Game Industry, Play

My Growing Despair of the Video Game Industry

When I first started writing for Game On Girl back at the end of 2012, I immediately thought of doing an article at the beginning of every year where I looked ahead to the games that had me excited. I, to date, have done that exactly once, at the beginning of 2013. And looking at my choices then, I have to laugh. Only one of those games was released that year. One was released last summer, and the one I was most hyped for still doesn’t have an official release date yet. And now, almost three and half years later, I’m really not interested in any of them.

To be honest, I’m starting to be completely uninterested in anything the video game industry says, or has to offer.

My disappointment with the video game industry started with the AAA companies. At one time, you would buy a complete game and, maybe a year or two later, an expansion pack. But, apparently, there was a problem with this. Those giant corporate monstrosities just weren’t making enough money. They saw companies like Blizzard and Daybreak Game Company making money on an MMORPG for years after a customer purchased it. This led companies like EA and Ubisoft to the realization that they could continue to make a profit on a purchased game too. And thus the whole “chop your complete video game into several DLCs and microtransactions business model” came to be.

And, I hated it. I still do, in fact.

But not all was lost. With the advent of crowd-funding and early access games it had become possible for independent game developers to create and sell their product without being shackled to the whims of some giant AAA publisher. Now truly innovative and inspiring games could be created without having their souls ripped out by the corporate greed of the AAA monsters. At least that’s how it should have worked in a perfect world.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? No, we live in a world where no talent idiots can buy a game engine and graphical assets, throw them together into a loose hodgepodge, call it a game, and release it on Steam. They call it an early access game, collect as much money as they can for it, and then never work on it again. So apparently, you don’t have to be a big game publisher to be greedy and treat your customers like crap.

Because of all this, I don’t look forward to games anymore. I let other people try them out and see what they have to say. If a game gets good user reviews after a couple of months or so, I might consider buying it.

The video game industry has used up all of their credibility, and I have no more faith to offer.

One might think that this can’t continue, and that eventually people will wise up and start voting with their wallets, but there’s a sucker born every minute.

4 thoughts on “My Growing Despair of the Video Game Industry”

  1. Interesting article, Mark. I play mainly MMOs, myself, but my kids play various other games and yes, the DLCs sometimes seem to eclipse the expansions, and there does seem to constantly be a next…. next… next. Strangely enough, my kids expect that, so I guess marketing is succeeding. But then, it's grey and cloudy today and I have a lot of housework to do before I can allow myself any gaming time, so maybe I'm being a bit too pessimistic atm. (Perhaps not.) But anyway, thanks for making me stop and think about things!

  2. Thanks for your comment Sharon! I was feeling pretty pessimistic when i wrote the article despite it being a sunny day.

    I really feel like as long as there are consumers willing to over pay for a piece meal game that we are going to see less and less on the market worth our attention or money.

  3. I'm with you, Mark. Console gaming with a friend is one of the best past times ever. But more and more games are single player or online so your friends have to play with you from their own home on their own console and copy of the game ($$$$). Steam helps with this but the offerings that are multi-player, not MMORPG, are dwindling and we find ourselves hanging on to the older consoles and returning to the great games of yore.

  4. Hey Mark, quite thoughtful blog! Really so many changes have been there in the video game industry. Day-by-day things getting changed and the games are losing popularity. Every time there is something expansion and the new version get released hence stick to a single game is completely foolish. I'm having great weakness for computer games but I don't like to play the same game regularly that's why I depend on rental video games and I enjoy a new game every day. I can understand the thing that you're saying. Due to fall in public demand, you're losing interest; it’s up-to you, what you want to do. Thanks for sharing.

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