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Old 01-22-2007, 09:04 PM   #21
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In my opinion, I don't think Adventure Games are dead, because there are a lot of companies out there that still believe in the adventure genre, and are trying new innovations, or still making the old-fashioned point-and-click game.

The main problem I have with the adventure game genre right now is that there didn't seem to be any adventure games I wanted to play last year, because they didn't sound good to me, or just didn't intrigue me enough to buy them, except for Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, which I am absolutely loving so far. So, I've been trying out different action games that have stories that motivate me to play them, and also have exciting gameplay to match the story. I still think Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell are the two best games I've ever played, because they both have a hint of adventure in them.

I still love the adventure game genre, and I'm hoping that the games that come out this year will be exciting, and fun to play.

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Old 01-22-2007, 09:22 PM   #22
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I've sure played quite a few adventure games. When I started playing them I found them very inventive, but now after all these years I'm finding them repetitive. So I'm drifting away from the entire genre, and am not really too excited about the latest news and releases anymore. I don't think I'm alone in that. While the forums used to be full of gaming talk, now many of them are simply chitchat. That must reflect something of a trend. Has it all been said and done? Or does it just seem like it?

Also, judging by the forums that I read there are not a lot of younger people playing adventure games - with maybe an exception for the Nancy Drew series. Maybe they play but don't participate in forums too much, could be. Whatever. So who will buy adventure games when all of us old bats croak? Ah, that's right! A dying genre in more ways than one. How depressing........

happy trails,

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Old 01-22-2007, 09:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXo View Post
But just because someone can list a couple games that have been released (hotel dusk, ace attorney, runaway, whatever) doesn't mean there is some thriving adventure game market out there.
Can you not conceive of some middle ground between "dead" and "thriving"?

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In the 90's there were hundreds of these games released. Is someone here actually trying to convicne me that a genre which once consisted of 20-30 titles per year is still viable due to a measly 3 or 4 games?
The AG database lists reviews for 32 commercial releases in 2006, and at least half of those were relatively big releases (Ankh, Keepsake, Dreamfall, Sam & Max, etc.).

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It means that studios no longer find it viable to release adventure titles for profit.
Well, clearly a number of studios do, or there wouldn't have been any games for sale.

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Most games released these days are by fans - for fans. Just because some company cranks out nancy drew games doesnt mean the entire industry isn't dead - it just means that one company is taking advantage of the obvious void and making a couple bucks off of it.
Actually, one company continuing to make adventure games would mean that not the entire industry was dead. Of course, it's not just one company, but a whole handful. Dozens, or more.

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Yet a company who releases a crappy cell phone game based on star wars can make double that.
By the time they pay off the licensing fees to LEC, I wouldn't be so sure of that.

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Vivendi Universals recent handling of the sierra game compilations is a perfect example of just how significat adventure games are to the commerical video game market - ie: null. We got crappy boxes with pdf manuals, missing titles (ll7, original non-vga versions), buggy versions (kq7), and even stripped down versions (ll6 voices missing).

If the adventure game wasn't 'commercially dead' then we (the adventure game community) wouldnt have been treated to such a half-assed release.
I bought some of the Sierra compilations back in the mid nineties, and it was pretty much the same deal back thenn.

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Again - to repeat - just becasue a small developer puts a game together and sells it for $20 does NOT mean that adventure games are not commercially dead.
As you pointed out earlier, repetition does not make something true.

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To say otherwise is ignoring:
A: release figures
B: reviews of a majority of recent games (see last post on this for further details)
C: complete disregard of old titles by BOTH Lucasarts AND Sierra.
Why should we care about LEC and Vivendi? They got out of the adventure game business a long time ago. They are huge corporations, only interested in games with mainstream appeal that will sell millions. Just because adventure games aren't that doesn't make them failures.

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A crapload of myst clones, fmv games, with a few fan gems thrown in for good measure do not add up to a thriving industry.
FMV? I can hardly remember the last time I saw a FMV game. You're ten years late on this rant.

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People around here can debate on what a 'dead genre' means until the cows come home. I believe there is still a great level of artistry in the genre - but commercially (ie: economically) there is hardly any money to be made. New businesses are not entering, and all the old established companies have left. Now, if thats not economically dead, then what is? And seriously - selling any game for $5-15 bucks is a bloody joke, thats just covering the cost of pretzels and twinkies consumed during the proggraming, it's definately not paying anyone's rent.
It's demonstrably untrue that new developers aren't entering the market. The most obvious counterexample is Telltale, but if you look through the list of games recent, you'll see that quite a lot of them were made by new companies. And as for covering the rent, don't you think that depends on how much the game cost to develop, and how many copies it sells?

Yeah, the genre could certainly be in better shape, business-wise. We're not going to see many blockbuster releases (if any) for the foreseeable future. And that does limit the kind of adventure games that can be made, and the production values that can be achieved.

But not every music artist needs to be Gwen Stefani, and not every games company needs to be EA. Lots of companies thrive in niches, making a comfortable living doing something the big guys can't be bothered with. I don't see why the same can't be true for adventure games.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:10 AM   #24
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The Sierra kind of adventures died in 1999 when GK3 was released. Broken Sword and MI also lost their sparkle with the new sequels IMO.

Adventure games may not be completely dead but other than THE LONGEST JOURNEY I don't know ONE game released after 1999 that can hold a candle to the classics.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:25 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Nautilus View Post
No one plays old action games
Gonna have to call "bullshit" on this. People do still play old action games. Hell, a large part of the Wii's business model hinges on this fact, and it's doing very well for itself so far. Classic game compilations also sell well, and re-releases on the GBA and DS have been successful. There's a thriving retro game scene, complete with its own magazine devoted to it (Retro Gamer), and the popularity of MAME and its ilk, though certainly of questionable legality, comes from people's desire to play the games they grew up with.

I don't really see why you felt the need to attack action games in order to defend adventures, but if the crux of your theory rests on "people play old adventures but not old action games" then I think you're going to need to tweak it a bit, because that's a faulty premise.

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Adventure games may not be completely dead but other than THE LONGEST JOURNEY I don't know ONE game released after 1999 that can hold a candle to the classics.
Depending on your preferred style, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has been pleasing just about everyone.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:08 AM   #26
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Not dying, certainly not. In reading a lot of articles and doing a small poll here I have found that a lot of 'new gamers' discover games starting with an adventure game ... usually a Myst episode.

Marketing is awful though. I agree that the term 'adventure game' is probably suicide. And there should be more titles to hook younger players. Bone, Nancy Drew etc. Learn some evil marketing strat from McDonalds. To bring the genre back into popular culture, a long term strategy has to take place.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:13 AM   #27
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To those who want to ponder the nature of adventure games, here is an extensive, well thought out article on the subject that some of you might have already seen.
http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,318/p,2
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:13 AM   #28
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The way I see it, the adventure game industry is dead... for now.

One thing I'm surprised no one mentioned is the game that possibly killed the AG community at such a short time. It has two Words: 'Tomb' and 'Raider' - the biggest game franchise of the 90's.

Even though so little story and interaction, this game is where the industry was heading next - action, atmosphere and the sense of being in the movies. And lets not forget sexuality either people. That plays a major part in any industry. Many adventure game companies either didn't bother to move with the new times, or failed to make the transition.

Another boom was the RPG boom. Final Fantasy 7 in particular. I was at school around this time, and my best friend was a major fan of Broken Sword and Grim Fandango before I was. But after Final Fantasy 7 came along, no more. THEN there was Zelda.

I think a good thing to draw upon in your essay would be the feeling of the 'Zeightgeist'. Even though it's slighly before my time, I believe the zeitgeist of the games of the early 90's were games that the clever, logical and have great graphics. After all, the only competition were usually lame platformers and side scroll shooters. AGs were the only genre that could on any basis be considered an artform or be taken seriously by the mature audience.

The Zeitgeist now is different. Ten years ago action movies were aimed at the 15-18 year-old generations, but now are aimed at PG-12.
The same has happened to the game industry to the end of the 90's. Games were less about feeding brains with clever plots, in-depth characters, brain-bending puzzles and the sort, it's was about pyrotechnics, blood and gore, the freedom to waltz around gigantic cities, clever AI and the most detailed graphics. And most of all, they were aimed at KIDS (no offense to younger members of the site, but it's true). Even with the age certificates on, we all know 80% of those who played Resident Evil were under 15.

Adventure games didn't change their approach to reflect this. As great as they are, kids don't want to have to buy a £30 game on Myst, a game where most of them are likely to get stuck within 30 minutes of play and not play again. They don't want areas with static characters standing still in the middle of the road repeating the same animations when Japanese RPGs provide constantly moving characters with their own evolving stories and agendas.

But even in the past year or two things have changed from that. Computer games are being accepted by society (kicking and screaming of course) where now even our parents are picking up Wiimotes and Kate Moss wannabe modals are playing Nintendo Gameboys.

As one person has already observed, there is money to make from niche markets. Maybe not as much, but tell that to magazine publishers who make quite a pretty penny from selling all those collectors magazines. People still buy 2D platformers (I certainly do), retro games and arcade puzzle games.

I think the AG genre is dead, or maybe on its knees. But give it 5-10yrs, when maybe Japanese RPGs and FPS games are suddenly boring and they might come back. Or maybe, when mobile phones are sophisticated enough to play games with better graphics and voices, we could see people playing dating sims and then giving an adventure a shot in the dark to find they quite like it. I’ve already read articles and letters in multi format magazines shouting about the Sam & Max games. Maybe this is the next step?

It's quite exciting of what could happen in the future for adventure games. But the only way for it to happen is for programmers, as well as publishers, to know what direction the wind is currently blowing and to fly with it. Keep up with good stories
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:01 AM   #29
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I totally agree with the Tomb Raider. That was what i was trying to formulate in a earlier post. A lot of action games today are hybrid. They have taken some of the best narrative elements, combining it with fastpaced action.

Isnt there also a lot of nostalgia involved in this? It seems like, i´m not the only one who remembered the first time i played "Zork" and "The Hobbit". It can be hard to accept, that a scene who used to be a dominant factor lives a life in the shadows
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:03 AM   #30
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Quote:
Maybe the better question is - Are adventure games commercially dead?
No, because the more well known titles still sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Both Runaway 1 and Syberia 1 sold a few hundred thousand, and I see no reason why Runaway 2 won't do the same. Obviously, there are sales or there would be no sequels for newer titles (Tunguska 2 was announced before the game ever hit N. America). The industry isn't dead or there wouldn't be anything coming out or at least next to nothing. There are still ample quantities of titles released every month.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:04 AM   #31
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I thing eXo just skipped all the previous posts, ignored them and noted his own conclusions ingoring all the afformentioned facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXo View Post

But just because someone can list a couple games that have been released (hotel dusk, ace attorney, runaway, whatever) doesn't mean there is some thriving adventure game market out there.

In the 90's there were hundreds of these games released. Is someone here actually trying to convicne me that a genre which once consisted of 20-30 titles per year is still viable due to a measly 3 or 4 games?
So you define that a scene is alive by means of released products.So how many games were published then and how many now? I would say about 40 games (i didnt count them but a good approximation) in 1995 and 25 in 2006. There is a drop here but in terms of quality how many were good (and were selling then and now). The same figure here about 8-9 per year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXo View Post
It means that studios no longer find it viable to release adventure titles for profit.
Now you turn it to sales figures. If you have studied them most companies filled for bankruptcy in 97-98. So they didnt have a profit then. Now most of companies are consistent and except microids who was sold, no other major studio has closed in the past 3-4 years because of economical reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXo View Post
Most games released these days are by fans - for fans. Just because some company cranks out nancy drew games doesnt mean the entire industry isn't dead - it just means that one company is taking advantage of the obvious void and making a couple bucks off of it.
And this indicates that ag are dead? So back then sierra , lucasart and legend staff werent fans of adventure genre themselves?You should take some history lessons man.The main fact in a marketing concept is that the products are tailored to the needs of the customer and only with them in mind. The fans are buying them and the game should focus on them. So it is a GOOD fact that these games are being released by adventure's afficionates with ag in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXo View Post
Vivendi Universals recent handling of the sierra game compilations is a perfect example of just how significat adventure games are to the commerical video game market - ie: null. We got crappy boxes with pdf manuals, missing titles (ll7, original non-vga versions), buggy versions (kq7), and even stripped down versions (ll6 voices missing).

If the adventure game wasn't 'commercially dead' then we (the adventure game community) wouldnt have been treated to such a half-assed release.
who cares about vivendi? how many bought this crappy collections?
They were totally ignored because of the reasons you said yourself. The product is not just a game ,but there are other parameters as well in the product-mix. When you dont have a market strategy and youre not putting any effort( promotion, packaging, no added value ) you will fail. The market ignored them. If you dont know how to make something dont do it.

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Originally Posted by eXo View Post
Again - to repeat - just becasue a small developer puts a game together and sells it for $20 does NOT mean that adventure games are not commercially dead.
In niche markets the gross margin is usually bigger than in competing markets.
it doesnt matter how much you sell compared to another but how much profit you are making compared to another company.

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Originally Posted by eXo View Post
To say otherwise is ignoring:
A: release figures
B: reviews of a majority of recent games (see last post on this for further details)
C: complete disregard of old titles by BOTH Lucasarts AND Sierra.
A. do you have them?
B. As you said in your last paragraph there is no problem with that. I agree with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eXo View Post
I believe there is still a great level of artistry in the genre
C. But these are old products! How on earth could a 1990 game sell in 2006.Why promote that? The fans respect those games , but the companies cannot make any money out of them anymore.It pure logic. But consider the example of telltale. Why a NEW company created such a buzz because of the fact that it was founded by ex-lucas emploees? EVERYONE in the community respects them and their game, just EVERYONE!

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Originally Posted by eXo View Post
Now, if thats not economically dead, then what is? And seriously - selling any game for $5-15 bucks is a bloody joke, thats just covering the cost of pretzels and twinkies consumed during the proggraming, it's definately not paying anyone's rent.
sorry but your comment is a bloody joke! Where can you base your assumptions? Personnally i think selling a game 40-50 bucks ,you are ripping-off your customer. Are you irritated by low selling value? then buy Tomb raider XXXIVV for just 60 bucks and enjoy it.

Last edited by cygma; 01-23-2007 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:07 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nautilus View Post
Videogames as we know it are dying, but adventure games are like books, with a much higher lifespan.

Racing games, shooters, etc are the same boring (or fun) games of 20 years ago but with more impressive graphics/audio. No one plays old action games, but a lot of people plays old (and new) adventure games.
Please just stop the whole "adventures are for the elite and shooters are for braindeads" rant. It's an old and highly boring story not too mention totally untrue.

Adventures certainly aren't what they used to be. Will they ever come out into the major business zone again I don't know but fingers crossed things seem to be moving a bit. Dreamfall, Fahrenheit, Sam & Max drew some mainstream attention and most of the times scored quite well. People outside our nice little clique showed some interested. That’s good.

The way I see it, it’s either you risk your head (bigger budget) and go with a nice 3D engine, modern controls and hybrid gameplay in order to reach more people or you play safe and release a cost effective 2,5D or better still node based game for the small niche market. I hope more developers will pick the first option this year rather than the second.
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:19 AM   #33
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By the way, I guess some of you are aware of the AG wikipedia entry. It points to an interesting article by Old Man Murray, in which he takes on GK 3 as an example on why AGs are supposed to be dying. He is partly right, in my opinion, at least as far as the beginning of GK 3 is concerned.

My take on the issue: I am playing Psychonauts, and I don't really mind AGs ceasing to exist as we know them, as long as their elements get incorporated in games as good as this on.
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:45 AM   #34
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I must say, the news of adventure games being dead comes as a very nasty shock to me, and will undoubtedly come as a nasty shock to many of my friends and co-workers, since a great many of us are still making as good (or better) a living than we were in the '90s, designing adventure gameplay for games that simply dare not to call themselves adventure games.

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Old 01-23-2007, 05:50 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periglo View Post
By the way, I guess some of you are aware of the AG wikipedia entry. It points to an interesting article by Old Man Murray, in which he takes on GK 3 as an example on why AGs are supposed to be dying. He is partly right, in my opinion, at least as far as the beginning of GK 3 is concerned.
I skipped the walkthrough part I am off to play shooters I am not a TRUE adventure gamer

By the way a good and highly entertaining read.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:16 AM   #36
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While this conversation takes place, people are developing adventure games, news items, previews and reviews about adventure games are being written, developers travel to conferences to pitch their games.

I didn't game in the early and mid nineties but it seems like there were many small companies that slowly went out of business or were bought by larger companies but it seems the trend is coming back around to small developers again.

People still care about adventure games - maybe not in the numbers rivaling that of other genres. When something (or someone) dies, the heart stops. Regardless of the financial aspects, the discombobulated marketing attempts and the not so perfect games coming out, the heart is still there and it means that the genre is still there.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:25 AM   #37
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since a great many of us are still making as good (or better) a living than we were in the '90s

How and why?
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:11 AM   #38
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This is such an over hyped stupid question. How could they possibly be dead if we're sitting here discussing it? Take a look at what's considered alive, race car games, rpg's, strategy, etc. Formulaic crap that's played by people with little or no imagination. They all have one thing in common-- no puzzles. People have to think to solve puzzles and about 3/4's of the population doesn't like to do that. The reason adventure games were popular way back is because mostly smart people had computers. Now stupid people have computers.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:28 AM   #39
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:54 AM   #40
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It would seem the Japanese are the adventure game genre's saviors. The fact that major publishing companies, like Nintendo and Capcom, are putting out adventure games on Big Name Store shelves and people are loving them and they're actually generating sales and cult followings (especially in Japan) is something to hopeful for. The problem with the adventue game isn't a lack enthusiasm - far from it, I think the adventure community is one of the more passionate out there. The problem is that people within the community keep hoping we will cling to our old ways for nostalgia's sake or something, when the point-and-click method has died for the most part. Let's just hope the DS is home to more "adventures" that build sme notoriety for story-based games (if "adventure" is meant to describe only lucas/sierra p&c games, then I'm referring to story-based games), because everyone knows that there are people out there that want them. Just look at the almost completely fan-mad hype surrounding Hotel Dusk. Very little marketing involved, but still it seems to be one game that everybody with a DS wants.

I think most people don't give the gaming community enough credit in these discussions; a large part of the community is intelligent and wants a good story in a game.
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