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Old 16th Jan 2004, 04:21 PM   #1
Prophetus
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Mega Entertainment Companies Taking Over?

Although this isn't Unreal news, the following information is interesting. IGN posted an interview with former CEO of Monolith Productions (known best for the No One Lives Forever series). Jason accepted an offer from the new Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment group as Senior Vice President. Very lucrative career move. So, why should this interest the Unreal community? It doesn't, but this news should interest gamers in general.

Recent surveys shown that the gaming industry is a profitable entertainment business. Of course, this has attracted the attention of many entertainment giants. Motion Picture and Music companies may soon grab a huge chunk of the publishing rights to games. Although this situation exists today, the majority of developers remain under the umbrella of pure game publishing companies. Maybe in a few years we'll see such companies as Paramount Pictures buying game development studios. Will this be good or bad for gamers?

Formulate your own opinions about the future of gaming. Scan the entire Jason Hall interview and try to read between the lines.
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Old 16th Jan 2004, 04:30 PM   #2
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Perhaps we'll see a blood film? I'm thinking something like Army of Darkness. ;P
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Old 16th Jan 2004, 04:46 PM   #3
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This is bad bad bad bad bad IMO. I always feared this would happen, and judging by the way money works, its pretty much inevitible. The whole gaming industry seems to be turning into a copy of the music industry. That is, hundreds of small developers (artists), all bound and shackled to their publishers (record lables). Power is in the hands of the publishers and not the artists... next thing you know, developers are only working on the boy-bands and faux-rap kinda games. Stuff that sells, at fixed prices, but is so far from innovative its sickening. I mean, the industry is bad enough for clones as is (OMFG liek C&C clones and masses of MMORPGs! ), but as the money and consequently the power moves up the food chain... I can only imagine it getting worse before it gets better.

/me crosses his fingers
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Old 16th Jan 2004, 05:12 PM   #4
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then again ... the 'OMG the industry is going to hell and sell nothing but soulless clones of whatever happens to be a popular game'-line of thinking is something that returns every time the news is sloooow.

And lets face it ... the average consumer doesn't want anything innovative or new ... they just want the same old thing in endless amounts, but with the hottest new graphics-engine.
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Old 16th Jan 2004, 05:20 PM   #5
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The way I see it, those companies can dump endless amounts of money into games. Good, in theory. And if they're concentrating only on engine enhancements, then a strong mod community will fill in the rest.
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Old 16th Jan 2004, 05:26 PM   #6
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It could be good and bad, depending on how you look at it. Maybe...(and I stress maybe), we will see higher quality games. Good storylines, in-depth...movie like...experiences and probably new innovative approaches to the delivery. However, with such innovations, experts are required. Today developers and publishers are more approachable and relate to the community. Most devs even hire directly from the community. When was the last time you read about Lucas Arts hiring someone from their forums?

If this trend becomes the new standard, I fear the community will suffer. Not so much with growth, but with opportunity. Not to mention, non-official supportive sites may not receive the publishers' attention as they do now.

Moving from that area, the modding community may suffer. As with some games, strict guidelines must be met and are strongly enforced. However, the current publishing companies know and often depend on the modding community. However, with corporate giants with deep pockets...we have to wonder how much they will depend on the modders. Again, the by-product of this attitude could hinder progression opportunities for the Joe-Shmoe modder (not saying modders work on projects to receive jobs as a dev). Maybe...just maybe...oh well...time will tell.
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Old 17th Jan 2004, 02:57 AM   #7
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Sure ... they've got deep pockets ... the problem is they've got pretty short hands when it comes to taking anything from those pockets.
Just look at the average movie. The best are only there because the director/leading star manage to convince the studios with enough cash to make them. The rest is just standard-garbage ...

And look at all the movie-related games there've been ... most (if not all) were pretty pathetic games that only managed to sell because the movie was connected to it. Without the movie-connection you'd be left with an average game at best.
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Old 18th Jan 2004, 11:38 AM   #8
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BAD: Intentions rought with profits will end up making games that are very shallow and have more than a few sequels. You also won't see the flexibility in dead lines that you see with game comapnies now adays. It will be put out wether or not they got to finish all the features they set out to.

GOOD: There are a lot of talented people in the film and music industry. I belive that good things can happen when artists of the utmost quality come togeather for a single purpose.
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Old 18th Jan 2004, 11:56 AM   #9
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I'm a bit weary for the PC gaming future.

1 - gamers seem to be getting more picky about their dollars. If it isn't a standard genre (FPS, RTS, sim) and doesn't review in the top 15%, it's going to be hard pressed to make money.

2 - games have been getting much more expensive to make, larger teams and higher production values

3 - games have slowly been getting more expensive to buy

4 - games are moving more to trying to build franchises than singular titles

Sound familiar? It should - it -is- the entertainment industry, and it's why you see formulaic blockbusters 10x more than you see unique indie films, and that's more or less where PC games seem to be heading.

Not that I don't mind a good formulaic blockbuster now and then ...
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