For most people, gaming started out as a hobby, sometime they did just in their free time as kids. Then they grew up, and most of them left it. Some on the other hand, turned it into a passion and continued to play over the years. The result? Video games have gained immense popularity, with technological innovations in hardware and software pushing for beautiful and immersive games being released every year. With more and more people choosing to play video games, it has become a huge industry, and with gained the problems that come with the same. Here are a few reasons why we think the gaming industry is losing its glory.
Quantity Over Quality
With great numbers comes great demands, and a greater loss in quality. As the demand for games have increased over the past few years, developers seem to be more interested in pushing as many games as they can within the financial year, no matter what.
We’ve seen amazing franchises, including Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed fall prey to this, where the older games had amazingly engaging stories that gave us memorable experiences, and now they come up with a new game in the series every year, which has ruined the gameplay as they feel like a repetition of the older titles. These franchises have become nothing but a means by the corporations to milk money from the players, with more effort being spent on marketing tactics than the actual game.
The Media and The Hype
Well, it’d be unfair for us to put all the blame on the devs’ shoulders, when the media also plays important role in the process, especially when it comes to release of new titles. “5 things about *insert game title* that will blow your mind” or “Here’s why *insert game title* is the best game of the year” are just some of the various headings you see floating around the internet, especially prior to a game’s release. Mind you, they do not have the game’s in their hands yet, and neither have they tried it for themselves, but that does not prevent them for putting up pieces like these to create buzz. Mostly these are based on mere speculation, or by reading too much into what a dev or spokesperson says in an interview, but they go viral and end up creating a hype that games just can’t live up to. The result? When the game finally comes out and sucks, the media just put a review bashing it. It doesn’t make a difference to them even if they’re going back on their word, and the gamers are the ones stuck with a bad experience.
Okay, this is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, this makes the community feel more involved as they can play games still in development and provide feedback for bug fixes and features that could make the game better, but on the other hand, it provides a platform for some developers to put out an unfinished game under the garb of an alpha/pre-alpha, release a bunch of patch updates that the players may or not like, then abandon the project once they think they’ve made enough money out of it and move on to the next hen that lays them a golden egg. This creates a lot of resentment in the community, in addition to ruining the game as a whole. The best example that comes to mind is probably RUST. What started out as an extremely addictive survival game with a great community has turned into a hopeless disaster, a lost cause. All because the devs don’t seem to be interested in improving the player experience anymore. Not to mention, the game been in Early Access on Steam since December 2013. I may be a little off, but I think that games should only allowed to go into Early Access once they reach a certain stage of development, and have a set launch date for the complete game which is NOT three years later.
Looks Over Story
“Can I run it in 4K/60fps? Does it look good? Will I get 60 fps if I run it on ultra? I hope the graphics are good” – these are some of the major growing concerns of the average modern day gamer. And frankly, it’s a little disappointing. People these days focus so much on getting the perfect framerate and stunning looks that they sometimes end up overlooking the gameplay completely. Don’t get me wrong, good visuals certainly add a lot to the gaming experience, but what if that’s all the game has? Great looking environments, amazing attention to visual details but no story? Something is wrong here.
And here we are, the root of all evil – Expectations. The little devil thanks to which you boot No Man’s Sky, thinking that it’s going to change your life forever. And maybe it does, because you realize that it’s nothing like you expected it to be and it breaks your heart, and you have no choice but to loathe the devs and the media and everyone who ever said that the game is going to be amazing, raising your expectations in the process. Another good thing to mention here would be that these expectations are sometimes based on the viral posts rather than sound research. So it becomes kinda impossible for the game to fulfil. Why not try going in without a strong pre-established viewpoint and let the game speak for itself?
However, it would be unfair to appreciate everything good that still exists in the world of video games. With the technological advances going on on a daily basis, more and more engines getting support for the Vulkan API, procedural generation being adopted to produce a huge universe and compress it into a tiny space (I mean, No Man’s Sky is only 2.5 GB. No matter how bad it may be, you have got to give it this). And we still have amazing developers who make jaw-dropping games that remind why we started to game in the first place. Honestly, video games just might be the best thing in the world.
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