Is The Uncertainty Of Gamers Holding Back The Gaming Industry?
There are many sayings, and often a lot of beliefs, that people are largely scared and anxious about the unknown. The future is completely unknown and that, in turn, causes anxiety and uncertainty. Almost all of us struggle with what the future holds.
This can be seen in contrast with posttraumatic stress disorder–a problem where previous events haunt the present.
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Is future anxiety not the exact case with next-generation? Gamers are too set on how things are, right now, that many are unwilling to accept what it could be, or how it could be. The anxiety that followed the announcement of next-generation console features had led to global furor.
Sony was fortunate enough to avoid being the target, quite successfully I might add. The Japanese console maker managed to win the heart of gamers with relative ease. Microsoft, on the other hand, not so much.
The software giant’s Xbox One was the talk of the town for many weeks. But why? Could it be because many did not understand what was being offered?
In a recent interview, that can be found here, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten commented on how he feels that the company came across. Whitten feels that Microsoft did not communicate the whole story to the world effectively. And I for one believe that this is the case.
The mere fact that each day, for a few weeks, saw a new story published on the system and how it will work proves this. Microsoft, with an expert marketing team, did it wrong. It definitely sold all the features and excitement, however it then neglected to take into account all of the anxiety that accompanies such change. There was no consideration of how the gamer would feel. The actual market for the product was left out in the cold.
Understandably, a few features did push the limits–mainly used games considerations–however, apart from that, it was not all that bad. Few companies and people would be in serious trouble, but with change comes new ideas and innovation. Someone would find a work-around.
That leads onto this: digital is happening. We need to accept it. Whether or not our localised internet supports it, it is on the way. Third-world countries are not considered when companies look to the future. Moreover, when people think Africa it often feels that South Africa is overlooked. We are part of Africa, but not really–we are a little more sophisticated. Africa, as a gaming continent, is non-existent. In my opinion, it is a small portion of the entire market and keeping games the way they are for this market makes no sense. Africa has shown relatively little growth on this front, as too many African nations lack basic infrastructure for this to be a target market.
Looking to the rest of the world, there are very few places that will have the problems that we have, with regards to digital only.
The anxiety from a growing country that digital is going to ruin gaming is sort of unfounded. Digital will merely raise costs of gaming a bit, however it will not kill it completely.
With the Gaikai Cloud service, Sony’s stance on digital is similar to that of Microsoft, and you can bet that one will not migrate without the other. Just like Sony would not let Microsoft benefit from secondhand game fees without implementing such a system themselves.
As far as I was concerned, either Sony would follow or policies would change.
Fortunately, policies changed. Microsoft’s reversal of policies was forced by the market, through serious miscommunication on their part.
Microsoft’s Xbox One is a mere tribute to that fact that massive corporates can and do get it wrong–from a marketing perspective, at least.
I believe that although there was a fierce amount of innovation, pushed by a slight portion of corporate greed, things would have been good with a very online-orientated system.
Gamer anxiety stopped this. Fear of change and fear that things are changing led gamers to act irrationally and with spite. This coupled with how Microsoft struggled to clarify the situation made it all a lot worse. Microsoft, however, was in a bad place ever since the reveal.
Get it wrong first time round–at the reveal–and your policy is as good as dead. Interviews with any site or TV show is not going to change much.
And here we are, in the middle of July. Microsoft has a new policy, gamers are happy–well some of them. We now see that some gamers are flocking to petition for old systems back.
How can anyone ever win? If the petition to keep things the way they were existed before the reversal, you could bet that there would be no reversal. It’s too late to re-reverse now, though.
Will gamers be the problem behind the growth of the industry that they love so much? Or will something happens, where all of this changes and gamers start to accept that things won’t be the same forever?
We can only hope.