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CING files for Bankruptcy
News reported by 
Member
March 08, 2010, 06:11:39
 
GoNintendo story here.

In case you didn't know, they are the developer of Another Code/Trace Memory, Hotel Dusk, and Little King's Story. One of my favorite up and coming developers and this is a super sad story.

I guess it's not a huge surprise considering none of their very awesome games actually sell very much, at all.

Anyone else think this is a developer Nintendo should just up and buy?

Now, everyone go out and buy Hotel Dusk and Little King's Story for penance. DO IT!

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Posted: 03/08/10, 06:11:39  - Edited by 
 on: 03/08/10, 06:13:33    
 
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Oldmanwinter said:
I admittedly don't know jack shit about programming, however I have a very had time believing that porting something from the PC (Steam) to the 360 (XBLA) would be difficult at all. It's literally done all the time by way smaller shops than this. PSN and WiiWare may take some work, again I don't know. That said Frozenbyte, a completely independent game developer in Finland figured out how to do it with Trine, and that game had some absolutely ridiculous production values for a budget game so I'm sure it's possible. If Trine retailed via traditional outlets with no advertising I'm sure it would have bombed as well. Same goes for Braid, World of Goo and Shadow Complex. They are successful because of how they marketed and sold their game.

I don't even know why I'm debating this at this point, the fact the developer is essentially bankrupt is more than enough proof that they made some massive logistical errors. That being said I totally agree with your last paragraph, if anything going digital just helps that even more.
We're not debating that the developer made some bad decisions, we're disagreeing with your unsubstantiated conclusion that Steam would have saved them or that it's a good platform for niche games of its scope/budget. Nothing in the links you provided supports that, they show very little actual sales data.

I'm sure PC and Xbox are similar enough to make porting easy. Not sure why it tooks months and another studio to port Braid over to the PC, but that's probably more the result of a "limited exclusivity deal", I don't know. PS3 we know for a fact is hard to port over, EA couldn't do it properly with The Orange Box, Sega couldn't do it properly with Bayonetta, etc. The examples are numerous.

Not so sure about your claim that small devs simultaneously release games over all platforms all the time with ease, as far as I know that's not even close to being true. The only publishers that do it are the huge, huge ones: EA and Activision. Ubisoft only port to the PC much later, and so does Capcom.

Trine doesn't support your argument, the PS3 version got delayed 3 months because of bugs. It didn't make that much of a splash on PSN either, due to being released smack in the middle of huge retail releases. It also didn't get the marketing that Nintendo put behind World of Goo and that Microsoft put behind Braid and Shadow Complex.

To sum up: porting isn't cheap or easy, marketing helps, big publishers rule retail AND digital distribution, Steam isn't a panacea.


Posted by 
 on: 03/10/10, 02:54:53  - Edited by 
 on: 03/10/10, 02:56:51
@Pandareus

I didn't say it would have saved them. I said it would have given them a better shot at success. That's it.

Again name me one niche game that has released via retail with no advertising in the traditional sense that has had great sales? In all honesty I can't think of one on any platform this entire generation, PC included. Maybe Wario Land however that is still an established Nintendo character and franchise.

And Trine absolutely does support my argument. It factually was Frozenbytes best selling game to date (albeit they pretty much just have the Shadowground games), they factually made money on it and they factually are now releasing more games in the near future. That is the difference between someone who does it "right" and someone who now is bankrupt, which they probably would be if they just released the game on the PS3 retail only. As to the "it didn't get marketing", please. Steam and D2D advertised the absolute shit out of it for weeks before release when the demo hit, months after release and offered multiple subsequent sales with advertising on each one. I can't comment on PSN because I don't own a PS3.

Again I'm not saying anything would have saved LKS. I am saying that a model like what Trine followed, or any other successful relatively niche game distributed primarily via downloadable services, would have been a hell of a lot better way to go. It decreases overhead, it gets advertised for free to millions of people and it creates the opportunity for scalable price plans in the future to drive sales far longer than a game like that will ever see via a traditional retail outlet. I really don't even think this is debatable.


Posted by 
 on: 03/10/10, 07:14:02
Eh, plenty of indie developers go essentially bankrupt, we just never hear about it because they're not big enough to make news.

And we can also turn it around and say look at Treasure and Nippon Ichi, they're doing just fine doing what Cing could have been doing. There is more to the bankruptcy story than just the surface details.


Posted by 
 on: 03/10/10, 07:36:54
Oldmanwinter said:
I didn't say it would have saved them. I said it would have given them a better shot at success. That's it.
I know what you said. I simply told you it probably wasn't within Cing's means. Let's lay this particular argument to rest.

Again name me one niche game that has released via retail with no advertising in the traditional sense that has had great sales? In all honesty I can't think of one on any platform this entire generation, PC included. Maybe Wario Land however that is still an established Nintendo character and franchise.
Trauma Center and Phoenix Wright come to mind.

As to the "it didn't get marketing", please. Steam and D2D advertised the absolute shit out of it for weeks before release when the demo hit, months after release and offered multiple subsequent sales with advertising on each one. I can't comment on PSN because I don't own a PS3.
What I said was it didn't get the public marketing push that WoG or Shadow Complex got (being shown off at E3, etc.) and I'm right. And my statement that they had trouble porting it is also correct.

Again I'm not saying anything would have saved LKS. I am saying that a model like what Trine followed, or any other successful relatively niche game distributed primarily via downloadable services, would have been a hell of a lot better way to go.
I'm far from convinced. We always here about the success stories... because they are so few. None of them are even remotely comparable to LKS, too.
It decreases overhead, it gets advertised for free to millions of people and it creates the opportunity for scalable price plans in the future to drive sales far longer than a game like that will ever see via a traditional retail outlet. I really don't even think this is debatable.
When you see Modern Warfare 2 at the top of Steam's bestsellers for weeks, then learn MW2 sold about 200k (retail and digital distribution combined) and that makes it a much bigger hit on the PC than the first MW, you have to wonder if all the advantages you list are worth the cost of porting, and the major risk of piracy porting to PC represents.

Major publishers take the risk, with heavy-duty DRM and often releasing it weeks later than the console versions (because there ARE console versions, clearly PC-only isn't viable anymore except for one major exception, Blizzard). And games made by teams of 3 guys or less take the risk because they don't have a choice. But you've yet to prove to me Steam is the way to go for anyone else.


Posted by 
 on: 03/10/10, 07:58:08  - Edited by 
 on: 03/10/10, 08:00:20
Pandareus said:"When you see Modern Warfare 2 at the top of Steam's bestsellers for weeks, then learn MW2 sold about 200k (retail and digital distribution combined) and that makes it a much bigger hit on the PC than the first MW, you have to wonder if all the advantages you list are worth the cost of porting, and the major risk of piracy porting to PC represents.

Major publishers take the risk, with heavy-duty DRM and often releasing it weeks later than the console versions (because there ARE console versions, clearly PC-only isn't viable anymore except for one major exception, Blizzard). And games made by teams of 3 guys or less take the risk because they don't have a choice. But you've yet to prove to me Steam is the way to go for anyone else."

Lol, what?

First off Steam doesn't even publish their numbers. Secondly Modern Warfare 2, in November alone and only on PC in retail outlets sold 170,000 units. Being as Steam now makes up a vast majority of PC gaming and as you stated it has been at the top of the sales charts for months, I'm going to have to call bullshit. The game sold well over what you are claiming without any help from digital sources on PC.I mean hell, according to this the PC was responsible for 12% of day one sales, which if the figures are correct puts it somewhere around 840,000 on PC. You do the math in conjunction with the other link. It sold over a million in November via digital download alone. Since it's stayed at the top of the charts on places like Steam I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's at or around 2 million copies sold.

And honestly if you don't see the benefits of free advertising, less overhead, the fact many smaller developers don't even need a publisher to get their game out and increased profit margins I don't even know why we are having this debate. The consoles are the kings of the big name, big money games. Most profit on major releases is from the HD consoles. That was never what this debate is about. If you really think LKS somehow did better being a Wii exclusive with no advertising... a game that effectively doomed the company as opposed to something like releasing on Steam, D2D, Impulse and XBLA... OK... I strongly disagree.


Posted by 
 on: 03/10/10, 08:40:58  - Edited by 
 on: 03/10/10, 08:42:23
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