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Karnisov

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Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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PC Magazine article

Official PR from Sega

So OOO, remember back when I tried to warn you folks about giving up your independent studio status? You wouldn't have to sweat it now if you had listened...
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
[Mar 30, 2012 5:10:18 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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So OOO, remember back when I tried to warn you folks about giving up your independent studio status? You wouldn't have to sweat it now if you had listened...

Instead, they would still be sweating the problems of being a small, independent studio that, if I read between the lines, they were feeling.

That being said, I would have preferred them to stay independent. But what's done is done, so... on to the predictions about the future, most of which will be totally incorrect because, after all, trying to figure out what a CEO is going to do is as difficult as figuring out what a cat is going to do: you may have a reasonable chance of guessing if you know the cat, but when you don't know the cat you're taking blind shots, and even if you do know it cat it's still not a sure thing.

As far as YPP, Spiral Knights, and Dr. Who goes, they're probably going to stay, and probably remain in development. If I'm reading between the lines properly, about a year ago, maybe two, Sega realized that they were in a rut, and moving into online games (and purchasing OOO) was part of getting themselves out of their rut. So they're unlikely to cut the division, and may actually increase it. They may even, in an outside probability scenario, promote it more.

If they decide to sell OOO, I would give about a 30/70 chance of the game remaining in development-- though those are wild odds, I would have to see the P/L statement for the game to have a chance of making accurate odds.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by xelto at Mar 30, 2012 5:57:58 PM]
[Mar 30, 2012 5:36:57 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Yeah, my opinion very closely matches Xelto. I think Sega sees things right, the home video game market is losing ground. This is really much more of a problem for Sony/Microsoft than Sega because Sega lost the video controller wars.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Mar 30, 2012 5:43:43 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barrelmonkey

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Three Rings has had several instances where they just about ran out of money and nearly had to shut their doors. Pimpin aint easy.

The advantage of joining up with a larger company like Sega is that they can utilize an HR department for hiring, payroll and all of that business which they were doing themselves incredibly inefficiently. They also have a better legal budget if they need it, since they're under a large company. Really, all sorts of economics of scale kick in, and it ends up helping them a whole lot. And lay-offs can suck for individuals, but it's better than going completely belly-up when money gets tight, which is what happens to most independent game companies eventually.
[Mar 30, 2012 6:48:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Hillsmen

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Yeah, my opinion very closely matches Xelto. I think Sega sees things right, the home video game market is losing ground. This is really much more of a problem for Sony/Microsoft than Sega because Sega lost the video controller wars.


It is more of a Nintendo/Sony problem since they are both bleeding money, I would say Microsoft is dominating that type of products. I think Sony lost something around a billion this year.
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Captainrich
[Mar 30, 2012 6:58:09 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
giobb

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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on to the predictions about the future, most of which will be totally incorrect because, after all, trying to figure out what a CEO is going to do is as difficult as figuring out what a cat is going to do: you may have a reasonable chance of guessing if you know the cat, but when you don't know the cat you're taking blind shots, and even if you do know it cat it's still not a sure thing.

QFT
Honestly I don't understand why people even try to make predictions.
It's just too complex and we have zero valuable information to make any judgement thats not completely arbitrary.
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Zuao
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[Mar 31, 2012 6:07:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
darkseid

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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we're also incredibly biased and only have the knowledge of this one game.
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[Mar 31, 2012 6:10:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Karnisov

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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giobb wrote: 

Honestly I don't understand why people even try to make predictions.
It's just too complex and we have zero valuable information to make any judgement thats not completely arbitrary.


Its pretty easy to predict what will happen when independent studios get absorbed, there is a well established precedent in the gaming business.

1. Emphasize obscene profits at the expense of quality
2. Close the studio when HQ decides to cut costs.

Ask the people that made PoxNora . Feel free to peruse the archives at Gamasutra for other examples. The studios that don't get completely closed usually end up hollow shells of their former self.

And for people saying "but Daniel James will look out for OOO", that only applies as long as Daniel James still works there. Depending on how much it is costing Sega to keep him on the payroll that might not be much longer. He doesn't have much tenure with Sega so he is fairly low on the seniority list, and he is also probably one of the most expensive people on the payroll at OOO. These factors would make him first in line for a pink slip.
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Karnisov at Apr 2, 2012 4:27:07 PM]
[Apr 2, 2012 4:17:13 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Its pretty easy to predict what will happen when independent studios get absorbed, there is a well established precedent in the gaming business.

1. Emphasize obscene profits at the expense of quality
2. Close the studio when HQ decides to cut costs.

It does happen, but there are other situations-- like when the company I started my current job got bought out, and we effectively ended up running the company that bought us. Or when our parent company got bought out, it's managed to remain mostly autonomous, at least as far as a minor sub-company that's based on a different continent than our owning company can tell.

A huge part of the deciding factor is going to be how much Sega values internet-based games. If they decide they're a fad, or more trouble than they're worth, OOO is toast. If they decide that it's the Next Big Thing, then OOO is going to see money shoved at it for development. If they decide that, since it's making money, they might as well keep it going, OOO is probably going to see the status quo stay-- and be blissfully ignored most of the time.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
[Apr 2, 2012 4:27:09 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Three Rings has had several instances where they just about ran out of money and nearly had to shut their doors.

[citation needed]
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Apr 2, 2012 4:35:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
giobb

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Its pretty easy to predict what will happen when independent studios get absorbed, there is a well established precedent in the gaming business.

1. Emphasize obscene profits at the expense of quality
2. Close the studio when HQ decides to cut costs.


Yes, its very possible that SEGA's managers are retarded, but its jut as possible that they are not.
I'm pretty sure they had good reasons to buy OOO. I'm also sure it wasn't cause OOO was competition. So it would be weird if they shut it down so quickly.

Also, something I read on SEGA's business strategies section of their homepage: "In the toy sales, mobile phone and PC content and animated films businesses, the Group must reinforce these operations, mainly by listed subsidiaries."

But still I wouldn't be surprised if OOO was forced to pick only one game and shut down the other projects. (if not worse...). I have no clue which game gives them most profit.

Who knows...
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Zuao
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[Apr 2, 2012 7:26:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
zeplin411

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Are we all forgetting that 2 months ago Sega invested in all new servers for OOO to merge the oceans? I am sure we will be here for a long time still even if PP is not the biggest money maker. We are a constant money maker for OOO and Sega. For every credit card captain that retires another one takes their place.
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Miget
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[Apr 2, 2012 10:06:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Are we all forgetting that 2 months ago Sega invested in all new servers for OOO to merge the oceans? I am sure we will be here for a long time still even if PP is not the biggest money maker. We are a constant money maker for OOO and Sega. For every credit card captain that retires another one takes their place.

As much as I like being the optimist, servers cost how much these days? Compared too, say, the costs of the programers and ocean masters? Or even the lease/taxes on an office building in an expensive town?
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
[Apr 3, 2012 4:32:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Are we all forgetting that 2 months ago Sega invested in all new servers for OOO to merge the oceans?

Uh, first, servers tend to be a very small faction of the costs of running a business like OOO, the lowest paid employee costs far more a year. Second, it is pretty clear that OOO started the ocean merger work long before the SEGA deal was final. The ocean merger would have happened no matter what and so it is unlikely that SEGA gave any money to OOO to do the ocean merger.

The cost savings for OOO with being acquired by SEGA is most likely mundane non-game related things, such as not needing to keep a lawyer on retainer, dealing with payroll taxes/accounting, dealing with credit card companies, etc. If OOO couldn't afford new servers w/o SEGA, the acquisition would almost certainly not happened.

 
For every credit card captain that retires another one takes their place.

Uh, no. You clearly have not been looking at the player numbers or the last many years.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Apr 3, 2012 4:34:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
elfeesh

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Hey so who wants to win the lottery and invest all their money into OOO?
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Elfeesh

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[Apr 3, 2012 4:38:42 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TheRack

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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I'm going to make a random guess that whatever value there was in OOO 6 months ago has not suddenly evaporated.
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Cephalopod, on poker, wrote: 
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Period. End of story.

[Apr 3, 2012 5:46:34 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barrelmonkey

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Three Rings has had several instances where they just about ran out of money and nearly had to shut their doors.

[citation needed]

Too lazy to look it up, especially since I don't remember if it was in an interview, on a blog, at a panel at a conference or on the forums, but it was something Daniel James had said. You can choose to take my word for it or not, but it was something Daniel James said directly.

If Three Rings wasn't profitable, I don't think they would have bought the company, and I don't think they'll really mess with the divisions that are making money. Also, I'm thinking the massive wave of doubloon purchases we're about to get will probably help their case.
[Apr 4, 2012 4:40:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Ice_devil

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Hey so who wants to win the lottery and invest all their money into OOO?



I was 1 number off from winning that big one.

Oh, and personally, I think the gold boxes (which for sure will trigger a rise in some prices due to dub buying) came to be because of this.
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Hellacious/Hellaciouss/Defunct/Hamsterz
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Plu tells ye, "screw you..Im interfering in every cade you ever contend&q
[Apr 5, 2012 6:42:35 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Oineedatan

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Could it be possible SEGA is requiring that ooo's games turn x dollars profit a quarter? The new gold box deal sure looks like that to me.
(Speculation based on 0 knowledge of how businesses and corporations are run)
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oineedatan.viridian.
ts.viridian.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Oineedatan at Apr 6, 2012 1:32:27 AM]
[Apr 6, 2012 1:25:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lotsofgoats

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Someone on the Internet wrote: 
I told you so!

They'll care one of these days, little buddy. They will.
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I am Lotsofgoats and I approve this message.
[Apr 9, 2012 3:56:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Morgarth

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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The whole gold box thing is merely following every MMO out there.

This is the equivalent to the Spiral Knight Lockbox, whatever the heck DCUO (DC universe on-line) is calling their "box" or several other on-line games are doing.

The trend is to sell a "box" worth anywhere between 0.50 - $2.50 real "world" dollars via a lottery system to get some in-game goody.

Welcome (or re-welcome) to the wonderful world of MMO micropayments.

Jacobey
(retired)
[Apr 9, 2012 11:51:33 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roleni

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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Someone on the Internet wrote: 
I told you so!

They'll care one of these days, little buddy. They will.

They will? Is this another time for me to link to my "called it" moment about distillery?! :P

 
So OOO, remember back when I tried to warn you folks about giving up your independent studio status? You wouldn't have to sweat it now if you had listened...

Heh, well, you're asking OOO to behave like CCP - who does things differently (and IMHO, better) than just about anybody else in the video game business. While I think that YPP could have been a far better game, and still has room for improvement, to be honest...it's pretty impressive it's still around even NOW.
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Thalatta & others

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[Apr 12, 2012 10:00:06 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barrelmonkey

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Re: Sega reports large losses for previous year - planning layoffs Reply to this Post
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CCP in that link was similar to Three Rings circa the release of Whirled. CCP decided to focus back on their flagship game and see how long they can ride it out. Three Rings decided to focus on highly distributable games with guaranteed promotion. Spiral Knights has been a massive success between Sega helping to promote it, and some heavy Steam promotion. Doctor Who is still sorta half-beta, barely released, so they haven't worked on promotion yet, but that's going to be a really easy game to promote. They're going to get a lot of people who find the game naturally by looking at Doctor Who stuff on the internet, and those are by far the most valuable players. Honestly I don't see how the Doctor Who game could fail, unless they run into unfixable technical issues.

Puzzle Pirates and Eve Online were both smash hit successes, and both companies learned that trying to repeat that success doesn't work. They went different directions with the lesson they learned and I suppose we'll just have to see who found the better solution, but I find it's always safest to bet on the Doctor.
[Apr 12, 2012 11:53:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Hillsmen

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The fact anybody can play Eve online amazes me. It is like running a second absolutely terrible job.

I almost find it funny to look at almost every video game out there and players complaining about it because they always say the exact same thing. Why do you guys do this? Your just in it for the money...video games never used to be just about the money. Pretty funny for people to say because it has always been about the money, and the fact people play more video games than ever now just speaks to why they should try to make more money.
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Captainrich
[Apr 13, 2012 7:23:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aethera21

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I wonder if Three Rings considered going to Kickstarter for any of their stuff. A lot of indie game companies, some well known (like Double Fine) have found success there. I think the Doctor Who game would have been the perfect candidate.

Of course, Sega bought them, so it's too late now, I'd imagine. Too bad.
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[Apr 14, 2012 10:49:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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