There’s an old proverb that goes like, A good dress is a card of invitation, a good mind is a letter of recommendation. If we fit it in the framework of modern video games, it could go like, Good graphics is a card of invitation, a good gameplay is a letter of recommendation. However, today we – the gamers – face a worrisome game developers’ tendency to fetching us the better graphics at the cost of storyline, interesting features, and, sometimes, entertaining value.
In the worst case scenario, we get both poor graphics and poor game mechanisms being angled by canny marketing conjurers. All in all, it is possible to highlight 5 general problems video game industry faces nowadays from the point of view of gamers, end-users of all these sport sims, RPGs, RTSs, actions, racings, etc.
Pursuit of WOW effect
Sometimes it seems like the only goal of developers is to make you buy the game no matter the cost. They trick you to want the game, they promise you a pie in the sky, tons of features, unparalleled after-game, plus they flavor all the beauty with head-spinning promo videos. Yet in the end, when you actually run the game and spend a couple of days trying to figure the whole thing out, you catch yourself thinking you’ve been pull a con game on. The product is just a fancy wrapper deeply shallow on the inside. You’ve been captivated by the WOW effect, but the game itself left a bittersweet after-taste of another marketing trick.
Narrowing down the target audience
It’s always about money. Pounds, dollars, euros – game developers want to drive fast cars and eat in chic restaurants too, so they desperately seek selling as many copies of the game as possible. But gamers are all different, with different tastes and preferences. Under such circumstances, developers have to come up with a product that suits the taste of both old-school hard-core PRG fans and race driving fiends. As a result, a some sort of hybrid hits the market with the promise of gamegasm, yet delivering another broken dream.
Competition is too harsh…
Battlefield or Call of Duty? At the end of the day, everyone decided for himself (or has both games and receives two times more pleasure). Two brands, two different approaches, two shy-high game budgets, two teams of top-notch specialists in many areas of game development, yet both companies manage to keep the boat of annual income floating. However, what happens to other – less wealthy – companies? They get swallowed by the sharks. And gamers? They just go past by a game that is less attractive and don’t even notice some interesting features and true innovations that have been applied in the last.
…or there is no competition at all
Are you a fan of football management, by the way? If yes, you’ll find a story with Football Manager series so familiar. If not, you’ll find the story exemplary. So, FM – a brilliant series of foot-sim games competing with EA itself and winning over the sports audience year after year. FM turned out so popular, that EA even turned down its own project. But did Sega’s project become any better? Nope, it just got worse. With no competition even on behalf of such inferior game as EA’s football management game was, FM is now a mediocre time-killer, but in no way it’s a game that has been keeping the fans glued to the screen for weeks any longer.
Look at FIFA or Need for Speed, or Call of Duty. Iconic brands that set the bar really high. But what do we have today? Every year we get a new game in the franchise, however the difference between this year’s FIFA, for example, and last year’s is almost none. In fact, FIFA 15 and FIFA 14 are actually the same game with just few additions and amendments in the first. But EA wants money, Activision wants money, BioWare wants money, everyone wants money. But if yesterday developers made money by bringing awesome games, today developers make money by simply increasing the budget on marketing. No one gives a donkey about game-play and after-game anymore.
The above article has been written by Janet Smith Justin. She writes at ukessaywriter where she takes a look at some of her other written works and represents a new educational projects.