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Bruce Everiss Vs Stuart Campbell


Swainy
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Interesting stuff, and they both have good points.

I think it's fair to say that even if piracy doesn't have a massively deleterious effect on the industry as a whole, it does occasionally manage to destroy the prospects of specific platforms. Most recently the PSP (which Stu strangely lists as the hardest format to pirate (?!) ). And that super-easy piracy had some impact on the Xbox1, Dreamcast, and (obviously) PC.

Stu's assertion that the arrival of the PS2 killed off PS1 development (two years before, even) is pretty massively dubious. I remember lots of developers very quickly shifting focus to the PC at that time. As is his referencing of Edge's laughable Severance review, from the enlightened time when any European-developed PC game would only get coverage in Edge when they needed something to sneer at.

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Coming next from Stuart Campbell, a thrilling expose of the business dealings that led to the demise of Spangles, the popular 1970s sweet.

In it you'll get to hear him argue with the MD of the former Spangle Corporation about whether or not he had an en-suite bathroom, or if the introduction of the new "dog poo" flavoured range was the reason for their untimely end.

cubik

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Interesting stuff, and they both have good points.

But Bruce's recollections of Imagine are so wide of what was known at the time about the company that it casts a pall over the rest of his argument. His dogged insistence that no 8-bit software company made money after 1984 is just mind-boggling...

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But Bruce's recollections of Imagine are so wide of what was known at the time about the company that it casts a pall over the rest of his argument. His dogged insistence that no 8-bit software company made money after 1984 is just mind-boggling...

I read his posts (and he was presenting a few straw hostages to fortune); and I don't recall him saying that.

There's no discrepancy between the position that piracy made the trading environment more difficult and Imagine was badly run and hence went to the wall.

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But Bruce's recollections of Imagine are so wide of what was known at the time about the company that it casts a pall over the rest of his argument. His dogged insistence that no 8-bit software company made money after 1984 is just mind-boggling...

Yeah, I recall watching that video he links to not long ago and it's clear even from that that he wears practically opaque rose tinted spectacles.

The other thing from the vid was being highly amused to see the Ocean boss in his youth, since our paths had crossed much later when he'd fully embraced the inevitable baldness.

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Amazing scenes.

Bruce is massively delusional. From him contradicting his (more accurate) earlier account of the demise, to blaming piracy for a TOCA game's failure (and AMAZINGLY for that of the atrocious and priced-above-SRP Severance) when clearly GT2 was just as vulnerable to piracy, to plainly not understanding what a torrent file or game ISO (described as a "bit torrent") is, to him repeatedly insisting there was no strong tail in PSX development (despite healthy game releases for years after the DC and PS2 were released) and that, hence, piracy killed the PlayStation.

I think RSC went easy on him.

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Amazing scenes.

Bruce is massively delusional. From him contradicting his (more accurate) earlier account of the demise, to blaming piracy for a TOCA game's failure (and AMAZINGLY for that of the atrocious and priced-above-SRP Severance) when clearly GT2 was just as vulnerable to piracy, to plainly not understanding what a torrent file or game ISO (described as a "bit torrent") is, to him repeatedly insisting there was no strong tail in PSX development (despite healthy game releases for years after the DC and PS2 were released) and that, hence, piracy killed the PlayStation.

I think RSC went easy on him.

For all that, I don't think that Campbell repeatedly harping on about GT2's sales helps his argument. The flagship game on a console outpacing piracy you say? I'm sure GT will sell brilliantly on the PSP if it ever shows up, doesn't mean that the format isn't a radioactive wasteground for everyone else.

...

Neither of them will budge an inch on their ideologies. Bruce is like a one-man embodiment of ELSPA, ESA and FAST, and Campbell won't ever concede that piracy can affect specific games/platforms/publishers more keenly than others, regardless of whether the industry as a whole grows.

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I read his posts (and he was presenting a few straw hostages to fortune); and I don't recall him saying that.

There's no discrepancy between the position that piracy made the trading environment more difficult and Imagine was badly run and hence went to the wall.

He says that piracy put the games industry in the doldrums, and that it was only cartridges that brought back the good times. Which, as I point out, completely ignores the hugely successful Ocean movie tie-in/coin-op era of the 8-bits.

Plus, if they'd actually fulfilled the Cavendish contract, instead of wasting money on a hardware add-on that no-one was ever going to buy...

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Campbell won't ever concede that piracy can affect specific games/platforms/publishers more keenly than others, regardless of whether the industry as a whole grows.

But is this the case for companies like Imagine? He seems to provide pretty compelling evidence that it's not.

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I'm sorry, but that article's a load of rubbish.

I don't care if this chap was one of the directors at Imagine. The reason Imagine went tits-up was down to a number of factors, including:

- The company forking out a fortune on developing these ROM enhanced 'mega games'. You only have to see the reaction of someone in the 'Commercial Breaks' documentary when they discover that with the addon, each game's going to cost £40, to realise the company were on to a non starter.

- The company were churning out crap games. Ultimate were producing quality titles, Ocean's output was improving with each title, as were other companies. Imagine continued to produce pap! (Their 1984 output consisted of such crap as B.C Bill, Pedro and Cosmic Cruiser)

- The management decided it'd be a great idea to buy all of the production time at a major duplication plant, in an effort to stop other software companies using it.

- The management spent a fortune living the high life.

I could go on.

Poor planning, crappy ideas, and shite business sense were what killed imagine. Not people copying tapes.

Edit: *laughs* I've just scrolled down the page, and see I've written pretty much the same as Stuart.

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But is this the case for companies like Imagine? He seems to provide pretty compelling evidence that it's not.

I agree. Even if piracy and returns hadn't cut off their income as Bruce claims it did, the many other management and strategic problems he lists would have killed them off sooner or later.

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While it's always good to see Stu in full flow, I feel uncomfortable agreeing with him, partly because he clearly pirates games himself - pretty unapologetically, if his site is anything to go by.

And while the videogame industry is bigger than ever, it's ludicrous to claim that piracy doesn't have some effect. The problem is that piracy mainly affects smaller companies, so it goes relatively unnoticed. I remember when No More Heroes came out in the States and on one of the torrent sites there were well over 1000 people downloading the game. That might be chump change for someone like Nintendo (the reason I mention them is that Mario Kart is one of the most torrented recent titles) but riskier, lower budget games like this - partly because people are reluctant to spend £50 on a game which is a little less of a sure bet than your heavily-promoted blockbusters from mega-publishers like EA - really do suffer.

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I remember when No More Heroes came out in the States and on one of the torrent sites there were well over 1000 people downloading the game.

Not wanting to get into the same tired old debate, but 1000 downloaders really does not equal 1000 lost purchases.

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Not wanting to get into the same tired old debate, but 1000 downloaders really does not equal 1000 lost purchases.

Yep, you're right - probably a lot of people trying it who wouldn't ordinarily have bothered. Though there's still bound to be quite a few of those who would have risked their forty quid on it were it not 'out there'. I suppose we're then getting into the tipping point regarding game prices, then - but that's for another thread, clearly.

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