Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

What Hollywood Could Learn From the Gaming Industry 87

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-called-fun dept.
GameDaily's David Radd has up a piece today looking at what Hollywood could learn from the games industry. His main points are that game companies are much more in touch with their customers, do a better job of generating buzz, and utilize the internet as a communications medium more successfully. From the article: "Today, publishers like Activision report that their ad budgets are equal to their game production budgets. But despite this significant increase in the scope of video game advertising, the 'buzz' factor is all important. And with the Internet, viral advertising has a way to touch both groups."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What Hollywood Could Learn From the Gaming Industry

Comments Filter:
  • Oh bother. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 9mm Censor (705379) * on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:35PM (#15482345) Homepage
    I cant wait till Hollywood learns to charge more for shorter films with better special effects, with less content, and more sequels.
    • You've got to look on the bright side: you'll be able to preorder the experience through an internet service, at least.
    • Re:Oh bother. (Score:1, Redundant)

      by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)
      I don't know if your comment was supposed to be ironic, but you won't have to wait long since it's been happening for the last 10 years.
    • No no no! They need to learn that sex sells. Not that softy stuff where you can barely see a nipple, but the real hard stuff. That way I won't get wierd looks anymore when I go through those bead curtains.
    • Re:Oh bother. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:22PM (#15482707) Homepage
      Well, you might be joking but there ARE things the game industry could learn from the movie industry. For instance the movie industry has a pretty decent indy crowd, and a lot of times that's encouraged (where a lot of time it's shunned in the game industry, particularly on the console side). They also have a good balance between meaningful fresh and unique films and generic "give them what sells" stuff. I think the key is that they have worthwhile awards/awards shows and know how to promote the people behind the film. Writers, directors, producers, staring actors, supporting actors, score composer etc. ALL get a spotlight not just in the awards shows but also on the movie posters, in advertisements, and on the DVD box. Sure there are SOME "superstars" in the game business but it's not too frequent and it's not leveraged in the same way they do it in the film industry.

      Any good business will learn from others, what works well, what doesn't, etc.. this applies to individual companies as well as entire industries.
      • Mod parent up! The presence of independent filmmaking (that is, not funded by a studio or guaranteed distribution at the time of production) allows for a greater variety of output while at the same time providing a means for artists to break into an ultra-competitive industry.

        Add to that the fact that Hollywood has guilds who prevent the studios from causing too much abuse to above-the-line talent and I'd say the gaming industry could actually learn a lot more from movies, not the other way around.

    • I cant wait till Hollywood learns to charge more for shorter films with better special effects, with less content, and more sequels.

      The Lion King 1 1/2 (same story, different POV, because that's exciting)
      Bambi 2 (also known as "We're Out of New Ideas")
      Jason X (Jason dies for the 10th time)
      Halloween H20 (Micheal dies for the 7th time)
      The Land Before Time XI (real dinosaurs died out faster than this movie series)
      • First, you picked three children's series. Children's books have featured serial characters since well before Hollywood (Mary Poppins, Tom Swift, and the Oz books, for example) because children attach more easily to characters than to plots.

        Secondly, you picked on the horror genre, which feeds itself on the possibility that no matter how many times you "kill" the monster, he may return - it in fact revels in the immortality of its villains. It's spawned a lot of in-jokes, but the genre has never apologized
    • Based on the other replies, it would seem that you failed to enclose your comment in <sarcasm> tags.
    • I can't wait until Hollywood is touched by a virus.

      And with the Internet, viral advertising has a way to touch both groups.
  • That downloading the latest blockbuster is a kind of game.

    Just saying. I'm going to go and see it anyway.
  • Perhaps some of this effect is a much different customer base. I think that gamers are more likely to follow the industry as a whole as opposed to the normal movie goer who needs to find out about a film they want to see. I know of tons of video game releases but in all reality I only buy about a dozen games a year and only about half of them do I play to any great extent.

    As for movies, I don't really follow new releases for films like I do for games. I need to see a film that interests me before I worry a
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:38PM (#15482373) Homepage
    It seems to me that technologists may have a better idea of how to make entertaining Hollywood properties

    That's right, Slashdot should run the world!
  • I see this as definitely a factor in where to draw the line as to which point piracy becomes in essence stealing. When you steal back something that was stolen from you, that's not really stealing. When you steal something in compensation from something that was stolen from you, you have to figure out when you're going too far.
  • Run by old guys... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Manip (656104) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:39PM (#15482379)
    I don't want to be overly simplistic, but I believe the problem stems from the fact that the movie industry is run by a bunch of 50+ old guys that still think it is 1970, and things work the same way that they did then. Unlike the game industry who's average age is lower than 30... They are in fact their own customers...

    It remains to be seem how well they will keep in touch with their customers as the industry ages, but that is neither here nor there.

    The music industry changed, but kicking and screaming, they ended up loosing billions because of their inability to change to the new climate. The movie industry still is loosing billions but they aren't ready to change... It's hard to tell if its arrogant, stupidity, or something in the middle of the two.

    I think mail order DVDs should be a very clear indication of just how big Internet movie rental and or purchase markets are... It's clearly what the consumer wants... I say they should fire off these old middle managers and hire in some fresh blood...
    • Music industry changed?

      I agree that iTunes is a new development; however, the Sony rootkit was years after iTunes was introduced. So I wouldn't say they've changed at all or learned their lessons...
    • Like Thing said, the idustry itself has changed very little- iTunes is just an extension of the computer industry that's reselling music. I remember reading an article (I think it was on /.- does anyone have it?) where Jobs stated that as contract renewal time came for many companies, they tried to force him into pricing each song differently based on the artist, album, song, or record company. Thankfully he refused outright. The stupid industry fails to realize that the whole reason iTunes is doing so well
  • No way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hawkbug (94280) <psx@noSpAm.fimble.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:42PM (#15482404) Homepage
    I strongly disagree - the games industry seems to think they can require an internet connection along iwth insanely over-reaching DRM to play their stuff. There is not a chance in hell that I will ever use a STEAM-based system to play games, so that rules out all Valve options.
    • What's wrong with steam?
      • Re:No way (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hawkbug (94280) <psx@noSpAm.fimble.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:58PM (#15482532) Homepage
        The fact that it is required to play games you purchase. Requiring an internet connection to play single player FPS game is just stupid and a sad attempt at over-reaching copy right protection and anti-piracy measures. Soon, we'll see hollywood do the same thing. No thank you.
        • I guess, but it doesn't really bother me, I have an always on connection, so I never notice.
        • Why is that sad? Does it damage your computer in some form? Do you not have an internet connection?
          • Why is that sad? Does it damage your computer in some form? Do you not have an internet connection?
            Sometimes, indeed, I do not have an internet connection.
          • I don't know about you, but I don't have a cell phone card in my laptop (service is ~$80 for low DSL speeds last I looked) that I can get wireless internet everywhere I go. Admittedly there are lots of places nowadays where you can get a free hotspot, but I don't want to stop at a Starbucks every time I open a game.
          • Student homes often use the University network, many University networks block non-http connections (before you suggest tunnelling, they filter that). Valve knows about that and doesn't want to provide a solution. Don't ask me why they can't seem to implement a simple download service via HTTP, I bought a game online using ReflexiveArcade and that had no trouble working over HTTP.
        • Re:No way (Score:2, Interesting)

          by manno (848709)
          Are you sure? I'm fairly sure you can play single player games without an Internet connection or CD. As I have played HL2 on the plane without an Internet connection...

          Obviously I need to log onto steam to play Counter-Strike. The only legit complaint I can think of is if they make you log onto steam to play LAN games. That could really present some problems for some users. I wouldn't call it DRM though I'd call it copy protection, and while it helps the content creators, it also has some great features for
          • I'm fairly sure you can play single player games without an Internet connection or CD

            But you need the Internet connection to install the game, even if you bought the CD.

            • I bought the CD, and I don't beleive I needed an internet connection to install the game. I did need the CD in the tray to play it though.
              • The CD data is incomplete and encrypted, you need to download stuff via Steam and let it decrypt the data before you can play. While the installer will complete without the connection, you can't play before Steam has downloaded its 20-odd megabytes for unlocking the game plus whatever patches are available.
        • I don't want to sound like a Steam fanboy, but here's my two cents: I only have a problem with DRM and copyright protection if it causes me to be inconvenienced or cripples the product in any way. I don't think requiring an internet connection inconveniences or cripples the product at all. Also, I may be wrong but I think you are only required to connect once to actually activate a single player game. Then you can stay in offline mode to play it. On the positive side: 1. Your games are patched instantly.
          • But unless you regularly play your games on others' computers, do you remember your Steam ID and password? Are you prepared for when your system dies and takes that information to its grave?

            OT:
            i, em { font-family: serif; } /* temp. fix for lack of an italic sans-serif */
            em, strong { font-variant: small-caps; } /* to distinguish from i and b */
          • I don't think requiring an internet connection inconveniences or cripples the product at all. Also, I may be wrong but I think you are only required to connect once to actually activate a single player game.

            Hypothetical situation: I access Slashdot at a public library on the library's own terminal, and I don't have Internet access at home. Will a typical public library let me cart my PC in and activate the game? Or do you suggest that I pay $239.88 for a 12-month commitment to dial-up Internet access at

            • I think it's funny that you would go ahead and encourage misconceptions in your post while your sig dispels one.

              Or do you suggest that I pay $239.88 for a 12-month commitment to dial-up Internet access at home?

              You're kidding, right? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's been so long since you've had a dial-up connection that you don't realize that you have no fucking clue what you're talking about. Do you live in a cave? Mom's basement? Prison possibly? Netzero [netzero.net] is still a
              • Netzero is still alive and kicking with a $9.95/month offer, with no commitment.

                Unless all of NetZero's modems are a long-distance call from your house. I'm not on dial-up anymore, but last time I checked, NetZero didn't have modems in all geographic areas. You still have a point that even with long-distance fees, it won't be more than $12 plus the price of a POTS modem. But is it as cheap outside the United States?

                • Here's a global solution for you. The cost of one 802.11b wireless modem. There are free wifi spots just about all over, and if there aren't any free ones, there's likely at least one with no security.

                  As for Netzero's coverage, it seems pretty good. I use Speakeasy, so I don't know personally, but the few phone numbers I did test, were well covered.

                  Aero
          • Personally I dislike Steam. I don't start it very often and when I do it usually has found a new patch and won't let me play for minutes before it's finished downloading (at which point I've already found another game to play). Also it requires an unrestricted internet connection to work, you may not have that available at all times (especially if your home connection will not let Steam through, happens in student homes). I prefer the system used by Earth 2160 (the retail version, they probably replaced it
    • Valve != The entire games industry.

      There are alot of decent companies that don't force you to have an internet connection to play single player mode, such as Oblivion and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Both San Andreas and Oblivion don't even require a cd key when installing the game, no copy protection whatsoever. And you know what, I bought both games to support those two companies since they seem to get it.
    • How much did you make from your game subscription engine last year? How much did Valve? Why should we listen to you, exactly?

      Just because one dork on Slashdot doesn't do something, doesn't mean the masses won't. Go take some marketing courses and learn something about how business works before making sweeping pronouncements no one will take seriously.
      • > How much did you make from your game subscription engine last year? How much did Valve? Why should we listen to you, exactly?

        Right, because we all know money, determines quality [google.ca]
        • Right, because we all know money, determines quality

          Any amount of money earned on an endeavor makes you an expert in that business area compared to someone who's never earned a dime. If you've never launched a successful business doing X, you are in no position to criticize someone who is running a successful business doing X. They're making money, you're not, so you're in no position to judge.
  • Games give more. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rachel Lucid (964267)
    It also helps that we get 20-60 hours of content for each purchase, compared to the 2-3 hours Hollywood gives us. Throw in a Wiki for the movies every now and then, will you?
  • by Mark LeMunyon (977994) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:46PM (#15482434)
    ValvE, the creators of the Half-Life series, do an excellent job communicating with their fanbase. Gabe Newell, ValvE's director, not only repsonds to fan email, but actively posts on fan forums!

    How many film directors or actors do that?
    • ValvE, the creators of the Half-Life series, do an excellent job communicating with their fanbase. Gabe Newell, ValvE's director, not only repsonds to fan email, but actively posts on fan forums!
      Fuck Valve, what I want from Valve is LESS communicating with their fan base (via forced Steam ads). Maybe Gabe Newell should listen to their fanbase and allow people to play single player games without an internet connection or steam!
    • Smith posts on his boards (and others) on a very regular basis.

      View Askew boards [viewaskew.com]
  • What Hollywood Could Learn From the Gaming Industry...

    More cut scenes?

  • by thaerin (937575) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:56PM (#15482517)
    Today, publishers like Activision report that their ad budgets are equal to their game production budgets.
    And as such we have been able to bear witness to the rise of poorly released (i.e. bugs) titles that never see any worthwhile patches because the company is already working on their next over-hyped hit. Under this budget scheme, is it any wonder then that titles such as Call of Duty 2 are full of so many bugs and hacks? I can't recall seeing very many ads for the game, guess they must of been paying the devs in peanuts.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:57PM (#15482527) Journal
    Or we will have more remakes then you can shake a stick at. If they learned from the game industry we could have Casablanca Original, Casablanca Technicolor, Casablanca Cinemascope, Casablance 3D, Casablanca THX etc etc. Just as the game civilization has gone through numerous versions while the game itself really hasn't changed. Still the same tech tree, still the same endings just using more recent tech to display it.

    We would also have movies wich wouldn't have the correct ending until the 3rd patch. George Lucas would love it.

    They would give us heroes who remain silent for the entire movie or in extreme cases go back to the dawn of film and force us to read endless cue cards.

    You wouldn't be able to stop your video when watching a movie but would be forced to resume from the beginning of the scene because of the lousy save system.

    Movies would come with insane copy protection schemes.... oh wait a minute. That they already learned.

    But worst of all, if Hollywood learned from the game industry all the movies would be directed by Uwe Boll.

    • Original, Casablanca Technicolor, Casablanca Cinemascope, Casablance 3D, Casablanca THX etc etc

      Star Wars, Star Wars Box Set, Star Wars Special Editions, Star Wars Special Edition Box Set, Star Wars Remastered Special Special Hayden Christensen Edition, Star Wars Original Release Re-Release.

      We're closer than you think.

    • Or we will have more remakes then you can shake a stick at.

      Movies remake almost everything, and really it's only in the past ten years that the production budgets necessary for big release video games have started imitating that. The point is when you have that much money on the table, the producers will tend to play it safe and put their money behind proven winners. That means sequels.

      The biggest Xbox360 release title was King Kong: a game based on a lavish remake of a movie. The remake was fabulously

  • Between your 3 articles in the last day bashing Sony, and now this - an article suggesting one broken industry take a page out of the playbook of ANOTHER crippled industry, who hardly anyone seems to be happy with at the moment. Everything OK at home?
  • ...the Anime industry...duh...

    The Anime people use "piracy" to their advantage - you do not seem a lot of marketting for Anime, with the exception of a few places, but those few places are based solely around anime (e.g. Anime Network, Cartoon Network, etc.).

    The Anime people rely on customers to do grown-swell marketing for their products, and they respond to the customers. More and more I find myself disliking the movies from Hollywood - okay, they've had a couple good ones lately, but that's out of a ton of bad ones over the last few years - and more in tune with Anime. And guess what I'm generally buying when it comes to DVD's? Anime; entire series introduced by friends and content that Hollywood would likely have deemed "piracy".

    And the fans generally respect the companies and get rid of the "piracy" as content becomes available in their own languages and regions. It's a win-win situation.

    Now if only Hollywood would learn...
    • Perhaps you are more in tune with anime because much of it is specifically targeted at 20-25 year old males, those old enough to have lots of free cash to spend and geeky enough to spend it all on dvd's, anime figures, posters and towels. (Oh how I covet the Haruhi towel...)
  • ...how to stay up REALLY, REALLY late, and still be ready for action the next day.
  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:42PM (#15482837) Homepage
    I thought it was all the video game companies (at least, the big ones) were flocking to Hollywood to grab the latest license? I get a daily email from http://www.gamejobs.com/ [gamejobs.com] listing most new jobs in Southern California. I don't see any big name Hollywood studios flocking to Texas to get cozy with http://www.idsoftware.com/ [idsoftware.com].
    • I thought it was all the video game companies (at least, the big ones) were flocking to Hollywood to grab the latest license?

      Oh it works both ways;

      1. most games are either based on movies or are sequels to earlier games
      2. most movies are either based on games or are sequels to earlier movies

      Original games and movies are inevitably low budget because investors don't want to take a risk on something that hasn't been tried before.

      It is, indeed, teh suck.
  • Speaking of viral marketing, you want to watch this movie: http://www.hempmento.com/ [hempmento.com]

  • WHAT?!? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Il128 (467312)
    When's the last time a game made $600,779,824 or even $100,003,492 [imdb.com]? Movies learn from computer games? LOL,sometimes people try to hard to prove how smart the computer guys are compared to everyone else! This is one of those times.
    • Re:WHAT?!? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by psycln (937854) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @09:19PM (#15484457) Homepage Journal
      If you take the number of employees into account then Valve Corp [valvesoftware.com] with a little more than 70 employees [valvesoftware.com] made $70mil [forbes.com] in 2005. That is $10mil per employee. Compare that to the number of human resources involved in the "Titanic" or "Star Wars" and you get a better picture of who's making a more efficient use of human resources.
      • Sir, your math makes no sense. 70 employees and a revenue of $70 million does not equal "$10mil per employee." 70 / 70 = 1. That's $1 million per employee. Still impressive, granted, but not quite so impressive as your strange math makes it out to be.
  • When will Hollywood learn to churn out an endless number of unimaginative sequels, or countless movies all based on the same basic plot device?
  • Am I truly the only one to mention this so far?

    Movies start with a story, generate content, and are edited back down to a story. Then on the DVD release we even get the 2-disc set with outtakes, special features, director's cut(s), TV and theatre ads for the movie, ...

    Instead they give us a "game" built on one of 4 common rulesets, incomplete, buggy, and leaving out features in order to sell us a new expansion pack in 4 to 8 months. Oh, wait, is that just the movies' Gold Edition?

    8-PP
  • I can't really see either of them learning much from each other, both sides are facing major issues at the moment (mainly brought on by themselves) which result in the market being unhappy with what is being produced. Maybe hollywood can learn from the games industry to not blame poor sales figures on piracy rather than the low-grade movies they are churning out by the truckload. At least that would be one positive step.
  • I went to a rave in Toronto not long after the original Xbox was released, and sitting in baskets on the bar and around the venue were Xbox-branded glowsticks. No sales people getting in partygoers' faces, no marketing wench handing them to every person who walked in the door - just a casual, simple gesture that got the point across.

    And that point was "have fun and fit our Xbox into your routine." Absolutely brilliant in my book.

    And what has the movie industry thrust down our throats for decades?
  • As movies are a subjective medium, people discuss movies based on what they got out of it after watching it whereas with games you discuss what cool features you want to be in it. As to Hollywood being out of touch, it has always been the case of movies coming out of nowhere and capturing the peoples imagination.
  • I had posted a previous one but with certain movies, definately science fiction and fantasy, could do with pre-networking. Science fiction/fantasy films, have a lot of backstory and background that is not or have little time to be explored in the film. If film companies provided more internet content exploring this before the film is released then they could generate more interest i and maybe even make the movie better as some of the plot will make more sense.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

Working...