[casual_games] Clones in casual (was RE: Gameplay patents)
tturner at cmpgames.com
Wed Feb 14 18:08:00 EST 2007
You will see studios fold but it won't decrease the amount of content. The
studios that fold will be US operations trying to bring new content to
market. They will continue to be replaced by overseas chop shops.
To be clear, I am not saying that offshore developers can't/won't make
quality original content. But the companies that are simply there to
exploit market opportunities created by the cost of living delta will more
than make up for creative shops.
From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org [mailto:casual_games-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of Robert Gordon
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 1:43 PM
To: IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [casual_games] Clones in casual (was RE: Gameplay patents)
One quick comment from the peanut gallery...I'm no genius when it comes to
understanding market forces, but if games are getting more expensive to make
and less profitable over time for the developer, does this not eventually
lead to a number of studios folding, thereby decreasing the amount of
content, thereby increasing margins, etc.? It seems that everyone and his
brother is making a casual game these days - and perhaps that's as much of
an issue as the 'unlimited digital shelf space' of the portals?
Personal prediction: Over the next months/years portals will begin to
distinguish themselves by offering more exclusive content (or at least
portal-modified content). I wonder how that might affect some of the issues
r o b
| Robert Gordon
| The Article 19 Group Inc.
| phone: 514.938.8512
| email: rob at article19.com
> From: "Tom Hubina" <tomh at mofactor.com>
> Organization: Mofactor, Inc.
> Reply-To: IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List <casual_games at igda.org>
> Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 13:25:50 -0800
> To: "'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'" <casual_games at igda.org>
> Subject: [casual_games] Clones in casual (was RE: Gameplay patents)
> OK - damaging the industry wasn't quite right. It's damaging to developers
> in the industry.
> It is marginalizing developers and turning games into a commodity that has
> no value other than drawing in advertising - and where unlimited shelf
> means that 10 mediocre games are just as good as one quality title. The
> "industry" will still make lots of money, but that money is going to be
> increasingly thinned out amongst more developers who will barely be able
> make enough of a return on their investment to cover costs.
> If you dump a few billion tons of gold on the market, gold prices drop
> everywhere and no one makes any money on gold (except the traders who take
> piece of every transaction regardless) and people who have invested money
> gold expecting to sell it at a certain price are suddenly losing money.
> can either continue putting more gold into the system to try to get some
> cash out of the rapidly diminishing rates and make things worse or you can
> cut back on gold mining and get things to stabilize at a practical price
> before the whole thing collapses.
> Right now in casual/web there's a seemingly limitless supply of games
> and everyone is producing as much as they can. The portals (traders) don't
> care if they put up 10 games or 100 .. They still sell X number of ads and
> downloads and make their money on the volume of transactions. While the
> market is growing with new users each year, that growth isn't keeping pace
> with the increase in the amount of content. The net result is that
> developers get a smaller portion of the pie. The factors are compounded by
> other things as well, but those other factors (more people in the value
> chain) are caused by overhead in the quantity of games.
> I'm basing this on a few trends I've observed through (admittedly)
> evidence over the past several years. You can judge for yourself if they
> match your understanding.
> 1. Conversion rates for the average new game have gone down over the past
> several years, from 3% to 1%.
> 2. Percentage of revenue for developers has reduced as a combination of
> people in the value chain, and rates are reduced at major portals.
> 3. Cost to create a title has increased.
> 4. Number of new titles released each year has exploded (from a handful
> month to as many as 1 a day)
> 5. Number of portals has increased, each with their own trials (allowing
> users to play the same game for 10+ hours without paying for it)
> 6. Bundling/subscription deals reduce the unit cost of items and spread
> revenues out over multiple developers.
> The key point here is that developers make less money when more games are
> being created and ... assuming ad prices hold ... portals make more money
> releasing more games. The net result is that they're happy as pie to take
> everything we throw at them since it's better for them. They don't care
> it's worse for us.
> This says nothing of the increased difficulty in getting your title
> recognized. It used to be that a title would be in the "What's new"
> with high visibility for a month. Now it's more like a week. As the
> of content increases, that number could go down to a day.
> There's a lot more to all of this and our ability to do anything about it
> extremely limited, but that's why discussing it over a drink at GDC is
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org
>> [mailto:casual_games-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of Alex Amsel
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:04 PM
>> To: IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List
>> Subject: Re: [casual_games] Gameplay patents
>> You see, I don't think it is. This is all in the minds of
>> developers IMHO. The audience buys what they want. It'll buy
>> a good clone but not a bad one.
>> Where retail has the nightmare of licenses/clones controlling
>> everything, we have try before you buy. And it's wonderful.
>> You could argue that portals need to be more willing to
>> promote original games, but they ones that interest their
>> audiences still float to the top.
>> Tom Hubina wrote:
>>> Heh - fair enough.
>>> I'm casting about to try to find ways of getting rid of the "bad
>>> clones" and the deluge of un-original content in casual because I
>>> believe that it's causing (has caused) irreparable damage to an
>>> industry that had a great deal of potential.
>> Alex Amsel
>> Tuna Technologies Ltd (Sheffield, UK)
>> Cross Platform Game Development
>> Tel: +44 (0)114 266 2211 Mob: +44(0)7771 524 632
>> Casual_Games mailing list
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