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Steam Box, Nvidia Shield, Steam OS ETC: Not Supporting Controllers in 2014 Released Game Is NOT Forward Thinking


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i've read all the topic, and i laughed a lot. Too many times to use "quote". Some guys here have some great humor sense :) Some reactions in disorder...

 

1) I've read an interview of C.Avellone, explaining how he was delightful not creating one more ****ty game for consoles, as controllers have a deep impact, even on the core game design... Not sure of what he meant here, but whatever... I'm not a game designer.

 

2) I'm more than fed up since many years of these ****ty UI all RPG have. I play RPG since nearly 20 years, and i barely play only RPGs. Skyrim, without SkyUI mod is just unbearable, as for New vegas and its INFINITE ITEM LIST THAT I HAVE TO SCROLL ALL ALONG!!!!! Or the "press E button to open the box" (instead of just click with the mouse) thing. I won't even speak about Fallout 3 that is just (for me) a big **** to the 2 first games of the series and that initiated the New Vegas's UI.

 

I just can't bear it anymore. I'm really open minded, but, i can't bear it anymore. I've a 32'' TV as a PC screen, and yes, i play on my desk. For many reasons, i don't use my PC controller. If Obs had stated during the kickstarter campaign that PE would handle controllers, i'm pretty sure people would not have pledged even the half of the 4M they pledged.

 

Controllers friendly UI is one the 2 main reasons why i just don't play my Skyrim or my New Vegas so much nowadays.

 

3) Like someone said, just use the best tools you have. Want to play car race? try a controller. Want to play RPG? Just use a mouse...

 

4) EternalGamer, it seems that, like others pointed, you didn't understood some things. Not a TB but RTwP, RPG game with text even more than strategic game, HUGE amount of work to code and designs 2 UI (controller/Mouse+Keyboard) when the PE budget is VERY limited, people complain about controllers ruining their game experience (nothing more, nothing less, and Sensuki explained it well), you will hardly find anybody else who owns Steams' shares here.

 

5) Did i say i can't bear controllers stuff anymore?

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

I've asked it before when this comes up, but, I'll ask it again. How many console owners do you think don't also own a low-end PC capable of running PoE? Of those, how many do you think would be interested in playing an isometric party-based cRPG with lots of reading mixed with tactical combat and character-building?

All of you guys seem to be missing the fact that this game will be launching about the same time the Steam Box starts rolling out to full release.

 

A shiny "Project Eternity, Big Screen, Full Controller Support" icon on it's sales page sure would do wonders for the games sales at that point.  But maybe they don't really care about sales they get after the kickstarter.

 

I also really don't understand the hostility a lot of PC gamers have towards controllers.  I am a PC gamer myself.  I don't even intend to buy either of these next gen systems, but I enjoy playing games w/ a controller that allow me to lean back in my chair and prop my feet up.  I don't understand how a pause-based strategic RPG is not the ideal kind of game for this play style.  It's not a twitch FPS game where you have to hover over the screen for pixel precise kills in split seconds.

 

I'll be playing the game regardless, but I know a good number of friends that won't even have that option since they play all their PC games on a TV now and certainly they are alienating themselves from the SteamBox base.  For the little amount of work this would take, it just seem really lacking in forsight not to include this feature when a huge PC push that is all about big screen play is coming out the same damn time as this game.

 

 

You are totally missing the point of both this game and Kickstarters for video game's in general:

 

 

 

I appreciate all of the concerns about controller support, but that is not an issue limited to Big Picture Mode.  When it comes to Big Picture Mode and pc gaming on an HDTV, I only have one concern, and that is can I read the text from 8 feet away in a lazy boy. 

 

It is critical for the UI to be adjustable so those that do play on an HDTV can adjust the text sizes accordingly to be able to read from a couch or lazy boy.  I have at least a couple games on Steam that are near unplayable due to font/ui size not being adjustable and gaming at 1920x1080.  Best examples are Fallen Enchantress and Total War Shogun variety, both of which were immediately uninstalled.  I try to download demos to test this before buying games, but not all games have a demo.  I do have 20/20 vision so that is not the issue. 

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If you want this game to be made for controllers then just go jump in a fire. That is all. The fire will fix everything, I promise.

That's a really weird statement to make. . .

 

Due to their touchpad thingies the steam prototype controllers seem capable of handling the type of gameplay similar to the Infinity games, but I doubt it will ever feel as natural as a mouse and keyboard setup.

 

 

 

 

Yes, and you can map the steam controller yourself.

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Inevitably, the consequences of these decisions, along with the fact that a good portion of their sales have already occurred means that relatively few units will be sold at retail.  I'd be very surprised (& pleased!) if this game breaks $1 million (20k sales) in revenue, and feel $250k (5k sales),  And that's fine, because even if it doesn't sell a single unit Obsidian breaks even (theoretically, at least -- given game development budgets, I suspect an overrun is likely).

Wow, just wow. This game will break 20k sales easily.

Edited by Metabot
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Legend of Grimrock had sold 600,000 units a year ago. Do you seriously think PoE would sell less than 1/30 of that?

 

hard to guess, but Legend of Grimlock wasnt kickstarted? not sure, but there is a lot of people who already 'bought' game through kickstarter support so it mean less revenue after release

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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PoE had about 74,000 KS backers. That would stil leave 526,000 to reach Grimrock's sales figures.

 

Personally I'd be surprised if PoE doesn't sell a million copies over 2-3 years. It has clearly broader appeal than Grimrock.

 

For comparison, The Witcher games have sold about 5M copies so far. I think the market is largely similar.

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Project Eternity had 73k backers.  That's 12% of what Grimrock sold.  I don't know about the Witcher.  People are oddly fanatical about it.  Also, while we're being mathematical, $1m would take far more than 20k sales, it would take a little over $28k at Obsidian's portal, but since most people won't use that the equation looks like this $1m = .75 (percent of game sales on steam) * .7 (steam ta.kes 30%)*35*X(total sales) + .25 *.9 (HIB takes 10%)*$35X.  So, before taxes that's $1m = $26.25x = 38k sales.  Taxes will take a lot, but the game will sell far more than 38k if it is halfway decent.

Edited by anameforobsidian
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I'm shocked that Legend of Grimrock sold that many copies -- but...  I just checked, and it is currently priced at $15 on Stream (not on sale).  My sales guesstimates were based on a ~$50-$60 price (the slacker backer price is currently  $35, so I'd expect the retail price to be in this range).  Lowering the price will obviously increase sales, but still -- 600k @ $15 = $9 M in gross, which would be a tremendous success for this game, earning its investment several times over.

 

Still, I have a hard time expecting sales at this level, simply on the basis that the publishers can't be that bad at making business decisions.  Yes, they are mostly interested in games that gross $100M+, but still...

 

Fingers crossed, though -- PE2 should be /really/ impressive is PE can run up sales figures in that range! :)

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I'd be surprised if the price at release is as high as $50-60. That's AAA territory. Wouldn't be surprised if it's $35 or maybe $40 so slacker backers won't feel bad.

 

AAA games generally drop to around $10 over a few years, with various Directors Cuts and Ultimate Editions pushing them up to $20 for a while. Indies and mid-budget fare settles somewhere between $5 and $15. Since there aren't any precedents for something this size funded this way, it's hard to predict exactly where the price will eventually settle, but I think $40 give or take $5 at release is a reasonable gues, and "more than $5 but less than $20" is reasonable for longer-term; how fast it gets there I won't venture to guess.

 

With these numbers, I don't think ~$10M gross, in excess of Kickstarter, is unrealistic at all -- and most of that will be pure profit since development is already paid for and digital distribution cost per unit isn't all that much. That's a pretty respectable amount of money; enough to base a business model on, even accounting for some screwups like future Kickstarters that don't go as well as expected, or games that go over budget and schedule somewhat.

 

I very much hope that happens. I'd like to see more stuff that falls somewhere between creative shoestring-budget indie stuff and big-budget AAA stuff that must necessarily make compromises, in both technological and gameplay, to reach large-enough markets to pay off. PoE, T:ToN, and WL2 are important for the industry as a whole. I said elsewhere years ago that I hope an "art house" scene emerges for games like it did for cinema. This could be it.

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The sales will have a strong dependency on how well the end product is received. Thus far it's looking good, but gamers as a whole can be a finicky market. Even the smallest perceived flaws can draw remarkably virulent commentary.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I'd be surprised if the price at release is as high as $50-60. That's AAA territory. Wouldn't be surprised if it's $35 or maybe $40 so slacker backers won't feel bad.

 

AAA games generally drop to around $10 over a few years, with various Directors Cuts and Ultimate Editions pushing them up to $20 for a while. Indies and mid-budget fare settles somewhere between $5 and $15. Since there aren't any precedents for something this size funded this way, it's hard to predict exactly where the price will eventually settle, but I think $40 give or take $5 at release is a reasonable gues, and "more than $5 but less than $20" is reasonable for longer-term; how fast it gets there I won't venture to guess.

 

With these numbers, I don't think ~$10M gross, in excess of Kickstarter, is unrealistic at all -- and most of that will be pure profit since development is already paid for and digital distribution cost per unit isn't all that much. That's a pretty respectable amount of money; enough to base a business model on, even accounting for some screwups like future Kickstarters that don't go as well as expected, or games that go over budget and schedule somewhat.

 

I very much hope that happens. I'd like to see more stuff that falls somewhere between creative shoestring-budget indie stuff and big-budget AAA stuff that must necessarily make compromises, in both technological and gameplay, to reach large-enough markets to pay off. PoE, T:ToN, and WL2 are important for the industry as a whole. I said elsewhere years ago that I hope an "art house" scene emerges for games like it did for cinema. This could be it.

 

Over 50% of that revenue would go some other than Obsidian, as steam and gog, etc. shops take their cut, which is several ten percents of sale revenue, and then Obsidian needs to pay transaction fees and taxes. Which usually means that $10 million of digital sale revenue will grow bank account "only" by $3-5 million.

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I recently purchased a new Steambox...well tell the truth it's a kettle.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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By the way, I just asked the Expeditions Conquistador team (the closest analog) what percent of their total sales kickstarter backers are, and this was the response:

The Kickstarter backers are a very very small percentage of our total sales icon_e_smile.gif
But the game would never have happened without them, of course, so it's a very very important very very small percentage.

From that, I take it maybe five percent.  Bear in mind that Expeditions Conquistador received only 2% of the total number of backers that PE did, but still....

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Over 50% of that revenue would go some other than Obsidian, as steam and gog, etc. shops take their cut, which is several ten percents of sale revenue, and then Obsidian needs to pay transaction fees and taxes. Which usually means that $10 million of digital sale revenue will grow bank account "only" by $3-5 million.

Steam's/GOG's cut is about 30% and corporate taxes are only paid on profits for the whole operation and aren't therefore generally considered when estimating the profitability of individual projects. What transaction fees do you think would eat up 20-60% of gross revenue?

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Over 50% of that revenue would go some other than Obsidian, as steam and gog, etc. shops take their cut, which is several ten percents of sale revenue, and then Obsidian needs to pay transaction fees and taxes. Which usually means that $10 million of digital sale revenue will grow bank account "only" by $3-5 million.

Steam's/GOG's cut is about 30% and corporate taxes are only paid on profits for the whole operation and aren't therefore generally considered when estimating the profitability of individual projects. What transaction fees do you think would eat up 20-60% of gross revenue?

 

 

When we speak about pure profit, then in my opinion we speak about net profit instead of gross profit, which means that taxes, etc. are already deceased from the sum. 

 

And generally when we speak profitability of individual we also know how much was company's total revenue, gross profit reductions and net profit, which make it possible to speak general profitability of projects/departments/etc. using gross profits as they are usually much easier to calculate for such things than net profits. But if we want for example to know if individual project was profitable enough to pay for it's successor project then we need at least estimate what is that first project's net profit, so that we could have at least some sort estimate that tells how successful first project need to be that second project is self sustained. 

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Net profit of the project, yes. You don't deduct taxes paid on net profit of the corporation when tallying that. You don't even know what those taxes are going to be (although you should be able to guess.)

To find out of if a project was profitable, you deduct costs from gross revenue, correct? If you end up paying taxes on what's left, that's good because it means the company was successful enough to pay a dividend, even after any of the project's net profit may have been invested in, for example, a successor.

However. The corporate tax rate in CA is between 1.5% and 8.85%, depending on the type of corporation. That's tax on operating profit after interest, deductions, and so on. Suppose operating profit is about 30%, which is pretty healthy for a software company. With a tax rate of 8.85%, the overall tax on revenues from PoE would be less than 3%. So even if you take into account taxes, I can't see how you'd get close to your numbers.

(Naturally there's a lot you can do with that revenue; e.g. invest it in various marketing-related things to increase volume or hold up prices, reinvest it in a sequel, maintain nice fan forums like this one and so on. I'm leaving all of that out of the equation ATM; I assume you were too.)

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There is also federal taxes that need to be paid and those vary between 15-35%. ($10,000,000 to $15,000,000 $3,400,000 + 35% Of the amount over $10,000,000) although there is lot of ways to get tax deductions.

 

Project costs can be difficult to calculate without all corporate information as employees often work in multiple projects, projects also typically use also other resources that are shared with multiple projects. Which usually causes that corporations have expenses that can't be listed to any single project even though most of projects are part causing those expenses.

 

And there is also expenses for corporations that don't save them from taxes even though they cut down their profit. 

 

So individual project's numbers can be difficult to analyse if you don't know how corporation is organized and how general expenses are written down.

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Sure, but in this case it shouldn't be that complicated.

 

Assume that PoE breaks exactly even at zero post-kickstarter sales. I.e., the kickstarter covers all direct and indirect costs related to developing it, including but not limited to personnel costs, rent of office space, depreciation of capital etc. I.e., operating profit for PoE at that point is exactly 0%.

 

Assume that by "gross revenue of post-kickstarter sales" I mean the amount of money paid by customers to whoever sold them the license, i.e., GoG or Steam.

 

Assume that GoG's and Steam's cut is 30%. (I believe this is a fairly well-founded assumption.)

 

So, at this point, 70% of gross revenue will be going to Obsidian, and 30% will be going to Valve or GoG. Correct?

 

Now, you estimated that Obsidian would only be getting 30-50% of the gross revenue. That's a gap of 20-40%. Where does this 20-40% go?

 

Corporate end-of-year taxes should not factor into this equation. They never do when calculating or estimating the profitability of a project.

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if it is such a niche audience way are companies as big as Valve and Nvidia putting significant amount of efforts into supporting big screen experiences? 

 

Valve is just giving itself an option to remain in business if Microsoft forces all software in all versions of Windows to be installed via the Windows store and bans other stores.  Steam O's and the Steam Box will be shown to be a giant steamer, especially when anyone tries to play ArmA with that controller streamed from their PC over their home wireless network.

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I think the likelihood of MS locking down windows in an extreme walled garden is not likely but not impossible. I see Valve's moves as something similar to T-Mobile in the USA the past few years. T-Mobile's Uncarrier program has given them great growth because it is doing something completely different from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Only Verizon had more growth here in the states in 2013.

 

Just as SteamOS is doing the console business in a completely different way from MS, Sony, and Nintendo. Valve pushing SteamOS has a chance to cause disruption because a) you get comparable hardware for similar prices (slightly more power for slightly more money compared to PS4, and a $500 Steam machine is equal in price to the Xbone while having better specs), b) you have an attempt at a new controller paradigm, c) cheaper games, d) mod support, etc.

 

Simultaneously, SteamOS will possibly challenge D3D with their OpenGL support.

 

So, if SteamOS and Steam on Linux (more important than Steam Machines for the most part) are successful you may find Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft trying to squash it by copying some of its concepts, and/or being innovative themselves with the Console business model (which they really haven't had to do before save motion controls). On the desktop front MS might be forced to no longer lock D3D updates to their newest iteration of Windows in order to keep gamers upgrading Windows. This is what is happening with the USA mobile carriers with T-Mobile's shift to Uncarrier vs their former "business as usual" way of life. There is hardly any competition when all 3-4 major companies involved hold to the same model of business, but one vigilante can stir things up and benefit the consumer.

 

IMHO why GabeN is pushing this is irrelevant because of the potential boon to the industry because of the competition. The why of it doesn't matter because it will do many things that are fresh for the industry. This will likely be beneficial to consumers in the long run if successful.

 

Back on topic, Valve's Controller should play PE fine. I am more worried about being able to read the text on a tv than the controls.

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For the record, I'm all for Valve's market-disrupting efforts. The market clearly needs more disruption, though, as under current conditions GoG and Valve and their like can take an IMO too-juicy slice of the pie. Cartels and mono-/oligopolies are bad news.

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