"ON LET'S PLAYS" - DEV EXPRESSES PLIGHT OVER HOW LP'S HAVE IMPACTED HIS GAME'S SALES

Posts

@Max, most LPs are indeed terrible (or at least just not entertaining at all), even the ones from the big-name guys. There are a few out there that are genuinely informative and/or funny, though. Also, a lot of people do not actually watch these LPs intently - they're often background noise instead. (It works as BG noise about as well, if not sometimes better, than music for me, since I tend to compulsively hyper-analyze any music I listen to)

I do actually take interest in informative LPs of games that I'll probably never play, due to them being expensive and/or on hardware that is not well emulated or I just don't really care to acquire. Unfortunately, LPs done by people who actually know anything about the game they are playing are really rare.

e:
author=Shinan
Remember when games had demos you could play to get a more accurate idea of what a game was?

Those were the days.

(All download-only titles on xbox 360 have mandatory demos...)
Most of the demos I've played of recent games (ps360 era or newer) have actually been pretty bad about giving me an accurate idea of what the game is about. They're often either too short (many end right before you get to fight the first boss), or are just the poopy opening tutorial section of the game.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
author=Yellow Magic
However, with regards to LPs affecting sales of That Dragon, Cancer: Maybe my understanding of the game is faulty, but I'm having trouble figuring out who on Earth would want to play a game about a child dying of terminal illness??? That sounds horrifying.


People have enjoyed tragedies for as long as people have been sharing stories. There's a sizable portion of any narrative media that is about upsetting things, because storytellers like to cover the range of human experience, and part of that experience is "shit happens."

Like, at its most basic level, someone might want to play such a game to gain understanding of how people going through the experience feel, and how it shapes them.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12986
author=Sooz
author=Yellow Magic
However, with regards to LPs affecting sales of That Dragon, Cancer: Maybe my understanding of the game is faulty, but I'm having trouble figuring out who on Earth would want to play a game about a child dying of terminal illness??? That sounds horrifying.
People have enjoyed tragedies for as long as people have been sharing stories. There's a sizable portion of any narrative media that is about upsetting things, because storytellers like to cover the range of human experience, and part of that experience is "shit happens."

Like, at its most basic level, someone might want to play such a game to gain understanding of how people going through the experience feel, and how it shapes them.

Definitely. We're in a day and age where the target audiences for games are no longer exclusive to just teenage and young adult males who want nothing but mindless slug-fests. The medium is starting to explore its possibilities for creating compelling interactive experiences, and that's a great thing!

I'm positive there is a market for people willing to play more story-driven, down-to-earth experiences that they can interact with. It may not be what typically fits the description of "gamer" but with how visual novels and "walking simulators" are actually starting to be successful I don't think there is any doubt that the audience for "That Dragon, Cancer" exists.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
Max McGee's confusion at what exactly is attractive about Let's Plays is common. I'm sure it's this confusion that leads developers to make baseless accusations about imaginary problems, like "People who would have bought the game are probably using this LP as a way to avoid buying it!"

People get confused and scared because they don't understand newfangled trends and they assume the worst. I will tell you a secret though. Rock and roll music does not lead to drugged-out orgies, and video games do not lead to school shootings, and let's plays do not lead to the disintegration of capitalism.

You are not selling the same product as the streamer is selling, I promise.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12986
@LockeZ: Considering that anyone who makes commercial games more than likely to keep track of finances (especially indies because you need to be able to wear a lot of hats in order to succeed), they can easily compare the amount of views/hits an LP of their game has compared to their actual revenue.

Yeah, whether LPs are "hurting" the sales of a game is actually is up for debate, but don't assume that Ryan's claims in the blog are something that he's pulled from his ass. Otherwise, why would he be targeting an LPer (who seems to think they have a right to earn revenue from their content for streaming something that isn't theirs), and not the more pertinent pirates out there?
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
author=Ratty524
author=Sooz
People have enjoyed tragedies for as long as people have been sharing stories. There's a sizable portion of any narrative media that is about upsetting things, because storytellers like to cover the range of human experience, and part of that experience is "shit happens."

Like, at its most basic level, someone might want to play such a game to gain understanding of how people going through the experience feel, and how it shapes them.
Definitely. We're in a day and age where the target audiences for games are no longer exclusive to just teenage and young adult males who want nothing but mindless slug-fests. The medium is starting to explore its possibilities for creating compelling interactive experiences, and that's a great thing!
I can understand that to a certain extent: Dangan Ronpa (where my current avatar is from) wouldn't be anywhere near as thrilling if it didn't involve the deaths of students, but even that was offset by zany gameplay, 2D waifus and characters who like 2D waifus.

For me it's all about balance, and I see no sort of balance in a game just takes you through, like, the HARSHEST reality there is. To me it's masochism. I would rather be in Homs, Syria then play a game like that.

Oh, and I'm not even a parent! Imagine parents playing this game. Christ.
author=Ratty524
@LockeZ:Considering that anyone who makes commercial games more than likely to keep track of finances (especially indies because you need to be able to wear a lot of hats in order to succeed), they can easily compare the amount of views/hits an LP of their game has compared to their actual revenue.

Yeah, whether LPs are "hurting" the sales of a game is actually is up for debate, but don't assume that Ryan's claims in the blog are something that he's pulled from his ass. Otherwise, why would he be targeting an LPer (who seems to think they have a right to earn revenue from their content for streaming something that isn't theirs), and not the more pertinent pirates out there?

Easier target to get money from? Hard to get money from faceless pirates but an LPer who is known and has linkages to their private lives? Much easier for money-grab.
author=Ratty524
@LockeZ:Considering that anyone who makes commercial games more than likely to keep track of finances (especially indies because you need to be able to wear a lot of hats in order to succeed), they can easily compare the amount of views/hits an LP of their game has compared to their actual revenue.

It's ridicilous to think that every viewer of someones Let's Play would buy the game if it weren't for the fact that they watched the videos. That's not how it works. If that was the case, some of my games would have a million+ downloads.
But it's not (;_;), because alot of viewers watch the content for the person playing the game as much as the game being played.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
author=Yellow Magic
For me it's all about balance, and I see no sort of balance in a game just takes you through, like, the HARSHEST reality there is. To me it's masochism. I would rather be in Homs, Syria then play a game like that.

Oh, and I'm not even a parent! Imagine parents playing this game. Christ.


Honestly, I haven't played it myself,* but my understanding is that there is a lot of balance to it. It's an extremely personal game about people's experiences in a very trying time, which can be really attractive to certain kinds of people.

This doesn't really mean that it's going to attract a lot of players (obviously); most people play video games for escapism, not catharsis or emotional depth, and I think that's the real factor behind TDC's lack of "success."

In related news, Jim Sterling addressed this topic, and I pretty much agree with all his points.

*I know much better than to go into tragedies, because I'm well aware of the triggers for my depression.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12986
author=SnowOwl
author=Ratty524
@LockeZ:Considering that anyone who makes commercial games more than likely to keep track of finances (especially indies because you need to be able to wear a lot of hats in order to succeed), they can easily compare the amount of views/hits an LP of their game has compared to their actual revenue.
It's ridicilous to think that every viewer of someones Let's Play would buy the game if it weren't for the fact that they watched the videos. That's not how it works. If that was the case, some of my games would have a million+ downloads.
But it's not (;_;), because alot of viewers watch the content for the person playing the game as much as the game being played.

... What does that have to do with anything I said to LockeZ?

author=Sooz
Honestly, I haven't played it myself,* but my understanding is that there is a lot of balance to it. It's an extremely personal game about people's experiences in a very trying time, which can be really attractive to certain kinds of people.

This doesn't really mean that it's going to attract a lot of players (obviously); most people play video games for escapism, not catharsis or emotional depth, and I think that's the real factor behind TDC's lack of "success."

In related news, Jim Sterling addressed this topic, and I pretty much agree with all his points.

*I know much better than to go into tragedies, because I'm well aware of the triggers for my depression.

After taking a look, Jim does bring up some good points. Even in the film biz the subject of a kid dying of cancer is a very risky matter that doesn't sit well with a wide range of audiences, so in that sense the game probably wouldn't have sold well regardless of how many LPs it had.

I still think, however, that we shouldn't be discussing the actual merits of the game, because it all sounds like an attempt to just dismiss and ignore any responsibility people have as Let's Players. We live in a time where Let's plays are moving away from being a small niche to being part of mainstream media; they're popular and people can actually make semi-legitimate careers off of blabbering about games. It's wholly possible to make revenue by streaming marginally filtered content that doesn't actually belong to the LP'er, hence this controversy started.

Even in the blog, all Ryan really asks for is for LP'ers to recognize the actual power they have in the market and use it with respect to the developers, and that even means recognizing that certain games would actually be disserviced by being broadcasted in the first place.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
author=Ratty524
I still think, however, that we shouldn't be discussing the actual merits of the game, because it all sounds like an attempt to just dismiss and ignore any responsibility people have as Let's Players.


I don't think that's the case at all; as Jim says in the article, there are a number of other games that, like TDC, are linear, low-gameplay narratives that have NOT experienced low sales, despite being heavily LP'd. I think any discussion surrounding why such a well-known critical darling has no sales HAS to include the game's content, considering all other factors being equal with other examples.

I'm also p. sure most people in the discussion (and Jim in the article) have addressed the subject of the "responsibility" LPers have. I haven't, because I find the idea a little silly, but I'm probably in the minority there. vOv
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29589
Look, this whole thing is ridiculous. If you made a good game, people are going to buy it, regardless of whether or not there's an LP.

If you made a bad game that people are interested in, people are going to buy it, even if that's a really dumb thing to do, regardless of whether or not there's an LP.

If you made a game that people aren't interested in, bad or good, they're not going to buy it.

LPing is specifically a new phenomena. Okay. The concept of a person watching a movie and talking about it, or playing a video game and talking about it while a bunch of people listen and laugh like idiots is not a new phenomena. You want to talk about showing someone else's movie to an audience? MST3K, Svengoolie, Son of Svengoolie, Elvira, and Vampira, all of whom professionally present or presented movies and critiqued them for one reason or another, and those five I was able to name without touching Google, fucking once. People have made a career out of teasing someone else's artwork since the dawn of art.

Newsflash: If nobody's buying your game it's because you didn't make a game worth buying, and there is no other fucking reason, except maybe marketing. If marketing is the problem, then it is just fucking stupid to complain about LPs.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
author=Ratty524
... What does that have to do with anything I said to LockeZ?
Because what I was saying is that comparing the amount of views/hits an LP of their game has to their actual revenue is not in any way a useful or meaningful comparison. That data tells you nothing, except possibly how good of a fit your game is for Let's Plays. Games that change what the player is doing really often are the best suited for LPs because they have lots of things to react to, for example, so things like that will cause a game to have fewer LP views compared to downloads.

You seemed to be implying that data about how many people watch LPs of his game was somehow relevant, possibly even damning info.
On the subject of MSTK3, don't forget that the show had to get rights to air the movies it mocked, because broadcasting a whole movie while telling jokes over it isn't considered fair use.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
If the Game Grumps gave commentary while letting me play Sonic Boom myself, I'd consider that an equivalent situation.

That said, I don't think anyone's disputing that the terms and conditions of virtually all modern games make LPs technically illegal. Just disputing the wisdom of actually going after the people doing them.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
author=Sooz
This doesn't really mean that it's going to attract a lot of players (obviously); most people play video games for escapism, not catharsis or emotional depth, and I think that's the real factor behind TDC's lack of "success."

Yeah, my thoughts exactly! I don't think it's a bad thing that this game exists, but as it stands it's pretty...niche.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
author=pianotm
Look, this whole thing is ridiculous.


Nah, I mean, I obviously have my personal opinion on the subject, but I think the overall discussion is valuable. (And a few thoughts here have changed my opinions slightly, albeit not in a really strong way.)

This has actually been a decent forum debate overall. GJ, RMN!
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4773
This is a very tame debate. RMN has been good about that recently
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
author=Jude
On the subject of MSTK3, don't forget that the show had to get rights to air the movies it mocked, because broadcasting a whole movie while telling jokes over it isn't considered fair use.


Yeah this is a good point. Makers of the trash that serves as MST3K fodder get cash money dollars directly from the riffing crew.
imo a true gamer wouldn't watch a let's play for any game.