march, 18, 2003 archives

sequels and licenses in the game industry

a little number crunching, courtesy of someone in the biz:

90 titles were released in November of 2003 (not including multi-SKUs). Of those, 36 (40%) were "original" (not an affiliated brand or sequel) titles. However, to date (as of Jan. '03), those titles account for just below 19% of total units sold (of those aforementioned 90 titles).
publishers like sequels and licensed games because people actually buy them. obviously there are other factors, and i don't think you can just handwave the possibility that there are differences in marketing and distribution that contribute to the sales results. it is almost certainly a self-reinforcing situation. just like the other entertainment sub-industries.

here was my reaction to the greg costikyan rants:

i want to agree more with what he says, but there's too much of an undercurrent of "everyone else is an idiot and i'm an underfunded genius -- give me money".
(there is undoubtedly a measure of projection in this response. i've found that many things that people say about other people are directed largely at themselves.)


speaking of games, i've been playing tropico lately. it's a well-done sim game in the simcity/caesar/whatever-tycoon genre. there's a tropico 2: pirate cove in the works, which sounds like fun. but the add-on for the first game didn't make it to the mac, which makes me wonder if this new game will make it.

one thing of note is the fairly small team that put together tropico.

oh, how i long for the source code to alpha centauri to be opened up. i'd love to tinker under that hood. i think it is extremely unlikely it would ever happen, of course. we in the computer industry are willing to let software die in order to guarantee no lasting classics are created. shakespeare was a fool.

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