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Author Topic: Tim Schafer thinks fans 'worry too much' about sales numbers  (Read 4325 times)
Eusis
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« on: April 06, 2009, 07:11:07 PM »

1up link here.
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dalucifer0
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 10:10:56 PM »

Is he saying that because the games he develops sell piss-poorly?

I personally don't care how much a game sells because I'm not working for a company that even touches video games, so it has no effect on me.
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Lard
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 11:17:10 PM »

I think companies worry too much about sales numbers.
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 05:03:43 AM »

Would it be in any common sense to say "Yeah, I'm worried my game will tank and I'll be out of a job in this shitty economy"?
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GrimReality
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 09:37:18 AM »

Of course I want games that I like to sell well. Don't we all want things that we like to succeed? Movies/games/musicians/etc? I don't understand the "As long as I play it and like it tha'ts all that matters" mindset. I like to see talent rewarded. I also might like a sequel to said game that's not selling well(see Beyond Good and Evil or Skies of Arcadia. I realize at least BG&E is getting a sequel, but it took a long time to come to fruition)
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 11:35:35 AM »

Of course I want games that I like to sell well. Don't we all want things that we like to succeed? Movies/games/musicians/etc?

Unless you're an indie artist. Then success = selling out. :P
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 11:47:22 AM »

Not really, there's a pretty big difference between becoming successful and selling out.
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Ryos
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 02:52:17 PM »

Shadow Hearts and Xenosaga among other series would like to have a word with the author.
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 06:20:04 PM »

And Shenmue, coincidentally.
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Solas
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2009, 08:02:21 PM »

I care how much games sell because then there's no chance of a sequel... Grim Fandango 2, Psychonauts 2, Anachronox 2, ....
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Eusis
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2009, 08:41:38 PM »

I care how much games sell because then there's no chance of a sequel... Grim Fandango 2, Psychonauts 2, Anachronox 2, ....

I'm not going to argue with the last one, but Tim Schafer is much more interested in developing new games than sequels to older hits, a sentiment I agree with. I'm not interested in a new Grim Fandango or a new Psychonauts, as great as they were, I'm more interested in a new Tim Schafer headed game. Though it helps that I hear Brutal Legend is Zelda and... Pikmin-esque. Though admittedly just keeping Graphic Adventures alive at LucasArts would've been nice.

Anyways, I wanted to wait and see responses for this thread before I commented. He has a point, but it's also because I'm not sure we inherently know whether the sales were enough for a company. We might see low sales numbers for a game and presume that it sold horribly, when they may have actually been a profit or even a surprise hit for the publisher. There's only so much insight we can have as consumers rather than insiders.
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 10:57:19 PM »

I stand behind this kind of thinking personally. Schafer's an artist in the real sense of the word and cares more about his product being good than about it selling well. I'm sure sales numbers are nice, but let's be serious here: Some of the best games are those that never do well. Case in point? Psychonauts. People go on about how Game A sells better than Game B and often use that as a basis for arguing about quality. The problem is, quality and sales do not always correlate with one another, so the thinking is flawed. Sure it's pragmatic, but pragmatism can be a real hindrance when making a quality product.

There are exceptions of course. Shadow of the Colossus sold well in addition to being a work of art. But it's rare for a game to do so. Look at Beyond Good and Evil, the already cited Grim Fandango, The Neverhood, and everyone's beloved Valkyria Chronicles. These are all games built with a lot of care, but they simply don't do that well. In very rare cases like Beyond Good and Evil, a sequel gets greenlighted -- but we know how rare that is.

I think this kind of thing reflects independent theatre where a great movie might not do that well, but garners a devoted fanbase and sometimes even changes how films are done. A lot of what ends up in larger Hollywood flicks started somewhere small and was not appreciated at its time by the majority. Do numbers matter here? Well... yes. You still need to make enough. But that can't be the goal if you really want to make something fresh. A product's integrity does have to come first.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2009, 11:05:55 PM »

Shadow Hearts and Xenosaga among other series would like to have a word with the author.
And Shenmue, coincidentally.

As well as Yakuza.
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Eusis
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 11:37:00 PM »

I was considering pointing out that those three examples are from Japanese developers and what goes on there isn't necessarily the same as here (plus Shenmue was a gargantuan financial loss) but Yakuza? That seems successful enough in Japan, and it's too early to give up on 3 coming here.
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 01:12:57 AM »

The first two have sold pretty abysmally here.
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