Woska, on 13 August 2012 - 07:13 AM, said:
The modern game is much more about the graphics and whatever "innovative" feature the developer has come up with.
Back in the day when graphics were heavily restricted by available technology, the game had to be fun to play. But now you have people that will literally look at the box and say "wow, look at those graphics, I'm going to buy this game" without ever actually knowing what it's about.
Also, the marketing guys have taken on much more power in the process. They set the delivery schedule based on when they think it's the best time to hit the market. So they don't wait for the game to be finished, since they can just patch it later.
Exactly, publishers dont care about long-term success because they know the vast majority of their profits will come from box sales in the first 30 days, most of that in the first 2 weeks. SIcne publishers have their own bottomline and investors to be concerned about, so they force the release when it suits them, not the game.
There is so much fear by the companies not to fail, that they look to copy success, instead of innovating and pushing the enevlope...so we get cookie cutter games, gorgeous, but bland.
No one wants to make a niche product, partly due to the fear issue stated above, but also greed. Every game has to be a homerun now, attarct the most players possible, some how have a draw for everyone, but ends up being great for nobody/good for nothing.
So, we end up with great IPs with fanatical bases that span decades, perverted into half-baked, superficial, broken experiences with game breaking bugs, shallow content and enough depth to old the masses for 3-6 wks, when instead, they could have catered first to the fan base, thus establishing a truly sustainable and re-occurring profit base(even if its small) to build from until eternity. From that strong base, you look to draw new-comers into the niche, like the new generation who doesnt know about the IP.
Case in point. Silent Hunter III was a suprise hit, why? because they catered first to our fan base, built us our game, based on our expectations, fleshed out the experience the fan base deserved for a subject we loved...even whenit meant re-writing the code for a dynamic campaign(actually scraping the linear campaign) On top of that, they made use of great graphics for the time....and then they added optional features that gave less hard-core new comers and those impulse buyers drawn in by the graphics on the box a smoother entrance into the genre.
Because they built our game first, then provided optional features for the larger masses who'd be drawn toward the niche, they had strong fan base who bought the game, but then picked up new comers multitudes in excess of our fan base. The fan base, and its new comers held on to the franchise through what is now two other versions...but why have the last two version consistently decreased in sales, because they abandoned the methods of SHIII and fell into the old broken way of doing things. Constant bugs, shallow content, superficial features and eye-candy as alienated the fan base, the p!ss poor product cant draw any new comers. The franchise is dead except for the fee hard core fans who refuse to pull the cord, and essentially work endlessly to build the game up themselves...the exact people the game should have been building itself for in the first place. These guys are building into the game what the devs should have done from the start.
Oddly, Eastern Europe and Russia is cranking out very good games...pressumably because their gaming developers havent been hamstrung by perverted, hyper-business paradigms that only look at what improves the bottom line for the quarter, for-saking all other concerns outside the three month period they are aiming for.
Edited by CocoaJin, 13 August 2012 - 09:00 AM.