TSM Episode 369: Bloated Fortunes

Alas. If only there were some sort of proof to show that money does not equate to good game development...
There is no linear correlation between money invested and game development success.

Download: Released 2016.03.28

With Nintendo at variance with Nikkei over whether the Wii U will cease production in 2016, SiliconNooB and Lusipurr weigh in on the fate of an industry heavy-weight, and on lessons that the game developers should learn about focus and circumspection.


  1. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Lusipurr on the news of a baby to be! My wife and I had our first six months ago, and it is at once a weird, wonderful thing when you begin. I don’t miss the sleepless nights of newborn care – but exhaustion is a small price to pay when a new life looks upon you and you feel a bond with this tiny person. It must be experienced to be fully understood.

    I find it particularly appropriate, within the context of new life, and the legacy of gaming’s lost glory, that this week’s discussion turned to the golden era of video games. Our children will grow up in a world dominated by shallowness, and we must draw from the past to teach appreciation for something better.

    Limitation is one of the most important aspects of creation. Without it there is no clear direction. A small group with limited money can (and often does) produce a game that is better in virtually every respect than the bloated game studio ever could. The jump to “next-gen” consoles seemed to leave the previous decades of accumulated knowledge behind, and the pursuit of pretty, hollow games began in earnest. As long as they looked great, people would buy them. We were being asked to buy tech demos (sometimes literally).

    VR today is the same to me. It’s just the latest fad for a generation that only looks ahead to the next best thing, and appreciates nothing of substance. If we have to go back and replay SNES games (and not in the psudo-interested hipster way) to remember what thoughtful design and memorable gameplay was like; so be it. There are enough titles out there to satisfy many months of gameplay.

    It would be wonderful to love in a time when new, great things awaited; and maybe they do. But for now those of us who remember the past cling to those memories, rejecting the present indignantly. Are we simply showing our age? It seems each generation reaches this point; though in this case it seems so elementary. Quality is not appreciated as it once was. Marketability to the lowest common denominator is paramount.

    I fall into the mid-30s age group now, and though I was very late into gaming I still value SNES and PS1 above new systems – and not to make a statement of my hip-ness. I simply like great games. Some of these exist on modern systems; but very few in comparison to the previous consoles. I spend more time playing PS1 games on my PS3 than anything else. That is sad.

    Why this disconnect? I don’t know, but frustration – rejection of the status quo – breeds progress. Sometimes in the firm of revolution; sometimes in the form of quality independent game development. It is often helpful to take a step back; remember what brought you to this place. The business of gaming has corrupted it seemingly beyond repair. And we watch helplessly as things we love are ignored; or, far worse, exploited.

  2. @Seb: Thank you!

    It’s interesting how our conversation on the podcast turned out this way, because that certainly was not the plan. In fact, the topic stemmed from a series of tweets in the past week (which is often how I get ideas). So, for those people who use Twitter: what you say and the things you say to us are very much on my mind when we record the podcast!

  3. Great show. Congratulations on your upcoming baby. Like Sebastian, I also have a kid. She’s 2 years old and named Aika. Yeah, it’s cute, I know. Anyway, I could go on and on about how awesome she is so I better not get started.

    About kids and the games they like. Here in Japan I get to hear first-hand what hundreds of kids play. Without a doubt mobile games are the biggest followed by Minecraft. But there is still a big chunk of kids who play 3DS games and then a bit smaller chunk of people who play Wii and Wii U. Playstation and retro console gamers are in short supply. I have never once heard a kid say that they have an XBox. The games I constantly hear about in order of frequency are Monster Strike, Minecraft, Tsum Tsum, Some random Japan-only things, Monster Hunter, Mario Anything, Pokemon, Biohazard. . . Before Monster Strike, Puzzles and Dragons was all the rage and there was a surprisingly high number of kids who played it on 3DS. So that’s what I hear from Japanese elementary school children.

    I’m not looking forward to the hacked up FFVII release but I am very much looking forward to the “ULTIMATE SQUARE-ENIX HATE-RANT!” from Lusipurr. It shall be glorious.

  4. @Zoltan It will certainly be glorious – but in a heartbreaking way (if Lusipurr indeed swears of SE and the FF franchise forevermore).

  5. Great show as always. Congratulations on the newest addition to your family.

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