• Log In | Sign Up

  • News
  • Reviews
  • Games Database
  • Game Discovery
  • Search
  • New Releases
  • Forums
continue reading below

Adventure Gamers - Forums

Welcome to Adventure Gamers. Please Sign In or Join Now to post.

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Post Marker Legend:

  • New Topic New posts
  • Old Topic No new posts

Currently online

Support us, by purchasing through these affiliate links

   

discussion about modernizing/popularizing adventure games

Avatar

Total Posts: 8140

Joined 2012-01-02

PM

from where do you these numbers? 300,000!!
then who are the 500.000 bought KQV,  and the 1M bought Phantasmagoria or the 4M who bought Myst, and all those were upon release only.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 710

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

Advie - 18 February 2021 11:15 AM

from where do you these numbers? 300,000!!
then who are the 500.000 bought KQV,  and the 1M bought Phantasmagoria or the 4M who bought Myst, and all those were upon release only.

Myst came with pcs once again you can look at any one game than sells a couple more copies than other’s. the vast majority sold between about 150k to 300,000. That kind of thing happens over and over again look at the Walking Dead it sold millions of copies that was the only game that did, after that that none of the other games were in the green. I wonder why that is hmmm maybe because the Walking Dead was an outlier and not the norm it not that complicated.

Also since you asked Ken Williams has said as much in an interview. so has Developers for LucasArts. they knew what the mean was, some sold more some some less you can’t look at one game, it only becomes a trend when multiple games do it in a row for a company or a genre.

In the modern era that number may be even more skewed because as others pointed out you get so many games for dirt cheap or for free basically in bundles and they never even get played yet are owned so who really knows in 2021

Just to further make my point let’s take myst out of the equation that was a PC seller and a CD-ROM seller it has a place in history for a reason it’s more than just an adventure game we all know that.  as for the other two games you pointed out. Both Sierra titles with a proven track record why did one sell 500k less than another. Or if you want to compare something a bit closer why did phantasmagoria do so much better than Gabriel Knight 2. Here is a quote from jane…

She wrote that she had expected it to appeal to a large, mainstream audience, and remarked in retrospect, “I thought it would be top ten. And it was - for about a week.”

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 2473

Joined 2013-03-14

PM

Yes, it was indeed one reason why the big dogs began to shift away from adventure games in the 90s. After Doom came out, it sold millions of copies and while adventures were still selling, they seemed to constantly have their own sales which rarely managed to reach the heights of the new, easier to approach genres. The relatively low sales tied to constantly increasing budgets made it harder for the adventure games turn a profit. This was the era when Sierra adventure games went from costing 1 million to 4+ million.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 710

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

tomimt - 18 February 2021 12:17 PM

Yes, it was indeed one reason why the big dogs began to shift away from adventure games in the 90s. After Doom came out, it sold millions of copies and while adventures were still selling, they seemed to constantly have their own sales which rarely managed to reach the heights of the new, easier to approach genres. The relatively low sales tied to constantly increasing budgets made it harder for the adventure games turn a profit. This was the era when Sierra adventure games went from costing 1 million to 4+ million.

Correct, so basically sales stayed the same bc the genre has a very built-in fan base yet developmental cost kept increasing. which is why we got adventure games adding other elements into it like a broken sword three, hoping to bring a more mainstream audience in

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 472

Joined 2017-12-19

PM

Jdawg445 - 17 February 2021 03:44 PM

My honest answer is because traditional Adventure game fans are probably only around 150,000 to 300,000. So you get your odd game here or there that crosses over like a heavy rain or Walking Dead, But as telltale soon found out, the Casual fan did not want to play game after game in that genre like that. even though there were some other great ones like The Wolf Among Us the Batman games and borderland. I would also say they kind of pissed off the traditional adventure game fan because they took out all the puzzles by the end of the run.

Jdawg445 - 18 February 2021 12:02 PM
Advie - 18 February 2021 11:15 AM

from where do you these numbers? 300,000!!
then who are the 500.000 bought KQV,  and the 1M bought Phantasmagoria or the 4M who bought Myst, and all those were upon release only.

Myst came with pcs once again you can look at any one game than sells a couple more copies than other’s. the vast majority sold between about 150k to 300,000.

I think this conversation is getting a bit twisted and flawed now…

Let’s take these things into consideration when thinking about player numbers:

1) The number of sold games doesn’t directly tell the number of fans. Not all fans are going to buy the exact same games.

2) Adventure fan is not the same thing as point-and-click fan, in fact the most traditional adventure fans never approved pointing and clicking. Likewise later fans prefer direct control or whatever.

3) Talking about Telltale doesn’t reveal anything really, because while they did quite a few notable games, they were always doing something “wrong”. Be it releasing games in episodic format or getting rid of traditional puzzle approach. In fact “true adventurers” were probably in the end a very small part of Telltale customers, although are probably overpresented because of Sam & Max and Monkey Island sequels.
I personally stopped buying Telltale games for a long time after they went to QTE style, although I have later added those too to my game collection.

But here’s the thing…

4) Many die hard fans are simply waiting for something worthwhile to be released. They are not going to drool over every adventure game released, like most of us who are really like übernerdniche kind of gamers who are wasting their lives by not only playing adventures but also talking about them, writing about them, etc.

These sleeping fans are there though. Let’s check some numbers. When DoubleFine adventure was Kickstarting it had 87,142 backers. When Shenmue 3 was Kickstarting it had 69,320 backers. There is probably some overlapping there, but probably not very much.

So that’s about 150k fans simply for those two games, ready to pour their money in years before those games are even available.

So I think 300k fans is simply an understatement, there are lots of more adventure fans out there.

But, for different, varying reasons, they are not buying every game ever made.
Some focus on some specific (sub) genre, some are waiting for some specific game developer to release something, some are waiting some very detailed technical aspects, etc.

I think it’s safe to say though that there isn’t enough mass to have continuous AAA, AA, or even A level releases in the genre. But when there’s something important enough, there are fans out there.

DoubleFine adventure is a very telling game actually. It broke crowdfunding records, but went very soon to some cheap bundles.

I think the field of adventure games is too fragmented these days to have any mega successes. Like nobody really liked Broken Age game. For many, it wasn’t as oldschool as they wanted. Thimbleweed Park was just that oldschool thing, but was doomed to niche from the very beginning. For others, Broken Age was too old-fashioned with fetch quests and all. Personally I think it was just uninspiring overall, but that’s just me.


But guys, is there really a problem here? There are more adventure games made now than every before. Even if they are not AAA releases, and many struggle to make the finances work, there are just so many good games.
As a gamer, is it even a problem that the genre is niche, if we who love it still get what we want?
Some of the best adventure games in their own subgenres have been released relatively recently, The Darkside Detective, Late Shift, for those who like hybrid stuff L.A. Noire, Disco Elysium, etc.

I mean, nobody is expecting us to go back to the 90s, when out of a 100-page game magazine at least 40 were adventure games?

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 710

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

GateKeeper - 18 February 2021 01:08 PM
Jdawg445 - 17 February 2021 03:44 PM

My honest answer is because traditional Adventure game fans are probably only around 150,000 to 300,000. So you get your odd game here or there that crosses over like a heavy rain or Walking Dead, But as telltale soon found out, the Casual fan did not want to play game after game in that genre like that. even though there were some other great ones like The Wolf Among Us the Batman games and borderland. I would also say they kind of pissed off the traditional adventure game fan because they took out all the puzzles by the end of the run.

Jdawg445 - 18 February 2021 12:02 PM
Advie - 18 February 2021 11:15 AM

from where do you these numbers? 300,000!!
then who are the 500.000 bought KQV,  and the 1M bought Phantasmagoria or the 4M who bought Myst, and all those were upon release only.

Myst came with pcs once again you can look at any one game than sells a couple more copies than other’s. the vast majority sold between about 150k to 300,000.

I think this conversation is getting a bit twisted and flawed now…

Let’s take these things into consideration when thinking about player numbers:

1) The number of sold games doesn’t directly tell the number of fans. Not all fans are going to buy the exact same games.

2) Adventure fan is not the same thing as point-and-click fan, in fact the most traditional adventure fans never approved pointing and clicking. Likewise later fans prefer direct control or whatever.

3) Talking about Telltale doesn’t reveal anything really, because while they did quite a few notable games, they were always doing something “wrong”. Be it releasing games in episodic format or getting rid of traditional puzzle approach. In fact “true adventurers” were probably in the end a very small part of Telltale customers, although are probably overpresented because of Sam & Max and Monkey Island sequels.
I personally stopped buying Telltale games for a long time after they went to QTE style, although I have later added those too to my game collection.

But here’s the thing…

4) Many die hard fans are simply waiting for something worthwhile to be released. They are not going to drool over every adventure game released, like most of us who are really like übernerdniche kind of gamers who are wasting their lives by not only playing adventures but also talking about them, writing about them, etc.

These sleeping fans are there though. Let’s check some numbers. When DoubleFine adventure was Kickstarting it had 87,142 backers. When Shenmue 3 was Kickstarting it had 69,320 backers. There is probably some overlapping there, but probably not very much.

So that’s about 150k fans simply for those two games, ready to pour their money in years before those games are even available.

So I think 300k fans is simply an understatement, there are lots of more adventure fans out there.

But, for different, varying reasons, they are not buying every game ever made.
Some focus on some specific (sub) genre, some are waiting for some specific game developer to release something, some are waiting some very detailed technical aspects, etc.

I think it’s safe to say though that there isn’t enough mass to have continuous AAA, AA, or even A level releases in the genre. But when there’s something important enough, there are fans out there.

DoubleFine adventure is a very telling game actually. It broke crowdfunding records, but went very soon to some cheap bundles.

I think the field of adventure games is too fragmented these days to have any mega successes. Like nobody really liked Broken Age game. For many, it wasn’t as oldschool as they wanted. Thimbleweed Park was just that oldschool thing, but was doomed to niche from the very beginning. For others, Broken Age was too old-fashioned with fetch quests and all. Personally I think it was just uninspiring overall, but that’s just me.


But guys, is there really a problem here? There are more adventure games made now than every before. Even if they are not AAA releases, and many struggle to make the finances work, there are just so many good games.
As a gamer, is it even a problem that the genre is niche, if we who love it still get what we want?
Some of the best adventure games in their own subgenres have been released relatively recently, The Darkside Detective, Late Shift, for those who like hybrid stuff L.A. Noire, Disco Elysium, etc.

I mean, nobody is expecting us to go back to the 90s, when out of a 100-page game magazine at least 40 were adventure games?

All I can say is I hundred percent disagree with you I’ve read from Developers from both Sierra and Lucasgames which were the two giants of the late 80s to mid 90s and the number sold was always within a medium-range some sold more some sold less in a pretty consistent range that’s why I picked 300,000 of Hardcore fans, of course there’s always some overlap with other genres of gamers, or a new technology comes out to help sell more copies like full motion video back in the day. Fmv not only boosted the adventure game genre italso made Wing Commander 3 the most successful PC game of that time. And that was my point with The Walking Dead the reason that game was so popular was the story not because of the game play once the story was over most Gamers did not feel the need to continue that type of gameplay style in their other titles. I agree the main gameplay of QTE events turned off casual fans and us puzzle Junkies as well.

I guess I really don’t know the point you’re trying to make are you acting like there’s more Adventure game fans than that bc, if that was the case we wouldn’t even be having this discussion the genre has always sold the same while other genres shot past it. That’s why on a mainstream level all we can hope for is adventure game tropes to make its way in other genres. Like a gybrush threepwood Reference in Uncharted 4

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 710

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

I reread your post again and I think the biggest issue we have is i don’t agree with you on what an adventure game is. Because I see you said disco Elysium and to me that is a tabletop RPG, the game is rolling a dice and looking at your stats. Does it have adventure game elements in it sure, but then so does thousands of other games but we don’t classify them as adventure games. For example as I said Uncharted has a lot of Adventure game elements in it but we all know it’s a third person action/adventure with the action adj coming well before Adventure adj. I took this the thread as how do you grow the traditional Adventure game genre, but if that’s not what the op meant then I misread it and apologize.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 55

Joined 2019-12-22

PM

Jdawg445 - 18 February 2021 03:22 PM

I took this the thread as how do you grow the traditional Adventure game genre, but if that’s not what the op meant then I misread it and apologize.

If I’m the OP, then no problem! I’m interested in many aspects of this discussion. I would like to broaden the focus, as you may have noticed, but your input is very interesting and welcome.

I’d like to address more points, but I need more time to consider them and type a (hopefully meaningful) response. Keep doing what you do, though.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 472

Joined 2017-12-19

PM

Jdawg445 - 18 February 2021 03:06 PM

All I can say is I hundred percent disagree with you I’ve read from Developers from both Sierra and Lucasgames which were the two giants of the late 80s to mid 90s and the number sold was always within a medium-range some sold more some sold less in a pretty consistent range that’s why I picked 300,000 of Hardcore fans

I guess I really don’t know the point you’re trying to make are you acting like there’s more Adventure game fans than that bc, if that was the case we wouldn’t even be having this discussion the genre has always sold the same while other genres shot past it.

Not even when LucasArts and Sierra were around everybody played same games. So trying to come up with a definitive number of fans based on past sales is not going to work.

It doesn’t work in other genres either. Not all FPS fans ever bought Half-Life, and not everyone who did is a hardcore FPS fan.

Those sales numbers can be used to estimate possible realistic sales, or at least the range, agreed. But that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be more fans out there waiting for something to buy. As shocking as it may be, some people who like adventure games don’t even know that they are still being made. They used to read magazines that no longer exist, and talk with friends whom with they have since lost contact. They wouldn’t know that some of these adventure games exist!

So to find out about new releases you need to be in some kind of loop, or create a loop of your own. The chances of just happening to hear about new adventure games is close to zero.

And like already said, many fans choose their own niche and stick to it. You don’t need to go further than this forum to find opinions like “I’m not going to play The Darkside Detective because it’s not HD.” (And ironically enough, it actually is!)

Also, many of those classic games have never been officially released in countries like Russia and Japan, but people play adventure games there too. Different games, but still adventure games.

So I still believe that 300k worldwide is underestimated, but I can’t prove it obviously. Whatever the correct number is, it doesn’t translate to big sales, that’s undeniable.

Jdawg445 - 18 February 2021 03:22 PM

I reread your post again and I think the biggest issue we have is i don’t agree with you on what an adventure game is. Because I see you said disco Elysium and to me that is a tabletop RPG, the game is rolling a dice and looking at your stats. Does it have adventure game elements in it sure, but then so does thousands of other games but we don’t classify them as adventure games.

Well, Disco Elysium got awarded by both staff and readers in the Aggie awards, for what it’s worth.

http://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/39494/page7

But if the topic is how to make adventure gaming more popular and visible in the mainstream, then I think games like that are the answer.

There’s basically two ways to make adventure games more mainstream: change the games, or change what gamers think about traditional adventure games.

While the second options is obviously preferable, it is also extremely unlikely. I have managed to make at least two people who never knew about adventure games to try them and like them, so it can be done, but on a bigger scale, I think changing something in the games is easier.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 224

Joined 2018-03-07

PM

I think there’s far more to say about TellTale’s post TWD sales in regards to the quality of their output than the potential of the market. Regardless of how anyone individually feels about each game in particular, general consensus (and even consensus among TTG diehards) was that their later day output was really bad. With Season 3 of their flagship series (Walking Dead New Frontier) being one of the biggest disappointments.

Yet at the same time TTG is declining, Life is Strange sells 3+ million, Firewatch does over 1 mil and so does Until Dawn (despite me really disliking this game). The same year TTG shutters, Detroit comes out and goes on to sell over 5 million. To me this indicates the market is there but TTG simply failed to tap into it because their games were extremely redundant and getting worse over time. I see a similar trend with DontNod’s sales (or the best indications we have for them), it’s no big secret that Life is Strange 2 sold way less than 1. But I don’t think that’s because there’s millions fewer people interested in that kind of experience. I think it’s because Life is Strange 2 was a terrible game so there was way less positive word of mouth compared to the original.

Right now DN could be in the process of a TTG like decline as they’re rushing more games out to wildly varying quality. Twin Mirror was one of the worst adventure games I’ve ever played but I thought Tell Me Why was surprisingly good, actually. Probably not good enough to move the needle on their fanbase’s goodwill post-LiS 2 but still a good game.

I think when it comes to the mainstream space for adventure games perception plays just as much a role as the market realities. There is a market for millions of ppl who buy these games consistently. Provided they’re impressive enough visually and have a story that gets people talking. But despite that market existing other genre’s are still a safer bet and have a higher ceiling (1 to 5 mil for mainstream adventures compared to 10+ mil on the high end of other genres). So there isn’t much reason for big publishers to fund adventure projects over an action game or open world RPG. Or, at the very least, the reasons aren’t obvious enough. Especially with the all or nothing mentality that seems to define AAA development in modern gaming.

How do you change that is a whole other discussion and this post is already too long so I’ll leave it there for now lol.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 2496

Joined 2007-01-04

PM

Actually, different people use different ways to describe adventure games. PSN calls the genre “Narrative Driven Games.” And all the games they list under that Category meet the definition we have here for adventure games and they list quite a few titles as well. Many of them are very popular titles as well. So, needless to say, they are still selling quite well today.

There was a time when adventure games were declared dead in the west. I myself don’t care where the game is developed at, as long as it’s fun to play and has an interesting story.

Heart

     

I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

Total Posts: 10

Joined 2020-09-13

PM

I think there are a number of reasons why AGs aren’t going to increase in popularity in their pure form - however if they are merged with a more popular genre then they might. This is what I think will count against them:

1) Niche market / lack of general player interest. Most games aren’t interested in solving puzzles like the ones in AGs - FPS and strategy are more popular for a reason. People watch videos in preference to reading books. People watch OTHER people play games, rather than playing them for themselves.

2) Too many games / paradox of choice. There are simply too many games to choose from, and if you’re a maximiser like me (vs a satisficer) then its really, really hard to make the decision

3) Too little time. I played a lot of games when I was younger, but now it’s increasingly hard. Especially for games that are more than just a casual experience. This also compounds point 2.

4) Lack of wow factor. Back in the day things like the sierra games, myst were AMAZING, compared to what else was available. These days they can’t compete. Sure the graphics are nice, sometimes even amazing, but there are 1000s of other games with great graphics as well.

Having said all that, I really like a good AG, but find myself playing them less and less. I think it all comes down to a big barrier to starting a new AG for me. Once I do though, I generally enjoy them. If you can lower that barrier, you might have a chance.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 475

Joined 2012-10-03

PM

Avatar

Total Posts: 9

Joined 2021-02-05

PM

Simon_ASA - 19 February 2021 04:48 AM

What do you think of this?
https://gamasutra.com/blogs/AdrianChmielarz/20140430/216597/Seven_Deadly_Sins_of_Adventure_Games.php

Interesting post. I haven’t heard about some games, it was nice to read

 

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 2496

Joined 2007-01-04

PM

Somethings still point to adventure games being still viable today:

IGN named “Call of the Sea” the best Xbox exclusive game of 2020. In addition, it also got the people’s choice award for the best exclusive Xbox game of 2020, which says allot, because Xbox fans nominated this game for the award. Lastly, IGN is a very popular video game website.

To many out there, adventure games are known as Narrative Driven games and are still quite popular today.

Heart

     

I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Welcome to the Adventure Gamers forums!

Back to the top