Epic Games Mark Rein calls Episodic Content a 'Broken business', outrage follows

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Epic Games VP Mark Rein called episodic gaming a “broken business,” triggering outrage among some delegates during the Develop Conference in Brighton, England today. Lots of good stuff inside…
During his keynote, Rein also talked about the economics of next generation console development, offering useful tips to developers and pubs, and in an entertaining tirade, he tore into Intel, saying the chip maker “ruined the PC gaming business.”

Regarding the hot topic of episodic, he said, “I’ve heard a lot of insane talk about episodic content. Very little of it makes any actual sense. It’s a broken business.“

He explained, “Customers are supposed to buy half a game for $20, then wait six months for an episode? When I put a game down, I want to try a new one. Episodic games that offer faster turnaround will inevitably be using a lot of recycled content, walking through the same environments and shooting the same enemies with the same weapons.”

He said that episodic games could never compete will full-priced products. “They’re competing against massive marketing budgets. Distribution without marketing is worthless. You can’t buy retail marketing with a wholesale price of $15.” He added, “Full-price games have a cohesive start, middle and end.”

Rein acknowledged that the game industry already has an episodic model through game sequels, such as Madden, Zelda and Final Fantasy. He said these work because they are full-price and backed by marketing.

However, his opinions did not go down well with all the audience in this busy seaside town.

“Mark, you are a dinosaur, you are wrong,” yelled one delegate. Another exclaimed, “Your brain is locked,“ and yet another accused him of self-serving arguments, saying that promoting the full-priced model best serves a company selling game engines such as Epic’s Unreal Engine 3.

Rein retorted, saying that Epic offers a variety of models including ones for Xbox Live Arcade.

Turning a profit

Rein began his speech talking about how developers can succeed in the next generation business environment. He started off with some fundamental economics:



A game selling 400,000 units on three different platforms at $35 average wholesale is $42 million revenue, take away $5 million in marketing, $8 million in development and another $8 million in platform holder fees leaves you with $21 million profit for the developer.
Prototype a lot. Have an anchor vision, but iterate like crazy.
Get the core elements to the fun stage before completing design.
Optimize your content pipeline at the prototype stage.
Self-fund your game to the playable stage if you can.
Outsource intelligently, but don’t rely on it too much.
Hire the right people and don’t just fill seats.
Be market aware; do what sells.
If you don’t love playing your game, you’re making the wrong game.
Execution is more important than ideas. An idea won’t buy you a cup of coffee.
Publishers will put up big money. You need a deal that is profitable.
There can’t be a long drought between games.

He also accused Intel of killing the PC games market with its integrated graphics laptops and desktops. “Intel is evil, we need to kick its ass. … The difference in price in offering better graphics chips is negligible. You couldn’t buy a meal for that price [difference]. We’re talking five bucks.”

http://next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3396&Itemid=2&limit=1&limitstart=0
 
He does have a point. That's why I'm never buying another intel CPU.
 
Zenien said:
Epic Games VP Mark Rein called episodic gaming a “broken business,” triggering outrage among some delegates during the Develop Conference in Brighton, England today. Lots of good stuff inside…
During his keynote, Rein also talked about the economics of next generation console development, offering useful tips to developers and pubs, and in an entertaining tirade, he tore into Intel, saying the chip maker “ruined the PC gaming business.”

Regarding the hot topic of episodic, he said, “I’ve heard a lot of insane talk about episodic content. Very little of it makes any actual sense. It’s a broken business.“

He explained, “Customers are supposed to buy half a game for $20, then wait six months for an episode? When I put a game down, I want to try a new one. Episodic games that offer faster turnaround will inevitably be using a lot of recycled content, walking through the same environments and shooting the same enemies with the same weapons.”

He said that episodic games could never compete will full-priced products. “They’re competing against massive marketing budgets. Distribution without marketing is worthless. You can’t buy retail marketing with a wholesale price of $15.” He added, “Full-price games have a cohesive start, middle and end.”

Rein acknowledged that the game industry already has an episodic model through game sequels, such as Madden, Zelda and Final Fantasy. He said these work because they are full-price and backed by marketing.

However, his opinions did not go down well with all the audience in this busy seaside town.

“Mark, you are a dinosaur, you are wrong,” yelled one delegate. Another exclaimed, “Your brain is locked,“ and yet another accused him of self-serving arguments, saying that promoting the full-priced model best serves a company selling game engines such as Epic’s Unreal Engine 3.

Rein retorted, saying that Epic offers a variety of models including ones for Xbox Live Arcade.

Turning a profit

Rein began his speech talking about how developers can succeed in the next generation business environment. He started off with some fundamental economics:



A game selling 400,000 units on three different platforms at $35 average wholesale is $42 million revenue, take away $5 million in marketing, $8 million in development and another $8 million in platform holder fees leaves you with $21 million profit for the developer.
Prototype a lot. Have an anchor vision, but iterate like crazy.
Get the core elements to the fun stage before completing design.
Optimize your content pipeline at the prototype stage.
Self-fund your game to the playable stage if you can.
Outsource intelligently, but don’t rely on it too much.
Hire the right people and don’t just fill seats.
Be market aware; do what sells.
If you don’t love playing your game, you’re making the wrong game.
Execution is more important than ideas. An idea won’t buy you a cup of coffee.
Publishers will put up big money. You need a deal that is profitable.
There can’t be a long drought between games.

He also accused Intel of killing the PC games market with its integrated graphics laptops and desktops. “Intel is evil, we need to kick its ass. … The difference in price in offering better graphics chips is negligible. You couldn’t buy a meal for that price [difference]. We’re talking five bucks.”

http://next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3396&Itemid=2&limit=1&limitstart=0



I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS "EPISODIC CONTENT" HE'S RANTING ABOUT. IS IT A PC-RELATED TERM, LIKE WHAT 'VALVE' DOES THROUGH 'STEAM' WITH 'HALF-LIFE'? IF HE'S TALKING ABOUT STUFF LIKE THE 'MORROWIND' EXPANSIONS, OR THE 'OBLIVION' DOWNLOADS, THEN HE'S WAY OFF BASE. :confused:
 
THWIP* said:
I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS "EPISODIC CONTENT" HE'S RANTING ABOUT. IS IT A PC-RELATED TERM, LIKE WHAT 'VALVE' DOES THROUGH 'STEAM' WITH 'HALF-LIFE'? IF HE'S TALKING ABOUT STUFF LIKE THE 'MORROWIND' EXPANSIONS, OR THE 'OBLIVION' DOWNLOADS, THEN HE'S WAY OFF BASE. :confused:
he's talking about things liek Sin Episodes, or Half life 2: Episode 1
 
Hudson said:
he's talking about things liek Sin Episodes, or Half life 2: Episode 1


O.K., THAT'S WHAT I FIGURED. :o
RANT AWAY, MR. REIN......I DON'T GIVE A FLYING F**K ABOUT PC GAMING ANYWAY. :) :p
 
THWIP* said:
I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS "EPISODIC CONTENT" HE'S RANTING ABOUT. IS IT A PC-RELATED TERM, LIKE WHAT 'VALVE' DOES THROUGH 'STEAM' WITH 'HALF-LIFE'? IF HE'S TALKING ABOUT STUFF LIKE THE 'MORROWIND' EXPANSIONS, OR THE 'OBLIVION' DOWNLOADS, THEN HE'S WAY OFF BASE. :confused:
No he's talking about Sin episodes and HL2. The Oblivion stuff is just $2 mods made by the developer.



THWIP* said:
O.K., THAT'S WHAT I FIGURED.
RANT AWAY, MR. REIN......I DON'T GIVE A FLYING F**K ABOUT PC GAMING ANYWAY.
Then your a fool. Without PC gaming you wouldn't have Oblivion of the Xbox.
 
lars573 said:
No he's talking about Sin episodes and HL2. The Oblivion stuff is just $2 mods made by the developer.




Then your a fool. Without PC gaming you wouldn't have Oblivion of the Xbox.



THAT'S TRUE; IF PC GAMING WASN'T SO INSANELY EXPENSIVE AND DIDN'T CATER TO ELITEST SNOBS, THE CONSOLE MARKET NEVER WOULD'VE EXISTED. :down:o
 
Why does everyone think PC gaming is expensive? :confused:
 
Axid said:
Why does everyone think PC gaming is expensive? :confused:


BECAUSE IT IS. :confused:


GO AHEAD......TRY TO ARGUE WITH ME; YOU DON'T STAND A CHANCE. :mad:
 
lars573 said:
He does have a point. That's why I'm never buying another intel CPU.

I don't see why anyone in their right minds would ever even consider buying an Intel CPU now in the first place when AMD is so much better, especially for gaming.
 
THWIP* said:
THAT'S TRUE; IF PC GAMING WASN'T SO INSANELY EXPENSIVE AND DIDN'T CATER TO ELITEST SNOBS, THE CONSOLE MARKET NEVER WOULD'VE EXISTED. :down:o
No consoles evolved along side PC's. The Atari 2600 is a contemporary of the Commodore 64.

And what I mean't was is that M$ and Besthesda started out in the PC gmaes market. In fact M$ got into the game buisness to prove that DirectX didn't suck.


Axid said:
Why does everyone think PC gaming is expensive?
While PC games may be cheaper thnk how much more you spend to get the same visuals as a 360. I know it's $2000.


Phaser said:
I don't see why anyone in their right minds would ever even consider buying an Intel CPU now in the first place when AMD is so much better, especially for gaming.
Because people believe that Ghz=performance BS that Intel shovels. Not me, I've seen the evidence first hand that an AMD will out perform a similar Intel.
 
THWIP* said:
THAT'S TRUE; IF PC GAMING WASN'T SO INSANELY EXPENSIVE AND DIDN'T CATER TO ELITEST SNOBS, THE CONSOLE MARKET NEVER WOULD'VE EXISTED. :down:o

Aaaaaha!!! It's "Elitist", Mr. Grammar!!!
prt2va.jpg
 
lars573 said:
No consoles evolved along side PC's. The Atari 2600 is a contemporary of the Commodore 64.

And what I mean't was is that M$ and Besthesda started out in the PC gmaes market. In fact M$ got into the game buisness to prove that DirectX didn't suck.

.


NO, 'MS' GOT INTO THE CONSOLE MARKET, BECAUSE THEY SAW THE BILLION$ THAT 'SONY' WAS RAPING......I MEAN REAPING..... FROM GAMERS, AND WANTED A PIECE OF THE ACTION. :o
 
Gammy v.2 said:
Son't?
Don't you mean "don't"? :mad:

And you haven't seen Donnie Darko :( :down



LOL.......I HAD 'SONY' ON MY MIND, APPARENTLY. :D :O


AND YES, I'VE SEEN 'DONNY DARKO'. WHY? :confused:
 
Gammy v.2 said:
Because that's where they say "Suck a phuck!" :up:


IT'S BEEN A FEW YEARS, AND I ONLY WATCHED IT ONE TIME. BESIDES, I'M PRETTY SURE THEY DIDN'T COIN THAT PHRASE. :confused: :o
 
I feel I must disagree! :mad:
It's not even a correct swear phrase, Donnie makes fun of his sister for using it :up:
 

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