As a YouTube video creator (original content only) and hobby game designer (No fangames) I understand BOTH sides of the debatte and I’d like to share my thoughts on this. Continue reading
EA announced that they will not publish a Madden game for Wii U this year. This decision led many a fanboy to rage about EA and/or Nintendo again. The PS4 is announced by Sony on March 19th and the Microsoft NextBox as I like to call it on May 21st, roughly eight months into the lifespan of the Wii U, a system badly named, under advertised and overpriced. While nobody, not even Nintendo seems to know what the general message about the Wii U is, Sony pounds the drums of social here and social there, sharing and the likes. Their complete lack of knowledge about what that actually means bites them in the ass already though – how else can it be that there was not a single woman present at the PS4 presentation – women who are the definition of social networkers. And let’s not forget the talk about DRM, always on and anti piracy measures on the NextBox, a move so obscure it raises eyebrows everywhere.
And from the coner of PC gamers I hear laughter about how PC gaming always wins, has the best graphics and so forth. The sheer fact that it is expensive as fuck to get a real gaming PC that needs to be upgraded regularly, paired with the fact that PC gaming has changed from high exclusive titles to online only gaming is something the PC crowd ignores. True, games like StarCraft II are fantastic but in terms of multiplatform releases the PC is crap. While exclusives shine on the system the pure fact is that the gaming market in general is headed towards a crash unseen since the early 80ies and the so called hardcore gamers are to blame. And you thought casual gamers are the bane of gaming – turns out you are wrong.
See, here is the catch: Companies like EA or Activision don’t give a shit about you. They want to make money. Now I know some of you say “they are a company their goal is it to make money” but that is not an excuse for fucking with you. EVERY company is about makeing money, the difference here is that ONLY in gaming are you able to fuck your customers in the ass with the biggest dildo you can find and get away with it.
Imagine buying a car. You can buy it and take it home with you. But you better not go faster than 60 because if you do the car will break apart. To fix that you will ahve to wait until we have time to fix that. Or you can buy a season pass where we wil fix it right away. Also you better don’t use the brakes because they don’t work. You can buy them online for some extra cash. But you can’t resell the car because we don’t like that. In fact it is not even your car. You paid for it but it is still our car and you just have the right to use it. And every three months or so we will release a spare part for your car you might or migth or might not need – you have to pay that extra of course. And after a year we release the same car with all the features included for the same price as the new one without features was. And thenw e drop the line and if you need service because something is still not working right – well good luck with that.
Now my question is, if you knew all that, would you buy that car? You probably wouldn’t. I wouldn’t, thats for sure. I would buy a car that is mine once bought, has everything a car needs to work and that I can resell if I want to or bring to a service station if needed.
So how come it is okay to be treated like that when it comes to games? Current market is horrible, you pay roughly 70 bucks now for a beta version that needs at least three months to get all the bugfix patches applied and then you are sold additional content for an extra price. Perhaps on disc DLC or day 1 DLC are available before the bugfix patches are and with some games you simply can’t play them if you don’t have internet access for one reason or the other.
Now I hear you say: “Well then get better internet” but that is not the point: You already paid for the game you should not be required to get better internet. And some of us even can’t get better internet. Stop apologizing for shit gaming companies feed you!
Here is the thing: The Wii U is underpowered in comparison to the next big consoles and current PCs. But NEVER, EVER in the history of gaming has the strongest console won. Usually the strongest console LOSES the “console war” completely. Never in the history of gaming was it a good thing if companies treated their customers like shit. Remember Acclaim? The PS4 might be powerful and have tons of social features but nobody cares. If you care ask yourself WHY do you care? Does it make the games better? Does it make them cheaper to develop and buy? Does feature X do anything that supports the game besides filling the pockets of executives with your money?
How come we still discuss those things? Isn’t it common knowledge that graphics don’t matter anymore? Are you seriously telling me you would not play a fantastic game simply because it does not feature as many polygons as another game or because other games have better shaders?
Take Call of Duty VS Battlefield for example. Battlefield has much better graphics, they go all out to make the game prettier and better than Call of Duty. And yet, Call of Duty outsells Battlefield every single year. If graphics are so important, why is that happening then? Then there is raw power: The more processing power you have, the more you can use and your userbase expects you to use. But that means that game development gets even more expensive. We live in a time where a game can sell four million and still be considered a total flop. Eidos sold almost 4 million copies of Tomb Raider across all platforms for 65 bucks each and still made a loss off of that game. That shoudl tell you how expensive the development of that title was.
There is only one place the gaming industry can go from this point on, and that is down. On one side we have high development costs for dozens of triple A games that just wont sell, on the otehr hand we have 99 cent titles that every asshole with a calculator can develop on his smartphone that flood the market with shit. And then there are the game sin between that get lost ins a crowd of AAA games and shit. And nobody makes a profit.
And instead of looking at the problem from the right angle they plame it on piracy. Yes, piracy is a bad thing but it is not the reason gaming is in such a shithole. Hardcore gamers are. Because for the last fifteen years hey have beens crewed over by publishers and still defend them to the point where a company like EA can re-sell them the same game over and over again and they still defent the publisher. But that market grows smaller every year simply because most of us grow up and realize that it is a shit way of gaming.
And the future is even worse. As unemployment rises (and don’t blame that on Obama) worldwide due to the fact that we get more and more people for jobs that can more and more be done by computers and robots, people simply wont have the cash to spend more and more on gaming. And the generation that actually are hardcore gamers, mostly teenagers and men in their early twenties won’t be able to sustain the market anymore. And people like me who can actually afford games don’t want to get a huge dildo rammed up our metaphorical asses. We don’t buy hundrets of games anymore since we don’t care and even if we care we don’t have the time.
At one point I owned all current gen consoles. The PS3, The Wii and the XBox 360. Then I sold the 360 because I neither have the time nor the patience nor the interest to pay fifteen bucks or so a month for an online service where I have to listen to pimple faced teeny kids telling me how hard the fucked my mom. Three hairs on their nutsack, one of those is dripping but big mouths. And generally speaking I don’t care about onlineg aming since I enjyo playing games alone. So gone was the 360, my multiplatform titles and my exclusives. I re-purchased the Assassin’s Creed games for the PS3 (mostly in Game of the Year editions or something) and am happy with that ever since. And while I could afford a Wii U or a PS4 or a NextBox i am in no rush to buy one. I will buy the Wii U because I want to play Zelda and Smash Bros. But I won’t buy a NextBox or a PS4 simply because i have no interest in better graphics or social gaming. You know what I want? I want a retail copy of a game, without bugs if possible, complete where I don’t have to buy DLC or shit that I can resell whenever I feel like it, without tacked on multiplayer or stuff. And I am not alone.
Publishers believe that every game needs to have mulitplayer or it won’t sell. That’s not true. Publisher think the used games market is the worst evil ever. Also not true. Piracy ruins gaming – not true. Here is the truth about those things:
Multiplayer only works for games where the multiplayer is any good, preferably not in a genre where you already have better multiplayer games. Of what use is it to me that Battlefield is so pretty and has so many great muliplayer features if all my friends play Call of Duty? NOTHING!
Used games are a great way to actually introduce people to gaming. Instead of condemning it, publishers should embrace it. There is the same flawed thinking at work here like with piracy.
They believe if somebody buys a game used or pirates it, they lost a sale. But that s not true. Those people mostly would not have bought the game in the first place. And if they would, they would probably not pay the 65-70 bucks publishers wanted for it.
You see, gaming is expensive. I bought Assassins Creed III for 100 bucks because I wanted the Freedom edition which came with a statue of connor, exclusive art and some DLC. I like merchandise. Then I bought the additional DLC packs. Then I bought all three episodes of the Tyranny of King Washington – entirely new content so I gladly payed that money. In the end I spent 140 bucks on one game. That is a lot of money. Now the cheapest way to get ACIII at the moment would be a used copy for 45 bucks or so. If you buy it new, it’s still 70. And there is the problem: A newcoemr to the series, a parent or somebody who only occassionally plays since he/she has little time won’t spend 70 bucks on a game. No, this person will buy the used game since it is cheaper. If there is no used game around, this person WILL NOT BUY THE NEW VERSION since the interest is just not big enough.
SO either way, Ubisoft has not lost a sale. Ubisoft never made that sale in the first place. The only way it would have made the sale would have been if the game was 40 bucks to start with. And that right there is the general idea. You can NEVER stop pirates from pirating. But you can give themr easons not to pirate. If companies would not invest millions of dollars in DRM, anti piracy measures or tacked on multiplayer, they could focus on good gaming experiences. A game does not need to be 80 hours long with dozens of multiplayer maps to be good. A game does not need a hollywood actress to voice the protagonist and it does not need Hans Zimmer to fucking score some music you don’t hear anyway because a twelve year old has verbal diarrhea. You don’t need those things.
Look, before you now all go either insane on me, TLDR this or otherwise want to enlighten me in which ways I am fat and my mom should have aborted me, fact is, hardcore gamers are the reason gaming fails so hard right now. Only if somebody steps up and releases a dedicated gaming system that only does gaming and not everything, with games that dont cost billions to make and dont need gazillions to make a profit, with games that dont need DRM and whatnot and that sell for 45-50 bucks, the market WILL go down and there is NOBODY to blame but yourself. That is the reason indie gaming is so big right now. Indies know their shit. I am an indie developer myself. I even go a step forward and emply the freeware with tipping model.
You can play any of my games for free. No DRM, no account, no shit. Download the game, play it. You like it you can tip me on paypal. You don’t`No problem either since you haven’t paid for it anyway. It’s a nice hobby I have and it’s a lot of fun.
I left out A LOT of points here simply because the article is already too long. But in the end it all boils down to this: Console manufacturers: Release game consoles, cut the other shit nobody needs. Game developers: Develop smaller games with less tacked on shit for less money. Publishers: The market can not handle dozens of AAA games. Go smaller. Stop fucking your customers over. And last but not least Gamers: DONT LET GAME COMPANIES FUCK YOU OVER!
I already did one of these a while back (you can check it out here) and since they are shooting the sequel now, I figured I will doe one of the Amazing Spider-Man. So here is my take what needs to be done to make it a better film: Continue reading
So Wind Waker is coming to the WiiU in HD. And I think this would be the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to fix the flaws of the game. This would make it the best 3D Zelda up to date. And it’s not even a lot of work. Continue reading
At a certain gaming forum, there was a discussion I had with fellow readers. And there came a point when I once again said that I think Nintendo should do VC gaes in Widescreen and HD if possible (Mario Sunshine comes to mind) because it would NOT be hard to do. And then somebody asked me why companies should. back in the old days, we had one game and a console and we were lucky if we got multiplatform releases. A good point. But here is my response: Continue reading