Friday, March 30, 2007

OFFICIAL CALLING ALL CARS LAUNCH DATE

Hey guys, a few CAC updates:

#1- Geoff wrote today and told me the GAMEHEAD Calling All Cars! segment would air next week, not tonight as planned. He says they got crunched for time so guess who got bumped? Fuckers! :) Still, nice thing is, the segment will now air closer to the relase of the game which WILL PROBABLY BE...


#2- on APRIL 19TH! So about 20 days away. It's as official as things get in this realm. We plan on submitting to format next Friday and if all goes well, the 19th of April will be launch day.

People have expressed confusion as to why these smaller games keep getting pushed. Well I can't speak for any but a few but the thing with downloadable content is that we're still learning how to get our heads around having so few masters to answer to.

What do I mean?

Well, for a disc based product you have SOOOOOOO many people who MUST know the launch date and after a point of no return, that date can not slip.

You got the folks who manufacture the actual disc and manuals and you HAVE to have the gold master to them by a specific date or your game will not make you promised ship date. In downloadable games, those folks- for the most part- don't exist. You send the code off to the Playstation Network and when they are ready- once it's cleared everything- they just put it up. So we're not worrying about getting it to the factory on time anymore.

With disc product, you get paid- as a publisher and developer-by the brick and mortar retailers who buy your game. Best Buy orders 200,000 copies of GOD OF WAR II? They pay us for that. We get paid when a retailer buys the games from us, not when a consumer buys the games from the retailer. And we HAVE to have games out by end of key quarters in order to make sure we can make a certain amount of cash for that quarter which keeps stock holders happy or some such stuff I don't fully comprehend. But if- for example- we look at March 31st as the end of a quarter- and most do- then you best beleive that we need those games sent to the stores by that date or that quarter profit looks bad,bad,bad cause we didn't get paid for, for example, those 200k copies of GOWII from Best Buy. But in downloadable games, there's not really a retailer we need to get cash from. We sell directly to the gamer (yeah! so cool!) and right now, the games cost so little to make and we don't get the kind of sales volume we get- yet!- with download games so there's no big bottom line issue to worry about. So the pressure of hitting end of quarter is not so big with DL games. So that worry is gone.

Advertising is another master that disc based games must kowtow to. Game pubs may lots of cash to buy air time- well in advance- for game commercials as well as print ads in key months of magazines. If the money is spent already but the game is not ready to come out- and you don't have another ad to put in the place of the game that is running late- you've wasted the cash that was earmarked for you game...and often times, you can't get it back because the company has earmarked the rest of the cash for other games that ARE coming out on time. So you gotta be careful about slipping your sked if the company is spending dollars on the ads. But with DL games, there's not much advertising- yet anyway!. At the moment it's only PR and while it sucks to go to the press and say you are slipping, it doesn't cost anyone anything except maybe the fact that in the future, gamers will take a 'yeah, we'll beleive it when we see it' attitude with you and your team.

So the only master we really need to serve in all this- from a release date window- is the consumer. And because of this- and because the games don't cost that much which means adding a few more weeks onto the schedule is not even a blip on the financial radar of a big time publisher- we tend to ask for more time to make the games better. Sure, you can spend TOO long in the game making process, for sure. But the thing is, with games that take 6-10 months, you are often times JUST discovering your game play in like, month 7. So once you know your game, you want all the time you can get to refine and playtest and tune.

So that is what has happened with CALLING ALL CARS!

Miyamoto is well known for saying (paraphrasing): a great game is forgiven for being late, a bad game is a bad game forever.

And so we feel consumers will forget very quickly that a game has slipped the schedule if it's a great game. But a crap game will never be forgiven even if it comes out 10 weeks BEFORE the publisher promised it.

So I hope that clears things up. I feel as we do more games like this, we'll learn to hit the shipping bullseye more often. But this is new to us too. Remember, my last game took 3 years! 10 months is a heck of a switch!

Ok, wife's got cake downstairs. A friend from when she was a little girl is visiting and I wanna go chat a bit and fuck dude....CAKE!!!!

Have a great weekend ya'll; and don't forget GAMEHEAD next weekend!

And I THINK the first episode of BONUS ROUND I did this week airs this weekend on gametrailers.com. Or next weekend. But I think it's up...what, tomorrow?

And the ATTACK OF THE SHOW segment we did will air next friday night! Check it out!

See ya'll!

David

40 comments:

Eric said...

Cake is good.

CAC best be better :)

derrickgott007 said...

You break stuff down in such an awesome way...Thank you for the insights..

Oh I leaked the date to the Official Playstation Message Boards, becuase people have been asking and asking. Hope you don't mind. The demand for this game is at fever pitch, and I think the 19th will be Golden.

Glad you got some cake, I get cake too tomorrow, It' my birthday! Whoo Hoo! Bet you didnt get tattoos with your cake...lol

UnRealGamer said...

Dude whatsup,
I think its so cool that you explain what goes on in the video game industry. I love learning about the industry and what it takes to make a game, and you do a great job at explain it all.

Joel said...

WOO! APRIL 19 (also my best friends birthday... lol)

that was a very interesting article.. and although i had expected that delaying your game was of less negative consequence because of the nature of downloadable games, i hadnt realised just how it worked. so that was a very good read.

i DO think it downloadable games STILL need to be advertised. in fact, that might be one lesson you learn with CAC (in my guess)... i know all us online game-readers know all about calling all cars, but does the average consumer? i dunno.

also, its your first game, a few delays are TOTALLY understandable, especially because there was NEVER a set date that everyone had been waiting for...

and also, im all for you tweaking the shit out of this game.. i want it to be perfect. :p

glad you're almost done though.


how long do you think you'll take off in between projects? i'd really like to know the answer to that. :p

Arnaldo Licea said...

Yeah downloadable games like these are new territory for developers. I think its a whole new, uncharted, chunk of the game industry that will grow larger with every game released. I actually have a couple of ideas for small games like that...now I only need a dev team. :p

Mmmmm....cake. Damn now I want a piece!

-Arnaldo

da criminal said...

Joel,

we are taking maybe a week off tops, if that.


We are already started on the next game for the CAC team so it's full speed ahead. Be out in what, 12-13 months from now...around then!

David

Carlos said...

Thanks for the insight on some of the things publishers and developers have to worry about when it comes to a packaged game. Not to excuse crappy games out there, but I bet a few of them would've been better if there wasn't so much pressure to keep a deadline.

Then again, Superman Returns was allowed to be pushed back and it still left a lot to be desired, so...

Which reminds me. I read in either EGM or OPM a long time ago that you wanted to do an Iron Man game (GoW was already out), but I know it may not be so easy with Activision having the license to the character for videogames (they announced an Iron Man game which they later cancelled). Because of your desire to continue developing smaller games, are you no longer interested in making an Iron Man game, if given the chance?

Jutah_f8 said...

Hey Dave,

My manager brought into work a chocolate rum cake for a co-workers b-day, man was it good :oP

Thanks for the whole break down of "going gold" lol, very interesting stuff.

April 19th...SWEET! I will definitely have CAC displayed on our 60 inch SXRD in the store. I might even have some multiplayer battles so guests can check out the game... maybe even give out some PS swag for the winners. YeS!

I wanna see CAC hit a million downloads, that would be awesome!

OH DAVE! we switched our PSN for the store, instead of... I think it was PSXstore, it is NOW PSXSF... anyone else that wants to be friends with the PlayStation store, hit us up!

Later!

Oscar PSN Grouch

MOtorStorm RULES!

Jutah_f8 said...

HEY EVERYONE!

BONUS ROUND - EPISODE 4 TEASER is up @ gametrailers.com!

FULL EPISODE WILL GO UP SUNDAY!

"DAVID JAFFE UNLEASHED" LMAO IT'S GREAT!

Later,

OScar

Sadeq (aka EViD) said...

At last, the date is set.

And you are already working on another game. But why would it take 12-13 months? I though your sweet spot was around 9-10 months. Well, maybe you are not in production stage yet, right?

Anonymous said...

I just saw the Bonus round teaser from GameTrailers. Lots of f'cks(:

Alex said...

Sound's good, looking forward to CAC.

Also wanted to make you this, the ultimate ultra cast for God of War the movie + reasons:

I can see why you like Djimon Hounsou for Kratos, he's agile and a strong actor. But in retrospect, don't we want a brute force pumping out those athena blades? Djimon Hounsou is strong but not in the physical sense, he's intimidating but not in the physical sense, his acting power is what it is, he doesn't have the intimidating physical presence that Kratos has. Michael Jai White is the most perfect fit for this part. Not to mention, there is no one that has a better physique in hollywood in terms of actors than Michael Jai White, he has a bleeding 8 pac with a chest and bi-ceps Kratos dreams of having!

Although I don't know how well he can pull off a semi-british, overly-enthusiastic roar, type accent. Overall he's an amazing action actor, have you seen Spawn?

Kratos - Michael Jai White

With Athena, Kate Beckensale is a goddess in real life. So the transformation won't be hard for her, she was born for this role.

Athena - Kate Beckensale

As for Zeus, no one in the world can beat out Rade Serbedzija for this part. It's just a no-brainer if you know what he's capable of.

Zeus - Rade Serbedzija

Now for Ares. There is no one more suitable than Gerard Butler.

Ares - Gerard Butler.

I wish I could direct this but my resume doesn't deem me "credible" enough, although I might as well try a stab at a script because I'm obsessed with this story, being a maven of greek mythology, that is.

Peace, love, empathy.

- Alex.

Eric said...

Carlos, Sega has the rights to make Iron Man games right now as they are making the game based on the upcoming Iron Man movies...but, Jaffe, would you ever do an Iron Man game? That would be great...

Anonymous said...

thank god cause i fell asleep last night waitin. stayed up for like 30 hours and fell asleep waitin. and thanks for postin about other things was gettin annoyed lookin for it on gametrailers.com

R.Bunk said...

Can't wait for CAC. Keep up the good work. No talk of Twisted Metal for PS3?

Dutch DeGay said...

Dave,

Thanks for the insight in this post. That's what we come here for.

That's why that last post about antique shopping was bs. We need to hear more about the game process and what's up with GOW for PSP and GOW 3.

Dutch
www.thedigitalblast.com

Anonymous said...

hey Dutch,

I kind of enjoy when Dave takes a break from talking about games and shares with us the cool things he finds in his spare time.

"That's what WE come here for." sorry dude, but next time just speak for yourself.


Peace,

Oscar PSN Grouch

P.S. damn site wouldn't let me log into my Blogger account, wierd??

derrickgott007 said...

Dave, did you see this on Joystiq?? They called you a "Cubby" hahaha...they've got some weird man love thing going on between you and Geoff.


This is from Joystiq...

"The cubby Jaffe will finally have a lover's quarrel on camera with the twinkie Keighley and say, "$%@& you man, why do I have to be humble to you? I'll $%&@ you up your @$$!"

Hahahaha

Joel said...

ahh! thats awesome the CAC team is already on their next game.


although maybe your team needs a new name, considering the next game isnt going to be CAC.

(98 percent sure about that anyways)

Josh said...

I can't wait for CAC. It looks sweet. Kinda an arcady version of twisted metal almost.... I really need to get off the twisted metal dreams haha.

Cakes the shit.

Also, that Joystick thing did look funny. Thats one thing i really like about you David and i find refreshing. You're not afraid to give someone shit when shit is due. Even if that trailer thing was some kind of a joke.

Keep it up

gerald said...

Good stuff man! I'm excited for CAC and can't wait for it. Much props to you for taking the time to tell it like it is in the videogame industry. Most people only see the outside, but kats like you bring the real news on what really happens behind the scenes. Props to that. Me and my boys threw up a little review of GOW 2. I know you didn't direct the game, but your influence is still strong than a mutha' on that joint! We'll be doing a review as well on CAC as soon as it drops! Keep up the good work and even though alot of heads give you smack, your games pretty much do all the talking you'll need! Peace.

Sir-G

GOW 2

Truegameheadz

Sadeq (aka EViD) said...

Bonus Round Part 1 is out!

chanse said...

Hey David,

Is there anything you can tell us about this count down timer?

http://www.islandofrhodes.org/index.html

Thanks

YuffietheGreat said...

Thank you for publishing a wonderful product. I really enjoyed God of War and look forward to playing and writing a review for God of War II. You can check out my page for reviews if you like. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Just viewed your interview (Part 1) on Bonus Round. Ya gotta love it when someone is not afraid to tell it like it is...Kudos to you! I'm about 85% through with your God of War and preparing to begin part 2. I look forward to giving Calling all Cars a shot. Again, thanks for making the gaming industry as strong as it is

Loki said...

Hello David Jaffe!

I've been a fan of your games for years! I lost track of you after TM series...I saw this blog on gametrailers.com and I had to come post!

I watched my friend play through God Of War for the first time. I started thinking that this was where the entire industry needed to be. Sitting on this couch watching this game. This game that did what I always was saying the industry should do.

Go back to its roots of straightforward action games!!

What am I talking about? Well, games like:
-Contra
-Bubble Bobble
-Tmnt2: The Arcade Game
etc….

You know! Those good old games we all grew up on. Practically no story line! Very few cut scenes or cinematic movies. They were just fun to play plain and simple.

Thanks for bringing that back!

Oh and… I’d love to work with you for your next title(s) audio!

http://dmg.vgd.ca

Let me do some sample work for you!

Thanks Again,

Loki
Drew Grimshaw

NO FEAR said...

mmmmm....cake!

Neil said...

Looking forward to taking money from my virtual wallet and putting it into your IRL bank account.

Glenn said...

I can't wait!!!

Jack_Vykios said...

Jaffe,
Caught your first part of Bonus Round. Nice - you're still one of the most entertaining interviewees I've ever watched/listened to. You actually managed to get Geoff to start cussing.
Congrats!
I've never considered you arrogant, really. I never get the Jaffe-haters.

Out of sheer curiosity, does your pay vary from the success of the games (as in, you get royalties...I think), or do you get paid to make the game, and then that's it?
E.

Ramiro said...

Hey David, i'm looking forward to this game, looks really fun!

And by the way, i'm playing God of War 2 right now on my PS3 and i love it, good work :)

Giving us gamers a 2 disc set was a great idea, i like all those videos.

andrew said...

I can't wait for this game? I miss the days of offline multiplayer. Theres too much focus on online play nowdays, it seems offline gets shafted a lot.

I wonder what your next game will be like?

spanx75 said...

Hi Dave,

Is that a US date, or worldwide? Looking forward to this immensly and wondering how soon us in the UK can look forward to playing.

Cheers,
Steve

GabeParamo said...

Dear Mr. Jaffe,
I understand that this is not the most professional means of communication, but I needed some way to get in contact with you. I have a networking project for school and I was wondering if you would allow me to ask you a few questions about getting into the industry and the industry itself. I'm not going to ask you a bunch of questions on your blog, but if you're interested and have time you can email me at gabeparamo@gmail.com. I know people will probably spam this email but it's all worth it. You rock!
Sincerely,
Gabriel Paramo

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