AAA games are going to hell - opinion

Not every game, but the rate of failures in last years is HUGE. Let's talk about why it is and it may not be that simple.

AAA games are going to hell - opinion

History

When I was young, I got a CD with some game as a present, like Icewind Dale II and that was it, that was all the game you ever get. If it was great, it was great. If it was bad, it stayed bad.

In last years, we live in the age of the Internet, where is super simple and mostly automated downloading of patches and extensions and updates of all kinds, even huge ones in tens of gigabytes. So bad games can become good and the other way but it doesn't happen much often. And sadly, some developers and publishers started and now keep to exploit this state of the world.

It's really bad in these days

In past years games became unfinished at launch date. Not unpolished, it happened in every time, but I mean really unfinished. So you pay for a game $60 (or 60 EUR for us Europeans) and get 5 hours of more less fun and often just existing barely playable game time with a hope of it getting better.

And worse, they dare to put in-game stores in there so they can get from you much more money for stuff that should be in the expensive basic game. You know, like if you order full delicious sandwich, pay a full price, get bare bread instead and need to pay extra for every ingredient that should be in there from the start.

Why is that?

It's the question. There must be a reason for all that. It is not a single occasion. If it would be, we would call it a mistake that happens. It's not a mistake, it's a decision that is somehow made often and in multiple companies. But why would someone make that decision?

Gaming industry is an industry, so we are talking about money. Huge amounts of money. Managers making those decisions because of money. They are not passion about games like we are, they are forced or either just want to focus on money for companies they work in.

Microtransactions

It has a "transaction" in there, it's about money, decision-makers in game industries hear that and force that. They don't see games without inside stores viable.

We all hear complaints about those, because they lock game's content behind more money, often really big money they try to pull from you. So if we all complain about it, why doesn't it go away?

More people buying it then complain about it. That's the reality. Social media active gaming community is huge, but casual players not knowing about this problem are much more. And the fact here is, that until big companies like EA keep profiting out of this, they keep doing it.

I know that new Star Wars microtransactions-free game was announced but it's one of 20 others and I believe it's being made only to shut up Disney and us for a moment.

Why is it still here? Because it's working for them.

Unfinished games

Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, Fallout 76, Anthem, those are only a few of many examples. At launch, they were super-buggy, some completely unplayable, missing 75 % of all content. They were not products, they were uncompleted prototypes, pre-alpha versions of real games.

It took half a year to get better for some, longer for others and some are still not there.

Maybe it kind of started with Mass Effect Andromeda? I love this game, but I still saw its troubles. It wasn't even in slow pace of degradation, every year it got so much worse. Andromeda was unpolished, but as I said, it happened even in the past. Anthem? The same company make those two? It's not a product, it's a pre-alpha test version of a future product.

The problem is that when it happens and Anthem will be great game (if will), nobody will longer be hyped for it. Nobody won't want to play it, nobody will care anymore. IT IS SO SAD.

My opinion

It's about money for sure. But it was always about money. What changed than?

Companies want more and more and they found new ways to get more.

And ALSO, which I believe is bigger problem, game development keeps growing. It's more difficult, resources consuming, takes longer as games are more complex. And they need to be more complex so we keep buying them.

What I think is games got to a point where we want something that technically is possible but can't be made for $100 000 000 anymore and it got above budgets, that started to be painful even for those huge companies.

I just don't know what came first. Was it the bigger appetite for more money or the complexity?

And I know this is not the only reason. There are many of them, mostly poor decisions in a row. We can see that with Anthem, were took many years to even decide if players will be climbing hills or flying among them. This is just an example how management failed. Maybe Anthem would not suffer from any greediness or limited resources.

We can do something about it

There is always something you can do for it. EA have a need to shut us up with the new Star Wars microtransactions-free game, because the community is heard. Be heard and it will create a pressure for these companies. EA's stock price fallen about tens of dollars lately. If we keep talking about it, if we keep showing, that this is not the way, it will affect their incomes and we will start getting awesome finished games again.

What is your opinion about today's state of gaming world?

AAA games are going to hell - opinion
Published 28.04.2019 15:44
Thought
About author
Tom J.

Tom is a founder and CEO of Profit Visions company. He has big passion for tech, video game, science and sci-fi stories, which he writes about.

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