Everything Wrong With The Gaming Industry Right Now
The gaming industry has been in flux these past few years. There’s been an overwhelming amount of controversies going on to the point where it starts getting rather worrying. It hasn’t been a declining cycle either it just keeps on going and has no intention of stopping. That scares the crap out of me because I don’t want to see my beloved hobby devolve into this cesspit of shady business practices with shitheads in business suits trying their best to sabotage something I hold so dear. Recently, however, it seems things have gotten out of control. I’ve been keeping up with controversies that happen on all fronts of the gaming spectrum, be it PC gaming, mainstream gaming or indie gaming.
This is what I’ve noticed is wrong with the industry as it stands right now:
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
Money Grabbing Business Practices
The free-to-play model, basically. The correct way to use the free-to-play model has been lost on gaming publishers and now instead we have exploitative bullshit in our games that force us to either grind or be pressured at all times. The way the free-to-play should work can be found in a game such as Loadout where you can progress and play just fine without paying a cent, but you can buy non-essential aesthetic items if you want to support the game. Another correct way that you can do this model is to offer premium upgrades to make the game a little easier, but are still nonessential to the experience.
The other form of free-to-play makes me sick to my stomach. The type of free-to-play that makes you wait for days just to accomplish simple tasks that should not even take time in the first place unless you purchase ridiculously expensive “gems” or “coins”. The type of free-to-play that puts you behind a ludicrously large paywall just to make some decent progress. The type of free-to-play that fucking exploits children and makes them spend $100 on a fucking cart in a stupid Mario Cart clone. This is pure capitalist evil. It’s like buying a meal and having to pay $20 to add pickles and if you don’t want pickles then you get a piece of old bread with a dog turd on it.
This has to stop and soon.
Releasing Unfinished Games
This became worrying when the act of releasing a game before it’s done became an actual business practice. Early Access games, essentially. I do agree that Early Access games have their positives along with all the negatives that come with them, but this is fast evolving into a trend. And trends always seem to go out of control at some point. I fully expect that Early Access games will become a corrupted system where developers make their money out of the unfinished game then completely abandon it altogether.
Unfinished games have also seeped into AAA where we get games that were not even close to finished and have game breaking bugs and completely broken systems. Battlefield 4, Arkham Origins, Call of Duty Ghosts’ PC port, a multitude of Steam games and so on. I assume this is happening because publishers put ridiculous deadlines on everything just to slightly improve sales and the game suffers because of it. It pisses me off that a game we pay full price for is completely broken on launch and we have to wait for patches and developers to get their shit together at some point.
Deplorable Games Somehow Getting Released
Have you seen Steam’s latest releases recently? Let’s take a look at one of them. Guise of the Wolf. The game released in an absolute broken state, basic debugging hasn’t been done, the graphics are horrible, there’s so many bugs you can populate the Amazon with them, basic animations weren’t done and the list just goes on. How the hell did this get released? Does Steam have no quality control whatsoever? Then you get games such as Rambo The Videogame. A $40 horrible movie licensed game that has absolutely no right to exist. If it was maybe $10, that would be kind of reasonable, but a 2 hour game that oozes with bad design and horrible quality is somehow available for purchase at full retail price? Get fucked.
Steam in particular needs some form of quality control even just to avoid the storefront from devolving into this dumping ground of absolute garbage. Steam is fast becoming one of those stands you see in a supermarket with the shovelware games that are being developed by the hundreds with absolutely no quality going into them. But rather than selling for like $2, they’re the same price as full retail games.
The gaming community is evolving into the South African government it seems. People are being paid off to say good things about a console without expressly stating they’re marketing something. Journalists get sent “gift bags” and perks to essentially bribe them into marketing a game positively. There’s so many accounts of corruption going on within the industry that it makes me very weary of what to trust anymore. There’s also so many accounts of fake positive reviews popping up for crappy games that were either instigated by a developer or were paid for. If you see a crappy game on Steam getting a positive review seemingly out of nowhere just when the game released then you can know that something fishy is going on.
Let’s Appeal To The Mainstream!
We are sadly losing creative integrity at an alarming rate. Games aren’t being made anymore to make something unique or to be revolutionary experiences, no, they are being made to appeal to a “wider audience”. All of it is being done in the name of the almighty dollar, sadly, but this is quickly going to backfire. Once the market becomes oversaturated, people will get bored and everything will fall to pieces. Then you get AAA games appealing to fucking mobile gamers of all things. The Dead Space 3 microtransactions were seemingly put in place for this reason. Even the new Halo: Spartan Assault was designed to be played as a tablet stick shooter (microtransactions and all).
Indie developers have started exploiting this lack of creativity in the industry with creative endeavors of their own and have become massively successful because of it. Minecraft has made more money than some 5 year development cycle AAA game even though the game has become self-exploitative recently, releasing on literally every platform except Nintendo consoles. We need creativity to keep things alive, especially in this industry, and when that dissipates then who knows what might happen.
As you can tell, I’m not happy with the state of the industry right now. Things are so needlessly complicated and corrupt to the point where I wish we could just go back to simpler times when things weren’t so evil. There might be another videogame crash or everything will somehow fix itself and we can get back to what is important. Playing good games. Let’s hope.