Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Interview Paradox admit Tyranny sold below expectations, DLC still in the works

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, May 16, 2017.

  1. Kev Inklinegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Now, to be honest, a so called MCA effect to sales cannot be very large, how many people do you reckon know him outside a very niche crowd of a very niche genre? And for a larger general audience, for how many his presence would be the reason to actually buy a game?

    I mean personally I would probabliy buy a pair of sports underwear if it had his design, but exposure to Codex tends to distort one's perspective.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  2. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Well.....

    - The fact that he is constantly used in marketing materials, Kickstarter pitches, and convention panels means that people who are paid to help sell products believe his name is known.

    - A Google News search for Chris Avellone yields 3,060 results, although Google's result count is pretty dodgy.

    - He has 26k followers on Twitter, which isn't a lot in and of itself, but it is indicative of something, particularly because he doesn't do politics and isn't very active. (For example, Richard Garriott has 32k, Warren Spector has 11k, etc.)

    I mean, it's pretty hard to isolate something like that, but I'd say he's among the "celebrity" developers whose name is worth something. He's certainly managed to monetize into microtransactions. :D
     
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  3. Wonderdoggender: ⚧ Neckbeard Shitlord's alt

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    Kickstarter proves you wrong. Kickstarter success is mainly linked to what people they can scrape up who have some good reputation. If what you said weren't true then why would he quit? The reason he quit was he knew that lending his rep to this crap, especially falsely, would degrade it a large amount. That rep is equivalent to what chance he has for starting companies and projects, getting funded, or simply finding work at all.

    The same applies to everyone as well but is mainly expressed in the form of resumes and references etc. If you have some reputation as an executive you can make millions a year in a heartbeat, if you have reputation for being a flop then you may as well retire from the industry.
     
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  4. EShgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    MRY, if the MCA effect has such a significant impact on sales... doesn't that just make Numenera's bellyflop even more pathetic?
     
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  5. Kev Inklinegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    But I don't think PoE degrades the rep of anyone involved, now does it? In the mainstream, it's well received and sold in decent numbers. We can only to speculate why he quit, but I think it's a quite stretch to say it was because of the end product tarnishing his rep.
     
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  6. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    I realize this is facetious, but the MCA bump was realized at the Kickstarter phase. It's actually visible on the daily Kicktraq chart (right around 3/21). It looks like he immediately brought in ~1400 new backers and ~$90k, but even after that point, it looks like there's a continuing effect of about 50 backers per day.[*] Another thing is that Torment is actually the kind of game least likely to benefit from an Avellone effect because it was already drawing in story-centric folks and already had a bunch of RPG nerds and Rothfuss attached to it, so the Avellone bump was probably smaller for TTON than it would've been for other Kickstarter projects. Obviously, TTON did ludicrously well at the crowd-funding phase.

    In terms of the sales phase, Chris didn't really promote the game much -- Colin and Gavin were the front men. Great guys, but less brand awareness by far. Ultimately, the Avellone effect can only take you so far, too, in the face of bad word-of-mouth and Steam reviews.

    [*EDIT: Looks like I may be wrong about this. 3/21 was Rothfuss, 3/22 was Avellone, and Rothfuss almost certainly confounds any Avellone effect. Who knows?]

    [EDIT 2: Hmmmmmmm. Not much impact on Divinity II: http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/#chart-daily (9/25 is when he was announced). Nor much impact on BTIV: http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/#chart-daily (6/29). So perhaps Avellone has never been more than a placebo.]

    [EDIT 3: It looks like the one time there was a real impact was on Wasteland 2. http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2/#chart-daily (3/30) Following his announcement there was a huge jump in backers (about 3,000 in the first two days). So maybe this is something that has had diminishing returns.]
     
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  7. LESS T_Tgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Codex 2014
    Steamspy provides other useful tools to gauge a games' audience: http://steamspy.com/app/362960

    (You should log in to see this data on Steamspy.)

    Owners of Tyranny also own:

    Title / Share / Avg. Playtime
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / 75.82% / 184:05
    Pillars of Eternity / 69.29% / 70:58
    Sid Meier's Civilization V / 69.05% / 153:01
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown / 60.74% / 58:57
    Divinity: Original Sin (Classic) / 57.54% / 46:17
    Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition / 57.54% / 28:55
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition / 55.32% / 24:54
    The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition / 55.14% / 24:43
    Fallout 4 / 53.6% / 125:47
    Borderlands 2 / 52.74% / 56:15

    (Skyrim is the norm among all spectrum (from casual to most hardcore) of RPG players. 77% of AoD owners own Skyrim and played it 188 hours in average, though their other shared titles seem a bit more inclined to hardcore/niche than Tyranny.

    For those wondering, 76.51% of Dungeon Rats owners are AoD owners.)


    And this is cross analysis page for PoE and Tyranny (you should have an account to see it): http://steamspy.com/audience/362960/291650

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Do you know how accurate this cross-over data is? I just looked it up for some WEG titles and it seems pretty implausible. For example, it asserts that <50% of Shardlight owners have bought any particular other WEG title. Surely that should be close to 100%. Likewise, it says that only 76.5% of people who own Dungeon Rats own AOD. Can that really be right?

    [EDIT: I attached the purported crossover among Primordia, Technobabylon, and Gemini Rue players as a reference. Suffice it to say, this seems implausible to me, but maybe it suggests that the low-res, scifi, point-and-click WEG/AGS fanbase is actually much larger and more fragmented than I thought.]
     

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    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  9. corvaxgender: ⚧ Augur

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    Since I am positive that Obsidian and Paradox are reading this thread and simply cannot wait for my opinion I will reluctantly let them.

    My first though when Tyranny was announced was: Why? Like most, I awaited Pillars II. Another RPG in a totally different setting using the same engine? Overkill. Paradox should have agreed instead of an Icewind Dale like game but in a Pillars setting. Keep the interest going and then go straight into Pillars II.

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Wonderdoggender: ⚧ Neckbeard Shitlord's alt

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    With low sales numbers it means jack shit. You always have someone who buys because they saw it on steam and why not. The percentage of people who played PoE and then bought Tranny is much more informative, and obviously was very low.

    He said that's why he quit.
     
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  11. aweighgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    i think just owning skyrim just disqualify that person as part of the "rpg market".

    no true rpger/codexer would ever buy a game like that and support it financially knowing what it truly is.


    [cue screenshot of someone's rpgcodex steam profile showing every single poster currently playing skyrim/cod/witcher]
     
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  12. LESS T_Tgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Well, as with the owner data, it's based on a ramdom sample and may be spotty for smaller titles. This is not the case for Shardlight, but it also could be skewed by bundles. For example, games included in the same Humble Bundle may show much stronger correlation than thematically similar titles.

    For DR/AoD, I think it seems plausible and shows a strong correlation.
     
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  13. Iznaliugender: ⚧ Arbiter

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    What is with some people thinking that everyone agrees with them when the evidence points elsewhere?
     
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  14. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    I bought the complete version at a discounted price and enjoyed it after its shaky start.
     
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  15. Kev Inklinegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Ok, I stand corrected. :salute:

    However, it does not immeadiately follow that the rep of a particular person would result in huge influx of funds towards a project, even if it means a lot in terms of current and future income for that particular person.

    But I'll drop it, it's hard to prove in either way, and your point about CEO income is a good one, there's actually a classic paper called the Economics of Superstars from the early 80s that is pertinent to the question how come a few can reap so much, even if they are only marginally better the rest.

    http://livingeconomics.org/article.asp?docId=150
     
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  16. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Low cost and low effort? How many developers worked on this thing for how many months? They worked for free? No, they didn’t. It wasn’t low cost.

    Implying that PoE sold more because it had better looks. XD

    Somehow you forgot to include the ridiculous price tag.

    You just described what most Obsidian cRPGs will look like from now on, shitlord. Enjoy your world of decline and shit.
     
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  17. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Cheap slam-dunk to cash in on reused art assets, engine, etc; and keep them afloat while developing another bigger project. I don’t understand why people keep saying it was a flop. It wasn’t. More than 100k for a game that was made in a hurry, with a ridiculous price tag.

    Let’s be honest. Obsidian is trying to please the ex-fans from Bioware that enjoyed BG2. That’s it. Whether they are also fans of Chris Avellone and games such as PS:T, etc.; is open to debate.
     
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  18. Make America Great Again Mastermindgender: ⚧ Arcane Bethestard

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    tyranny sold poorly because the combat was so boring it made Pillars' combat feel like you were simultaneously fucking a half dozen whores high on coke while riding on the wing of an airplane.
     
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  19. Fairfaxgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    3 days after he was announced $92,629, and the 3 days before raised $56,271. 64.6% increase.
    1893 x 1041 backers in the same periods. 81.8% increase.

    Oh, and the Codex fundraiser got another $2k the day MCA was announced.

    That's a significant impact. I've posted numerous KS campaign analyses on all of the big RPG ones +others (btw you're welcome, Swen :obviously:), and very few stretch goals/add-ons were nearly as effective as MCA being added to WL2, TTON and D:OS2. The effect on D:OS2 doesn't look as significant because the campaign was heavy on its first and last few days, which is a different % for each campaign for various reasons.
     
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  20. oasis789gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Then pathfinder kingmaker will be the purest expression of the "avellone treatment": painfully generic high fantasy setting (forgotten realms by any other name), rags to riches plot (one of the 7 basic plots), and no other cooks to spoil the broth.
     
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  21. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Well, every Kickstarter gets a boost at the end. There was only an $11k bump on the day he was announced, and most of that looks like it's just the upward trendline for the last few days. It's not nothing but it's not much.
     
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  22. Invictusgender: ⚧ Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Agree completely

    the setting was good but a bit too bland; I kind of was expecting Mordor looking setting with depressing decaying towns roamed by dessolate humans and ruled by monsters or even a middle eastern or egyptian vibe setting...what we got was not very memorable

    There was literally no marketing at all behind this, no youtube heavyweights doing lets plays, not buzz at all

    The pricing was horrendous, this is exactly the kind of $25 $30 game that would have sold much better at a more competitive price and yeah that doesn include taking into account the timing.
    For the prize of Tyranny I could get 4 or even 5 very decent games at full price or 7 or 8 during the Holliday sales
    Had it been priced more competitively it would have maybe less profit per unit but more overall sales

    The combat was good I liked it (not loved it) but at least the magic system was fucking excellent.. too bad not many people gave it a chance

    The story was ok with some truly "evil" choices more interesting that beign just a psycho and a dick... you could play people, be righteously evil or murder or maim to your leisure

    The fact the "to be continued" ending and the limited length of the game (although it has some nice reactivity) was the final nail on the coffin for this

    I genuinely enjoyed the game maybe even better than Pillars and feel that with a simple adjustment to the price point would have been enough to incentivize players to actually buy the game and enjoy it... too bad Paradox seemed to throw the towel on the promotional stage and the marketing
     
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  23. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    :what:
     
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  24. Delbaethgender: ⚧ Learned

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    Paradox mostly have two kinds of die hard fans:
    -the "grognards" who hate Turn Based system and everyone who don't chose their nation in game and fight against each other on Pdox forums like politics militants would do on reddit*
    -those who don't care about strategy but are Game of Thrones fans and play extensively CKII (note that most of them don't know there was a CK1, remember that feeling?)

    *: something that shows that even the Codex is more sane than Pdox forums (naturally when it comes to strategy, but even coming to the RPG, Codex is less full of hate). Funny that the Codex is judged by other people as "the guys who hate everything", where Pdox forums are full of "people who hate everyone and everything - as far as it isn't labeled Pdox, because there, they are blind worshipers".

    So, to appeal the die hard Pdox fans, in a non strategy game...
    You have to flatter the nationalist vibe for the "grognards" and give very explicit sex romances for the GoT fans.
    But then you had a fantasy world - the "grognards" don't care if it's a dark world, they want to rise their own flag on it - without soft porn scenes.

    Sure there aren't any of that kind of scenes in CK2, but the GoT fans accept that because it's a game of avatars and screens, for them. But if the character moves like it does in a RPG, they are expecting for more.

    Sure again, the DLC wave can reminding them browel things, but they won't pay for their fix that way, especially if the game is short. Who will pay more to f*ck during a shorter time?

    Think like they think and you will understand why the old Pdox guard** didn't care about Tyranny.

    **: it isn't the real old guard of course. The old fans from early 2000s aren't like that for the most part. Well, to make a comparison, when thinking about die hard Pdox fans, think about the BSN die hard fans.

    Pdox fans would only move from their strategy games if you could f*ck while listening your national anthem.
     
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  25. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    They're Swedes, aren't they?

    [​IMG]
     
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