutter AAA catalog!
We'd rather have indie games, a thriving and diversified mid-budget catalog, and freedom in the marketplace.

AAA isn't worth what you're asking.

fillup0
fillup0

He's such a hack. The business model of microtransactions would be around with or without our disc based model. I mean, look at Simcity.

so_hai
so_hai

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing,"

Oh yeah? And when did you write your thesis in Economics, Bleszinski?

He's confused what he would prefer with what is actual.

deathsquad99
deathsquad99

People like him need to understand that having used games "IS" a form of maketing! It enables more people who dont have enough money to experience games they wouldnt otherwise play.

 Example: A few years back I only had 25 bucks left after getting some stuff at the mall. Went into the Gamestop and saw a used copy of Infamous. I didnt know much about it but decided to give it a shot. Well it became one of all time favorite games. I then preordered Infamous 2 collectors edition, and now im obviously going to get Infamous Second Sons day one as well. 

So by purchasing this "evil used game", I am now a huge fan of the franchise and will buy all their future releases at launch (new!) and probably other releases by Sucker Punch as well. I know im not the only person this kind of thing has happened to. 

And you know what Cliffy B? There will always be people who only buy used no matter what. Instead of treating them like criminals, think of them as advertisement. They may help spread the word about a game to their friends and so on, and many of these people may buy their games new. 

Also how many of you out there buy new games for $60 because you know you can get some of that money back by selling it? I mean what if I really dont like the game? or get bored with it? Suddenly that 60 bucks doesnt seem too steep when i can get 20-25 of it back. People are much more willing to drop money on a product they can actually own, see in front of them, and sell when they see fit. 

Giving consumers the freedom to buy, play and sell games on their own terms wont destroy the AAA game market, stupid greedy restrictions like Microsoft are making, will in fact.

Zangan_Zack
Zangan_Zack

Cliffy B is bordering on moronic with his "opinions" on these matters.

TrappedInABox91
TrappedInABox91

Cart and CDs seemed to have worked for the last 30-40 years. Now suddenly it can't? Instead of buying a $60 CD, we should a $60 digital copy? 

Sounds like these guys want to fuck us for more money. No deal. 

LanceCypher
LanceCypher

Jeez, why the hell do people keep saying crap like this. There are practically no actual facts in support of this idea that because people download media on portable devices, all physical-based business models are going to hell in a handbasket. We still buy books, we still buy CD's, and we still buy game discs and cartridges. "Newsflash" indeed.

fluffy_kins
fluffy_kins

The problem is that budgets for games need to be lowered. Until we can get a buttload of digital storage on consoles, while NOT being outrageously expensive, I'll take my games on discs, thanks.

stanknuggetz12
stanknuggetz12

There is something special about that new disc game smell when you rip the plastic off and open that baby up.

But it is gonna be very tempting to just buy digital especially if the game becomes available to download at 12am on day one, like GameStop midnight launches

TeoKot
TeoKot

What has happened to this guy? He is constantly spitting BS since E3 started? Another M$ puppy?

SamuraiSeven
SamuraiSeven

With all due respect.  Please make games and stop with the commentary.  I like discs.  I like manuals.  I like box art.  I like little extra codes that come with it.  I won't pay 59.99 for a game digitally if I can get the game with all of the above for the same price.  Now if digital games were substantially less expensive (especially considering there is minimal overhead) then I would buy into that.

Until then.  I'll take a disc

tevic
tevic

Blezinski is saying bullshit as always. Assassin's creed sold millions and millions despite used games. Why would Ubisoft have continued to make these games if they weren't profitable ?

DeFiLeDTitan
DeFiLeDTitan

Why can't we live in a world of multiple options? It's always all or nothing with these guys.

Another idea might be to stop spending an outrageous amount on advertising. 100 million dollars on advertising for bioshock infinite? in the immortal words of Dr. Evil: "How bout NO!" People were going to buy that game like hotcakes anyway. Maybe spend like 90 million? its a start anyway

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

You damn right something isn't adding up.  Cost of manufacturing disc or the plastic it's made from hasn't changed in over a decade.  If anything it's gotten even cheaper because of the lowering of the quality it's made from.  I would be surprised if it even cost over .50 to produce a single disc.  Once a technology is perfected, it could be used over and over again.  A new gaming-engine isn't made for every new title that's made.  It just come down to GREED, pure and simple.

marshalmathers2
marshalmathers2

Just one question..

Since when did someone think that buying a game on-line and waiting for 15+ gigabytes to download is more appropriate than owning a game on-disc?

NeecHMonkeY
NeecHMonkeY

Yeah, discs are definitely on the way out... exactly the reason why you can't buy Music CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays anymore, right?

CraigNinten
CraigNinten

To me it seems like Atari 2600 is coming back to destroy gaming community again.

macca366
macca366

It works really well for steam, but I think the console market is too used to discs and non-restrictions to go fully digital. We also don't trust that given a fully digital model, that we would actually be offered the benefits, like say, all games becoming cheaper minus physical packaging, disc and shipping costs - and I doubt that would happen straight away too. The PR behind Xbox One hasn't given any good reasons or benefits for the consumer in return for being always connected, and accepting restrictions from sharing or re-selling or buying secondhand games.

The ballooning development costs of AAA titles are a real concern though. These big games cost so much to make, no wonder they pursue DLC and have begun to demonise the used-game market. I mean Tomb Raider DID sell like 3 million + units and they said it wasn't successful. Something isn't working here.

Still, the consumer should NOT be punished for it. By the way, why does everyone hate this guy again? Nothing he's said here isn't necessarily untrue or irrelevant

Randolph
Randolph

Poor CliffyB, barely getting by.  He hasn't got enough money for another car that costs six figures. :(

You want people to trade your games in less, and buy them used less, make them worth buying new.  Their is a reason ic an go to gamestop and get Gears of War 1 - 3 for a grand total of about twenty five bucks.  Your games focused on being pretty, good looks are fleeting and your game is repetitive, has a shit story, and has characters no one remembers or cares about.

TirOrah
TirOrah

... Oh lord.

No good sir, we're seeing F2P and microtransactions because that brings profit. No, canning disc releases will not help, certainly not at this point, and certainly not in the imminent future. And if you all do decide to go fully digital, at least make sure I can download the game for the same price. I recently bought the Mass Effect Trilogy in a box. It cost me 20 Euros + 1.50 shipping fees. If I had downloaded it off Origin, it would have cost me 50 Euros. FIFTY!

The used games thing...I won't comment on that. It's just too obvious that ~your~ numbers don't work for you. Well, our numbers work fine for us, so good luck Mister.

pellungrobe
pellungrobe

Almost 15 years ago, I purchased a game for my Ps1. It was called "silent hill". The game is really, really old now. But now and then, when I want some really good scares, I pop the disc in and play. I have sold many games on the used market, but never even thought about selling Silent Hill. Because it's a damn good game, timeless masterwork. 

Dear BleahsWhatever, please, develop a game that has a similar kind of value. Then, you can rest assure I won't resell it. Till then stick a lancer up your ass and have a nice day.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

It seems Epic is in need of being teach another lesson. Give us another Gears of War: Judgment, another third rate game by one of your sub-contractors, and you'll end up with even less sales then Judgment. This time it won't be 18% to 20% of the sales of any other Gears!

If you guys can't make a AAA game for $60 fine! Then get out of the game market and go on a farm to raise chickens, for all we care.

The game market is a market of many billions of dollars. We all know that in capitalism no profit is enough profit but that will have to do. Used games market represent a few hundred millions. We all know how you guys want to pleases your boss and give then that part too but that won't happen. Open your eyes and look carefully. Microsoft WILL be teach a lesson with their Xbox One and that lesson is for you guys also!

jedimastr
jedimastr

I think the fact that digital downloads being the same price or more as a new or used disk copy is a bit concerning. When that changes ill be down with digital.

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

But the CAN coexist, they've been doing it for YEARS.

lm316
lm316

this gears of war guy always makes me angry, always talking so much shit

PaulJanson
PaulJanson

You know, maybe if games weren't sixty f***ing dollars then there would be better results. There were ALWAYS used games being sold. Back in the PS1-PS2-XBox days, used games market weren't even on the radar. Sh**, I didn't purchase my first used game till the Xbox 360. I used to buy 2 or 3 NEW games a month, and I'm not exagerating one bit. Yeah, there were a few terrible games that I was fool into buying but I didn't sweat it, because all it was is just a funny story to tell my friends about how bad the game was. Now all we have to look forward to seeing in articles is game companies closing down, "M"onkey "S"crotum trying to justify their reasons to trying to take away our rights on what we own, and D-bag devs complaining about used games. The Gaming Industry brought this on themselves.

kokonut1971
kokonut1971

Will this dBag ever stop talking trash and will ever Gamespot stop giving some screen time to him?


Please my eyes are bleeding everytime i see an article on him here.

onixevil
onixevil

Be like other visionary developers who spent their life on making their own engine that save them a lot of money and don't use pre-manufactured engine that cost a lot cash to work on it + paying  extra fees on keeping it up to date and required a lot of hand working to design any game properly .     

Zenwork21
Zenwork21

He may be wrong  but man.... how did we miss him when the Judgement crap was released?

ken4062
ken4062

Physical ability to own the game has worked for as many years as Cliffy has lived. i think it will live on far longer than he is alive. 

91210user
91210user

How about this? I'm tired of replacing my disc lasers and losing it to to something silly because an open world game like Grand Theft Auto or LA Noire cannot keep up with the Playstation lasers, so they over user and burn out the lasers! It's the second time that's happened and has given me a good reason not to use the disc.

Also games like Wizard 101 and Pirate 101 aren't that good! I know Bleszinski worked in Texas to know and when you have someone like John Romeno who worked for a company like Zynga. Is Bleszinski trying to ditch the software side? I mean I played Anachronox and that was used as a templete for Wizard 101 and it burns me seeing people play with without knowing about that.

I think Bleszinski is saying this way to early until it happens and I'm not going to credit Bleszinski for saying it!

When Microsoft says something like this, then we should believe it!

frylock1987
frylock1987

Best way to not let the disc market crumble you Cliffy B?


stop wasting millions of dollars on Marketing and making commercials that are almost movie caliber and calm the fuck down with the insane graphical engine development costs and start I dunno....making good games again that I wont trade in after I'm done?

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

Cliffy should stick to making pretty games and not speak on things he obviously doesn't have a clue on; what gamers want.

keldarironfist
keldarironfist

This guy is the biggest cockbag I have seen in some time. Physical media that is not crippled by DRM is one of the best ways to own your content. Digital means once the "service" is done, unsupported, out of business, so goes all the "stuff" you bought.

Digital is pure profit for companies, and only benefits them in the long run. Steam is DRM, and an anon. xbox developer has even said as much, despite the steam fanboys crying differently. Steamworks is DRM, most PC retail dvd releases use steamworks, which effectively cripples the game and turns it into the same crap you see with Xbone. Don't support this crap guys, the PC kids already sold us out with steam, don't let it happen with consoles too.

the_ocarina_kid
the_ocarina_kid

What other industry would presume to take away the right to sell on a product you have bought ? If  Epic is struggling to make a profit then the whole development budgeting structure is to blame, not the consumers who sell on and buy games second hand. The car industry has just the same problems with used cars, but do we see Nissan pushing for a cut of second hand car sales ? The very idea is utterly ludicrous. Sort your own house out Cliff and don't presume that we're fine with stripping away consumer rights.

AngelsongCA
AngelsongCA

They aren't featuring them as they said.  Featuring means they are in support of them and are pushing them internally.  Any restriction comes from elsewhere, not PS4.  Not to mention they cannot restrict offline content, only online features and multiplayer for a game the same as PS3, and XBOX 360 standards.

ominous_prime
ominous_prime

Sony didn't say "will not feature any "gating restrictions" at all for software". They mentioned that on "disc based" games that there will be no restrictive gating system in place from 1st party titles. They did say, "Similar to PS3, we will not dictate the online used game strategy (the ability to play used games online) of its publishing partners." So that means 3rd party publishers choose if they want any type of restriction on their games. Sony also already has digital games available where you can't share or resell. Your end statements are misleading on most of your PS4 news stories as are your headlines.

DrKill09
DrKill09

This isn't true at all.

For pc, yes.  Why buy a disc when there is Steam?

Even this might change with the ever growing size of games.  They need to start printing pc games on Blu Ray.  Hell, they should have been doing that since 2010.  Max Payne 3 is annoying to install because it's on 4 dual layer DVD's.  This is the same as when they insisted on printing games on CD when it was no longer feasible.  The original version of Riddick was on 5 cd's and Painkiller was on 3.  When games are exceeding two discs, that's when it's time for the next format.

bobtheonlybob
bobtheonlybob

Sounds like someone is already working on a micro transaction based game

Cowboy-Bebop
Cowboy-Bebop

I was wondering when this idiot would chime in. He's been quiet too long.