5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 9, 2013 11:04 AM by USarmyvet RSS

Zombies as a standalone game

USarmyvet

I was responding to a thread that got deleted...not sure why but since my post had little to do with the thread and more to do with a comment, I'll post it in a new topic.

 

wridtrvlr wrote:

 

I know there are a lot of hard feelings and hurt ones too on this forum, but I think most of you are fogetting that Zombies was a SIDE GAME for Call of Duty.  It was never meant to be the main focus of the game.  They will always focus more on the Campaign and MP aspect of their games, it is what it is. 

 

 

Some of you need to study economics and marketing.....maybe software design as well.

 

Many of the arguments made excusing Treyarch are devoid of any thought or logic.

 

First, Breaking off the zombies "Side Game" doesn't appear to hurt COD sales since MW3 seems to compete well without a "side game". So, let's play with the idea that it went to stand alone.

 

Lets assume that a measley 15% of the sales for B-Ops 2 was zombies only driven. Lets also assume that a measley 15% of MP also like zombies and would buy both. That's 30%

 

I don't have the total sales earnings for B-Ops2 but I do have the 2012 total....2.67 billion dollars.

 

30% of 2.67B is $800 million

 

85% of $2.67B $2.26B

 

Total is $3.06B....or an increase of almost $400 million just for the first 2 months of sales. Game makers drool over number like this. I'd pay $60 for the disc....I'd buy 4 DLC's even if it was only 2 maps per DLC (versus the MP standard 4).

 

Second, lets look at development costs. Since most of the diehard apologists have ranted ad nausem that zombies was moved to the MP engine....I'll assume that is the case. If so, that's not a burden is a time saveings. What that means is a good deal of the coding is done. A competing game publisher would need to bear 100% of the programing costs giving Activision/Treyarch an advantage in either gross profit or, if spent on development....a superior product.

 

One of my businesses is web development. I made a paid online directory for a specific industry in 2012. I never expected it to turn a profit. The return on investment was when I cloned (a good deal of the coding is done) the concept to other industries.

 

Based on logic and all the excuses, Zombies as a stand alone game would be LESS not MORE work.

 

Third, there are not very many examples of zombie only games to gauge success. However, I don't think there are any game publishers sitting in the position that Activison/Treyarch are. I think many would hack off their arm to have a cult following of loyal fans with credit cards in hand like they do.

 

In a recent interview, Valve’s Chet Faliszek threw out a rather impressive bit of info, saying the Left 4 Dead series has sold an incredible 12 million copies to date. It’s no surprise the franchise has been immensely successful, but 12 million is a lot, especially for a zombie game. “

 

These poor slobs had to code the game from scratch and earn their sales from a cold start. They are tickeled pink and working on a 3rd release.

 

Activision could own this niche if it wanted to....with little added expense for marketing (the community would go bananas...viral marketing dream).

 

In conclusion...it appears:

 

  1. Activision has an advantage in development costs
  2. The Zombie niche has a market
  3. Activision has an existing loyal customer base
  4. There is a potential to increase profits

 

The shareholders aught to be fuming!

 

Perhaps....just maybe, Treyarch needs Zombies? Maybe zombies is just a pawn in the chess game of competing with Infinity Ward. The sales figures seem to suggest this...the zombie only community loyalty seems to as well.

 

Maybe you are right....its a side game but not for the reasons you think. The side game is trying to hold their own in the market. This would explain why....against all logic, COD Zombies will never go stand alone.

 

Note: you can pick the numbers apart, I quickly googled them....however, nit picking aside, the point is still valid.

  • Re: Zombies as a standalone game
    iivrruummii

    Maybe in 2014...or later.  I think ATVI would have a different companry, other than Treyarch, make the game.

     

    Or you could just buy Left for Dead 3 when it comes out, which will be much better than COD Zombies.

  • Re: Zombies as a standalone game
    wridtrvlr

    Ahhhhhhh, you quoted me!!!!!   hahahahahaha,

     

    Good Post sir. 

  • Re: Zombies as a standalone game
    phxs72

    I have to tell you that I skimmed your post so my response may be a little off but feel free to correct me on the things that I misunderstood.

     

    Your opinion on the 30% end of things doesn't add up for me.  If 15% of the community buys BO2 just for the Zombies then that 15% will buy the Zombies only game.  That much we can agree upon but this purchase isn't additional revenue since these guys would be buying the game anyway.  If another 15% of the MP community also likes Zombies then some of them will buy the stand alone game for certain but likely not all 15% of them since not everybody has the money to spend on two games at once.  However, for simple math let's just say that all 15% of them do buy the stand alone game.  Now that is a 15% increase in sales but to achieve those sales you will need to offer a larger Zombies game than is currently offered.  No one is going to pay full price just to get 6 maps unless they are the diehard Zombie only fans and as I've previously stated they were already buying the game.  To increase the game size likely will require more staffing on the Zombies side of things and therefore will increase the overhead costs.  That's not to say that there might not still be more than enough revenue generation to make it a good idea but it probably won't be quite as profitable as you think that it would be.

     

    Now you have to consider if this side game could stand up to the competition from the many other Zombie only based games that are out there.  Perhaps it would but likely you will lose a good portion of the 15% just to the various other competing games.  I'm just spitballing here but it wouldn't surprise me if in the end you only saw an 8% increase in sales.  Again that may very well be enough to support it but that's a far cry away from your proposed 30%.  Based on your sales projections it would be about $213 million in sales.  I can't say that I have any idea how much money is required to bring a game like this to market.  Likely less than the $213 million but I don't know what it is.

    • Re: Zombies as a standalone game
      USarmyvet

      phxs72 wrote:

       

      I have to tell you that I skimmed your post so my response may be a little off but feel free to correct me on the things that I misunderstood.

       

      Your opinion on the 30% end of things doesn't add up for me.  If 15% of the community buys BO2 just for the Zombies then that 15% will buy the Zombies only game.  That much we can agree upon but this purchase isn't additional revenue since these guys would be buying the game anyway.  If another 15% of the MP community also likes Zombies then some of them will buy the stand alone game for certain but likely not all 15% of them since not everybody has the money to spend on two games at once. 

       

      These numbers were just a quick assessment based on what I've heard online in games and friends.

       

      Since we agree on the zombies only fans at 15% (which I think is low) let me address your second point. I backed out those 15% from the $2.67B to avoid the double counting. That dropped the sales to $2.26B for the hypothetical zombieless BO2. I then added a $800 million for the standalone based on getting 100% of the zombie only 15% as well as an additional 15% of dual fans (MP + Zombies). I think that might be low as well.

       

      These numbers however....are all based on COD internals. They don't account at all for any sales growth from non COD fans. To suggest it would be zero is implausable.....defining it would be impossible. This would be totally on the developers and publisher.....an issue of quality and marketing.

       

      IDK where you get the idea that the customer base would be cash strapped to buy two games. When I compare games on Xbox with various people....their shelf of games seems to be as stuffed as my 9 year old's. Again...this would be an issue of quality of the product. Sure....some might hesitate but if the reviews were stellar....the numbers I used would be a low. I can attest to the power of a begging child...

       

       

       

      phxs72 wrote:

       

      to achieve those sales you will need to offer a larger Zombies game than is currently offered.  No one is going to pay full price just to get 6 maps unless they are the diehard Zombie only fans and as I've previously stated they were already buying the game.

      I addressed that in 2 ways...Act/3arc have a leg up on labor....with some overlap on coding. That is a savings. There is also an increase in gross revenue so any added staff or expense would place them in an advantage versus a cold start competitor who would bear 100% of the costs.

       

      I also never suggested only 6 maps. I think 10 would be reasonable(2+ 2X4 DLC)...again, there is additional revenue and while $800+ million is not $2.2 billion.......10 maps is not 31 maps. About a third of the loot....about a third of the maps.

       

       

       

      phxs72 wrote:

       

      Now you have to consider if this side game could stand up to the competition from the many other Zombie only based games that are out there.  Perhaps it would but likely you will lose a good portion of the 15% just to the various other competing games.  I'm just spitballing here but it wouldn't surprise me if in the end you only saw an 8% increase in sales. 

       

      If that were the case....they'd be losing them now. I mean that is completely illogical. Why would zombie only fans that currently pay for a side game to a MP game already suddenly abandon it to a competing game when it goes stand alone? Perhaps it would be the reverse, maybe the other zombie games lose fans to the new standalone ....at worst it's a wash.

       

       

      phxs72 wrote:

       

      Based on your sales projections it would be about $213 million in sales.  I can't say that I have any idea how much money is required to bring a game like this to market.  Likely less than the $213 million but I don't know what it is.

       

      I think my numbers are pretty solid, $800M doesn't account for any sales outside of the COD community. If the internals are low....there should be external increases to match or exceed them.

       

      How is it possible for others to produce and market games, gross less and still turn a profit? I'm assuming Activision makes a profit with nearly 40 maps combining them. Why would they not be able to make 1/3rd of the maps for 1/3rd of the loot? Again...there are some redundancies between the two products....a savings.