January 27, 2021, 10:44:26 AM

Author Topic: Big company development  (Read 178 times)

Offline Matty

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Big company development
« on: November 26, 2020, 02:39:12 AM »
A thought bubble taken from one of my private journal articles about the World of Darkness game cancelled in 2014.  It is a little rambly because it's a diary entry.

Game Development - large companies - 2020-11-26
Game Development - large companies

The below is taken directly from the wikipedia entry on World of Darkness PC game that began development in 2009 and was cancelled in 2014. No bugger copy paste, let's just discuss.

In 2006 announcement made - design must have been started.

2009 development team formed.

Note article says in 2013 or so there were still 60 developers on the game.

In 2014 development was cancelled.

Taking some thoughts about this:

60 is likely the minimum number of employees for at least 4 years of development work.

If each is on a salary of 50k per year when also accounting for various other costs that is 3,000k or 3 million dollars per year cost of development.

Therefore we are looking at over 10 million dollars pumped into a game that never sold a single copy.

More than this, we are looking at year by year ongoing costs during development of multiple millions of dollars all the while staring at the possibility of not making a single cent.

My mind is boggled by the enormity of the investment supplied which resulted in zerp sales at all.

That's right, investors kept pumping millions of dollars into the game to be developed, employees gave hours and hours of their lives - and after 8 years since first thought was cancelled without a single sale being made.

So many questions come to my mind about this.

But one of these questions is: what sort of investor is willing to pump over 10 million into a venture that does not even come close to making a single dollar in return?

I eat cheese in the trees when its eight degrees

Offline dawlane

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Re: Big company development
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2020, 06:54:39 AM »
World of Darkness is a popular IP, so with a wild stab I would say the fans.
It's also one of those franchises that can send companies under when they take on too big a challenge.

Offline Derron

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Re: Big company development
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2020, 09:10:31 AM »
- thoughts you made can be "used" in other projects (also tests if stuff "works well" can be used to skip "thought of features" in other games)
- assets you created can be reused in other projects
- tools can be reused in different projects
- the team skills still "level up" when they create stuff
- some in the team might be paid less well but would have received "sales share" (not the normal dev)
- companies doing multiple projects simultaneously always have a "mixed calculation" (hits pay the misses)

But yes - not every game development can lead to an end, not every "project" is seeing a shop/store.
The biggest problem is -- if a company funds stuff itself and has no "second leg" leading to a ruined company - maybe even without someone "buying" the tools, assets, ... so stuff "lost forever" (employees not allowed to use it etc).

Offline Xerra

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Re: Big company development
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 12:40:15 PM »
So, in 2006 design started. I assume multiple paid people were involved as from then. Development itself didn't start for another 3 years, in 2009. Then, after almost 8 years of work the game gets canned. Reason being its probably already out of date, people have been doing a shit job on it, which is why its taken so long, and it's probably going to take even more money to rescue the sorry mess.

Nowadays you make a base game over a couple of years and get it out there. After this you can still work on it, along with a steady sales path to support continued work, and flog it to death with endless DLC. If the game was any good, and the expansion content worth the price and substantial, then you would never have screwed up as bad as that lot did. Look at World of Warcraft as a classic example. 3-4 years of development to get it out there and then you're still churning in the money 8 expansions later after the main game has been out there for 15 years.


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