Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: Bungie Vs. Crunchem/em

QUOTE | “The Halo 2 crunch almost killed Bungie as a company. It is the most I’ve ever seen humans work in a year and a half. It was brutal. It almost killed us, and those of us that were left basically vowed, ‘never again.’ Never again can we put ourselves through that.” - Bungie head of engineering Luke Timmins details the studio’s long struggle to purge crunch from its internal culture.

QUOTE | “In the case of the Assassin’s Creed movie, we learned that it’s very important to work even more on the script.” - Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot talks about the company’s learning process as it pushes its franchises into feature films in one part of a wide-ranging interview.


QUOTE | “Five years ago publishers would be frantically hiring mock reviewers to try to get a good estimate of what their Metacritic score would be. Today, they have meetings where they ask the entire team: ‘Does our game stream well?’” - Gun Media boss and Friday the 13th developer Wes Keltner downplays the importance of the hit game’s shaky critical reception.

QUOTE | “The game was successful, it sold well, but it didn’t quite sell as well as it should have. Maybe because it was super crowded, the pricing was aggressive—it was a rough window to launch our game.” - Respawn CEO Vince Zampella speculates about possible reasons for the commercial shortfall of Titanfall 2, which launched a week after another EA-published first-person shooter in Battlefield 1, and the week before Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

QUOTE | “People don’t talk about it that much because a lot of it happens behind the scenes, but I think one of Steam’s magic bullets is the wishlisting system that exists there.” - Hinterland founder and creative director Raphael van Lierop explains how The Long Dark had an almost self-perpetuating cycle of success in Early Access.

QUOTE | “Each word has its own threshold, and once a threshold for any word has been reached, that player will be automatically subject to a ban. These bans will typically start at 24 hours, then escalate to 72 hours, one week, and finally, a permanent ban.” - Psyonix is cracking down on abusive language with an automated system that bans potty-mouthed players for repeated vulgarity</a>.


QUOTE | “I have always viewed VR gear, at least for games, as I have joysticks.” - Early Oculus backer and Battlecruiser 3000AD developer Derek Smart explains why he believes VR will ultimately be a niche novelty item in gaming. Smart was one of several Oculus backers interviewed for the fifth anniversary of the headset’s Kickstarter campaign.

QUOTE | “When we looked at Mafia Wars, we gave it a healthy soft launch and we just didn’t see the KPIs. When we looked at what it was going to take to get it into position to be a number one or number two game against some of the big competition that’s out there, it didn’t feel like the right decision.” - As Zynga saw its long-awaited return to profitability, CEO Frank Gibeau explained why the social publisher killed its franchise reboot after just three months in soft launch.


STAT | $104.6 billion - Total worldwide games and interactive media revenue for 2017, according to projections from research firm Superdata. If accurate, it will be the first time the market has topped $100 billion.

QUOTE | “Many of our store associates and guests have asked for this. We have heard their requests and are making an adjustment to our previous position on this topic.” - A GameStop statement explains why the specialty retailers has decided to open its American stores on the Thanksgiving Day holiday.


STAT | $9.4 million - Total amount pledged to successful video game projects on Kickstarter in the first half of 2017. That’s down from a high of $28 million in the first half of 2013, and pales in comparison to the growth of board gaming on the service, which has seen pledges climb from $29 million to $69.8 million in the same span.

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