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Web Games for Profit; How Much Interest?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tsphillips, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. tsphillips

    tsphillips

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Posts:
    359
    This topic has come up a few times -- The basic question is how much interest is there in folks making web games, particularly for profit? I'm curious how much interest there is from the developer community.

    Some specific questions are: Do you currently want to make web games for profit? Do you feel there is a lack of opportunity or no clear business model for Unity web games? If you don't plan on doing web games (particularly for profit), why not?

    Like I said, I'm just seeing what the dev community in general thinks about this. I'm not looking for ideas on how a business model might work, but rather taking the temperature regarding developer interest in web games, in general.
     
  2. zumwalt

    zumwalt

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Posts:
    2,287
    Look at pogo for instance or yahoo games or whatever. They give a freebee version of there game to play on the web with the ability to download a trial, if people want it, they buy it. This isn't really a question for the devs, but more for the average Joe really.

    Web games are spur of the moment purchases to tell you the truth. If I want to gain recognition for my game creation efforts and I don't have a huge budget or a team, a web game is simple enough and attracts attention to my site. Other than that, its nickle and dime technique.
     
  3. podperson

    podperson

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Posts:
    1,371
    I'm interested but there are a number of serious obstacles (at least for me).

    1) Most game developers are pretty hardcore game players. I certainly am. This makes them (me) relatively ill suited to developing casual games.

    To cite classic examples: EverQuest's release caused pretty much every game then in development to fall behind schedule. Blizzard hasn't been able to ship any non-WoW product since releasing WoW... three years ago.

    For a more personal example: my wife and I got a Wii less than two months ago. The Wii has been designed pretty much from the ground up as a casual gaming platform. My wife and I gruellingly completed everything in Rayman Raging Rabbids in about two weeks (we both have fairly demanding jobs and social lives, so figure that in). I've gotten my Mii's Wii Tennis ranking over 2100, and my left-handed Mii's Wii Tennis ranking over 1900. I'm just not cut out for casual gaming.

    2) The thing that makes games good is good gameplay. Good gameplay is really hard to do. (Good graphics are comparatively easy.) Call of Duty 3 (on the Wii) looks pretty nice and is totally unplayable. If you come up with some really good gameplay, it seems a shame not to throw some actual effort behind the rest of the game, and suddenly it's quite expensive to produce.

    3) The web gaming market is simultaneously a chaotic mess and yet has a bunch of fairly powerful players grabbing all the low-hanging fruit (e.g. shockwave, yahoo, aol).

    4) Competition is fierce. You can buy AAA PS2 titles that are six months old for $20 at Wal-mart. There are free (as in beer) MMORPGs (I messed around in a pretty amazing free 3d mmorpg written in Java; it bored me after ten minutes, but it would take a fairly spectacular effort to compete with it ... and it's free).

    I don't know about you, but I don't have that many great ideas for games. I maybe come up with five game ideas a week, of which 4.99 are (a) unoriginal, even for me (as in, even I have had them before), (b) too expensive for a joint venture of Sony, Nintendo, and General Electric to develop, (c) really quite brilliant and interesting, but not as a game, (d) stupid, and/or (e) just not worth doing.

    So I think I'd rather spend a bit of time developing one of my better ideas into a half-assed game, than ten of my not-so-good ideas into a one-twentieth-assed game :-/