Rami Ismail Indie Keynote


Uh, if they’re “your consumers” then aren’t they also your customers?

Anyway, he’s totally right that a lot of this stuff gets oversimplified and customers have no idea how complicated everything is. Like people getting mad at the skullgirls character cost breakdown. Hitboxes cost $2000, and some people thought that was a ripoff, which is insane if you do the math. Skullgirls hitboxes are factually the most complex hitboxes in a fighting game. Imagine it takes you 5 minutes to do those for a single frame, and you have 4000~ frames. That’s 333 hours of work, about $3000 at $9/hour. Imagining you can do a hitbox for a single frame in a minute, that’s 66 hours, about $600.

He’s also totally right that customers can sometimes blow up. You get internet outrage over a lot of things. Say something wrong when you’re in a big or popular enough position and you might find yourself getting death threats and thrown out of your job.

On the flip side, I don’t think game studios ever want to admit that they’re wrong. I don’t see a lot of game studios being real and admitting they messed up. They dodge the issue.

After PSN was hacked and brought down for months on end, the sony rep who showed up at E3 never said they were sorry. He never apologized. Despite all the webcomics depicting him crying on stage, in reality he twisted it into saying how proud he was of their players and how great playstation owners were.

And something about this common tendency to not admit mistakes seems at least slightly dishonest to me, or immature. It’s not genuine.

As for the game developers not being gamers bit, I don’t understand his point entirely. I don’t think he’s using the term gamer in a very consistent way here.

If you want more on that, read the comments section.

I feel like we get these generalizations, but we aren’t getting a real dialogue between this large consumer base that feels disenfranchised and these few developers who think consumers are these dangerous rogue entities who might help you, might hurt you.

The consumer base feels like they’re being taken for a ride, like they’re perpetually being taken advantage of. AAA has basically settled on closing ranks and not commenting. Indie devs seem to other the consumer base, not understanding their fears and concerns, and continually try to push the blame for sales failures or consumer outrage to sources outside themselves rather than admitting that maybe they screwed up. It’s as though admitting you messed up will weaken your brand and ruin you, as if showing humility or weakness will harm other people’s opinions of you. So there’s a strong show of bravado versus a consumer base that doesn’t understand what the hell these developers’ problems are.

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