MICROMANCERS

Page 5/7
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | | 6 | 7

By wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

wyrdwad's picture

16-03-2021, 06:22

I can't imagine piracy had much to do with it. For one thing, one of Micromancers' most popular MSX games, Children of the Night, is virtually un-pirateable to begin with, since it uses battery backup saving, which -- to my knowledge -- makes it impossible to properly emulate or play on a flash rom cartridge, as the game will simply freeze every time it attempts to read from or write to the battery backup.

But more importantly, piracy requires two things: a distributor with know-how to buy the game, rip the cartridge, and distribute it in public channels... and a willing audience to download that rip, play it, and spread it around.

I can't imagine there are many people who own an MSX and have the know-how and means to buy a cartridge game from an independently run website and rip it to a rom file who would also willfully and knowingly distribute the game to others. Like, this is a hobbyist community. Pirating old out-of-print games that you can barely get your hands on anymore and are no longer making anyone money? Sure. But pirating brand new games made by dedicated fans and sold for peanuts to a very small group of other dedicated fans? You'd have to have a real axe to grind with Micromancers to do something like that. Like, you'd have to be a very petty person with a real grudge.

And even if one were to assume that someone from Micromancers like, stole somebody's girlfriend, and that guy was now out for revenge... how many people are going to even be interested in downloading pirated Micromancers games? Not to slight their work, as they really are an excellent team who produce great games, but again... this is a hobbyist culture! We're not mainstream by any means. And I doubt most of the few of us who know about Micromancers would see a .rom file of Suite Macabre on some random pirate site and think, you know what? I'm not going to bother paying for this game that I clearly have the money to buy and an interest in supporting; instead, I'm just going to download it and play it, because I'm a cheap bastard! Wink

Piracy is a problem for AAA developers and mainstream, big-name game releases, but for tiny hobbyist projects like this, I'm willing to bet that if anyone DID pirate them, it was a dozen or fewer people, tops. Probably more like 3 or 4 people. It's not going to have been a widespread problem that would've led to the team disbanding.

-Tom

By ericb59

Paragon (1046)

ericb59's picture

16-03-2021, 07:26

You know, even free downloadable games like Unchusen Gamma and more can be sold on real cartridge.
Of course this has nothing to do with making money, it is clearly a hobby.
Piracy, therefore only matters to people who are in the business of making money. Was that the case with MICROMANCER?
I don't know.

By tfh

Prophet (2937)

tfh's picture

16-03-2021, 09:19

ericb59 wrote:

You know, even free downloadable games like Unchusen Gamma and more can be sold on real cartridge.
Of course this has nothing to do with making money, it is clearly a hobby.
Piracy, therefore only matters to people who are in the business of making money. Was that the case with MICROMANCER?
I don't know.

In it for the money? C'mon.. Seriously? Probably bringing around a newspaper has a better Euro/hour ratio then programming a game for MSX. Noone in their right mind is in it for "the money". It's always a hobby. And if you make some money from it, it can be a nice extra. Nothing more. I don't think anyone could make a living out of MSX.
As for the Micromancers situation: We can all guess about their real thoughts but that doesn't solve anything and only leads to unfounded conlusions. We don't know their exact reasons untill they make a statement, which we don't know if they will do so. They don't owe us anything. They have made some great games for the community to enjoy.

my 2 cents...

By Grauw

Ascended (10010)

Grauw's picture

16-03-2021, 10:37

I think a couple of thousand euros, when you sell 100-200 copies with a profit margin of around € 25, is nothing to sniff at. I personally would bother with a physical release both because it’s cool and it would net me some bonus bucks. Also many people see purchase as a form of paying respect, so pride also comes into the picture. And maybe on other systems the people copying stay low-key and aren’t attention-grabbing, insulting, raving rabid dogs.

Others may value these things differently, but I can imagine a combination of those factors being very demotivating, and then we arrive back at AxelStone’s comment: if you’re no longer having fun, you move on to something else.

By Daemos

Paragon (1951)

Daemos's picture

16-03-2021, 10:42

Bringing out games on msx adds a good amount of money in the pocket. You cannot make a living out of it but its definetly not a bad bonus if your game sells. Hence most releases are protected well and hence you do not pirate these games. All we need is people to be honest about it. We respect each other and not treat others badly because we don't like the fact they are doing well. We support each other by buying and not envy each other for getting that little extra. People that do stuff like what happened to micromancers do not understand these principles. I hope though that the ones that quit for a few of these snakes realise they punish the rest. Then on the other hand nobody is to blame. The pain ia real. One person can do a lot.

By gdx

Enlighted (4632)

gdx's picture

16-03-2021, 13:48

Grauw wrote:

I think a couple of thousand euros, when you sell 100-200 copies with a profit margin of around € 25, is nothing to sniff at.

In reality, it is much less because there is the material and electricity to pay. It is also not uncommon to have failed components and there are occasional loss of packages sent by post. And that's not counting the other costs and the time spent developing the games, making the cartridges and going to the post office for each packet. In addition, the cartridges are sold in several weeks or even several months. The inflow of money is only done little by little.

By tfh

Prophet (2937)

tfh's picture

16-03-2021, 13:59

Grauw wrote:

I think a couple of thousand euros, when you sell 100-200 copies with a profit margin of around € 25

So, 2500 - 5000 Euro's. And how much time would you need to invest to make that amount of money on an MSX Game? Including the time needed for the design & production of the artwork, boxes, cartridges, administration, etc?
I still doubt the money/hours ratio is still interesting enough "to be in it for the money". It's not a lucrative business case. If it were, we would see real commercial releases. It's just a nice hobby on which you can make some extra money. But you'll need they right motivation to do so. And only money wouldn't be it.

By Briqunullus

Champion (392)

Briqunullus's picture

16-03-2021, 15:11

Is piracy still a thing then? If it is, it's not out in the open like in ancient times. Of course there will be small groups of users sharing their purchases (and thus dilluting sales), but they don't put their rom dumps online in public. I think of MSX software like an honesty bar. If you want to have something, you'll just pay for it. I have been away from the scene for a long time and only recently I bought the first game in decades. I have dumped it so I can play it on an emulator. But that rom file won't leave my house. I would buy more games if they were released as digital versions. Just to show my support.

By syn

Prophet (2061)

syn's picture

16-03-2021, 15:15

2500-5000 for a hobby is very nice money

By santiontanon

Paragon (1436)

santiontanon's picture

16-03-2021, 16:16

2500-5000 is very exagerated btw Smile

From my experience margins are closer to the 10$ margin, leaving it at 1000-2000, and then these large productions like Micromancers' are a team job, so, assuming 4 people, we are talking about $250-$500 per game (which is the right amount in my experience).

Page 5/7
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | | 6 | 7