I want to start off by saying that I'm 28 years old and that I've been playing videogames for pretty much all my life. You'll understand later why this information is relevant.
For as far back as I can remember, it was the late 80s and video games were simple, kid oriented colorful adventures featuring super hero type characters trying to save some kind of world or princess. There were no real storylines to follow, all you had to do was follow the path that would lead you to the next level and so on while staying alive. Videogames as an entertainment medium was still light years behind movies in terms of attracting a more adult crowd because of that lack of story telling and realism.
As my generation matured, so did games. Better technology allowed developpers to create experiences that closed the gap with movies in terms of story telling and visual effects. Games like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy 7, Tomb Raider, GTA 3 and many more helped create this turning point in terms of confirming that games aren't just for kids anymore. These games featured graphics that were considered very realistic at the time and included complex stories with characters adults of all ages could relate to.
In this first decade of the 21st century the videogame medium took another giant step in terms of taking these great experiences and making them even better. Better graphics, better stories, better gameplay, add to that all the new online components, gaming was on a ride I felt would never end... until recently.
I feel like the industry as a whole has saturated and said: "Enough with the 8-bit generation, we've made as much money as we could with them, let's start a new generation and give them something they can play and have fun with and generate new money!". This is where the Wii, Kinect and I-OS come in. Obviously welcomed with huge success with this new generation of gamers, the games featured are simple, easy to access and contain simple objectives just like back in the 80s but with different types of interactions. Developpers have seen the unbelievable potential of this new generation of gamers and we can see the end result.
- AAA 3rd party exclusives are a thing of the past
- Developpers don't invest unless they are 100% sure that a game will have enough success to generate many sequels and spin offs.
- Games come out unfinished in order to cash in on DLC.
- New IPs are few and far between
- Developpers stick to what works and with a few exceptions (Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire, Catherine) don't try to create completely new experiences in their AAA titles.
Watching the past 2 E3 events was extremely painful. 75% of what was presented featured games that were either 1st or 3rd person shooters. While I like some of these games, I'm personally saturated of the genre and need a breath of fresh air. While all these new devices are a definite breath of fresh air, I'm not buying into this. It's fun for parties and family events, but for the gamer that's been playing games for over 20 years, this just doesn't cut it.
Do I question developpers and blame them for this new direction? Absolutely not! I studied in business and there is no doubt in my mind, I would have taken the same decisions. This is the gamer in me crying out to the world his disappointment about the current state of gaming which I thought would be my #1 pass time until I die.
Truth is I still currently enjoy gaming but at a lesser level than a couple years past. I still have hope that something revolutionary will happen and give me something new and innovative to experience. We can make Gears of War 6 look exactly like a CG movie but if the gameplay doesn't change, where's the innovation.
All this sounds quite negative and cynic but I'm sure I'm not alone feeling like this so feel free to comment and agree or disagree with my view of the current state of gaming
Thanks for reading!