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Why don't more game companies go private?

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Despite that, they're also one of the most rich companies in gaming as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games? This is a genuine question.
 
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Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games?
I agree. Look at how they are effecting the movie industry. I will say for Sony and Nintendo, thier investors are their biggest threat
 

01011001

Member
Valve hardly even makes games anymore. Making games seems more like a side-hobby for them at this point.

they made a super high end VR Headset and one of the best VR games not that long ago, it seems like they only make games when they feel like it, and that's exactly why being a private company is great.
in an alternative universe where Valve made Cyberpunk 2077 it would have been the best game ever made, and its entire development would have been supported by the sacks of money they make through Steam and not by old fucks that demand a release to make more and more money
 
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they made a super high end VR Headset and one of the best VR games not that long ago, it seems like they only make games when they feel like it, and that's exactly why being a private company is great.
in an alternative universe where Valve made Cyberpunk 2077 it would have been the best game ever made, and its entire development would have been supported by the sacks of money they make through Steam and not by old fucks that demand a release to make more and more money
So in other words, to be a good developer, you have to find other ways of producing cash flow that doesn't come from your games. Got it 😂
 

kikkis

Gold Member
they made a super high end VR Headset and one of the best VR games not that long ago, it seems like they only make games when they feel like it, and that's exactly why being a private company is great.
in an alternative universe where Valve made Cyberpunk 2077 it would have been the best game ever made, and its entire development would have been supported by the sacks of money they make through Steam and not by old fucks that demand a release to make more and more money
I don't think making games when they feel like it, is possible for most of private companies.
 

JohnnyFootball

GerAlt-Right. Ciriously.
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Despite that, they're also one of the most rich companies in gaming as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games? This is a genuine question.
You must love living in a perfect fantasy world where there are no economic concerns and finances don't matter. So many of your posts and threads ask questions that can easily be answered with a little bit of thinking and common sense.

The answer is quite simple:
The risk of being independent is much higher. One flop can cause that studio to go completely under. The people working in independent studios have to constantly worry day in and day out if they're gonna be able to put food on the table. For every one successful independent studio there are 10 others that fail to even release a product. A publisher under a giant umbrella often gives a studio stability. These studios cost money. Game development isn't cheap. Paying employees, office staff and infrastructure all of that costs money. Money doesn't come out their asses. In the late 80s/90s development teams were much smaller, development time was much shorter. Doom for example was made with about 10 people. We don't live in those times anymore.
 
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64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
You must love living in a perfect fantasy world where there are no economic concerns and finances don't matter. So many of your posts and threads ask questions that can easily be answered with a little bit of thinking and common sense.

The answer is quite simple:
The risk of being independent is much higher. One flop can cause that studio to go completely under. The people working in independent studios have to constantly worry day in and day out if they're gonna be able to put food on the table. For every one successful independent studio there are 10 others that fail to even release a product. A publisher under a giant umbrella often gives a studio stability. These studios cost money. Game development isn't cheap. Paying employees, office staff and infrastructure all of that costs money. Money doesn't come out their asses. In the late 80s/90s development teams were much smaller, development time was much shorter. Doom for example was made with about 10 people. We don't live in those times anymore
I do have to ask though- if this is the case, why is it that bigger publishers still have trouble having to adhere to shareholders? They clearly have a lot of cash so it doesn't seem like all the money that DO come from shareholders is needed, right?
I can understand why a company like CDPR would need shareholders, but companies like EA and Activision act greedier as they grow.
 
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JohnnyFootball

GerAlt-Right. Ciriously.
I do have to ask though- if this is the case, why is it that bigger publishers still have trouble having to adhere to shareholders? They clearly have a lot of cash so it doesn't seem like all the money that DO come from shareholders is needed, right?
I can understand why a company like CDPR would need shareholders, but companies like EA and Activision act greedier as they grow.
Because they’re corporations. That’s how corporations work. Corporations have shareholders and they’re the ones that ultimately call the shots. And yes, they can be a shitty group of people to answer to. They care about one thing.
Money.
You really ought to take some business classes
 
anti consumer pratices and consoles are "not your problem anymore" :D

Yeah that's true and that's how I'm feeling about western entertainment in regards to movies and shows. I'm Thinking about just getting out of watching Marvel and DC films because of anti male shit. This is not just superhero movies but movies in general. Yes there's Top Gun Maverick but I feel kind of bad for supporting that when it's made by people who hate me for being a man. I might just go anime only. I recently enjoyed Marvel and DC films and shows recently but to me it's just feels Hollow.

Same with gaming, once Nintendo starts to show the BS that's been infesting other western companies that's when I'm going Steam only.

That's my opinion on every entertainment medium in the west

Comics, movies, shows etc
 
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StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Being private limits the amount of money you can raise through selling shares. Also, unlike publicly traded companies that can rocket up (or down), being private hinders the lucky case of zooming up stock prices which makes the company even more valuable.

Tech companies have the benefit of always being overvalued in stock markets. So for sake of trying to maximize money, it's better to give it the college try and be public. People and investment companies love hyping up tech companies and their stock prices.
 
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yurinka

Member
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company.
Companies go public to get money from shareholders because shareholders pay money to get stocks of a company they think is promising and in exchange they get a portion of the money that company makes. That's all. Pretty much like in a private company but in a more transparent and standard way.

They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with,
Absoluttely false and wrong. Show receipts that proves that this happened in a single company please.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Companies go public to get money from shareholders because shareholders pay money to get stocks of a company they think is promising and in exchange they get a portion of the money that company makes. That's all. Pretty much like in a private company but in a more transparent and standard way.


Absoluttely false and wrong. Show receipts that proves that this happened in a single company please.
I've worked at both private and public companies. None of the are gaming related. All companies I've worked for are big. Even the "smallest one" is still Fortune 500 kinds of companies.

The key difference I've seen is urgency.

All companies want hit the numbers. But private companies are more laid back and often targets can be at the annual level (from what I;ve seen). And when I mean annual, I mean as long as the company or account manager hits their yearly goal in month 12 that's good enough (like some account managers I know at private companies).

Public companies always have a monthly rush to make the numbers every month. It's a churn everyone has to get used to if they've never worked for a big public company. And every one I worked at were the exact same. You got an annual target, but the company is still tracked monthly, which funnels into quarterly reports. Unlike private companies, you cant wing it for 10 months telling everyone to ease off as you'll pull a horseshoe out of your ass in November or December making up for lost ground. You'd already be fired if you tried this.
 
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MrA

Member
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Despite that, they're also one of the most rich companies in gaming as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games? This is a genuine question.
got a question do you bitch and moan when a crowd-funded project fails? or do you accept that you took a risk and it didn't pay off?
 

Soodanim

Member
I guess there aren't that many investors interested in private companies that favour long term quality over squeezing blood out of a stone. Shame, because you see greed devour every single branch of entertainment eventually.
 
I think there is a good video on YT about Obsidian and the state they were in before Pillars of Eternity.

Long story short: If you have no other means of revenue besides games one badly received game can mean the death of a studio. Valve has a constant stream of revenue with Steam so they can afford to stay private.

In a perfect world every small studio would have one games (or some other mean) that generates enough revenue to keep them afloat over the years while most of the studio is focusing on making creative games and they can survive a few badly received games. Alas, we do not live in such a world.
 
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MrA

Member
I think there is a good video on YT about Obsidian and the state they were in before Pillars of Eternity.

Long story short: If you have no other means of revenue besides games one badly received game can mean the death of a studio. Valve has a constant stream of revenue with Steam so they can afford to stay private.
Plus gabe Newell was rich as fun before starting valve
 

Nautilus

Member
Steam is the only reason I still play games. It’s like the last holdout to have fun.
A platform is the reason you play games, and not the games themselves?

Captain America Lol GIF by mtv
 

Lady Jane

Banned
A platform is the reason you play games, and not the games themselves?

Captain America Lol GIF by mtv

Um, no? Steam is the only platform that has games that I want to play. TF2, Gary’s Mod, and CS mini-game servers is complete freedom to do what you want. It’s max fun with friends.
 
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eg Hello Games is private and felt the need to publish NMS in a state were many patches had to follow.
3D Realms was private and did not manage to develop a game in a decade.
Cloud Imperium Games is private and offer an not even alpha sca... game for big money.

Private is the default start up situation and if growth happens stock market becomes kind of almost inevitable.
 
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anthraticus

Member
Yeah that's true and that's how I'm feeling about western entertainment in regards to movies and shows. I'm Thinking about just getting out of watching Marvel and DC films because of anti male shit. This is not just superhero movies but movies in general. Yes there's Top Gun Maverick but I feel kind of bad for supporting that when it's made by people who hate me for being a man. I might just go anime only. I recently enjoyed Marvel and DC films and shows recently but to me it's just feels Hollow.

Same with gaming, once Nintendo starts to show the BS that's been infesting other western companies that's when I'm going Steam only.

That's my opinion on every entertainment medium in the west

Comics, movies, shows etc
Hell yea. I'm pretty much completely indie/AA/old school when it comes to entertainment these days.
 
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Despite that, they're also one of the most rich companies in gaming as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games? This is a genuine question.

Silly argument.

Sony, MS & Nintendo are all public companies and look at their output.

Valve is actually a compelling example against private company ownership. Prior to Alyx, when was the last time they actually shipped a game?
 

AmuroChan

Member
Going public allows a company to generate significant amount of capital to help further their growth, reduce debt, or fund other business operations. Because most companies are started with the intent of growth and expansion, going public is the natural next step for many private companies.
 
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Despite that, they're also one of the most rich companies in gaming as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games? This is a genuine question.
private, public, you still have investors you need to appease...going private doesnt change a companies culture. Just a matter on who can invest. and usual retail investers have a small stake in the game anyway. shoot id want to see a game company thats 100% retail investors and we have a say on more board decisions. probably would operate better artistically than the private companies where the big money interest has maaaaassive say.
 

jakinov

Member
Over the past 10 years, it's made very clear that shareholders do NOTHING to benefit a game company. They're responsible for forcing publishers to rush games out on time, they're why microtransactions, lootboxes and day one DLC are in games to begin with, and they're overall one of, if not the main cause of games going downhill since 2012. It's actually a thing where if shareholders don't see increased profits every quarter, they can actually sue your company. Valve is the one gaming company i know of that's private, and they seem to be the most pro consumer company as of right now. Despite that, they're also one of the most rich companies in gaming as of right now. Why don't more companies go private, and what do shareholders offer that's worth fucking over so many games? This is a genuine question.
Firstly, private companies have share holders too. The only difference is that shares can be sold on the public market opposed to privately. Shareholders can at least initially help fund the project. People who want to start busineses sell equity to investors making them shareholders. They do not force publishers to rush out games. And nobody really rushes out games, games are built and heavily planned to take a certain amount of time to make. Creative or technical reasons, deadlines are missed, scope might get smaller or they delay the game. There's no "rushing", it's a business decision to what to deal with what to do when things don't go as planned. Shareholders usually are not involved at all though management might try to appease them.

Secondly, all those things that you don't like that you mentioned would exist without shareholders. It's good business. Many private companies have those things. "Downhill" is highly subjective. People are having the time of their life in a lot of big online games because loot boxes and MTX lead to a lot of development in new content really fast. The only people who complain are old people who don't like the idea of spending more money.

Thirdly, shareholders can't just sue for simply not having increased profits, that's absurd there has to be some cause.

Lastly, I find it funny that you bring up Valve. One of the early pioneers of loot boxes (crates). microtransactions. who had day-one DLC (baseball bat). It undermiens your whole point of companies going private.


To answer your question though these are the benefits of going public:
  • It lets shareholders be more liquid, they can sell their stakes for cash with ease on the public market
  • if you are low on cash you can pay your employees in equity that they can actually easily sell
  • employees paid in equity have skin in the game and so are motivated to more than just the bare minimum but to make impact
  • there's potential upside for simply being public, because for investors it can be more desirable again to have a stock that can be easily sold, owning 2% of a company you can't easily sell sucks.
 

Lady Jane

Banned
I’d add Nintendo to this but they are on the edge.

Their simple system that can be offline and attracts a wide variety of old software is holding it from falling over.

Yeah without Nintendo, "party couch" games would be near dead. Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Super Smash Bros. still hold supreme for local fun with friends and nothing comes close. We only have a PC and Switch and it's a winning combo, especially since MS has moved to PC and Sony is starting too as well.
 
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A.Romero

Member
Despite what a lot of people think game studios are in to make money. It's the same reason why bigger companies can purchase them. It's not like Take-Two invaded Firaxis during the night and took over. There was a conscious decision by the original owners to cash out. We all have to think about many things other than artistic interests like supporting families and retirement.

Also, what private companies can do is much more limited and less regulated than a public company. That's why is more risky to invest money in a private company. Publishers are necessary. What publishers do obeys the market. They won't do anything that means selling less or at least not on purpose. The more money they make the better they are fulfilling their purpose.

Developers without oversight not always means a better product. Look at Inafune's blunder and many others. A lot of them suck at project management. Writers work better with editors too, for example.

I think game fans tend to idealize what developers do and why they do it. They are passionate people (probably) but they are not perfect. They also have limitations and flaws. Sometimes they are not that good at what they do.
 
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