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What Might Have Been in PS2

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  • [IMAGES] What Might Have Been in PS2

    A post on the PS2 forums recently asked what happened to empire specific buggies that were featured last year. In response, Pikachu posted a whole range of content that was ultimately scrapped, put on hold, or never made it past the prototype stage from a variety of sources. There's some pretty interesting stuff in there that unfortunately never saw the light of day and I thought people might want to check it out:

  • #2
    Yeah, it would be nice if some of the low-hanging fruit from the archives there, might be dusted off..

    I kinda like the Artillery idea, perhaps that worked like the Ion Cannon with a targetting dart.


    • #3
      Yeah, it's stuff like that that finally broke my optimism for PS2 ever reaching it's potential. Despite the fact that I know from my own game dev experience just how much work is involved in this stuff and how much can go wrong from early prototype to polished release (and indeed, much of this stuff was likely cut for good reason), it feels absurd that so little has been done with the game over all this time. With some of the stuff that's leaked out about the years about the questionable management, lack of resources, and accumulated technical debt, I understand why it's happened this way, but it feels like a tragic waste of potential.

      The game desperately needs a fresh influx of resources and a new direction that combines some design ambition with PS2's technical ambition (PS2's game design has always struck me as incredibly conservative), but I'm not optimistic it will ever receive either.

      (edit) That's not to say that the game is stagnant; the base building is by any measure an enormous update, however imperfect, and we're seeing important quality of life and balance fixes on a regular basis along with occasional additions like the Rocklet launcher. The team they've got now is doing good work with the limited resources they have... but the game's potential has always been far, far grander than that.


      • #4
        I'm going to play devil's advocate here. This numbers are completely without concrete basis, but let's do a little math. The link to steamcharts shows about 4k players visible through steam (PlayStation 4 not included). As we know not all players use steam to launch the game. Using this 4k I will (optimistically) estimate that 25% are monthly premium members. This leaves 1,000 people who may also contribute $10 per month for cosmetics, etc. Assuming no bulk discount this is $25*1000, or $25,000 per month. Over a year this is only $300,000. Considering business expenses + salary for employees around 2-2.5 team members. Remember, Daybreak is headquartered in San Diego. Apartments near the office are in the range of $1,500/month and up.

        From a financial viewpoint I do not see how we are even getting any development or support other than "keep the lights on" from DBG. There are of course other games that DBG has, but considering what the numbers above show I do not see how DBG keeps investing in PS2.
        An ongoing analysis of Steam's player numbers, seeing what's been played the most.


        • #5
          The numbers aren't quite that dire. If they were, the lights would be turning off.

          If this is to be believed, the daily peak CCU is somewhere around 4000-5000, so the steam charts aren't that far off, but:

          For a free to play game the number of players over two weeks, based on the market research I've been doing on steam for a project of mine, is usually somewhere between 30-100 times the peak CCU for a given day. The numbers are super fuzzy because of inaccuracies and daily fluctuations in the Steam Spy charts, and I don't know what the ratio looks like for the monthly value; lets just call it 60x to keep it simple.

          So, that peak CCU of 4K could translate to something like 240K unique users per month. Planetside 2's ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is something like $2.86.

          That means Planetside 2's monthly take is something around $687K, which puts the yearly haul at $8.2 million. That doesn't count the ongoing server and bandwidth costs, and if I had to guess I'd say I've overestimated the unique monthly players a bit. But I don't think it's unreasonable to say that they might be able to afford a $2 million budget, which'd pay for a team of 10-20 people.

          That's all back of the napkin, of course, but I don't think those assumptions are too unreasonable.


          • #6
            The curious thing is, there is no game that has the unique features of PS2. If I was a unicorn, I would invest heavily in the company (buy it) and extend the number of environments -- beyond warfare and sci-fi into multiple fantasy and historical realms. There really is nothing that comes close to PS2.

            I think the product is under-resourced from an investment side and needs an angel to see its full realization.


            • #7
              Well John Smedley (Smed) the old SEO/Daybreak CEO now works with Amazon building MMO games... talk about an angel investor.. imagine Amazon $$ buying the Daybreak licenses/IP/games.

              And ya I could imaging taking the PS2 technology, (I guess they did use it for H1Z1 Zombie game du jour), but I could imagine the tech used for a "Samurai vs Knights vs Vikings" 3 way medieval war. Hmm. Isn't that new game called "For Honor" that is exactly that, just not MMO ;)




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