Why don't enough people like Metroid?

For discussing ideas and thoughts on the Metroid franchise in general.
The Illustrative Man

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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby The Illustrative Man » 12.13.16 11:21pm

I think it would be possible for them to sign Activision/Bungie for a new Metroid.
Dear lord, please NO. If you like their games all the more power to you, but no one at either company has the slightest clue what would make for a quality Metroid experience if their existing software portfolios are anything to go by. Unless they have some remarkable surprise talent and are allowed to go far off their otherwise firmly established rails then the best we could hope for is a bog standard FPS with competent gun play and a shite story, buried under a mountain of multiplayer DLC and microtransactions, all of which ignores the tenets of the franchise that help differentiate Metroid from that sort of dreck. There are plenty of other developers who could be a good potential match for Metroid, but Activision and the other major publishers are not among them.
Not really a huge fan, but the fact is they know how to make money, and a TON of it. If we want Metroid revived, that's what it needs. Money.

It might turn out terrible, it might turn out fairly decent; regardless it would provide a shot in the arm for future titles to be developed. At this point that's a risk I'd be willing to take.

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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby Zynux » 12.14.16 11:08pm

On pure market alone, anything EA/Dice would make probably would do better sales wise then Federation Force even if their take is a complete bastardization, as much as I hate to admit that.

I think Nostalgia alone can maybe make a true 2D-Metroidvania profitable again. It will need heavy advertising like Awakening but I think they could pull it off. It will never be gangbusters sales but I think you can sell the TRUE sequel of Fusion after so long.
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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby Apothem » 12.15.16 10:54am

I think Nostalgia alone can maybe make a true 2D-Metroidvania profitable again.
A "true 2D-Metroidvania" made more than 5.5 million dollars and hasn't even released yet. There's very clearly a hungry market for classic styled Metroidvania experiences, just as there has been for classic action platforming and classic 3D platforming. I have no doubt a classic style continuation of the metroid franchise would sell well, and Nintendo being Nintendo "well" isn't even a particularly large number. Other M was partly so disappointing for how expensive it must've been to make versus how poorly it sold, but most of Nintendo's projects are made on the cheap and thus have far more reasonable sales expectations. For the average Nintendo game a mere million units sold is cause for celebration while most of their contemporaries would view a million as an abject, often studio-closing failure.
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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby The Illustrative Man » 12.16.16 7:56am

I think Nostalgia alone can maybe make a true 2D-Metroidvania profitable again.
A "true 2D-Metroidvania" made more than 5.5 million dollars and hasn't even released yet. There's very clearly a hungry market for classic styled Metroidvania experiences, just as there has been for classic action platforming and classic 3D platforming. I have no doubt a classic style continuation of the metroid franchise would sell well, and Nintendo being Nintendo "well" isn't even a particularly large number. Other M was partly so disappointing for how expensive it must've been to make versus how poorly it sold, but most of Nintendo's projects are made on the cheap and thus have far more reasonable sales expectations. For the average Nintendo game a mere million units sold is cause for celebration while most of their contemporaries would view a million as an abject, often studio-closing failure.
5.5m would be peanuts compared to what a 2D Metroid would cost Nintendo to make. Assuming the average copy of Other M sold for $40, and Nintendo gets 70% of the sale price, Other M made them over 28 million. The problem is the cost of developing an up-to-par 2D sidescroller, especially within the art parameters Metroid requires, would probably be similar to developing a 3D game (since that's probably what they would do, asset-wise). Even if it costs HALF as much, 5.5 million doesn't even come close to covering it, and I doubt any non-mobile Metroid title will be developed much cheaper than Other M.

There is demand, but the cost of developing AA/AAA games these days has ballooned to absurdity. If we want Metroidvania games we're going to have to keep looking at indie devs, because they can build them a lot cheaper and therefore handle the lack of sales better... Not unlike my other favorite genre, RTS.

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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby Big Guy » 12.16.16 10:42am

You do realize the reason most new games are so expensive is because of inflated marketing budgets, highly detailed asset creation and often paying for symphonies or celebrities? With 2D Metroid they'd have to do the same amount of work an indie studio making a Metroidvania game would, but would have more manpower and experience than a team of 10 hobbyists with a Kickstarter.
You also seem to have ignored the fact that the $5.5 million mentioned are from a kickstarter that hasn't been released yet, with the only thing resembling brand recognition being that the director worked on the Castlevania games. We'd be talking about an official Metroid game with the full backing of Nintendo being released to the most (stupidly) loyal fanbase (Nintendo fans). Even if it only sold 300,000 units that would be around $12 million if it was priced as a 3DS game.
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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby The Illustrative Man » 12.16.16 12:44pm

You do realize the reason most new games are so expensive is because of inflated marketing budgets
This is what normally balloons budgets into hundreds of millions, yes (EG: MW3 was $200 million iirc). However in labor/assets alone most AA/AAA games are well into 8 figures.
We'd be talking about an official Metroid game with the full backing of Nintendo being released to the most (stupidly) loyal fanbase (Nintendo fans).
Yes, a small fan base that historically hasn't made Nintendo enough money for them to even bat an eye. Which means they'd have to market the title. Which goes back to the first quote.
but would have more manpower and experience than a team of 10 hobbyists with a Kickstarter.
Manpower, and especially experience, are VERY expensive. Assuming a dev team of 10 (very, very small), at an average salary of $80k, for a short cycle of 3 years, that's $2.4 MILLION in labor alone. A lot of pop-up indie devs also use "student" software licenses, which companies can't do. PLUS engine costs are completely different. Back when I was working with the CryEngine SDK rumor had it the full licensing cost for a publisher was 2 million per year. Now Nintendo is going to use an in-house engine, but that's going to cost just about as much. Over 3 years you're talking at least $4 million in software. Then of course there are a slew of other costs you have to factor in, and taxes.
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Even if it only sold 300,000 units that would be around $12 million if it was priced as a 3DS game
Average cut to the publisher/dev of a game is ~70% after retail/disks/distribution/etc. Most likely, the average purchase price of a game over the course of it's life will be ~$40. So 300,000 units would be closer to $8.4 million, which would pretty much be the break-even point in this hypothetical 10 person crew.


Now you'll note that most modern big-name 2D games are in fact 3D games with 2D game mechanics. This is because it's faster and easier (therefore cheaper) for them to do this. So what would likely end up happening is a team of Other M size that would develop Other M quality assets, and deploy them in a 2D environment. This means that development costs would likely be similar to Other M, which means that selling 1 million copies wouldn't be enough to justify it.


Alternatively, Nintendo could have them working on a new Mario Party, which requires less complicated assets (so cheaper), and would probably turn a 7-8 figure profit.

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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby Lolman » 01.02.17 2:01pm

@zurginator
it's never been profitable
Source? If Metroid wasn't profitable, then why would they have continued it in the first place? There is a reason why they stopped making Ice Climbers and Kid Icarus (until recently) but not Metroid. Metroid was the NES' third most famous game universe. That's why it got two sequels in a row.
A possible reason why no Metroid was on N64 may have been the weak sales of Super Metroid.
The entire Prime trilogy wanted very much to be an M-rated series, but Nintendo wanted to keep it kid-friendly.
Retro Studios was founded as an alliance between Nintendo and former Iguana Entertainment founder Jeff Spangenberg to create games for the upcoming Nintendo GameCube targeting an older demographic, in the same vein as Iguana Entertainment's successful Turok series for the Nintendo 64.
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Metroid would be a strong contender if they farmed it out to a Second or Third Party dev
That's exactly what happened. It seems Nintendo was so satisfied by Metroid Prime they bought Retro and green-lit 2 sequels and spin-offs...
a lot of older gamers passed on it because it wasn't mature enough
Is it less mature than any other popular FPS? Those don't have buckets of blood either.
Metroid doesn't need to be Alien gory. Of course Metroid isn't "realistic, dark and gritty", because it is a sci-fi taking place in strange alien worlds.
they know how to make money, and a TON of it
So does Nintendo... Mario Kart Wii outsold GTA 4 and New Super Mario Bros Wii outsold Modern Warfare 2, without the skyrocketing costs and with a price tag that held longer!
5.5m would be peanuts compared to what a 2D Metroid would cost Nintendo to make.
It was enough for Donkey Kong Country Returns and even the recent Kirby games.
the cost of developing an up-to-par 2D sidescroller, especially within the art parameters Metroid requires, would probably be similar to developing a 3D game
Let's use Mario as a comparison. Super Mario Bros (2D) sells more than the 3D Mario even though New Super Mario Bros clearly has an inferior budget.

They could also use sprites.
Now Nintendo is going to use an in-house engine, but that's going to cost just about as much.
Not really. Nintendo can re-use their engines and assets. For example, a 2D Metroid could be based on a modified version of a New Super Mario Bros engine (Metroid Fusion was based on Wario Land 4's engine for example).
development costs would likely be similar to Other M
No. Other M had hours of cutscenes with voice acting.
Nintendo could have them working on a new Mario Party
Indeed, but then what do they do? Another Mario Party, or another, until it becomes milking and doesn't sell anymore, harming the brand, or a Metroid for diversity, which is essential for a console?

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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby TobiMikami » 01.06.17 11:02pm

I know a lot of people who were around when the NES came out that hated Metroid and The Legend of Zelda. They wanted something painfully repetitive and bland, something Atari or arcade-esque, that simple one or two button control scheme with a simple-minded concept. I think that's why Mario took off over the others, it appealed to ignorance and stupidity, to quote Geico, it was so easy a caveman could play it. People who are ignorant or impatient thought it was a waste of their time to play a game that made them think or solve puzzles, or search for something, it was too much like..learning OH GOD FORBID. As a foil to Metroid, The Legend of Zelda had two titles for NES to Metroid's 1. Even if Zelda 2 is one of the worst titles in the franchise, back then, it was gold. The next title Metroid was to produce was Metroid II, which was in my opinion, a step backwards, while it created a new depth to the gameplay, it was in black and white. The original NES game was in 8-bit color, and then you make it in black and white. That's like Atari's version of Pac-Man, which, along side E.T. bombed so bad it's mostly responsible for trashing that entire company, and several notable examples of why the video game market bombed before NES. Then we got 1994's Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo. It was a good title, but in comparison, prior to its release for Legend of Zelda, we got Link to the Past, and in the same decade, Zelda released its first 3D title with Ocarina of Time, which is considered one of the best video games ever. Still prior to the next title, Metroid Prime, The Legend of Zelda got its SECOND 3D title with Majora's Mask. So FINALLY we get Metroid Prime, Metroid's first 3D title to Zelda's now 3 with Wind Waker. While each title had a second release for GameCube, Metroid's was shit in comparison. Prime 2 Echoes sucked in comparison to Prime, the graphics were considerably worse for being on the SAME platform with the SAME developer, while Twilight Princess had significantly better graphics than its fellow GameCube predecessor. Metroid came up with Fusion and Zero Mission for the handhelds, to Zelda's Minish Cap, but those titles are underwhelming compared to their console counterparts when it comes to consumer attention. Prime 3 was a redemption from Prime 2, but Metroid is still significantly behind the Zelda franchise, which countered Other M with Skyward Sword. Metroid tended to fill the crevacies with underwhelming titles that didn't fit the motive of the series, Pinball, Hunters, Federation Force, those aren't the kind of games we want, we want Super Metroid 2D style games, Prime style 3D games, hell, I'd take another Other M style game play if they cut out the 3 hours worth of dialogue and cinema. What's notably more appalling is that the Wii U has yet to release a true to its roots original title for either Metroid or Legend of Zelda. I buy the Nintendo console to play Metroid and Zelda, I have a 300 dollar system rotting in my basement that has rotted there for years because they've failed to make a title that I want. Wind Waker HD? I beat the original Wind Waker on GameCube close to two dozen times, I know the map like the back of my hand, same with Twilight Princess on the Wii. Yet Nintendo can shit out Mario titles like a Metroid Queen shits out Metroids, which brings me full circle to my original thought, my generation 18-25 is fucking ignorant, they don't want to play a video game that makes you think, hence Zelda's phasing out, and if they want to play an FPS, they go play Call of Duty or something, which I think is a stupid title in general. I like to shoot things, I like Metroid because it gives you different types of weapons and ammunition, the maps change, they're immersive. Hell, I remember when Call of Duty came out it was a war-time game, you were fighting in a war, now it's just a bunch of twelve year old British kids running around the same lackluster map yelling racial obscenities and "I PORKED YOUR MOM LAST NIGHT!" That's probably why I never bought a PlayStation or an XBOX, I hate those games, with the exception of Grand Theft Auto. I like Nintendo because I like puzzle solving action games, I like a game that gives off that action, but makes you think at the same time, rather than button mashing, sheer luck, and hand-eye coordination. Metroid was one of my favorite titles because in comparison to Mario, if I couldn't get past a difficult part, I could usually look around and find upgrades like Energy Tanks or Missiles to make that part easier, Mario is just like a Metroid hack that shoves a bunch of spikes and bullshit all over the place and calls it a "challenge." That's my thoughts on the situation, I feel like it's the best explanation I got.

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Re: Why don't enough people like Metroid?

Postby Lolman » 01.25.17 9:00pm

What kind of gamers the NES opponents you are talking about were? PC gamers?
Ironically, despite them calling the NES Atari-esque, there were also Atari elitists saying Nintendo ruined gaming (partly because of the, at the time, weird D-Pad that replaced the joy-stick, although there was the secondary controller NES Advantage for them).

How are Nintendo's 3 major game series repetitive and bland? They had big maps for their time, a ton of content, engrossing universes, with magical music.

The gameplay was not for idiots. You need wit to find the hidden secrets, and although they were made to be completable by children (except for Metroid), they could be challenging if you finished the game faster, in a different order, or without all items. You can speed-run Super Mario Bros as mini Mario. You can grind heart containers in Zelda by exploring everywhere or just head off to the final dungeons with only a sword, or not even this basic weapon.

"arcade-esque" is a good way to describe them. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, coined a law for such games:
The best games are easy to learn and difficult to master. They should reward the first quarter and the hundredth.
Mario took off over the others
...because it was a yet an excellently-crafted game, with the fine-tuned jump mechanic, in a yet unseen wonderland based on Alice in Wonderland mythos, with for the first time a blue sky and a background music, where you could travel Mushroom Kingdom, underground, underwater, in castles, and in the sky.
People who are ignorant or impatient thought it was a waste of their time to play a game that made them think or solve puzzles
Metroid makes you think and solve puzzles. There are many traps and hidden areas that are mind-blowing (fake lavas, fake bosses, dead ends, destructible blocks in weird places, ...), and the weapons give you different ways to deal with the environment, like the ice beam making you use frozen enemies as platforms.
Zelda 2 is one of the worst titles in the franchise
It is excellent. Was sold out back then, still holds its quality like the other Nintendo classics to this day.

Metroid 2 was not as good as Metroid, but since it was already pretty big for a Gameboy game, give it some slack.

The Metroid Prime Trilogy really holds up to the 3D Zelda games:
- Majora's Mask and Wind Waker are way inferior to Ocarina of Time and Twilight's Princess
- although Other M was the worst, Skyward Sword was pretty bad with its dull-as-hell motion control puzzles replacing the few action that remained, linearity, and so on
- The Wind Waker sequels on DS are as bad, if not worse, than Federation Force.

For the DS (not counting 3DS) Metroid Prime games, give them some slack as well, they were good spin-offs in a time where there were good mainline titles in the Prime games.
in comparison to Mario, if I couldn't get past a difficult part, I could usually look around and find upgrades
No, Mario does give you plenty of choice too, as you can avoid enemies using platforms, or try to find items in blocks, or even completely bypass worlds if you're smart enough to find the warp zones.
Mario is just like a Metroid hack that shoves a bunch of spikes and bullshit all over the place and calls it a "challenge."
No, those are Mario hacks. Mario level design is much more thoughtful than that. Also, if anything, Metroid is based on Mario, since Mario set the standard for platformers.

Everything else I didn't mention I agree with.
Like a new Prime or even Super Metroid-like game. Hell yeah! I strongly think it will be coming as soon as next year to Switch.


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