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[HP]

The cost of games

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8 hours ago, Radu said:

"Women suing Riot Games may deserve $400 million, not $10 million, state regulator says.

Two state agencies are taking the unusual step of trying to stop Riot Games from paying out $10 million to female employees as part of a settlement over a gender discrimination class action suit.

The state thinks the women could be entitled to as much as $400 million instead."

 https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2020-01-21/riot-games-gender-discrimination-settlement

If I worked at Riot and told my HR representative that I now identify myself spiritually as a woman (even though I act as a man on the outside and date exclusively women, I'm a lesbian man), would I be entitled for the compensation? Or do I need to have an actual vagina? If I tell them that I identify as a woman and they rebuke, isn't that discrimination? Do lesbian men qualify as women? Can someone enlighten me on this one? Just curious about the terms.

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29 minutes ago, Minos said:

If I worked at Riot and told my HR representative that I now identify myself spiritually as a woman (even though I act as a man on the outside and date exclusively women, I'm a lesbian man), would I be entitled for the compensation? Or do I need to have an actual vagina? If I tell them that I identify as a woman and they rebuke, isn't that discrimination? Do lesbian men qualify as women? Can someone enlighten me on this one? Just curious about the terms.

Yes, yes you would. It includes people that identify as female.

Quote

The $10 million settlement will be paid out to current and past employees and contractors who “self-identify as female” according to the Settlement Agreement.

“The Settlement Agreement provides a definition of ‘female,’ including persons who self-identify as female, and allows persons who have not previously self-identified as female to do so to the Settlement Administrator,” the document states.

 

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"Microsoft Corp. said Monday it plans to acquire ZeniMax Media Inc., owner of the storied video-game publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion, its biggest video game purchase ever.

Bethesda is the publisher of games like The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout and also has at least two games slated for debut next year. ZeniMax, based in Rockville, Maryland, also owns several other studios across the globe, giving Microsoft’s Xbox business a much-needed infusion of titles and game developers."

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-09-21/microsoft-to-buy-bethesda-studios-for-7-5-billion-to-boost-xbox

 

"Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks."

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/09/21/welcoming-bethesda-to-the-xbox-family/

Edited by Radu

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The cost per byte graph is really interesting. It's rather shocking that the size of games skyrocketed along with the production costs, but when you compare it to the price, players are paying less per byte and developers are spending less per byte.

Game worlds have become large and to populate it you need hordes of artists working in a way that is similar to what happens in the anime industry. Too much work that could be solved by algorithms and on top of that you are underpaid. Not a surprise that big companies like Nvidia and Microsoft are investing huge sums in AI.

Take raytracing for instance. I feel that it's much straight foward to have the GPU calculate reflections on its own than having to program complex shaders, pre bake images and put a burden on the processor with tricks to hide anomalous pixels.

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On 9/23/2020 at 9:55 PM, 0kelvin said:

The cost per byte graph is really interesting. It's rather shocking that the size of games skyrocketed along with the production costs, but when you compare it to the price, players are paying less per byte and developers are spending less per byte.

How do you feel about this? Do we need to change the price of games or we reached an "ideal threshold"?

When you look at this data it feels games should cost more, but any commentator would crucifix you for that... which feels equally fair considering events like Activision cutting staff on a profit-record year.

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I can't answer it properly. I don't have a gaming rig and don't buy any games. Nevertherless, the cost of developing games have become more or less on par with developing operational systems. In the end, a game is a system in itself.

A game costs 1 million to make and you sell it for 50$. Another game costs 10 million and you sell it for 50$. If the cost increased tenfold, what is making the price stay on a plateau?

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Games are also becoming a "service", as much as I hate that. In 2020, if you're someone trying to get funding for a studio, or pitching a new game, you need to prove the game has room to grow (preferably exponentially) post launch. 

The days of building team, ship game, ship another game with same team are now for the most part gone. And to be fair actually, it used to be: build team, ship game, layoffs, rebuild team, ship another game.

This industry is a mess, and long term, it's probably going the Hollywood route of mostly contracting work.

Which means, we're going to see less and less "single player" games, and more and more games that have good potential of building communities around it.

Maybe this wouldn't be the case if people were willing to pay 80 bucks for a single player game? The return on investment would maybe become feasible, but that would never happen. It's a fucking mess man.

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2 hours ago, 0kelvin said:

A game costs 1 million to make and you sell it for 50$. Another game costs 10 million and you sell it for 50$. If the cost increased tenfold, what is making the price stay on a plateau?

When you put it like that sounds like a great deal for gamers, but also then why aren’t game devs keeping cost down?

Fact is for as much as Activision and the likes want to tell us that cost is increased and price has stayed the same… it’s not, because the 10M game is massive with the purpose of keeping player engaged long time, they are doing a long after lunch support with content release that you pay for so the game is not really 50$, ends up being so much more. Hell how much does it cost a ship in that scam of Star Citizen?

Someone posted in the last couple days how small % of players complete games, and we are talking even heavy story driven SP games… so why the hell are you making this massive games nobody completes and cost a nation’s GDP to make.

1 hour ago, [HP] said:

Which means, we're going to see less and less "single player" games, and more and more games that have good potential of building communities around it.

Maybe this wouldn't be the case if people were willing to pay 80 bucks for a single player game? The return on investment would maybe become feasible, but that would never happen. It's a fucking mess man.

I feel that’s a trend that we feared was coming, that was widely announced… then we saw somewhat a resurgence of SP focused games that weren’t sandboxes. Even considerably hard games like Doom, or niche like Hellblade.

I feel that there will always be a recirculation of ideas and needs, if AAA moves to GAAS then indies will fill that gap, until AAA see the benefit of making smaller games and go back to the old model for a while.

I don’t pay 60$ now, I won’t pay 80$ tomorrow. I will pay for 30$ for much less content. Make Red Dead Redemption a 12h game and I can afford to play it, but it’s sequels that come out more often. Gabe and Valve were onto something with the episodes if you ask me. 

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On 9/23/2020 at 10:55 PM, 0kelvin said:

The cost per byte graph is really interesting. It's rather shocking that the size of games skyrocketed along with the production costs, but when you compare it to the price, players are paying less per byte and developers are spending less per byte.

Game worlds have become large and to populate it you need hordes of artists working in a way that is similar to what happens in the anime industry. Too much work that could be solved by algorithms and on top of that you are underpaid. Not a surprise that big companies like Nvidia and Microsoft are investing huge sums in AI.

14 hours ago, 0kelvin said:

A game costs 1 million to make and you sell it for 50$. Another game costs 10 million and you sell it for 50$. If the cost increased tenfold, what is making the price stay on a plateau?

I'd say that's quite simple, people have an expectation of what a game should cost - and a large majority of them wouldn't take a second glance at a product that places itself wildly outside the expected range. Lets take movies as a comparison, their production cost varies immensely too, but a cinema ticket - although the prices have risen over time, costs the same regardless of which film you go to see. The only variable is how many people go to see the movie. I can't claim perfect memory, but best I recall the same goes for dvd's, too. By which i mean, cinema-movies being released on dvd, not straight-to-tape releases which obviously tend to be priced lower.

And that's why they spend seemingly impossible amounts on marketing, and why high production value media often seems "generic", because reaching the largest possible audience is their only means of getting a return on investment.

Also, since most games nowadays are released digitally, people can't re-sell them - which I'd bet adds to their hesitance to pay a high price up-front. That's a whole separate discussion, really, by all logical standards digital and physical releases should be priced very differently, but as far as I'm aware they aren't at all.

At the end of the day it's all just a symptom of the (current(?)) economic system; everything needs to be bigger than last year's, because that's the only way to keep investors happy. Their goal isn't to sell videogames or movies, but to grow. Amazon is the perfect example; Why don't they pay any taxes? Because they have no net profit, everything is reinvested immediately, because growth is the only goal.

Spoiler

All stated above is conjecture and I do not claim to be an informed or credible source.

 

Edited by ThunderKeil

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