Originally Posted by darklordjames
"You're forgetting the time factor"
And you're forgetting that in software development, man hours and dollars are interchangeable. Everything outside of labor is a fixed cost. Labor hours, being the only variable cost, directly correlates to dollars spent.
Time equals money spent. It is not the separate measurement that you keep referring to it as.
Precisely my point. Which is why I said that Epic CEO Tim Sweeney is effectively contradicting your claim. He's saying (in a roundabout way) that smaller games have the potential to be more profitable than AAA games when looked at from the long view.
Originally Posted by jhoff80
How about just the fact it's the middle of the summer? AAA games just don't come out this time of year, though that's less of a rule the past few years.
Ordinarily, you'd be right. But this drought has been longer and more pronounced. Total retail releases are down nearly 25% for all of 2012 compared to 2011. And compared to 2008, we're down much more than that (35-40%). And I'm just talking numbers of titles being released, not sales figures (which are even worse).
Part of the issue is that it's summer, like you say. But part is also that we're now a year past the point where we'd ordinarily have seen a new console generation. And part is that the industry has massively shifted its priorities (digital and mobile). And part is that we're still in the midst of a global recession. Etc. Etc.
There are many reasons. But taken together, none of it is normal.