Dear Everyone: It's All Going to be Okay

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Dear Everyone: It's All Going to be Okay

Change is hard, but it's also necessary.

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A much needed shot of optimism in a sea of worries, and a different perspective worth thinking about. Thank you Robert, it's times like this that remind me why I'm excited to see a new piece from you.

That was really quite nice bit of writing and improved my mood today.

Thank you.

Warms the cockles of my heart. To all my fellow Escapists,

Well, of course there's going to be a lot of bad vibes and bad things happening during a stage of transition.

Apart from the usual horrorshow that is real life (as conveyed by the general news anyway), AAA gaming IS sinking.
But this is not some prophecy of destruction but an arguably overdue phase of the gaming market's cycle.

The current old system of development isn't working very well anymore, and it's time for that to change.

For once the trouble facing the games industry is of their own making, taking sales for granted and making grandiose decisions with millions upon millions of pounds (dollars) that are normally not for the benefit of the games or the wider gaming community. Always on DRM's, grand cut scenes and expensive voice actors are not going to make anyone buy a bad game. See Jimquisition for the angry rants about it.
It used to be piracy. How many playstations do you know that were not chipped? In my part of the UK, not alot. How many flashed Xbox 360's do you here of? Is the fact you can play a 360 game online but can't when it's a copy?
Sane thinking companies will not blow millions on games and expect six million sales just to break even, they will budget accordingly (thanks again Jim).
The industry will survive, they just need to listen

Great article and thank you for the reminder : ) All the negative/fail hype, it is easy to do as they are not invested and costs them nothing if they are wrong.

You are also right, games continue to improve as new or refreshed ideas are built upon previous ones, this keeps our beloved hobby going through thick n thin.

Lastly, I think it is great when you mentioned real world examples of the past. How buildings lost though sad at first, end up making room for new buildings and new experiences to happen.

Thanks a lot for the article. We need an optimistic reminder every now and then. I wonder how much better things would be if we incorporated that attitude of forgiveness not just in discussions about games, but in all facets of life.

Personally, I haven't been worried. I'm almost looking forward to the next big games and movies crash. The air here needs clearing and maybe the crash will take out some of the undead monstrosities hanging around stinking up the place.

Thank you very much. We certainly needed some positive thoughts. At least, this managed to chin me up a bit :)

image

Okay, I'm sorry, but I have to ask: what happened?

Thanks for tipping me off not to read next weeks edition. Nothing personal I am just sick of that game being discussed so I'll pass.

Though I do take issue with one thing in this article. It seems to value change for the sake of change. Not for improvement, but just for changing. If the change happens because of no reason then the change has no value to add. You see that car dealership closed down because it's profits declined or the owner wanted to retire and it was to be replaced with something else that would bring in the money and as such offer jobs and stimulate the local economy.

You see we wouldn't be where we were if there was no improvement brought on by the change. If things change for the worse then we should put our foot down and stop that change. If the 720 wants to change things up by quite literally making gaming itself reliant on the servers and stability of the console manufacturers connection then we should put our foot down, say no and demand a change in the RIGHT direction.

In short we should not blindly want or allow things to change when we do not like the outcome of those changes.

As for the market crashing? I am actually hoping for that. It needs a big fat crash to stir up the industry that has basically reduced itself to one mission statement.

Be like Call of Duty.

I think the crash in the games industry is just a single part of a wider issue: the economic downturn from 2008 (almost 5 years now) isn't going back up. More and more belt-tightening, as prices for basics like food, housing, electricity, oil all go up. There is less money in the industry. There is less money in every industry. There is less investment and speculation. It's nice to go 'well, there's been economic downturns before, it'll pick up again', but we're facing peak oil: not just that the oil-producing countries have whacked up prices, but that it's actually just starting to tip towards 'running out'. We're potentially even heading into a mini ice age.

To say 'it's all going to be ok' is to dismiss all this, and believe naively that things will get better, because things *always* get better. It's a comforting thought, sure, and I guess it's nice to have those, but it's not grounded in anything.

I've been willing to welcome change to the industry for a while now. Some won't like it, but I know it has to come if it wants to continue living. That might involve Nintendo no longer making consoles, Naughty Dog violating Sony's ownership contract to nab the mature PC audience (and thus court battles debating the distribution rights of owned developers), or even having to challenge Bungie or Infinity Ward to make something new that doesn't use violence as a mechanic to prove their relevancy. It's these kind of changes I'm willing to embrace; it's coming to a situation where the rules that did work in the past are no longer effective, and even worse hurting companies and genres because it's essentially a taboo to break them. An example of such taboos would be allowing users to create private servers in an MMO. Even the word and definition of "video game" has be challenged because of releases that are dubbed "visual novels" or "no-games", as they use the same level interactivity games do.

But yes, I agree - We need to change. Or, at least accept that we need to in order to proceed. Many opportunities missed and still waiting are like low-reaching pieces of fruit; some of it is hanging low enough that those who can reach it without stretching have been too ignorant to take it.

Industries stagnate & need to collapse once in a while

I just hope AAA publishers don't get federal bailouts, which they probably will

In times like these, it is best to enjoy the little things. Gaming will get better. It will change, but it will get better.

Aww, this made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wanna go hug someone, can someone give me a hug? ......Ah, fuck it! GROUP HUG! C'MERE GUYS~!

image

Yes! Thank you for this article. Let's not focus on the negative, but look for the positive!
And remember:
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2hqS_lzNIlU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]
EDIT: DAMMIT, how do embed Youtube videos on this thing?!

Alright, some much needed optimism. So much anger about. I'm not saying we should ignore bad things, but it might be nice to bring some more positivity. Or as Bobby McFerrin would say:

Darth_Payn:
EDIT: DAMMIT, how do embed Youtube videos on this thing?!

Like this, just remove the spaces: [ youtube = 2hqS_lzNIlU ]

Captcha: Chocolate cookie
A good start, cookies are great

Darth_Payn:
Yes! Thank you for this article. Let's not focus on the negative, but look for the positive!
And remember:


EDIT: DAMMIT, how do embed Youtube videos on this thing?!

Fixed that for you;well kind of.

Infernai:
Aww, this made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wanna go hug someone, can someone give me a hug? ......Ah, fuck it! GROUP HUG! C'MERE GUYS~!

image

I'm the lettuce!!

The one next to the mayo, tho...mustard and I don't get along...

I thought this was going to be a really cheesy piece but it I've been pleasantly surprised.
Thanks, Today has been a good day :)

Professor James:

Darth_Payn:
Yes! Thank you for this article. Let's not focus on the negative, but look for the positive!
And remember:


EDIT: DAMMIT, how do embed Youtube videos on this thing?!

Fixed that for you;well kind of.

Thanks, mate!

So long as Bethesda, CD Projekt, and Valve survive and keep making the same sorts of games they do then I don't care what other big names fold in the upcoming crash. In fact, if we could arrange for EA and Ubisoft to be two of the publishers that do collapse then gaming as a whole will become even better.

DrunkOnEstus:
A much needed shot of optimism in a sea of worries, and a different perspective worth thinking about. Thank you Robert, it's times like this that remind me why I'm excited to see a new piece from you.

I second that. I myself contribute to alot of the bickering and "debating" on the escapist and I think its time I did less of that and started to try to be more positive and bring positivity to the forums.

Yeah, good point. Being positive isn't my forte, but it's what's necessary right now.

An excellently written article, hope it spreads around.

Infernai:
Aww, this made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wanna go hug someone, can someone give me a hug? ......Ah, fuck it! GROUP HUG! C'MERE GUYS~!

image

hahahahhaahaha, you get my "won the internet" award! lol.

OT: I'm not particularly concerned for an industry crash - so many smaller developers have been making such highquality stuff, a supposed crash would simply give them room to shine - like a wildfire in a forest.

I also don't suspect it'd last long, 3-4 years max. And you know what? In that time, we'll probably STILL get fairly decent AAA games, and of course a shiz ton of awesome indie products.

And Nintendo. Nintendo's like a proverbial twinkie.

Zombie_Moogle:
Industries stagnate & need to collapse once in a while

I just hope AAA publishers don't get federal bailouts, which they probably will

... what actually? You actually think that? For realz? hahaha, no. Probs not.

All the other industries that were bailed out were specifically chosen because of either how integrated they were into our economy, or they were banks. Game companies aren't a particularly large part of the US economy... at least, not large enough to be bailed out.

Mimsofthedawg:

Zombie_Moogle:
Industries stagnate & need to collapse once in a while

I just hope AAA publishers don't get federal bailouts, which they probably will

... what actually? You actually think that? For realz? hahaha, no. Probs not.

All the other industries that were bailed out were specifically chosen because of either how integrated they were into our economy, or they were banks. Game companies aren't a particularly large part of the US economy... at least, not large enough to be bailed out.

I suppose the word "bailout" was a bit too specific, as there are many types of subsidies & cost reductions that corporations receive from governments by asking the right people the right way [wink]

Never underestimate the power of a good team of lobbyists.

Robert Rath:
From the article

Originally, my column this week was going to discuss how BioShock Infinite uses history to reflect the modern age - but honestly, it can wait. No one wants to read about anarchist bombings this week, or racism for that matter.

This is very understandable and a good call, the articles about the real historic events in Bioshock: Infinites story have been really enlightening though. Is there any chance you will revisit those topics at a more appropriate time in the future?

Yeah it kind of needs to be said. While publishers like EA may going into the red, they're still selling millions of games at $60 a piece. Regardless of how bad some are currently doing there's still billions of $$$ to be made here, it's just a matter of restructuring and figuring out what is profitable.

Rather than the early 80's video game crash people always bring up, if anything happens it will be much more like the 60's movie studio crash that you mentioned. From what I recall of my movie history it was a combination of movies being to formulaic (ie: the nuclear family values) at a time when television was coming out and giving the same experience at a cheaper price, and studios spending enormous amounts of $$$ on extravagant movie set pieces like in Ben Hur. While these movies were popular the money made couldn't justify the enormous amounts of money studios were blowing on making them big and extravagant to stand out from the lesser equivalents... sound familiar?

I just realized that now we re in officially in crash mode.

When you can write an article like that, with no particular argument for WHY the industry might be crashing just assume that itr is, and people react positively, that's no longer speculation, that's a point of no return.

You know...the other day, I was doing my usual thing. Wandering about here and there, and went back to a site that I visited from time to time. 1up.com. I went there to see....

They were done. Shutting down. No more to really update or do. This was it, goodbye, good luck, and damn good to see ya.

And it was at that point that I realized that all my games and such were old now. Things were shutting down, going away, and were not going to be coming back. I know that this article is really trying to reassure all involved that things are going to be alright. That at the end of the day, people will continue to make fun games, and things will look back up, and we will leave the past where it should be.

But, I gotta be that stranger and just say it: We won't be ok without some action. Support this site and its people, be community people. Buy stuff, work with things, visit a bunch of forums and do stuffs. Maybe we are rolling downhill, but that doesn't mean you should just sit back and watch.

It'll be alright, but it isn't something passive. You MAKE it alright, and don't settle for less, because that won't do a damn thing.

Is it bad that I've been having a GOOD week? It's not like Yellowstone Erupted... although.
In Australia we had our "Indutstry" crash years ago, not fun.

"YOU MAKE A MOBILE! YOU MAKE A MOBILE GAME! EVERYBODY MAKE MOBILE GAAYYYYMMES!!" -Oprah (she said that, really).

To be honest the industry can crash for all I care. The way the publishers have been going around to protect there properties has almost made most gamers feel like criminals. There is no trust in the market when a large publisher is involved. Gamers lack faith and the general trend of money making schemes and restricted play is tantamount to that.

EA, Ubisoft and Activision have access to such large resources that they feel they cannot fail and that any amount of money thrown at something will sell. This is bad business practice full stop. Any good business will know that an investment is a risk but this is where the gaming industry is screwing up.

The vast resources of a publisher, the quality of the developers at there disposal and the near limitless of potential consumers as the market continues to grow in developing countries should be an almost guaranteed win. Wrong, you cannot get an IP that is know to be popular and expect to pump unlimited amount of funds into it, market it as the best game in it's genre and expect it to sell as well as the market competitor. Ideas, innovation and freedom of development make genre busting games.

Call of Duty's jump to the modern genre was a risk and the new approach was incredible. For all the hate CoD has now back then it deserved everything it got. But therein lies the problem, the large success and the what would be considered the mainstream attraction made money signs appear in publishers eyes. 2007 saw great innovation in the games industry such as Mirrors Edge and Mass Effect. Big, new games gave us the highlight of the gaming industry.

Then the recession annihilated stocks across the globe.

Suddenly money was fast becoming worthless, people were losing out on there savings and peoples futures looked uncertain. The global economy had gone to s**t. However games were getting bigger but publishers bottom line was starting to take on water. We the consumer continued to buy games, we loved the stuff that was coming out but the companies got shrewd. Shareholders got panicked and they attacked the consumer for the failures they were putting on themselves.

Suddenly we were at fault, piracy, entitlement, consumer demand etc gave them the right to force feed us the lies and deceit that they continue to force upon us. The results speak for themselves, an industry in decline, lack of consumer faith and a market unsure of where it's heading. The only real thing that seems to be doing well is indies with there small developing costs and different approach to doing things is doing them well. I wish them all the luck and I hope they succeed in there own little big way.

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