Insights into Entertainment

Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 152 "Gaming's Best and Bleakest of 2023"

November 20, 2023 Joseph and Michelle Whalen Season 5 Episode 152
Insights into Entertainment
Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 152 "Gaming's Best and Bleakest of 2023"
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Prepare to embark on a gripping journey through the riveting world of gaming! We've got a spectacular lineup with detailed insights into the Game of the Year nominations, including the renowned Zelda games - Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild. As we navigate these contrasting worlds, we'll explore the unique gameplay mechanics that set them apart and discuss why Nintendo games continuously captivate audiences of all ages. But who will take home the coveted award? 
 
Hold on tight, because we're not done yet. We're diving headlong into Baldur's Gate 3, a game that’s transformed the landscape with its innovative gameplay and mesmerizing narrative. We’ll explore the implications of the choices players make and how they reverberate through the game, causing thrilling consequences. Then we'll shift the spotlight to Resident Evil 4 and Super Mario Wonder, analyzing the unique facets that make them stand out in their Game of the Year nominations.

Yet, beneath the glitz and glamour of gaming, there lies a somber reality - layoffs. Despite the industry’s explosive growth, many have faced the harsh reality of job loss. Together, we'll uncover the factors contributing to these troubling events and discuss their far-reaching impact on the industry. Can better market preparation help avoid such drastic measures? We'll be dissecting this and much more in this truly insightful episode. So, plug in your headphones and join us for an epic ride through the exhilarating and sometimes sobering world of gaming.

Speaker 1:

Insightful Podcasts by Informative Hosts. Insights into Things a podcast network. Welcome to Insights into Entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Your hosts, Joseph and Michelle Whalen, a husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics, are exploring all things, from music and movies to television and fandom.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Insights into Entertainment, episode 152, gaming's Best and Bleakest of 2023. That's right. If I'm hosting, that means it's an episode about gaming. I am your host, sam Whalen, and the guy that I just keep dragging into the river of gaming news, my co-host, joseph Whalen. How's it going, hey?

Speaker 3:

you know, and if you're hosting as well, it means we're going to get into some negative stuff together. To show it too.

Speaker 2:

That's right. That's our MO. Yeah, we're going to start off positive though. So today we're doing like I said another gaming episode. We're going to talk about the game awards. The nominations are out. The actual ceremonies are on December, the 7th, so right around the corner. Yeah, we're going to cover some of the nominations and then we're going to get into some bummer stuff. Well, it has been one of the best years for gaming. It has been one of the worst years for gaming industry layoffs. So we're going to get into some of the hardest hit companies from that and who should be held accountable for these layoffs and if there's a way to prevent them. But before we get into that, we have to plug all of our subscriptions or we need you to subscribe. That's on Apple Podcasts, spotify, google Podcasts. Is Stitcher still around? Last time I did this, I think they are gone now. Yeah, well, if you're still on Stitcher, find a way to subscribe to us. We'd appreciate it. Iheartradio TuneIn, amazon and Pandora Everyone loves Pandora.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Shout out Pandora. I forgot about that. Of course, you can always contact us as well if you have any questions, comments or concerns. You can email us at comments at insightsinthethingscom. We are on X at insights underscore. Sorry, at insights underscore things. I got it. Yeah, it was limited in what?

Speaker 3:

my options were Maybe you're already taking.

Speaker 2:

Facebook, you can search insights into things, instagram insights into things Anywhere. Just search it, it'll come up. And, of course, all these links can be found on our website, wwwinsightsinthethingscom. Let's get right into it, all right. All right, so we're going to talk about the game, award nominations. And I know what you're thinking Do you want to start with some smaller stuff? No, we're going to start with the big one, because that's what everybody's here for. All right, we're going to start with.

Speaker 3:

Are we planning on talking about anything other than the big one? Yeah, we got a couple other things in there.

Speaker 2:

There's one other, smaller category that I want to talk about, just because there's controversy and who doesn't love controversy? But yeah, we're going to talk about the game of the year nominations. We've got six nominations for you, so let's take a look at them and we've got them up on your screen for your viewing pleasure. We've got First one up is we're going to go from right to left, I guess.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, different order than the script, sorry.

Speaker 2:

We've got Zelda, tears of the Kingdom. This is, of course, published by Nintendo and EPD. What's that? I don't know. Hmm, nintendo, oh, nintendo, epd. I guess it's like a subdivision.

Speaker 3:

Entertainment something, something Sure.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so Tears of the Kingdom has been highly praised for its improvements over Breath of the Wild, offering an expanded world and features that encourage expiration.

Speaker 3:

Maybe it should be EGP. For what? Epic Games Publishing?

Speaker 2:

Well, epic Games doesn't publish Breath of the Wild. Oh, I'm looking at Alan Wake. I'm sorry, we'll get to that in a second Jump ahead. I wonder. I don't know what Nintendo EPD stands for. Someone sent us an email Chat. If you're listening, tell us what Nintendo EPD stands for. Anyway, it's a blended traditional Zelda elements with innovative mechanics makes it stand out in the series. Everybody loves Zelda, right? I mean we're going to get it's always going to get nominated. Breath of the Wild receives similar praise. But you actually we were talking off air before the show. You said you're not really in on Nintendo anymore, like you used to be.

Speaker 3:

I'm not. I haven't been a Nintendo person for probably 15 years now. Nintendo to me was just always a little too kid-like, and that's exactly what they go for. So it's not a knock against them, that's for sure.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean there are games like Zelda and Mario that I think while they are they look kind of kiddy. I do think they can appeal to everybody, and I wasn't a big Breath of the Wild fan. I don't even think I finished it, and I haven't finished Cures of the King yet either, but I'm enjoying it much more than I enjoyed Breath of the Wild. I just think it's pretty incredible. I mean, it's one of those games where they just drop into the world and they give you a set of tools and they just say go.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, they do a fantastic job in their games. It doesn't appeal to me. There's an audience that appeals too, and for that they love it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and again, Nintendo getting a lot of love. Two nominations from Nintendo this year. But yeah, I mean, what is there to say? Zelda, if you like Breath of the Wild, you're going to like Cures of the Kingdom. A lot of people, it is their front-runner for winning this. A lot of people think it's going to go to Cures of the Kingdom. I don't, personally. Yeah, you'll see where our biases lie coming up shortly. But yeah, that's Cures of the Kingdom. Moving on to nomination number two, We've got Marvel Spider-Man 2. This is published by Insomniac Games. Insomniac, probably my second favorite PlayStation acquired studio behind Sony Santa Monica, who, of course, did God of War, the new God of War games. Insomniac, just incredible. Banger after Banger Games, Ratchet and Clank, Spider-Man 1, others that I'm not remembering. Oh, I think they did Sunset Overdrive, which was before they got balled by PlayStation. Sunset Overdrive great game. You should all check it out. But yeah, Marvel Spider-Man 2 stands out for its dual character gameplay, innovative combat and traversal mechanics and an expansive narrative that enriches the Spider-Man universe. I'm probably about three quarters of the way through this. I've been trying to take my time at it because I do love these games and I don't want to. You know I don't want to gorge myself on it. I like to take my time when it comes to these things, but I didn't finish it for the show. So what are you going to do? But you haven't started at all. Right, but you played the first one.

Speaker 3:

I haven't started it yet. What are your thoughts on it so far? How similar is it to the first? What's the storyline look like? Obviously, the graphics and everything are fantastic.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, it looks even better somehow, because now we're fully with the power of the PS5. Oh, we didn't show it, but it was the power of the PS5. It looks incredible. It is more Spider-Man, though. I mean a lot like what we said with Tears of the Kingdom. It's more of the same, but for me that's a good thing. I love Spider-Man, the initial one, the first one for PS4. I loved Miles Morales. Did you play that spin-off? I did yes. So, yeah, it's more of that, but they find ways to innovate on it and make it more fun. There's new traversal mechanics. You've got the web wings. There's a lot more. You feel faster. There's like these big. Having the PS5 helps with that. Yeah, the one thing and I don't know if I told you about this as I was playing it, but the fast travel is like incredible. So the fast travel, you zoom out to the world map. You click a point and it's instant, Like it just zooms into the map and you're just there. I don't know how they do it. It's remarkable to see in action. Yeah, they've added more Because the map is larger as well. So they've added a couple more boroughs in New York, like Queens and stuff, and more suburban areas I forget the name of it because I'm not from New York but more suburban areas.

Speaker 3:

So what can you tell us about the story without giving away any spoilers?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, if you've seen any of the trailers, you know we're dealing with the symbiote, we're dealing with Venom and, honestly, you can probably guess where the story is going to go, because it's the same usually every time when Spider-Man deals with. You know, if you've seen the Sam Raimi movies, it's a similar story and, honestly, so far nothing has really surprised me with the story. I've pretty much been able to guess every beat, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, right, because you still love these characters. You've got Peter Parker and Miles Morales now, which is really really neat being able to switch between those two at will. And the really cool thing is like in-story missions, when you're switching between them on the fly. It's scripted in missions, but it's still really incredible to see it happen. It reminds me of Grand Theft Auto V doing the same thing switching in-game. But yeah, I mean the story there really isn't anything to spoil, honestly, not yet anyway. I mean, I'm sure some stuff will happen because I haven't finished it yet, but if you've seen a Spider-Man symbiote suit story, it's pretty similar. So is this your pick? No, no, my pick is your pick.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

I'll get to shortly, but that is Spider-Man 2. Now this next one. I have probably the least amount of information on personal experience as well. It's Alan Wake 2, published by Remedy Entertainment and Epic Games as well. Funny thing about this, there's no digital or physical versions. It's all digital, so fun fact.

Speaker 3:

Let's think it's just a sign of the times.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, especially with it being published by Epic, they want everyone to go through their storefront. But yeah, alan Wake 2 is noted for its shift towards a more intense survival horror, as you can see in the footage we're showing. It's very scary, combined with its intriguing narrative and innovative gameplay mechanics. So, yeah, again off air. We were talking about this and I mentioned how they work in real footage and I'm curious if we'll see it in these trailers. But the use of the blending of real footage and gameplay is really, really neat and I would play it. But I'm a coward and I don't want to get scared. But you don't have to play the first Alan Wake to know what's going on. It helps. And this game is also part of the Remedy universe. Remedy also published a game called Control, which I think was up for Game of the Year two three years ago, something like that Okay. But it's like a connected universe now. So they're bringing the stuff from Control in, they're bringing the stuff from the first Alan Wake in and they're bringing in some stuff from Max Payne, kind of Wow really. Well, yeah, because they say that that's not part of the Remedy verse, because they didn't necessarily own it at the time. I think they published one and two, but then three was the rock star, I think. But there's a character in Alan Wake two who is, so you can follow this logic here. He's voiced by the voice actor for Max Payne. I forget the guy's name, but the mocap is Sam Lake, the head of Remedy. He's like the figurehead Sam Lake did the mocap for Max Payne one and two. So when you think of what Max Payne looks like, he looks like Sam Lake, but he's voiced by a different guy In Alan Wake two. It's Sam Lake, but it's not his voice. It's really weird. But that sums up Alan Wake two. It's a weird game. It looks very artsy. I probably will play it one day. From what I've heard, it's incredible. It's really doing a lot for the genre you know not the genre, the medium pushing things forward and doing all kinds of stuff that hasn't really ever been seen before, and that's exactly what Remedy's best at. Do you have any interest in Alan Wake two?

Speaker 3:

Not really. I haven't played anything in the series yet. I'm not into the scare type things. I don't like the dark type games. I like the types of games that I can sit down and get immersed in, play through a story when I have the time, and I get obsessed with games like that. Yeah, the other thing that I'll play is you know if I, if I just have 15, 20 minutes and I just want some mindless distraction, it's you know, fire up the Xbox, play a shooter, play a sports game, something like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's. That's the thing with Alan Wake 2 and with control as well. You, you do get immersed. You kind of have to get immersed because there's so much going on, and that's another reason I haven't played it yet because, like, if it's going to be scary and I have to pay attention, it's like I just can't do it because, like scary I'll be honest, folks, when I play a scary game Vyam's all the way down, lights are on I'm usually watching something else. Like I'm not like listening right, because it's the audio that gets me. I can probably do with the visuals, but I'm going to have to pay attention to Alan Wake and I'm going to be terrified the whole time. So we'll see what happens. I don't know if it's nominated for other stuff. It probably is. I don't. I don't think it's going to win. I think it's probably towards the bottom tier, for what people are guessing is going to win, right, but now we move on to our totally biased pick. Next up is Baldur's Gate 3, published by Larian Studios. The game has received critical acclaim for its gameplay, narrative and production quality. It's already won multiple awards, recently cleaned up at the Golden Joystick Awards. It's deep integration of D&D mechanics and Dungeons and Dragons for you normies out there, combined with a rich narrative and flexible gameplay, which is probably my favorite part about it, makes it a standout in the role-playing game genre. It's revolutionary, right. I mean, I've never played. Well, that's not true. I have played something like it and it was the last game published by Larian Studios Divinity 2 Original Sin which I was trying to get everybody to play, but you know it was a little. It wasn't as accessible as Baldur's Gate 3. And you know, this game has taken everybody by storm. Everybody's talking about it. You have like 500 hours in it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I have an unhealthy amount of time into this game for some reason. It really is a remarkable, remarkable game. To me it's a genre-defining game and, like you know, you look at the images of it and the playthroughs great. The graphics are wonderful. You know, if you're okay with turn-based combat, it's a great thing. But it captures the mechanics of a tabletop D&D game, which is very difficult to do, and the variants of the game. I've done two full playthroughs now and I have five short starts through Act 3. And I've yet to have the same thing happen twice in any story section. Wow, it's amazing that the game itself is that adaptive and your choices matter. A lot of game systems tell you your choices matter, right? Well, it normally it matters as to what your next cutscene is. This is something and Larian's known for this where your choices don't matter, but your choices have consequences and you may make a choice in Act 1 that 30 hours later in Act 3 comes back and has a completely different effect on how the game goes, how people treat you, how the story goes. To sit down and to even come up with a mind map of how these different storylines go blows my mind. I don't know how they did it, Like people are afraid of AI taking over the world. Whatever this game engine uses to come up with this story is more dangerous, I think, and more intelligent than any AI out there. Yeah, I mean, you hit the nail in the head.

Speaker 2:

There's really not much else to say. It's incredible and in that description we read off. I think the flexible gameplay is really my favorite aspect of it. It feels like D&D. I love Dungeons, dragons and this is as close as you can get and in some ways I think it's better than actually playing D&D, because I think it onboards everything so much simpler, right At least on console your actions and everything you can do. When I'm playing D&D in real life and I've got even using the app or pen and paper and pen and paper you kind of forget a lot of stuff you can do because there's so much information. But I think what Baldur's Gate 3 does so well is streamline that and make it so you really are considering everything you can do, even if it's just like shoving somebody off a cliff which is like you know you can end a boss fight by doing that if you pass the check and it's like D&D in that regard, where a DM could spend three hours planning a boss encounter and you walk up and you pass the first persuasion check and the fight's over you don't even have to fight the guy. I know that feeling, but like I just I don't know how to describe it I think it's a game that everyone can play. Like it is a little bit complicated and it's a little bit. It's definitely you can tell it was meant for PC first, sure, but I think they did a great job making it for console too, like I think it still works Well, and that's the one thing that's worth mentioning on PC is it was built for PC and in fact you have a completely different interface on PC.

Speaker 3:

But if you fire up a game controller on the PC it changes that game interface so it looks just like the console. So it's completely that's another thing that the fact that they went through and made two completely separate interfaces for how you were going to interact with the game, just that level of forethought was extraordinary. And I have to say you know you and I both play D&D, we both DM from time to time. This has changed the way that I play D&D. It's educated me on different character, class information, all that stuff. But the fact that it shows you you know you could sit down at a tabletop and roll dice and throw a fireball at somebody and it kind of just rolls off your tongue and you move on to the next thing. You don't know what it looks like. And in here not only do they visualize what spell casting in combat looks like, they show it in different ways for different classes. You know, and even you know if you go with a bard, the bard can cast, you know, any number of spells, but depending on the instrument that the bard is using. The visualization looks different and is custom to the instrument, which is just incredible. It adds so much ambiance and so much life to the game. That's why I think this one should win. Oh yeah, even if it doesn't.

Speaker 2:

Yeah spoilers folks. I think both. I don't think it's going to. It's nominated for eight things. First of all, I do not think it's going to sweep. I think it will get most of them, but like it's up for like multiplayer game, I don't think it's going to win that and the multiplayer aspect is terrible. It's not great. I like that. It's in there and I want to do a play through with my friend whenever they get it.

Speaker 3:

The multiplayer all right, so multiplayer in as much as multiple players people can be in the game. There are multiple players, but they're all playing their own story essentially. Yeah, you can interact with their story to a certain amount. There's no instancing. That happens here, right? So you don't have a shared experience. You go off and you have dialogue on your own that's relevant to your character and you can share that with other people, but they can't participate in it. It's not an MMO. It's a kind of a cooperative play through that you do most of the time, right, it's not even all the time. So it's not really a good multiplayer game. It's a great single player game that has some multiplayer capability.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think the one thing that does shine in the multiplayer is the combat. I think because we played it very briefly and that's the only experience I've had with the multiplayer was the one hour that we probably played Right. So you know I can't speak to it fully, but the combat in multiplayer is great because the combat is normally turn-based and it still is in multiplayer, but it syncs up whoever the real players are. So if you and I were playing, our turns would happen simultaneously, but everything else is still turn-based. Yeah, so you can sync up abilities. There is a lot of potential there. We just didn't play enough of it to find out.

Speaker 3:

Well, and the one thing I will say that was great in multiplayer is, as you play through your character's turn, you end your turn In single player. If you end your turn prematurely, it's over Yep In multiplayer. If you end your turn, you have to confirm that you're ending it. That safety feature needs to be worked into the single player it is.

Speaker 2:

It is now yeah. I turned it on because I kept accidentally ending my turn. You can toggle it, so you have to hold triangle to end your turn.

Speaker 3:

Okay At launch. That wasn't there. Oh really yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because I would end my turn accidentally all the time yeah.

Speaker 3:

I have to go turn that all in a game now.

Speaker 2:

Much better, because there's been so many times where I've done it accidentally and haven't even done an action and then I get beat up because I didn't do anything Right.

Speaker 3:

The one thing I didn't like about the multiplayer, though, is, as you go play through the game, you pick up companions. Oh yeah, well, the rule is whoever talks to the companion gets them, and I can't hand that companion off to you, so you can go do something else while I go do something else.

Speaker 2:

Everyone. Cutscenes can be triggered just by walking, just by proximity, yeah, so that's a little weird, but everything else is great. I think I just get unlucky when it comes to these things and I usually have technical bugs when other people don't. I have had some bugs with it, but considering everything that's going on, it's like a miracle. It's like it's on a high, it was sent down and it runs and it works, and if you think you can do something, you probably can. You feel so free, and I've never really played another game like that, where there really are no, I mean, there are constraints, right, in terms of like you can't like clip through a wall or something, right, but like I've never played another game where I go into a situation and I feel like I could handle it in almost infinite ways. It's a game that is sophisticated well beyond its years.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, like I wouldn't expect something with this level of intelligence to come out for five to six years, yep.

Speaker 2:

We could probably do a whole episode on it, but we do have some other nominations to talk about.

Speaker 3:

We've got two more to go through. Let's get rid of the rest of these.

Speaker 2:

So next up is Resident Evil 4, published by Capcom. This game is awesome. I played this game. I never played the original Resident Evil, so I was able to play this. This game rocks. Like I don't know how to describe it. It's like if you played through an action movie, like an 80s action movie, and it is scary. There were some parts where the vine had to go down and the lights had to come on, but overall you have like a million guns, so you feel like you're in control. It's less of you're running from the monster, more like you're running to the monster to shoot it. Some highlights this remake of the classic game has been praised for its impressive graphics, audio and revamped gameplay mechanics, while retaining the core mechanics of the original and introducing new features and expanded content. Yeah, like I said, I never played the original so I can't really speak to that, but I've played this game and finished it and I absolutely loved it. I'm glad it got a nomination. I know some people are maybe a little bit perturbed by that because it's a remake, but if you play the game it really is a remake. It is different from the original and from what I've seen. It is its own game and it stands on its own. I really think it does and I highly recommend it. If you're, you know, if you like action games, because it is more of an action game than it is a survival horror game, and if you like 80s movies, because it feels like that, there you go. Have you played any Resident Evil?

Speaker 3:

I played Resident Evil a long time ago on like a PS2 when it first came out, or if it goes back that far Again. I'm not. I don't like dark games, yeah. So that's right, it's not one that I've ever really jumped on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, in terms of where I think it ranks, in terms of potential to win, I think it's probably towards the top. But I, just after talking about Baldur's Gate, I just I don't see how anything could beat that. We've got a little guest in the studio, a little lantern fly just flew in. So yeah, resident Evil 4. And our final one here is Super Mario Wonder, published as well by Nintendo. I own this game, but I don't. I have yet to play it because I'm lending it to my girlfriend, but it looks cool, it looks cool Sacrifices we must make. I know highlights. This game is celebrated for its control mechanics, animation, expressive characters, innovative level design and dynamic audio. Is it All right? Dynamic audio? I mean I guess it features new power-ups and a fresh visual design that breaks from the traditional Mario aesthetic, and that's really so. Many people for years were asking for this 2D Mario, these 2D Mario games, to get a visual upgrade not upgrade, but a visual change and that's what we got in this game. I mean, this doesn't look like other Mario games, which is, I think, a big reason why it's such a standout. I'm looking forward to it. I just I don't know. This was a surprise for me, but I think it's because it's Mario and it's Nintendo, and I think there's just a level of industry praise that comes with that.

Speaker 3:

Well and correct me if I'm wrong with this. This looks suspiciously like a standard Mario platformer.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah.

Speaker 3:

With the really nice graphics.

Speaker 2:

It does look very pretty. They added a bunch of new power-ups and stuff. From what I've heard that people from people that have played it, it's not as it didn't break them all as much as people wanted it to. I think a lot of people were just hungry for a. You know, just just full, send it. You know, just do something different. Oh, he's on me now. I flicked him.

Speaker 3:

Now he's knocked out somewhere.

Speaker 2:

Sorry about that, but yeah, I think it wasn't quite the property shakeup people were looking for.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think it's funny that you there was criticism leveled at Resident Evil for being a remake. How is this not a remake?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's not a remake. I mean, all the levels are unique. You'll probably still get the Mario 1-1 world that has every in every Mario game, but all the levels are new. All the content is new. I mean, that trailer did not really do it justice. I don't think it didn't impress me. I'll tell you that, yeah. So yeah, if there was one that I would, I could be okay cutting from these nominations. It would probably be this, but again, I haven't played it. Maybe when I play it I'll change my mind. But yeah, so those are your Game of the Year nominations. Tell us what you think should win in the comments down below. I think our vote is soundly. Baldur's Gate Absolutely. So yeah, we have some other quick things I want to round up here in this section because we've gone kind of long. It has been a banner year for gaming. A couple nominations games I would like to highlight that didn't make Game of the Year nominations. I would say the Aestars highly recommend that. If you like RPGs, that pixel style, that game is incredible. It's fantastic. Final Fantasy XVI, armored Core VI these are all nominated in other categories, not just not Game of the Year. Starfield remember Starfield? Everybody I have heard rumors of Starfield. It's bad. I don't like it.

Speaker 3:

I'll say it. I heard it's got a really good engine for building Starship. Yeah, I haven't done any of that. Everyone seems to love about the game.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's, I don't know. I think since it's come out, it was praised pretty highly on release, but I think, as people have been able to sit with it, I think it's somewhere in the middle of the pack, which is disappointment, especially if you're an Xbox fan, because that was that was supposed to be their game winner. That was supposed to be their game winner and it's nominated for one category and it's probably not going to win. What's that for biggest game of the year? Rpg, I think, is what it's up for, but Baldur's Gate's in that category, so it's not going to win. Yeah, so Jeff Kealy, the guy that runs it. He's like the brains behind the operation. He said that, even though it's a great year for gaming, we did have to limit it to six. Let's see. Do we want to cover these other categories? Are we short on time? You can run through them real quick, so we got best. These are some that I just wanted to highlight. Best performance we have Ben Starf, Fana, Fantasy 16,. Cameron Monahan for Jedi Survivor. Have you played that yet? No, yeah, he does a good job. It's fine.

Speaker 3:

I didn't really like the first ones.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's right, you didn't. We've talked about that before Idris Elba for Cyberpunk Phantom Liberty. Which Was that? An atom?

Speaker 3:

for Cyberpunk.

Speaker 2:

Yes, but it's also like a remake kind of, because with Phantom Liberty came the Cyberpunk 2.0 update which, like, changed the whole game and made it what it should have been at launch, which is impressive and deserves a claim, but Not that steaming pile of crap that we got at launch. I love Cyberpunk since day one.

Speaker 3:

I love driving around the city and seeing random piles of trash just fall from the sky. It was such a delightful thing.

Speaker 2:

I've been a Cyberpunk diehard supporter since day one, not a CD Projekt Red supporter because they lied a lot. But I don't know. People are saying it's back and it's kind of wild that Idris Elba is in the game, that is kind of wild.

Speaker 3:

That's the thing. If you have a terrible release for a game, sign a celebrity to the next version of the game.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if you can see, but I have yet to play it because when I was playing Cyberpunk, I'm playing through it to experience the 2.0 stuff, which is very impressive. I highly recommend going back to it. If you want, you can drive around the city. And Is it another 15?

Speaker 3:

terabytes of a download. Probably it took three days to download it.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to butcher this woman's name but Melanie LeBird. Sure, that looks good From Alan Wake 2, she plays, I think, her name's Saga in it. She's the other main character that isn't Alan Wake. Neil Nubon, who is Estarion in Baldur's Gate 3. People love that guy. He didn't survive in my play for very long. He didn't survive in mine either, but I know he's captured. The internet's Turns out. A stake through the heart really does kill Vampire. Yeah, I pretty much instantly killed him. I think he's one of the front runners. Then my boy, Yuri Lowenthal, for Marvel's Spider-Man 2, he is the best and I hope he wins. That's who I'm pulling for. I love Yuri. He kind of does the same voice all the time, but man is it good Looks like the Nicolas Cage of VoiceOver. Yeah, so we'll see who wins that Really quickly. Best independent game. I just wanted to cover this because this is where the controversy is defined. As for outstanding creative and technical achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system, remember that it's going to be important. So we've got Cocoon, having played it 1-2. The 2-Finder is really, really interesting. The concept of that game is are you able to pull footage really quick for it? If you can? I can try Because you got to see it. You have a camera and when you take photos, you can then go into the photo and it changes the layout of the level. It's tough to describe, but once you see it, it will blow your mind. So, yeah, we're pulling off a trailer real quick. There's a demo for this. I haven't played the full game, but it's really really remarkable. And, again, it's one of those games where you wonder how it even runs. So, yeah, here, check this out. So he just takes the picture For our viewing audience. That's right. Sorry, audio listeners, look up a trailer of Viewfinder. It's very cool, but yeah, I don't know. I think this is one of the reasons why Indy the Indy category is so.

Speaker 3:

This looks like something that should be in Malaculis Quest.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like it's incredible how this works and, like I said, it's hard to describe for audio listeners, but go check it out and I think the demo is still available and you'll pretty much get the gist of it. But yeah, it's one of those games where it's like how is this even running and how does this even work? So, yeah, that's. Viewfinder CSTRS is also up for the Indy category. I love that game. That probably is in my top I don't know top five for game of the year. My personal game of the year, it's incredible Dredge, which I think is a spooky game, and then David Diver, which I love. David Diver, also a great game. Is it an Indy game? Though, is what people are wondering, because David Diver is developed by Mint Rocket, which is a small team, but Mint Rocket is owned by Nexon, which is a multi-billion dollar gaming company, so people are wondering.

Speaker 3:

It sounds like the evil corporation from a Bond movie or something it does.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it sounds like from Robocop. So yeah, unfortunately, David Diver is getting a lot of heat because of this, and the team at Mint Rocket, Mint Rocket, Mint Romney. That's what I think I'm going to say. It is a small team, but they're getting all this heat because is it really an Indy game? I don't know what do you think? Because they had effectively a blank check to make this.

Speaker 3:

Well, and that's the thing is that you can have a small team, but when you're getting backed by a large corporation like that and you've got the budget for it and you don't have the pressures of being that struggling Indy developer trying to find an outlet for it and some to push it and market it, I think you very quickly get outside of that Indy game realm.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you know, I still highly recommend you go play David Diver. It's a. You run a sushi bar. You're exploring. You're a diver I don't know, it's hard to describe. That sounds exciting. It's very exciting. I would make you pull up the trailer, but that was really hard to do for the other game. But yeah, david Diver is great, but I don't think it should be in the Indy category. That being said, you should still go play it.

Speaker 3:

Okay, well, I think that's probably it for this segment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think we got everything we could out of that. Go play Bowlers Gate 3. When we come back, we're going to get into the bummer part of the show where we talk about industry layoffs. We'll be right back, yay.

Speaker 3:

For over seven years, the Second Sith Empire has been the premier community guild in the online game Star Wars the Old Republic, with hundreds of friendly and helpful active members, a weekly schedule of nightly events, annual guild meet and greets and an active community both on the web and on Discord. The Second Sith Empire is more than your typical gaming group. We're family. Join us on the StarFord server for nightly events such as operations, flashpoints, world Boss Hunts, star Wars Trivia, guild Lottery and much more. Visit us on the web today at wwwthesecantsefempirecom.

Speaker 2:

Welcome back everyone to Insights into Entertainment. Today we're talking gaming. We just got done covering the game award nominations and now we're going to talk about industry layoffs.

Speaker 3:

Of course we're talking gaming, because you're on the show.

Speaker 2:

That's right. I should wear like a gamer sweater or something Should we have Insights into. Gaming when you're on. Yeah, I have Mountain Dew in the intro. Anyway, like I said at the top of the show, despite being lauded as one of the best years in gaming, the industry has been hit by massive layoffs at every level. At the time of writing, it's probably higher now Around 6,000 people have been laid off in the gaming industry. There's a very helpful but depressing website called videogamelayoffscom, and it's been tracking the numbers since the beginning of the year. It's just one of those stories you hear about every week. If you're not covering anything I'm not a journalist If you're following gaming news, it's one of those things that you can't really ignore, especially this year. I don't know anything about economics, but I feel like it's one of those things where, when one company does it, there's a real chance of it starting a tidal wave of this where it doesn't make it, okay, but from the company's point of view, it might have. Well, if everyone's doing it, we might as well just do it now to cut costs. What do you think?

Speaker 3:

Well, and I think what you run into really is when one company does it, there's a viable reason for doing it, and usually it's an economic reason, or it could be, depending on what the industry. But we've seen layoffs across the board, regardless of industry, not just video games and companies that are doing perfectly fine, companies that are doing record numbers and the record profits are laying people off. The unfortunate reality is that record profits, in order to get record profits, you either have to bring in more income, bring in more revenue, increase your margin on what it's costing you to do things, and to do that, you cut costs, you cut labor, yeah, and when you've got games that are releasing and you don't have another game in the pipeline, that requires that level of Labor commitment. That's the first thing that gets cut when it comes to the software industry.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we're gonna have a segment coming up where we get in the more than 80 gritty on why these layoffs happen. But I just wanted to highlight some of the big come you know, big examples of these layoffs, one of which is at Unity the software developers. They had a. They let go around 900 people this year alone. Unity has been in some very, very hot water lately. I don't know if you've been following any of this. They change its pricing structure this year and Basically nuked their whole brand for no reason, enough, for no reason. I wanted to make more money, but like it was crazy. So explain what unity is and what their product is. So unity is an engine, right? Yeah, it's a game engine. Yeah, but you can Develop your game using unity.

Speaker 3:

So a lot of the popular games that are out today are built on this game engine Right, and when a game developer uses this engine they pay a licensing fee to unity to use it. So for every copy of the game that sold, a percentage of that revenue goes to unity For their royalties for that, and that's what they overhauled right.

Speaker 2:

So this is from the verge Unity on. They said that beginning next year they would implement a paper download pricing scheme that would charge developers a flat fee Anytime a game using unity software is installed.

Speaker 3:

I think the keyword there is installed yes right, because you can't do demos at that point in time without paying unity right.

Speaker 2:

And that is including installs that may not be legal, right through putting a pirating and things like that. Also multiple installations of a game, like if you uninstall it and reinstall it.

Speaker 3:

Well, because what happens is every time you install a game, the unity engine reaches out to the licensing server. So if you do demos of the game, if you do, if you have pirated downloads of the game, if you uninstall it and reinstall it, every time it goes out and hits that licensing server to confirm that it's a valid license, as opposed to what it was before was on sales. So every time you would sell the game. That would then go towards right the licensing this is more from the verge.

Speaker 2:

The. The fees are further broken down depending on where a game is purchased, meaning that a game bought in the US, uk and other standard markets is assessed a higher fee Than when it's bought in emerging markets like India or China. So like I don't know what they were thinking when they did this, this made a ton of people angry. Many developers, publishers and consumers completely disavowed unity. People wanted to boycott the game or the engine itself. And you got to understand. Unity is like the number one. It's like unity and unreal are the two engines that pretty much everyone uses for any kind of game development. I mean, you just tried to walk some of this stuff back, but I think a lot of the damage might already have been done. What do you think?

Speaker 3:

Well, and the thing is, the regional pricing that they're talking about is not unusual for in any other industry. So in any other industry, talking about manufacturing, for instance, you have tariffs on on purchased goods. So, for instance, I have a friend of mine who lives down in Peru. For him to buy a graphics card that cost $2,000 up here, he's got to pay $3,000 for it because of the tariffs. So Unity's logic is well, if there's regional pricing based on tariffs because of purchase goods, then we can do the same thing for licensing. Well, the problem you run into is they're the first ones that are doing this. Yeah, nobody else does this, because there's no tariff on licensing. There's a tariff on imports when you're talking about actual manufactured goods. So there's no impetus whatsoever for the reasoning behind what they're doing. That's why they're taking the heat for it and, as a result, they're losing a boatload of business in the process and that results in 900 people losing their jobs Exactly.

Speaker 2:

And you know, should the CEO maybe have taken a pay cut instead of having to fire all these people?

Speaker 3:

maybe that's a very controversial philosophy a lot of Rank and file workers have yeah, another company that I want to highlight is Embracer Group.

Speaker 2:

They've been making all kinds of news in the last couple years. They've been snatching up a lot of studios, like Gearbox, who made Borderlands, and Crystal Dynamics, who you guys are probably know if you've played the new Lara Croft games. Embracer Group is sort of this conglomerate that's just been eating up studios.

Speaker 3:

Well, kind of like EA and all the other conglomerates after yeah, except they're not doing it very well.

Speaker 2:

They're now cleaning house a court this is from Ijeans Wesley Yen pool and Bracer Group has said it has laid off 904 people. That's about 5% of its workforce. It's since its financial struggles beginning following the collapse of the two billion dollar deal Reportedly with the Saudi government funded Company savvy games groups. When this deal didn't go through, this was like insane because it like fell apart, like the day before was gonna happen and Like the industry was like what's gonna happen. Now Turns out a bunch of people are gonna get laid off and a recent statement in Bracer said they wanted to become a quote stronger company. I guess Another student. They're closing whole studios to that they own now so volition, who developed the Saints Row games. They got another stab at Saints Row and it failed critically and commercially. They shut the studio down. So yeah, embracer is kind of just cutting swaths from their company now and a lot of it has to do with that to be two billion dollar deal that fell through.

Speaker 3:

This is typical. You know, corporate mentality is that they're interested in the bottom line, right and anytime. You have a publicly traded company that has a board of directors and it has, you know, stock owners. Your finance, your fiduciary duty is to the stockholders and you trust the people that are making these decisions, who aren't always and they're they're business people, but they're not necessarily Software or game industry people. And that's sort of where you get that, that Dirty corporate feeling that that people tend to get here is that they're just looking at the bottom line and they're gonna cut their losses. They're gonna cut what they think are losses in order to make money, and it's not just software. Bob Iger is doing the same thing at Disney and killing Disney. You've got people, industries across the board that are doing this type of stuff. They see something that's not raking in money. They have a certain margin that they want to meet and if you, if you're not meeting that margin in your casualty Ignoring the fact that a lot of times the game industry doesn't work the same way these other initiatives, other manufacturing or entertainment industries work the return on investment tends to be a much longer timeline that the corporate world and the stock world does not want to wait for yeah, absolutely Speaking of giant corporate companies, amazon games also had some layoffs.

Speaker 2:

They recently cut 180 jobs from their games department. This comes during the largest sweep of layoffs at Amazon as a whole. We were talking about, you know, industry-wide stuff, with nearly 27,000 jobs being cut in the last year. Now we're talking about 6,000 layoffs in the gaming industry alone 27,000 just from Amazon. Just to put things in a perspective.

Speaker 3:

But that's across the board in Amazon. That's right sales, manufacturing, warehousing, everything, and a lot of that for Amazon is Not because they're losing money, because they're not. We actually have record profits, right. A lot of that has to do with improvements in how their Processes work, a lot of automation going in place. They've they've robot roboticized a number of their plants, so they've negated the need to have physical labor here, and you'll notice, only a hundred and eighty of those 27,000 jobs were in the game industry. Yeah, I don't know how many People they had in their game studios to begin with, though right, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So Amazon's revenues up 13%, probably helped cutting 27,000 people that you don't have to pay anymore looks good at the bottom line. Net income tripled. The 9.9 billion that's from CNBC's actually kaput, that's a funny name, sorry actually but yeah. So profits are up and, like you said, you know when the bottom line comes up there it's capitalism, baby. You know that's the way the news goes.

Speaker 3:

So so, despite the game industry experiencing one of its best years, over 6,000 people face layoffs. How do you think these job losses at various levels are impacting the industry's Morale and future prospects, especially in light of such a successful game release here?

Speaker 2:

I mean, I follow a lot of people that are in game development on Twitter and stuff and, like, I listen a lot of gaming podcasts, so people that are very close to people in the industry. It sucks turns out, layoffs suck. I think it's really really bad for morale Because, you know, I think a lot of people really they grind and, grind and grind and try to get into the industry, only for them to have a very high rate of getting laid off anyway, especially when, like we talked about before, when a game ships. What happens now? And yeah, I, you know it's a great year for gaming, but it's it's tough to ignore all these layoffs. And if you were going into this industry, you're gonna have to wonder you know, am I gonna be the next one to get laid off, if I even can get a job in the first place? Yeah, it's, it's.

Speaker 3:

When you see this type of thing happen across the board. It's tough when it's your own company and they're doing layoffs. My company did layoffs this year too, and so did mine and it and it has an effect on on morale and it has an effect on the output and I think, a lot of time the corporate entities that make these decisions Never really go out and do a proper impact analysis to see what level of productivity is going to be affected by people with decreased morale, because the idea is, oh Well, they don't perform, we'll just lay them off. Well, when people walk out the door, it's not a salary and benefits, it's walking out the door that you can save money on. There's brain drain. You know there's tribal knowledge that walks out that door that, as a result, the people that are remaining because the job still has to get done and the people that are left to do that job Are struggling now to do that job. So either it takes longer, the quality drops off, the volume drops off, and I think when corporate entities make these decisions, they don't always take that impact analysis in no account.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and speaking of quality, you just trigger something. In my mind. This is a very small facet of this whole thing, but a lot of one of the Sections that gets laid off lot is quality testers. So that reflects in your game when your game doesn't work because you fired everybody that was gonna test it. So I know EA fired a bunch of them lately. I think it's, you know it's. But again, it's one of those things where, when your game is no longer in development, you have no need for these quality testers. But with games like apex legends, games that are live as a service, that are continuously going in development, where do quality testers fall?

Speaker 3:

in that. Well, and that's the thing. Having worked in the software industry for years, your ratio of testers to developers is usually two to one and Testing is always seen as the first area that gets cut. Yep, but what they don't realize is that you can't trust a developer to test their own code. They're too close to it, mm-hmm. So you take a look at Larian Studios, right? So Larian Studios did their official release in October of boulders gate three. They've had ten patches and three 10 10 bug fix patches. They put out emergency bug fixes and three or four major patch releases in that time. So the development doesn't stop when it goes out the door, because it's never a finished product. You've got a lifetime of probably four or five years that you still have to support the product. So getting rid of the people once the games out the door is probably short sighted.

Speaker 2:

And within those four or five years, you're probably going to start development on your next game, especially with something like Baldur's Gate 3 that was insanely successful, and by the time Baldur's Gate 3 comes out, by the time your Premiere game comes out, you've already got a pipeline that's full of schedules for what's next in line.

Speaker 3:

And if you don't, then you might as well just shut your doors because, given the timeframe it takes where you're looking at, four or five years of development to put a decent game out. So if you don't already have something in the pipeline and something in the works when your current game comes out, you're going to go out of business.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah, it's tough, right. I mean, you get this a lot with movies too. These things take so long to make and then it's out and then people immediately want more, right? So that's how it goes, but hopefully that keeps some people employed too. So, yeah, those are our layoff discussion. In our next segment, we're going to talk more about the causes of it. I know you did a lot of research for this, so I'll probably let you take over for it. But yeah, layoffs are bad Layoffs are bad and it sucks.

Speaker 3:

Layoffs are bad. Don't do layoffs.

Speaker 2:

Layoffs suck if it happens to you, but we'll be right back.

Speaker 1:

Insights into teens a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today's youth, talking to real teens about real teen problems. Explore issues from braces to puberty, social anxiety to financial responsibility. Each week we talk about the topics concerning today's youth. We look at how the issues affect teens, how to cope with these issues and how parents, friends and loved ones can help teens handle these challenges. Check out our video episodes on youtubecom backslash insights into things. Watch our audio versions on podcastsinsightsintoteenscom or on the web at insightsintothingscom.

Speaker 2:

Welcome back to Insights into Entertainment. Everybody, we're wrapping up the show today talking about the cause and the purpose of all these layoffs. The trend of layoffs in the video game industry can be attributed to several factors, and understanding this is key to forecasting the trans-during and its impact on the industry's future. Let me go to our corporate shill, joseph Weiland, for the layoff report why layoffs are a good thing. Go.

Speaker 3:

No, not why. They're a good thing. What causes layoffs? We already touched on economic fluctuations. The video game industry is not immune to the broader economic trends in the world and economic downturns or market uncertainty can lead to budget cuts and staff reductions. And everyone knows where we are with inflation and how tight money is and everything's costing more money. So that's pretty obvious right there. We're also looking right now and it's the first time in the industry's history that we're in a post-pandemic period, so we're still looking at adjustments from that. Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in gaming. As people saw entertainment during the lockdowns, the surge may have led to over-hiring or over expansion in some companies. As the world returns to normalcy, demand may stabilize or decrease, leading to restructuring.

Speaker 2:

There's also, you know, people now are like there's the discussion of work from home. Well, why wouldn't I just always work from home if I can, especially when it comes to game development? A lot of these folks packed up their work computers and brought them home to keep working on games during the pandemic as best they could. So now you know there's a discussion of do we even need to be going back into, you know, in the work, and that's across all industries. If we can, you know, can we just keep the work at home thing going? And then you know that's more cost-cutting because then you don't have to run off of space, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

A lot of companies are looking at that as a possibility and, in fact, behind you is a permanent workstation that's been set up for my wife, michelle now, who works from home two days a week. As a result of that, they saw what they could get out of it. So the other thing you look at is shifts in consumer behavior. Changes in gaming trends and consumer preferences can impact revenue streams. Companies may need to restructure to align with these shifts, leading the layoffs and departments that no longer align with new strategies. We also have technological changes. Modern technology can render certain skills or positions obsolete. As companies invest in automation and new tech, there may be a reduced need for certain roles. And then we get to the corporate shill side of things with financial management and strategic shifts. So poor financial management or strategic pivots can necessitate cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, which is exactly what Unity ran into. You know they're trying to make a buck, so they made a change in their strategic product line there and came back to bite them.

Speaker 2:

It's a very nice way of saying we want to make as much money as possible all the time, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

So tell us about what the actual impact of all this is on the video game industry.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I mean there's innovation and competition. Layoffs can lead to a consolidation of talent, with larger companies absorbing experience personnel. You got a little bit of that with Embracer. Now that they're all part of this conglomerate, maybe they're having some cross studio development and this could foster innovation but might also reduce competition as smaller companies struggle to compete, which is definitely true, especially when it comes to indie development, which is what we have next. A talented individuals leave larger companies. There might be, excuse me, a surge in indie game development, which I think we talked about this before when we were talking about the Microsoft Blizzard thing. It's like as more studios are bought up and part of large corporate structures.

Speaker 3:

Something has to fill that vacuum, and the indie companies step in to do that Exactly.

Speaker 2:

There's. You know this can lead to more diverse and innovative gaming landscape, which I'm all for, assuming you know it's. You know I'm all for the creative side of things, as you can probably tell by this. You know it's tough to see, but, you know, maybe that is a silver lining.

Speaker 3:

Well, and the one advantage you get from the indie side of things is you don't get the corporate shields. You don't get you get idealism. You get companies to come in here with this idealistic view of I'm going to make this for the fans, I'm going to listen to the fans and I'm going to produce something for the fans. If it doesn't sell, then the corporate guys come in, they suck up the company and then they move on A lot of times. You know, for the longest time BioWare was of that philosophy of you had a couple of regular guys there that wanted to make good games for people and they did until they sold their souls to EA and moved on. We would all do it, let's be honest, I would too. I would say, you know, a couple of million dollars for this podcast I sell on the heartbeat, yeah next episode we're going to have McDonald's branding all around the place.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I highly recommend you play C of Stars because it is a very similar situation. I'm blanking on the name of the developers, but it's like that, where they just they made another game called the Messenger, but they all seem like very down to earth people. We have shifts and job roles. The industry may witness a shift in the types of roles that are in demand, with more emphasis on technologies like AI, vr and cloud gaming. I don't know about VR. Are we done with VR?

Speaker 3:

I think VR is pretty much a. Although Apple wants to bring VR back, I think they're missing the bone.

Speaker 2:

They're going to make people spend like $10,000 for heads so you can get freaky eyes on the outside of your headset. This we talked about this already a little bit, but the impact on gaming quality and diversity layoffs can lead to reduced manpower, impacting quality. However, they can also force companies to focus on core competencies and produce higher quality titles, which is kind of what Sony's doing. You know they're spending and taking the time to have all these first party games that are, you know, industry wide successes, commercially and critically, that sort of hold up the brand, just by virtue of existing and finally, employee well-being and industry reputation, which the gaming industry already has a pretty bad reputation in terms of like crunch culture, which is probably still happening, but I think it has been reduced because it was exposed a lot with how often a lot of these devs are crunching and you hear stories from like 2005 of people pulling like 30 hour days and it's like, oh my God, how do we let that happen? But hopefully that's a little bit better.

Speaker 3:

And I've been on build teams, not for the gaming industry but in the software industry, where we've put in 36, 48 hours straight to get a build out the door. For, you know, an artificial deadline that was set by a product manager because he made a promise to a customer. So it happens across the board.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this might affect the ability to attract top talent in the future, which is true if your industry has a terrible reputation and fires people all the time, people probably don't want to work for you. Amen to that. So, yeah, I mean those are. That pretty much sums everything up. That covers the layoffs. Of course, we started off pretty positively with the game awards.

Speaker 3:

So, considering the influence of economic fluctuations on the video game industry, how do you think companies can better prepare for market uncertainties to avoid drastic measures like layoffs, especially given the industry's recent success?

Speaker 2:

I don't know, maybe pay higher ups less, which is never going to happen, but it's a suggestion. I know years. Everybody turns to what was his name? He was a Nintendo CEO Iawata maybe Iawata, I forget his name, but he Nintendo. When the Wii U came out and like, completely sold, he ended up taking a pay cut so they didn't have to lay people off. Now everybody looks to that like it was a miracle, because it kind of was and people don't. You know, ceos are never going to do that. But that would be nice if that was the alternative to laying people off. But you know, it's just not. It's not the way that capitalism goes, unfortunately.

Speaker 3:

See, and I think it has to be research and development. I think if you've got enough irons into fire, if you throw enough stuff against the wall, something's going to stick. And if you've got a couple of games that are in there, you can tell after two or three years of development if your your game's going to be a success, because at that point in time you've trotted out previews at a couple of game shows, you've had some industry experts take a look at it, you've got some some play time with it and people need to be more antiseptic I'll say in in their judgment of their products. If you get to that point and the product isn't very good, you need to cut your ties to it and move on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's funny you mentioned that because you should look into the development cycle of Redfall. We covered that last time I hosted for a gaming show but since that game's come out and like is awful, devs have come out and said that like they knew this game was going to fail, but they had to release it anyway because you had to put something out and it was like sunk cost fallacy where we spent all this time. We probably should cancel this game and rework it, but higher ups need us to release something.

Speaker 3:

So here's what you get Well and going back to one of my own favorites, star Wars, the old Republic same thing. They spent almost 10 years of development on that, six of which was trying to build their own game engine, before they realized they couldn't, and they wound up using a 10 year old game engine to basically reskin the entire game for it, and then they released it, and within the first six months they lost 50% of their subscribers because the game just wasn't up to what it was supposed to be. At some point in time, you need to have the sense to pull the plug on it, and if you can do that and you have other projects that are in the works, that are under development, you shift your resources to something that's more promising.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and hopefully we'll you know with all these layoffs, and maybe somebody will learn something from it, hopefully, but yeah, so any final thoughts. I feel like we've covered a lot of this. We've shared our opinions.

Speaker 3:

We've beaten the horse quite well here.

Speaker 2:

Well, I guess that's going to wrap things up for today. Thank you so much for listening. Before we head out, we've got some more show plugs for you, if you haven't already.

Speaker 3:

the first set wasn't enough, I know this is the plug.

Speaker 2:

So nice, we do them twice. If you haven't already subscribed, what are you doing? Pause this, go subscribe, come back, rewind it, play from the beginning. You can subscribe on Apple podcast, spotify, google podcast, maybe Stitcher If it's still around, I heart radio tune in Amazon and, of course, pandora. If you have any comments or questions about today's show, email us at comments at insights into thingscom or on Twitter. Some people call it X insights underscore things. Twitch if you have Amazon Prime, that means you've got Twitch Prime and we'd love to have that Prime sub over at twitchtv. Slash insights into things, where some of you may be watching us live stream right now. Facebook at facebookcom. Slash insights into things. Podcast. Instagram at insights into things. All of these links and so much more can be found on insights into thingscom. That's going to wrap things up for today. That's it. Another one in the box. Thanks everyone for watching.

Insights Into Gaming and Podcasts
Baldur's Gate 3 Discussion and Gameplay
Game of the Year Nominations Analysis
Gaming Industry Layoffs
Video Game Industry Layoff Causes
Layoffs' Impact in Gaming Industry