Thursday, March 05, 2015

maxis and simcity are shutting down

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spiritplumber 5 hours ago


Westwood, Origin, Bullfrog, Maxis....

EA's strategy seems to be "Buy studio, make them shovel a couple incomplete games out of the door, close studio, repeat."

Okay, they're asshats. What I don't get is, how does this make them any money? They're basically strip-mining the games industry, is this really more profitable than actually making good games?

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lmkg 5 hours ago


As a strategy, it's better than being profitable: it's predictable. The forecasts for the upcoming financial quarters are much more likely to be accurate when you only work with known IP.

The CEO is more beholden to analysts and stockholders than to customers. He has more to lose by failing expectations than he has to gain by exceeding expectations. Therefore, EA adopts a strategy that minimizes variance rather than maximizing profit.

But yes, it's profitable enough. Games and studios generally have more name-recognition than publishers. EA can take existing name-recognition on a series and generate large revenue from the first bad game they turn out. They launch a large marketing campaign, and by pushing pre-orders they can get more people to spend money on a game before they have an opportunity to find out what the product is that they're actually buying. At this point it's practically a science, and the market is only starting to push back (the latest Assassin's Creed may be doing a number on pre-orders).

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m_mueller 4 hours ago


This is pretty much how a deadly virus works, right? Infect a particular game brand (cell) by buying (infecting) it, generate enough new copies of the virus (selling the game), then destroy it and release the virus onto the next cells. If the analogy is correct, the game market will either die, find a cure and eject EA or EA adapts and finds a way to coexist such as not to kill the host cells anymore.

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pkinsky 3 hours ago


Not really: in this case the games sold by an infected game studio aren't copies of the original entity that go on to infect other game studios. They're more of a waste product. EA consumes game studios for sustenance and excretes a steady stream of sub-par sequels as it slowly digests its prey.

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m_mueller 3 hours ago


Apparently I haven't been clear enough, so let me rephrase: What DNA is to a virus, money is to EA. Selling games is how they get their money, which is then used to infect more games and destroying them all in the process. Well that's at least how my analogy was supposed to work.

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pkinsky 2 hours ago


I understood you, but your analogy doesn't work. Viruses are replicators, they infect cells to spawn new generations. EA is a monolithic entity that consumes studios to sustain itself, all without creating a single copy of itself. Money is food, not DNA.


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