Author Topic: The Death of the Space shooter  (Read 18867 times)

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The Death of the Space shooter
From the Wikipedia article on Descent: Freespace--

"Even though FreeSpace 2 was lauded by the gaming press, it failed to sell very well, effectively marking the end of the era for this style of the space simulation video game."

Does anyone have a theory on what this means?  Why did this style of game die?  Shooters abound, even today in 2006, but why did the space shooter die?  I just don't get it--perhaps it's so simple as economics.  Since FS2 didn't sell, publishers didn't want to front money for any more "space shooters."  It sounds purely reactionary, and it seems silly to think that game developers, after seven years, wouldn't give it another shot.  We could even play the shooters on consoles.

Please, this isn't another dreaded "FS3" thread; I'm just trying to start a conversation about why space shooters lost the marketability...

Dobralov

 

Offline Turey

  • Installer dude
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Everybody says that the Genre ended in 1999, with the failure of FS2. That's bull****. The Genre ended in 1999, when millions of Space Shooter fans were plunged into a three-year-long depression with the release of Episode 1, which featured very little in the way of space battles. This depression was prolonged with booster shots in 2002 and 2005, when the next two Star Wars were released which, ironically, contained very few "Star Wars". I predict that the current Space Shooter Depression will end in 2008, when the effects of the Star Wars prequels will wear off.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2006, 08:56:00 pm by Turey »
Creator of the FreeSpace Open Installer.
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why would an SCP error be considered as news? :wtf: *smacks Cobra*It's a feature.

 

Offline Mefustae

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
I'm just trying to start a conversation about why space shooters lost the marketability...
Well, according to the friendly folks over at CIC, FS2 killed it. :doubt:

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter

[/quote]Well, according to the friendly folks over at CIC, FS2 killed it. :doubt:
[/quote]

I've never understood why FS2 sold so relatively few copies, especially given the greatness of the graphics and storyline.  Saturation, maybe?  Between the five Wing Commanders and two Freespaces, perhaps the market had enough.  It sounds implausible, however, since those seven games span roughly 9 years of time, and we had ten times as many 1st person shooters in that time.  Yet people still buy them.

I like the "Star Wars" theory, even if it's on the fringe.  I'm more than happy to blame George Lucas for all of my problems, such as my debt, my receding hair line, and my lack of new space shooter simulations.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
I wholeheartedly agree and concur with the above statement. Sort of.

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Dobralov, seeing as how I doubt you've recieved this in your 8 posts.....

:welcome:

yada yada yada, Don't go into the ducts, our resident Shivan, nicknamed Carl, is up there. If you are unlucky enough to need to enter said ducts, bring a lunch. If Carl comes, throw him the lunch and slowly back away. Flamethrowers are located under your seat, however, due to the suckiness of the last server, they only have holy water. Don't EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES mention the letters "S", "F", and "3" in the (im)proper order. You will be flamed, shot, beamed, mocked, brought back from the dead, and have the process repeated.




If I recall correctly, Freespace 1 didn't do so hot, and Freespace 2 didn't get much publicity. However, they DID allow people to share the discs. This erm.....loophole was found in the EULA.

I disagree with the genre being dead. Freelancer didn't do terribly, and obviously wasn't near Freespace's greatness, but it kept the genre alive. Also, the quasi-sequel to Freelancer, DarkStar One came out a few months ago. Haven't played it, but I think it did well enough to keeep genre alive....

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
I always thought that FS2 sold badly due to Interplay being idiots in the department of marketing... I mean, I was a huge fan of FS1, and would have gotten FS2 on launch day had I know about it... as it was, I didn't even hear about it until about two years ago... too bad I didn't hear about HLP until six months after that, cause I could've saved $60 (dammit eBay!).


Kudos to the DarkStar One people for trying to revitalize this genre, but I don't think DS1 is doing well enough to have much effect...


@Spartan: Wrong. FS1 did very well as I recall.
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -DEATH, Discworld

"You can fight like a krogan, run like a leopard, but you'll never be better than Commander Shepard!"

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
anyone have any concrete evidence on the success of FS1???

@Dobralov: sorry, I think Hunter beat me to the welcome beam, he's better at it than I am anyway........

@Admins: we REALLY should get an automatic welcome speech so that n00bs don't get confused....

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
The beauty of the welcome speech is that there are so many different versions: it allows people to be creative. You can't have an authoritative "Official Welcome Speech"; and besides, I can't think of a noob who wouldn't be confused upon seeing the Welcome Speech for the first time (I was)!
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -DEATH, Discworld

"You can fight like a krogan, run like a leopard, but you'll never be better than Commander Shepard!"

 

Offline BlackDove

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
I never really saw Space Sims that popular anyway in any kind of past.

Wing Commander pretty much ruled all, and then that flopped when they fired Roberts for the Prophecy. FS1 outperformed Prophecy, and in a very short time, FS2 was released, generating below par sales for a game that was so good by any and all standards, it blew any kind of potential competition away.

If I was a developer out to make a Space Sim, I really wouldn't bother with it. A game as good as FS that didn't sell well - anything I'd be able to make, which would probably be worse, would be pointless if I couldn't profit from it.

So instead of going for a space sim, you can always just make another ****ing World War 2 game. After all, everyone hates the Germans because that's the only lesson they memorized from school, and that **** just sells too well to miss out on the opportunity if you already have the means to make a game.

 

Offline Thor

  • Captain of the GTD Sparta
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
the space genre died for the simple reason that not enough people are buying them for it to be thriving... DS1 will not likely sell millions of copies, there for it is not the game that'll revitalize the genre.  why won't it sell millions of copies?  cause no one outside of the community knows about it.  It'll take a few combinations of factors to reinvigorate the genre.

1) Huge Sci-Fi film/series featuring space combat
2) a tie-in product that doesn't suck
3) said tie-in product selling millions of games.
4) other developers jumping on the band wagon and making great games for us to buy

without that tie-in, no publisher with boats of money to advertise a game will touch and push a space combat sim...  and from the current crop of sci-fi...only battlestar has that tie in potential really...and the last battlestar game apparently wasn't too spectacular. 

and don't get upset, but its likely any game is gonna be on all platforms too. 

The other option is for some very rich fans to make a wicked game, spend crap loads of their own money four-walling it, and hope to god that other people like it enough to get the attention of the mainstream...

so anyone got any money?

and all that said...is there a viable market for such games?  i hate to say it, but from a marketing perspective, can any space sim match the market size of DOOM?  HL2?  The Sims?

....not likely  :sigh:
I can't believe my profile is still active... member since  July 25, 2002

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
1) Huge Sci-Fi film/series featuring space combat
2) a tie-in product that doesn't suck
3) said tie-in product selling millions of games.
4) other developers jumping on the band wagon and making great games for us to buy

Looks like the current Space Fighting series doing spectacularly well is BSG (Battlestar Galactica). If they can make a truly good space shooter *and* they get it to sell, that might revitalize the market for space shooters. I sure hope they do. a good BSG game would rock
Just don't give away the homeworld...

 

Offline Dysko

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
anyone have any concrete evidence on the success of FS1???
Well, on the box of the Italian version there is written under the title: "The sequel of the much applauded 1998's space shooter" (well, it may be only for marketing reasons, but anyway it is a clue).
Yes, I know the box can't be considered complete truth... (also seeing that Lucifer behind the Deimos... :rolleyes:)

IMHO, people nowadays don't buy space shooters because they don't want to face only-a-little-bit-harder-than-usual games. Here's my experience:
I borrowed my FS2 CDs to some classmates, and many of them said: "No, I don't like this game! It's too ****ing hard!"
After all, the same thing is happening to sim games, especially combat flight simulators: very few people buy them because they don't want to spend a bit of time learning how to use the game, they prefer games which can be played almost "without thinking" like FPSs.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 07:08:29 am by Darth DySkO »
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Offline bizzybody

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Quote
"Never ask Darth DySkO something related to airplanes... It's asking for troubles..."

What do you know of the Douglas F5D Skylancer, and what would you say if I mentioned there's one sitting at the Ontario, Oregon airport? It's been cosmetically restored and painted in the colors it wore as a NASA engine testbed. It was hacked over so many times then broken up for scrap so it wasn't possible (without mega mega mega $$$) to make it flyable.

oooo. A flyable paper model of the Douglas F4D Skyray. Came before the Skylancer, looks similar but they're really two completely different aircraft.
"They were really only teeny little A-bombs, honest!" Dr. Charles Dart

 

Offline Dysko

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
What do you know of the Douglas F5D Skylancer, and what would you say if I mentioned there's one sitting at the Ontario, Oregon airport?
Not very much :nervous: I only read a small article about it a long time ago.
I know only it was similar in performance to the F8U, it was not chosen by the Navy and used as a test plane by the NASA.
My aircraft spotting website: GolfVictorSpotting.it

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

  • HLP is my mistress
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
From Elite to WC4 the Coach that is the  scs genre flourished on its journey, Prophecy was the first bump in the road up time mountain, then Alligience promptly smacked the driver with a golf club causing our little traveller to pull an Italian Job, The rest of the games were over the mountian, balance just maintained by FS1, FS1 saw an opening and hopped off th ebus to continue on foot, while Prohecy, secret ops and other *more stupid* games died a flaming death in the valleys below.......
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
After all, the same thing is happening to sim games, especially combat flight simulators: very few people buy them because they don't want to spend a bit of time learning how to use the game, they prefer games which can be played almost "without thinking" like FPSs.

FPS games aren't hard to play, they're hard to play well. It takes a lot of time and patience. And a good internet connection...

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

  

Offline Taristin

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
The beauty of the welcome speech is that there are so many different versions: it allows people to be creative. You can't have an authoritative "Official Welcome Speech"; and besides, I can't think of a noob who wouldn't be confused upon seeing the Welcome Speech for the first time (I was)!

Actually the "beauty" of the welcome beam was that it was an old tradition that faded away, until fairly recently. It's since lost it's beauty... particularly since it tends to pull up ancient jokes from the early years of the community, despite always being given by new members to other new members.
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Offline Roanoke

  • 210
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
It's generally accepted that Interplay got their priorities wrong at launch and FS2 suffered as a result. I bought it after it made the top5 space sims in (IIRC) PC Gamer.

The one thing that does my head in is the way the hostiles can straife (slide ?) so they can hammer you as they go past but you can't return the favour. Always annoying when devs take the lazy route and give hostiles special abilities. Such as the way bad gays can stop and turn on the spot in AC3, soliders shooting you while not anctually poiting their gun at you in the original Medal of Honour etc etc

 

Offline aldo_14

  • Gunnery Control
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
It's generally accepted that Interplay got their priorities wrong at launch and FS2 suffered as a result. I bought it after it made the top5 space sims in (IIRC) PC Gamer.

The one thing that does my head in is the way the hostiles can straife (slide ?) so they can hammer you as they go past but you can't return the favour. Always annoying when devs take the lazy route and give hostiles special abilities. Such as the way bad gays can stop and turn on the spot in AC3, soliders shooting you while not anctually poiting their gun at you in the original Medal of Honour etc etc

To be fair, the hostiles are a hyper-advanced alien race; it's not like Herr Schmidt spontaneously developing ESP.