You Know, This is All Jame Bond’s Fault
An analysis of one of the widely overlooked sources of our gaming discontent.
Now that whatever self-imposed hiatus I may have been under has passed, it’s time to take a look at the industry.
So I’ve been hearing a lot these days about concern for the gaming industry as a whole. Everyone’s starting to feel like the whole thing has become too much of a business, bringing with it all of the stupid big business decisions that go with that. The closest analogy I can think of is the way that electronics and home appliances are specifically designed not to last, lest the company lose money on future purchases due to the durability of their products. This has led to a series of complaints in the gaming industry that includes these among them:
1. Why can’t anyone release a game that works?
There’s a growing concern that developers seem unable to release a game that isn’t bug ridden at the start, instead relying on patches or the dreaded day one patch for bug fixes. Maybe it’s just me, but I keep seeing quality control credits at the end of games (Yes, I wait through those every time) and it feels like all those guys should be fired.
2. It’s a shooter dominated market.
While this is less of a problem than one might expect, it’s true for a different reason. There aren’t as many shooters being released as we tend to think, but a lot of the times the ones that are released get so much attention that there is an artificial inflation of feeling that shooters are taking over. While there aren’t so many released that this is a problem, the fact that it’s the only genre that grabs attention these days is – so much so that other genres have had to make concessions to remain relevant (See: Skyrim). This has become enough of a problem that Ubisoft employees have been complaining to their superiors that they simply don’t want to make another shooter game, and respected faces in the industry have gone as far as to say that they are “adolescent” and “make gamers into assholes.”
3. Day one DLC. (This might as well be expanded to include DLC on disc)
This should be obvious. Dude. Give me a whole game, and work the DLC later. And don’t give me any crap about compatibility issues necessitating DLC on disc, YOU GUYS ARE LITERALLY PAID TO MAKE THAT STUFF WORK.
4. It’s all about multiplayer.
I’ve been a firm believer in that fact that a game should stand on it’s single player, and any multiplayer modes should be a bonus. Multiplayer should be a facet of games, it has been since the glory days and the speed with which the vector evolves, games should adapt and it is a concept that has suits the inter-connectivity of the modern age. If all gaming consumers held this rule in regard, you bet your ass games like Call of Duty and really every five-hour-campaign-having-run-and-gunner would need to seriously reconsider their development process. I acknowledge that there are games CLEARLY designed to be multiplayer only (Counterstrike or Unreal Tournament, for instance) and that I wouldn’t want multiplayer modes in blockbuster games to be tacked on afterthoughts and that might perhaps this stem from my origins of games made in the 90’s, but when a game like Mass Effect 3 exists that marries an amazing story with a well thought and fleshed multiplayer mode that is closely related to the story enough to merit attention (though the passive-aggressive pushing by the galactic readiness rating is a bit much) then I have to wonder why so many other games or companies are so unable to deliver in this regard.