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Elite Creator David Braben: Games Like Elite 'Too Risky' For Publishers 109

Pecisk writes "While PC game development veterans are using Kickstarter more and more for their projects (see the already successful Star Citizen Kickstarter project, which already went home with $2 million, or Elite: Dangerous, a sequel of classic space sim series, which has yet to reach its set target), questions arise: why are devs trying this rather risky way of financing, anyway? For a long time there's also been discussion on Slashdot and elsewhere of game publishers like EA have a preference for unlimited sequels (e.g. the EA Sports series). David Braben, one of creators of first classic 3D space sim, Elite, and its sequels, and also the popular Raspberry PI board/computer, has commentary on that: 'Publishers had and still have now, established processes and a key part of that is the forecast ROI or return on investment. For that to work there has to have been a sufficiently similar game in the near past to base the forecast upon Anything else will be "too risky."'"
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Elite Creator David Braben: Games Like Elite 'Too Risky' For Publishers

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  • Re:No Risk (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:52AM (#42152227)

    Wrong. Let's see the what the best selling games are (source:

    1 X360 Call of Duty: Black Ops II 1,239,686 [generic FPS, sequel]
    2 PS3 Call of Duty: Black Ops II 1,183,752 [generic FPS, sequel]
    3 X360 Kinect Adventures! 615,283 [sounds innovative enough, risky]
    4 X360 Halo 4 607,817 [generic FPS, sequel]
    5 Wii Just Dance 4 569,302 [sequel]
    6 PS3 Hitman: Absolution 501,081 [sequel]
    7 X360 Hitman: Absolution 488,127 [sequel]
    8 PS3 Assassin's Creed III 471,345 [sequel]
    9 X360 Assassin's Creed III 402,324 [sequel]
    10 WiiU New Super Mario Bros. U 372,169 [sequel]

    MYTH BUSTED! Risk is for suckers, what the wallets want is more sequels.

  • Re:Summary is wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by theArtificial ( 613980 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:54AM (#42152235)

    Star Citizen raised over $6 million dollars ($2 million via kickstarter, $4 million via paypal). Since the campaign it has raised nearly $1 million dollars more (total $6.9 million).

    Expect that figure to climb. Star Citizen is also much more tangible than what we've seen from Elite. They just released footage [] of what one of the space ports will look like. For the early adopters (people who invested prior to 11/26) all ships purchased will be insured [] for the life of the ship (the insurance transfers with title, hello second hand market value). In addition to that, additional ships may be purchased and accounts may be upgraded for the next 12 months. I wouldn't be surprised it if breaks $10mil. They've given this a lot of thought, one of the points raised was how will this prevent people from simply ramming ships? I recommend reviewing the link and giving the FAQ (and comments) a once over.

    Some of the models they're releasing images of show the insides of the ships which players will be able to move around in. They've got a pirate style 2 man ship which enables the passenger to board a vessel. Very cool stuff if you're into that sort of thing. Now, about that Constellation...

  • Not true (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:59AM (#42152265)

    Call of Duty Black Ops 2 did $500 million in sales on its first day alone. The game takes very little risk. It is just another CoD game. Minor tweaks and updates but it is basically the same formula that has won time and time again and yet again it has won big.

    While it isn't true that it was zero risk, they did outlay a fair bit of money (8 figures) in development and marketing, it was pretty low risk. Past CoD games have done very well, there was no reason to believe this one wouldn't too and indeed it did.

    In the games industry, the safe road often leads to great rewards. People seem to want that which they are familiar with.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!