DragonKnight (User)

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Why game developers/publishers need to pay more respect to core gamers.

DragonKnight | 670d ago
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This subject isn't a new one. It's been around for a long time and the debate about what actually is a core gamer and why they matter still continues to this day.

For the sake of this blog, a core gamer is defined as someone with a lasting passion for gaming to the point that it can't be considered a simple pastime but instead a beloved hobby. Someone who enjoys learning about games and gaming. Someone who pumps a lot of money into games and gaming, and will continue to do so indefinitely.

I'm sure you'll all have seen someone somewhere talk about "casual gamer dollars." It's a phrase used to describe the fact that the casual gaming audience(that is those people who game for a few minutes here and there on anything that's easiest to game on, and only do it to pass some time) that is vastly larger than the core gaming audience and thus more overall revenue comes from them based solely on sheer volume of consumption. Many have stated it makes better business sense to cater to that audience if you want maximum revenue.

This blog seeks to, at least in part, disprove that notion. While it is a statement of fact that the casual audience is larger and thus can produce more revenue based on that, the casual audience is also immensely unpredictable and fickle. This is why developers and publishers should be more appreciative of the core audience.

I'm sure that if a study were done there would be proof that, over time, the core audience spends and has spent more money on gaming than the casual audience has in the recent years. The casual audience are the type of people that wouldn't normally see a need to go out and get the newest console or handheld gaming device if the current devices they have function perfectly fine for their gaming needs. The core audience however have an insatiable appetite for newer and better experiences and have absolutely no problem purchasing the latest equipment for the latest games.

When the next generation of consoles come out, or the newest PC gaming tech is released, the core audience will lap it up voraciously because gaming is what we love, it's essentially in our blood. It takes a lot of marketing and a lot of work to convince the casual audience that they should buy the newest console and games because they won't have the same passion and can't understand any need to buy the latest stuff.

So the question becomes then, is no one capable of seeing this? Are the publishers and developers so blinded by casual gamer dollars that they don't see that making a huge paradigm shift towards the casual market is potentially disastrous and self-defeating? Sure, today the casual gamer is buying your motion control device or your mobile platform, because it's different than the norm that has been around for awhile, but can you be sure that tomorrow they will buy your next piece of hardware without something that is a huge game changer and marketed in all the mind numbingly simple casual ways such talk shows and celebrity endorsements?

This gen has been filled with "accessibility" all because of the casual gamer audience. Whole franchises changed their gameplay styles to accommodate people who've never played one game in the series. This has left many, if not all, core gamers with a bad taste in their mouth and a serious case of "wtf is this?" syndrome. Older gamers who've been gaming since the time of the NES or earlier have come to notice the staggering decrease in challenge and difficulty in games of this gen, and are refreshed when a game comes out that isn't afraid to punish you for sucking at it (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls) like the good old days of gaming. The media doesn't help anything either, as they hammer games for being "too difficult" or "too challenging" for new gamers to get into. Well news flash, some games aren't designed for new gamers to get into, they are specifically for the core gamers that have supported the developers from the beginning with their hard earned money.

Core gamers are the true life blood of the industry, and it's a saddening thing to see that we are taking the back seat to the casual audience or the social media scene. Nowadays every game has to have co-op or multiplayer or else many new gamers won't even touch it despite the fact that many games are actually hindered for having it included. Multiplayer and co-op doesn't have to be included in EVERY game, and is sometimes a very bad idea. Today I saw an article here on N4G about Dead Space 3 in which a commenter didn't care about the change of gameplay direction the game is taking because the game had multiplayer co-op. Meanwhile the established fans of the Dead Space series are pissed at the new changes, and I've seen some are dissatisfied with the idea of co-op because it's continuing the trend of survival horror games (games in which you are SUPPOSED to be alone) becoming action-shooters and removing key thematic elements.

These changes occur thanks to the casual audience, thanks to accessibility. These changes will continue until either the casual audience burns every single developer/publisher with their fickle ways, or the core gamers stop supporting the developers/publishers that purposely make games easier, change series renowned themes, make unnecessary reboots etc; and just support those devs who actually care about the fans that have been with them since their beginnings and helped build them up with the money they work hard for.

I don't know about you, but I think it's time us core gamers are no longer ignored. We spend the money consistently, we are the beta testers of new ideas and new hardware, we are the backbone of the industry, its lifeblood. Without us, there would be no video game industry. The market looks to be heading towards the same events that caused the 80's crash with over-saturation thanks to everyone trying to cash in on casual gamer dollars. The core audience is really the only one that can do anything to stop that, but we need real reasons to. So give us some attention and stop ruining our games just so Grandma and Grandpa can get into Resident Evil or something.

Kratoscar2008  +   670d ago
good article, we are as important as kids and casual gamers, they shell out the money so developers can make games for us, and we stablish a fan base wich ensures that the title remain strong so with our money they create new IPs to atract the kids and casuals and the cycle repeats.

Is a shame that in this gen we have lost relevance toward companies, maybe next gen....
TopDudeMan  +   670d ago
The fact of the matter is that there are more casual gamers than there are core gamers and as long as that divide exists, developers will continue to provide for them.

"stop ruining our games just so Grandma and Grandpa can get into Resident Evil or something"

Okay, now that is a totally different argument. Resident evil is a game series that has crossed genres. What's wrong with that? People insist it is being "dumbed down for the masses" (I hate that phrase, it's almost cliche in this subject of argument), but how? A company can't make an action zombie game for core gamers anymore? So as far as I'm concerned, the resident evil thing is a whole different argument. I was never a huge resident evil fan, but 4, 5 (and 6 probably will be, too) got me into it and are awesome, despite them being different from their predecessors.

Other than that, the point I can agree with you on is that we do need more games like demon's souls and dark souls. Games that give us a challenge and whoop our ass every now and again.
DragonKnight  +   670d ago
I'm not suggesting the development for games that appeal to the casual audience stop, I'm saying the core gamers who support the industry far more shouldn't be punished by having their experiences dumbed down in favor of accessibility. Create new, casual IP's. Don't destroy challenge and difficulty because soccer moms want to play. It also does the casual gamers a disservice because they have no incentive to actually try to better their skills or get more involved in deeper aspects of gaming.

And I just threw RE out there as an easily known example. I'm not a fan of the series myself.

I miss the days where you wanted to throw your controller at the tv because of how difficult games could be.
#2.1 (Edited 670d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
ShaunCameron  +   670d ago
What about console-manufacturers? Nintendo's best-selling consoles were the ones they successfully marketed to the casual crowd (NES, SNES, Wii). Sony wouldn't have been the juggernaut they were in the late 1990's-early 2000's without them. They made up a pretty large portion of the PS1 and PS2's sales.
MacDonagh  +   670d ago
I fear you may be right to have cause for concern over the continual disillusionment of the core gamer. Publishers and developers have a duty to cater to their fans who have followed franchises, established fanbases for them, and built them up to the status of where they are now. However, I, personally do not see the casual market as the enemy. They are the future of gaming, for better or for worse.
SegaKnuckles86  +   670d ago
I agree that game developers and publishers should respect the core gamers, but as a long time core gamer myself that is not going to happen though. You say we are the lifeblood of the industry, but that was true a long time ago. Today times have changed and we have become a vocal minority. The casual gamers are now the majority and make up the intended audience for the future of gaming. Look at Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Angry Birds and Farmville and compare them to the games we play like Dark Souls, Demon's Souls, Dragon's Dogma, 3D Dot Game Heroes, the Witcher, etc. The former easily has wider revenue streams and have far more users than the latter. There is more money to be made in the casual crowd, therefore that is where the industry is going. We core gamers were relevant back then only because the casual crowd wasn't massive like it is today. Sadly, core gaming is dying which has been since a long time ago and the next generation will likely hammer the nail in the coffin.
s45gr32  +   670d ago
I like this blog post and I know the casual gamer i.e. the gamer that just plays games to pass the time is larger and sadly but true bring in more revenue plus more sales to say game developers/publishers. What I agree wholeheartedly is for these game creators to stop simplifying and dumb down say franchises like Metal Gear, Resident Evil, etc. What I mean is this lack of interactivity and strategic challenge basically resident evil was not as challenging as say ninja gaiden; however, it had puzzles to solve, you had to manage your weaponry and ammo (anyways ammo was scarce), it had a b-style horror movie storyline that was campy yet fun to follow, it had a variety of enemies that could be dispatched in different ways but you understood that the issue was not the zombies or monsters but it was umbrella corporation that created these enemies and turn your friends and family into zombies. RE 5 comes along with laughable or non-existant puzzles, pretty much a shooting gallery basically clear the area of enemies move to new area rinse and repeat. There was no variety and the story was thrown out of the window. Then there is my favorite franchise Metal Gear which had plenty of interactivity like MGS2 with the cardboard boxes, steam pipes getting broken shattering glass, dirty pictures to take picture of, take out the enemy in funny ways, MGS3 most realistic fun complex deep and the pinnacle of the Metal Gear franchise able to use bee's nests to dispatch the enemy, poison them with mushrooms or rotten food, take out their ammo supply houses, etc. MGS4 on the other hand no interactivity at all except maybe broke a couple of beers here and there, but the survival mechanics from MGS3 gone, the dirty posters gone, the ability to use say box in a funny way gone. Octocamo made the game easy and it went call of duty style able to run, gun, shoot and cover without using the environment effectively ugh. Able to buy weapons and ammo during a boss fight really and a robot that did snake's job better ummm maybe robots will replace human beings. Hours upon hours of cool scenes that I watched not played ugh and the codec funny conversations gone. Man I was heartbroken by how dumb down Metal Gear became. Most games this generation consist of run, gun, shoot, cover mechanics what a shame. This is the reason why I am playing more indie games because these so called AAA developers/publishers only care about money than making a videogame masterpiece.
SeekDev  +   670d ago
Publishers/Developers need to stop treating us all like pirates is what they need to do.
Hufandpuf  +   668d ago
1. There aren't many core gamers around for the devs to cater to. Even if they did make a game we would like to play and pay for, there isn't "enough" of us that would be able to pay them for the game, at least enough of us for them to make a substantial profit if you factor in pirates and such.

Why should they cater to us when we can hardly cover their costs to develop a game? Which is why many are switching over to the casual market because of low dev costs and high payout if they get lucky "A-La-steal-ideas-from-ol d-flash-games-and-make-the-casu al-audience-think-they-are-new& quot;.
DragonKnight  +   668d ago
See, you're following the same line of thinking that a few people here are following, and it's the wrong line of thinking. A) I didn't say stop making casual gaming experiences, I said recognize why they're even in the position to do so. Without the core gamers who built the foundations, casual gamers wouldn't even have the platforms necessary to even experience gaming.

B) In your "I'm going to point out the obvious business decisions" statement, you forgot to ask yourself "what does this do for me?"

Are any of you who are playing Devil's Advocate in any way proud or happy about an increase in casual focus solely for money? You shouldn't be posting anything that in any way strengthens the position that the casualization of the industry is any kind of positive, because it's not. We're headed to another crash because of it, it's easy to see. You should be making developers and publishers at least acknowledge that it was your money and time that built up these developers and publishers.

"Why should they cater to us" is the WRONG attitude and wrong thing to say.
SeekDev  +   668d ago
You should check out Arma 3. It's just for PC and is extremely hardcore.
theconsole_kid  +   668d ago
i honestly been playing video games since i was five im 27 now ,and from what i seen some developers still try to cater to us u just gotta look for it.i appreciate a challenging game .. but i really feel that some core gamers forget that video games have to ultimately be fun not frustrating. it's a balancing act for devs..im just a gamer and i appreciate that im just alive to see how far we can go as a gaming community.because there are way worse things that can be happening to us.. XD
Cpl_Ledanek  +   664d ago
I truly enjoyed this article and have shared this article with some gaming friends and some friends who has kids that are core gamers.

I have friends who tried PS1 for their family, and have developed a. Saturday Night of gaming vs movie night. Then progressed to Xbox & Xbox360. Now the family played together w/ Rock Band. The Neighbors are coming over why there seems to be a party every Saturday. On summer nights, they bring out the projector and tents for some outdoor casual gaming.

Now if you step back, is that still casual gaming? Projector, tents, firepit, marshmallows, etc.
It's almost like PC gamer with their water cooled CPU/ GPU, SSD drives, 6-8case fans, triple screen, etc. over a casual game of BF3 or Serius Sam HD.

Now, let's looks at the Core Wii players. There's this coworkers who have Dance Party/Mario Kart/ Rabbid Rabbit(?)... all women of 25-40 demographic. If sober enough, each will say, that they email Nintendo/Ubisoft to include such songs and artist and online Dance off thanks to their discovery of Online Mario Kart on weekdays.

Unto the higher end of core gamers. ArMa series, Ghost Recon (circa Red Storm---not Ubisoft), Flashpoint, Unreal Infiltration, Counter Strike, Flight Sims, Railroad Sims, Richard Burns Rally, etc.
Core gamers are represented from $500 - $3000 Gaming Rigs. Now these gamers, have very STRONG Community. So strong, that game developers, become/ join members of their community.

Game Developers become/ join their Core Gamers Community.

Not the other way around.

Game developers look into their gamers mods and ideas. Game Developers offer challenges within their community into coming up with the next best ideas; The Ball (UT), Portal, etc.

Another hidden gem of core gamers that finally launched a KickStarter is Ground Branch.
Ground Branch fills the void between unrealistic run-and-gun action shooters like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, etc. and complex war simulations like ARMA, VBS, and Operation Flashpoint. It is the only spiritual successor to Ghost Recon (2001), Rainbow Six (1998), SWAT 4 (2005), and UT Infiltration (2004) to date. If this Kickstarter does not reach its goal, we may never see another game of the true squad-based tactical shooter genre.

Ground Branch is already a playable pre-alpha running on fully licensed Unreal Engine 3. The Kickstarter goal is the money needed to finish the game and have it on your PC/Mac by summer 2013. There will be full multiplayer (objective-based TvT, PvP) and core single player/co-operation gameplay (e.g. terrorist hunt against bots) from the start. An intricate full-scale SP/Co-Op campaign and advanced AI will be added (Free to KS minimum reward backers and up) after release.
http://www.kickstarter.com/...

sorry had to cut n paste. because I don't want to mislead gamers

the you got core gamers from both the original Ghost Recon (Red Storm) to the GR Future Soldiers from GhostRecon.net... a thousand strong community.

I'll be sharing your blog with them, because I think they, will appreciate what you've written.
Thank you

Related video
linger66   660d ago | Spam

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