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Hyperbolic?

 

Uh, you might wanna recheck that statement:

 

https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/ea-cloud-gaming-1202838940/

How is this anything other than hyperbole? Adding streaming to their service != killing ownership...

 

You can stream music via Apple subscription. You can also buy albums digitally/physically. You can stream movies via various on demand services. You can also purchase movies through many of those same services and of course you can still buy them physically. You can by a car- you can also rent, lease, ride share etc. same with housing.

There’s literally 0 evidence that the mere existence of recurring payment based models will lead to the elimination of the option to own. Pure hyperbole and fallacy.

 

You think once publishers realise they can make you a recurring customer for life they're going to let you BUY games?

Every other form of media doing the exact same thing says, yes, they’ll continue to let me buy.

 

 

Also, I undersell the increase in labor cost?

 

Mate, WTF are you smoking?

 

https://www.pcgamesn.com/activision-blizzard-profits-2017

 

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/ATVI/activision-blizzard/stock-price-history

 

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/EA/electronic-arts/stock-price-history

 

The games industry is freakin' soaring. They could remove microtransactions from every single game today and STILL turn a profit.

What is this supposed to prove? In the activision case you provided, microtransactions were responsible for half of their profits. Publicly traded companies are evaluated on their ability to provide growth, not just turn a profit. If you removed half of every games earning potential, then you remove half of the reason to invest in the first place. Therefore, w/o MTs that lack of stock growth you saw prior to the popilarity of MTs would have remained stagnant w/o increase prices and/or an increase in the number of people willing to buy full priced games.

 

In fact, both WW2 and Destiny 2 fell short of series peak sales... how do you think they can still be cited as responsible for profit growth?

 

Edit: Also here's a market:dev budget ratio. 3-4x money spent on marketing than dev costs.

 

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96227-How-Much-Did-Modern-Warfare-2-Cost-to-Make

right, because one of the most heavily marketed games in history is going to correlate with typical ratios across the industry.

 

Meanwhile, PUBG just pays a few big streamers a few K each. Turns out if you make a fun game you don't need to spend the yearly GDP of African nations for people to buy your game.

right because the formula for a viral success is immediately obvious and easily obtainable. No good games ever go unnoticed due to lack of exposure.

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How is this anything other than hyperbole? Adding streaming to their service != killing ownership...

 

These things don't happen instantly, they happen over time. Sure, you can by CD's still. But how long do you honestly think that's going to last? Music stores all over the world can barely afford to keep their lights on.

 

http://www.vulture.com/2016/05/other-music-record-store-is-closing.html

 

In a few years record stores will go the way of Blockbuster and discs will start disappearing from department stores when the real estate the shelves are taking up become unprofitable.

 

Once that happens digital will be the only way to buy something. Streaming services like Spotify are far more popular than buying digital albums so streaming services are going to dictate the market.

 

What are the advantages of EA selling you a game vs renting it?

  • If they rent you the game they can make cheating impossible.
  • They can make it easier to develop for since they only need the game to run on their server farms and don't need to worry about several different consoles plus a million different PC configurations.
  • It becomes impossible to pirate.

 

I think you're naive if you don't believe this is the ultimate goal of EA. FFS, their CEO pretty much got on stage at this years E3 and said exactly that! (Of course, in much more corporate friendly language than I've used) He spent like 5 minutes yapping an about how this was the future, blah blah blah.

 

This isn't going to happen overnight, but bookmark this page and check back in 5-10 years.

 

Microsoft is already pushing Office 365 heavily, don't be surprised when it's no longer available stand alone. Adobe already made the switch years ago and their products can no longer be bought outright. Plenty of other examples of software as a service replacing their options to buy with subscription only.

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Streaming will only take over gaming when the latency is JUST as good as having your device in the same room, until then you have nothing to worry about.

 

The more realistic future is the cloud servers handling a lot of things like physics/raytracing/etc so the console in your room could be cheaper/less powerful but output amazing graphics only capable on much stronger hardware. This is and will happen in the next generation or two. There will likely be a Xbox One X type console that won't require the cloud but it'll be much more expensive. The cheaper option will need those cloud services to run the games properly.

 

It's happening so just prepare for that.

 

Don't listen to the people saying otherwise, it's basically same thing people have been saying for 15 years. "Desktop PCs are a thing of the past and will never make a comeback!"  Yeah, no.

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Streaming will only take over gaming when the latency is JUST as good as having your device in the same room, until then you have nothing to worry about.

 

Easy for us to say that. We're invested in low latency because most of us play the games competitively or at least used to. For the other 99% of gamers? They literally don't even notice it.

 

Do you remember when LCD's were first hitting the market?

 

Holy shit, the response time on those things could almost be measured in freakin' SECONDS!

 

I used to complain about tournaments using LCD's instead or CRT's and people looked at me as if I was crazy! AND MANY OF THESE GUYS WERE REGULAR HALO TOURNAMENT GOERS!

 

I remember a certain Xbox cafe I used to compete at regularly bragging about their 22ms response time monitors and they told me their was no way I'd be able to notice the delay. Well, surprise surprise, the difference between the 22ms LCD's and my CRT monitor were night and day. I had to drop my sensitivity down 1 or 2 points so I could actually aim.

 

For those of you unaware most gaming LCD's today are 1-2ms response time grey to grey. Compare that to screens that were 20+ ms and those were the smaller screens! Hell, even today people play on modern projectors with almost a second of lag and they believe they're getting the ultimate gaming experience.

 

So yeah... After seeing how the average gamer reacts to playing on monitors like that there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that as long as latency can be kept below 30ms or something they won't notice or care (provided their monitor isn't adding another 50ms of latency).

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The sudden concern over game ownership is interesting to me. Surely you guys also realize you already own very little of Halo 5? So long as the Xbone remains unhacked, you rely on a network of servers to access anything in Halo 5 beyond the single-player campaign; It can be taken away from you just as easily as a "streamed" video game can be. Forge content, gametypes, flims, game patches, are all essentially fleeting. The acceptance of partial non-ownership of console video games is several years old now, its not some theoretical future. 

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I think owning Halo 5 was the mistake, there.

I recently got a free copy of Halo 5 and MCC when I bought Spider-Man from Target.

 

The sales person never asked me if I wanted it, never even asked if I owned an Xbox. They just handed it to me with my receipt.

 

What’s most surprising is that they have a clearance section with tonnes of shit games being sold for $2-$10 and yet somehow Halo didn’t even get the bargain bin treatment.

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These things don't happen instantly, they happen over time. Sure, you can by CD's still. But how long do you honestly think that's going to last? Music stores all over the world can barely afford to keep their lights on.

 

http://www.vulture.com/2016/05/other-music-record-store-is-closing.html

 

In a few years record stores will go the way of Blockbuster and discs will start disappearing from department stores when the real estate the shelves are taking up become unprofitable.

 

Once that happens digital will be the only way to buy something. Streaming services like Spotify are far more popular than buying digital albums so streaming services are going to dictate the market.

When the cruxt of your argument is slippery slope fallacy, you don’t actually have an argument.

 

Brick and Mortar Music stores are going under not because of evil CEOS but because of the 1-2-3 punch of 1) physical retail losing the competition against online retail and 2) consumers that purchase music choose to store it on hard drives and in the cloud, rather than on discs 3) many consumers preferring to have access instant access to an unlimited amount of music instead of ownership of a finite amount of music.

 

What are the advantages of EA selling you a game vs renting it?

  • If they rent you the game they can make cheating impossible.
  • They can make it easier to develop for since they only need the game to run on their server farms and don't need to worry about several different consoles plus a million different PC configurations.
  • It becomes impossible to pirate.
The real question is what are the cons of only offering games via streaming.

  • the biggest gaming market doesn’t have the infrastructure to support it
  • lack of net neutrality legislation aims to keep it that way
  • the developing markets that will sustain future growth don’t have the infrastructure to support it
  • the still a massive market for people who want to own games who would be completely alienated
  • the cost and logistics associated with hosting streaming services for 100% of your product offering vs allowing downloads

 

I think you're naive if you don't believe this is the ultimate goal of EA. FFS, their CEO pretty much got on stage at this years E3 and said exactly that! (Of course, in much more corporate friendly language than I've used) He spent like 5 minutes yapping an about how this was the future, blah blah blah.

The far more likely scenario is that natural competition would see that companies operate with diverse portfolios and business models so that they can reach as many people as possible

 

This isn't going to happen overnight, but bookmark this page and check back in 5-10 years.

 

Microsoft is already pushing Office 365 heavily, don't be surprised when it's no longer available stand alone. Adobe already made the switch years ago and their products can no longer be bought outright. Plenty of other examples of software as a service replacing their options to buy with subscription only.

Slippery slope blah blah. Will some products/companies go sub only? Sure. And others won’t. And others will keep a mix. Supply and Demand is still at play. If there’s demand for an ownership model for Editing software SOMEONE will provide it. Even if it isn’t MS or Adobe. Same with games.
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I hate microtransactions because it's always a fucking domino effect of "how much more intrusive and shitty can we make it"

 

The practice as a whole needs to die to ensure gamers are getting a fair shake. That means axing the least offensive types of MTs like cosmetics that cost like a cent.

 

Plus they're gay as fuck.

Dont worry bro every company looks out for your best interest and will never try to screw you !!!!

 

Shit only gets worse from here

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It all depends on the execution. Microtransactions are not categorically bad as was demonstrated by Titanfall 2,but usually what we end up with is predatory bullshit, RNG packs and teenagers with gambling addictions. Judging from 343s track record, this is very bad news, although not surprising after the alleged success of the REQ system in H5. The deal breaker for me will be if we get yet another game devoid of content which is then completed over two years under the disguise of "free DLC".

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If they weren't RNG and were direct purchase only (what other industry operates on the idea that you don't know what you're purchasing?), were actual MICRO-transactions (1/4th the cost of the game for a single cosmetic is ridiculous, should be like five dollars at most), and weren't treated as a substitute for bland default models...then they'd be tolerable.  Still bad, but I pushed a kid off his bike levels of bad instead of I murdered an entire town levels of bad.  As Grim said though, companies seem to obsess over the shittiest systems possible and it only gets worse every year, so I'm not holding out on things changing.

 

"Game development is more expensive".  Developing the same things is cheaper.  You can do in unity today what it took an entire team to do in 2001.  It's quote-unquote "more expensive" because they're constantly trying to push 9001k graphics for their console games on machines that struggle to even deliver Medium-Quality 1080p consistently.  And enter microtransactions, me paying for the game's content piece by piece to fund graphics I don't care about.

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Dont worry bro every company looks out for your best interest and will never try to screw you !!!!

 

Shit only gets worse from here

Activision is my new big brudder.

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I mean if you want to be technical, nobody has actually "owned" a game since the 90's... you purchase a license.  Its why they can ban your account and access to a game if you violate it.  But i guess thats really neither here nor there atm.

 

No company that actually wants to make as much money as possible would let you NOT buy something...  Especially in gaming, there are too many good options for fans of pretty much any game (except Halo sadly enough...) to offer a franchise that had previously been available for a single purchase price as ONLY subscription.  It might be added as an option, but not at the expense of the direct purchase. Things like Game Pass are a better bet going forward.  That kind of shit is going to be everywhere.  I have EA Access and Game Pass myself and have played more games to date from both of those than the cost of either subscription.  If any game company stops offering direct purchases, some other company will and will straight up steal those consumers.

 

Pure subscription models are bad for companies unless they give consumers a good value.  Netflix and Amazon Prime are great examples.  I get a lot of value out of those since those are the majority of my entertainment.  This is also why cable subscriber numbers keep going down.  There is no value in them.  What good is 100 channels for $100 if its all censored, formulaic garbage?  If cable companies offered single channels a la carte for reasonable prices, they would definitely see an uptick in subscriptions, because then the value would be there.

 

As long as there is good competition in the gaming space,  nobody has to worry about forced "subscription only" content.

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As long as there is good competition in the gaming space,  nobody has to worry about forced "subscription only" content.

 

Assumption being made here that industry-wide shifts in tech and approach never happen. 

 

They do. 

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Esports focus doesn't intrigue me because these days that just means shit tons of stupid bells and whistles rather than good game play.

 

Look at overwatch or R6 siege. Games that have zero actual competitive value and are random twitch fests, garner a significant share of the communitys attention. Fuck even call of duty has pro tournaments. What is competitive about cods core gameplay?

 

All I know is that neither quake nor halo ce needed things like the modern generic ranking system (I don't hate the concept of ranking btw), copious amounts of skins, loot boxes in game callouts, weapon spawn indicators or other kinds of crap to be truly competitive games. They just had gameplay that made sense. There was charm to that kind of simplicity.

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Assumption being made here that industry-wide shifts in tech and approach never happen. 

 

They do. 

 

Sure, but capitalists want as many avenues of revenue open as possible.  If anybody thinks its realistic that Activision, EA, Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo etc etc etc will someday not be competitors anymore, all under the same megacorp then sure.  But if that happens we're all fucked so hard that subscription model-only games will be the least of our worries.

 

And yeah, i know that industry wide shit-tier business practices take over like we have with ISPs or pharmaceutical companies but that's only when 1) They aren't competing over the same base of customers like how ISPs are usually the only game in town or 2) the services being offered are non-optional, like pharmaceutical companies charging whatever the fuck they want because they know people are either addicted or need their products to live.

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9f6e20516c.PNG

 

"Halo 5 has the best multiplayer"

 

NICE MEME. HAHA JUST KEEP PASTING IT EVERYWHERE.

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My only issue with this is alienation. Like with Halo 5. Halo 5 isn't competitive in like, 69 different ways, but is so hardcorely pushed for an eSports crowd. And casual kids latch onto this, despite the game ironically catering to them with gimmicks and easy mechanics. I don't think they should announce shit like this, barring stuff like MLG partnerships for obvious official series to play. Don't come off the bat as a hardcore game. Ease everyone into it, rather than just booting out a large demographic who plays your game and won't care for HCS/comp stuff. Saying it's competitive and so eSports centric, as we did with Halo 5 means fuck all, too. It doesn't change bad shit in game, lol, and does nothing but give off a sweaty image.

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When the cruxt of your argument is slippery slope fallacy, you don’t actually have an argument

 

Just because I've used a slippery slope fallacy, does not discredit my argument. Simply shouting "hurr durr slippery slope", is a garbage way of debating someone. Especially when all the evidence is on my side. A slippery slope is only a bad way to argue if you can't provide a correlation between steps - Not exactly hard to do in regards to DLC and predatory business practises.

 

Remember when Horse Armour DLC came out for Oblivion? People said this was bad because DLC like this used to be free mods you could download and it was shitty to charge for such a tiny amount of content? Now we're charged like $5 for a freakin' weapon skin.

 

Remember when people said it was bad to charge for map packs because it segregates communities?

 

Wow, would you look at that... It turns out all these people were correct. I was one of them.

 

Lets see, so far DLC/Micro-transactions have:

  • Killed modding communities (Game devs don't want to have to compete with free mods)
  • Killed custom maps (Same as above)
  • Turned games into P2W (See Warzone in Halo 5)
  • Turned kids into gamblers

So this idea that I don't actually have an argument is laughable.

 

Will you always have the ability to buy games? Yeah, sure.

 

Will you always be able to buy EA games? Or Ubisoft games? Or Activision games?

 

Well, perhaps not.

 

It's very possible in the future that people that want to buy games will be buying from other smaller companies while AAA publishers go the subscription route. Perhaps Windows will become a close eco-system and all PC gamers will be pushed to Linux. Microsoft is actually trialling this already with Windows 10 S - https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/03/windows-10-s-microsoft-faster-pc-comparison:

 

The big difference between Windows 10 S and any other version of Windows 10 is that 10 S can only run applications downloaded from the Windows Store. Every other version of Windows 10 has the option to install applications from third-party sites and stores, as has the majority of versions of Windows before it.

 

Games bought on the Windows Store have their entire folders encrypted to the point where not even an administrator account has access to modify the files inside. This means you're can't even do things like modify a *.ini file to change your settings, etc. Good bye mods, but hey, I'm sure the game developers will make up for those free mods we used to enjoy with a bunch of paid DLC...

 

Obviously some companies are going to maintain their credibility. Publishers like Valve are pushing Linux heavily in order to escape Windows and they've always been great to their modding community.

 

But look at companies that once embraced mods, like ID. Doom and Quake used to have thriving modding communities. Quake Champions has no modding tools and Doom has... Snapmap... Yay.

 

I'm sorry dude, but if you think games as a service taking over the ability to buy games is far fetched you're incredibly naive.. It's almost certain at this point that all major game publishers want to go this route.

 

Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot was very blunt, telling Variety that, "With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home." He went on to posit that "there will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us."

 

This is the CEO of Ubisoft pretty much stating point blank what their intentions are.

 

But yes, please go on and tell me how this is a dumb slippery slope fallacy, lol.

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My only issue with this is alienation. Like with Halo 5. Halo 5 isn't competitive in like, 69 different ways, but is so hardcorely pushed for an eSports crowd. And casual kids latch onto this, despite the game ironically catering to them with gimmicks and easy mechanics. I don't think they should announce shit like this, barring stuff like MLG partnerships for obvious official series to play. Don't come off the bat as a hardcore game. Ease everyone into it, rather than just booting out a large demographic who plays your game and won't care for HCS/comp stuff. Saying it's competitive and so eSports centric, as we did with Halo 5 means fuck all, too. It doesn't change bad shit in game, lol, and does nothing but give off a sweaty image.

this is my problem with modern comp titles. They look the part so as to capitalize on the morons. They do not act the part.
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this is my problem with modern comp titles. They look the part so as to capitalize on the morons. They do not act the part.

Aaaaand they in turn drive a metric fuckton of people away who rightfully don't want anything to do with it. They aim to capitalize on what should be a niche audience, force it on a broad audience where it doesn't mesh, and surprise surprise, it doesn't pan out.

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Aaaaand they in turn drive a metric fuckton of people away who rightfully don't want anything to do with it. They aim to capitalize on what should be a niche audience, force it on a broad audience where it doesn't mesh, and surprise surprise, it doesn't pan out.

I'd actually argue the opposite happened. These games have gotten popular by catering to the bottom of the barrel and making their product as pretty and shiny as possible. As much as I don't care for most modern comp titles, they generate revenue and get eyeballs in front of monitors.

 

Who they've driven away is us. Or rather you (since I'm not a comp guy). The minority that knows what the fucks up.

 

Halo 5 has failed at replicating that success but that just speaks to 343s ineptitude.

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Esports focus doesn't intrigue me because these days that just means shit tons of stupid bells and whistles rather than good game play.

 

Look at overwatch or R6 siege. Games that have zero actual competitive value and are random twitch fests, garner a significant share of the communitys attention. Fuck even call of duty has pro tournaments. What is competitive about cods core gameplay?

 

All I know is that neither quake nor halo ce needed things like the modern generic ranking system (I don't hate the concept of ranking btw), copious amounts of skins, loot boxes in game callouts, weapon spawn indicators or other kinds of crap to be truly competitive games. They just had gameplay that made sense. There was charm to that kind of simplicity.

Telegraphing eSports focus is a bad call, I agree. It does draw in a more toxic crowd of gamers, and the mere mention of the word competitive makes casuals' buttholes pucker. Just make a good, well balanced game, and let the tournament scene handle itself. If the dev chooses to support the tournament scene, all the better. But STOP talking about competitive focus. That does no one any favors. It should go without saying that your multiplayer is competitively viable, otherwise it's a bad game. Whether eSports focus is a priority internally is irrelevant. Keep that shit to yourself, devs.

 

That said, you're WAY off base on Overwatch, Siege and even CoD. The first two are tournament ready out of the box, and CoD's tournament settings are fine for competition. They're not my cup of tea, but shitting on any of their competitive merit at the highest level is ignorant as fuck. Siege in particular is anything but a "random twitch fest". What a ridiculous thing to say. Play the game. Watch a tournament. You're painfully wrong.

 

My only issue with this is alienation. Like with Halo 5. Halo 5 isn't competitive in like, 69 different ways, but is so hardcorely pushed for an eSports crowd. And casual kids latch onto this, despite the game ironically catering to them with gimmicks and easy mechanics. I don't think they should announce shit like this, barring stuff like MLG partnerships for obvious official series to play. Don't come off the bat as a hardcore game. Ease everyone into it, rather than just booting out a large demographic who plays your game and won't care for HCS/comp stuff. Saying it's competitive and so eSports centric, as we did with Halo 5 means fuck all, too. It doesn't change bad shit in game, lol, and does nothing but give off a sweaty image.

 

Exactly. All it does is attach a stigma to the game. Just make a good fucking game, and the competitive scene will grow organically. This idea that games need to be either eSports-ready or casual knuckle-dragger bullshit like Battlefront 2 is fucking absurd. Look at Counterstrike. Look at Smash. Look at Siege. Look at Overwatch. They're all killing it, and they're competitive settings are barely different than their casual ones, and they didn't need to market themselves as "only the sweatiest cyber athletes need apply". Don't paint yourself into that corner. Casuals are capable of liking competitive settings if you just stop telling them they're competitive settings. For fucks sake, it really is that simple.

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