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334755 Posts in 13709 Topics by 2200 Members
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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Thread -- Making people crazy since 1987, kupo! on: March 27, 2013, 02:14:13 AM
What idiots. I think 3.4 million is amazing considering all the bad mojo the TR franchise has built up over the years. If someone had asked me, I would have guessed that it would sell just under a million the first week. What the hell were they expecting?

To put this into perspective, they're going along with western publishing expectations. Currently, 2 million qualifies as a mild hit, while 5 million qualifies as a big hit (10 million is the envy of any company). Shareholders/investors know this, so marquis AAA games are greenlit in light of those targets. Even if Square Enix wasn't aware of western expectations, the Eidos unit would certainly have communicated the current norms of this business.

In that regard, Deus Ex, Hitman, Sleeping Dogs, and Tomb Raider failed to meet expectations (similiarly, Max Payne 3 was a disappointment to Take 2 at only 3 million). Square Enix set out to challenge EA, UbiSoft, Activision, etc. by producing big hits, so those games missed the mark.

That said, failing to meet expectations says nothing about profitability or long-term brand viability. Square Enix acknowledged that Just Cause 2 and Sleeping Dogs are slow burners (plus they announced a desire to build on Deus Ex), so I don't think brand building is lost on them. I also suspect that they were quick to lower prices to increase player base. However, the reality is that things get greenlit with the 5 million goal.

Anyway, a mild hit tends to be seen as an IP builder - sell two million copies and establish a good brand reputation, then sell five million copies the next time around. This is probably why Take 2 spent so much on BioShock Infinite - they managed 2 million+ copies apiece for the previous games; now they want to seal the deal. Ditto for Crysis 3, which supposedly cost $60 million+ to develop.

Long story short, the AAA business is busted, which is why its future is in question. The MMORPG biz fell into the same trap. WoW came out, everyone pumped $100 million into their clone and expected a similar level of success.......it didn't happen, and the investors bailed.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Siliconera to announce Squeenix "Exclusive" tomorrow on: April 30, 2012, 11:55:46 PM
Nanashi no Game was already confirmed that it wasn't going to come for some dumb reason. I think I read something about that 2 years ago in Siliconera or some other site.

Can't remember.

IIRC, NnG was shot down because of poor feedback from an American focus group.

Mind you, the feedback from Japanese players wasn't so hot either, so I have little doubt that the game would've been a controversial release.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Siliconera to announce Squeenix "Exclusive" tomorrow on: April 30, 2012, 07:44:30 PM
Magical Left 4 Dead, combined with Night at the Museum, and with Cavia plot twists??  ...I think I'm interested?  But the screens look...kinda dumb.  Hoping for actual gameplay vid soon.

It's almost certainly a cancelled project.

The entire AQ Interactive group (despite looking good on paper given its high profile managers/development talent and strong financial backing) was notorious for poor quality output. There were a few exceptions, but most of their games were plain bad.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Sting and Idea Factory performs the Fu-Sion-Ha dance and becomes Super Sting on: March 21, 2012, 06:17:17 PM
I'm not sure it's new topic worthy(and I bet asking at NeoGAF would get me banned, since they're staunchly anti-Famitsu scans), so I'll ask here: anyone know why Famitsu scans became downright contraband-caliber lately?

It's a bannable offense at NeoGAF, and no news sites post them anymore. How did a magazine get that much pull?

From what I understand, Famitsu asked NeoGAF administrators (and various news sites - in the past, places like IGN and GameFan would repost Famitsu screenshots) to respect their copyright and prevent scans from being shared.

This isn't a recent trend either. Famitsu and other publications have been cracking down on scans since at least 2003. Didn't stop blogs and message boards from sharing them, but I think people have gradually lost interest in the images.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Blades of Time on: March 12, 2012, 03:43:11 PM
Wait, so Konami bought the IP? I know the first game was created by a Russian developer, but the article makes it sound like Konami actually developed this one themselves. Interesting. If kind of surprising, being that the first one was apparently horrible, and didn't seem to have anything particularly unique or innovative about it that would merit purchasing the rights to make a sequel.

The same Russian company handled development. Konami produced and published the game.

X-Blades was certainly a bad game (and was poorly ported to consoles to boot), but I recall being impressed with the developer's technical competence. Eastern European games are often reputed to be broken, with studios sometimes kicked off after several months of production. However, Gaijin delivered a smooth (albeit simple) 3D engine that ran well, responded well, and boasted a workable camera. It wasn't AAA quality, but the foundation was solid enough.

I suppose that someone at Konami thought that with some design oversight, they could squeeze out a new action game at low cost.
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Play.com outs 4 upcoming US Vita titles on: March 07, 2012, 03:23:14 PM
At the start of the XIII project (2003 or so), Kazushige Nojima came up with a basic mythology, which has been loosely applied to all the "Fabula Nova Crystallis" stories.

So yeah, Pulse, l'Cie, and crystals have been worked in.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 on: February 28, 2012, 08:58:53 PM
Pre-teen sexualization isn't mainstream at all. I'd agree that sexualization is fairly common for older teens (16+), but the moe aesthetic, lolicon subculture, and "junior idols" serve a small niche. At times, it's controversial even within the country (provoking fights between manga authors on a couple occasions), even if most people turn a blind eye to it.

It just happens that the subculture spans a wide range of media (comics, games, anime, etc.), and this stuff is quite commonly imported by western distributors.
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 on: February 19, 2012, 02:35:45 PM
Last I checked Trinity Universe and Neptunia did 'average' in the reviews. The thing I've noticed about IF/CH is they started off pretty crappy but unlike most game companies have actually learned from their mistakes and improve bit by bit with each game. Only downside to that is they improve at such a slow rate it's taken them all the way to Neptunia to produce anything playable, IMO. XD

They've been in business since 1994. Two decades of crappiness. That's more than enough time to hone the craft of game-making, yet they continue to pitch snake oil.

I don't see much reason to believe that they're interested in anything beyond superficial, band-aid fixes. The thing about IF is that they jump from one dubious niche to the next. For much of their run, they targeted gamers who got off on the notion of being super hardcore.....in short, people who were dumb enough to buy broken, poorly designed/programmed games (but were intentionally esoteric and difficult to comprehend to appeal to appeal to one's ego) for the sake of bravado.

When that market dried up and players caught on, they turned to the moe/otaku audience. Lots of crossovers and fan service to keep customers coming in. Once again, it's the same story in terms of poor product quality and superficial improvement.

If history is any indication, they'll just switch niches and employ their usual MO when moe fans stop buying.
9  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Next 10 years of Mega Man being discussed by "Top Men" at Capcom on: January 27, 2012, 12:47:16 PM
Not being a fan of Megaman, I found it hilarious. He's clearly poking fun at western fans, who've been badgering them about their handling of the franchise and character (MML3, MvC3, etc.).

Quote
Other thing that really annoyed me at the time was they not localizing Miles Edgeworth 2. Even if I have never been a fan of that series very much I still thought it was a pretty shitty move from them, and I genuinely feel sorry for the fans at that moment.

While I love the Phoenix Wright trilogy, I thought the first Miles Edgeworth was exceptionally poor (an example of Capcom milking their IPs without the conditions in place for a great game). Nevertheless, I agree that the decision was very disappointing for those looking forward to a continuation.
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Kingdoms of Amalur on: January 18, 2012, 05:47:57 PM
I enjoyed the PC demo. Technically, it's in pretty good shape, although I certainly noticed:

- occasional performance stutters (not frequent enough to hurt the experience, but it sometimes happens)
- headless character at the start of the demo; later on, the head appeared, floated above the body for a couple seconds, and merged
- a strange bug in which my character kept walking downward as if the key were stuck. Triggering a cutscene solved the issue

11  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Is Blade Runner(PC) worth it? on: August 07, 2011, 04:15:55 AM
It was average - not as good as Snatcher (or even Rise of the Dragon, for that matter), but you could do worse.

At any rate, the developers could've made better use of the Blade Runner license.
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Konami: The Suikoden Team Has Been Disbanded, We Have Lost Our RPG Know-How on: August 04, 2011, 02:36:11 PM
what the fuck is going on in japan that so many jrpg franchises have died? this is starting to seem like more of a japan problem than an america problem

By and large, the games don't sell in Japan either.

During the PSOne era, there was much incentive to make JRPGs because any decent title had a good shot at selling 500,000 units (Square in particular was so successful that the aim for any new RPG was a million units). Nowadays though, developers are celebrating if they hit the 100,000 mark, and even on handheld, production costs are significantly higher than they were for PS1.
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: GoG.com must haves. on: May 08, 2011, 02:08:46 AM
Divine Divinity and the Baldur's Gate games are must haves.

Neverwinter Nights packs a lot of value if you can get into user-made modules (not fantastic, but there are a lot of half-decent ones). However, the included campaigns are a bit uneven in quality.
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Neptunia on: April 15, 2011, 09:06:56 PM
Wait a second...Kenji Inafune is involved in promoting the sequel? So the grandfather of Megaman cuts involvement with the project he's been wanting to do for over a decade and is now involved in Neptune mk-II? What...the...*foghorn*?

Inafune's getting paid to promote it, so I wouldn't read too much into his involvement.

As the CEO of an independent startup (with none of the security he enjoyed at Capcom), it pays to take even the small jobs. It's also a good way of expanding your connections around the industry.
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: April 10, 2011, 04:48:16 PM
Aniplex is an incredible anime producer - at the moment, you couldn't ask for a better company to back your show given their money (which they're willing to spend), connections, and marketing muscle. Nevertheless, a good product is never guaranteed.
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