How will the CoronaVirus affect the comic industry?

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by Omegashark18, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    This isn't actually the case at all, people just thought it was in the early 10s and it didn't happen because in reality the market was expanding to support both of those things. The gaming market now is the broadest and most varied it's ever been, people just pretend it isn't because they just want to bitch and live in the past.

    AT&T probably want to offload WB Games because they are primarily a AAA publisher and AAA development requires large amounts of investment with large amounts of risk for returns that often aren't as high as spending the same amount of money on something else entirely. Thats not the sort of business that is liked by large conglomerates that have other options, least of all ones with shitloads of debt.
     
  2. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    I agree with most of that. I think that the big games are even more risky than ever now though. The industry is playing out over multiple platforms that aren’t all compatible, so building the big budget game carries a lot of risk that I’m having trouble articulating with a post.

    Don’t think I’m complaining about things changing. I actually think we’re in a golden age of video games, with people more willing to experiment on both the developer and player side. Digital download and smart phones have really changed the industry and I feel overall it’s for the better.
     
  3. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    I'm not really worried about that anymore personally. Allot of the problem with AAA in the last 15 years is that the cutting edge of graphics and the audience expectation of receiving it has vastly outpaced the ability of the ecosystem to provide that at reasonable cost. It probably isn't apparent to folks that aren't technically inclined and don't follow the industry closely, but the new generation of hardware and software technology that's emerging now is going to be huge for mitigating that and much of it has been developed with that purpose in mind.

    I wasn't implying that you were personally, just that there is allot of people that do and you see allot of talking points from 5+ years ago that are still being thrown around on the internet despite them being proven wrong or not even being true in the first place.

    Totally agree that this is a golden age, I could do nothing else but play games all day and I still wouldn't be able to play everything that looks interesting.
     
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  4. Psychoshi

    Psychoshi Grammaton Cleric

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  5. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    [​IMG]

    This chart is a bit old, but At&T owes around $150 billion
    Disney owes about $42.770 Billion

    They either need to start raking in profit or start selling, merging and divesting things.

    Disney just got downgraded, and At&T is treading water to keep from getting downgraded.

    So you have to two companies controlling the big two comic companies saddled with debt. With both comic companies barely staying profitable. At a time when the bean counter are looking for their assets to be more than profitable. So neither are in good positions when the big budget cuts come around.

    At&t is already planning on selling it's game division and merging it's various streaming companies. People over at Rooster teeth are jumping ship seeing the likely merger with Hbo max and dc streaming exclusives are already being advertised on HBO MAX instead. Both those make much more than DC and have been profitable (Though obviously not enough)

    But even these are basically stop gaps. At&T owes 150 billion and the sale of their game division would only net them 4 billion which is a drop in the bucket to the $150 billion they owe..

    Disney keeps borrowing money to pay their bills until their major businesses open back up and even then they now owe even more money from all they borrowed.

    Eventually all this debt will hit a wall and both companies will have to start making drastic changes so the look profitable to investors and not like the money drains both currently resemble.
     
  6. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    What's your source for Marvel and DC barely staying profitable? I don't think you're accounting for the full value of either company.
     
  7. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Is AT&T Getting Ready to Kill DC Comics? | The Motley Fool
    https://www.quora.com/Is-DC-Comics-profitable-based-solely-on-comic-book-sales
    Report: DC Comics Accounts for An Estimated 0.2% of AT&T's Annual Revenue in the Past Year - Bounding Into Comics
    Marvel, DC Slug It Out On The 2019 Comics Sales Charts'
    The Real Reasons for Marvel Comics’ Woes
    Why are comics shops closing as superheroes make a mint?
    Surprising New Data Shows Comic Readers Are Leaving Superheroes Behind

    Of the two DC is probably in more trouble as AT&T has higher debt.
    But if DC goes, it wouldn't be surprising for marvel to follow.

    As I've said it's not that neither company is profitable, but that that in comparison to how much other parts of their companies make, they are minor entities. DC is .2% of At&T profits. MArvel is harder to tell as most articles talk about their movie division and don't break down the comic sales.

    WB games was profitable and most of it games sold well, it was probably doing better than DC, but At&T is still selling it.

    Both At&T and Disney owe a lot of money. Comic shops are closing left and right. The profits aren't what they used to be. It would be cheaper for them to license out the characters and have people pay them than for them to keep things in house from a bean counter's perspective. And they would still make money from selling Trades of reprints and the occasional new graphic novel or kids book.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  8. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    whatever nevermind
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  9. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    There's just no way that you see Marvel Comics fold up. The IP is just too valuable and the comics are a very cheap IP farm. You'll see more divesting of things like the WB Games division, or other tech things, before you see anything connected to IP fold up. IP is the new patent hoarding.

    Could you see changes? Sure. I could see monthly books going digital with print being almost entirely (or majority) graphic novel only. You could see more push to Scholastic and less to LCBS. Hell, canning the monthly print books, or at least knocking those all the way down makes sense even if things get better tomorrow. Closing up the shop and licensing out doesn't.

    The reason is that licensing has always had legal quagmires you can avoid entirely by owning the publishing. License the books, and you open up possible legal fights and IP control for any new original characters no matter how ironclad the licensing agreement is.
     
  10. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    No you just think you did, at this point no matter what I show you, you are going to claim I'm wrong.
    I'd like to be wrong, but I don't think I am, and if it turns out I am I'll admit it.

    This is also the comic book section so I'm talking about book numbers, as the speculation is that floppies are coming to an end soon.

    As I said last time it's not like they are going to sell their characters, just stop making the comics themselves and license out the characters like they do with theme parks and toys.

    Ip will stick around never said it was going anywhere.
     
  11. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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  12. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    Licensing out characters is always fraught with some peril legally. And it can damage the brand if managed poorly. I just do not see licensing happening as far as comic publishing.

    Again, I think the most likely shift is to shift to digital. You save a lot on printing overhead and materials. Recall paper costs help drive the price increases in the 90’s. If digital were the primary format you could cut price points or freeze them in place for years and lower costs.

    Disney does some licensing with IDW. I’d suspect they’d rather do less than more.
     
  13. northjason

    northjason Well-Known Member

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    Disney has been licensing its characters for decades and decades in comics all over the world. They brought it in-house very briefly in the early 1990s and quickly abandoned the publishing. Aside from that break, there's almost a century of precedent for the licensing approach.

    For now, I think their leadership is buying into the "basically free IP" argument, though. Even if most of the output is crap, one semi-solid hit probably returns enough long term licensing to cover a lot of losses.
     
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  14. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    That was before they acquired Marvel. They are continuing some licensing to IDW, but keep in mind when Disney acquired Lucasfilm the very first thing to happen was for the Dark Horse Star Wars license to by wrapped up at the first possible moment.

    There's also a century of examples of IP licensing gone wrong with monthly books, a long list of characters that have uncertain legal status because of how messy licensing can be. Regardless of how you feel about licensing, the free IP farm seems to be carrying the day. There's also vertical integration arguments, where we've already seen the MCU and Marvel Comics sync up for promotional purposes that aren't as easy to coordinate when you're dealing with licensing.

    In the case of Marvel though, there's also the fact that the licensing is so messed up right now I can't imagine Disney further fragmenting it until they have all of it. Disney still doesn't have complete control of the movie licensing, and they aren't at all close to the amusement park licensing being fixed.
     
  15. Gaastra

    Gaastra Well-Known Member

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  16. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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  17. DrTraveler

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
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  18. AzT

    AzT Moderator News Staff TFW2005 Supporter

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  19. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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  20. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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