Why you don't see more Panzer Dragoon on stores

I know I have been one of the voices saying how difficult it is getting games out there - Warren Spector recently had a good discussion of this at GDC which sums up a lot of the retail state of the industry:

crystaltips.typepad.com/wonderla … ouse_.html

*Games cost too much. They take too long to make. The whole concept of word of mouth, remember that? Holy cow it was nice.

Wal-Mart drives development decisions now. When publishers minimise risk by kow-towing to the retailers, you have a serious problem. When every game has to either be a blockbuster or a student film, we got a real problem. For my end of the game business all of our efforts are going into reaching a mainstream audience who may well even not be interested in what we do! My first game cost me 273,000 dollars. My next one is BLAH millions. How many of you work on games that make money? 4 out of 5 games lose money,*

My point is coming. We?re the only medium that lacks an alternate distribution system. All we have is boxed games sold at retail. This is changing a little. But think about our competition for your entertainment dollar. First run, broadcast, reruns, DVDs… you name it. hardback, paperback, e-book. Theatre release, pay-per-view, video, DVD. We put our thing on the shelf at Wal-Mart, it sells or it doesn?t, and OMG you just blew 10m dollars. The publishers not respecting developers, this is not the problem. We have a flawed distribution model. There are very few ways of getting a game done these days. Developers… why should we get a huge return? We?re taking some of the risk, but the $10m, the marketing space, the retail space all belong to someone else. We have winner-take-all business that carries a lot of risk. So … we have to find alternative sources of funding. Chris Crawford used to rant about how we need patrons… I don?t care if it?s wealthy patrons, I don?t care what it IS, but it?s critical that we divorce funding from distribution.

Capitalism makes me sad. :anjou_disappointment:

Awesome read. I’m sure Kadamose will love the last part.

Bioware is selling premium game modules for Neverwinter Nights, voices, cut scenes, and all, off their web site. I’m not sure how the deal is working for them, but they’re clearly working on their alternate disturbution model.

I remember that the very first E3 I worked at, the big event that everybody at our booth had to show up early for was not some celebrity who was going to promote our games. It was so Toys-R-Us and Wal-Mart could go through the booth before the show formally opened and see which games they might be interested in stocking.