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The State of Gaming Today

This is just another game rant about DLC and glitchy games, but I had to get it off my chest:

This generation we have heard game publishers and developers talking about the rising cost of game development. They have also often said that used games are hurting their sales and point to the prevalence of piracy as a big problem. Their solutions have been various forms of DRM, Online Passes and DLC.

These days many gamers say they feel gaming is becoming less fun. Recently we have seen the rise of the term "entitlement", and instances of fan backlash are becoming the norm. My feeling is that these trends are interconnected.

As gamers we like to feel that we get our moneys worth when we purchase a game at full price. In many cases DLC today undermines this. If you want the "full" game you'll end up paying nearly as much as you originally paid for the game for all the DLC. Overpriced DLC is just plain insulting. They expect us to pay as much as a PSN/XBL game for map packs or car packs or costume packs?

This worst case scenario is best exemplified with the Cod series DLC approach. Each map pack costs nearly 1/4 of the original game price. Worse is the fact that selling mp map packs divides the online community. I played the original MW to death online, but the sequels I played less and less, due to not purchasing any DLC, but also due to another worrying trend in modern gaming.

I'm talking about the glitched online experience of course. Many big profile games have had glitches and online problems at launch this gen. Most infamously we have the hacked and broken MW2 debacle. MW2 received numerous patches to rectify the situation, but Activision seemed to have learnt little. The problem arose again with MW3.

We gamers get the feeling that games aren't tested well enough or published before they are finished. Another good example is Skyrim Lag on PS3. Bethesda promised they had a new engine and had fixed all problems from previous games like Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas (which was never fixed completely). But in reality we got only months of waiting for a patch that bettered the situation.

This gen most publishers seem oblivious to what we gamers really want. They are so swept up in profits and micro-transactions inspired by mmo's and mobile gaming. They say new ip's don't sell, but fail to recognize that cash ins based on known ip's won't sell well either. EA is one of the big publishers who have driven this on. They have lots of DLC with every game and they love the unlock DLC, you basically pay to unlock the content you'd unlock through regular play.

We have Ninja Gaiden 3 where they simplified and streamlined the game alienating old fans in order to be more "mainstream". It probably won't find a big new audience as it's now some bastardized hybrid. You get "free" DLC weeks after launch, which really should have been in the game from the start. A weak ploy to try and keep gamers from trading it in right away. Old fans will shun it and maybe jeopardize the next installment. Resident Evil: Operation Raccon City slaps the RE license on a mediocre coop shooter while fans want a return to good old survivor horror.

As long as publishers and devs don't take a hard look at what they are doing and why, I only think gamers ire will increase. The ME3 backlash is just the tip of the iceberg. We don't want pr talk and empty promises. Gamers want value for money and that devs/publishers take their job seriously.

It hurts their sales when gamers aren't excited to buy on launch day because they want to wait and see if the online mp will function properly. It hurts their sales if gamers wait for a GOTY or "complete" game bundle with all the DLC instead of buying full price on launch day. It's not only gamers fault if games fail, they have to acknowledge that they might have made mistakes that lead to the state of gaming today...

memots4199d ago

Good read and i agree.

Ill give this example. Dirt 3

Now i really like the game i have been playing it on my friend pc and was about to buy it. Then came the overprice DLC the "locked content" within the game. Then i decided to wait for a steam sale. Waited ... There have been some sale but they then announced the "complete edition" ..WTF kinda of a joke is that. Complete edition with all the DLC cars, unlock skin ect... So what did my friend buy ? The incomplete edition that is what he got.

Still waiting for the complete edition to come out on steam as we speak. Did this hurt their sales ? Yes it did.


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