Criticism is healthy. Of course, we should not get up in arms and blow things out of proportions. R* should also take everything with grain of salt and find the right balance.
I think they did felt pressure. R* are people. Designers, programmers, artists. They are ambitious and want to receive praise for their work. It's not far-fetched to think that when faced with so much criticism and saw people hyping SA and SR2 as best things ever, they just caved in.
Well, call it just my modder enthusiasm, but I always imagine what I'd feel like if I were a programmer at R* North (R* North are people, R* games are just a big greedy corporate logo - again, neither of them created
RDR!!!) I would never feel pressured. With the kind of mind-frame which us budding game designers tend to have, I'd always be up for the challenge to meet the high expectations I've already achieved by having made a dozen great games. And hey, look at those V trailers, particularly the one with the cheesy female voice-over, if anything, they seemed TOO proud
Both TBoGT and V feel like an apology for making IV and TLaD so different from 3D Era GTAs.
I for one REALLY appreciated that. As sick as I later realised it was towards TLaD fans (good ;P) I LOVED how they "dealt" with Johnny. That applied to my more "casual gamer" friend, too, who barely gave IV half a chance at all. We were in fits, because it seemed pretty clear that North, or Dan Houser (though I'm always sceptical of Houser's ACTUAL involvement in GTA - no one ever mentions The Benz, who to me is the REAL presence behind GTA), really regretted their decision to go with the "biker dude fad", which, especially after being perpetuated by crap TV like Sons of Anarchy which only achieve success based on the false image they embellish, perhaps made them feel quite ashamed.
(My apologies to
all Sons of Anarchy, The Lost and Damned and IV fans, as always
See, if you asked me, I'd say R* were catering to an audience more with IV than V. With V, they were doing something they'd done before, but bigger. In fact, even the 3 protagonists idea was only held back from SA because of technical limitations. V is more like the game they wanted SA to be, whereas I don't know where to place IV. But again, that's another example of how this "V ends the GTA series!" thing can go either way. I could say "IV ended the GTA series!!! but then yay, V revived it!!!" and there's no right or true answer. What's always more telling, though, is the fact that both IV and V (as well as SA, VC and III) were well-received both critically and commercially. There were haters for IV, and now there's haters for V, but they're the minority of a large audience, and they always will be. The fact that many of these aren't the same people goes to show even further that their claims that either game was the worst in the series are always mistaken.
Video game "industry" isn't just about pleasing the crowd and making money. Well, if you're not a CEO at some big publishing corporation I guess. That's a cynical viewpoint. Of course, both are important. But I believe video games are art and artistic integrity and vision should come first and foremost. If developers adhered only to what sells and what is popular at the time, we would never get many of gaming's most original and creative titles.
I'm pretty sure entertainment as a whole is about pleasing the crowd and making money. Pleasing the crowd being the more worthy of the causes, and making money being the "well what's in it for us?" part. But the idea isn't to "adhere" to what sells and is popular, but instead to predict what will sell and be popular, and to keep making those predictions. There's no point in making what's already out there (though that's a somewhat reasonable tactic employed by most game companies) but there's always the business end to any business. This, by the way, is why I don't agree with brand names, logos and companies...
So I wasn't being cynical, I was being positive about something that's not the best situation. I've already ranted about this plenty:http://gtaforums.com...m/?p=1065402176TL;DR:
Branding is a lazy way to achieve permanent success off of little achievement. If making games is a dream, then it shouldn't be considered a job and mixed with money. And a franchise is just an illusion. If we gave no value to branding, logos or franchises, companies wouldn't exist and the few games that get made (by more dedicated people) would probably all turn out to be much higher in quality and more unique. But that's not how it is, so money IS more important. I don't like it, but I'm positive about it, because at least with money fuelling dozens of companies into making hundreds of games, we get a lot more variety to choose from (most of it sucky, but oh well) and with competition between companies over money, more of a chance that at least one will produce a good game every now and then.
It would be very interesting to see how much would V sell if it went in IV's footsteps. I doubt it would be very different. GTA sells on name alone and that's one more reason for R* to take risks. They have one of biggest titles in the industry, they can afford doing things their way. They aren't some small studio that has to worry about their game selling, so they won't have to shut their doors. They are an international behemoth backed by a huge publsher.
Well, IV sold well anyway, so it wouldn't be much of a fair test
And while they are backed by a huge publisher, investors and the like, they DO have to worry about the game selling, more so, in fact. While they've got high demand already, which cuts them SOME slack, they have high expectations that depend on them selling as much as possible. TakeTwo were apparently not doing all that well, so with the GTA franchise being their biggest asset, risks are somewhat out of the question. Franchises can be somewhat fragile. Screw around with it too much and you'll kill the illusion completely. It's like hypnosis - you can make people do what you want, bark like a dog, give you money, but if you tell them to dance like a chicken one too many times, they might just figure out something's up! From then on, it will be much harder to re-gain control and convince them to let you into their mind. I think that's a perfect analogy for franchises, really!
As for the budget, it works both ways. Obviously, with higher budget, you can up the production values, but sometimes, with smaller budget or with larger technological constrains, you have to learn how to use what you have more effectively. You can see where the money went in a game like GTA, but many games have insanely bloated budgets nowadays and does it make them better than some smaller titles?
I learnt a bit about game business and budgets and mostly about the potential and growing profit in the games industry. Games get larger investments than movies nowadays and there's more money in that industry than the music and movie industries combined (or something to that effect - this was a couple of years ago, lol). And the budget isn't so much about technological constraints as much as paying those damn greedy employees... they're the ones who have to create the technology, after all. So a high budget might not always produce better results, and a low budget may also heed surprising results, because it then comes down to things which are more specific than can be calculated, such as the actual individuals working there - which won't change according to the budget, but you're likely to get better results by over-paying a moron than under-paying a genius. The reason North will get a big budget these days, though, is that TakeTwo have a track record of sales (I doubt TakeTwo cares about the creative aspects or the fans, really) and know that North are the best way to spend the huge amounts of cash that must be invested in them. Rockstar North are free to take care of the creative aspects, but they always need to remember who pays their salaries.
And yeah, V isn't the end of the world.
Aye, on the contrary, I find this the beginning of a whole new era. It's more like what IV should have been, to me.
Every studio's bound to make a weak game. And, as Ubisoft demonstrated with AC IV, it's possible to bounce back and make something amazing even straight off the weaker title. The problem I see with V is that it didn't try to do something new and instead opted for a pastiche of what worked in previous games. It's not a step forward (SA), not a step sideways (IV). It's running in circles.
Yeah, AC:IV bounced back... a bit. It's not hard to go wrong with 'pirates', though. The pirate fad is just as guilty as the biker fad. But heck, I enjoyed the sea battles a whole lot. It was only after sinking about the 150th ship that I begun to realise how repetitive it was
But they didn't try anything "new" with IV either, if you ask me... it's still a city re-visit (which I have to suspect they'll do again with VC before they try to figure out a completely new setting... ugh - though to show my hypocritical side, I'd love them to do it with SF & LV) and the only thing that made it feel so different was the fact they had a totally new engine to try to adapt for it. That felt more like a weakness than anything - like they'd detracted from GTA's arcade-ness not on purpose, but because they simply weren't able to make it feel like the GTA we already knew, they steered into the skid. It's still a good game, but it made me feel like it was an action game, and not GTA's usual hard-to-define self. And as I've pointed out, when you break the illusion of a franchise, being something that's supposed to maintain the same essence, it starts to lose power. So good or not, I'm glad they managed to "recover" for V, and from my perspective, they have moved forward. It has taken GTA in a whole new light. Heists, multiple protagonists, etc. - all the things that everyone was excited about before V was released still apply, even if they're not quite satisfying enough, that's not too bad, it just means they need to improve on that idea next time, but I'm 100% sure V is a step in the RIGHT direction.TL;DR:
IV - a well-executed step in the wrong direction? V - a poorly-executed step in the right direction? Who's to say...EDIT:
Ugh, now to pay attention to unworthy posts which were made addressing me while I was writing this, much more enjoyable, positive post.P.S.
I like the way you put things in that post. As you can see, it may have over-indulged me @OG
Look, I don't care to know how smart, intelligent, and witty you can be, you don't impress me or have me in awe of your 'amazing qualities'
Smartness, intelligence and wit doesn't impress you? That explains everything! Now I totally understand your views on GTA V!