Gamefaqs poll

Well yeah, when I say art-driven I mean like movies, books …

Entertainment = Art (low or high quality)

Cause art is what entertains us.

Correction: Art can be entertaining, but not all entertainment is art.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I would like to submit before the court Exhibit A: Britney Spears. Though the actual entertainment value of Exhibit A may be questionable, there is no doubt that it is not art.

As for the movies, books comment, re-read my post above.

The next fase of this discussion starts with me asking you what is art :slight_smile:

The problem with not innovating is that if all game companies thought that way, I can’t see the games industry going anywhere. This is one of the reasons that I used to respect Sega so much, despite the fact that their consoles kept on dying off.

Nearly all of EA’s current games are either sequels to older franchises, or licensed material that doesn’t dramatically innovate gameplay, but merely uses the license to sell (such as TLOTR games). Most of their games I wouldn’t call bad… some of them are actually pretty fun, but I would have thought that with the amount of money EA makes it could afford to develop more artistic projects than they currently do, or if not artistic games, then investing some of it’s money in developing more creative titles.

I guess as a gamer, I’m just worried seeing big companies like EA buying out smaller developers and then milking those franchises dry, without adding anything overly new to the genre. Surely EA can afford to innovate in more areas than it currently does?

My point was, actually, that not everyone has to be an artistic innovator. No matter what you ask for, the majority of the industry (whether it be film, books, or games) will be driven by mass-market entertainment, with a fringe of artistic stuff.

Driving the core of this industry is EA, Rockstar, etc. Without them, the majority of people would lose interest in the industry, and the cash flow would drop. The result would be the game industry equivalent of nuclear winter.

As for the whole thing about having huge companies take over the industry, it hasn’t killed Hollywood. As far as major movie companies go, I’m sure you could probably count them on both hands. Yet, there are a bunch of really small, independent art film houses that manage to put out great, creative stuff. And even the major companies still manage to surprise even the most jaded film critics now and then. You’ve still got companies like Focus Films that bring us Lost in Translation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But, if it wasn’t for the major film companies actually keeping people interested in heading to the cineplexes or starting DVD collections, art houses like that would have a hard time staying in business.

On a side note, the big difference between the way film crews are worked and game developers are worked is that the film industry is unionized. Game developers are too stupid to follow suit =\

I don’t know if it’s that game developers are too stupid so much as they don’t have enough clout. The Screen Actors Guild works because it has some heavyweights that the studios would like to court for their films. If “Big Name Actor” complains about being shafted, people hear about it. Put enough recognizable (and sellable) names on the same side and the guild has some firepower, even though the vast majority of SAG labors in virtual obscurity.

In the gaming industry, who would be the one to head up that kind of union? Who has the power to really stop publishers in their tracks and say “Hey, we should negotiate with these people!” There are some notable names in the industry, but they don’t carry the financial clout a Hollywood star does. I’ve played a good many Sim games before The Sims so I can say I’ve enjoyed Will Wright’s work, but Will Wright’s name doesn’t sell games to the general public.

And it doesn’t help that there are so many people who would give their left foot just to work in the gaming industry. If one developer is too difficult to work with then there’s always another one. :anjou_sigh:

Quantity woudl ahev to make up “quality” then Rune Lai.

Unless you’re a clueless, adolescent male.

In my opinion, the only video game which could really be called art, which I’ve played, is NiGHTS/Xmas NiGHTS.

Oh, and EA have been scum ever since '96. Nuff said.

Like Command And Conquer.

I’ve hated EA ever since “it” devoured Westwood Studios alive, and downsized the company. Seeing one of your favorite developers destroyed before your eyes isn’t a pretty sight. EA bought Westwood for no other reason than to acquire its popular intellectual property. Really, EA reminds me of a parasite, leeching off of other companies and liscenced games to survive.

Notice that the recently released Burn Out 3 was published by EA too (published, not developed).

EA’s main source of income primarily comes from its sports titles though (the Madden games sell millions of copies each and every year alone). At least Sega’s sports games are giving EA a run for its money in America now. Perhaps EA will be forced to innovate for a change when faced with some real competition instead of relying on the strength of its “trustworthy” brandname among consumers to sell the same game year in and year out.

All EA knows how to do is make money, and it does so at any cost. While some people may find that to be a respectable goal, and by all means exemplary (an example others “should” strive to emulate), I cannot. The love of money is the route of all evil because people will do anything to acquire it.

EA has about 25% of the market share. It doesn’t “survive” on Madden alone. It single-handedly has the most million sellers out of any company out there. Medal of Honor, Need for Speed, Madden, LOTR, Harry Potter, etc. etc.

And every company out there goes out and acquires games from other comapnies. And if they can, they purchase smaller companies. If a company is making a good product, why wouldn’t you want them to be a permanent part of your own company? If Sega had the money to buy Bunjie, I’m sure they would have. How is that so wrong?

And Rune Lai - That’s true of SAG, but what about the actual workers? The set builders, artists, writers, etc.? They all have their own guilds, too. While writers may have some heavy-hitters like SAG does, I’ll be damned if anyone can name more than 3 CG artists in the film industry. If the game industry got organized enough, and everyone stood together, what could the management do? The game industry is always in perpetual grind mode. If entire development teams stopped and said, “No. We won’t work this schedule because it is illegal to make us work this much,” and unionized, companies would have no choice but to listen, or their profits would plummet for that fiscal.

No.I know I wouldn’t.I might wanna hire 2 or 3 of their members but not absorve the whole company.

And why not? Why run the risk of the company making products for your competition? All the money you spend funding their projects and technology could very well end up being the backbone of some killer app that a different company publishes. If the developer is that good, why not make it so they only make products for your company? Isn’t that a good idea?

And why hire two or three people? Sure, they’ll probably bring a wealth of information, but games aren’t made by a couple of people. It takes entire teams of talented people… bringing two or three isn’t likely to make a huge difference.

You are llaking in a scenario where I own a developing company right?

If I’ve witnessed their talent instead of employing them all (and consequently ruining the team I had) I try to find the elements that might improve My team instead of redefining my whole team.

You don’t have to “redefine your whole team.” The point is you absorb them, and they become another development group under your umbrella. Granted, in EA’s case, there’s been issues when companies got absorbed, but that isn’t always the case. Bunjie seems to be doing relatively well under MS’ wing. Blizzard still makes kick ass games under Vivendi. Why would you only hire 3 people from Blizzard, when it’s the whole damn company that makes the best selling PC games in the world?

Because I thought you meant I runned one DEVELOPMENT team!

That’s true, but they were formed in more prosperous times. Notice how many productions are no longer in LA due to rises costs of labor. It’s cheaper to film in Canada or New Zealand or even in certain parts of the EU. One of my old college roommates has a father who used to be a set builder until so many productions left LA that it was no longer feasible for him to continue that line of work. If a guild doesn’t have the power to fight for the benefits of its members, being unionized won’t matter.

I think the writers guild is still strong enough to hold on, and SAG has star-power. I admittedly don’t know about much about any artists guilds, but I still don’t think it would be as easy to start a game developers guild now as the movie industry’s people were able to do then.

But the answer to that question would be a temporary solution. Sure, it would force management to listen for that fiscal, but what happens afterwards when those projects are done and gone? What would stop management from thumbing their nose at the union and going abroad where the dollar is strong and they can get the same amount of manpower for a fraction of the cost? (The quality button only goes so far.) Maybe not all tasks would be outsourced or for all titles (I imagine it would be difficult for a Polish development team to make a realistic game based on American football), but the potential is there. If management feels the union demands too much, it’s not like they will never have alternatives.

I’d like to see a functional union, don’t get me wrong, but I’d like to know how such a union would address that. It has to have teeth to be effective. I wouldn’t want to hear: “You know what, those workers are too difficult to deal with. We might have additional problems dealing with a development team abroad, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.”


Anyway, I don’t like coming off so doom and gloom, but I’ve heard the unionization argument before from both sides. It’s hard not to play devil’s advocate. I’d like to see it happen, but there are valid concerns, particularly at the less glamorous end of the industry when your name isn’t Blizzard or Bunjie. A podunk development group in Arizona has a lot more to lose than A-list team with a proven track record.

Good point about movie productions moving out the the country… Hadn’t thought about that part =\

As for outsourcing in the game industry, well, the quality difference is astounding. Enough so that there’s probably no real threat in the immediate future. But, once places like China catch up in terms of game theory, etc., then developers will be in trouble. However, as we are seeing by the drastic drop in popularity of Japanese developers, it takes more than just a solid developer to make a game that sells. Without a strong management force driving the project hands-on, it would never succeed. There’s the difference between the movie and game industries. With movies, you have a well-oiled machine driving production… Which is why you can bring production to other countries and still get quality work done. With games? Developers still have a hard time making quality games themselves, let alone managing a company halfway across the world to do it.

But, that is just a matter of time, methinks… What to do =\

It all depends on how much freedom you’re willing to give a smaller company once it has been bought. In the case of Westwood, all of their Command And Conquer games were million hit sellers long before EA came along (and bought the developer from Virgin Interactive), and yet EA took the series in a totally new direction which didn’t sit well with the original creators of the series (who had their own plans for it, and rightfully so). EA fixed something that was not broken. And for what?

Now EA won’t let Westwood make the games they want to make (which in my mind is simply wrong) and many of the company’s original staff have either left in disgust or have been fired. Westwood didn’t deserve to suffer that fate (have you ever played Westwood’s Blade Runner?), not after becoming so successful on their own (I guess that even though Virgin is run by an honourable billionaire, EA made Virgin an offer it couldn’t refuse).

EA’s ruthlessness shouldn’t be respected.

If Sega bought anyone, Sega would give them free reign over their own intellectual property if it’s already proven to be successful. EA doesn’t operate like that though.

If I recall correctly, Sega was sueing EA for copying and pasting the patented gameplay of Crazy Taxi in The Simpsons Road Rage, which is basically Crazy Taxi branded with the official Simpsons liscence (the differences are purely superificial). Maybe Sammy should sic the Yakuza on EA – preferrably in the form of ninja assassins. It’s really amazing how far a widely recognized brandname will take a game though in an industry where style rules over substance. No wonder EA won’t even consider making a game without one, as that would mean no free publicity. Liscenced games are nothing more than a means to an end to EA.

Ah but something like 20 people left Blizzard to found their own company due to conflicting opinions with Vivendi. I think the people at Vivendi are smart enough to leave game development in the hands of those who know it best unlike EA which is always squeezing every last drop out of its developers. And Vivendi really can’t argue with Blizzard’s track record. If EA owned Blizzard we would’ve played Starcraft 2 and 3 and 4 by now without taking into consideration how Blizzard might want the series to evolve. The only thing that would matter to EA is how much money “it” could squeeze out of the series in the shortest amount of time.

EA’s shareholders only want to develop tried-and-tested games (i.e. games that are guaranteed to sell from day one) for as long as they are viable for no other reason than to rake in as much money as possible. That’s it. EA’s goals don’t go beyond making money. If there’s any justice in the world, EA’s greed will come back to haunt it one day. I really have no idea why EA works its developers to death with its massive annual turnover. I really don’t.

after reading that, id just like to point out how appropriate your sig is.

Is that true? I thought Nintendo had the most million sellers - or maybe it was that they’ve sold the most period. They passed up 2 billion games sold… Pokemon has sold over 111 million, games with Mario in them (Mario Party, Mario Kart, main series, SSBM, etc.) have sold upwards of 300 million…