Portals Wars! Reflexive vs BFG vs PopCap vs ...?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jack Norton, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Jack Norton

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    Today when logging on my Reflexive gamecentersolution I got this message:
    ...so it's really Portals War time!! who will prevail? :D

    Jokes apart: it's bad for those devs that previously used to get their games on BFG and Reflexive, now they can't anymore. Also I think Reflexive will start to offer some kind of better publishing, or start developing lots of internal games (otherwise I don't understand how could compete with BFG).

    Luckily, since I don't use portals anymore, for me changes nothing. Selling directly is definitely the best long-time goal ;)
     
    #1 Jack Norton, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  2. Maupin

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    Yeah, that was a somewhat scary message.

    Coincidentally I had just finished rewriting the backend of Game Socks to allow for non-Reflexive games, so luckily I can add these Big Fish games back in through the BFG PNP program... but I definitely don't like seeing all these exclusive games everywhere.

    My idle and baseless conjecture: With Reflexive now under Amazon and presumably being transformed into a mega-portal slash Steam hybrid, Big Fish Games wants to build up their brand and customer base by holding more exclusive content.
     
  3. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    As indies, why do you care ?

    In fact, isn't the definition of indie that you shouldn't care a toss ?
     
  4. Jason Chong

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    ughh... why can't everyone just co-exist peacefully.

    This 'portal wars' is not good for indies.

    You can't undercut the portals for prices.

    In addition to that, with the current economic climate... this sort of portal war just makes things worse.

    Sad.
     
  5. Olivier

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    So BFG removes their titles for the Reflexive catalog. I guess the opposite will happen too.
     
  6. Jack Norton

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    I don't care indeed. But there are lot of people here that used to sell directly AND use portals. And others that were totally dependent on portals.
    Anyway seems like BFG will become the best place for HO/puzzle games, while Reflexive will be better for action/strategy titles (more "hardcore").

    Actually the one that will be more in trouble are the so called "aggregators", that used to be the best way to get your game in most portal possible.
     
  7. Jack Norton

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    I'm not so sure: after all BFG can offer the same Reflexive titles for $6.99 with gamepass, so all customers would still buy directly from BFG rather than pay the fullprice...;)
     
  8. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    This thread is confusing. Surely, BFG removed only their own IP from reflexive... So, I don't see why this would make a difference for the people selling their games on these portals. Actually, if the portals are at war, this could be only benefit to the devs... Each portal will have fewer games on it and portals will be willing to pay more for short exclusivity...

    JC
     
  9. Grey Alien

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    Depends what is mean by "titles", as Reflexive have only made a few games which they could remove from BFG and sell directly, but it won't affect BFG much - unless Reflexive has been the actual publisher for some more titles (does anyone know if they do that). BFG "titles" I presume would be their own IP titles + purchased IP, not sure if it would include anything they've been the publisher for (may well do) - this is probably quite a few titles including some very successful games.

    Yeah I wonder how it'll affect Oberon as they are an aggregator?

    Just read jcottier's post and agree that it should not affect indie devs wanting to put their games on both portals. Unless that issue crops up that was mentioned a while ago about if one portal runs an exclusive, the other portals won't take it at all afterwards...
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    Well as I see it, before you were getting money from BFG+Reflexive (independently if you gave the exclusive for first 1-3 months to BFG or not). Now, what it seems is that you go in one of the two, but not both. Should make some difference I think, especially now that Amazon bought Reflexive.
     
  11. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    I can't see why you think that? BFG is just not giving its IP to reflexive, the same thing happen with BFG and Real... and devs are still free to publish their games on both portals.

    JC
     
  12. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    What an extraordinary move.
     
  13. arcadetown

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    Get used to it. Nobody wants to play together anymore. BigFish is not on Oberon or Real. Real is not on Oberon or BigFish. IWin not on BigFish. Some refuse games if it's been an "exclusive" on another portal. Now everyone starting to play games with the likes of Arcadetown and Reflexive.

    So the big question for developers that use portals is how do I get my games on maximum # of portals and maximize my profits? Finding a good publisher that can get your games everywhere is getting a whole lot trickier.
     
  14. Jack Norton

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    Hm it's a bit confusing to me honestly. In the list for example there's Aveyond 1-2. I don't think Amanda sold the IPs to BFG ? still, based on the Reflexive message, they will be removed from Reflexive catalog...
     
  15. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I guess I just don't understand this whole portal thing. I would've thought that best thing developers could do was sell their own stuff, like was always meant to happen.

    I'm not at all anti-portal btw, much as I hate the term itself, it's just that I think "indepedent" people shouldn't care about them in the same way they don't care about EA either.

    I almost worked with one portal company who should remain nameless, but there was never any hint of indieness - it was a commercial developer about to work for a commercial publisher, like always. Only the delivery method is different.
     
  16. Maupin

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    Doesn't seem like the kind of thing Reflexive would do, but you never know. (As Jake said, that move would affect Big Fish Games much less than the removal of the Big Fish Games catalog affects Reflexive.) The Mac version of Reflexive's Big Kahuna Reef 2 was just released on Big Fish Games yesterday.
     
  17. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Ok, that's pretty weird...

    JC
     
  18. papillon

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    I obviously can't speak for her, but I believe she had some sort of publishing-relationship with BFG where *they* put her games on other portals and took a cut, as well as getting extra promotions on the BFG site.
     
  19. MerscomMan

    MerscomMan New Member

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    Working with a Publisher rather than a Publisher/Portal

    This post is obviously somewhat self serving, but it does show the benefits of working with a Publisher like Merscom rather than a Publisher/Portal. If we license or publish a game, we will usually get it on Big Fish, Reflexive (now Amazon), Real, iWin, etc (just look at games like Righteous Kill or Blood Ties). We don't compete with the channel, we have a complimentary relationship. Conversely, if you let a portal publish your game, they probably will not be able to get it on some or all of their competitors.

    Just something to keep in mind.
     
    #19 MerscomMan, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  20. SteveZ

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    Another thing to consider is if going exclusive in one portal (and locking in a good marketing return) can potentially serve the bottom line better than pushing out independently to most other portals (Imo, it's hard to get a game to ALL portals nowadays, unless you already have prior relationships).
     

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