So I'm sorry to strip away the romantic veneer from your ideals, but LGS's approach of making great games that sell poorly isn't a self-sustaining model, and it'd be pretty damn selfish to wish this upon anyone else.
Anyway, Koki's right in his logic about whether GSC is 'selling out' or not. Unfortunately, since we don't have the data, we can't call it.
I realise it might be a tad difficult to find the sales figures for the series, seeing as they're cunningly hidden and obfuscated with great guile in the press release linked to in the first post of the topic, so I shall be understanding, kind and will go out of my way not to mock.
Really though, if you're selling 4 million+ copies over three years you really ought to be doing pretty well.
4 million at full retail sales price? Oh my.
We don't know what the split between all the titles in the series is. If the majority of that 4 million went towards SoC - which is quite possible given the level of hype it had - then it doesn't really bode too well, does it?
I see we're perfectly in agreement on the principles then. However I am, as you say, pretty damn selfish when it comes to my feelings and entertainment. Reading that interview of Paul Neurath (posted here) brought me to the conclusion -besides agreeing with Paul's view of the industry- that I was happy with the Looking Glass story ending in 2000.
You are of course entitled to feel whichever way you want to. Apart from being selfish, I also think it's a pretty misanthropic viewpoint that games you enjoy must come at a standard high enough that the price is the creator's livelihood, but whatever: if developers like LGS either disappear without a trace or start toeing the commerciailist line, it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone here. The bottom line in a business, at the end of the day, is the bottom line.
Last edited by Sulphur; 1st Sep 2010 at 13:35.
Oh yeah, an extra tad of digging (checking wikipedia, lolrofl) shows that the sales were 2 million as of September 2008 according to GSC. So that's one million+ extra sales a year, a tailing off that most studios would be pretty happy with.
So far as I can see the only problem they had was that their publisher scope kept diminishing THQ-> Koch -> dtp (OK, it's bitComposer apparently who I've never even heard of) so maybe they'd have trouble finding a distributor with decent coverage and without nasty conditions like nicking the IP for a PC exclusive. Or they just want more money, which is fair enough. Personally I'm fine with that as long as the PC version ain't compromised.
I cant be bothered checking these facts but I'm pretty sure GSC made a deal with its publisher that makes the developer essentially an employee and not an owner so they'll be on subsistence, probably a luxurious subsistence but not enough to fund a new startup, ie: not enough to become a threat.
The argument is stupid anyway, you cannot slow down, ever. there is no such thing as 'I can do this and make a living, I'll do it forever' this thought is just a fantasy. Even bill gates cannot stop, money must be nurtured and well taken care of, you can never leave it alone or it will stagnate and decline, then it will become a burden and begin to slowly destroy and take over, the only way to survive is endless growth.
And right on time too.
GSCs Twitter reports Stalker.pl did an interview with GSC PR Sasha Nikolsky:
Copytco: In the interview found in the Net you said that “the game is being created at complitely new engine”.
Is it brand new version of X-Ray, or freshly designed technology?
Sasha Nikolsky: It is a totally brand new engine.
C: Stalker 2 was told to be multiplatform game. Do you plan to develop in parallel both PC and consoles to cut down restrictions between platforms?
SN: We are developing Stalker 2 for PC and then it will be ported to console. PC is our favorite platform.
C: What about modders? Is support (meaning: kits and engine flexibility) for mods and modders going to be better than in previous games? Mods bring second youth to many games, just look at Gothic or Half-Life 2…
SN: We appreciate the modding community and we have some very talent and passionate modders. It is very important to us that the modding community can still get enjoyment from Stalker 2.
C: Do you plan to develop better multiplayer to finally use its potential?
SN: Our plan is to make every aspect of Stalker better. Single player, Multiplayer… everything. The main part about Stalker is the single player mode. However, we do want Multiplayer to be a bigger part of Stalker 2 as well. There will be the obvious normal game modes, like Death Match, Artifact Hunt, etc… and maybe a few suprises too.
C: Are there any chances that Stalker 2 would go rather into RPG game, notconsidering mechanics, but the way the story is told, so non-linear plot, lots of moral wrinkles?
SN: The story in Stalker is very important. There will be a main quest of course but you will also be able to do what you like and have moral choices. Every aspect of subquests and stories will be more complex and play a bigger role on what the player experiences.
So he basically said nothing at all. He's a good PR guy, that Sasha.
There is that whole 'develop for PC and port to console, because we prefer PC' thing that kind of concludes the last two pages of argument.
Yay, huzzah, etc.
2. That argument is wrong on all possible levels. Basing a new game on a new tech makes more sense than using a messy decade old code. Plus, just because console version will be a port, doesn't mean GSC want it to be a total crap; can't just throw it to console and hope it works. Besides everyone complains X-Ray is outdated. I disagree with that but it still makes sense to create a full sequel on a new tech.
A short Q&A was posted on something called "Face book".
Most interesting bits:
Q:Will the interface (inventory, map, etc) on the pc version suffer (like other games have) by trying to cater for console systems?
A: No, whatsoever.
This holds much more water for me than "PC is our primary platform" hurr-durr every PR ever babbles about. But I still have my doubts.
Q:Is Zone going to be a large single ?
A:Let's postpone this question for now.
Q:Will GSC expand on the import-a-weapon feature introduced with Nimble, and allow players access to more varied and custom weapons from outside the Zone by importing them through specialist contacts?
A:We have some interesting new ideas on this matter.
Q:Will artifacts be something we can go out and transmute through Anomalies?
A:No. However, the area of artifact application will expand.
Using artifacts to upgrade guns?
Interesting. That suggests to me that the consoles will have a fully-fledged inventory system - or he was lying about the PC interface suffering .The key difference between the PC and console versions will be the beauty of graphics
EDIT: I was going to add, I'll be fine as long as there's no achievements. But IIRC, for Xbox deployment, they'll have to have achievements, right? For me, the entire concept of achievements runs counter to everything Stalker represents.
Last edited by Bakerman; 8th Jan 2011 at 22:09.
I am so excited for Stalker 2. I don't care if its basically CoP redesigned, as long as its a HUGE environment. I played CoP over and over, and the only real critique I have for the game is that its not big enough. I'd say the sandbox could be doubled or tripled, with unique attributes for every area. The game was so amazing because of how lost you could get, and how unique all of the different ruins were. It really did feel like lonely exploration into decay.
Also, I love how you could feel on top of the world one second in that game, and the next just be surprised at how vunerable you really are, and rage are how easy it is to die.
The differences between SoC and CoP are that CoP has way less interaction with groups of people. Alot of that game is spent foraging. SoC had a greater inference on factions. I sort of enjoyed CoP more in that respect.
You encounter a LOT more neutral/friendly characters in CoP, which I don't like at all. Partly for that reason it has far less oppressive atmosphere than SoC. I rarely felt myself lonely in CoP you almost always can see some humans nearby and in majority of cases - neutral or friendly humans, except maybe on the last map, which was more SoC-like atmosphere-wise.
I guess the big problem is that for what it represents, the Zone seems pretty small in CoP. They're trying to cram a lot of people into what is relatively a very small space.