The current state of the gaming industry is abominable.
The status quo for almost every major and even indie (independent) game developers is to sell half of the game up front for full price, with the options of spending more money up front for “downloadable content.” This is a big issue, considering the games consumers used to buy, versus what they are buying now.
In the 1980s and 1990s, video games were held to a standard. The technology to create and play was evolving quickly, and developers took pride in their games. Classic titles from Nintendo such as “Super Mario World” did not need downloadable content. The premise was simple, the quality was great, and the game did not glitch or bug very frequently. I am not denying there are not any bugs in “Super Mario World,” but the issues were not nearly as huge as they are now.
The technology used to make games now is bigger and badder than ever. Games are being cranked out and released almost daily, between phone apps, independent games, Triple-A games, and even internet browser Flash games. The issue now is it has almost become TOO easy to make some of these games.
Games run on an “Engine.” Some developers, such as “Unreal,” will lease their own engine to independent developers for a price. This is fine. The issue is that leased game engines sometimes have “Pre-made content,” such as a building structure, grass and rock structures, or gravity and collision mechanics. The issue with this is that people are making entire games of pre-made content, adding one small twist or quirk to the game, and then selling them for full, Triple-A game prices.
Then there are the big, bad Triple-A developers/publishers, such as Treyarch and Bethesda. Bethesda, with their latest release of “Fallout 76,” released a completely broken game. I spent $60 on that hot garbage. How is a multi-million dollar company going to copy and paste their way into making ends meet and still expect their fans to be happy about it?
Treyarch released “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” this year, and some of the only maps available are from the older games. New patches and quarter-of-the-year waits be damned, if I pay for a new game, I expect a new game. I should not have to wait four to six months for a new map that is STILL just a revamped version of an old map.
Studio Wildcard released “Ark” years ago. I purchased the BETA version of it. It was a great game, even in the BETA state. The issue I had was that Studio Wildcard started selling expansion content before the game was ever fully “released.” Not only did people pay $40 to $60 for a game that is not released yet, they were expected to pay MORE money to expand an unfinished game.
Why do consumers let game developers and publishers treat them like this? Are they so jaded by old titles that they are ready to say, “Well, the game is good enough.” Some might say video games are a waste of money. I’ll write another 600 words on that another time. But for somebody who is already wasting their money, shouldn’t they at least get their wasted money’s worth?