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Old Jun 8, 2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Progression
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Default Activision-Blizzard may be up for sale in the near future!

http://e3.gamespot.com/story/6381404...zzard-for-sale

Now this is rather interesting. I don't really know what to make of it.
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Ill buy that for a dollar.
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 10:25 PM   #3
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Well what is Activision side riding on at this point? COD, played out sequel series?(Guitar Hero's, Tony Hawks etc) Imho Blizzard should almost consider breaking away as well. Activision itself seems kinda bleak.
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Phrygian View Post
http://e3.gamespot.com/story/6381404...zzard-for-sale

Now this is rather interesting. I don't really know what to make of it.
Not sure what to make of it? All of its IPs have piqued. Guitar hero is dead, WoW is starting to circle the drain, CoD numbers are starting to slip, Diablo started strong but doesn't look like it'll last anywhere near what Diablo 2 did, etc etc etc. It would be in their best interest to sell now and get top dollar rather than less later when their numbers slip further.

I just hope someone who can breathe some life into it picks it up, not someone like EA who will just whore it out further
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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^ Yeah, it is likely that they feel that the best days of A-B is over, so that they want sell it while it still worth a lot. It seems that "the mainstream gaming" as represented by EA / A-B is going the way of dinosaur.. Casual gaming and niche market are where it is at.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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^ Yeah, it is likely that they feel that the best days of A-B is over, so that they want sell it while it still worth a lot. It seems that "the mainstream gaming" as represented by EA / A-B is going the way of dinosaur.. Casual gaming and niche market are where it is at.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 01:15 AM   #7
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^Especially since, in my opinion, they picked the wrong model when they chose to be like Hollywood. The videogame industry is different from Hollywood in some important ways: you cannot rely on "star power", you cannot assemble a team on the spot and expect them to be productive, and failed videogames tend to fail far severely than failed movies (which can still recoup some of their loss by cables, DVDs, etc). All in all, it is not difficult to think that high-budget, blockbuster approach is not very appropriate for the videogame industry. Mid-tier publishers have been going down for a while -- and the largest ones may be the next.

As much as I (like many of you) dislike all the casual games on iPhone, Facebook and alike, I think the gave these executives a good wake-up call.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 03:27 AM   #8
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Maybe they should set up an Auction House to sell it off.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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I just hope someone who can breathe some life into it picks it up, not someone like EA who will just whore it out further
Huh? Kotick hasn't done that enough already?
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 05:54 AM   #10
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Huh? Kotick hasn't done that enough already?
Are you kidding me? Every game franchise EA bought have gone to to utter disarray. Forcing out incomplete games (DLCs) is like their second nature. Blizzard aint perfect; that much is obvious. Combined with EA's management style, goodbye Blizzard.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 06:25 AM   #11
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The video game industry is just brutal. I think that the constant push for better graphics has really been its downfall. You're stuck between massively rising costs to make new cutting edge titles, and a market that at best isn't growing nearly as fast as costs go up, and at worst may be stagnant or shrinking.

As others have stated, it's been obvious for years that many video game publishers have been struggling.

Ironically it seems that the constant evolution of better graphics in games may come to an end not due to hardware limitations, but rather the economics on the software side.

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Old Jun 9, 2012, 06:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Woodgypsy View Post
^Especially since, in my opinion, they picked the wrong model when they chose to be like Hollywood. The videogame industry is different from Hollywood in some important ways: you cannot rely on "star power", you cannot assemble a team on the spot and expect them to be productive, and failed videogames tend to fail far severely than failed movies (which can still recoup some of their loss by cables, DVDs, etc). All in all, it is not difficult to think that high-budget, blockbuster approach is not very appropriate for the videogame industry. Mid-tier publishers have been going down for a while -- and the largest ones may be the next.

As much as I (like many of you) dislike all the casual games on iPhone, Facebook and alike, I think the gave these executives a good wake-up call.
I think the major difference from Hollywood is you can spend tens of millions on a game and not even get it done. How often have you heard of a movie failing due to running out of money? Usually even if they have money problems, they'll manage to get something released (whether by editing the footage or whatever), but with games if you get say 75% done and run out of cash, the game might never see the light of day.

The dynamics of the two industries are also completely different, as you said. With movies you have the big stars sucking up a lot of the cost of making the film, and then you have the costs of producing it. But you don't really have years and years of time devoted to making the movie (at least not at the full-blown production stage, I'm not talking about how long it takes from script to movie screen). The costs are fairly understood, as well as the time involved in making the film.

With games the huge expense is due to hiring a bunch of people. And if you just don't manage the project right, you can spend years working on something and still not have anything finished to show for it. If you get behind schedule, you may still have to spend millions to even have a chance of salvaging the money you put in. After all that, if the team finishes the game and gets it to market, it may not recover the money invested in it.

Movies can lose money too, but games seem to be much more challenging to make with all of their moving parts, and the huge number of employees you have to have on the payroll for many years.

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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:01 AM   #13
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The video game industry is just brutal. I think that the constant push for better graphics has really been its downfall. You're stuck between massively rising costs to make new cutting edge titles, and a market that at best isn't growing nearly as fast as costs go up, and at worst may be stagnant or shrinking.

As others have stated, it's been obvious for years that many video game publishers have been struggling.

Ironically it seems that the constant evolution of better graphics in games may come to an end not due to hardware limitations, but rather the economics on the software side.
Pretty much. Graphics have diminishing returns in terms of sales while they inflate a game budget exponentially. If the developer even has the bulk of the 3D artists on staff (a good portion are contracted out to 3rd party art houses) it makes up a HUGE percentage of the staff and budget. Simply put, as graphics continually improve, the time and money put into it skyrockets as well. Consider just a generation ago, you could easily knock out an entire level with one or two guys in a week, maybe two. Now in today's AAA titles the same amount of time is put into individual assets (high poly + low poly + texturing). A single car, gun, building could take a week or more to create. That's a lot of money thrown into these games. There has to be a trade either in "broad appeal" games (a nice way to say dumbing down/consolize) or length of the game (which brings in DLC's).

Gamers can't have their cake and eat it too.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:09 AM   #14
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Pretty much. Graphics have diminishing returns in terms of sales while they inflate a game budget exponentially. If the developer even has the bulk of the 3D artists on staff (a good portion are contracted out to 3rd party art houses) it makes up a HUGE percentage of the staff and budget. Simply put, as graphics continually improve, the time and money put into it skyrockets as well. Consider just a generation ago, you could easily knock out an entire level with one or two guys in a week, maybe two. Now in today's AAA titles the same amount of time is put into individual assets (high poly + low poly + texturing). A single car, gun, building could take a week or more to create. That's a lot of money thrown into these games. There has to be a trade either in "broad appeal" games (a nice way to say dumbing down/consolize) or length of the game (which brings in DLC's).

Gamers can't have their cake and eat it too.
The unfortunate thing is we've already basically been suffering for it for years. Remember epic levels in the past, like the Sunspire in Unreal? How often do you see anything like that anymore? Now a lot of games are reduced back to being corridor shooters, except now the corridors seem to be outside.

Too much attention is going to the micro details, at the expense of the macro level design.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:11 AM   #15
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Are you kidding me? Every game franchise EA bought have gone to to utter disarray. Forcing out incomplete games (DLCs) is like their second nature. Blizzard aint perfect; that much is obvious. Combined with EA's management style, goodbye Blizzard.
Funny. You mistaken my comment for defending EA. I hate EA. I haven't purchased an EA game in years. The only game remotely close to EA that I've purchased was Kingdom's of Amalur and that was through Steam instead of Origin.

However I suspect Blizzard has already seen its "perfect" image tarnished with the shambles that is Diablo 3. It's too late already. Blizzard for many has gone onto a "wait and see" list for any future release.

In terms of my comment about Kotick, you need to read this to understand where I was coming from: Kotick and Activision are a complete joke

I don't disagree at all that EA are a waste of space and it probably would have been better for the industry as a whole if they'd folded years ago (except for those that actually work there), however Activision are practically as bad. Read the link above and educate yourself.

Edit: Some will of course disagree with this statement however I think at the moment, the more indies making games the better. The big four (EA, Activision, Take-Two and UBISoft) have all shown no loyalty or care for the consumer. Nor do they care about creativity, in which that was a foundation that gaming was originally built on.

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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
The unfortunate thing is we've already basically been suffering for it for years. Remember epic levels in the past, like the Sunspire in Unreal? How often do you see anything like that anymore? Now a lot of games are reduced back to being corridor shooters, except now the corridors seem to be outside.

Too much attention is going to the micro details, at the expense of the macro level design.
Not to mention the lack of variety in levels. With asset costs going up modular design becomes more prominent and as such you get the same assets sprinkled across levels and reused all the time. It really hurts the overall feel of games and makes them seem smaller than they are.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 01:49 AM   #17
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^ Absolutely. Unfortunately, it is much easier for consumers to notice flashy screenshots than things notice such things as varied levels, engrossing atmosphere, or elegant game design. And it is natural for them to invest in where it counts (in terms of business).
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 08:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
The video game industry is just brutal. I think that the constant push for better graphics has really been its downfall. You're stuck between massively rising costs to make new cutting edge titles, and a market that at best isn't growing nearly as fast as costs go up, and at worst may be stagnant or shrinking.

As others have stated, it's been obvious for years that many video game publishers have been struggling.

Ironically it seems that the constant evolution of better graphics in games may come to an end not due to hardware limitations, but rather the economics on the software side.
I don't know, you look at something like Serious Sam 3. I think that it looks really good. Croteam even developed their own engine for it. Its also only available on a single platform. I think that they did alright.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 08:43 AM   #19
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I think we're seeing the decline of the massive video games you typically see. This sale confirms that. I hope they finish SC2 at least.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 06:16 PM   #20
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Pretty much. Graphics have diminishing returns in terms of sales while they inflate a game budget exponentially. If the developer even has the bulk of the 3D artists on staff (a good portion are contracted out to 3rd party art houses) it makes up a HUGE percentage of the staff and budget. Simply put, as graphics continually improve, the time and money put into it skyrockets as well. Consider just a generation ago, you could easily knock out an entire level with one or two guys in a week, maybe two. Now in today's AAA titles the same amount of time is put into individual assets (high poly + low poly + texturing). A single car, gun, building could take a week or more to create. That's a lot of money thrown into these games. There has to be a trade either in "broad appeal" games (a nice way to say dumbing down/consolize) or length of the game (which brings in DLC's).

Gamers can't have their cake and eat it too.
That is true now, that's why they are inventing tech to make their life easier, it is now totally possible to texture a object without even spending time making a uvmap using PTex , virtual texturing or Mega texturing can also make life easier to the developers (if the tools used are artist friendly), and when Mega geometry becomes a reality it will not be necessary to make a High poly to low poly conversion you will have the ability to use your High poly object directly, that will be the tipping point on game development no more normal maps or virtual displacement maps/tessellation or low-poly work or uvmaping, just take mudbox sculpt your highPoly object paint it and use it on your game directly. Of course this is still some ways in the future but being afraid of graphic innovation and so stop it altogether or making less complex games is not the answer.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 06:52 PM   #21
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That is true now, that's why they are inventing tech to make their life easier, it is now totally possible to texture a object without even spending time making a uvmap using PTex , virtual texturing or Mega texturing can also make life easier to the developers (if the tools used are artist friendly), and when Mega geometry becomes a reality it will not be necessary to make a High poly to low poly conversion you will have the ability to use your High poly object directly, that will be the tipping point on game development no more normal maps or virtual displacement maps/tessellation or low-poly work or uvmaping, just take mudbox sculpt your highPoly object paint it and use it on your game directly. Of course this is still some ways in the future but being afraid of graphic innovation and so stop it altogether or making less complex games is not the answer.
No you wont be able to use your high poly, are you mad? A high polygon object straight out of the developing tool (ZBrush / Mudbox, etc) is completely useless for animation unless you have proper topology. Maybe you can get away with static objects if you can somehow manage to have the GPU render 1-10million polygons per object (probably not ) straight out of the tool. Then you would need a technology such as pTex to be able to have the engine read the texture without a UV map. It will end up being the same, or more, amount of work.

Any way you cut it, the higher the fidelity, the higher the cost.

Edit: By the way, as great as PTex may be, it is still a long ways off from having a robust pipeline like UV mapping. It is the way of the future, sure. However, at the moment, UV mapping is still extremely relevant.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 06:56 PM   #22
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I don't know, you look at something like Serious Sam 3. I think that it looks really good. Croteam even developed their own engine for it. Its also only available on a single platform. I think that they did alright.
Yeah but they're not considered next gen, so they dont count....
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 08:54 PM   #23
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No you wont be able to use your high poly, are you mad? A high polygon object straight out of the developing tool (ZBrush / Mudbox, etc) is completely useless for animation unless you have proper topology. Maybe you can get away with static objects if you can somehow manage to have the GPU render 1-10million polygons per object (probably not ) straight out of the tool. Then you would need a technology such as pTex to be able to have the engine read the texture without a UV map. It will end up being the same, or more, amount of work.

Any way you cut it, the higher the fidelity, the higher the cost.

Edit: By the way, as great as PTex may be, it is still a long ways off from having a robust pipeline like UV mapping. It is the way of the future, sure. However, at the moment, UV mapping is still extremely relevant.
No i'm not mad and this is tech that Jonh Carmack was (or still is i don't know ) working for idtech6 and yes it will be first used for static objects, and no you will not use the million of polygons directly you will convert it into voxel's or something like it, i also said that is still way in the future, but it is or was the target for id at lest. What is a robust pipeline for you? Ptex is already supported by all major sculpting tools (Zbrush, mudbox and 3d-coat) and is as easy has assigning a Ptex material on the object and paint away. The problem for now is real time game support but Nvidia and AMD are working on it, for example the new AMD demo "Leo" uses real time Ptex and Virtual texturing so the tech is already game ready.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:48 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Argoon1981 View Post
Of course this is still some ways in the future but being afraid of graphic innovation and so stop it altogether or making less complex games is not the answer.
When it is a direct hindrance to the gameplay, it is. So we should just suffer through mediocre watered-down titles until the next evolution of technical workflows kick in?

And I don't agree with Ptex or something similar being the future of real-time rendering. There are far too many drawbacks, vert count, less control for the artists, no-Photoshop level editing and draw calls (since the textures aren't shared). It's better suited for CGI quality renders, not real time rendering and would only further bloat vert counts if one were to use high-poly objects. UV's take less time than most of the workflow anyhow, it's like finding a quicker way to crack the egg after waiting on it to boil.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 09:58 AM   #25
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This is about Vivendi being overextended, again. See recent sale of NBCU to Comcast. Once upon a time, that boom and bust French water company acquired Sierra only to restructure it into non-existence in three years. Soon after, the casual game market exploded and kept on exploding until it is what it is today. Woops.

If true, Blizzard would be just another company Vivendi will sell for quick cash, this time so that they can go on to make too many acquisitions in the mobile market.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:51 PM   #26
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http://e3.gamespot.com/story/6381404...zzard-for-sale

Now this is rather interesting. I don't really know what to make of it.
I know what to make of it. Activision is currently a two-trick pony. Vivendi knows that Bobby is running Call of Duty into the ground, and it likely can't keep its phenomenal momentum much longer, and that WoW has been losing steam as well. Best to sell now, while Activision is worth alot.
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