You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

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Grabthehoopka
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You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by Grabthehoopka » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:07 pm

...which would it be and why?

Grabthehoopka
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by Grabthehoopka » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:09 pm

Image

Don't know if this exact story is true, but I believe it... :(

Anyways, yes, I do hate the prevalence of these soulless cash grab F2P titles. I understand publishers wanting to take as little risk as possible in this economy, and there's certainly other bandwagons they're jumping on, but there's just something so cynical about them. Underneath giving them money, there's no substance to it. And if blatantly taking the customer's money for nothing continues to take off, it won't be long before they decide to cut out the middle man and just kill you and take your money.

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matt
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by matt » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:50 pm

There are so many that it's hard to just choose one! hahaha

I guess the thing I would complain about is the downward price pressure on games. If you look at something like Retro/Grade, it probably has a similar amount of content to Parappa the Rappa. That was a $40 game. (Technically a full playthrough of every challenge and difficulty, it is something like 14 hours of playtime if you make no mistakes.) Everyone told me that we couldn't charge $15 for it. It was a $10 game!

I don't have the full numbers, but I suspect we essentially made the same off of Humble Bundle that we did on a year for sale on Steam. Now, I am thrilled to be part of the Humble Bundle and I volunteer for pretty much every sale we are ever offered, but I have often wondered if the value of an indie game is being devalued by the sales and whatnot. I think it is an good business move in the short term, but in the long term, will things end up like on mobile? I hope not. Certainly there has been signs that indie games are able to charge MORE lately with Gone Home and whatnot for $20.

iOS/Android are pretty much a nightmare for developers. People ask, will we see Neverending Nightmares on iOS/Android? I don't know. Do we charge $3 for it? It'll be $15 everywhere else. That doesn't seem fair, but there's no way you can charge $15 for a mobile game. Maybe every time you die, you have to pay to wake up. hahaha Honestly, I think mobile games are ruined. You can't make something with limited appeal because you need to stay in the top 100 or no one will ever find out about your game. Even making a game NOT free is a big risk. *grumble*

It makes me sad when you see something like Republique, where they are trying to create a AAA game on mobile, and while it was successful on kickstarter, I would guess it hasn't seen a ton of success on the marketplace. Mobile is a cool platform I think, but the economics limit the types of games you can make. Honestly, I don't really like any mobile game, which is a shame. I would like to play games on my phone, but they don't really make any that interest me. (Granted a have a Windows Phone, which has no games or apps, but I wouldn't have bought one had I cared. haha)

As a sidenote, I find it sad that Amazon says "the average price" of games on Fire TV is like $4. On Ouya, they told me that games are doing well at higher price points. I think the latter is better for developers, and I think if things are better for developers, it's better for gamers - although they might not realize it when they are asked to pay more for a game.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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JPrice
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by JPrice » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:22 am

Hmmm there are quite a lot to choose from really as Matt said! Hahaha
But off the top of my head there are two things that spring to mind.

First is the state of PC distribution, primarily with Steam.
Steam's had a really bad trend recently of just releasing anything and everything on their new releases page. I know that window of being on that new releases tab is essential for the success of a smaller game, I mean sure it's not going to affect 100% of its success but it's a substantial margin. Too often I see new games that are actually being released on that day just being pushed down to the bottom of the list or onto the next page due to a huge influx of games that weren't even originally released on that day. Whether it be an old PC title that no-one's ever heard of or just a publisher dumping like 5 games on that one day. It's been happening quite often at the moment and it's a shame really. I'm not sure what the solution is but there needs to be either some form of quality control or better organisation of the front page.

Second issue I can think of is just how monetised games are becoming.
This is less an issue with traditional console/PC gaming but more with mobile gaming. I mean sure there are plenty of games that offer great experiences on mobile devices that aren't monetised heavily but too often there are blatant cash grabs that just try to expunge as much money from the consumer as possible. I fear that these practices may start to bleed over into the more traditional gaming media, I mean one could argue that it's already starting to happen with the large prevalence of pre-order only content and DLC content. It'd just be a shame to see it become even worse really I feel.
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Harry Sunderland
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by Harry Sunderland » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:00 am

A lot of you guys have already said my biggest gripes, so I'll try to find something new.

I am sick of every game trying to be this huge sprawling Open-World epic with a million little collectibles, and side quests, and NPCs, etc. I'll admit, I'm a huge Assassin's Creed fan, I love Mass Effect, etc...but my gaming time is limited, and I feel like these games are so huge that I really don't get to give them fair justice. But more importantly, I feel like you lose narrative as a central focus when you make the world so open.

As a kid/teen, I remember some of the best narrative gaming experiences I had were ones that were essentially on rails. I pulled two long gaming sessions and completed MGS3 over two days. Same with Dino Crisis, RE4, Mega Man X, etc... But when I think of the last few AAA games I've completed, they've all been Open World: Assassin's Creed, Batman Arkham City, Rage, Arkham Asylum, etc.

I just feel like as a story-teller, you inherently lose some pacing power with these games. I'd like to see more games that want to tell a good story.

Grabthehoopka
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by Grabthehoopka » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:49 pm

matt wrote:I guess the thing I would complain about is the downward price pressure on games.
Oh, geez, I wasn't really aware of this. I've wondered if it was hurting devs before, but I just assumed with the prevalence of steam sales and whatnot that it made some kind of economic sense that I didn't understand. I guess that's the attitude everyone has, and why it's a problem in the first place. Do you think this is a problem with someone exploiting someone, or do you think it's just the way the "invisible hand" is moving?

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matt
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by matt » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:21 am

Well, on PC, I don't think there is anyone exploiting anyone. I'm not really sure it's a problem there, but it is something I'm worried about. Maybe I worry to much.

On mobile, I'm not sure it's conscious exploitations, but the way the online stores work for iOS and Android and the complete lack of discoverability in anything but the top ratings, there is a huge downward price pressure. You have to be cheap or free to get the number of units to be in the top 100 on either the paid or free charts... If they created better storefronts, then that wouldn't be an issue, but I don't think they are sad that games are cheap or free because it adds value to their phones/tablets.
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by ranger_lennier » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:23 am

I guess the win/win for developers and gamers is if cheaper games just make people buy more, so we get more games without the total money going to the industry going down. Certainly I've bought a number of games I wouldn't have at full price, especially if there's a bundle where I might only be specifically interested in one or two of them.

We do seem to be seeing some growth of premium content on mobile, like the ports of X-Com Enemy Unknown and The Walking Dead. Maybe if we see more mobile publishers really marketing their games, and more websites reviewing mobile apps, the best games can get noticed.

As for a worry, I think that even worse than microtransactions in F2P games is microtransactions in full-price games. In Forza Motorsport 5 on XBox One, you can unlock new cars with currency earned in the game. Or, for a shortcut, you can just buy some currency. And apparently it would take a LOT of playtime to unlock all the cars without paying. I think "features" like this will almost certainly hurt the balance of a game.

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gagaplex
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by gagaplex » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:24 am

I'd really drive back the social media/MMO aspect to gaming that's rearing its ugly head. More and more people seem to think that multiplayer and coop makes up for lacking story, atmosphere and gameplay. Now, to be fair, I haven't played Titanfall yet, so this might not be justified, but I couldn't imagine paying full price for a match-based (not even a continuous world!) multiplayer-only title. And then there's stuff like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 or SimCity requiring always on connectivity and stuff like that. You know what I like? Being able to play a game when and where I want and not being dependent on the stability of servers (or even their mere existence, if we're talking about old games whose networks are shut down eventually). I'm the kind of gamer who picks up favourite games from before the turn of the millenium every now and then, I'm frankly horrified with the DRM-, social media and MMO trends lately, because I don't see these games still working as intended in ten years or so. Plus, a lot of this stuff just seems like thin facades to cover up attempts to stop piracy, when all it's really doing is making legal customers jump through hoops. GOG, Humble Store and other DRM-free platforms all the way, I say. :-)

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matt
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Re: You can change ONE trend in the videogame industry...

Post by matt » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:19 pm

I guess the win/win for developers and gamers is if cheaper games just make people buy more, so we get more games without the total money going to the industry going down.
While I think that is true to some extent, I don't think that's really the case overall. Gamers have a limited amount of time, so I don't they really will buy THAT many more games to make up for the low prices. Look at the iOS market for example. They have super low prices, but people still aren't buying that many games. The race to the bottom just forced devs to turn to F2P or super mass market appeal. :-/
Now, to be fair, I haven't played Titanfall yet, so this might not be justified, but I couldn't imagine paying full price for a match-based (not even a continuous world!) multiplayer-only title.
I played Titanfall, and I don't want to pay full price for it for that reason. However, I do like the fact that they can do multiplayer only without trying to shoehorn some terrible single player crap in there. The reason why I like this is because without the requirements of doing singleplayer AND multiplayer content, it can decrease game budgets, which is a good thing.

We were talking about Dead Space in a previous thread and how apparently EA didn't make enough money off of it. Doing the multiplayer content for Dead Space 2 probably cost millions. Did anyone play it? I don't think so because it didn't really make sense with the appeal for the rest of the game... :-/ But I'm sure EA marketing department said that popular AAA titles need both or consumers won't feel like they are getting value. For developers/publishers to realize that isn't necessary, it would be a big win for the industry I think.
-Matt Gilgenbach
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