This Week In The Business: No Money In Retro?

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: No Money In Retro?

QUOTE | “Mostly there’s just no money in it anymore, if there ever was... As much as I love those sorts of games and love to keep making those for years, I’m reaching a point where I know I’d be throwing money away if I continued to do that.” - Super Win the Game and Gunmetal Arcadia creator J. Kyle Pittman explains why he’s done making original 2D pixel platformers.

QUOTE | “Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, the Super Nintendo Classic Edition was mistakenly made available last Friday evening ahead of the official release date.” - A Walmart email informing customers that their Super NES Classic Edition preorders were cancelled en masse.

STAT | 4.7 million - The lifetime installed base of the Nintendo Switch, as of June 30. The Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 3.92 million copies, while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold 3.54 million.


STAT | 33% - The price hike of a quarterly PlayStation Plus subscription in the UK, beginning August 31, the largest in a series of price jumps for all PS Plus subscription plans affecting gamers across Europe and in Australia.

QUOTE | “Lots of people have done elves and dwarves. Fuck that. Imagining 1850s whaling cities is a much more interesting backdrop, even if you’re going to do a fantasy game about a supernatural assassin.” - Arkane’s Harvey Smith discusses the Dishonored studio’s penchant for taking the familiar and twisting it.

QUOTE | “We understand now much more clearly the challenge to wireless and nausea and latency. Those were math problems to solve, and it took a little while to get through those.” - HTC’s GM of Vive Dan O’Brien says a lot of the pain points surrounding VR are nearly solved problems.

QUOTE | “Some combination of this deal falling through and the general slowness of VR market growth made most of our investors reluctant to fund us further.” - AltSpaceVR explains why it had trouble securing additional investment and is shutting down the social VR company.


QUOTE | “It’s difficult to say [what will happen] in five years, but what we see in the short term is that we are here, Bandai Namco is here, and there is now more and more talent appearing around games companies [in Singapore].” - Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot sees a bright future for Singapore as a game development hub. Ubisoft Singapore is currently at work on its new IP Skull & Bones.

QUOTE | “Spending on console is where any digital cannibalization of retail would occur, and the growth in full game digital spending has not been met with anywhere near a corresponding decrease in packaged spending at retail. Changes in retail spending correlate much more closely to changes in the number of packaged games that publishers are producing, and don’t correlate at all with changes in digital spending.” - The NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella insists digital isn’t eating retail’s lunch the way many believe.


QUOTE | “Last Saturday was not a happy day for us but we are committed to listening to that feedback, however harsh, to improve what we do so that we can continue to build experiences that bring together people, technology, and the real world in innovative ways.” - Niantic CEO John Hanke apologizes after a disastrous Pokemon Go Fest event in Chicago, one for which the company is being sued by attendees.

QUOTE | “As we think about media consumption over the last five years, the greatest disruptor has been the combination of streaming and subscription. It’s changed the way we watch television, it’s changed the way we listen to music, it’s changed how we think about ownership versus access, and we believe that ultimately the culmination of streaming plus subscription will also be a great disruptor to our business.” - Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson sees the publisher making meaningful money in the streaming and subscription space by 2022.

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I think games with “retro” graphics can sell just fine as long as they’re actually good games. Problem lies with the bazillion “retro style” games that rely purely on nostalgia and are actually pretty bad games.