Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The next XXXX vs. XXXX game

Ever since X-Men vs. Street Fighter, the crossover versus battle games have gotten very popular. There’s Marvel vs. Capcom, Capcom vs. SNK and “Marvel: Rise of the Imperfects”, which is essentially Marvel vs. EA. I’m telling you what the next big one is. It’s “Kellogg’s vs. General Mills: Cereal Fight 2K6”. These breakfast cereal behemoths have been battling for your bowl real-estate for decades, but now they can duke it out in a virtual battle. Think about the great cast of characters. In Kellogg’s corner, there’s Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Dig’em Frog, Snap, Crackle and Pop. Fighting for General Mills are the Trix Rabbit, L. C. Leprechaun, the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, Count Chocula, Frankenberry and the viscious Boo Berry. As an unlockable, Quaker has added the ultimate character, the Quisp Alien into the mix. Think about all the great attacks. Tony the Tiger’s vicious battle roar can be combated by the Leprechaun’s magic charms. The Dig’em Frog can do a hop attack against the Trix Rabbit’s.... well, come to think of it, the Trix Rabbit just sucks. He can’t even get some cereal from a bunch of lousy kids. Sure he may be a master of disguise, (although he looks like a rabbit wearing clothes to me, but maybe the kids in the Kellogg’s universe are idiots) but he can’t even grab some cereal from mean and obnoxious kids. Well, there’s always a worst character in fighting games, it looks like we’ve found ours. Here’s a screenshot from the menu selection screen:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are basically retarded, aren't you?

9:25 PM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

Retarded? No. Visionary? Yes. You clearly aren't working in the games industry, so you may not understand how these things work. That or you have a hatred for breakfast cereals, hard to say.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Jubal_Harshaw said...

Though I live in the United Kingdom and am, therefore, unaware of these 'General Mills' characters of which you speak, even I can see the evident potential in your idea, Big G.

Firstly, demo-versions of the game can be given away free inside cereal packets. This is always a sure-fire way to get children to buy more cereal. It's a win-win situation for all involved, apart from the parents who will have to put up with the incessant nagging.

Mind you, their little devilspawn will probably nag them about something else, anyway, so it's not exactly a huge inconvenience.

And, as we all know, food-franchise tie-ins always make good games. Do you remember that McDonalds' McDonaldLand platform game? It rocked.

Personally, I'd love to see some fighting games based upon the colourful characters in UK adverts.

For instance:
The Pledge Pilot vs. The Mr. Muscle Man.

That irritating, bespectacled, singing idiot from the Halifax Building Society advert vs. The two large men in drag from the Bounty Kitchen Towel advert.

The Churchill Insurance Bulldog vs. The Andrex Toilet Tissue Puppy.

I think I might be on to a localised winner, here. Time to start making calls.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

That game would be hilarious. I know I'd probably play it.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous The bigger G said...

And do you know what company would be first to snap it up and would probably be best at making a hilariously goofy game like this work to its fullest potential?


Make it into an SSBM styled game with GM items instead of the standard bashers. Sony and Microsoft would just kill it. They would turn it either into some toddler game with no effort in it or some bloodbath not worth the mess of playing.

11:09 PM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

Bigger G -
Nintendo doesn't make licensed games. They just use their original characters, so they'd never buy it up. Honestly, I think we'd need to get people who work at General Mills and Kelloggs to do it so they can preserve the true characters of their characters.

-The BIG G

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Parry Aldon said...

"Nintendo doesn't make licensed games"

Excuse me?

Now there's NO POSSIBLE way that "I used to be a Nintendo programmer" bit is going to fly with me. You had a small chance before, but now you've just demonstrated how little you know about the company.

Nintendo makes liscenced games, not just exclusive ones, and they're not afraid to liscence to or from many producers simultaneously.

Namco got Link for Soulcalibur 2

Retro and several others let Nintendo use liscenced characters for their SSBM game.

And then there's Resident Evil, which was origonally a PS1 game.

Nintendo can and will use characters that have appeared elsewhere. They've done it a lot already.

Besides, most of the cereal box characters on there aren't seen anymore. I'm sure the companies wouldn't object to Nintendo renting them out in order to get a little cash back.

5:38 PM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

I don't think you understand much about the video game industry. Nintendo makes consoles. They develop games (called first party games). They also publish games.

Nintendo (first party and 3rd party) to my knowledge does NOT make licensed games. Just because licensed games appear on the GameCube platform, doesn't mean Nintendo "made" them. Resident Evil as per your example was made and published by Capcom who is free to make games for whatever platforms they want. (And they do make games for all three)

I've never worked for Nintendo. I've created games that were released Nintendo GameCube platform. They weren't published by Nintendo. That's all I claimed to do. So, you are clearly demonstrating how little you know about Nintendo AND the games industry.

Also, you further proved your ignorance since Retro had absolutely nothing to do with SSBM. Retro does not own any Metroid characters, nor do they own ANY characters at all. Nintendo bought Retro and told them to make a Metroid game. Metroid was created in Japan a long time before Retro existed. Nintendo owns all the characters in SSBM, so they didn't need to get permission from anyone.

Please get your facts straight before posting.

-The BIG G

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Parry Aldon said...

Okay, here's a fact.

Pop in a copy of Metroid Prime sometime.

What's the name of the producer that pops up?

Retro studios.

Also, Nintendo made Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Mario. When you play those games, the Nintendo logo is the only one to appear (with the exception of Donkey Kong, which used to be a combined effort between Nintendo and someone else)

12:18 PM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

Yes, Retro Studios developed it, but they were bought by Nintendo before they started working on it. Nintendo is free to use their IP as they see fit, and it makes a lot of sense to get a studio you own to work on your IP. The rest of the games besides DK (which were developed by Rare, which was partially owned by Nintendo) are developed in Japan by their own in house studios. So, they don't have fancy logos. Just because Rare developed DK games, doesn't mean they own the IP. Even if Retro were 2nd or 3rd party (meaning not owned by Nintendo) they still might not own the IP. Why don't you try reading the things I write? If you don't believe me, you can verify them on the internet. You might learn something rather than remaining blissfully ignorant. For example, if you go here and click on "company", it says "Retro Studios, founded in 1998, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company, Ltd." I'm really getting sick of explaining to you how the video game industry works because you stubbornly cling to falsehoods.

-The BIG G

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Parry Aldon said...

Okay then, spell it out if you're so smart. If you're going to hide behind "you just don't know what it is" then tell me.

Write out your exact definition, and I'll find a game that fits.

Think you can handle that, or are you just going to disssappear off of this blog like you did in the forum after that beating you got.

12:45 PM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

My exact definition would be a game published by Nintendo that uses characters that they didn't create. For example, if they made a game based on a movie.

FYI, I only go on those forums to bring traffic to my website. I don't actually read them because I don't really like all the ignorant fanboys bickering... Unfortunately, you have brought that to my blog. I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop responding to all your posts soon because you are rapidly becoming a huge waste of my time since I have to explain the basics of the games industry to you.

-The BIG G

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Parry Aldon said...

Nice excuse, but you're backing down after failing to come close to rebute anything I say.

If stupidity was a reason not to talk to someone, I wouldn't be talking to you right now, and I DEFINETLY wouldn't have responded to the first post you decided to spam us with.

If I were to write a detailed report comparing anything to anything else the same way you do, I could make it come out anyway I wanted to. If I wrote a comparison of the PS2 to a ballpoint pen, I could make the pen win. How? By doing the same thing you do, leaving out anything where the PS2 might win as a category (except for maybe two as a show of good faith) and twisting around the rest.

PS -

Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 3, GBC, 1999, published by Nintendo

Disney's Beauty and the Beast, GB, 1999, published by Nintendo

Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse, GCN, 2002, published by Nintendo

Disney's Magical Quest Starring Mickey and Minnie, GCN, 2002, published by Nintendo

Final Fantasy Series, published by Nintendo, origonally created by Sony (or one of it's producers)

Pokemon series (ick...) published by Nintendo

Goldeneye 007, published by Nintendo

Hamtaro (o_o?) published by Nintendo

I think you get the idea

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Parry Aldon said...


That big long thing there is a link for you to copy piece by piece into your brower and check my info. I could just stick it into a singly hyperlink, but you don't deserve that kind of luxury.

The point is I didn't challenge anything you said when I first commented at this post, yet it quickly turned into this violent debate. Why?

I said "Nintendo," and not in a negative way either. You jumped on it and attacked my post with a "fact" that wasn't even true in the first place. The "Fact" is that Nintendo makes liscenced games.

James Bond was a movie, they made that into a game. Then there's pokemon, hamtaro, and disney stuff, all origonally stuff only on TV, which Nintendo stuck into games.

Cereal Box characters are in roughly the same slot as a Pikachu, so the fact is that if any company were to do it AT ALL, it would be Nintendo.

Am I still too dumb, or are you going to try and bullshit your way out of this blunder too?

10:43 PM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

Nintendo owns Pokemon, so that is their IP. Square created Final Fantasy, so that was their IP. Fine, I forgot about some of the games Nintendo published. So, I was wrong there. Nintendo first party didn't develop any of them though. They just published them. I should have said developed. Can you find any that are developed by Nintendo, not just published?

-The BIG G

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Parry Aldon said...

You see this is why I told you to give me an exact definition; because I knew that if I didn't, you'd go and change it on me. Well you went and did it anyway.

It's true that Nintendo owns pokemon though. I thought that started out as the anime first, but I looked it up and it was the other way around... no wonder that show sucks so much, it was based on a game.

But yes, all games developed by Nintendo are their own creations. Still, when I found the list of games developed by Nintendo, I noticed SSBM was not on that list.

So therefore, it wouldn't be totally out of the question to assume one of Nintendo's TPP developed the game, and Nintendo published it, because that's what was done for SSB and SSBM

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Aldon-

IP is short for intellectual property. IP is a collection of assets (ideas, images, audio, text, graphics, video, dialog, scripts, etc.) that a company controls the rights to. They can then license the IP out to another company, grant the company rights to use the IP for a predefined set of purposes. The licensing contract will specify exactly what can be done with the IP.

In the video game industry, when they say a game is "licensed" or "IP", they are usually referring to whether or not the main subject of the game is created & owned by the developer or published, or whether it is licensed from someone else. For example, a game based on a movie would generally be considered a licensed property since it is created and owned by another group then the one developing it (even if, for instance, a movie company has a 'video game arm', such as Sony or Vivendi Unviersal). Games that are IP are generally created by the developers and owned by the publishers. In subsequent releases, they are still considered IP, even if it's developed by another developer (although some people might argue that it's now a 'licensed' game.) Most people, however, consider games IP if they started with a video game developer.

Another important point to consider is the difference between developers and publishers. Developers are companies that phyiscally create the game. They have the aritsts, programmers, etc. that actually creates the final content that goes onto each disc you play. The publisher is a group that is responsible for marketting and distributing a game. Generally, the also own IP (although some famous developers, such as ID software, also own IP.) There are two types of developers: internal and external. In the case of hardware manufacturers, these are called "1st party" and "3rd party". Internal developers are wholly owned subsiduaries of the publisher. They work for the same company as the publisher, even if it's not in the same physical location. External developers are indendent companies that do work for hire for publishers. Some external developers have close relationships with publisher (for instance, Insomniac has recently only done games for Sony), but are not actually owned by the publisher.

The publisher-developer model ALWAYS exists. There is not a single case where it does not. Some companies, particularly Japanese ones, do not advertise the developers, but there is still separate groups within the company doing developer and others dealing with publishing.

Now, hardware manufacturers (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) have three purposes: (1) manufacture and distribute the hardware, (2) publish games for their hardware, and (3) developer games for their hardware. When a publisher wants to publish a game, they first do a business analysis of publishing. Generally, they estimate how many units they are going to sell and can then estimate the estimated revenue for a game. If the revenue does not exceed the cost by a certain threshold, they generally have a few options: (1) decrease (or rarely increase) marketting revenue, which generally translates to increased sales or (2) cut the product. In some cases, a developer will create a game for one system and another hardware manufacturer will want it. If the publisher runs the numbers and it does not make sense to ship the product on that platform, the hardware manufacturer has several options: (1) not ship the product on that platform, (2) give financial incentives (i.e., cash up front or reduced royalty rates), or (3) publish the game themselves. Since it is in a hardware manufacturer's interest to have titles for their system, they will very often use #2 and #3 to entice publishers to produce products for their system. In the case of #3, a product might be "Nintendo published" or "Microsoft published" even though they actually had nothing to do with the original development of the product. It's purely an issue of getting more content for their platforms.

Now, a company like Nintendo has a lot of IP, but a limited number of internal developers. In some cases, they might contract a developer to develop a product for their systems using their IP. Since Nintendo owns their IP, they would monitor the use of their IP and have to approve the game at all stages (actually, this is usually the case in most publisher-developer contracts, regardless of whether they are using the publisher's IP.)

Now, (drum roll please), the conclusion. Does Nintendo create licensed properties? The answer is no, because creating implies developing. While Nintendo will license their IP out to others, I cannot think of a single case in recent years (Rare licensed Goldeneye back in the N64 days, but I'm not sure if they were owned by Nintendo then) where any Nintendo internal developer created an IP. Nintendo will occasionally publish licensed properties, but again, they are not developed by Nintendo, they are simply publishing it.

By the way, publishing is actually not that hard if the product is already finished, it just requires a lot of capital and good distribution networks. If a game is already done, it generally just requires a little bit of money to add the publisher's logos, clean up any issues, and ship it.

Now, can we please move on to a more reasonable conversation?

-A Game Developer

11:21 AM  

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