Roundtable - October 12, 2003 - Part 3

Googleshng: Moving along to our final topic of the night, there's another means of releasing old games I believe we're all a bit more keen on. What does everyone think of the anthology trend?

Sean: Makes more sense than individual ports.

Brian: I think that's a much better idea than just porting.

Susan: Not a bad thing.

Susan: Pointless to release an individual port on a new console that can handle much better, when you can release two or three, maybe even fitting them onto one media bit. And the less CDs and carts lying around to get lost and or confused, the better.

Brian: You know, a Secret of Mana anthology would kick ass.

Sean: ... Secret of Mana and Secret of Mana and Secret of Mana?

Susan: Seiken Densetsu, II, III, IV... etc.

James: Everyone seems to think anthologies are great, but what's usually forgotten is that typically only 1 or 2 games included are worth playing anyhow.

Googleshng: Then there's the fact that most anthologies these days only have two games in them. FFO, Evolution Worlds...

Brian: I don't consider two games to be an "anthology." Anthology is kind of a grandiose term for a two-pack.

Googleshng: Tell that to Square, Brian.

Brian: Heh.

Googleshng: Please.

Paul: I think many of the anthologies are pretty huge efforts to undertake. Case in point, the Arc collection, which was augmented by the fact that those games had never been previously released in NA.

Brian: I think the Arc the Lad collection is probably the best anthology out there, despite the fact that they hardly changed anything.

Susan: Anthologies are better values for the consumer.

Googleshng: Well the main perk there was we got 2 great games bundled in with the current piece of garbage we'd otherwise have gotten.

Susan: And cheaper in terms of packaging, marketing, etc, than releasing games individually.

Brian: That's a good point, Susan. I hadn't thought of it that way.

Googleshng: I think that there's honestly a vast untapped market for companies to bundle old Japan-only titles for international release.

Brian: Googleshng, that's probably the best use for anthologies.

James: That's a whole other topic, though. Why aren't more games being localized like that?

Paul: I think more games are. Take a look at Disgaea. That game could have easily been passed over for an NA port.

Paul: Growlanser anyone?

Googleshng: The Dreamcast bundle of the Sakura Wars series is a prime example of something Sega really should have flung our way.

Brian: Why DIDN'T they fling the Sakura Wars bundle our way? I totally would have bought that.

Googleshng: Probably some silly misconception that American audiences don't WANT flirtation and steam powered mecha in a TRPG.

Brian: What a silly misconception.

James: I think a great anthology would be the entire Marl series (La Pucelle, Disgaea, Rhapsody). Sure, Rhapsody would be in there, but everyone needs a coaster, right?

Googleshng: Indeed.

Susan: So basically, anthologies are good.

Googleshng: Would it be fair incidently to sum up everyone's feelings like this? Porting old games to new systems ticks us off, unless we get 3 at a time?

Brian: You know, I find it interesting that there wasn't much enthusiasm behind the whole "remake" discussion, but everybody here has come up with an anthology they'd love to see.

Susan: Pretty much! Quantity can make up for quality!

Paul: Provided the companies take the time to make them. As good as the Arc collection was, it's not a product that you'll see on a very regular basis.

Susan: I'd rather get three half-assed ports than one half-assed port... but would rather get one really good remake than three half-assed ports, and would most likely like three good remakes about the same as a really good new game or two.

James: Again, anthologies are generally a good thing, unless they were sub-par games before they were bundled. Then you're essentially paying money for more doses of torture in one box...

Googleshng: Well to deflect any accusations of us being a bunch of cheapskates, I'll note that there's more appeal to an anthology as a museum piece. In any case though, does anyone have any final thoughts on anything we've discussed tonight?

Paul: I'm a cheapskate, but with reason. There are a lot of horrible games out there.

Susan: It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

Brian: Benjamins are hard to come by.

Susan: However, anthologies are a better deal all around, in terms of marketing costs, packaging costs, prices for media, and final cost to the consumer.

James: There's a thin line between "Cheapskate" and "Smart". A cheapskate doesn't have a reason to be cheap. Well, an intelligent one, anyway.

Googleshng: I'd like to thank all our guests for being here tonight. Join us again next week when we discuss three more topics with a new group of panelists.

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