This Week In The Business: Or Your Money Back

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: Or Your Money Back

QUOTE | “It is indeed a safety net for gamers, but it’s not perceived as some type of time-limited demo they can make use of - certainly not for our type of games.” - Slitherine Software marketing director Marco Minoli defends Steam’s refunds policy, saying less than 2% of the PC strategy publisher’s games sold in the last year were refunded.


Elsewhere in the business of gaming this week...

QUOTE | “Regardless of the Early Access label, the general Steam audience is simply not ready to see just how ugly games can be during development.” - Soren Johnson, describing the system’s benefits and drawbacks in a post-mortem writeup of Offworld Trading Company.

STAT | 3 - The number of suppliers for Disney merchandise containing conflict minerals (such as Disney Infinity toys) who could convincingly claim not to be funding war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At least 73 suppliers for Disney used conflict minerals but couldn’t say the same, and about 600 more didn’t even respond to the company’s survey on conflict minerals sourcing.

QUOTE | “I don’t think I’m the best in the world at making a complex political strategy game, but I am the only one. I kind of own that space.” - Democracy 3: Africa developer Cliff Harris, advocating doing something different as a path to success. Democracy 3: Africa has sold more than 600,000 copies on Steam.

QUOTE | “Pretty much everyone we spoke with was appalled at their own behaviour. We actually received some essays from employees vowing to change their ways and become not just more considerate gamers but better people.” - Riot Games talent head Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar, on what happened when employees who behaved poorly in League of Legends games were asked to justify themselves.

QUOTE | “With Sony concentrating on multiple dimensions of its console offer including the launch of an entirely new product category for the company in the form of the PlayStation VR headset, Microsoft will have an opportunity window to cement its focus on the gamer.” - IHS analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, saying Microsoft has an opportunity to gain some traction at this year’s E3.


QUOTE | “You know, you can try as far as possible to bring story into it and to make it really sexy and look great, but you are ultimately trying to work out how to get as much money as possible out of the player.” - PaperSeven’s Alice Guy on how free-to-play games work against developer creativity.

STAT | 80.6% - Percentage of developers surveyed by trade group UKIE who favor the UK remaining in the European Union. The matter is up for a vote in Britain on June 23.


QUOTE | “eSports is also a 2016 event, but the path to revenue and profitability is probably farther off than it is for virtual reality.” - Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter advises near-term caution around eSports, but says it could grow to NBA or MLB-scope within a decade.

QUOTE | “Vivendi’s hostile approach goes against the best interest of Gameloft, both for its activity and for its teams.” - The Guillemot family, objecting to Vivendi’s hostile takeover of Gameloft even as they agreed to sell their shares in the company.


QUOTE | “I’m leaving to pursue my original passion, writing. It’s what I was doing when I fell into this job, and I’ve always wanted to return to it.” Diablo III game director Jay Wilson says goodbye not just to Blizzard, but to the games industry entirely.



“Regardless of the Early Access label, the general Steam audience is simply not ready to see just how ugly games can be during development.” - Soren Johnson

I think most people are more upset about developers who abuse early access to make sure they have funding, or haphazardly just say “it’s finished” when there is clearly much work to be done.

The audience is generally mature enough to see that the early access is a process, a sort of large-scale-beta-test. And that’s what it should be. What it should not be is an alpha test with the beta being the final product, shady answers from developers, and continually prolonged release dates that seem to plague Early Access.