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Jaffe to Iwata: "You can't put a price on fun"

Tue 26 Apr 2011 11:05am GMT / 7:05am EDT / 4:05am PDT
PeopleDevelopment

God Of War creator describes Nintendo boss's GDC speech as "good old-fashioned irony"

Eat Sleep Play founder David Jaffe has railed against comments made by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during his keynote at GDC, claiming that you "can't put a price on fun".

Speaking to sister site Eurogamer, Jaffe claimed that Iwata's suggestion that "game development is drowning" - with too many low-price, low quality downloads - was wrong.

"I was at [Iwata's] keynote, three, four years ago. He stood on stage, had this great, powerful presentation where he was talking about disruption," said Jaffe. "I don't know if it's karma or good old fashioned irony that now he's pushing back against the very thing he was claiming was valuable in his earlier keynote, which is disruption."

"The reality is, you can't put a price on fun," said Jaffe at a press event for his forthcoming new Twisted Metal title. "I don't care if it's 99 cents or $150 or $1000 over the years in sub fees to an online MMO."

"Fun is fun, so I think it's an absurd concept to say, this is the criteria, these are the ingredients you [need] to make fun otherwise you can't play. That's bullsh*t, man."

Jaffe agreed that Apple could "absolutely" become the biggest force in gaming, although he personally is signed to a three-game exclusive publishing deal with Sony.

"I heard somebody the other day say Apple TV, which I love, they're going to start putting the App Store on Apple TV with games," said Jaffe. "I'm like 'holy shit'. So yeah, it's possible."

13 Comments

C N

1 0 0.0
I agree with him it's a big bullshit to think, fun can have a price...

Posted:3 years ago

#1

James Steele Senior Software Engineer, Nintendo of Europe GmbH

15 17 1.1
You may not be able to put a price on "fun" but there is certainly a price on development of fun. Which is an issue for develoment studios, if not for the typical garage developer who has a seperate day job.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Jaffe must have missed the point.

Iwata isn't saying that those games aren't valid as a medium of fun or that they shouldn't exist as a disruptive market. What he is saying is that too many of them create a red ocean and the .99 cent price fails to deliver enough revenue for developers (more supply than demand). It also creates a perception among consumers that all game content, regardless of platform, should have similar price structures.

It's rather sad to see someone as influential as Jaffe fail to grasp the concept of the keynote. His comments are the kind of knee jerk reaction I'd expect to hear from overzealous Apple platform developers.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
I've been wondering my ass off for a few years HOW the hell anyone who makes them makes money on these cheap games. While I completely understand that a packaged retail game has a boatload of costs that developers make not a dime from, it HAS to be more than what they'd make on a game that costs under a buck (or even a few bucks). Then again, I've also played a ton of free games people have done as a labor of love... but even some of those folks have a DONATE button on their sites. Or a regular job that pays the bills...

Perhaps I'm one of those old dopes that thinks good work of any length should be rewarded (not just financially). Am I mad? Or just not seeing that it's OK that people get screwed out of a few nickels because their work is being played by millions of people and that's what really counts at the end of the day?

Jaffe sounds like he wants to make some Apple TV games, btw...

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Seb Grinke Games/Level Designers

3 0 0.0
I made a bunch of iPhone games, and lost money on all of them.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
Somehow I was thinking that Iwata might have been talking about that is we have too many .99 cent games being made and not enough developers can make the money on a return for developing the games on the iphone platform, that could lead to another videogame market crash.

Any business where you make a product but are not able to get any proffit back is not good for business...

that is what I am interpretating from Nintendo's views.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member

144 14 0.1
He didn't address all of Iwata's presentation though, just the part that favors his argument. I like the idea of paying a relatively small fee and watching the game grow over time.

And Apple TV, I called that years ago. That'd be so awesome. But there's a problem, those aren't cheap. Streaming services are being included in TVs and they play games. I think that's the future. I also think OnLive made a huge mistake signing exclusively to Vizio.

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member

144 14 0.1
He didn't address all of Iwata's presentation though, just the part that favors his argument. I like the idea of paying a relatively small fee and watching the game grow over time.

And Apple TV, I called that years ago. That'd be so awesome. But there's a problem, those aren't cheap. Streaming services are being included in TVs and they play games. I think that's the future. I also think OnLive made a huge mistake signing exclusively to Vizio.

Posted:3 years ago

#8
Lets just take this one more step further and hit the reset button. Its not going to .99 cents, its all going free to play with virtual goods monetization. I know LOTS of game devs who bitched, adapted and are now raking it in on F2P. Change sucks, yup but why spit in the wind man.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Tom Hunt Game Developer, neocade

22 15 0.7
it is a bit curious that nintendo is not trumpeting the virtues of market disruption when they have what should be a disruptive product, but isn't really (the 3DS), and at the same time find themselves at odds with a prevailing market force (smaller app packaging)

what i find ironic from app store critics who complain about it creating a red ocean is that there was a red ocean in retail software before the app store, to which the app store offers a fairly easy way for a small developer to compete blue ocean style with a larger established developers. that's what i think iwata, and probably half the industry for that matter, is afraid of at this point.

the real kicker is that this revolution isn't over yet. there's more disruption on the way in the next couple of years. if nintendo et al are having trouble adjusting to this new reality, what are they going to do then?

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
@Chris:
See, he didn't spit in the wind. He didn't say anything was wrong with .99 cent games or even free to play. He said the problem is the flood. For every 1 hit, you have hundreds of failures. That's not sustainable.

You are taking Jaffe's statements at value above Iwata's actual sentiment. I get you need to promote your thing and that's the business way of life. But don't rush to a conclusion based on false notions.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 26th April 2011 5:57pm

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Philip Wilson Project Manager/QA

69 0 0.0
Jaffe rallying against someone well known in the game industry...what else is new /rolls eyes

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Rod Franklin Business Development, CiRCLE

4 0 0.0
|Along the lines of the main subject, but not specifically speaking about any particular developers.|

(In my opinion) Once the American economy took a dive, and opportunities became scarce, indie projects began to pick up. An unemployed game developer will not sit around waiting for a company to consider them if they need to pay bills ASAP. While the applications are pending, that doesn't stop indie development from taking place.

Bigger investments don't mean the fun factor is increased, there may be some advantages as far as technology goes but if a developer knows how to really utilize what he or she has in their tool box, a great title would be born.

So some of the big name developers may be concerned with going belly up because smaller developers are finally getting the opportunity that some truly deserve. There definitely are more developers (for better or for worse) getting in the door of what was once this exclusive club to those able to afford the membership, but times change.

Cost of living goes up as greed increases and that increases the pressure for some to develop titles as often as possible (for better or for worse). All one can do is try and stick to quality over quantity, adapting to the economy, and making spoiled gamers wait so that they aren't complaining about a rushed title with stale game play.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

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