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> Syndicate: Human Rev...uhhh..., First screens leaked
Seriously Mike
post Sep 11 2011, 09:54 AM
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http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=444322
So, Starbreeze (the guys who made Chronicles of Riddick game and Enclave) are working on something called "Project RedLime". This Red Lime is nothing else than a new Syndicate game - cyberpunk first-person shooter looking pretty much like bleached Deus Ex Human Revolution, with four-person coop (I'd hit that) and, from what I read, some good ol' Persuadertron fun.
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Backgammon
post Sep 11 2011, 12:20 PM
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Holy shit, story written by Richard Morgan. Can't be all bad, then!
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Stahlseele
post Sep 11 2011, 03:11 PM
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Whoa, cool!
how did they keep that under wraps?
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Wounded Ronin
post Sep 11 2011, 04:13 PM
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I played through the first Syndicate. But if the new game has FPS elements it's fundamentally a different game, since Syndicate was basically RTS.
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Seriously Mike
post Sep 12 2011, 09:31 AM
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http://kotaku.com/5839190/first-screenshot...icate/gallery/1
Screenshots and jetbikes and floating cities, oh my!
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Bigity
post Sep 12 2011, 02:55 PM
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Looks pretty nice so far.
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CanadianWolverin...
post Sep 13 2011, 02:41 AM
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You fine folks are being a lot more kind towards this than what I have seen elsewhere.

That said, I don't really like the FPS thing, we've been down that road before, we know where it leads...

Even though I understand why they do it, they do it to have their game mechanics function in a way consoles, their controllers, and their customers are more comfortable with. Me, I am more comfortable with mouse and keyboard - and while that doesn't rule out FPS, quite the opposite, it does handle RTS considerably better.

So, was the classic Syndicate more RTStrategy or FPShooter? The answer to that question should be pretty obvious.

This is reminding me of the latest X-Com game. Or do I need to drag up a more distant memory of a certain thing that has brought us together here being made into a FPS with a strong emphasis on the S.
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Seriously Mike
post Sep 13 2011, 06:59 AM
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QUOTE (CanadianWolverine @ Sep 13 2011, 04:41 AM) *
You fine folks are being a lot more kind towards this than what I have seen elsewhere.

It's because we're not a bunch of stuckup knobs who think they know EVERYTHING about video games. I mean, folks who remember the first Syndicate are most probably in nursing homes now! Also, the days of thirty-pixel-tall guys in trenchcoats wandering through 16-color cities are gone. Persuadertrons are still in, however. And we're not afraid to use them.
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Blade
post Sep 13 2011, 08:36 AM
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I'm a fan of the first two Syndicates games and I don't mind if it's a FPS, as long as it's a good FPS.
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Stahlseele
post Sep 13 2011, 08:56 AM
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QUOTE
folks who remember the first Syndicate are most probably in nursing homes now!

dude . . them's fighting words . .
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Bigity
post Sep 13 2011, 01:42 PM
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CanRay
post Sep 13 2011, 02:15 PM
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Platinum
post Sep 13 2011, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE (CanadianWolverine @ Sep 12 2011, 10:41 PM) *
You fine folks are being a lot more kind towards this than what I have seen elsewhere.

That said, I don't really like the FPS thing, we've been down that road before, we know where it leads...

Even though I understand why they do it, they do it to have their game mechanics function in a way consoles, their controllers, and their customers are more comfortable with. Me, I am more comfortable with mouse and keyboard - and while that doesn't rule out FPS, quite the opposite, it does handle RTS considerably better.

So, was the classic Syndicate more RTStrategy or FPShooter? The answer to that question should be pretty obvious.

This is reminding me of the latest X-Com game. Or do I need to drag up a more distant memory of a certain thing that has brought us together here being made into a FPS with a strong emphasis on the S.


I follow your sentiment. I think the FPS makes it into another game. Which is fine I guess. It would be cool if they changed this to something more like alien swarm. Would be awesome to customize cyberware, gear and weapons. Heck add modding in there for magic, and we have shadowrun.
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Adarael
post Sep 13 2011, 05:29 PM
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I love Syndicate, I love X-Com, and I love going back to play my favorite old-school games from yesteryear.

That said, the business decision not to make it "like the old Syndicate" makes perfect sense. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) FPSes sell about ten times more than strategy games. And I mean that literally. Halo 3: 9.2 million copies by January 2010. Halo Wars: about 1 million to date. A smaller but still impressive variance can be seen in Tom Clancy stuff - Tom Clancy's EndWar: 850,000. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction: 2.3 million copies.
2) It's next to impossible to get good controls laid out for old-school syndicate, if you want to retain either the click-to-target type shooting or multiple agents. Trust me on this - I've tried something very similar, and it's impressively difficult. It would be possible, but it'd force the game to have a steep-ass learning curve, which again forces it into a more niche market than it already would be. The closest I think you could get while retaining the old-school style view and feel would be if you made a Syndicate game that played a lot more like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which would be pretty cool, but is still a different beast.
3) When you work with a big name like Syndicate, the publisher generally wants to get as much return on their investment as they can, so they're gonna want to appeal to the most people they can. And it seems in this case they decided an FPS would be preferable to a Marvel Ultimate Alliance type experience, because they could (judging by screenshots) get a more Deus Ex type experience with regards to augmentations, etc.

At the end of the day, a game like Syndicate - the old Syndicate - has two options. Either it's an XBLA type title with a 10-20 dollar price point, which - if it's hot shit - will have a 2-5 million dollar budget, and sell between 350,000 to 500,000 copies. At the end of the day, you'd expect a profit of between 1.5 and 5 million dollars. Or you go nuts, get yourself a 50 million dollar budget, and you make it a cyberpunk FPS, and a 60 dollar price point. It's a riskier venture, but if you can perform moderately well - say, Splinter Cell Conviction level well - you'll sell 2 million copies at 60 bucks, and turn yourself a 70 million dollar profit.

That kind of math is easy, as much as it upsets "true fans". And as I told my boss yesterday: I'd rather have some Syndicate than none, as much as I'd have loved a more Alien Swarm/Marvel Ultimate Alliance type game.
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Platinum
post Sep 14 2011, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (Adarael @ Sep 13 2011, 12:29 PM) *
1) FPSes sell about ten times more than strategy games. And I mean that literally. Halo 3: 9.2 million copies by January 2010. Halo Wars: about 1 million to date. A smaller but still impressive variance can be seen in Tom Clancy stuff - Tom Clancy's EndWar: 850,000. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction: 2.3 million copies.


What about starcraft, starcraft2? how about a 3rd person like diablo II, freedom force, magicka or torchlight?

QUOTE (Adarael @ Sep 13 2011, 12:29 PM) *
2) It's next to impossible to get good controls laid out for old-school syndicate, if you want to retain either the click-to-target type shooting or multiple agents. Trust me on this - I've tried something very similar, and it's impressively difficult. It would be possible, but it'd force the game to have a steep-ass learning curve, which again forces it into a more niche market than it already would be. The closest I think you could get while retaining the old-school style view and feel would be if you made a Syndicate game that played a lot more like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which would be pretty cool, but is still a different beast.


The old controls were simple, and you only had 4 characters. It isn't that hard, many games have done this before.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Sep 13 2011, 12:29 PM) *
3) When you work with a big name like Syndicate, the publisher generally wants to get as much return on their investment as they can, so they're gonna want to appeal to the most people they can. And it seems in this case they decided an FPS would be preferable to a Marvel Ultimate Alliance type experience, because they could (judging by screenshots) get a more Deus Ex type experience with regards to augmentations, etc.


Personally I think publishers have no idea what the market is looking for, so they splatter the market with crap or spin rip off games based on previous IP. My guess is this game will turn out to be just like the shadowrun 360. Disappointing, not quite revolutionary to be new and unique, and just enough of the old to piss off purists.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Sep 13 2011, 12:29 PM) *
At the end of the day, a game like Syndicate - the old Syndicate - has two options. Either it's an XBLA type title with a 10-20 dollar price point, which - if it's hot shit - will have a 2-5 million dollar budget, and sell between 350,000 to 500,000 copies. At the end of the day, you'd expect a profit of between 1.5 and 5 million dollars. Or you go nuts, get yourself a 50 million dollar budget, and you make it a cyberpunk FPS, and a 60 dollar price point. It's a riskier venture, but if you can perform moderately well - say, Splinter Cell Conviction level well - you'll sell 2 million copies at 60 bucks, and turn yourself a 70 million dollar profit.



At the end of the day, there are as many options as you will allow yourself. The problem seems to be that they are looking to the market trends for data instead of going to the consumer.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Sep 13 2011, 12:29 PM) *
That kind of math is easy, as much as it upsets "true fans". And as I told my boss yesterday: I'd rather have some Syndicate than none, as much as I'd have loved a more Alien Swarm/Marvel Ultimate Alliance type game.


Some people would buy expensive dog poo, if you offered it to them. Doesn't mean that the mainstream will buy in.

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Critias
post Sep 14 2011, 04:45 PM
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Looking at market trends is going to the consumer. Or, rather, it's going to all the consumers at once. As much as die-hard Syndicate fans might not like it (or, heck, die-hard gaming fans at all), FPS games do rule the roost, as far as sales numbers tend to go.

Some of the charm of the old game will be lost, sure, but as far as I'm concerned if they get the general feel of the world right, I'll still be buying a copy. Because it's not the old game, and it shouldn't have to be in order to sell. I'd rather get a Syndicate FPS than no Syndicate at all, just like Adarael said.
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Adarael
post Sep 14 2011, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Platinum @ Sep 14 2011, 09:37 AM) *
What about starcraft, starcraft2? how about a 3rd person like diablo II, freedom force, magicka or torchlight?
the old controls were simple, and you only had 4 characters. It isn't that hard, many games have done this before.


You're talking PC only - none of those except Torchlight are on a console. And in Torchlight's case, the controls are radically different from the kinds of things you'd need in "old school" syndicate, what with that game's ability to control 4 characters at once or individually, with click-to-target. It is not a good user experience on a console, and players do not like it. That sucks, but that's the way it goes. Would you try to play Civ on a 360? Civ revolution, sure. But Civ 5? What a fucking nightmare. With Syndicate, you either have to change the game or admit playing it on a 360 would suck, control wise.

Developing for PC only is fine, if you don't mind missing out on approximately 68% of the "core gamer" demographic. With some games, that's just part of the way it happens - Shogun 2, Dawn of War 2, Civ 5, etc. But even traditional "PC only" titles are getting console-converted, like Witcher 2, Minecraft, etc. If you wanna maximize profit, you either have to have an ironclad sells-like-hotcakes model, or release multiplatform. Currently the only people truly capable of maximizing profit without going multiplatform are World of Warcraft and Team Fortress 2, and TF2 doesn't even count because it's gone Free to Play and pulls in cash via Microtransactions.

QUOTE
Personally I think publishers have no idea what the market is looking for, so they splatter the market with crap or spin rip off games based on previous IP. My guess is this game will turn out to be just like the shadowrun 360. Disappointing, not quite revolutionary to be new and unique, and just enough of the old to piss off purists.


Sadly, you're wrong. Publishers ABSOLUTELY know what the market is after. As Critias said, what "the market" is after may not be what we, on Dumpshock, are after. Companies invest millions of dollars in market research, and most of that consists of asking gamers what they want to buy. Mostly, what they want to buy is Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo. There's some Red Dead Redemption and Assassin's Creed in there, too.

Nobody likes to hear it, but what most people want is not what conneseurs want. This is the same story with movies. Cinema fans are all about art house movies, Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now... But the summer moviegoing public wants Titanic and Transformers 3. That's what pays the bills.

QUOTE
At the end of the day, there are as many options as you will allow yourself. The problem seems to be that they are looking to the market trends for data instead of going to the consumer.

Again, as Critias said, market trends ARE evidence of what consumers want. There's this pernicious myth that somehow buying patterns are manufactured by corporations rather than being a reflection of what people want, but that's just not the whole story. There's some influence by publishers, yes, but that shit doesn't get created in a vacuum.

And "there are as many options as you will allow yourself" is true, IF you don't mind losing money. We're in this business because we love it, but this IS a business. And some things just don't sell like they used to. With niche styles of gameplay like that, you can't afford the kind of budget a AAA release needs to be competitive, because you will *never* sell the number of copies needed to recoup your investment.
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Bigity
post Sep 14 2011, 06:27 PM
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Consoles: The worst thing to happen to gaming.
Consoles: The best thing to happen to game developers.


Both are overly generalized but basically PC gamers are becoming more and more a niche market and/or marginalized. Some tool on Google+ the other day told me mods are for 13 year olds, simply because they aren't around on his Xbox (or rather, are cheats on an xbox).

FPS games that are multi-console is simply where the money is, outside of some franchise games like Madden. Hopefully as a PC gamer, those ports are done well and we are getting features for the PC that are only available on the PC. Some games do this well, some don't even try.

Just be glad any PC only games are hopefully coming from proven developers and publishers cause all the hack studios are getting into the console port market full time.
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Adarael
post Sep 14 2011, 06:34 PM
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QUOTE (Bigity @ Sep 14 2011, 11:27 AM) *
Consoles: The worst thing to happen to gaming.
Consoles: The best thing to happen to game developers.


Both are overly generalized but basically PC gamers are becoming more and more a niche market and/or marginalized. Some tool on Google+ the other day told me mods are for 13 year olds, simply because they aren't around on his Xbox (or rather, are cheats on an xbox).

FPS games that are multi-console is simply where the money is, outside of some franchise games like Madden. Hopefully as a PC gamer, those ports are done well and we are getting features for the PC that are only available on the PC. Some games do this well, some don't even try.

Just be glad any PC only games are hopefully coming from proven developers and publishers cause all the hack studios are getting into the console port market full time.


I dunno, it's a hard thing to look at. On one hand, I feel you - I still buy most of my games on the PC, despite having worked on the Xbox, and making games for consoles. "Worst thing to happen to gaming" depends on your perspective. Millions more people play games now - is that bad in and of itself? Is it damaging to gaming BECAUSE there are more people? Or is it merely damaging to the self-identification of some gamers, due to their perception of exclusivity? Does it encourage "dumber" games, or games where interaction doesn't require complex rules, so gamers can focus on playing rather than learning to play?

These are all much bigger questions than this thread is capable of answering, I think. And I'm not endorsing any of these views unless I am specifically asked what I think.
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Bigity
post Sep 14 2011, 06:40 PM
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Oh sure, that comment was strictly from a pro-PC perspective. There are good and bad things on either side in reality.

Personally the main thing that keeps me from buying console games beyond Madden, is controls. I do not want to play a FPS (or as has been said, a RTS or any click-heavy types of games) with a control pad.

It can be made to work (hell, for FFXI Online I bought something to plug my playstation controller into my PC), but alot of times the conversion of a game from control pad to PC is the very worst part of the port.
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Wounded Ronin
post Sep 14 2011, 07:30 PM
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Ironically consoles mean there are now more games than ever I don't want to play.

Perhaps the ultimate culprit is Spongebob.

Playing Call of Duty is a bit like attending a cardio kickboxing class. You invest the time, energy, and money but at the last moment you sabatoge the content so that in spite of your investment you learn nothing of value, whereas if the content had just been a little more low key, challenging, and true to life, you could have instead maybe learned something.
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post Sep 14 2011, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (Seriously Mike @ Sep 11 2011, 11:54 AM) *
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=444322
So, Starbreeze (the guys who made Chronicles of Riddick game and Enclave) are working on something called "Project RedLime". This Red Lime is nothing else than a new Syndicate game - cyberpunk first-person shooter looking pretty much like bleached Deus Ex Human Revolution, with four-person coop (I'd hit that) and, from what I read, some good ol' Persuadertron fun.

Yeah, and it's a first person shooter because "everybody is doing FPS these days". That'S the worst reason to make it a shooter. Betehsda did it because it's what they always do (adnd where they more or less know their shit). That game though seems really like it's just trying to ride on Deus Ex 3's success, nothing else. Pity they ruin the Syndicate franchise with this, loved these games back in the day.

QUOTE
I mean, folks who remember the first Syndicate are most probably in nursing homes now! Also, the days of thirty-pixel-tall guys in trenchcoats wandering through 16-color cities are gone.

They let toddlers type on computers now? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

And the original Syndicate hat amazing vector graphics and stunning 3D visuals in full 256 colours! Also, it was quite fun to play. Not sure if a game that imitates Deus Ex without the kilotons of flair the game throws at you to make you forgive it's flaws will work. Well, let's give them the benefit of the doubt; but I'm rather sceptical here. Might well end up where the Shadowrun FPS went.
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CanadianWolverin...
post Sep 15 2011, 01:54 AM
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I am choosing to ignore Serious Mike, that is why haven't posted in this topic for a bit, it is plain that Adarael especially and pretty much everyone else is where the engaging conversation is.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Sep 14 2011, 11:34 AM) *
I dunno, it's a hard thing to look at. On one hand, I feel you - I still buy most of my games on the PC, despite having worked on the Xbox, and making games for consoles. "Worst thing to happen to gaming" depends on your perspective. Millions more people play games now - is that bad in and of itself? Is it damaging to gaming BECAUSE there are more people? Or is it merely damaging to the self-identification of some gamers, due to their perception of exclusivity? Does it encourage "dumber" games, or games where interaction doesn't require complex rules, so gamers can focus on playing rather than learning to play?

These are all much bigger questions than this thread is capable of answering, I think. And I'm not endorsing any of these views unless I am specifically asked what I think.


Thank you for delving into this topic, it appears to be one that you are close to due to your line of work.

The valid points you bring up are pretty much why I end up buying so many games on Steam (usually on sale) and Desura that are Indy Dev games. They don't go over board on graphics, they don't have AAA title millions of publisher bank and strings attached, and they engage very willingly with their audience. I have been having a way more satisfying experience buying games like AaA: A Reckless Disregard For Gravity, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Delve Deeper, Dungeons of Dredmor, Dwarfs?!, E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy, Frozen Synapse, Hinterland, Magicka, Minecraft, Mount&Blade: Warband, Space Pirates And Zombies, Survivors of Ragnarok, Project Zomboid ... just to name a few. And that is before I even get into mods.

To me, console games are just a gilded cage and while they purport a certain install base, I have found some of those numbers to be inflated for PR reasons, where IIRC numbers of sold X-boxs or what have you are the numbers of units that that been sold to the retail chains, not necessarily the actual number of possible customers or even if those customers will bother buying much beyond what comes with the system, like I have heard happened with the Wii and Wii Sports, a passing fad. I was going over some other numbers recently when I was listening to a Indy Dev podcast, they reported that they had sold more than double on Steam than what they sold on Xbox, so much so that they figured it wasn't worth their time to bother with Xbox in the future. And other sources have been surprising where recently Valve said Left 4 Dead 2 was a surprise hit for them on Xbox but then Portal 2 did better on the PC (presumably on Steam).

I would also like to point out that there was a RTS Shooter that did relatively well on a console a few years back now, Battalion Wars (Gamecube), so I know the mechanics and easy interface are possible.

I am bringing these things up because I know that there are other possibilities than FPS treatments of older IPs, which where largely held in high regard because of their game mechanics, which were decidedly not FPS. Hell, they could call games like Shadowrun, XCOM, and Syndicate by completely different names, that is all they would have to do, and we would never even know the difference. They are just trying to abuse the nostalgia of gamers to sell more copies, all flash, no substance, IMHO. In these instances, their marketing is wrong - I know why they do it, but it still doesn't make the end product a better experience that can't just be replaced with a better quality product, in this case Deus Ex 3 not turning out like Deus Ex 2 and E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy.

Oh and PC gaming dying is a straight up myth, pure BS, one that Devs like Valve, Activision Blizzard, and a multitude of Indy Devs thrive on because they don't have to go up against as much competition as Devs on consoles have to face, especially with their product still having to be tied to retail space. The install base for a lower system requirements in PC gaming is damn near astronomical to boot. PC Gaming has been happily "dying" for a decade or more now.

TL:DR - Syndicate reboot didn't have to do us like this and could have still turned a sizable profit.
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KarmaInferno
post Sep 15 2011, 04:54 AM
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Bottom line is, most companies are going to go with the sure bet when there's hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on the llne.

FPSes are a "sure bet", from a maximal sales perspective. RTSes are, not so much.



-k
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Platinum
post Sep 15 2011, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (KarmaInferno @ Sep 15 2011, 12:54 AM) *
Bottom line is, most companies are going to go with the sure bet when there's hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on the llne.

FPSes are a "sure bet", from a maximal sales perspective. RTSes are, not so much.

-k


I disagree. Some FPSes are sure, but not all. There are plenty of FPSes that fail as well. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, Painkiller: Resurrection, or Revolution for instance.

So much for sure bets.
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