Why "old" Publishers don't get it?

With old publishers I mean the great EA's, Activisions, Ubisofts etc. They usually are so busy in their own world that they have a hard time looking what is happening outside.

With "world" I mean Fifa, Battlefield for EA, Activision with Call of Duty and their other IP's and Ubisoft with their Sandbox titles.

So when a new trend comes along they usually miss it - big time. EA tends to buy that stuff - and destroy it afterward (remember Command & Conquer and many many other examples). Activision merely does their own thing. Ubisoft just buys smaller studios usually and are busy making Sandbox titles.

What trend am I talking about? A mega trend - which is actually older than they realize: Survival games.

The recent example of Battlegrounds is just the most recent hit the Survival genre produced. Its originator DayZ started it (with some influence from Indie titles). As DayZ was based on the Arma engine the game including DayZ stayed in the Steam charts for months - an eternity rarely achieved by other titles other than Valves.
Really, not even top titles could touch the success. Many others followed and even ones with questionable quality had good sales. Even unfinished survival games stay in the charts - Survival is strong.

But none of the big ones follow up on them. Imagine, the budget of Battlefield behind a Survival game. It could be even a stand alone expansion.

But no, they ignore it. Why? No one knows.

So this is the gap you can jump into. Survival AAA produced and sold by a publisher with the marketing force behind it. Go for it, its here since years. It's time. And if you do and make millions think about the guy who pushed you ;)

Update: someone mentioned Dying Light in the comments. That's one of my favorite games of that time and is a good example that Survival works - and it sold really well.


  1. First of all, sorry for commenting.
    Setting Minecraft aside, survival games are an extremely specialized niche.
    Even core gamers find it cumbersome to manage factors like thirst, hunger, fatigue and disease. Big publishers have tried. "Modern" survival games have (arguably) existed since 1994 (Robinson's Requiem), they just never really caught on.
    Ubisoft tried adding (admittedly light) survival elements in 2008's Far Cry 2 with malaria and degrading weapons and got dinged hard for it. Even so some of their latest big games (Far Cry Primal, Ghost Recon Wildlands) have some survival elements.
    Warner Bros. published Dying Light which is pretty much a AAA survival game.
    I'm sure EA & Activision are watching intently but from their point of view Battlegrounds might as well just be a fluke.
    Also while 10-20 million USD in revenue is amazing for an indie, it wouldn't even cover the game budget for a AAA.

  2. Dyling light is a good example btw. It sold very very well. So there is a demand.

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