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Games just aren’t as good as they used to be

Has the market dumbed down?

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Edweird #1 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:02 PM

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Games just aren’t as good as they used to be,

 

Has the market dumbed down or have the customers become dumbed down?

 

Im currently taking a bit of a break from tanks, as the high tiers left me sorely disappointed. Therefore, I decided to look for some alternative games, only to feel pretty disillusioned by the current gaming market,

 

Without being too nostalgic, video games have been a part of my life since early childhood when my mums friends got an Atari ST

 

Presently there are problems facing our favourite form of entertainment, many more than I could list

 

But I’m going to do my best to boil it down to a few points that I feel are relevant in today’s gaming climate.

 

I’m going to focus primarily on the big budget AAA side of gaming. While the indie market has its share of problems, I’m actually fairly optimistic about it overall. Whereas the path AAA games are headed down is the cause of no shortage of concern for me.

 

If you keep up with video game news, you know that it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. A single AAA title can cost upwards of $50 million dollars to make. Between artists, writers, programmers, testers, advertising and any number of other jobs needed to put together a game, there is no doubt that making a big budget title costs a lot. This point comes first to me, because really it’s going to be the cause of most the points on this list.

 

 

Let’s look at this point deeper however, in what it means for the game itself. Bigger cost to a company indicates a need either to sell more of that video game, or boost the cost of it in order to make a profit.

 

Most video game companies are run by people looking to make money, not art. So what this means for the games themselves is minimizing risk. When you have multiple millions of dollars on the line, you are going to try and appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and games recently have been doing this by adopting popular trends from other games.

 

Having played Fallout, Metal gear 5 Phantom Pain, GTA and the most recent Farcry, I cannot help but see them all as basically the same game? Are they using the same engine with different graphic’s overlay as they nearly all have the same themes gameplay and lacklustre stories that I just press esc on and skip…

 

The lack of originality is stunting the growth of new ideas and mechanics in games, instead causing developers to opt for the tried and true methods and bring nothing new to the table.

 

 

It’s rare to find a new game that tries to tell a new story or gameplay  to set itself apart from others..

The problem here is that due to the risk of making video games, companies want a story that will not offend anyone or stir up any trouble. This leads to no shortage of by the numbers storytelling that we’ve seen over and over again.

There are still several series that have solid storytelling, make no mistake. But for each truly memorable and interesting plot, we end up with at least a few games that may be solid game play wise, but with a lacklustre story that doesn’t even warrant attention.

 

Going back to the playing it safe with money and stories point, making a new intellectual property is a dangerous venture, especially for a AAA title.

It’s much safer to continue an existing story in an existing brand, than to try and get people to buy in on an untested story, and thus we have ended up with no shortage of 2’s, 3’s and prequels to games that in many cases had already told the story they had to tell.

The main problem with this is that without new ideas or differing gameplay or styles the market is stagnating, every story has to have an ending, and you have to let your characters retire I mean Snake must be over 70 now, he needs to go to the retirement home poor guy… To keep running on about one world, and not making new ones, eventually players will get bored. As am I

 

If we’re to improve as a medium of entertainment, companies and players need to communicate honestly. Players need to up front about what they want, and companies need to be straightforward with what they have. A rift in trust will only hurt everyone involved.

 

 

As I said at the onset of this rant, there is no shortage of issues facing the game industry today. Many of these problems are a side effect of the advanced era of communication we’re living in, and the technology that we have access to now such as social media loudmouths who seem to bully their way into forcing their views upon others.

 

But every company needs to grow and change with the times, and it seems that only a few companies have managed to do that in the past few years. I’m hopeful for change and improvements in the years to come, but I fear it may well get worse before it gets better.

 

Years ago My friend Mike who was one of the first Apple mac and PC development lecturers at Manchester University pointed this out to me

 

You’re either, a man, a car or a spaceship

 

Mike said this in 1990 and his critique is still essentially true, in essence what has changed...

 

1st person shooter?, driving games? or sim flight/spaceship games? nothing has changed in 28 years.

 

Games I liked and remembered as being good,

 

Notam of wind PS1 was a hot air balloon Sim it was unusual

 

Densa De Go which was a Japanese tube/metro driving sim.

 

Cyber Egg was cool essentially the weirdest game I played in years and 4 player too.

 

Metal gear Solid 1 was earthshattering the first time I played it (my friend had a Japanese pre-release around 1 year before it came to the EU and US.

Snake also smoked which was cool…

 

Resident evil 2 wow, the fact you could replay the story with different characters and weapons was great. Not clocking a game only to see a 10 min film style credit sequence..

 

Grand turismo 2 was so badarse, the fact you could tune up the cars and adjust the suspension gave the feeling of progress something that has been dumbed down in subsequent versions..

 

GTA Vice city was simply the best in the series all the sequelsare identical but with better graphics…

 

Soldiers of anarchy was an excellent game in that you could set up your teams pause the game and then set up ambushes etc…

 

To many old and interesting titles to list

 

Essentially, what has happened is just new graphics with no new ideas

 

But it got me thinking are todays “yoof” so spoon fed, lazy in in need of instant gratification. Could this be yet another reason for the general dumbing down of gaming?

 

Im thinking of taking a break from all games atm due to the lack of anything interesting out there…

 

 



Axelfoley666 #2 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:06 PM

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A real tank game :child:

 



Edweird #3 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:07 PM

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View PostAxelfoley666, on 04 April 2018 - 11:06 AM, said:

A real tank game :child:

 

 

I remember this game whats it called?



ThinGun #4 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:09 PM

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View PostAxelfoley666, on 04 April 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

A real tank game :child:

 

 

Proper old school.  When vector graphics were awesome to behold.

Quite amusing to hear someone talk about the yoof, when they appear to be youngsters themselves...

Pandabird #5 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:10 PM

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Way ahead of ya

 

Played through pretty much the entirety of the SNES library thanks to the wonders of emulation

 

Same goes to SEGA, though their library felt lacking in pure story

 

Tried out quite a few text games, completed a few honorable mentions like "a dark room" (which you can just google and play right away) and "A lost pig" (same with this one, much more immersive story and quite a good short introduction to text games to be frank)

 

Games of today generally just suuuuuuuuuck. It's all due to "generalization" instead of branching out. Developers want their products to appeal to a maximum consumer basis so they can earn the maximum profit, and in order to do so they have to cut down on questionable content, conflicts and ideas that might strike some as too "edgy" (like love affairs in rpg's, death and deceit, genocide and wrongdoings, plot twists, etc all the juicy stuff). It has to be dulled down to a point where it's acceptable to any minority without anyone getting offended by it. We end up with teletubby world instead of Planescape: Torment and so on.

 

 

 

The whole war on piracy is a joke. People simply no longer want to spend money on half-assed products trying to squeeze out a few extra quids with micro transactions, game content that should have been there to begin with and even more micro transactions.

 

Games like Witcher 3 were huge financial successes because people felt bad for pirating such an awesome game and went ahead and bought it anyways.

The devs actually stated this is the true way to fight piracy. Reach out and make a damn good game!

 

 

 

On the other hand that new Mass effect game is a prime example of everything that's wrong in today's world. I'll show you a video, and encourage you to watch it. Is *THIS* what we want in the future?

Spoiler

Seriously if you haven't watched it you should. THIS is a real AAA title ruined by EA and the video is absolutely hilarious 


Edited by Pandabird, 04 April 2018 - 12:17 PM.


Axelfoley666 #6 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:12 PM

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Battlezone.

View Postdiscontinued, on 04 April 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

 

I remember this game whats it called?

 



jack_timber #7 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:21 PM

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Battlezone... Remember in the distant past putting 10 or was it 20p into these early cabinets... Must have spent a fortune, my favourite game some 30+ years ago.

Still have it on PC somewhere.



Edweird #8 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:22 PM

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I suppose its kinda like when anything that starts out niche or underground, once it become mainstream it loses its originality.

 

Look at modern films for instance,

 

1969 they made 2001 A Space Odyssey, which was essentially an art-house film made by a big studio, this would not happen again as the risk of a flop would be far to high, also i doubt our younger generations would have the brain capacity to even vagely understand an meaningful and intersting plot.

 

look at now..a plethora of marvel inspired repetition of dross and un-originality.

 

Having just seen black panther I was trying my hardest not to laugh when I heard some teenagers complain "i don't like subtitled movies" in the first opening sequence.

 

I genuinely fear for the future, when these bright young things run the world :unsure:

 

 



ThinGun #9 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:27 PM

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View Postdiscontinued, on 04 April 2018 - 12:22 PM, said:

I suppose its kinda like when anything that starts out niche or underground, once it become mainstream it loses its originality.

 

Look at modern films for instance,

 

1969 they made 2001 A Space Odyssey, which was essentially an art-house film made by a big studio, this would not happen again as the risk of a flop would be far to high, also i doubt our younger generations would have the brain capacity to even vagely understand an meaningful and intersting plot.

 

look at now..a plethora of marvel inspired repetition of dross and un-originality.

 

Having just seen black panther I was trying my hardest not to laugh when I heard some teenagers complain "i don't like subtitled movies" in the first opening sequence.

 

I genuinely fear for the future, when these bright young things run the world :unsure:

 

 

 

I am already in the future I feared.  I was born and raised before computers, colour tvs and ... MOBILE PHONES.  Imagine how stupid the world now looks to me, seeing millions of people walking around looking at Facebook instead of the real world ...

Captain_Kremen0 #10 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:35 PM

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The day the consoles took over from PC as the main source of gaming it all went down the shitter.

Basically story and immersion went out of the window and classics like STALKER and Half Life gave way to #insert conflict bland shootem53



Steeleye_Spam #11 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:52 PM

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wow, this thread is really bringing out the crinklies :) . I think there are still small developer houses out there making fun and imaginative games - but you have to look for them. EG:- Amanita design in the Czech republic has an epic run of really imaginative, fun adventure games. I'm not sure I buy the 'stuff was better back in the day' line. Back in the 80's and 90's most of the games market was totally derivative and there were masses of poor games with a few gems - the main difference now is the domination of a few labels who's raison d'etre is maximizing profits, not being creative.

jabster #12 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:52 PM

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The older generation has spent forever complaing about the ‘problems’ of the younger generation. You were once part of that younger generation and society doesn’t seem to have collapsed yet.

Axelfoley666 #13 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:55 PM

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View Postjabster, on 04 April 2018 - 11:52 AM, said:

The older generation has spent forever complaing about the ‘problems’ of the younger generation. You were once part of that younger generation and society doesn’t seem to have collapsed yet.

 

​Quite right, now pass me a tide pod. 

Pandabird #14 Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:58 PM

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I still call EA as the main oppressor and the enemy of games as art and enjoyment.

 

It buys all the rising gaming studios, puts shock collars on their slaves and whips them until another game comes out on an exact deadline date.

 

 

Does anyone honestly know how many Assassin's creed games there are to this date? I played one of them, then the rest look the same. You don't *NEED* to pump out a new game every year geez.

 

Westwood, Maxis,,, all pooped on.

 

 

All because a game studio grew powerful pumping out the same game year after year (FIFA, NHL) with polished graphics and people were stupid enough to buy it time after time.

 

 

 

It owns copyrights, outbuys advertising space, marketing space, sets its foot down so that nobody, exactly nobody will ever be able to ever rise above it.

 

Some odd weeds have sprouted, quickly drowned in the feces pavement that is Electronic "arts" dominating monopoly.

 

All the rest can do is adapt, adjust to an increasing demand of mindless blandness, because that's all the entertainment people get to see.


Edited by Pandabird, 04 April 2018 - 01:02 PM.


jabster #15 Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:03 PM

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View PostPandabird, on 04 April 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

I still call EA as the main oppressor and the enemy of games as art and enjoyment.

 

It buys all the rising gaming studios, puts shock collars on their slaves and whips them until another game comes out on an exact deadline date.

 

 

Does anyone honestly know how many Assassin's creed games there are to this date? I played one of them, then the rest look the same. You don't *NEED* to pump out a new game every year geez.

 

Westwood, Maxis,,, all pooped on.

 

 

All because a game studio grew powerful pumping out the same game year after year (FIFA, NHL) with polished graphics and people were stupid enough to buy it time after time

 

Well no. There’s lots of more interesting games out there if you wish to find them. 

Rati_Festa #16 Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:04 PM

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View Postdiscontinued, on 04 April 2018 - 12:22 PM, said:

 

 

1969 they made 2001 A Space Odyssey, which was essentially an art-house film made by a big studio, this would not happen again as the risk of a flop would be far to high, also i doubt our younger generations would have the brain capacity to even vagely understand an meaningful and intersting plot.

 

 

I'm not sure 2001 was a hit when it came out and I read a lot of people just watched it for the special effect and didn't know wtf was going on ( Ive watched it about 5 times and it's still not that clear at the end ), I think it was slow burner on release. I'd say Interstella is a fairly good comparison to 2001 in respect to scope and grandeur.

 

I've also struggled finding games to play as an alternative to WOT, Skyrim and Fallout 4 dragged me off for a few months, I play Supreme Commander every now and again, one modern game that I truly love and is a near perfection is Faster Than light, epic soundtrack too. I have 100's of modern games and I agree they don't draw you in as much as they did. I think it's over emphasis on graphics that causes the issue.



Kozzy #17 Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:07 PM

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View Postjabster, on 04 April 2018 - 11:52 AM, said:

The older generation has spent forever complaing about the ‘problems’ of the younger generation. You were once part of that younger generation and society doesn’t seem to have collapsed yet.

 

I know, right?  But don't you remember when all this was just fields?  The days were warmer, sunnier and longer etc etc...  

jabster #18 Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:15 PM

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View PostKozzy, on 04 April 2018 - 12:07 PM, said:

 

I know, right?  But don't you remember when all this was just fields?  The days were warmer, sunnier and longer etc etc...  

 

Tell me about it. When every I go back to where I grow up I see yet another place with houses that I think we used to play there. One of my favourite memories was being about eleven and throwing breeze blocks throw a whole row of houses with patio doors.

 

As for it being sunny, well if it was we where sent out to the Downs with some apples, sausages and a lighter. Not allowed to return to 4 o’clock.


Edited by jabster, 04 April 2018 - 01:18 PM.


EnzoGrim #19 Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:16 PM

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View PostJinglles, on 04 April 2018 - 01:07 PM, said:

There are much better games today like GTA 5 singleplayer Witcher 3, tomb raider, portal portal2 and many others which are way better then vice city which is still a great game but it can't even compare to new ones and they shouldn't be compared because they are not the same it's different generations so cry more about how THe old times were better everything now sucks you old [edited]grow up

 

For me, its not always the case. Yes I love many new games like Witcher 3 , Wolfenstein NO, Borderlands and so on... But I like much more of the older as well. Games like Baldur Gate , Neverwinter Nights , Stalker series just to name a few. And I personaly think that GTA San Andreas is much better than GTA 5 , that one was just a bore fest for me.



ThinGun #20 Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:19 PM

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View Postjabster, on 04 April 2018 - 01:15 PM, said:

 

Tell me about it. When every I go back to where I grow up I see yet another place with houses that I think we used to play there. One of my favourite memories was being about eleven and throwing breeze blocks throw a whole row of houses with patio doors. 

 

You say the world hasn't collapsed?  Hmmm ... I remember when Reagan was President and we thought "what could possibly be worse than having an actor as the most powerful man on the planet?".  And then along came Trump.




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