"We're Making It Accessible to a Wider Audience."

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How do you feel when you hear this statement in regards to an upcoming game?

Heh. Captcha: heated debate

Depends what kind of game it is. If it's filled with micromanaging bullshit, then it's just for the better, if it however have no such problems, that I'm not quite as enthusiastic.

I don't really mind it, it just means more people can enjoy the game instead of focusing only on a small niche of a market. Not that I"m a hardcore gamer (or consider myself one that is) anyways.

In most cases it means "we're dumbing it down because there are a lot more dumb people in the world and we want more money"

Just look at new Hitman.

I think it means that the original game's concept appealed to a too small an audience. Which probably meant it was what the devs wanted and not what the publishers wanted financially.

The new "accessible" game means making changes that will appeal to more people, thus ensuring financial success whilst possibly sacraficing some of the dev's vision.

When I break down this statement, for me it essentially comes to "Our game was too niche, so we're taking out many of the elements that make it unique in order to bring it to the lowest common denominator." In doing so, they are potentially attracting a new audience, but at the expense of some of their initial audience. For example, a friend of mine was very excited upon learning of a Dark Souls sequel. Then he read the aforementioned quote, and now he's not sure if he's going to buy it.

A pessimistic view, yes, but I think this is what is contributing to stagnation in the medium.

Mr. Eff:
Post

In general it comes exactly down to this. Making a game accessible to a wider audience is often just a euphemism for wanting more sales, not delivering a better product.

The only thing worse than this is just coming out and saying "We want Call of Duty's audience."

Wider audience = less depth.

Case in point, League of Legends vs. DotA

LoL is simpler so that more people can get into it, but its lack of depth makes it very unbalanced (combined with how Riot balances their game, it's no surprise).

DotA on the other hand has great depth for competitive play, but that amount of depth takes time to learn and does not attract as many players.

Adam Jensen:
In most cases it means "we're dumbing it down because there are a lot more dumb people in the world and we want more money"

Just look at new Hitman.

Ironic thing coming from the guy with DXHR avatar.

It's one of those " depends on the situation" things.

Depends on how it is done and how well it is done. Example: Old school rpgs: You have a lot of different stats that when it boils down to it, they only affect a few things. So someone who is used to these kind of things will have no trouble but someone not used to it will be confused. Often that kind of build leads to one or two optizmed builds. Bringing all those different stats that do the same thing into a few stats makes things easier for every one to manage.

Making something accesiable allows for people to pick up and play for a couple of hours and then put the game down. On the other side when you have a game with so many different features that it takes fifteen hours just to get out of the tutorial or just to understand the basic mechanics of the game the you might just have a probleam.

Some of the best games are the ones that have a simple and easy to understand gameplay. Minecraft for example the basis of its gameplay is hitting blocks in order to gather them to survie. That is the basic concept of it. These rescources allow you to build a shelter, make weapons and make tools that allows you to gather more rescorces faster.

I think that we as a group of people who consider ourselves 'hardcore' ( a stupid term that infers we are better becaue we spend more time playing games than others, and one that is not even true if we look at some of people we call casuals and all the time they put into a game like angry birds) forget that games are a hobby and should be easy to get into but with room to get deeper without trouble.

Any hope of skill that I used in COD4 was no longer usable in MW2 when I heard that sentence.

"I wont be buying this game" = My usual reaction.

Sometimes accessible can be good, if it is achieved without sacrificing depth. Sadly, it seems like many devs have no idea how to do that.

I wait until I hear what they're actually doing before I make judgement. Making games accessible doesn't immediately mean it's suddenly ruined. The problem only really arises when the dev removes the original system completely, instead of having it run parallel. Things like variable difficulties and pre-built classes and characters are good examples of how to do it right.

Im usually concerned. Genre's and to a lesser extent just games tend to appeal to niche markets. Thats where they shine the best. If a game sacrifices its niche to make it more accessable to people that likely wouldnt have played it in the first place I question what the purpose is. If such a thing happens you end up alienating the players who enjoy that niche with no garantee of new players

Complex doesn't mean deep and simple doesn't mean shallow. Go has very simple rules, but has some of deepest strategy in any board game.

The negative connotation associated with making something "accessible" comes from the fact that it often entails taking away any of the challenge associated with a certain reward, thus destroying any use of a reward system. However, when a game is simplified in the proper way, clever use of player agency can still be rewarded, maintaining the ludic agency of the game while making the importance of such elements more visible.

In other words, it's good to makes something easier to understand, but bad to make player action matter less.

I go oh shit the fanboys are going to rage

I'd rather have 20 games that appeal to different niches than 20 games that are all the same acceptable blandness.

This reasoning just pushes gaming towards a samey interchangeable mess. Of course, it will never reach that point, but gaming should be branching out not caving in. (same applies to movies too)

It means that they gathered data from various focus groups and attempted to tailor-make the game to their wants and needs based on their research of that group. In other words, they're trying to impress people instead of giving their designers any creative freedom.

"We are trying to do everything, instead of trying to do one thing really well."

Disappointment. Disappointment that's smaller and smaller every single time. After all, it's what I've come to expect.

"Accessible" has become basically a buzzword for "simple, shallow and pandering".

I don't always mind it but generally it means we are making the game so easy that anyone with half a brain can play it and be awesome. Typically this is met by disappointment by me.

Depends on the game. Simpler does not necessarily mean shallower. More complicated means 'more frustrating' more often than it means 'better.' But removing all element of challenge so that anyone can play the game...

I usually interpret it to mean they're stripping originality out of the game's narrative, characterization, and aesthetic design. Financiers don't want to spend 30-50 million on a core structure any less saturated than, say, Lord of the Rings. Gameplay, it can go in any direction, but usually means cribbing notes from the current 10 million seller.

Making it accesible in itself is no problem, it's how it is handled that is important.

For instance, take the ME3 selection of Story, RPG or Action. This doesn't change the core gameplay, you can choose to use whatever is best for you. If you like the original, you can play it that way. If you don't care for story, you don't have to make all the decisions. Whether you think it's dumbing down or not, it doesn't affect you if you just choose RPG mode. This is a good implementation.

Opening it up allows more players, and as such allows companies to make more money, and that's not a bad thing, if they aren't alienating earlier fans.

If it's a remake or sequel to a game I like then yeah a little shudder inside (especially if it's a remake). In this case I revert to the hope that the phrase - devils in the detail will save me - then I get the detail and go - "meh".

However if it's a new title then don't really care as it makes sense to appeal to as many people as possible so seems a no brainer.

razer17:
Making it accesible in itself is no problem, it's how it is handled that is important.

For instance, take the ME3 selection of Story, RPG or Action. This doesn't change the core gameplay, you can choose to use whatever is best for you. If you like the original, you can play it that way. If you don't care for story, you don't have to make all the decisions. Whether you think it's dumbing down or not, it doesn't affect you if you just choose RPG mode. This is a good implementation.

Opening it up allows more players, and as such allows companies to make more money, and that's not a bad thing, if they aren't alienating earlier fans.

Except in this case for "action" mode to work they had to streamline all the conversations.

I don't think its possible to be "accessible" to everyone or even a "wide audience" without crippling aspects of the game. Mass Effect 3 is a great example.

I don't pay it any attention what so ever. I'll know if I want to buy the game once I've seen the finished product and, a few reviews unless it's a franchise I'm already a great fan of. Even then it doesn't matter much to me although, in some cases it gives me a reason to grumble. Like after playing Mass Effect 2 or, Dragon Age 2 when compared to their originals. I can see cover-based shooting being a draw for people but resource mining? I can also see hack-n-slash/beat-em-up being a draw to people but why confine it to a handful of locales and market the thing as a hardcore RPG like its predecessor?

although you'd generally think this would be a positive statement i tend to cringe when i hear it because it often means that the gameplay of a beloved franchise is going to simplified just for the sake of it being simpler. some companies can get away with this, take valve with tf2 (at least when it was new anyway) but most of the time it all just goes horribly wrong.

Zeel:

razer17:
Making it accesible in itself is no problem, it's how it is handled that is important.

For instance, take the ME3 selection of Story, RPG or Action. This doesn't change the core gameplay, you can choose to use whatever is best for you. If you like the original, you can play it that way. If you don't care for story, you don't have to make all the decisions. Whether you think it's dumbing down or not, it doesn't affect you if you just choose RPG mode. This is a good implementation.

Opening it up allows more players, and as such allows companies to make more money, and that's not a bad thing, if they aren't alienating earlier fans.

Except in this case for "action" mode to work they had to streamline all the conversations.

I don't think its possible to be "accessible" to everyone or even a "wide audience" without crippling aspects of the game. Mass Effect 3 is a great example.

Do you not have better things to do in your life than invade every fucking thread and turn it into some anti- ME3 whining bullcrap?

Also, how did they have to streamline the conversations to do it? That's bollocks, it's easy just to always take the renegade or paragon option or whatever, no need to change the dialogue options.

Depends on what "making it accessible to a wider audience" actually means. It could be anything from removing some annoying micromanagement to turning it into a 6-hour long FPS. To me, what they are doing is more important than why they are doing it.

it really does depend on the game, but in my mind whenever a publisher/developer states that about their upcoming game it most often means "we're dumbing it down so we can reach a wider demographic, so we can earn more money and possibly capture call of duty's audience" and that can displease the fanbase of whatever series, and/or work in the game's disavantage by getting shallower and as such, stray away from unusual or "complicated" ideas that would be interesting to see.

However I'm not saying a shallow or simple game is bad, but again it depends on what you're going for, if you're making an rpg more shallow, then it works against the whole concept of role playing games, while for example a handheld/ios puzzle game will do much better as a simpler and less deep experience. Action games can be shallow but still fun to play, but it can sometimes leave the game unremarkable unless you have something unique that it thrives upon.

let's take an example like Journey, the recent masterpiece (imo) from thegamecompany, it's so simple, minimalistic, shallow even in its gameplay, but simple things like sliding in sand, interacting with the second player to overcome obstacles and the way that world and vague story is crafter working together with the stunning visual composition makes the game remarkable despite its "shallow" gameplay.

Now we're discussing the gamedev/publisher quote here, so I'll just say I'm opposed to it, because that exact quote imo usually means "we're making this game dumber so we can cash in"

Depends on the skill of the people making a game.

It's very possible to create a deep, intricate game that's also accessible without dumbing much (or anything) down.
Skyrim was very accessible and it still offers an insanely deep RPG experience. From what I heard, most are satisfied with it.

It's only when designers think "accessible" means "stupid" that problems occur. Accessibility just means it's easy to get into, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy in a difficulty sense or in the sense of themes and story structure.
A lot of designers and publishers don't seem to get that the average consumer doesn't necessarily need "baby's first (whatever genre)". Most gamers can handle complexity, and some even enjoy it, designers just need to be willing to take a chance.

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