Days Gone director says buy games at full price, otherwise don't complain if they never get sequels

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The lead director and writer for Days Gone has some hot takes to share with the internet. John Garvin, who has since left Bend Studio following the release of Days Gone, appeared on a YouTube interview with fellow PlayStation game dev David Jaffe, known for his work directing the original God of War. The two spent over four hours discussing the games industry, the current direction of PlayStation, and other topics, with one such moment of which focused on Garvin's thoughts regarding the sales performance of Days Gone, and why it likely will not be getting a sequel any time soon.

He began his commentary (2:42:00 in the video) with, "I do have an opinion on something that your audience may find of interest, and it might piss some of them off. If you love a game, buy it at [expletive] full price", in response to people in the live stream chat who were expressing their love for the game, especially after having tried it on PlayStation 5, as part of the PS+ Collection. Garvin continued, stating, "I can't tell you how many times I've seen gamers say 'yeah I got that on sale, I got it through PS+, whatever", with Jaffe countered his point by asking how players would know they'd like a game before playing it, and Garvin replied by saying, "You don't, but don't complain if a game doesn't get a sequel if it wasn't supported at launch".

That exchange quickly found its way to social media infamy, as Twitter users criticized Garvin for telling gamers to buy titles at full price at launch in an industry where Cyberpunk 2077 was pulled from storefronts due to critical issues on release. He added to the debate with the following, "So, you do you. If you don't like a game? If it's buggy? If you listen to reviewers' opinions? If you think games cost too much? More power to you. Just don't buy it on sale a year later, discover you love it, then wonder why a sequel never got made".

Days Gone, which was originally a PlayStation 4 exclusive, released in 2019 to moderate and negative reviews, with critics finding the gameplay generic and dated. GBAtemp also reviewed the game at launch, and our consensus was mostly in line with the at-the-time Metacritic average of 70. It also had a rocky first few days, as the game had lots of bugs, to the point of Days Gone being patched on a daily basis for over a week, as it faced audio issues, console crashes, autosave problems, and other random glitches.

Shortly after that part of the interview (2:42:32), Garvin brings up having faced piracy, and its negative impacts on projects he'd worked on in the past. Here, he mentioned, "we were doing Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, we got so [expletive], because piracy was a thing, and Sony wasn't really caught up on what piracy was doing to sales", and "I was pissed about it then, I was like, this is money out of my pocket". He then ends the topic by claiming, "the uptick in engagement with the game isn't as important as, did you buy the game at full price? Because if you did, then that's supporting the developers directly".

Currently, Days Gone is on track for a Windows PC release next month, on May 18th. Has this interview impacted your thoughts on whether or not you'll be picking up the game--at full price--when it launches? And do you agree with Garvin's overall thoughts on supporting and buying games at launch, if only to support the developers?

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Robika

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Okay, so I did a quick google search. Eric Barone who made Stardew Valley alone, is worth 34 Million dollars. I just googled it it may be more or less. But his game is 15€ without a discount. I am not a huge fan of piracy but other reasons (it makes you appreciate games less and you are more likely to leave them unfinished since you have other stuff for free to move on to).

Days Gone is not a great game. I had a pirated PSX but, and it is a big but, I still bought original copies of games I loved, I have Digimon World 2003(3 in the USA), Crash 3, Crash Team Racing, GTA collection etc.

The problem is that AAA games stopped experimenting and they resort to a formula that "works" for like 10% of the audience the loud ones. They follow trends like OPEN WORLD, FPS, battle royale etc. This is where we see corporate executives play a part in an art form. While the indie scene is more free to be a more experimental way of making games. Indie games in general tend to bring more joy and entertainment ,with few exceptions, than AAA games.

Don't get me wrong there bad indie games, but those bad games are usually a rip off something that had success and it is trying to replicate that same experience but without the thought and care that the original game had. There less and less new AAA IPs, they are recycling old ones, rebooting sagas, remaking ps1/ps2 games and I like that, but something Horizon Zero Dawn should not be the only example of quality new AAA IP on a console generation.

They need to make games that they really want to make not a game someone from Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo financial team has approved, just because it checks out 7 out of 10 characteristics of an other successful game.

Summed up, I miss the ps1/N64 era of experimental games.
Sorry for the rant...
 

Issac

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If people buy it used, buy it on sales, play it on gamepasses and subscription services, and becomes fans... That's a good thing. Sure you didn't get your full $$ from the day-1 sales for all those people - but those people likely wouldn't have bought it at all if it weren't for the sales, gamepasses, etc.

But if they becomes fans, and want a sequel *after* actually playing the game? Well it's more likely those will actually buy it at the time of release.
 

VartioArtel

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This dumbass don't know what a CULT FOLLOWING is. The Legend of Heroes/Kiseki series for example is only as popular as it is in the west because of two steps of Cult following - the first being to even get it released on the PSP to start due to huge hype, and the 2nd being people clamoring for it for a PC release which is what even helped secure Sky SC and beyond as they KNEW there was an actual desire for the game series at that point.

Kiseki may still be an underdog because it doesn't get the advertising/attention that other series get, but it's still a series that's thriving in the Non-AAA markets.

A Cult following is far more reliable than simply asking people to buy full price.
 
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DavidinCT

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How about a game that does not require a 1 to 20gb update on day one ? It's amazing how many NEW games need HUGE updates on day one. Just think of how Nintendo this this on cart systems. Never had one of those where it was a game killer bug on a Nintendo or Sega, or NEC, or Neo-Geo, I could go on here... Full testing, and more testing, editing code and NOT releasing a game till it's done and bug free.

He was kind of dick how he said but, I get it, If you buy the game at full retail, they make money, they do not if you buy a used game.

Personally, unless it's an epic release, those I normally buy day one (or day 2 because I was busy) all others, 90% of the time, I wait a month or 2, find that $60 game for $25-35 used on eBay or local classified (Facebook, or other local places)

Make games that are worth it, and maybe I'll buy it at retail...
 

The Frenchman

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This reminds me fof when Telltale died, people were like; "But their games were doing great
!" Yeah when did you buy them at full price? Almost everybody got it on sale.

He is right.
 

AshuraZro

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Putting the discount and sales of games squarely on the consumer is ignorant at best and delusional at worst. I respect his right to say it but I certainly don't respect the opinion.

Sales and discounts, and research into them, have existed in retail products long before video games gained popularity. This isn't something with a very simple solution. I could just as easily turn around and say "Make a better video game that I want to buy at launch" and that'd be as fair of an argument. But let's be reasonable, just because I think I need a better video game to pay full price doesn't necessarily mean that is the answer. Maybe I don't even know what I want. Maybe what I'm really saying and don't know it is that I don't have the time to play everything anymore so I want to feel better about my choice of time investment. That may not be the same as the person next to me and I would never assume it is.

Next, mix in the fact that as a consumer, I know the product will be discounted as time goes on. How could that not influence a buying decision? Publishers know this and bank on it with multiplayer products and pre-order bonuses. If you don't get in day one, there's a very purposefully built in "fear of missing out" or being behind when you get to it. Hell, they will sell you bundles with season passes to DLC that hasn't been detailed or announce beyond they are accepting money for it already.

In addition, I also know that games are more and more buggy at launch these days. Waiting out some patches to ensure I have a more enjoyable time when I sit down isn't something to overlook. I finished Borderlands 3 last night and I'm glad I played it later on when it performed well on my system. Even still, it is a buggy video game to this day with voice clips cutting off, subtitles breaking, multiple missions breaking and more. That definitely made me feel better about not paying full price.

The rarest but most gross example is the bait and switch of patching in micro-transactions a month after launch. It is a tactic that is about as anti-consumer as it can get and it does happen. Activision outright loves it to a point I just don't trust anything they release at launch.

This is a complex scenario and can't be lumped on any one group entirely. I don't mind $80 (CAD) or even $90 so long as I get what I am expecting. A game with minimal bugs out the gate, no surprise DLC patched in, no heavy-handed attempt at creating FOMO and something that excites and interests me. No one other than me can define what that last part is and chances are I can't even do it because what I am interested in and what I want to spend my time on will always change.
 
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MagnesG

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Lol if anything, Sony or most of the AAA developers, in general, are to blame here.

Forcing the game out with bugs galore at launch even when they have the capital to delay them, relying too much on Metacritic score when journalists are braindead woke these days (Days Gone get cancelled worldwide due to it's traditional story), and the worst thing would be choosing TLOU Remake instead of Days Gone Sequel when the latter had more sales potential as a new solid IP that could be polished in the future.

It's so dumb investing millions of dollars on an IP only to scrap the whole thing due to meh reception, even when the thing still sells on average. All that potential is lost.
 

ClancyDaEnlightened

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From a dev pov, remember that you spend months if not years developing a game/engine, while I think the issues with bugs and quality is more of the console manufacturer pushing for sales, and giving strict deadlines to have a "functional" product/service


if you like a game support it, but don't be a hypocrite and two faced when there's problems and you never supported, played, purchased it, and gave it an unbiased chance
 
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It's the game industry that created this situation in the first place with bigger and bigger budgets, yeah the consumers at fault as well but we take what they give us if we were just starting PS3 graphics right now no one would know any different and think they're good. Maybe PS4 graphics would be more realistic, but they keep pushing the envelope on graphics as if they're the only thing that makes a game great (sadly many gamers do think this so they contribute) and games cost a ridiculous amount of money to make. You would never hear something like this from Insomniac though it's the dev that can barely survive in this climate that would say to buy the games at full price.

It's not a good situation though each gen we've seen good devs drop out because they can't afford to make games any more. And we get left with mostly either Triple A big budget games that make a ton of money or indy games that cost very little to make, the middle of those two is getting harder and harder to survive in.
 
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