Games business roundup: VR, Project Alloy, Pearl Abyss, pay-to-dress-up, Goldman Sachs, lockboxes, and Bluehole

    
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By chance, a whole bunch of industry-related posts landed in our newsroom this week. Well, not entirely by chance; our tipsters showered us in VR links in particular. We’ve rounded everything up for a quick look at what’s going on in the depths of the game industry’s moneybags.

  • USA Today mocks VR, pointing out that devices’ game offerings are still weak and running down all the big platforms.
  • AMC, however, is all in on virtual reality — in movie theaters.
  • Intel’s Project Alloy VR headset is dead before it began, without much explanation. “Project Alloy served as a great proof of concept for Intel and the industry – showing what’s possible in a high-performance, immersive and untethered VR experience,” the company reportedly said. “What we’ve learned through Project Alloy will inform future efforts.”
  • Want to feel creeped out? Goldman Sachs is poking around in digital gaming, paying attention to mobile, business models, and e-sports. Spoiler, they looooooove how the gaming business model is shaping up.

With thanks to Sally, Serrenity, and Leiloni!

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Arktouros

The 3DTV comparison is practically a meme at this point. 3DTV doesn’t change the way you interact/watch TV. It’s literally the same experience with glasses. VR is a new medium that lets you interact with physicality in games that are designed for it. As with any market there’s companies that release poorly designed for VR titles (looking at you EVE: Valkyrie) that don’t really change the standard PC gaming experience (and surprise, surprise it dropped it’s VR requirement). As with any new medium, it’ll take time to refine and improve which goes to show “certain” companies focused on over hyping it with wild sales predictions are just delusional.

The Bethesda Ports are what I’ve been waiting for with VR. Doom VR sounds like a total and complete blast that I can’t wait for. I’ve seen a few video reviews and everyone seems pretty excited about it after trying it. I really can’t wait to teleport up to something and RIP AND TEAR!

I’ve actually waited to play Fallout 4 entirely in VR, was going to buy it on sale last summer but passed in favor of giving it a go in VR. My main concern is duration of how long I can play the game standing as walking about my computer room for a few hours gets a bit tiresome based on other games. I think that’s interesting because normally I marathon through games and the whole physicality thing really limits that.

Skyrim on PSVR is showing what I’ve said all along that there’s good VR and there’s bad VR. Oh sure is PSVR more in the price range for interested people? Sure. It’s sold like it too doing very well. However it’s limitations are ultimately showing with only being able to stand in place and not really move around with a game like Skyrim (lots of turning issues in stairwells). I’m super excited when it’ll later be coming to the Vive however as the ability to cook someone alive with my left hand while I go all emperor lightning mode with my right hand (neither having to be next to each other) just sounds amazing.

Don’t think ESO would make a good VR game. At all.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

I think the 3DTV comparison has to do with:

* Many people agree that the medium is pretty cool (coolness)
* Many people dislike the nuisance of wearing devices. (nuisance)
* The price in $ and setup for this new feature is not trivial. (price)

The coolness is neither greater-than nor equal to (nuisance + price) for many people.

Also in both 3DTV and VR their is a subset of people who cannot use them due to motion sickness issues even if they wanted to.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, Goldman Sachs loves whaling…

ESO VR? No way. All those ports and rolls and such? Can we say projectile vomit yet, or must we wait until it happens?

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Armsbend

I’m so glad the taxpayers of the US were fortunate enough to bail out Goldman Sachs. So worthwhile.

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Ket Viliano

Who else was going to pay bail to get them out of jail?

…oh, wait, wrong kind of bail…

:P

Siphaed
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Siphaed

YUCK! Goldman Sachs approving of video games’ business model just proves how corrupt and despicable it has become over the years. Dislike that they want to dip fingers into the entertainment aspect of eSports as well. Just overall bad news all around.

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Greaterdivinity

Did you watch the video?

Siphaed
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Siphaed

Just finished. Now not only do I stand by my “YUCK!”, I’ll add in a “BARF!” as well. “A cycle of prolonged monetization of the product.”……that sounds a lot like addictive slot machine mechanics. Especially when that was talking directly of mobile gaming monetization and DLC.

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Greaterdivinity

No, that sounds like DLC and microtransactions, yo. The shit that’s been in games for years now.

This isn’t inherently a bad thing or a good thing. There are great benefits to both companies and players, but also plenty of risks, it’s all about how companies handle things. As we’ve already seen, some do a pretty fair job of this – fair monetization practices, reasonable prices, solid value delivered etc., others do it poorly – exploitative monetization, ludicrous pricing, questionable practices, poor value for the price etc.

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Ket Viliano

Ok, having watched the video, it is really rather basic info, nothing at all to object to. It’s not like the guy claims that pay to win is good, or that he loves lockboxes. What he mentions is expansions and new characters, and how this extends the time frame for revenue.

It’s just that GS has a bad rap, one that is very well deserved.

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Bruno Brito

Yeah. Wouldn’t expect the apple to fall far from the tree.

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Ket Viliano

New!

Online Banking MMO!

Trade triple leveraged ETF for VR …
Cash shop credit default swaps… Buy now!
Collateralized game token debt obligations…
“God’s work”, but no mention of which god…
Beware the “Sh**y deal”…

And, the boss mob is a giant vampire squid!

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silverlock

Kickstart that baby!

luxundae
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luxundae

Ick, I do feel creeped out now. Thanks, Bree :P Fortunately, the weekend has arrived…maybe Project Gorgon will be a good way to detox from modern business models…

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Chosenxeno .

I still have hope for VR. My only concern was Console VR. I’m using Vive. On PC there will always be VR like there is still 3D. On Console, if it doesn’t make money it’s doomed. That definitely affects PC VR, because, if big Devs aren’t making Triple A VR games on console, they will not be making them for PC.

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Melissa McDonald

The articles I read indicated that Microsoft was lukewarm on Project Alloy from Intel because they are pushing their Mixed Reality headsets made by Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and soon, Asus. Rather than push it or compete with those other hardware manufacturers, which, I should mention, feature the same ‘room presence’ tracking that Project Alloy was trumpeting, Intel decided to back out of making their own visor at this time.

Now, instead, Intel is focusing on their WiGig tech for use with VR visors. WiGig is a short-range, gigabit wireless technology that is extremely fast, but uses a band that can’t reach as far as consumer 802.11ac WiFi. This short range is immaterial for room-size, and the speed benefits will help VR visors go completely wireless – a necessary thing.

Talking movie pictures were panned at first. Colour TV was seen as niche at first. Cell phones were ridiculed in the 80s due to their bulk and form factor.

But just like with those other technologies, with VR, resistance is futile. As McQuaid said in a recent article here, it’s not “if”, it’s “when” with VR. And that is coming sooner than later!

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Schlag Sweetleaf

But just like with those other technologies, with VR, resistance is futile.

Spoiler
The Unicomplex was destroyed in 2378 after the Borg Queen assimilated a neurolytic pathogen from the future by Admiral Kathryn Janeway, who had traveled back in time, as seen in the Star Trek: Voyager series finale, “Endgame”.

vr is futile.jpg
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Greaterdivinity

Heh. While I think VR has actual legs, unlike 3D TV, I’ve been making that comparison in terms of the media/analyst hype for the hardware for years. Amusing to see it in USA Today now : P