The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Erik_Twice
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Erik_Twice Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:28 am

Violent By Design wrote:You'd have to define the characteristics of what the games have in common for them to be a genre, no?

I already did, mate. I'm surprised you have problems with this, the term has been around for ages in film.

Violent By Design wrote:I can't speak for 3D Mario, though I am sure it is very high (at least 64 was), but Zelda certainly does not have a modest budget by any means.

They are actually very cheap to make. They have very simple graphics and were made by very small teams. What would be expensive about them?
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Violent By Design Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:23 pm

General_Norris wrote:
Violent By Design wrote:You'd have to define the characteristics of what the games have in common for them to be a genre, no?

I already did, mate. I'm surprised you have problems with this, the term has been around for ages in film.
What does film have to do with this? What are the characteristics of a medium sized genre? I'm not trying to be difficult, I genuinely do not know what your standards are.

Violent By Design wrote:I can't speak for 3D Mario, though I am sure it is very high (at least 64 was), but Zelda certainly does not have a modest budget by any means.

They are actually very cheap to make. They have very simple graphics and were made by very small teams. What would be expensive about them?[/quote]

Skyward Sword has the best graphics on the Wii, the wii + was likely designed with Zelda in mind, Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess are not small games by any means, they are large and take 30-40 hours long to beat (much larger than most of the games you listed). Do you have any data that shows that the teams that made Zelda are small?

I don't really get the basis for it. Not to mention marketing. If we're talking about older Mario and Zelda titles. I don't get how Kane and Lynch can be seen as a Triple A title but Zelda is only Double A.
Last edited by Violent By Design on Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xeogred
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Xeogred Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:24 pm

With big names heading to Kickstarter later, I'm thinking that's how the middle class of the industry is going to reconstruct itself.
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Erik_Twice Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:02 pm

Violent By Design wrote:What does film have to do with this?

Wow man, do you live under a rock? You really have never heard the term "blockbuster" before?

The blockbuster as commonly understood is a big budget, all-star movie with an incredible marketing push that aims for the biggest audience possible. The traditional "slow burn" where films were expected to slowly gain support is eschewed in favour of a simultenous release on every cinema in a given country.

Practically every "big release" you hear about is either a blockbuster or the kind of low-budget film that can't fail (Think Seltzer and Friedberg or those generic romantic comedies).

Think about this. This is a list of blockbusters:

Avatar
The Dark Knight
Star Wars
Pirates of the Caribbean
Iron Man
Jurassic Park
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Gladiator

Which games would you add to that list? Certainly not Mario.

Violent By Design wrote:Skyward Sword has the best graphics on the Wii

Just look at them. They are cheap to make. Really, really cheap. I won't be able to put up any numbers because there aren't any but it's a cheap game.
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Menegrothx Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:17 pm

I'm not awfully familiar with the Witcher series but to my knowledge the games have much better graphics and more content (+better writing etc) than competing "triple A" RPGs despite significantly smaller budgets. Witcher 1 was 7 million dollars, Witcher 2 8½ million dollars, and Witcher 3 will be 15 millions (it's going to be multiplatform), while the marketing budget for 3 will be 25 million
Just an example of how it's not the content that's so expensive to produce in AAA games, it's more about advertising+probably other factors, like inefficient management, inefficient use of resoursces (putting shit ton of time and money into creating insignificant graphical details) etc. If you look at some indygames, like roguelikes that have massive amounts of depth and content that are developed by just 1 or 2 guys, it's clear that it's not really the content that costs.
Violent By Design wrote:Skyward Sword has the best graphics on the Wii

That's not saying much (cellphones can run better looking games than the Wii by now), and that honor probably goes to Xenoblade Chronicles.
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Violent By Design Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:29 pm

Skyward Sword looks a lot better aesthetically than Xenoblade. And yes, I have played both. Also, while we're on the subject, is Xenoblade a medium budget game as well?

And yes, visuals does not necessarily determine production cost, but the idea that Mario and Zelda are not heavily advertised is laughable. Why are they not advertised, because people here - who are grown ass men who probably watch television for grown men, do not see commercials for it? I don't think you're going to see a commercial for Mario on Monday Night Football, but the idea that a game like Mario that sells more than any other franchise doesn't have a lot of money being dumped into advertisement is laughable. Nearly half of Nintendo's advertisements feature Mario.
General_Norris wrote:
Violent By Design wrote:What does film have to do with this?

Wow man, do you live under a rock? You really have never heard the term "blockbuster" before?

The blockbuster as commonly understood is a big budget, all-star movie with an incredible marketing push that aims for the biggest audience possible. The traditional "slow burn" where films were expected to slowly gain support is eschewed in favour of a simultenous release on every cinema in a given country.

Practically every "big release" you hear about is either a blockbuster or the kind of low-budget film that can't fail (Think Seltzer and Friedberg or those generic romantic comedies).

Think about this. This is a list of blockbusters:

Avatar
The Dark Knight
Star Wars
Pirates of the Caribbean
Iron Man
Jurassic Park
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Gladiator


Okay, first off I am not digging the insults. Second, I never said I did not know what a block buster is. (I'm reading the post we just had and I literally have no idea where you got this idea that that is what I've been asking you). Even the post that this is a reply too asked "What does film have to do with this?" - your list is irrelevant to the question entirely.

Third stop talking about movies. (and even by your own definition, Star Wars was not a blockbuster budget film, it just had blockbuster success).

Fourth, you said you're talking about a GENRE, I asked you to define the genre. I want you to define the characteristics of a middle budget game (not a movie, a game). If you asked me what a blockbuster movie was, I could give an actual figure and scale of production, you have not done that for video games, which is what I've been asking for the past few post. I have no clue how this somehow got flipped to me not knowing what Lord of the Rings is.

Which games would you add to that list? Certainly not Mario.
Aside from the list being irrelevant, this doesn't make any sense. Literally an apples and orange comparison. Are you implying that Uncharted cost as much to make as Avatar?

Just look at them. They are cheap to make. Really, really cheap. I won't be able to put up any numbers because there aren't any but it's a cheap game.


I think you're going to need a better reason than "because I say so". I don't think they were "cheap", and what would you consider a game to be cheap? I asked you to define what makes a game medium budget, budget would be a good place to start.

How many millions do you think it cost to make a Zelda game vs a game that you called Triple A like Uncharted? I think people have this strange idea that the stereotypical Triple A title cost 100 million like GTA, when most of them are probably 20 millionish. How much do you think Zelda cost to make, 1 million???? :shock:
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by tintinmayo Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:32 am

I'm not going to join in on the argument over genre and what constitutes an AAA title (because frankly, I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject). But I have always thought Nintendo wasn't really that different from other devs/publishers when it comes to pumping out money towards marketing. I mean, it's not as noticeable in the West but they do hire big name celebrities to hawk their products (I think they recently had pop girl groups like Girls Generation and S.H.E. in their commercials, and they even had a commercial with Robin Williams and Penelope Cruz).

A key difference I can think of is that Nintendo is probably more efficient with their marketing budget because unlike other devs, which only promote a single game, they can promote their consoles and several first party IPs in a single commercial.

When it comes to R & D, I don't think they're the type of dev that will waste money on hiring consultants and licensing just to ensure that the guns in their game are as realistic as possible.

Oh, and I bet they also save a lot of money on voice actors. Didn't they have one guy (who probably doesn't command the same talent fee as Mark Hamill or Kiefer Sutherland) doing the voice of Mario ever since they made the character talk?
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Erik_Twice Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:51 am

Seems like this line of discussion isn't going anywhere. You are the only one who has had an issue with it and we aren't going to agree, so I think it's better to leave it there.

You also won't find any budget quotes because that information isn't made public. If you think a Wii Zelda had a similar budget to Uncharted, Mass Effect or Bioshock Infinite, nothing will convince you of otherwise.
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by ZeroAX Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:20 am

If you want to compare budgets just compare game credits. Count the different names in the credits of Super Mario Galaxy and compare them to the number of names in Assasin's Creed or Call of Duty.

And marketing budget is not a part of the actual development budget.
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Re: Budgets and the Video Game Industry

by Gunstar Green Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:47 am

While it may not cost as much to make Skyward Sword as The Last of Us it's certainly not a medium sized game. It's a flagship title from a first party company released on what was at the time their flagship hardware with a large marketing campaign that was highly advertised and anticipated by the mainstream as well as expected to be a best-seller months before it was even out the door.

What the budget was is kind of irrelevant.
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