The Cost Of Doing Business (The Jimquisition)

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Games cost a lot of money to make. You need to pay developers, you need to license engines, you need do a lot.

Extra Credits pointed out all of these costs in a recent video, and I’m certainly not going the claim the expenses aren’t expensive.

But is it just me, or does the “AAA” videogame industry do a bit too much twisting and turning to make the cost of doing business out to be some unreasonable cross to bear?

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47 Comments on "The Cost Of Doing Business (The Jimquisition)"

saynotogamblingingames
Member
saynotogamblingingames
Jim Excellent ! For what ever reasons occasionally legit online mags pull these absolute bs reasons to protect an industry who doesn’t need protecting as they have so much money they don’t need anyone else unless these companies are also part of that payroll… Beyond this equally excellent work by the fans !!! Well done every last talented mofo. Made us all proud. Actually…Jim ….why not make art contest just a semi regular thing. Or have a game design segment and give a reward for abyone willing to try…. Home grow something which could be massive and do it in… Read more »
Riuny
Member
Riuny
When making games, debut projects are the ones that take more time than any other following successors because you have to build everything from the scratch. Once you have made that it is much easier to build another since you can use your earlier project as a reference. Easier means faster, faster means less time taken, less time taken means less money to spend. Plus there are many great commercial game engines these days that could speed up the process even more so the cost of making games is lower than ever and will be lowered even further which is… Read more »
grrrz
Member
grrrz

guillotine imagery now, the shit’s getting real. great episode.

PhoenixShi
Member
PhoenixShi
While many companies can be greedy, and can be foolish in how they spend their money at times, at the same time some on the other end can go too far, and be foolish in their claims as well. First off, there are LOTS of people that I’d label as graphics whores, these are people that ridicule games, and flock to others purely due to their graphics, or lack there of. There are also LOTS of people that think open world is the only way a game should be now, and if it uses instances, or stages, it should be… Read more »
drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

If you are reading this. The person who submitted the Horrid Spider visual novel please expand that into a fully playable game.

T slog
Member
T slog
Another cost reduction by the $$$ indudry is the outsourcing to “ underdeveloped “ countries that not only are far cheaper, but occasionally have abusivly poor working conditions. What is that hardly mentioned. Not a question, abuse and poverty are immorally profitable. And I’ve never ever seen a defence is for why $60 games was insanely high – compared to costs – for obviously the PS2 era, and even the 360 gen, but now $60 games arnt now enough ? So we’re lied to for generations on end about costs, are now we supposed to believe that $60 isn’t enough… Read more »
Exley97
Member
Exley97
So very happy that Jim tackled the marketing spend for games. However much we *think* bug publishers spend on marketing and advertising for triple A sequels, I can pretty much guarantee it’s even more. And while I’m a huge CoD fan and loved those commercial spots….I know how much spots like that cost to shoot and broadcast during primetime spots. And that money could have been better spent on raising the wages/benefits of the actual content creators or increasing headcount on a project in an effort to reduce “crunch” periods. It’s outrageous, and it often gets overlooked as a major… Read more »
LegendaryFrog
Member
LegendaryFrog

What gives me a bit of hope is your subscriber count. I’ve been a follower for years (since the Escapist era) and I’ve been seeing your subscriber count go up little by little. The last few months I’ve seen you go even higher. It makes me think that people are starting to get fed up with the Industry bullshit and are starting to look for answers.

Cobra_IronFang
Member
Cobra_IronFang

What I’d lilke to see is these AAA companies screwing up so massively that their shares are worth almost nothing as in wiping your ass with em level of worthless. So then the AAA companies could buy their own shares back and be owned by themselves again then get back to making actual decent games again.
I know it’s an impossible dream and it ain’t gonna happen but a fella can always dream of what if?

EatingTacks
Member
EatingTacks
Actually, I believe Extra Credits did us a great favor. Consider the following argument: 1) Microtransactions are reprehensible for the most part. 2) AAA games are really expensive (as shown by last week’s EC episode) 3) Really expensive games at the current price point must have microtransactions to make a profit, (as show as EC’s episode from two weeks ago). Ergo, AAA games at the current price point must have microtransactions, making them reprehensible for the most part. Its not just a problem with the terrible behavior from the industry giants. It is a problem inherent with AAA games in… Read more »
Khym Chanur
Member
Khym Chanur

Jim, are you going to make available a zip file of the Horrid Spider submissions, or a page with links to where the creators are offering up their files?

9lives lie cat lie
Member
9lives lie cat lie

hmmmmm crystal pringels with emerald dipping sauce

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

It seriously feels like the AAA Companies have a problem with budgeting and proper spending of the capital needed to develop and produce games. So instead of taking the blame themselves, they claim it’s the exorbitant costs of production instead of having integrity and taking the blame themselves.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn
Love the video Jim, and thank you. This is almost verbatum what I’ve been telling people for years (Specifically the engines, and Lara’s hair debates), and is only exactly what I said in response to last week’s video “Anger.” Once again, I want to point out the as of early 2017 Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch had sold over a billion dollars worth of units, and as of 2018 it’s estimated to be over two billion. This doesn’t include the microtransactions, various licensing, and merchandising deals associated with the IP and product. Yet games are too expensive to make, and we need the… Read more »
Terry-Osaurusus Hex XI
Member

Extra Credits never was something I experienced before, so I’ve not much idea on their history and connections, but I am definitely curious as to why they feel the need to defend these practices that are consistently detrimental to the art-form and have no positive effect on anyone other than publisher profits and their shareholders. Maybe the capitalist greed is more obvious to us naysayers, but I’m trying to understand the mind behind those who would put effort into justifying it all, and all I’m coming up with is either childlike innocence or personal gain.

AnotherSheepGamer
Member
AnotherSheepGamer
To counter every point made by you Jim, just remember that you are an outsider. You don’t know the inner workings of how a game publisher like EA functions and how much money it costs to keep everything working and lit. You are clearly ignorant of the benevolence and mass joy that these mega publishers provide with their 60$ base games. Next time you decide to decry these hard-working organizations as agents of greed and evil, remember it may be that you and your fellow ‘critics’ acting like spoiled children who are ruining the industry for everyone. You and your… Read more »
kimiyoribaka
Member
kimiyoribaka

Your point about Ubisoft’s statements is particularly interesting in context. Extra Creditz specifically stated that James Portnow discourages that exact practice on the basis that starting when something is currently popular is too late. So even going by Extra Creditz’s perspective Ubisoft is incompetent.

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Also what contest is Jim talking about at the end WB did? Is it like what’s happening with Disney and make your own Marvel comic thing that happened a few weeks back?

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott
Also if the game you hinted at the beginning is what I think it is, the ouch, Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja are already under fire for how much Dissidia Final Fantasy NT disapointed fans of that (stripped down roster, mechanics, nearly no offline content, getting rid of nearly all RPG elements, having to unlock story mode that is nothing but cutscenes and Square Enix saying they care mostly Esports with it hence the 3v3 combat system), two disapointments round the same sime is bad news for them (espcially since history has shown with the former that fighting game made soley… Read more »
InfamousDS
Member
InfamousDS
Because I like beating dead horses: Always remember that we are consumers, not customers. I don’t even know if Jim brings up a point that would make this tidbit on-topic. But it needs to be said every time we think about the AAA games industry, or corps in general. Without even watching though, I do know that a lot of tech company expenses are over-inflated. There is a lot of fat in management that could do with trimming (and that’s before we talk about marketing, redundant positions, and unnecessary code/UI changes that add umpteen amount of work-hours). All in all,… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

For me, when you look at Skyrim and the characters people remember and love, it’s not the big names Hollywood actor characters people remember, it’s Astrid, Aela, Lydia or the city guard.

Agreed with Jim here, hope no one in you fanbase starts acting like arseholes towards Extra Credits you make . I personally don’t mind when they are talking about how QA testing works and the technical, but don’t feel their good at stuff like this.

Also those spider heads were impressive.