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SoloZolo

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  1. No exclusive games makes complete sense if you believe no one at Infogrames thinks this will actually be a viable platform. Developing content for something destined to be extremely niche is just throwing good money after bad. Realistically speaking, this isn't going to push more than six digits and even 100,000 units is likely a tall order. You'd need a great attach rate to make native software financially viable. That's why they've put focus on the sandbox mode and game streaming. They provide games without committing to their own ecosystem. Yes, games sell hardware. But does Infogrames have the games that would? Do they have the money to make games that could? This is not a company releasing AAA blockbusters on the other consoles. Another janky RollerCoaster Tycoon isn't going to be a system seller.
  2. What would constitute a crash in today's gaming industry? 1983 was localized to the U.S. console business. Video games were still being played around the world and in the U.S. through other venues. The death of arcades did not crash the video game industry. Nor did the death of dedicated handheld consoles. Consumer habits change and there probably will be a time when dedicated gaming consoles are no longer a thing. That doesn't mean video games are going away, though. The industry has evolved and grown in many ways. If PS5 and Xbox Series X have low sales, there's a reason for it. If that's because people are sticking with their old hardware, Sony and Microsoft will try to make the new machines more attractive. If it's the price, they'll issue price drops. If people have migrated away from dedicated consoles, there's not much those two can do. That doesn't mean industry doom and gloom, though. A PS4 owner deciding to invest in a gaming PC over a PS5 only really impacts Sony's bottom line. A Xbox One player deciding to move to a streaming service over buying hardware ... not a realistic scenario right now. Maybe in 10 years. The point is that industry is so diversified now. Most games are multi-platform now. One branch falling off doesn't mean the tree's about to die. The "diminishing returns" argument is not new. The author of that article states that the last time there was a sizable improvement was when the PS1 and N64 were introduced 25 years ago. Yet the PS2 is the best selling console of all time. Video games and the machines that play them have been sold in mass quantities in the decades since. People upgrade smartphones all the time and most aren't doing things that would require the fastest processors and the highest resolution screens. The only thing that should concern fans is if people stop playing video games.
  3. If the 3D printer leaves any defects, be sure to create an exhaustive gallery detailing every minor imperfection. It's really useful info that the general public is desperate to know.
  4. I'm very aware that the advent of the industry was the wild west, with clones flooding the market. Outside of app stores, that behaviour is far less common in the commercial space now (though you will occasionally see indies get them onto digital console storefronts). At no point have I suggested this was something only Amico has done. In fact, I've literally said the opposite ("This is not specific to [Intellivison]") in this thread. I've even named far more recent examples. I never said this was a deal breaker, just that it was disappointing to see. This spiraled because I found out that it was more than just Amico's Great Value Bomberman.
  5. Limited releases on hardware discontinued decades ago is significantly different than this situation. Those are fan games and not commercial projects (even if they are sold) because the volume is so low.
  6. Here's an article on that lawsuit. There's always something with Infogrames.
  7. You should bold or edit down statements if you're only responding to part of it. That way it would be easier for people to understand what you're referring to. If Dynablaster is a well known franchise in Germany, it's because of the goodwill established by official Bomberman games released under that name. The sole documented case of anyone using that title independently of Hudson for commercial purposes was a free-to-play mobile game that hasn't hit 10k downloads on Android. Again, you've provided nothing to suggest otherwise. You're not making an official Bomberman game and releasing it under a different name. It's not a dead brand with the people behind it being MIA either. You're making a clone and by using that name, it comes across as if you're trying to pass it off as something official. I imagine that wasn't your intention, but that is how it looks to me. The company behind the phone game was undoubtedly trying to do that by calling out the Euro PC ports. Making a clone game disappointed me, but the branding is why I'm still arguing. Since you brought it up. I did a search on Google.de in German. Dynablaster gets 14,000 results. Bomberman? 594,000. (Hit the depressed "Tools" button to see those numbers) That's probably because outside of that brief period in the early '90s and the recent mobile game, Dynablaster was a nothing brand. Bomberman games have been sold under the original name since. I believe you've mixed up Steven with Michael. I haven't spoken with the former. Since you mentioned him, Michael said I was "biased" because I admitted to being a fan of the Bomberman (full disclosure, I'm also a fan of Astrobot) games. Imagine how much more biased I'd be if I was involved with the creation of the series? What if I owned it? I've never worked for Konami or its affiliates and obviously don't own the franchise, but if I did I'd probably behave differently. It's unlikely that I'd be willing to publicly say that Super Bomberman R looked unimpressive. I might even talk down any well established competitors, perhaps by criticizing their visual style and choice of name. 😉 It's great that you're upfront about who you are. If you weren't, you'd probably be violating some FTC regulation, which would give your YouTube BFFs a lot to talk about for a few days. However, it's impossible to separate "Tommy, the game fan" from "Tommy, the sales man" when Amico is the topic of discussion. Your account is branded, "Tommy Tallarico, CEO/President - Intellivision." You are representing Intellivision, whether you like it or not. You have a dedicated Q&A thread. You break out into unsolicited sales pitches. Your immediate response to criticism of a clone game is to say that person is "just here to cause problems." You're not just one of us when it comes to these thread. You're someone with a vested interest.
  8. Given the word count of my posts, I guess I'm making up for time spent as a lurker. Those were two different statements, neither of which are related or even controversial. I said Super Bomberman R sold a million copies, which according to the publisher, it did. I then used that to state the IP, cutesy anime visuals and all, "[c]learly has fans." I never said it was some mainstream blockbuster everyone's heard of. Just that it had an enduring audience. Whatever Astrobot has sold is irrelevant to that. I didn't say one was more popular than the other. Obviously, I do not believe literally "[n]o one bought [Astrobot]." If I did, I wouldn't be able to name the game myself. I was being hyperbolic to emphasize that it wasn't well known, so it was no surprise it wasn't brought up in the conversation. I made a guess that it hasn't sold significant numbers. It's a family-friendly platformer exclusive to PSVR with no link to a well established brand. Unless it's tied to nostalgia (Crash, Ratchet & Clank), PS4 isn't known to be a platform that moves tonnes of family software. Simultaneously released LEGO games, for example, have sold better on Switch despite the smaller userbase. I don't know if (or how heavily) Sony's been bundling Astrobot with PSVR hardware. If they have, the numbers are probably better than I expect. Could mirror the Knack situation, though. Sony stuffed the original with PS4 hardware when it was supply constrained, so a tonne of people who otherwise wouldn't have bought it got access. Very few returned for the sequel (Wiki article, though it uses reliable sources) ... but Astrobot is a much better game. I'm going to argue the argument soon, but I have to address the figures you're citing. You didn't link to anything, but all of it appears to be sourced from VGChartz. That website is notorious for sharing inaccurate information. The article I linked is over 10 years old but the situation hasn't changed. If anything, it's probably worse with the ever increasing prominence of digital storefronts and flash sales. That's my speculation. The console install base numbers likely aren't too off, as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony publicly share that data. However, there is no known official information regarding the sales of Astrobot (VGChartz has it at the 700k you quoted). That in and of itself is probably a sign it hasn't sold a tonne. The industry loves to brag about sales milestones. The attach rate argument you've made is something I disagree with. Unless it's a pack-in included with all hardware, no game hits 100% of users. It's not a valueless stat, but it removes the context of what makes something a success to chase the impossible. Super Bomberman R isn't a AAA game Konami invested hundreds of millions in. It selling 1 million copies is successful relative to whatever was spent to make it. If a mainline Grand Theft Auto game sold 2 million units in total (it wouldn't), Take 2 would consider it a disaster. Different investments, different expectations. If PSVR sold 1000 units and 900 of those buyers picked up Astrobot (just for the sake of the argument - both have obviously sold a lot more), that would be a 90% attach rate (extremely high). However, at the end of the day, the game still only sold 900 units, so if the budget wasn't tiny ... Expanding on that idea and things start to fall apart. If an established franchise like Bomberman could only push a million units on the well known platforms with big userbases, how is Dynablaster going to perform on Amico? According to Google, there were over 2 billion active daily Android users as of 2017. Dynablaster's 2016 mobile game is sitting at fewer than 10,000 installs on Google Play despite being a free game. Even assuming best case scenario with those download milestones (say it's at 9999) and using worst case for those old Android stats, the game reached just 0.0000049995% of users! (Before anyone replies, I know that is silly to point out. I do not expect Dynablaster to do that poorly compared to the amount of Amico players, or for the performance on mobile to really determine much beyond basic interest. I only did it to show how that's a questionable way to assess things.) All of that over a quip... I should've not made that statement because my post wouldn't have changed in any big way. I mean ... Fine, you were just agreeing with a description I wrote. I felt that was fair to say because previously you stated Dynablaster was "NOT a discarded regional name" and in that same breath asked if I believed only one property should exist in any genre ("should only be one 2D shooter game?"). To me, that sounds like you're presenting Dynablaster as a competitor to Bomberman. Prior to 2016, Dynablaster wasn't a competitor to Bomberman. It was what literal Bomberman games were called in Europe for a brief period of time. If Dynablaster isn't a discarded regional name nor a competitor to Bomberman, then what is it? It's not a new IP, because as you've just said, "it's a well known franchise" in Europe. My view of Dynablaster hasn't changed. It's a discarded regional name that was used for a handful of literal Bomberman games in the early '90s. Over 20 years later, an enterprising German software company acquired the U.S. and European trademarks to that title. Hudson (now part of Konami) let those expire because the Bomberman games were released in Europe under their original brand shortly after. Exploiting nostalgia for those Hudson titles, said German business releases a mobile game under the Dynablaster brand in 2016 while having no official ties to the earlier releases. It didn't make much of a splash. Despite insisting otherwise, you haven't actually shown me anything to the contrary. We've seen a few other companies do similar things with retro trademarks without owning any of the underlying IP or having any strong ties to it. I'm not staff on Atari Age. I'm not even a known member. It's not my place to say what should or shouldn't be posted. That decision is up to the individual and those in charge. I think it's clear I can handle people who disagree with things I've said. I take issue with the fact that I was labeled a troll for simply having mild criticism. Since you asked: With all due respect, it's difficult to have an independent discussion on a product when the person spearheading it is on this thread like a hawk. What is this conversation independent to? How is this any different than the Q&A thread where you do the same thing? It's great that you've been so open about the process and are willing to chat with everyone. I wish more companies were. Your passion shines through. It's helped build a community and deliver a lot more confidence in the Amico compared to the circuses surrounding other hardware. However, I think you get carried away (looking at the length of my posts, so do I) and pick battles you shouldn't fight. By all means, if I were in your shoes, I'd correct people who claimed Amico requires a subscription, is just a plug-&-play retro console, has no physical releases, etc. Genuine misinformation. I'm not sure I'd argue over a matter of opinion. I definitely wouldn't continue to say Dynablaster is something it isn't. Like I said, I'm a nobody on this site. What I think isn't worth much. Do what you see fit.
  9. You must know something no one on the internet has documented. The only things I've found with that name pre-2014 were official regional releases of Bomberman games. Even the Amiga, Atari ST, and PC releases were licensed ports of Hudson's TG-16 entry. That is not a competitor. That is literally Bomberman under a different name.
  10. Thanks for the sales pitch, though it does start to remind me of something (content warning, not rated E for everyone) ... I responded to someone who mentioned wanting a revival of Dynablaster. Unless they played that recent mobile game (which it sounds like they didn't because they spoke of it in a nostalgic way), they were referring to the Bomberman games that were released under that name in Europe. I was simply pointing out that Bomberman is still around and is available on hardware that I don't believe is entirely unrealistic to think someone posting on a dedicated video game forum (albeit a retro one) might have. I don't disagree that Super Bomberman R is lacking in visual flare. It's closer to the cheaper PS3/360 digital games than a physical title released years later should be. But it's modern Konami. They've stopped funding big budget games. It was also a Switch launch title using a licensed engine that wasn't commonplace in professional Japanese products at the time and likely wasn't entirely optimized for the hardware. Those excuses don't make the final product any better, though. A lot of critics felt it was undercooked and not a great value at its launch price. Doesn't negate the fact that it exists and isn't too expensive anymore. I might disagree about your game looking better, but it's not out yet so I won't make final judgments. The mobile dig isn't relevant to your conversation with me. I've never said any Amico game looks like something on a phone. That's reductive in an age where relatively recent AAA games get ported to those platforms and plenty of original titles boast high production values. I've compared them to XBLA games, which I don't think is off-base. The only time I've spoken about mobile is in response to things you've replied to me with and when I was talking about Dynablaster and that was only in the context of "this exists." The Amico project doesn't seem to share any assets with the 2016 mobile game. You're absolutely entitled to your opinion on Bomberman, just as I am with your company's products. I've never been employed by Konami or Hudson Soft, so I have no vested interest in changing your mind. I am a fan of the games, though. However, you don't have to be a fan of something to acknowledge that it works. The chibi Bomberman aesthetic has been used for 30 years now. It wasn't the original look for the character, it's the one that stuck. It's been part of countless games, inspired a handful of animated television series and was the impetus for a spinoff multimedia franchise. Super Bomberman R, the game you're criticizing, sold over a million copies. It clearly has fans. Compare this to the very well known European original Dynablaster franchise, which has had no consistent visual style throughout its storied release history and whose free-to-play mobile game hasn't even hit 10,000 downloads on Android years after launch.😉 Maybe this Bomberman game's aesthetic is more your thing. It was poorly received (both critically and commercially) though I don't remember if you and Victor played it for ROTR back in the day. Not that they're very similar, but I would've gone with Astrobot over those. No one bought that game, so I understand why it wasn't brought up. Thank you. I know I'm pouring more gasoline with this, but I do feel I should comment on this. This thread is supposed to be for independent thought, yet if you say anything remotely dissenting you will get into a war of words. Some might even accuse you of being a part of a coordinated hater squad. I wonder if the Sonic the Hedgehog movie would've been as successful as it's been if Paramount dismissed everyone saying this was horrifying as a YouTube troll. 🤔 I don't think my comments warranted such a response. I felt most of the games looked low end, which is an honest opinion I came to by watching the various gameplay videos. I said that given the circumstances, maybe I was expecting too much but acknowledged that there's still time to improve. The Bomberman nonsense is where I have been getting a little testy because clones don't impress me. I'm even less impressed that Tommy claimed it's some well known European competitor when it's not. It used to be what literal Bomberman games were called in Europe. For the record, I am not Ian, Pat or anyone associated with them. The mods can check the IP address on my posts (including the one that predates Amico's announcement) and see we're not even in the same country. They did not send me and I've never conversed with them, nor do I even follow their YouTube channel. This is a planet with billions of people on it. Not everyone is going to agree with you. My low activity on AA is really simple to explain: I'm a lurker. Most of the time I just read posts and don't even login. This is one of the few websites where Amico is regularly being discussed. Once there was a handful of games showcased, I felt like sharing my opinion. This isn't some crazy conspiracy and I'm not some troll.
  11. https://www.konami.com/games/bomberman/r/us/en/ Amazon.com has the PS4 version new for $10.
  12. The newer games have. The more detailed the visuals, the more detailed the belly dancing!
  13. Those games are usually free-to-play and available on devices people already own. The proposition is different once you're asking people to pay upfront and require them to buy specialized hardware. The most successful mobile games don't have low production values either. Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans/Clash Royale and the truckload of Japanese gacha games (Puzzles & Dragons, Fate/Grand Order, etc.) are all well crafted. They might not be what The Last of Us crowd wants, but they're polished experiences nonetheless. I think you're undervaluing the importance of presentation, but whatever. It's your company. Good to hear there is plenty of room for Astrosmash to improve. From my first post I acknowledged that everything we've seen was WIP. I've always expected improvement. I know the experience your team has, which is why my expectations seem to be not be met. This Bomberman stuff in particular ... The internet seems to have failed to document that because I've struggled to turn up any indication that Dynablaster existed as a brand independent to Bomberman until recently. A handful of games bore that name in Europe in the early '90s, all of which were regional releases of Hudson Soft produced Bomberman titles. Some seem to believe that name change was done to distance the franchise from then recent terrorist attacks. Whatever the case, the franchise went back to being known as Bomberman there shortly after. As far as I can tell, no one professionally used the Dynablaster name through the next 20+ years. It's possible some extremely obscure PC or mobile games have slipped through the cracks, but that would strongly indicate no one really cared. In 2014, a group of German homebrew developers released an unofficial free remake of Dynablaster, describing it as being a re-do of Hudson's 1991 work. The year prior, a German company called BBG Entertainment were granted the European and U.S. trademarks for "Dynablaster." In 2016, they released a free-to-play iOS and Android title by the same name. This is the only example I've found of that name being used commercially for something that wasn't a literal Bomberman game. However, BBG likes to pretend it's tied to Bomberman. In their promotional pieces for the mobile release, they claim "the legendary classic bomber is back" and directly link it to Hudson's games ("Having been a blockbuster on ...") despite not having any relation to Hudson Soft (or parent company Konami) at all. That's not misleading ... Whatever attachment people had to that name doesn't seem high. In the four years since its launch, the Android version only has ~5000 downloads. The Amico game doesn't seem based on BBG's mobile title. The biggest immediate visual difference between Bomberman and BBG's Dynblaster is that the latter uses humans for the player characters. The Amico release uses little robot dudes that sorta resemble some of the Bombers. It's certainly closer to them than BBG's earlier game at any rate. The first Bomberman game dates back to 1983. In the decades since, no similar game has rivaled its success. That doesn't mean no one ever will (multiple indies have tried to), but it does suggest this isn't a gameplay formula ripe enough to develop into a genre. People stopped calling every fighting game a Street Fighter II clone after enough successful competitors made it more. Same with Doom "clones." This is not specific to you. People gave Sony hell for making PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. People call every monster collection game a Pokemon rip-off. I own most of the Shantae games, so I'm interested. Given the newest ones have gotten T ratings, we're probably not going to see the series on Amico, though.
  14. Gaming is ultimately a hobby and if that's how you feel, then that's how you feel. I disagree because that restricts what developers can do. Some projects are going to be limited appeal and the developers are going to need a higher MSRP to make up for that. Other games have cash dedicated to licensed IPs, music, etc. and need a buffer to cover costs. Some games are just going to have larger ambitions. Most of your questions were about specific details regarding The Dragon Trap's development. I'm not privy to that info. Yes, both it and Monster Boy were created by small teams without the backing of any major publisher over a few years. The latter actually started life as a failed Kickstarter with a $150k goal. The effort put into both paid off. They were successful relative to what they are. Meanwhile, no one knows what this is. Worst off, it was just $5 less than The Dragon Trap at launch. I mentioned these three because I feel they strongly highlight what I'm talking about. When I say many of the games don't look great, that has nothing to do with the Amico's GPU. Wonder Boy Returns doesn't look as good as the other two because it has low production values. That was determined by the skill of the development team as well as the budget and schedule they had to work within. I believe in quality over quantity (nothing wrong with both) and I'm willing to wait and pay for things I believe are worthwhile. I fully understand that Amico's titles are low budget releases sold at cheap prices. I just don't know if that'll be worth buying new hardware for. I don't necessarily think my request is outlandish either. Most of Amico's library doesn't seem to be as large in scope compared to the Wonder Boy/Monster World games. It shouldn't take years to remake arcade games from the early '80s. I also don't think I'm alone with this view either. Tommy's YouTube BFFs had little nice to say about anything Amico. I'm not nearly as negative (I think Skiing looks fine, though some animations look stiff - plenty of time left to improve that) but I agree with them that Breakout is one of the best looking titles we've seen. Pong doesn't compare well. Night Stalker is far more aesthetically pleasing than Missile Command and Moon Patrol. Like I said in my first post, everything is WIP and things can change for the better.
  15. I'm very much aware of that and in my first post I address it. "Production values do not look high. Given the price point for the games, I guess I shouldn't really be surprised." I think it'll be a tough sell to get people to buy a new platform filled with games on that level. More people will see footage of a game than the amount that ever get to play it. Nintendo hardware has been low end for a long time, but the games they produce are usually very well crafted in all aspects.
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