Objection, Sustain

Objection, Sustain

The shrinking Japanese games market is a warning to the whole games industry that the time for change is now.

Permalink

About. Bloody. Time.

Don't get me wrong- like everyone else I own that sacred handful of games to which I could be desribed as having a 'love affair' with- BUT- we are also starting to go the way of "If you've played one, you've...." route; which is not only frustrating but boring as hell.

However, when companies get news like this, they tend to do a little shaking up. Old blood gets thrown out, new blood comes in, and sometimes you get that magical combo that makes for some truly inventive games with interesting story lines.

Great article.

I know opinions are a dime a dozen around here but if I had to bet I'd put all my chips on DLC. Break the games up into episodes that can be bought individually or purchase the whole thing at once. Start promoting the old games already owned as DLC and update classics by fixing the game design problems and issues with them.

And invest a little bit into small teams and games like World of Goo or Braid. You can use them to test out ideas before putting them into million dollar titles.

Let me guess - american, impregnated with lizards, and are almost quite certain that telling the "truth" is a sacred.. but unfortunately abused duty as of late?

You know - there's a small chance that your assumptions about infinite growth in the market is wrong. While it's possible that people will still play games if they are good enough, and appeal to their taste. Which could coincide but not necessarily follow slavishly the dictats of marketing firms. May sound incredible at first blush, but it *could* be the case.

I'm not so sure that this shift will push for newer style games and away from consistently same styled games. I view it like I do Hollywood. Movies are getting worse and good ones are far and view between. They are running out of material so all they can do it make repeats, just dress them up in various clothing from the time line. I would suggest that books could potential be based off games. There is lots of room for a good game based on great books. Yet from the LOTR games it has been proved that like Hollywood, you can still kill a book by making it into a movie or game.

I don't think DLC helps. In contrary it kills. People hate paying more and more for a game they bought once. Following a bit the reactions of people shows that DLC is not what they want... at least not those into games. Games are not movies ( or episodes ) for a reason. They are not told as a story. Their key element is "interaction". Breaking up interaction in the middle for "back after the ads!" with the requirement to pay for the show to continue simply is the wrong way. What we need is better quality in games itself and stopping the graphics/physics war and getting back to what made games fun and lasting. But instead companies drain more and more money in the development. What staggers me is how you can have larger expenses for shorter and more generic copy-pasted games? It's a fact which bothers not only me but many others too. If you would get more crappy cars each year while paying more each time you would also stop buying cars at some time because you feel cheated. And this is the main danger right now. People feel cheated ( boring games, DRM dramas, DLC ripping off, UCC, "exclusive" titles aka console wars, piracy cry babies, watering down games to "fit on consoles", asf... ) and that's really bad.

Persoanlly, im apathetic enough on the issue that if the gaming industry did go into decline or even collapse; I dont think id care. Games are getting more expensive. None have the same "wow" factor to me that they did when I was younger. Almost tempted to just wave from the shoreline as the ship sinks (if that ever happens)

Cousin_IT:
Games are getting more expensive.

Not really. I remember the days when brand new PSX games would cost 49.99 without fail and brand new N64 games would usually cost 59.99. Nowadays it's unusual to pay more than 35 for a brand new game, and the competitiveness of internet shopping means that prices drop a lot quicker as well. Within a month of release most games are available for 25 or even 20.

harhol:

Cousin_IT:
Games are getting more expensive.

Not really. I remember the days when brand new PSX games would cost 49.99 without fail and brand new N64 games would usually cost 59.99. Nowadays it's unusual to pay more than 35 for a brand new game, and the competitiveness of internet shopping means that prices drop a lot quicker as well. Within a month of release most games are available for 25 or even 20.

I have the nostalgia bug :-) The games could be a tenner id still remember them being cheaper; & more value for money (despite knowing neither is really the case)

It's easy to say "we need change" and for others to say "yeah, just make better games", but it's not that simple. We can't just abandon the idea of making new hardware generations to raise the technological bar, either.

We could try adding value to existing game genres and designs, through, say, multiplayer and DLC. Manufacturers could try staggering hardware iterations to allow more 3rd party developers to jump on board. We could also try to ensure that hardware packages contain what's needed to stay in the long term. We're already seeing the abandonment of platform exclusivity. Middleware is also on the rise, as it costs big money to create every game on a new engine. Look at how many games are starting to use the Unreal Engine, etc.

I'd say another gaming collapse would be a good shake up for the industry. The big companies are getting fewer and fewer, and the nickle and diming of DLC while pushing to squeeze every last cent out of the paying gamer, added to the stranglehold they have on the market with only safe dumbed-down games that are mostly sequels rendered in brown or grey for 'realism'...

well I think its time for a smaller dev revival like in the mid-late 90's. EA collapsing will help quite a bit too

Two things could kill the game industry.

1. 5(or less with computers) year console/computer cycles that comes with diminished support for the obsolete platforms.

This is pretty simple to fix, you can still release new technology all the time, you just better keep making games for the old technology and the new tech should have backwards compatibility. And not B games, but AAA titles. Blizzard figured this out with World of Warcraft, and Harmonix figured it out with Guitar Hero/Rock Band, and EA sports knows it's true with Madden. It's unreasonable for consumers to upgrade their hardware every 5 years, but the ones that don't are left without new AAA titles to play.

2. Console exclusivity destroys the value prospects of a new console.

The PS4 should have Xbox720 support and vice versa, because it makes sense. I can watch Sony movies on a Toshiba Blu-Ray player, and I can listen to Sony music on an Apple iPod, why can't I play Sony games on a 360? Sony/Microsoft would probably need to adapt a new business model to make this work but it would mean more people are buying more games, so I'm sure they could make more money.

dcheppy:
Two things could kill the game industry.

1. 5(or less with computers) year console/computer cycles that comes with diminished support for the obsolete platforms.

This is pretty simple to fix, you can still release new technology all the time, you just better keep making games for the old technology and the new tech should have backwards compatibility. And not B games, but AAA titles. Blizzard figured this out with World of Warcraft, and Harmonix figured it out with Guitar Hero/Rock Band, and EA sports knows it's true with Madden. It's unreasonable for consumers to upgrade their hardware every 5 years, but the ones that don't are left without new AAA titles to play.

2. Console exclusivity destroys the value prospects of a new console.

The PS4 should have Xbox720 support and vice versa, because it makes sense. I can watch Sony movies on a Toshiba Blu-Ray player, and I can listen to Sony music on an Apple iPod, why can't I play Sony games on a 360? Sony/Microsoft would probably need to adapt a new business model to make this work but it would mean more people are buying more games, so I'm sure they could make more money.

Actually... Those are some REALLY good thoughts- and I can only hope that someone will listen to you. Course, I also think the day Sony and Microsoft join hands one of two things will happen

1) They will lead us into a new age of harmony
2) This will signal the end of the world and bring down the apocolypic hell fire. :)

Unfortunetly, given to the way Sony/Microsoft cant always sit in a room together nicely, I'm more into betting on #2.

L.B. Jeffries:
And invest a little bit into small teams and games like World of Goo or Braid. You can use them to test out ideas before putting them into million dollar titles.

But the question is, can you even translate something like World of Goo into a multi-million dollar title? =/

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here