Am I the only one who thinks that the internet hasnt even made a dent on the games industry market from a developers point of view?
We all know how we would LIKE it to have helped us - we can communicate with gamers anywhere in the world, draw on a vast range of development information (like here at gamedev) and can even sell directly to the gamer.
In practice though, I increasingly find that the biz side of games development is the same as if I was selling fridges or bananas.
Most of the publishers and journalists (even some web site news people) will ignore communication by email. It dosen''t matter if you have a website showcasing your Quake3 beating game thats fully funded and complete, these guys will only listen to people they know who phone them. In this respect its exactly like the music biz. It dosen''t matter how good your product is, its who you know that counts. I would have thought the internet would have changed all this, I would be happy to spend my times developing games, not sat on a transatalantic phone line listening to Greensleeves because the ego-mad-publisher is too busy to talk to me.
Is it not about time that game developers voted with their feet, stopped crowding around the ''Big'' publishers like infatuated schoolgirls, and actually either
a) sold directly to the gamer, cutting out the ego-mad publishers entirely or:
b) Made better use of the few publishers who DO want to hear from small indie developers.
For example, I hear lots of people knocking Andre La Mothe, but email him your game and you know he will look at it. Now try the same with Eidos.
Glad I got that off my chest..... back to VC++...
Well, I haven''t really gotten anywhere near to a publisher or anything, but I can understand how you feel. It took me a while to get to play on a soccer team because I attended a private school instead of the local public school. I had to talk my neighbor into asking her coach if I could have a try out (co-ed, thank God ).
Finally he agreed and I got the position and hae been playing ever since. But, once again, it ends up as who you know. Once I''m 16 I plan on trying to get a job at the local EB just to study the games and what people buy, and maybe even make a few connections of my own. Company phone numbers ect.
Do you live near a major game developing company? Try getting a job or an internship there. You just might make a few friends that could be useful. I would do this if I lived near a game developing company.
I agree with you Cliff by the way, about the behaviour of the big publishers. I also have that experience most unfortunately. But the experience with Lamothe wasn''t better. eGames do the job a bit better, but also when my games passes the QA.I need to phone them each time to hear about the next decisions from the other people at eGames. I don''t like that way of working. The only publisher I am positive about even my game didn''t passed the QA. Is an office in my country of one of the Top publishers. So I think it also depends about the persons you get in contact with. Also luck is important, because the most big publisher (marketing guys) are only interested in there own products and the products of developers they have experience with already. So even if you made and finished a nice game as a beginner, it''s not sure if it will be published. I heard also about problems with Crystal, and they are not big. So this is only more difficult for the developer to decide and to be sure. And I talk in this case about a developer who want to make a career, not a hobby developer.
The Internet/World Wide Web has allowed for changes in the "traditional" value chains, but it certainly doesn''t *force* anyone to exploit those possible changes.
There are numerous businesses, including game publishing, that are taking advantage of the new connected reality of the Internet. But change is almost never sudden. It occurs more as an evolution over time.
The Glacial Pace of Business is still alive and well, and probably always will be.
As for game developers still "crowding around ''big'' publishers", that''s only to be expected. Unless a game development company has somehow accumulated a "warchest" of funds sufficient to carry a title to completion, or is willing to work at a subsistence level (AKA, "No pay, minimum food") they have to find the money somewhere. And there aren''t a lot of options other than publishers.
And even if a game development company *can* complete the game without publisher funding, there are still the issues of marketing and distribution of the completed title.
So why do game development companies keep crowding around the big publishers? Because that''s where the money is. Without outside funding, it''s doubtful that their projects will ever reach "gold master" or be seen on store shelves.
There will *always* be independents, though. People who operate on the fringes and manage to succeed even without (and often refusing to accept) help from the Corporate Overlords. I would say the Internet is more of a tool for these fringe players than the "suits", and it will be the independents who innovate and show the Establishment how business will be done in the future.
The internet has changed gaming. It has made it better to be bigger and not smaller.
MMORPGs FPS, RTS are among the games that have gained the most ground due to the development of the internet. As with all multiplayer games, the value of the game increases with the number of people who play it. Even if a multiplayer game is well designed, if nobody else plays it, then what good is it as a multiplayer game? In this way, popularity becomes an integral aspect to the overall quality of a multiplayer game. (I think we can all agree that humans are more fun to play with or against than bots or AI)
That having been said, what sort of company is in a better position to make any given game popular - a well funded established big-name publisher or some no-name company? This does not apply evenly to all genres of game, but it affects many of the highest profile games.
Speaking of high profile, if you''re a modeller/animator/skinner, I hear Id is hiring.