I’ve been watching some Youtube channels that talk about the Demise or just Problems of a few games recently and wondering what’s up. And then I saw a video about “Games as a Service is Fraud” and finally something has clicked for me. Here’s my theory about what’s happening in parts of the Game Industry.
Game Studios want to be like Movie Studios. Games have not, traditionally, been like movies. When games come out, they have been designed to be played for years, and that’s not surprising because making a good game takes years. Leave aside MMOs for the moment which take much longer, but there is a lot of person hours in creating a game. If you watch the credits for movies, you see 1000s of names, but not nearly that many folks are marshaled together to build a game, so it in the past making games has taken longer. Movie studios and the surrounding special effects and catering etc etc services are all geared up to put massive effort into a movie for a short time. Game Studios [Art and Software folks] don’t work like that obviously.
But this is a problem for Game Publishers – the ones doing the Business, not the ones doing the Art, Story and Software.
Game Publisher Greed
I think Game Publishers are recently more greedy and think the Movie Studios have a different model that makes more money, quicker, and can make more money for them. I’m not talking about Game Development, but Game Publishers. EA and Activision are Publishers and are getting greedy. Studios – Blizzard and Bioware – might be lagging or not interested in Greed so much, but have sold out to the Devil Publishers for funding.
Seen in this light, one might see what caused the Anthem debacle. Let’s look at a possible scenario.
- EA, the publisher, decides that they want to accelerate game development to make more money. More in the model of movies rather than games.
- So they push Bioware to rush out a game which is a variant of the Battle Royal Fortnite clone style.
- Such games are Hub based with simple to build maps where fights occur. Or adventures.
- And PVP – just fights – are cheaper to build since they don’t require scripting and making new models for bosses. PVP is much easier to build than an RPG or MMO since there is little story and little scripting of NPCs. So the game concentrates on PVP rather than PVE.
- But they rush it out so quickly that it is buggy and so shallow that the player base rebels.
- So, we are already talking about Anthem shutting down.
- Anthem started as a Triple A title – $50? It’s down to $30 right now, but I assume it started at $50, or $60? And after less than a year it’s trash and shutting down? I hope you got all your videos and screenshots since that’s all you are left with at the end of life of a game that you can’t play by yourself on your own computer / console.
Games as a Service
If we take a look at this video about “Games as a Service is Fraud”, we see a variant on the Theme above. But the video Author assumes that games are like Games have been in the past and not Like Movies, so while he is, in my opinion, right. He doesn’t realize that the Game Publisher goals have changed, so he can’t get what he wants, which is high quality, long lived games that he can play for years and come back to. The publishers don’t care. They aren’t into “Preservation”, they are into a quick buck and toss it away. The Movie Studios don’t really make much money on the long tail of BluRay sales, Streaming and TV Syndication of their movies. Once the movie has made its round over the first 6 months or so, then 95% of the profits have come in.
What Can We Do?
In my opinion, the only thing that will work is use Game Publishers Greed against them.
- Don’t buy into the Games as a Service model.
- Don’t jump to buy the flashy new title right away. Play what you’re playing and wait. Wait for others to try it, for longer reviews to come out – After All, Youtube reviewers are GIVEN THE GAME TO PLAY. So no skin off their wallet if it’s a mess.
- Don’t support the “Flash in the Pan” Game style.
- Don’t buy lots of stuff in games to Win or to Look Nice until the game has been around for a few months and has shown that lots of folks like it.
- Demand that there is PVE as well as PVP in your games. Don’t play PVP only games. They are too cheap to make and can go away at any time leaving you with only the screenshots and videos you captured of all that fancy gear.
When Game Publishers get it that Game Players are not like Movie Seats, they will build what Game Players want and will pay for. If we pay for Game Seats they will give us Game Seats and we apparently are not happy with that.
Anyway, that’s my take on it.