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Old 01-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
Rokko
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Default The future of Submarine simulations

Hi Folks,
first: I am not the type of hardcore subsimer like many people around here, I just get an urge every few years to get into it again and sink some ships using a bit of geometry or dive away from planes etc.
But still I always enjoyed this simulation genre. But what is the future of it?
I sincerely hope it is NOT going to be Silent Hunter Online, but after Silent Hunter 5 which probably was a total failure sales-wise, this seems to be a dying genre, unless you consider sticking to modded Silent Hunter 3 to 5, which admittely are still becoming better with very dedicated people actually patching these games using extremely difficult and pretty ineffective techniques (which is really astounding and great!)
In the last years it seemed that the simulation genre itself was becoming extinct (looking at the death of Microsoft Flight Simulator for example), but now it looks like a few companies have found themselves a niché in which they can produce high quality simulations that are actually profitable and thus sustainable.
Battlefront's Combat Mission series or 777 Studio's Rise Of Flight come to mind.
Couldn't something like that be possible for (WW2) Subsims as well? What are the developers of Silent Hunter 3-5 doing at the moment? I think it was Ubisoft Romania, any chance they might become independent and develop subsims themselves and publish them as well? That seems to be the only way it works today it seems to me, self-publishing that is.
Or maybe Ubisoft could sell the Silent Hunter franchise. Today I read about all the franchises that were sold to various publishers after the bankruptcy of THQ. I think SH would sell relatively cheaply so maybe another company could take it over from Ubisoft. The same thing happened with Rise of Flight and the new owners were pretty successfull in fixing this game up and generating profit with it. Unfortunately, that seems like an impropable scenario at the moment with Ubisoft still actively developing SHO, but maybe in a few years.

So what are your opinions on this? I have no clue how big the actual potential customer group for subsims is compared to flightsim (Rise of Flight/Il-2) or tactical combat sims (Combat Mission) but they're probably bigger, although I believe all Silent Hunter games managed to generate some interest from mainstream customers. Do you think a business like I described would be possible? Could the Franchise be taken over by some other company? What other possibilities are there on the horizon?
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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If Silent Hunter was sold to another company, who actually tested their games, and released betas, I reckon that subsims would be stronger than ever.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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See? I think what is necessary for simulation gaming company (not including those crappy German "simulations" that get chucked out every few months)
is to have a realistic picture of how big the community is and adjust content (=development time involved) and pricing. Most hard core simulation gamers are willing to pay to more since they reckon that they will be much more involved with their favourite simulation than with your average 6-hour-singleplayer+crappy-multiplayer mainstream game.
And all these succesfull sims I've mentioned do it that way. I'd also include War in the East which sells for 80$ I think.
They also limit their sims content and sell extra content. Battlefront for instance sell their games at relatively high prices which also don't get much lower over time and now go more and more into selling extra content packages at also relatively high prices.
777 has taken a different approach with their Free2Play model where you pay pretty much for extra planes or maps or weapons. I can't say I like this much, but as long as it works and keeps the company alive and able to produce more high quality flight sims I'm totally fine with it.
Now with a new Silent Hunter (or maybe a revived version of SHV) it could be just like that. A submarine simulation going from 1939 to 1945 featuring every single (lets say German) boat and every theatre around the globe is probably unrealistic. But a well functioning TypVII simulation for which you can buy extra stuff like TypeII or TypeIX boats or more remote theatres or more "NPC" ships or planes could maybe work.
I at least would definately pay again for re-release of Silent Hunter 5 if it actually did all that the original promised (and was a bit more realistic in mission terms).
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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I would certainly like to see something along these lines. Ideally, a PTO sim. and am willing to pay more to get a better quality product.

I think if it was done right, it could be successful. Perhaps, not overnight, but over time. A good WWII subsim could set the table for expansions with surface naval sims, different theaters, randomized campaigns, etc. I believe people would be willing to pay more for a good product.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cybermat47 View Post
If Silent Hunter was sold to another company, who actually tested their games, and released betas, I reckon that subsims would be stronger than ever.
I say that if SHO does poorly enough, have Subsim start a Kickstarter campaign to buy the rights from Ubisoft and make SH6 ourselves.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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Wouldn't it be better to spend all the cash on development? I can't possibly imagine they'd sell the IP for cheap even if the games go poorly.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #7
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silent hunter as an IP isn't really worth much I'm afraid

There are no iconic characters, and there is no original story.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:02 AM   #8
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Neither does Homeworld, which is another beloved IP that so happens to be owned by Activision/Blizzard and so the chance of anyone buying it and making a new game is close to zero. Unfortunately these big corporations tend to hold on to stuff forever even if they have no plans to do anything with it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julhelm View Post
Neither does Homeworld, which is another beloved IP that so happens to be owned by Activision/Blizzard and so the chance of anyone buying it and making a new game is close to zero. Unfortunately these big corporations tend to hold on to stuff forever even if they have no plans to do anything with it.
I think you'll find that THQ owns it as it wasn't passed to Sega with its purchase of Relic.

Tbh I'm not sure I care too much about the SH brand, in some ways SHO would have benefited from not using it I think.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #10
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No Activison has it from buying up Sierra
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hinrich Schwab View Post
I say that if SHO does poorly enough, have Subsim start a Kickstarter campaign to buy the rights from Ubisoft and make SH6 ourselves.
A Kickstarter Subsim is really needed. I think it would really pay off for the devs and the players. I'd never thought I'd use this silly frase, but: I would throw money at my screen
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #12
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Subsims are dead.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilge_Rat View Post
Subsims are dead.
Bilge_Rat, I am very dissapoint

We should just make our own!
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilge_Rat View Post
Subsims are dead.
I think they are only "dead" because publishers don't want to make fund/them any more due to the risk/reward ratio... it's much easier to churn out an FPS/RTS or cute puppy game.

The market for subsims is still there. Most of the SH series achieved sales of around 300,000 which was considered a healthy number for a simulation game and sims have traditionally have had a longer shelf life than most other genre games. Ubi have developed SHO as a free to play primarily because they see the PC as being riddled with piracy, their CEO Yves Guillemot quoted a figure of 95%.

Ironically I believe in the case of SH5 it was their own "always on" anti piracy DRM scheme that negatively impacted on the sales which they may have wrongly attributed to piracy of the product resulting in a premature death of the dvd-rom series and the creation of Silent Hunter Online.
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Last edited by Sonarman; 01-30-2013 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:57 AM   #15
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There is another interesting project - WarThunder (http://www.warthunder.com). At this moment this game is focused to the planes, but at the future the developers plan to add fleet units.

Some core ideas which may suggest submarine simulation available in the future:
  • There are some modes, and one of them is a 'simulation' (FRB) with limited ammo, view, physics model where player should control some features to avoid self-destroying,
  • Long time missions (for human controlled planes is 1 hour), or not limited time mission against AI,
  • Destroyers are "a light warship designed mostly to fight against enemy submarines and aircraft",
Hope dies last?


No more detailed info at all.
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