Well, despite being one of the best RPGs I have ever had the pleasure of playing, Troika’s Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines crashed on the launchpad. I don’t know if the game’s mature rating or if Activision refusing to release the game before Half Life 2 was to blame (Bloodlines was built around the Half Life 2 graphics engine rather than built from the ground up to cut costs, but Activision wanted Half Life 2 to be the first game on the market that showcased the said engine), or if a show-stopping bug towards the end of the game dealt the killer blow, but I cannot shake the feeling that it deserved to sell more copies than the likes of Drakenguard.
GameBanshee interviewed Troika’s Leonard Boyarksy recently who highlighted what on the surface appears to be a worrying trend in the industry. Whether the highlighter shed any light on the truth or something close to it or not is for you to decide. However… if you can’t trust the word of a veteran RPG developer themself, then who can you trust? Here are two quotes for your inquisitive minds to digest:
“…marketing and the execs are real wary of RPGs”.
“One of the problems with our games is that they sell good numbers, but it takes a long time for them to do so. Arcanum is still selling a small but steady number of units each quarter, for instance. But longevity doesn?t matter in this business ? it?s all about how much you sell in the first few months”.
So, will this kind of mentality spell doom for the RPG genre in the western world, especially now that games risk taking twice as long to develop or will require three times the staff to develop them… or both merely because graphics are veering ever closer and closer towards photo-realism?
It just seems that publishers are more interested in selling as many games as possible in the shortest amount of time than anything else. I sometimes wonder why Isao Okawa bothered saving Sega by pledging his personal fortune to keep it afloat if all the people at Sega cared about was reaping what they sew. But I digress.
Was Bernard Stolar right? Are RPGs indeed far more trouble than they are worth? After all, the games industry is a place of business, and when the market for RPGs is so relatively small compared to other genres, and when RPGs cost so much more to develop, why bother making them at all?
I loved Vampires, but yeah RPGs really do seem to be dying in the western world. The breif revival under Baldurs gate has been a phyrric victory for the genre, although Bioware seem to be doing OK. In fact even in what seems to have been yje heartland of RPGs the last 10 years, Japan they are are having a (relative) decline to be repalced by plenty of Pseduo RPGs.
But don’t worry the RPG genre isnt dead: there still going to be millions of ARPG Diablo clones out there for us all to enjoy
I was surprised by how good Bloodlines was; so much so, I almost can’t believe that no one wanted it. I find it ironic that Troika went out of business after making a good RPG for a change.
All that seems to matter now is supplying the demands of casual gamers (with their five second attention spans) even if that means selling garbage. I hope that at least someone strives to bridge the gap between hardcore and mainstream tastes. Shall we write Sega off as a lost cause in that respect?
The problem is that that is exactly what casual gamers want, I mean look at all the idiots who, year in year out buy the latest paltry annual offering from EA, especially the FIFA and Madden series. Numerous other examples could be cited but that sthe most glaring.
Maybe we should all be forced to learn Jpaanese like Xiados at SFC suggests after all we dont count enough to deserve translations do we.
And to think were living in another supposedly golden age of gaming…
Troika make nice vases. ?200-300 if you can get them.
I think you are beeing heavily influenced by things that could happen to everyone.Sega cared (and to some extent still does care) about quality.
True they do care about quality. It’s just the type of game they giving to the masses is the problem. Half of Sega/Sonic fans are up in arms about SHADOW and his gun. Because it’s too real looking and very unSonic like.(Which may be the point.) The Shining fans are up in arms for them changing the entire engine of a classic game series in order to pacify the Sony mainstream userbase,The Shenmue fans are angry that they’re being plamed off with SHENMUE ONLINE which may include the user to do fireballs and fight magical monsters in the backdrop of 1980’s China. Then there’s the unreasonable fact that they have released a hard to get game which may be too hard to play anyways in SPIKEOUT. If Sega wants to go for a record all they have to do is completly feck up half the other franchises that has n’t had any mistreatment from them yet like STREETS OF RAGE and call it STREETS OF GAYS where you…(use your imagination)…
I just hoping they have something to show that will pick up intrest with the fans because if they don’t they won’t have anything to fall back on and it may be the end of their home system game era for good once they lose support of their fanbase.
Don’t need to…
classicgaming.com/soronline/ … k3_ash.gif