Notes from Edinburgh International Games Festival, August, 2003. Intro (Clive)
Emphasis creative aspect of game development
Tom Stone (LEGO MD)
“The future of entertainment is interactive” Exhibition has been sold out
CG industry fuelled by new alignment with established industries, Film, TV, book, sports rights
What is relationship with intellectual property? - exploit or add to quality of IP?
Who should be paying whom for IPR?
Sony and Microsoft has interactive entertainment is core to their strategies
Korea, online games becoming enormous
Lara croft, film industry is borrowing ‘our’ IP
Contribution games make to society?
How do we want to be thought of and what is being done to influence that?
New award initatives? Edinbugh’s EDGE award
“Need to take our place at the cultural and artistic top table.”
Rod Cousens (Worldwide President – Acclaim)
Welcome to the Games industry: Mass Media, Toy or Social Phenomenon?
Alexander Kritovski, Journalist, about to embark on Phd in social psychology
Michele Cassius, EA exec, now Microsoft’s X-Box development,
Chris van der Kyle, CEO Biz entertainment, Chairman of Young Enterprise Scotland, Visiting Prof. Uni of Abertay Dundee
Ray Maguire, Sega Megadrive, now Sony Playstation UK,
David Gosen, Formerly BskyB, now Nintendo, took over N64 and gameboy, now game cube
Nick Parker, Nintendo, now Sony, VP Strategic Planning
Games industry often viewed as competition to music industry
Today, gaming is a different story.
Stresses interactivity of industry from creative perspective
Online component opening up new social experiences
Story telling now demanded in games
Content? Too violent? Too many war style games? Too realistic?
Stats suggest lack of interest in gaming from women - lack of interest or game just too narrow?
Games not responsible for moss side
Social experience with realism, more real than reality-TV
Nick Parker, Parker Consulting Ltd,
The Cultural Evlution of Video Games
1962, Ship, space Warp 1980 – pac-man, pac-man coin-op 1984 – Miner Willy, Jet Set Willy, C64
128-bit console battle steady growth in PAL software Euro
in real terms market never declined since 1995
fcompare with cinema box office industry ($5billion), currently on trajectory to ($6billion).
Should be taken more seriously than we are Best selling franchises - only 5 based on tv/movie licence
Tomb Raider has highest awareness than any other game
“Market is still lacking mass appeal being highly segmented in gavour of the more hardcore gamer”
The evolution of Gaming Complexity - pong: up/down, one AI ball Pac Man - up/down, left right, multiple pick up
FIFA Fottball 93
The Sims 2.0 - AI families with DNA
Don’t want to get too realistic with graphics. Maintain the magic and creativity and fictionality of games
A Changing Demographic – who plays Game
1993: 50% under 13 yrs old (perceptions of being childish) 2002: 55% 18-35 yr olds 2002: women 10% of players (is mass market we need to access) 2002: 14% are senior generation (35 yrs plus)
Awareness of top licences different between men an women
Men: lara, tombraider, pokemon, teris Female: tetris, sims, From Vision magazine Women like cutesy platform game
The evolution of marketing
Series of PS commercials. From 1991
1. 8-bit NES: age profile, 8-10. price of £99. no price inflation over 10 yrs for console 2. supernintendo (1994): game show with rick mayall, 3. PS1 campaign, reverse psych, society against playstation: 4. backdrop of different people speaking about their experience, abstract, unclear, implication is gaming and what people do when playing. Doublelife: “for years I’ve lived a double life..” Do not underestimate the power of playstation (GET THIS ONE) 5. In chefs kitchen, not released, censored by French. Abuse of food. Picking nose, etc. 6. X box, woman giving birth, baby flies across city while growing old, lands in grave, ‘Life is Short’ ‘Play More’, X-box
Biggest evangelists are hardcore gamers, despite adverts
Commercials not main trigger
Word of mouth and mentor endorsement is (e.g. magazine) main trigger
Demo discs and IDUs work
Irreverence is cool for console brands at launch – PS reefer papers at Glastonbury, chill-out rooms at clubs, snowboard sponsorship, etc
But mass market demands simple communications and wide access to products which is only just starting (PS ads, Eye Toy (next trivial pursuit for christmas), supermarkets) - Fun Anyone PS campaign
Online games market revenue growing Screen Digest report into online gaming (2002) - can play tetris on Sky for 50p per game - enormous growth in next 4 yrs
console subscriptions and mobile gaming big boom
Games on Demand
Yahoo, download game play
PSP - mobile game device
USB 2.0 Memory stick Sony – all singing, all dancing unit for adults - includes everything for computing
Lng term market value linear growth Evidence = continued growth
Online play revenues wil more than complement boxed ales
Technology progress unlocked gameplay potential
Marketing communication has influenced demographic expansion, but industry must seek to convert non-believers to make games market greatest entertainment medium through its inherent interactive and technological advantages.
Ray Maguire: only 10 years since Sony made games.
Is it an expensive form of entertainment compared to other forms: audience says YES!
Games are too long
Disposable time more important than disposable income in game industry. Game are too long.
Are games toys or more? - too much naval gazing on segmenting the market - 11 yr old boys want to play same games as 16yr olds or 23yr olds - gamers segmented by games, not age - ME: types of game changes related to time of day or week
Alex: Need for quality pick-up-and-play games
Perception of quality for audience is what matters, not what game developers think is quality
ME: limitedness of quality inr elation to technical excellence limits the potential for gaming to be a valued cultural industry. If cinema was merely about good cinematography, it would have little value. The development of characters and emotional connectivity is what matters, not functionality.
Ray Maguire: We’re not very good at telling stories. Need to think about plot development. But is also very difficult to do with an open ended activity. This is why some of most successful games is racing. Next stage is getting acceptance for older age group. CONTACT HIM
Game playing isolating experience? Miohel: yes and no. single player game yes, but social phenomenon it is. Multi-player and online games need to play with somebody else. Dimension of social interaction allows it to enjoy a broader appeal. Will increase. Social phenomenon also because it influences other media. Matrix conceived through a ‘game-like’ conceptualisation. ME: this is interesting. How does a games-world view influence genre, such as sci-fi?
Games as male stronghold? Alex: not the games that put women off, it’s the advertising.
Seamus Blackley, Vice President, Capital Entertainment Group, sponsored by Tiga
Busted Games are not as big as film Games are in danger of becoming a derivative medium
Games bigger than film is myth of creative accounting 2002 us total retail games softtware sales, £5.5bn 2002 US total games market $10.3bn =$5.5.bn softare, 3.5 hardwhere, 1.3bn, peripherals
movie ind 2002 US box office: $9.1bn (1.9 billion tickets 2002 video rentals $8.4bn (3billion transactions)
Games lose on total sales by more than 2x Lose on content
Crushed on transactions/impressions - 162.7mm sofare units sold vs. 1.9 billion tickets
Games not nearly as big as TV 2001 NAB/TVB data $54.4bn US advertising
2002 US Music Sales $12.2
2002 US Leis Ent book $9.2
Games are not a cultural driver - they used to be, pacman fever - due to novelty then had to start earning audience. - PIXAR lesson: Computer generated characters interesting briefly, good characters last longer
Games from 80s more pop cultural force than anything we produce today. - Mark Ecko at Ziff 2002 - G4 graphics - Retro edge - Hummer H2 US national campaign (opens with Astreroids) Why?
Todays games not exploiting pop culture
Instead being driven by it - publishers crawl over one another to get access to IP from other media Film adaptation of game is seen as Validation
We chase our own tail - Sequelitis: instead of investing in new IP, we mobilize crusty old games o How many versions of Frogger can there be With are consciously, forfeiting own creative process in favour of external ideas
There are exceptions - cultural hits that touch nerve in mainstream culture o sims, GTA3, final fantasy
need to concentrate as industry on intentionally building games thatr have this power
need to be honest about audience – wh is it
Games portrayed negatively Disempowers us as an industry
Not true that this is our core audience - actually have significant disposable income
people making legislation are not actually members of our culture!!!!!
For consoles and pcs, 80% of sales happen where most people don’t go
Only one way to look at it,
To continue growing need to explicitly target demographic
Need to stop looking to external creative content to do job
The IP problem - publishers want awesome novel hit titles - but need predictable revenue o love sequels and licenses o love proven teams and ideas - unfortunately recent success of license properties is teaching dangerous lesson - data shows that real money is in original IP (for any creative industry)
Value of original IP seems to be misunderstood - strange given process paid for iP for other industries - and given prices paid for game IP o Max Payne $15m (to character and story) Industry at unsustainable position Other creative industries have gone through that - IP generation is the core of the business
Must find a way to concentrate on original IP production
IP nd prodn process
Have not take lessons from other hits businesses - structures to supp creative flexibility
we have structures that increasingly inhibit successful innovation - milestone payments royalty structure, greenlight process must fix this
learn what other industries’ creative pros already understand - conservative is not professional o audience wants to be surprised - best chance to be successful is work on projects of passion
Hits are engineered, not discovered!
Games industry more like music industry, but music industry works by having produced work on your own, in games industry that is difficult.
How can developers persuade publishers to go with an idea - act responsibly and professionally when you pitch something
how get more creative people into game development - it is a hard problem to tell stories in games, it is not that game developers are unaware of how to tell stories - important to be passionate at games, not just a story teller
how will games courses at universities affect industry? - critical and brilliant
Scotland leading way in UK
Chris Deering, President of Sony Entertainment Europe: Hollywood or Bust panel discussion
Peter Mullinue, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Jason Kingsley, Alien vs. Predator, Tom Clancy’s, Tiga, Judge Dredd Brian Fraser, Alias sequels James Shean, Roller Coaster Tycoon – got people to submit their designs for the game through the web Charles Clemonson, MGM Licensing, 007 Scott Baylis, Exec Prod EA
Must think about editing process in films
Need to enhance affective gaming attributes
Scotland has been well head of most significant recent games.
Is notion of scripts and games an unnecessary distraction? Do people just want to play? -
EDGE Award - for cultural impact
Game Gym for campuses? - explore way in which can introduce gaming into universities.
Discussion on Hollywood or Bust
Film/TV maker and game developer must understand each others fundamentals
Actors role is interest in likeness
A-list talent is willing but ignorant
Game narrative more like TV than film
Music faces similar challenges to writing
Do not write a score - write music in chunks and trust game designer
Pre-production is key
Game development writer is lonely enterprise
Game developers don’t understand how films are made
To make industry leader, need good story and good performance
World Without Rules – Meet Your Makers
Jez San OBE, CEO Argonaut Games Finbar Hawkins – fightbox, take concept through web-pc-tv www.bbc.co.uk/fightbox Community enabled by technology
Innovation through Evolution
Innovation to t rescue for a rebirth Prince of Persia – Sands of Time
No real innovation in games
But real difference is level of realisation
Animation is THE field where quantity = quality - no Motion capture, all hand drawn
- Fable - RPG is about playing a character. Should be able to play who you like. o E.g. if out in sun, get a tan. If carrying big weapon, arm gets more muscular. o Also build game with other heroes. Compete with other heroes to solve quest o Simulated world can be affected e.g. people react to what you do e.g. walk around and swear at people e..g. be able to chat up people or kids in village dress like you and want to be you o Playing with friends should be poss, upto 4 people can play fable
Dominic Dially, New Modern Age - online gaming innovative future?
Online console gaming interesting
Politics of Gaming? - characters, stories, etc
Miamoto Shigero San - Double Das and Mariokart
Phelong – Composer, Broken Sword and others
21st century art form industry is about communication
Panel: Williams, Hanagan, Deutsch
History of use of music, Deutsch - new art forms borrow from old, then distinguish themselves - music reinforcing what audience needed to be told - also continuity between shots - and need to take particular parts of film more emotionally seriously than others
Lang of muic in fames not yet worked out. Listeners is part of game and in film aim is to bring listen to the game
2001 Odyssey ending? - meaning of embryo, etc - revolutionary music written 80yrs before film and the film was cut to the film o Ricard Strauss, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in relation to Nietzsche’s book, within which is the quote ‘What is ape to man, a laughing stock or a painful embarrassment. thus is man to superman”
Kubrick had to cut picture to the existing music - new and innovative - not happy with film now
Gregson-Williams, Shrek, Spygame, Armageddon, Rock, Metal Gear Solid
James Hannigan – played video of how to put music onto game – ASK FOR VIDEO
Deutsch - model is that we have a player who wants to put themselves into a film (i.e. game) - change metaphor for music in games -