Finished? Yes. Hello. Hello. Today there's money. Really? Yes, now there's money. Finally. Oh my god, so much money. MORE MONEY. That's definitely the topic, but that's what you picked. Because I somehow asked less than 100 people: AAA game productions are getting more and more expensive. Would you pay more for better graphics and technology in games or would you prefer to buy more indie games? And they said the following: Both. I appreciate both. AAAs don't always necessarily have these amazing graphics. If they have it, I always appreciate it and then it's just more expensive because of the new technology etc. You've got so many people by now – because we just talked about game credits – those scroll through longer than movie credits. Games have become extremely complex by now. I have to admit, and some people won't think that's great, but I would spend money on graphics. Lots of graphics, lots of graphics. If it looks amazing graphically that's great, of course, but I think the story and the content are still more important than the pure graphics. So maybe it has to be a combination of both.
I find it difficult to say that I want to pay more money for AAAs because they end up being better polished. At the end of the day, I'm someone who finds this focus on graphics rather annoying. I prefer cooler dialogues or content that surprises me in some way or overwhelms me, over a totally polished game. It always depends, but in the end, it's not the most important thing for me. I also love supporting indie games. I think, especially in the indie sector, people are more daring and try more things out and try out new ideas, etc. In my opinion indie games are still very much underestimated, because there are really a lot of powerful people with powerful ideas and a lot of great games that unfortunately don't make it onto the radar because another new Call of Duty comes out.
That's really a shame. And now you've made an episode out of this? Yes. Sure, with such a question the first answer is always – I want everything. Everything, bring it on. But these things are also expensive. They're expensive, yes. Imagine it's Christmas, exemplary for a birthday or something else. Then you can buy something or make a wish but you only have money for one thing. Now I've started silly. I'll finish the sentence. Then what do you spend your money on? The crux of the matter is that it's always predicted that in the future everything will be even more expensive, because the technology doesn't stop. Meaning all of these cutscenes and actors… AAAA productions of the devil. Millions are spent on producing just one game. Quality from death. It's so expensive. Production value from hell. The whole world would have to buy the game so that it was worth it.
Or you just make it more expensive. Yes. Then people say – but wait a minute. 100 euros for a game – I just made that up – is expensive. At FC Bayern Munich I would stand on the standing terrace for 7.50 euros. I don't pay more for it. Now she laughs. How so? What does that have to do with soccer now? Nothing at all. But that's the most expensive club in Germany and if I go there – okay, that's more expensive. But not the standing terrace. But not the standing terrace. There are different price categories. When it comes to computer games, it depends on which platform you buy it for. It's pretty similar. If you have a nice indie game and it costs 20 euros, then you can buy 5 indie games for these 100 euros. Maybe they are also worth it and you play all 5. And maybe it's also the case that you gambled away and spent 70 euros on a game that you don't enjoy. But the other 5 games were much better and I invested a lot more time in them. That's such a mini calculation. Now I almost said naive fallacy.
But that's also wrong. It's about entertainment. It's about what I enjoy. Sometimes I can't even assess that beforehand. So that means, I would like to spend money or support the people who make good games for me. What does that mean? It's subjective. Last time we said it's like with music. It's a very subjective thing and everyone has their own taste. The production values are important to me, not the story, the main thing is that it looks like real life. There are people who see it that way. Graphics, graphics, graphics. I rather think that the overall picture has to be right. Above all, it has to tell an exciting story. If something suggests that to me and it's an exciting story, then I'm happy to spend a few marks on it. But it already starts with advertising. Meaning if someone holds a mega poster in front of my nose, every two days or a banner passes by on the Internet and says, this is the next great hot shit, you have to buy this, and there has never been a game that looked so great…
And then if someone on the street asks me what the next hot shit is, I'll name that. Because I've seen the commercials so many times. Yes. That means that it works. People then wait for these things and get hyped. That's why this construct works in the first place so that so many people buy it. Although they may not even know beforehand whether it will be the next hot shit. Okay, but that's also fun. That's why you go to E3 or to Gamescom to check out new games and get inspiration. What's the next game I'm up for. A friend of mine, Tekki, always said, amusement park, movie park. That was the Warner Bros. Park in Bottrop? Where is that? Bottrop-Kirchhellen. Warner Bros and all that was there. Then Batman and Robin were running around there. And I also knew someone who played Robin back then. Then you walk around there and see Batman and Robin posing with kids, etc.
Then there are two categories of people. Some say – these students there. This idiot thinks he's Batman or what? The others say – look, that's Batman, let's take a picture. There are these two categories. That means you have to let yourself in for it. I took a photo with Batman back then. Me too. But you have to let yourself in for it. Meaning the magic has to spark.
If you go to the Moviepark you will see Batman. You don't think that they are some students who get 3.50 marks to squeeze into this suit and entertain people. But that's stupid. That’s disillusioning. This is exactly the same with computer games. There are an awful lot of games in the category – I'd like to play that. But you have to find out which one. Which is really the good one now? So you have to do some research. You have to invest a few marks because you also want the latest game for the current platform you have, the current PC, Xbox, Playstation, Switch, etc. So it's suitable for your home entertainment. This game has the best graphics in this category. Then you start thinking about it. That sounds good. Without thinking about the fact that you might not like the game at all.
Then you first spend money on it, because it's awesome. But maybe you should do some research before spending any money. Then it starts again. Who is right? Who knows if I find a game awesome or not? Who knows if I want to spend the money or not? The buddy? There are buddies about whom I know – if he thinks that's cool, then I'll like that too. My buddy Tekki, for example.
If he thinks a game is good, I'll like it too. I know that. When he says I have to play that, then that's the way it is. But he doesn't play all the games. And I can't call him all the time either. Have you seen this and that? I don't have time, don't bug me. Right? Or can you? Now and then you can try it and then it works. As the only source, that's a bit thin. Yes. Especially with indie games I think it's really not easy. There you're very quick in the category – how do I search? We already made an episode about that. Right. And how much money am I willing to spend on something new, better, more awesome? If everyone follows suit… The thesis is – there's a market for everything. For indies as well as AAA. Everything has its right to exist. Now if games would really get more expensive and all 'mid-range cars' have to follow suit, because the production values have become more expensive, the personnel and everything has somehow become more expensive and then all games no longer cost 70 but 80 euros, then it starts to hurt.
Meaning if the three big titles that hit the market every few years and cost more than 100 million euros in production get a little more expensive, then I can ask myself: A) If there are millions of people who buy it anyway, does it even need that? And second: if all the others follow suit, is that justified? Then that's difficult because then it hurts people. Somewhere is the limit. Then it hurts in the pocket. On the other hand, there are also games that pretend to be cheap, but you spend hundreds of euros on them without noticing. In the best-case scenario, you get the game for free, and through these little things, loot boxes etc., which you can buy extra, the game costs 150 euros, if you sum it up. But it was fun.
How much do I spend on going to the cinema? How much time did I spend playing this game? Absolutely. So the game was worth the money after all. If you had to buy it for 150 euros and then you would have the complete package, nobody would buy that. So you have to calculate and look – what's it worth to me and how much am I ready to pay afterward? There's a reason why loot boxes have established themselves. Because people spend a lot more money on it than on a normal full-price title because they don't really notice it. It's like the canapés on a buffet. If it's all just small bites, you can always put one more in your mouth. Then you eat so many bites. That's why we like to go to conveyor belt sushi. The little plates are stacking up – but it wasn't much. I miss the conveyor belt sushi. Unfortunately, we can't do that. Hopefully, it will come back sometime this year.
That's interesting. Are these things getting more and more expensive? Are they getting bigger and bigger? In part, certainly yes. On the other hand, the technology, not just the hardware, but also the techniques to make things get better and better. Meaning the tools to animate things, to texturize, to illuminate, our engine is being improved more and more, our editors are always being improved, etc. We also always try to create a nicer picture and build in nicer, smoother mechanisms, etc. To make the whole thing more comfortable or that it looks nicer, that it appears as one piece, that these pauses for thought, that one sometimes has, go away and things like that. Sometimes they have nothing to do with a lot of money. They have to do with attending to something with passion and love and taking care of it, so that it somehow gets rounder and better. That means that a lot of the things we create are not that expensive at all if you take care of them. Other things are very, very expensive and may not even be of much value.
Trying out new techniques, etc. The overall picture has to be right. In general, one can say that the most expensive thing about a production is actually always the personnel. If you hire someone full-time to do a specific thing, then he must be able to live from it. Maybe he has a family or something and that has to be fair. Then that's quite simply the most expensive matter of the expense. As Gandalf says to Frodo: "You have to decide what to do with the time that is given to you." And then that's what it is.
That means you have your team and, of course, you can enlarge teams beyond recognition to 5000 people or so, but at some point some things cannot be scaled. If you pour mass on it if you pour the slurry tanker on it – of course, at some point, you will get more quality into the game. But is that good for the game? Does that really make sense? You have to look at that individually again. Then that's a question of taste again. The one who controls it or the one who says 'this is not good enough' For whom? For me. But maybe you are not important at all.
That's a question to which there is no objective opinion. That's also very difficult. You want to please as many people as possible. But they are all very different. One says 'I don't care about the graphics, the main thing is that it's fun.' What's fun for you? The one with the atmosphere. So what's the atmosphere? It has to be like… Bam. Yes… Like this and this game and this and this game, best together and somehow bam. And you don't play the game without bam? No, I don't play it without bam.
So what's the bam? Yes… Then it starts. What's quality? What do I really need the money for? How much time do I really have to invest? In what? That's the question that you have to ask yourself again and again as a team – what's worthwhile and what's not? Yes. Yes. Do you have a community question? Two. Two? Is that true? Yes. 'I would be interested if the games that you already released on the Playstation 4 benefit from the power of the Playstation 5?' The answer is – of course.
Better hardware, better result. Generally. By now you can even watch it on YouTube. I've already done it. That also applies to the PC. Better PC runs faster, runs better. Better frame rate. In this context the next question: 'What's the difference between a console and a devkit?' Yes… The devkit is open. You can adjust a lot of things there. It's made for someone who develops a game on the console. That means you can use various debug functions, as they are called.
You can see things like… what do you call that? You can do this profiling there. That means, for example, that you can see which operations that you have in your game… you place a character in the world and it looks around to see if the player is coming soon. The hero. And that costs computing time for the CPU. Then he takes a look and he's still not there. Then he looks again, etc. That's very flat. That's actually how it is. The characters stand in the world and just look and when he sees you – Ah there he is. But at what regular intervals does the program check whether he can see me or not? If I do that all the time – look, look, look, look – it costs time. And maybe he looks too often.
Maybe it's enough if – I'll have a look. Now I'll look again. Now I'll look again. Maybe just a fifth of that is enough to check. For example, if he looks into files. These are the computation times and that's what makes it slow and you can optimize that. But you don't see which function that I put into my game is the one that looks most often. Consumes the most computing power. You can see that beautifully on the devkit with various tools. For example. That tells you where your mistakes are etc. You can configure things and see what the best configuration is, etc. It's a programming tool if you will. The devkit – the developer kit. The normal console doesn't have any of that. It has a completely compiled thing and knows none of these functions.
It only executes. Meaning they have no function to look if it runs performant enough, etc. It just works. That's the difference. One is for the consumer and the other for those who put on the overall and actually tinker with it. Cool. That was the second question? That was the second. Well, that was fast. Then have fun and hopefully, you'll join us again here next week when it's time for Piranha Becken TV. Exactly, until then. Take care. Yes, complicated right? I couldn't have explained that. I probably didn't explain it properly either..