We Are Now In The Dark Age of Gaming

We Are Now In The Dark Age of Gaming

I'm just going to make this very clear, gaming as we know it is reaching a breaking point and that point will either go off into one direction or the other. We have reached a point where if corporations such as EA, Activision and Bungie, etc, don't change their practices they'll lead the industry as a whole into a second video game crash, perhaps one as big as the one that occurred in 1983.

These corporations all have one thing in common, they've fucked the players over in a myriad of ways, the very people that helped them to the top, the very people that are the reason they exist today. They've lied to their fans and swindled so many people out of their hard earned money all for their profits. They use video game developers as tools, they see them as machines to churn out entertainment and then suck all artistic merit and substance out of it until there's nothing left but the ashes of what could've been.

That's all you see these days, games that have so much potential yet have been squandered for profit. DLC after DLC being made from the leftovers of what should've been in the game from the beginning locked away behind paywall after paywall. Battlefront 2's loot boxes locking the basic progression system away behind a slot machine so that people will throw away any kind of respect they have for themselves as gamers just for an extra edge in that online match. Call of Duty's SBMM practices rigging matches against you so that you have to pay for loot boxes to feel like a decent player for what, one day? Before they rig every match against you again until you feel like throwing the controller into a freaking wall. Destiny 2 pretty much taking away game modes and shit that was already in the first damn game and putting them into stores to be paid and bought, giving you a 1 hour campaign with no heart put into it whatsoever and dividing the community unless you pay for something so shallow it might as well have never been made.

Those are just the mainstream examples we've all seen, so many games that have been released this year that have loot boxes and content locked away that has already been made and should've existed since day 1. Paid games are becoming the new Free to Play, Pay to Win. You pay for a full price game and must still pay far more just to have any kind of fun with it. This is creating a new normal and a frightening future for gaming as a whole. Soon games won't be made for passion, art and creativity but instead for cheap profit. It's simple con-artistry, cat burglars disguised as a form of entertainment to suck in those that still have a shred of belief that their favourite game franchises will be great again. The sad truth of that is they won't be, they're already dead unless the industry is shaken up and woken up from the greedy depression it has succumbed to,

For every great game that's made as games used to be, with heart and with hours and hours of genuinely masterful content there are dozens more made for gambling. The thing is gamers are waking up and seeing through the bullshit, exposing it for what it is, shameless exploitation of gamers and the franchises we used to respect (mostly.)

These corporations are losing money but are still determined to make micro-transactions the future of the gaming industry. What they don't realise is that future only leads to one ending, the second video game crash and possibly the near-death of gaming. Should these practices take over and infect all game developers and all games this will create a future where people with common sense won't buy video games anymore at least not AAA titles until ultimately even Indie developers are affected by the normalcy of micro-transactions. It is a definite possibility should this be allowed to become the new normal.

People can say 'if you don't like the game then simply don't buy it,' 'do you even know how much it costs to make games?' Like I see consistently all across the internet and those people are wrong. Gamers understand how games are created and to say they don't make enough money is an excuse and a poor one at that. One very polished and very well made game that garners a cult following, critical acclaim and hours upon hours worth of content not hidden behind paywalls and scams will make more than enough money for all those involved as well as something significantly more important; respect and trust. For a developer to gain people's trust in them and to be respected for the games they make is what keeps people coming back for more, wanting to spend money on a franchise they love and has proven to deliver great experiences. What corporate greed wants is 'games as service' for every single game, to kill single player experiences and kill artistic expression.

Games have changed, they're no longer just mindless fun and quick pass times. Now they resonate with people, they are a sport, they create lasting friendships, engaging stories that give us characters we connect with and support. They deliver a new way to experience storytelling, true, thematic storytelling that stays in the memories of those that played through these games forever.

They want to kill that.

People that don't speak up about the way gamers are now being treated by the industry are living in ignorance thinking it's okay to accept this future as the new normal because fighting against it is 'pointless.' Nobody should have to accept what is essentially gambling and not talking about it are what these corporations are banking on. They are actively deceiving people as we speak, they don't intend to 'fix' the problems being addressed in their games they just want to find the best way to hide it so they make as much money as possible.

They don't apologise for their practices, they apologise because they are being caught.

We have entered the dark age of gaming and who knows how long this will last, 2017 will be remembered as the year where gaming became extremely shady and gamers lost trust and faith in developers. Games still have a future as long as we fight for it, we can't let this exposure of deceptive practices in games be a phase and fade away, we must all unite and keep up the pressure in order to put an end to this age of gaming. They have to realise that micro-transactions are a passing phase.

(In my defence I believe there's a place still for Expansions, when a game delivers quality DLC that delivers hours of content for a game that already has so much to offer and was actually MADE months after the game was released I think that's great. If a game is amazing more quality content isn't bad but locking content away that we all know was just left out of it is a bad practice. Also creating expansions that only deliver an hour's worth of content with no effort put in whatsoever and then expecting $20 - $30 for it is bullshit, nobody should pay that price for nothing at all.

People can say gamers are asking too much and feel too entitled by wanting so much more but I will pose you this question; would you want to pay for an apple only to receive one slice of it? When you pay for something you expect quality, you expect the full deal, nothing that requires money in life is an exception to that and that applies to games. When you pay for the game you expect the full game, not a half-assed cash grab that isn't enjoyable unless you pay for more. End of discussion.)

We're in the Golden Age of gaming.

Never have there been more amazing interactive games available for so little money.

The indie scene is producing amazing things every week. At any day of the week you can buy big budget games for pennies at sales, which are now happening on all platforms. Everything is available, from very delicate little stories to big roller coaster ride games.

And, unlike movies, for games there still exist mid-budget games such as SOMA, which are by and by very good.

Plus, we live in an age where every game can be previewed and peer reviewed via social media days before release, and experiences at no cost via Let's Plays.

On top of that, VR is happening, which is every 80s gaming kids dresm come true, and communities like /sub/psvr are high on their own wholesomeness.

Don't preorder, don't buy unfinished games at launch, don't support microtransactions. Those are all the plagues of the medium. The rest is in excellent shape.

These corporations are losing money

Citation needed.

They want to kill that.

No, they don’t. They don’t have a vague, nefarious agenda. What you’re witnessing is just the maturation of the gaming industry. Established entertainment media simply lack the same revenue-making mechanisms, otherwise they’d be doing exactly the same thing. What you’re dealing with is simply people looking to make money, and the only way to stop them is to stop giving them money.

Sadly, we’re on the side that’s going to lose. With higher returns from a small minority of ‘whales’, the devs will be able to largely ignore the hoi polloi like you. And then learned helplessness will settle in, at which point we’ll all habitually pay for lootboxes even when superior alternatives will be avilable for free; yes, it absolutely is possible to oppress a person into submission.

Pride and Accomplishment is likely to be the new normal now.

Greed doesn't win forever.

Oh you sweet midsummer’s child.

They’re only following a global trend of moving from selling good products to selling products with planned obsolescence and post-sales service costs as the primary revenue stream. CFOs love it, consumers gobble it up. So why wouldn’t they keep doing it? Which is why everyone does it and you can’t really get around them without becoming an off-the-grid doomsday prepper, a prohibitively high cost for opting out of this trend.

For all this subs bitching about MTX and DLC this has been one of the best years ever for strong single player games. This is a Golden Age, things are better in many ways than they have ever been. Just because this sub has it’s panties in a twist over EA doesn’t mean shit.

greed doesn't win forever

Citation needed.

Greed has been winning forever. It has been winning since the very first protobacteria began to gobble up the rest of the promordial muck. The purpose of life has always been a) proliferation of your genes and b) acquisition of resources for your survival, usually just your own survival, i.e. greed. The fact that your mother didn’t immediately try to eat you after birth because she was a bit hungry is an exclusion rather than normalcy. Most living creatures can barely recognize their kin, let alone show altruism.

Save your motivational preaching for some other sub. We’re just animals.

Games have changed, they're no longer just mindless fun and quick pass times.

Mobile gaming would like to have a word with you. Which demonstrates the point I think you're missing: There aren't "gamers" as a singular entity. There are casual gamers, game players, core gamers, and even within those sub-types, every gamer has his or her own set of preferences.

There are also developers and publishers that cater to those sub-types of gamers. Cuphead isn't for every gamer. It's for a very specific target audience, one that's probably comprised mostly of core gamers. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is aimed at RPG enthusiasts, also mostly core gamers. The Sexy Brutale is aimed at puzzle lovers that are core gamers. Other good games of 2017 include Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, RE:7 biohazard, Nier: Automata, and quite a few others.

The problem of "ludicrous after-purchase monetization" is one that isn't pervasive in the industry, unless all you are looking at are the biggest publishers - EA and Activision-Blizzard. Bethesda maybe in part, if you include their Creation Club. Maybe Ubisoft, but for those, I personally lack information (not having UPlay, I haven't played a single title of theirs in a decade).

This means that the market isn't unified - it's "just" most of the AAA crowd that tries to post-purchase-monetize the living shit out of their titles. And those games mostly aren't developed with the core gamer in mind any more anyhow. They're for the mass market - and that mass market, we as core gamers will have trouble reaching, because they are not interested in discussing games, in visiting gaming fora and subreddits, in watching hours of other core gamers discussing games, watching twitch streams, let's plays etc. They're the dudes and dudettes that saunter into a Walmart, see Swoboff II, think "Neat, a new StarWars game!", and buy it. There is a reason why Cuphead sells one million units and is considered a huge success, while Sqeenix was bawling their eyes out when the Tomb Raider reboot sold "only" five or six million copies within a certain time frame: Completely different target markets.

It's a "dark age of gaming" if you focus on those gigantic studios as a core gamer, because they aren't catering to us any more. But there are studios that do cater to us. It's just that this bitter reality has to sink in, because even the big studios need core gamers as audience, even though they do not realize it yet. Core gamers are the backbone of any game's community. We're the lines of communication that make games have long-term appeal. We're the people that write the wikis, that make the newbie guides, the machinima, the let's plays: We're the lifeblood of any game. Without us, games die off really quickly, and stop being able to be milked for more money. Blizzard seems to have gotten the hint lately. Why do you think they announced they'd be opening Vanilla servers a few weeks ago? Because they also had WoW tailored to the mass market only. They had bred out their core gamers over the expansions. And now, WoW as a title seems in its death throes - they were losing subs left and right before Legion, and stopped reporting them altogether. They're bringing Vanilla back in the hopes of recapturing core players.

That's the power we have: Not in sheer numbers, but in what we bring to any game that has us. I think its appeal to core gamers is what made PUBG so successful: It was played and streamed everywhere by core gamers. We're a marketing force. Warframe's success hinges on the same mechanic: If it didn't have dedicated players curating its wiki, veterans tirelessly introducing new players to the game's daunting subsystems both in-game, on its forums and on its subreddit, the game would not have swum to the top like it has.

So, if you want to stop those big publishers and their abusive business practices, it's time to stop playing their games. At first, all there'll be is a slight dip in sales. Maybe the next CoD only sells 14 million instead of 15 million units. But without core gamers, the game won't be played for long. And that means the whole appeal of the post-purchase mechanics doesn't work, because they're only "worth it" if the game keeps being played.

Instead, play the games that are actually aimed at us; Let's help those publishers and self-published devs that do employ good business practices by buying their games, by playing the living shit out of those. Let's grow that market.

OP stop being so pretentous.

There have been so many great games this year, nintendo is stronger than ever, indie games are on the rise and technology is becoming better and better. Just because there was one EA-debacle you dont have to jump on the bandwagon and say some bullshit (without any sources) just to farm some karma.

Keep crying. For fucks sake the industry is putting out some incredible shit this year and all people like you can do is cry.

Needs a tl;dr

Because I didn't read, I'm assuming "Fuck EA, loot boxes, pay to play, future lack of developer motivation, price increases?"

No more like, fuck the potential future of the gaming industry, learning to fight against it and how potentially a second video game crash will occur like the one in 1983 should corporations choose to ignore consumers instead of listening to them. Did that all check out?

Oblivion and LA Noire, what have you done?!

They targeted gamers.

Gamers.

Yeah, yeah, I feel that.

This literally only took me 10 minutes, typing isn't the hardest thing in the world to do. If you would like to put some time and effort into something that matters to you by all means do it but everything matters to different people. We're all different and have different things that matter to us.