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Private Division - new independent games label from Take-Two Interactive

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Infinitron, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Publishing Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky's project at Obsidian, among several others:



    http://ir.take2games.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=86428&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2322707

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/featu...es-new-publishing-label-private-division.aspx

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articl...-wants-to-empower-a-new-breed-of-indie-studio

     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  2. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    And some shareholder is so butthurt about this:





     
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  3. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    This guy is a fucking moron. You can criticize a lot of things about Take-Two, but it's great at making its shareholders money. The stock has more than doubled in the past year. It's gone from $12 to $109 in the last five years. If that makes him a "wannabe gaming CEO" I wonder what the real deal would look like. From a business perspective, Strauss Zelnick knows what he's doing. My guess is that this new studio is really more like a pilot program to test out potential takeover targets.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2017
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    IMO giving Ken Levine a blank check to do whatever he wants for years on end is a bigger offense to shareholders than this
     
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  5. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    Really? I thought Take-Two made a killing on Bioshock Infinite, so commercially he might deserve the benefit of the doubt (emphasis on commercially). Generally speaking, Take-Two has a much better design philosophy than EA or Activision-Blizzard or Ubisoft. They don’t try to milk their franchises with new titles every year or two, they take their sweet time and get it right (commercially speaking). Besides, even Levine would have trouble making a dent in TTWO’s earnings stream.

    That game informer piece has me very excited about Tim and Leonard’s Excellent Adventure. Also a good example of what TTWO does right, even if all their talk of games as a service is really obnoxious.
     
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  6. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    Citiation for Bioshock sales? Infinite sold 3.7 million copies in its first quarter, 6 million in its first year, and 11 million by May of 2015 (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.po...22/why-did-irrational-close-bioshock-infinite). Bioshock 1 & 2 combined had moved 14 million units by May 2015, so very good relative to the rest of the franchise. Not sure about pricing, but they likely weren’t marked down that much, especially not in that first quarter. Nowhere near GTA numbers (what is?) but still pretty damn good.

    Even if the totally unconfirmed reports that it cost $200 million between marketing and development, which Levine denies ($100 million on marketing might be credible, but $100 mil on development sounds pretty steep—that’s a material amount of money that TTWO would’ve had to break out in its earnings reports or conference calls. They were developing GTA 5 over roughly the same five years and I doubt they had the capital to blow on two $200 million games).... But let’s go with $200 million in costs.

    So let’s see: 3.7 million units were sold in the first quarter it was out—gotta be mostly full price. 3.7MM x $59.99 = $221 million. So they were in the black within a few months, assuming the $200 million number is even true. If the other 7.3 million units from the first two years were sold at half price (a conservative assumption), that’s another $218 million. So $439 mil in the first two years at a minimum. Can’t find sales figures for 2016 or 2017, but that’s all just gravy. And this is almost certainly a lowball number, one that doesn’t include any DLC. They owned Irrational so royalties are not an issue. That’s a lot of money for TTWO—a nice ~125% pretax return (at a minimum!) good even for a game that took five years to make.

    So yeah, Levine’s worth it. Also, presumably Take-Two now has him on a tighter leash—we know he has a much smaller team these days. Just being able to say the next game is from the creator of Bioshock could be worth 2 or 3 million units.

    Stauss Zelnick knows what he’s doing.
     
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  7. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    One suspects that given Take Two's wider revenue streams, this is a venture that they don't expect to become their primary cash cow or their sword to die on. They might calculate that it's a nice place to diversify on and build brand, Obsidian is probably the 'safest' bet to make in this area despite commercial debacles like Alpha Protocol out of the companies that are available for this kind of contracting, and if they're really lucky they land a half-Skyrim on one of these bets.
     
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  8. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    Yeah this is peanuts to them. Zelnick goes on CNBC whenever something meaningful happens and this did not rate a tv appearance. I agree that it’s a cheap way to maybe build a decent franchise or two, but since the developers get to keep the IP, I think that these deals are more like tryouts as they look for new studios to buy.
     
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  9. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Seems likely all of these games are being partly self-funded by their developers, so it's not like all the risk is on PD's side.
     
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  10. Morgoth Arcane

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    I'd actually love Obsidian's take on Bioshock.
     
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  11. passerby Learned

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    Distributors cut, platform fees, sales taxes, payment processing, etc. takes at least 40%, so multiply your result by 0,6 to get more accurate estimation of T2 income.
    It results in 30% profit in a span of 4-5 years ( half of production time and two years of sales )
     
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  12. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Indie games as a whole are no different than other entertainment media - from an investment perspective they are sustained by blockbuster hits. This is well suited for investing in a portfolio of games / developers and VC.
    We aren't talking about solo devs or mom-and-pop studios here as investment objects of PD.
     
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  13. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    TTWO's cost of goods sold for 2013 was exactly 40% of revenue, so that's good eyeballing. But that 40% counts development costs, although it doesn't count some marketing, so let's call it even since development and marketing tend to be roughly equal. (10Ks and 10Qs are here: http://ir.take2games.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=86428&p=quarterlyearnings)

    So, yeah, using the most negative assumptions, they got a very modest 6% annual return. But that presumes Infinite was the most expensive single player game of all time (until GTA 5 came out later that year), which is hard to believe, and that it had a bigger marketing budget than GTA 5--also hard to believe. My argument is that even if Infinite's development was a clusterfuck of earth shattering proportions, they still made money on it. If the 7.3 million units they moved between the end of the first quarter post release and May 2015 were only an average of 25% off--more realistic--then they made $328 million on that chunk, so we're talking around $550 million total by May 2015. Keep the absurd $200 million in development/marketing costs, subtract the 40%, TTWO gets a 105% return, or 21% annualized over five years--pretty good. I can't find numbers for DLC/season pass sales, but the DLC was much cheaper to make so that's presumably a good bit more.

    Use the original pricing estimates and assume it only cost $150 million to make and market, you get a 38% annualized return, which is excellent.

    Lowball it, they made money; use less conservative numbers, they made a lot of money.
     
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  14. Atlantico Unwanted Patron

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    Make the Codex Great Again!
    :keepmyjewgold:
     
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  15. Turjan Arcane

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    I have that game from when it was given away for free. i don't remember how long after the release that was (definitely not in the first quarter).
     
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  16. Infinitron I post news Patron

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  17. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    A couple more interviews from last month.

    "Take-Two’s Private Division: ‘Triple-I’ indie ambitions ‘eclipse crowdfunding’": http://www.mcvuk.com/articles/publishing/private-division-is-a-very-smart-move-for-take-two

    About the thing Feargus has been talked about Fig (and also Larian as a successful example of self-publishing developer):

    Distancing themselves from games-as-a-service:

    Origin of the name:


    "Why Grand Theft Auto giant Take-Two is getting into indie publishing with Private Division": http://www.pcgamesinsider.biz/inter...-into-indie-publishing-with-private-division/

     
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  18. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Private Division's QA team:



    Turns out, Patrice Desilets and his team was at E3 for some reason.



     
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  19. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    For a self-styled "independent" label, perhaps PAX West makes more sense than E3 as a venue to announce its games?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  20. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Still too big to do big announcements in PAX I think.
     
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  21. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    If it's open world TTWO might not want to announce until after Red Dead 2 comes out to avoid stepping on their own feet. I think that also roughly coincides with the last deadfire DLC.
     
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  22. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Not directly related to Private Division, but this interview shows one of motivations behind it: https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/2k-games-david-ismailer-1202852683/

     
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  23. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Private Division? More like Private Audition for being acquired, amirite?
     
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  24. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Weren't the sales numbers abysmal? They discounted it heavily quite shortly after release.
     
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  25. Outlander Custom Tags Are For Fags. Patron

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    I think sale numbers were quite good actually, it's just that the project's development was a total clusterfuck, so 2K needed over 8 million units sold just to break even :lol:
     
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