DragonKnight (User)

  • Contributor
  • 7 bubbles
  • 9 in CRank
  • Score: 144950
"I don't care about bubbles. Seriously, I don't."

Gaming Is Becoming Too Big For Its Own Good

DragonKnight | 505d ago
User blog

Disney. Disney, Disney, Disney.

In case you didn't know, Disney announced that LucasArts will be shut down in favour of moving from a development model to a licensing model. A few people have been saying that this is a good thing because LucasArts hasn't exactly been putting out quality stuff for awhile, and more are saying it's a bad thing chiefly because of Star Wars 1313 and how good of a game it looked to be. Regardless of your opinion of this situation, it is just another example of what gaming has become. The press release that Disney released explaining their decision was riddled with typical corporate B.S. and it's the same all over the place.

Many don't believe that gaming has reached the same plateau as Movies, Music, or Literature but I say those people couldn't be more incorrect. When I look at gaming today, I see the same problems that exist in the other 3 mediums. Fat, bloated corporations diluting and distilling every facet of the creative art process until all that remains are statistics and numbers. Is it any wonder we see too much of the same tired old thing. *cough*shooters*cough*

Another indication of gaming becoming too big is that there are ever increasing numbers of gaming's own versions of lobbyists, both in a positive aspect and a negative aspect. Everyone has an opinion on how politically correct games should be and even a blind person could see that everyone's wishes conflict with everyone else's. Everyone thinks they should be represented in games, and everyone thinks they have some entitlement to be offended if their particular viewpoint is not represented or is not represented in the way THEY want it to be. Now I'm not saying that that includes fan opinion on the direction of a game, I'm talking about all the different special interest groups that talk loud and draw a crowd so that games will be made specifically to cater to them.

Don't misunderstand me though, I know that gaming has always been a business, but you can't deny that the business of gaming today is vastly different and far more anti-consumer than it was in the "Golden Age" of gaming where companies like Nintendo and Sega fought tooth and nail to gain our business. They used quality, substance, and unique ideas. Nowadays, as soon as one idea seems to take off and sell 6 million games, endless clones are made to try and capitalize on that idea in the vain hope that lighting will continuously strike in the same place many times over.

So we look to the next generation of consoles and we see that the rumours fly of continued anti-consumer approaches. Profit first, consumer trust second. Social gaming first, unique ideas second. DRM, studio closures fuelled by corporate bottom lines. Worthwhile risks never being taken. Gaming continuing to move further away from deep gameplay or story in favour of visuals.

Then of course there's the indie scene. Some would say it's the last bastion of hope because corporate policies don't have much of an effect there. That's true to some degree, but do you think it will always be like that? I personally don't know.

I know this blog seems very cynical, and no doubt people will comment with the obvious "it's a business and they have to make money" mentality. That's fine, but what I'm saying is that there is a difference between wanting to make money, and wanting to make it so bad that you ruin everything in the process. In the part of developers and publishers, sometimes you have to be willing to take a risk so that you stand out and get the attention of paying costumers. In the part of gamers, we all need to stop caring about how realistic a game looks and seek out deeper experiences. Graphics are the most superficial aspect of gaming and the only aspect of it that has a finite limit. It is these converging attitudes that lead to the dilution of the medium, and unless we want another game crash to occur then we all need to change our attitudes.

PopRocks359  +   505d ago
I'm rather surprised you did not bring up the supposed failure of Tomb Raider and a couple of other large scale games that were deemed failures despite selling in the millions.

Part of what worries me is that games become more expensive to make but are not earning more money in the process. If current trends continue, we can potentially see another crash because of not only the monotony we see with big budget games (such as Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed) but also with the inability to earn back even when the game has been noticed and the market is buying the product.

"In the part of gamers, we all need to stop caring about how realistic a game looks and seek out deeper experiences."

Maybe it's the Nintendo 'fanboy' in me talking, but this is a policy I've followed for quite a few years. To this day I still play games on an NES (as well as other new and old consoles) and graphics are not what usually matter most to me. They certainly play a factor in artistic style, but certainly not a deal breaker for me. The game must be fun before anything else.

As for the specific issue at hand, I am particularly shocked Nintendo cancelled 1313 despite its generally positive reception and media attention, but I suppose the costs were too much to them. Hopefully this does not spell the end of next generation Star Wars games in the future.
DragonKnight  +   505d ago
"I'm rather surprised you did not bring up the supposed failure of Tomb Raider and a couple of other large scale games that were deemed failures despite selling in the millions."

I didn't even consider that to be honest. Thanks for bringing that up as it is an excellent point. Publishers are aiming for too high a target in terms of sales especially at this time in the gen and with the way the economy is.

"Maybe it's the Nintendo 'fanboy' in me talking, but this is a policy I've followed for quite a few years. To this day I still play games on an NES (as well as other new and old consoles) and graphics are not what usually matter most to me. They certainly play a factor in artistic style, but certainly not a deal breaker for me. The game must be fun before anything else."

Agreed. Just the other day I found myself playing Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and the only reason why is because I remembered it from my childhood. Lol. Plus, I wouldn't say that any of the current games I own push graphics in any huge way too so my tastes are in what I feel is fun, not what looks good.

"As for the specific issue at hand, I am particularly shocked Nintendo cancelled 1313 despite its generally positive reception and media attention, but I suppose the costs were too much to them. Hopefully this does not spell the end of next generation Star Wars games in the future."

It was Disney that cancelled 1313 and Disney's reasons were essentially cost and developer track record. They are moving to a licensing model and so what most are taking that to mean is that they're going to license out the Star Wars franchise to other developers so that they are taking more of the risks and Disney isn't.
PopRocks359  +   504d ago
Whoops, my bad. I have no idea why I put Nintendo instead of Disney. My brain was thinking one thing while my hands were typing another.
TopDudeMan  +   505d ago
The reason why indie games are so good is because they aren't afraid to come up with new ideas. They realise gamers are getting tired of the same old stuff that big publishers like activision, EA and ubisoft are firing at us. That is why I still have hope for real innovation.

I just finished a game called Antichamber. What I really liked about this game was that it chucked all the preconceptions about what a game should be right out the window. This allowed them to bring brand new ideas onto the table that people had never seen in a game before. It was just so refreshing... and get this... the credits only had like 4 people in it. Amazing. You have to look around a bit for them, but good games are out there.

The way I see it is that for every call of duty out there, there are three times as many great, innovative games that are capitalising on gaps in the market that are created through certain studio's lack of originality.
dedicatedtogamers  +   504d ago
Great blog, although I somewhat disagree that corporations have gotten too big and too anti-consumer, at least compared to how they used to be. The industry has ALWAYS been cutthroat and vicious. Do some digging into history on how Nintendo tried to lock down the market during the NES years, or how EA blackmailed SEGA into letting them make games on the Genesis, or how Nintendo wanted to partner with Sony but then said "screw you!". Take a look into companies like Squaresoft, who would edit and dumb-down Japanese RPGs (or even not release them at all in English) because they thought the West was stupid, even though (history lesson!) it was Western RPGs like Ultima, D&D, and Wizardry that inspired the JRPG craze in the first place.

I do agree that games are getting way too expensive. The market is already showing signs of crumbling. Smartphone games are able to provide hours of (admittedly, brainless) entertainment for a few bucks, while many AAA, $60 titles don't last nearly as long. What makes more sense to the average consumer who just wants to waste a few minutes to play a fun game?
DragonKnight  +   504d ago
Oh I know all about those things, but where your examples are correct they almost all involve corporations screwing each other and not fans. Dumbing down FFIV isn't the same as, say, locking Kain behind a DLC pay wall.
dedicatedtogamers  +   504d ago
That's a good point, I suppose.
SilentNegotiator  +   504d ago
You can't blame Disney. LucasArts was a major drain on the company. They haven't made anything above average in a long time.

It's infinitely less risk to have other companies license. Instead of constantly having 150 staff on payroll, creating average (or below) games that don't sell all that well, they can have other companies spend to create it and pay Disney as the games sell.

I'm sorry, we all have fond memories of LucasArts, but you can't stave off death forever.
DragonKnight  +   504d ago
Star Wars 1313 could have been what turned them around. What was shown was generally well received but Disney didn't care.
SilentNegotiator  +   504d ago
Maybe. But the real issue is a lack of competence from LucasArts. One promising game demo doesn't necessarily make LucasArts reliable.
HarryMasonHerpderp  +   504d ago
This was a great read.
I've felt the same way for a while now and it saddens me to think we can never go back. This gen has just taken gaming into a very dark place.
We have microtransactions in fully priced games, content taken from games to be resold as DLC, Online passes, preorder bonuses that are just things taken out of the game again, buggy games being released with a we'll patch it later attitude, oh and of course DRM.
Then we have the market saturation problem of military shooters, the dumbing down of classic once great franchises to "appeal to more people" ( Resident Evil, Final Fantasy etc) and just an all round MONEY MONEY MONEY attitude from big publishers like Capcom and EA. It's depressing to think about the current situation, there are still guys who are in it because they want to create great experiences and have a passion for gaming. The garbage seems to sell more copies though. People are saying we will have a gaming industry crash again and I for one can't wait for that to happen. Like you said gaming has gotten too big and I think it's time we had a clean slate and started again.
#5 (Edited 504d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
DW74  +   504d ago
Summed this gen up as I often do. Well said bub for you. I was perfectly content to play games in my PS1/2 and watch DVDs in my DVD player. None of which were networked. And paying 50 bucks while doing it. And enjoying a large variety in games being made.

I don't think we'll ever see a Xenogears or a King's Field or a Symphony of the Night or a Colony Wars again.

They aren't military shooters.
coolbeans  +   504d ago
"Now I'm not saying that that includes fan opinion on the direction of a game..."

Why not? Just tweak about 5% of the text you provide before the quote above, and you have the same ethos of entitlement awarded to fans as it is for special interest groups (Dante's change, Bayonetta 2 to Wii U, etc. etc.)

Regardless of that portion, the comparison of how gaming corporate can be directly compared to TV/Film is sound. For Literature, you'd be surprised how that's not really the case thanks largely to e-book readers. Check the stats of independent writers blossoming by not having to actively seek X publisher that says "this won't sell well" and flock to a juicer deal with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Granted, that's only the e-reader aspect I'm talking about, not paperback releases (I could even be wrong here, haven't researched in depth about the subject).
#6 (Edited 504d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   504d ago
"Why not? Just tweak about 5% of the text you provide before the quote above, and you have the same ethos of entitlement awarded to fans as it is for special interest groups (Dante's change, Bayonetta 2 to Wii U, etc. etc.)"

Because there is a difference between fans voicing an opinion on the direction of a game like DmC and special interest groups finding fault in every game that doesn't cater to their interests. Look at the fiasco with SWTOR and the Gay Planet. It's one thing to claim that a game like DmC is completely different from its predecessors, it's another to create a huge stink because of some perceived offense. The same applies to the feminists and any other group who aren't so much concerned about the game but about their group's representation or lack thereof.

"For Literature, you'd be surprised how that's not really the case thanks largely to e-book readers."

To be honest, I can admit my inclusion of the Literature field doesn't have totally firm ground to stand on I believe. If a terrible book like 50 Shades of Grey can be printed, then anything can. Hell, the Twilight Series of books is just the author's teenage fantasies.
coolbeans  +   504d ago
But those differences doesn't change the fact that fan opinion on directing a game could fall under the definition of "lobbyists" with the text you've provided. Whether inside or outside of the industry, those parties have partaken in demanding the revision of something made originally by the artist or group of artists that's more closer suited to their desires.

It's correct to point out the disparity of reasonableness in their demands but that's not really provided. Heck, you even mention "both in a positive and negative aspect" in the beginning of that paragraph, leaving you to expound on possible "fan input" in a positive light later on.

Edit: Well...erotica or erotica-esque books like that have reached best-seller status for a while. I just remember looking at Amazon's publishing contract and their boasting of culminating a new "indie scene" with ~40 of their Kindle bestsellers being practically unknown authors.
#6.1.1 (Edited 504d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(4) | Report
DragonKnight  +   504d ago
Yes, but you're not understanding my point. Fan opinion of a game is in the interest of having an interest in a game. For example, the fans who criticized RE6 or DmC did so because they knew what potential the games COULD have had and instead saw that the games chose to follow a typical business model of dumbing down a game in favour of being an all-inclusive, "even grandma can play" (I know I'm exaggerating on that one) mentality.

But lobbying against developers for having a gay planet when there could have been no option for homosexual relationships at all in SWTOR is completely different. It has nothing to do with the actual game and everything to do with the perception that homosexuality is something to be segregated thus a perceived offense is the driving force behind the lobbying. I understand that you acknowledged this aspect, but I'm simply pointing out the difference in motivation.

And by positive or negative lobbying I'm referencing things like lobbying to get gaming to be seen as an art form against lobbying to get gaming to be perceived as offensive to any single group or being the cause of violence/stupidity. Fan input can be just as negative as saying games are the cause of school shootings, but it can also be positive in the case of something like Mass Effect 3. The developers swore up and down that ME3 wouldn't have typical A,B, and C ending and that's exactly what happened until fans made them actually put real effort into a new ending. That's definitely not the same thing as Princess Toadstool should be boycotted because she makes women appear to be weak and stupid.

**EDIT** What I meant about 50 Shades of Grey is that it's a terrible book with bad writing so I suppose when it comes to literature anything goes. Lol. But I must admit that I'm not even close to being well-versed in that scene.

**EDIT 2** I also want to point out that I understand where you're coming from in the sense that fan opinion could be considered lobbying, I just think the reasoning is very different than with special interest groups or government agenda. Whereas fan opinion is almost always about the game and only the game, any other interest has nothing to do with the actual game and everything to do with pushing an agenda and I personally believe that has to do with the fact that gaming is so big that it's an easy target.
#6.1.2 (Edited 504d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report
coolbeans  +   504d ago
After stumbling upon the edits afterwards (good timing to see initial response, I guess :P), I can say that's a reasonable response. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.
whamlollypop7  +   502d ago
You read my mind dude. I have very similar feelings and think that a collapse wouldn't be entirely bad. We are seeing creativity and ingenuity being pushed aside for profits.

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
Remember