Snookies12 (User)

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"Lord Seventh"

The state of the industry as I see it...

Snookies12 | 612d ago
User blog

I always wanted to be involved in the gaming industry in some way when I was younger. Whether that be a programmer, a level designer, a tester, or just a journalist of some sort for gaming related news. When I was growing up through the PS1/N64 days gaming was a magical thing to me. I'd go to the store with my family, see an awesome new game on the shelves and beg my parents to get it. Every time I opened a box or a case, there would be a booklet with color art profiles, tips on how to play, and some even contained cheats. Back then, it always felt like I could have fun with a game. Even if it wasn't considered a "good" game. With the limitations systems had back then, it seemed as if developers could find more creative ways to do things in games. As if those limitations are what made the games so great. They were first and foremost about gameplay over anything else. That was a time in my life that I very fondly remember, before I began to feel that the industry was stagnating.

The past few days have been very trying for me, with some real shifts in my life happening that have really gotten me down. I love my gaming hobby, and I will always love talking with others about it. It's why I come to N4G every single day. Yet as I sit here and really think about the gaming industry today, I find it hard to lie to myself any longer by saying I want to get into it. I still have a certain spark that wants to strive toward being a game journalist, but I can't help but look at the state of things right now that really put things in perspective. I continually see claims of journalists or sites being paid to review games highly, or ones that put their personal feelings into reviews rather than keeping an open and unbiased mindset.

I would strive to be the type who would turn down any money incentives, would give the entire truth, and would keep my personal opinions out of the mix. Yet with how things are now, would that really matter? There are so many out there with tainted opinions, which I'm sure had good intentions when they started but slipped as time went on. It's hard to separate truth from fiction in most cases with gaming journalism (any journalism for that matter). You can't exactly tell if you're getting the entire truth, and it hurts to think that's where this industry has headed.

I look at Capcom for example. Their games brought a lot of joy to my younger self. I loved them up through the PS2 era. Now, they've become my most hated developer. They outsource their games, produce copious amounts of DLC some of which is actually on the disc you buy yet locked away in the coding, do not seem to listen to their fan base, and make unwanted changes to their series'. Then you have a company like CD Projekt Red who make the Witcher series. They give you a beautifully made game filled with content, allow you to have the game DRM free so that you don't have to worry about restrictive issues when buying it, and even went out of their way to include a MAJOR update to the Witcher 2 for free.

A lot of developers are going for the quick cash grab. Make a game that looks really pretty in the quickest amount of time possible and get it out so you can start selling. Sure, I understand these are businesses, they need to make money to continue going on, that's their purpose. Though I can't help but wonder why anyone would make something they're not proud of to get money. If I'm involved in something, I want to make sure it'll be something that I put my all into. Even if people don't like what I did, at least I could say I put forth my best effort regardless. I can't help but feel games these days hardly try anymore. They know what audiences are going to buy and cater to that rather than trying to make something to the best of their abilities. It's disheartening to see that a majority of developers and publishers seem to have fallen into this pit of copy/paste tactics. They're giving us the same game again and again with fresh coats of paint and not pushing the envelope enough.

I'm not saying there haven't been good games this generation, there really have been some gems. Things just don't feel like they used to however and I suppose it just makes me feel a bit lost as an old-school gamer. Maybe one day I'll strive to be a game journalist if I ever get the opportunity, but I'd want to stay true to who I am and keep the moral values I hold dear. If you read through this, I appreciate it and would love to hear your thoughts. Gaming is a huge part of what makes up who I am. It's given me a lot of great life lessons through the years, and I'm sure it's made me a better person because of those things. I just don't want to lose what made games so special in the past because of sleazy tactics, paid reviews, or biased journalism. As it stands right now, indie games are poised to take the stage away from the "AAA" titles and I'm fine with that. If that's what it takes to get gaming back to how it used to be.

Whether you're an Xbox fan, a Sony fan, a Nintendo fan, or even an Apple fan. We're all gamers here sharing the same hobby. Which is why it pains me to see fans of different systems bickering among themselves. Why squabble over systems when the gaming front is so lackluster this generation? We really need to pull together and send a message to some developers to try and change things for the better. Yes, I realize this is a pipe dream at best, but if I can inspire even a single person with any of my thoughts, then I'll be happy. Love & peace my gaming brothers and sisters. :]

GodsPerfectK7ng  +   612d ago
Great point and great story!!!The industry needs developers with heart and a open mind and a trillion of ideas to innovate and make new great franchises and innovate multiplayer modes and publishers that will support them and the gaming community to help with ideas and changes too!!!! we have the technology and the tools to make this happen now I believe!!!! POWER to the gamers!!!
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fsfsxii  +   612d ago
Great read. I agree with everything you said. Pubs stopped giving their studios the freedom to create, to push the gaming industry. But, there are publishers like Rockstar and Sony who give their developers the freedom they want and create great games, we need more publishers like R* & Sony. I also thing that the industry needs to reset, like the 1983 video game crash, companies like EA & Ubisoft need to understand that if they continue their busniss, gaming is going to die.
coolbeans  +   611d ago
For a first blog on here (not sure about your activity elsewhere), I must say this is a good start. The only portion that rubbed me wrong was this:

"I continually see claims of journalists or sites being paid to review games highly, or ones that put their personal feelings into reviews rather than keeping an open and unbiased mindset."

I don't mind the stuff before the comma--which was disheartening for me to see/hear as well, but I can't see why placing personal feelings in a review should automatically qualify as a demerit of its overall quality. Some of my favorite reviewing moments were when I could attempt to address 'why I did/didn't like this game, or game aspect, more than I--technically--should have.' And it's baloney to consider any review can be completely void of bias.

Off topic: I thought of this when I saw your n4g status message:

http://www.youtube.com/watc... :P
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Warj  +   611d ago
Great read. Hope to see more of this kind of writing in the future.
Ravenor  +   611d ago
"Though I can't help but wonder why anyone would make something they're not proud of to get money."

This makes you sound so ridiculously naive, it hurts. I would also disagree that regardless of business plans, like DLC and other things that seem to rub you the wrong way. The people behind things like Dead Rising 2, Borderlands 2 or DmC were proud of what they made. To say otherwise is kinda disrespectful to the people who put in 40+ hour weeks to get the game out the door.

I'm sorry if I'm coming off as harsh, I am all for nostalgia and I agree 1000% some of the classics are irreplaceable, and I am always grateful I was able to experience them at a time when they were new and fresh. But to say the quality of games has dropped or that they are a lesser product than what we got 15-20 years ago is just plain false.

There has been a good to decent game released every month this year, perhaps you disagree with some and I can accept that but overall between January and May I haven't had issues finding an enjoyable experience. DmC, Ni No Kuni, Metal Gear Rising, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Gears of War, God of War, Bioshock Infinite, Soul Sacrifice(The demo is pretty good) plus all the PSN and XBLA games in between.

Games today are fine, no they aren't perfect but neither were the games from the past. We were fed just as much crap back then, but at 80+ dollars a cartridge. Look at the Sega CD and 32x, Sega really had the consumer in mind with those two gems.
Snookies12  +   611d ago
Thanks for the input there everyone! I do appreciate it, even any criticism I'll gladly accept. This was indeed my first blog attempt on any site, and I'd been awake for 20 something hours so I'm sorry if it came off as a little rant-like.

@coolbeans - (Awesome name by the way lol!) I probably should have phrased it a little better. Again, I was running on very little sleep when I was typing this up so you'll have to forgive me there. I didn't mean to imply that you should be completely void of personal opinion when reviewing. Surely you'll be subject to bias views even if you did your best to keep them down. It's when reviewers saturate their reviews with their opinion that bothers me. Like going into a review where the person claims "I don't like this type of genre usually." then end up giving the game a bad score because of that. I've seen things like that before, and it's an issue for me whenever I do see things like that crop up personally.

@Ravenor - No worries at all man, you're not being harsh. Thanks for the long comment! All I'm trying to say is that while games can still be "good, great, or even fantastic" this generation, I still have trouble finding that amazing feeling I used to have with games. Perhaps it's partially just because of age and growing up, but I feel almost as if graphics have started to get in the way of the core experience of the game itself. I love looking at a pretty game as much as the next guy/girl, but not if it sacrifices any sort of gameplay just to look good. I just seem to be finding myself playing older games more than my newer ones. Shoot, I bought Dark Souls, Motorstorm Apocalypse, and Catherine a while back and have yet to play more than about an hour of them each. They're really fun, but don't seem to pull me in like older games did is what I'm getting at. :]
coolbeans  +   611d ago
Ahh...that makes sense. I recall thinking of making a review for Halo Wars way back then but ran into that same problem. Not that I absolutely hated the genre, mind you, just wasn't even remotely well-versed to make comparisons of others titles' controls, tactics, depth, etc.

Edit: And yes, my name is indeed awesome. :D
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Ravenor  +   610d ago
I agree, that feeling of elation has died for me as well when I buy or pop in a game for the first time. The thing is I would absolutely agree that's an issue of getting older and not necessarily the games fault. I wonder sometimes if it's because games aren't purchased for me anymore, so I don't need to mine everything I can out of them.

I put hundreds of hours into things like Quake/Quake 2, Starcraft, C&C, Snes/Genesis platformers, A friend had a Coleco vision that we probably had to much fun with considering it was 10 years old at the time and the plethora of 3D platformers following Mario 64. I just can't get pulled into these games like I used to, the nostalgia for a different less stressful time and the fun I used to have sure, but not nearly the same experience.

Look at Ocarina of Time, I thought it was amazing that I could ride Epona around this big field. Even though the game is fairly linear, that little bit of freedom was always fun to return to. Compared to something like Skyrim where it's just this big ass open continent for me to explore that has a great sense of place and farrrr more going on. I know they are different experiences, I just feel that what I enjoyed about OoT is present in Skyrim only expanded and improved.

I don't really know what I'm trying to say anymore, maybe it's that I agree but disagree. I just don't know anymore. Anywho, great blog and thank you for the response to my query.

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