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Old 01-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
ash678
Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
The Psychology of Video Games

Quote:
Why did Duke Nukem Forever stay in production for so long? More to the point, why did some employees at the game's developers, 3DRealms, stay committed to the project for so long in the face of unlikely payoffs and irreparable harm to their careers? Would you have?

Before we answer, let me present you with another question: would you pay $10 for a $1 bill? No? Under the right conditions you might, and many of the folks at 3D Realms did basically that because of a psychological phenomenon called "escalation of commitment."

Consider an auction where a $1 bill is up for bid and the rules are (and this is the important part) that everyone who bids has to cough up their last bid whether they win or lose. Even when this is clearly explained to a room full of MBA students who should know better, someone always springs the trap by throwing out a bid of 1 penny in hopes of an easy $.99 profit.

Invariably someone else jumps on the bandwagon and outbids the first person, raising the stakes to two cents and a $.98 profit. But now the first person must either bid three cents or let the other person win and lose his initial 1 cent bid.

But people really hate losing money, so the second bidder is pretty likely to raise his bid to 4 cents, and the spiral keeps spinning until the break-even point of $1.00. Now one sheep-faced bidder has to decide whether or not to actually keep raising the bid and face a 1 cent loss even if he wins. Much of the time he will actually do it, presenting his opponent with basically the same conundrum.

Researchers running this experiment with groups of otherwise rational adults and had final prices go up to ten or even twenty dollars for a one dollar bill. The reason is that bidders escalate their commitment to the auction by citing prior investments as justification for future ones, even though those costs are gone, immutable, and completely out of the picture. Think of it this way: should you invest even one more cent on an auction that will only cause you to lose money even if you "win?" Or is it more rational to just cut your losses and bow out?

This is basically what many folks at 3D Realms did with Duke Nukem Forever. According to that Wired article, the developers constantly threw money at the game, citing past expenses as the reason for continuing to invest money even when it was apparent that the game was doomed. And since they were self-funding the game, it wasn't until the very end that they had a publisher standing over them and forcing them to end the cycle and either kill the game or polish it off for release.
Quote:
For longtime employees, the incessant delays posed two big problems. One was professional cred: Duke Nukem Forever was the only modern 3-D game some of them had worked on; if it didn’t ship soon, they’d have spent nearly a decade with nothing to show for it.
Quote:
As a result of this, I imagine that a lot of them felt that the time they had invested up to that point was reason enough for them to persist, even if they felt their careers were taking a big hit. So it was back to escalating commitment and chewing bubblegum …until they ran out of gum.
http://www.psychologyofgames.com/200...ing-bubblegum/
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:07 PM   #2
Kyphros
Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
Interesting.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
Kray

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
I saw this article on Kotaku, its a good one. Reminds me of how some people gamble, they don't see their winnings just how much they are losing. For instance someone wins $5k but keeps playing they eventually lose $1k, they don't see the the $4k they won, just they $1k they lost. So they keep playing to make get back what they lost, all the time they are losing more.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
Conan of Cooma
 
Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
Even psychologists know that DNF is ******.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
Gabriel
Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
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Originally Posted by Conan of Cooma View Post
Even psychologists know that DNF is ******.
Yeah ... you now that when you open a dictonnary and go to the letter D ... and look for desillusion you find in synonym "DNF" ... it has now become famous ... bit like the rick roll
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:55 PM   #6
RuskiSnajper.

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
WTF article

meh , I am with 3DR on this one , and ehm , even if we don't get news from them I stopped being an ass , i won't make up fud anymore and just wait.


"tens of millions"

- i didn't know they spent more than 30 million ?

"before being canceled."

- say what?

"Wired .... published a fascinating analysis"

-lol

"unlikely payoffs and irreparable harm to their careers?"

-WTF , commitment makes success , when it's done , everyone else sucks balls.


"This is basically what many folks at 3D Realms did with Duke Nukem Forever"

- They claim to have insider information , hahaha.


"it was apparent that the game was doomed."

- i think im going to be sick.

"And since they were self-funding the game,"

- judging from previos quote that this guy has no idea what he is talking about , they aren't actually ALL THE DEVs that SELF funded the game , it's only the 3DR as a company that self funded the game , and that's george and miller.

"publisher standing over them and forcing them to end"

- What? What? What?

"This kind of thing happens in finance and business all the time."

-hes an market expert now


I mean what the heck man , this is really some bullcrap , like the Wired article petty much like the news you see on FOX/CNN.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:12 AM   #7
Crosma

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Exclamation Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
Quote:
Originally Posted by RuskiSnajper. View Post
- judging from previos quote that this guy has no idea what he is talking about , they aren't actually ALL THE DEVs that SELF funded the game , it's only the 3DR as a company that self funded the game , and that's george and miller.
English isn't your native language, is it? You seem to have misunderstood every statement that you've quoted.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:37 AM   #8
WoodenSword

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
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Originally Posted by Crosma View Post
English isn't your native language, is it? You seem to have misunderstood every statement that you've quoted.
No, Crosma...We have not misunderstood their statement.

Quote:
when it was apparent that the game was doomed.
What does "doomed" mean? They have chosen a vague word.

Quote:
And since they were self-funding the game, it wasn't until the very end that they had a publisher standing over them and forcing them to end the cycle and either kill the game or polish it off for release.
Source? No...? I thought so

I am not taking any side. That article is bullshit no matter what side you are taking.

It's not even worth as a thread.

The big difference between this and gambling is that even nothing has been released yet, still, a BIG amount of 3d models/art/work/ideas/etc have been CREATED. Yes it is not publically available but it belongs to the company's assets.

In gamble you are left with nothing .
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Last edited by WoodenSword; 01-03-2010 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #9
Monkey Butler
Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
'Doomed' isn't a vague word at all.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:11 PM   #10
Edli

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
They probably used it because they couldn't say "******" and still sound somewhat professional/credible.

I keep forgetting about the censorship on this forum :S
Well, it's that F word we all know of, I'll say that instead.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:36 PM   #11
Scotty

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
In the example at the top of the thread, the auctioneer must make out like a bandit, as everyone loses his/her last bid, and the "winnner" only gets $1 back...
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:59 PM   #12
RuskiSnajper.

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosma View Post
English isn't your native language, is it? You seem to have misunderstood every statement that you've quoted.
Yes it isn't , that doesn't prove anything , the article is sitll full of ignorancy and total WRONG info, either way , I understand what the article says, but I am not writing as , it's my writing that is not understandable fully , but you get the picture what did i meant .....


Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodenSword View Post
It's not even worth as a thread.
I was going to say just that but I , changed my mind , for some reason , but im with you now

Anyways how this ended up , we're sorry thread author , but that's how those peopl have no raw idea about DNF and post silly blogs with facts resting on some psychical mathematics and mainstream media.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:05 AM   #13
Gabriel
Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
Anyways this article is full of psychology S.H.I.I.I.T ... you now what would say Duke about all of this? "Blow is out your aaaaasssss"
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:30 AM   #14
dukeMadness

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Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
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Originally Posted by Monkey Butler View Post
'Doomed' isn't a vague word at all.
No, it is vague. DNF is a project, an idea. If its current development with the current team/plans failed, there were many alternatives in order for this idea to materialize. For example everything now couldn't be worse for the dev of DNF. But we are still here posting because we still believe that something will happen in the near or far future. The idea of DNF is still alive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodenSword View Post

The big difference between this and gambling is that even nothing has been released yet, still, a BIG amount of 3d models/art/work/ideas/etc have been CREATED. Yes it is not publically available but it belongs to the company's assets.

In gamble you are left with nothing .
This. The quality of the article is very very very low.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:24 AM   #15
Monkey Butler
Re: Duke Nukem Forever: Escalating Commitment and Chewing Bubblegum
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Originally Posted by dukeMadness View Post
No, it is vague. DNF is a project, an idea. If its current development with the current team/plans failed, there were many alternatives in order for this idea to materialize. For example everything now couldn't be worse for the dev of DNF. But we are still here posting because we still believe that something will happen in the near or far future. The idea of DNF is still alive.
Oh please.
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