The “Star Wars” game’s ice and fire

On February 6, Beijing time, Disney released its first quarter earnings report for the fiscal year 2019, showing that Disney’s total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was 15.303 billion US dollars, a slight decrease compared with the same period last year, and net profit fell 37%.

However, Disney CEO Robert Eiger said: “We have good relationships with those who have a game license, especially EA.”

The biggest response to this remark was the video game industry: the EA, which caused the crisis in the industry due to the release of the “Star Wars game”, was actually supported by the Disney head.

Divide the player into “three or six, etc.”
Electronic Arts is a world-renowned publisher and producer of video game software. Despite the popularity of the games it released, EA has a poor reputation in the game industry. It has been criticized for sacrificing its production team and the interests of its players for its revenue. It has been rated as “the worst company in the United States” by the market.

In 2017, “the “frontline 2″ in-house purchase event” made EA be completely labeled as “profit-only”.

“Frontline 2”, full name “Star Wars: Battlefront II”, is a shooting game based on the famous sci-fi movie series “Star Wars”. The copyright of “Star Wars” is owned by Disney, and EA is authorized by Disney to develop and develop “Star Wars” related games.

In 2015, EA released the “Star Wars: Frontline” game, which has a good sales volume but a good reputation. In 2017, EA launched the sequel “Frontline 2”, this time it is the sales volume and reputation of Waterloo.

In the early days of “Frontline 2”, players found that they need to spend money to buy game coins or spend a lot of time to earn coins. Take the popular villain character Darth Vader as an example. If you don’t spend money, unlock it for up to 40 hours. And “Frontline 2” has dozens of heroes, the time to unlock all heroes can be imagined! To be able to quickly unlock can only spend money, EA is openly posing to the player a “fancy goods can live” posture.

This completely angered the players. Originally, the front line 2 multiplayer battle mode is better than the “front line”. Under normal circumstances, the “front line 2” reputation is expected to surpass the previous game, but the player’s greed for EA is really intolerable: even the game of “frontline 2” itself Performance is impeccable, players must also declare war on EA’s “squeeze out” the player’s wallet!

In fact, players have long hated the increasingly blatant “golden” mechanism of the current game industry. For example, EA’s Actvision is exposed to the “selective matching” in multiplayer games, allowing in-purchasing players to match more low-level, weakly equipped players to create “in-house players”. The effect of paying to enhance strength. Activision and even allegedly applying for a patent for this mechanism shows how much of these mainstream game publishers are hoping to drag players into the abyss of constant payment.

And EA’s practice in “Frontline 2” is not to be arrogant about “players are divided into three or six, etc.”: paying is “hero”, non-in-buy players will have “technology” and you will not give you a quick The road to growing up as a master. In the long run, non-in-buy players are ultimately the “cannon fodder” of in-buy players; they were originally mass-produced video games and eventually became the “local tycoon” arena.

Because “frontline 2” makes the player “disgusting” hero unlocking mechanism, it is kicked when the game is not officially released, and only some players who purchase the unlocking privilege in advance can be kicked out, so the negative voice directly leads to the early stage of “frontline 2”. Sales are sluggish. In order to stop the loss, EA finally adjusted the “hero” unlock time and apologized to the player. However, the players are still full of enthusiasm, making the company’s corporate image plummet.

As the players successfully regained their rights, the “Frontline 2” in-app purchase event was seen as the climax of the game in recent years against the players’ ingenuity. In the future, gamers will want to make a ghost from the game design, and they must also consider the strong reaction of the players.

“Slow work” can’t get out of the “work”
Star Wars game word of mouth crash, for the entire “Star Wars” IP is naturally not a good thing. Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and acquired the copyright of Star Wars, four Star Wars movies have been released, but their reputation and box office are worse than one. EA’s “Frontline 2” has caused such a big word of mouth, which can be said to add to Disney.

EA wants to stop loss,

Finally adjusted the “hero” unlock time and apologized to the player.

But the players are still full of anger.

EA is currently the exclusive publisher of the “Star Wars” game for “core players.” “Core Player” is different from “Leisure Player” and mainly plays games with professional game consoles or personal computer devices such as PlayStation and Xbox. With the support of high-performance hardware, games on these platforms often attract players with extremely strong audiovisual shock. And EA is the second largest game software company in the United States, and is an expert in developing large-scale production. Disney favors its production capabilities, so it signed a 10-year exclusive contract with it.

However, EA won the right to play the Star Wars game for nearly 6 years, and even if it does not create a domestic buying storm, it is difficult to satisfy the players. The most basic problem is that the game’s output is too low. In the past six years, EA has only launched the two “frontline” games mentioned above.

You know, Lucas Films, the original owner of Star Wars copyright, originally set up a company called LucasArts to distribute Star Wars games. At the end of 2012, Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney and Lucas Art was dismissed as the boundary. In the last six years, Lucas Art has launched 13 Star Wars games. There are 3A-level action masterpieces such as “Star Wars: Force Release” (two in total), and a massive online game called “Star Wars: The Old Republic” and the Lego Planet. “War”, “The Angry Birds Star Wars Edition”, and the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lightswords vs.” “Sensual Star Wars”, which is in line with the somatosensory trend. The variety and style of various games can be described as a hundred flowers.

There is still a four-year cooperation scene, and EA seems to have no plan for “post-force”. Previously, EA’s Visceral Studio developed a Star Wars linear shooting game code-named “U-People”. However, EA closed the studio at the end of 2017. After that, EA claimed to assign another studio, EA Vancouver, to develop an open-world model of the Star Wars game based on the existing material of “The Uighurs”. However, three months later, the project was announced to be suspended.

At present, EA officially acknowledges that there is only one Star Wars game being developed – “The Jedi: Fallen Order” by Respawn Studio. As of the time of writing, the game has not yet been released for a screenshot. Players speculate that “frontline 3” may also be under development, but there is currently no official news.

Some people say that “excellent is not expensive,” but the art geek battle game that has already appeared can’t be said to be “fine.” “Frontline” itself is the star IP of the Star Wars game, featuring refreshing shooting, multi-armed (professional) cooperation and rich vehicle use. In the Lucas Art Age, Frontline released two console games, two console games and a mobile game.

In the age of EA, EA announced the restart of the “Frontline” series, which was developed by the production team EA DICE. The latter’s masterpiece is the shooting game series “Battlefield” – EA’s ace in the field of shooting, so far has released 11 related works. In view of the fact that the Battlefield’s simulation of the battlefield environment has always been fine, the players have also expected the frontline to vividly restore the style of the Galaxy battlefield with the face of the Star Wars Edition Battlefield. But the failure of EA is that it doesn’t realize that the player’s expectations don’t stop there.

The cost of game development is high, and the “$60” red line cannot move.

Developers can only think of other ways to generate revenue.

Players also hope that “frontline” can lead them to experience a fascinating new story of Star Wars, rather than simply restoring the classic scenes in the movie. Lucas Art’s old “frontline 2” is therefore regarded as a classic by players. In the plot mode, players can play the role of the elite army “501 Corps” and experience the magnificent process of the army’s growth and growth.

“Frontline” has no story mode, and even a single-player campaign with a simple mainline is not available. This is a pure multiplayer game, except for a few monotonous training passes, players can only go online if they are online with other players. Whether it is a player who is not interested in multiplayer games, or a player who wants to regain the old “frontline 2” feelings despite accepting multiplayer games, they criticize the new “frontline” as disappointing.

After hearing the player’s criticism, EA finally joined the story mode in the sequel “Frontline 2”, and there are real people participating in the performance, the production specifications are extremely high. But this time it was a problem with the propaganda technique. In the pre-sale pre-heating, EA announced that the player will play the role of the villain “empire”, which is different from the past practice of Star Wars game players playing only decent characters, is bound to bring a great sense of freshness. However, in the actual game story, the protagonist did not take long to vote from the villain camp to the decent camp. A work that was thought to be a interpretation of the Star Wars from another angle turned into another old-fashioned story of “returning evils and rectifying”. Players who are expected to fail, once again make a dissatisfied voice.

Industry dilemma behind the storm
From the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2019, the days of EA are not good. The sales of the shooting masterpiece “Battlefield 5” released at the end of 2018 was less than expected, which even dragged down its share price. The so-called “five-year heart” build, EA explored “service-oriented games” and invested in a multiplayer sci-fi shooting new work. The hymn reveals serious problems such as the inability to play properly and the monotony of the game content.

It was during this period that EA announced the cancellation of the “Open World Star Wars Game” project. EA itself is “deep and hot”, its star war game has poor word-of-mouth, low output, and a handful of new projects have been smashed… Public opinion has begun to make noise, Disney is the time to part with EA, re-creating space for Star Wars games .

Iger has not only criticized the EA, but even put up a stance. In addition to the “contractual spirit” and “sitting a boat”, there may be several reasons for this:

First, the EA is “cracked up”, but the game “poor sales” is only relative. In 2015, the front line was released, and the Lucas Art Circle released the old Frontline 2 for 10 years. The Frontline was released on the eve of the release of the Star Wars movie “Star Wars 7: Force Awakens”, and the last Star Wars. The live-action movie “Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith” was also released 10 years ago. There are all kinds of “feelings” element bonuses, and the “front line” sales performance is very good. According to the data of the game sales statistics platform VGCHARTZ, the “frontline” physical version of the game sold more than 12 million copies. Sales results are a success.

Even if the performance of the “frontline 2”, if the digital version of sales is also included, sales should be able to break through the threshold. The old “frontline 2”, which is known as the classic, is based on information disclosed by foreign media, and its sales volume is only 4 million copies. The performance of EA was “unbearable” and it did not reach the new level. Coupled with the income from internal purchases, the “front line” series of gold-absorbing ability is definitely better than the old “front line.”

Second, EA is not without hope. In the early 2019, the EA was not without bright colors. A new work with the theme of the popular “big escape” mode (known as “eat chicken”) instantly opens up the player market. This sci-fi shooting new work called “Apex Legends” (the game does not have a unified Chinese translation, commonly known as “Apex Hero”) is released free of charge. There is little publicity before the release, but only one week has passed since the word of mouth. The spread has accumulated 25 million users.

The developer of Apex Legends is Respawn, the developer of Jedi: The Fallen Order. “Apex Legends” quietly developed and matched the quality of the best, without the use of conventional advertising means to open the market’s amazing performance, so that the industry and players are praised. “The Jedi: The Fallen Order” is also developed in an extremely low-key manner, and may be able to replicate the “Apex Legends” “outbreak of silence”.

Third, there are limited companies that can support 3A-level production on the market. The “Star Wars” movie is a blockbuster movie, and players have the same expectations for the visual effects of Star Wars games. However, the cost of today’s large-scale game production is getting higher and higher, and the investment baseline from development to promotion has reached more than $100 million. Looking at the industry, there are only a handful of developers who can afford to play this IP. There are only a few such as Activision, EA, Take-Two, Ubisoft and so on. Even if these companies are willing to take over, they have a high probability of being like EA. It takes a long time to polish the material in the early stage (EATV uses photogrammetry to model the objects in the game, the effect is more real but it takes longer). Therefore, “changing the guns in the front line” is also “the far water can’t save the near fire”. It is better to let the EA, which has already done basic work such as modeling, “complete its efforts.”

“The contradiction between the developer and the player in the “frontline 2″ in-house purchase event” is essentially the contradiction between the increase in game development cost and the fixed consumer psychology of the player. The predicament of this game industry has been in the forefront. The price that players expect for a single game is at most $60, which is the “industry” standard that has been around for 20 years. The cost of game development is high, and the “$60” red line cannot be moved. Developers can only think of other ways to generate revenue. The concepts of “downloadable additional content” (DLC or Add-on), in-app purchase, and member consumption were born in this context.

EA has gone too “radical” on the road of “new law to generate income”, and eventually eats its own fruits. The response of Disney’s head is not only to support the EA, but also to persuade him to “get lost.” Only a decent reply and support can’t change the history of low production of EA and the fact that development costs are high. That player can play the game of lightsaber battles, explosive gunfires, space warships, and other forms of diverse and diverse, and highly game-like and story-telling Star Wars games in two or three years. It’s gone forever.