Profit driven thinking has ruined the gaming industry as a whole. Now I am not a communist. I know that when everyone wins, no one actually wins. So, I fully support capitalism. However, when the sole purpose of creating something is to make as much cash as possible, it is not capitalism. It is blatant ripping off of the consumers and this is what is happening in the gaming industry these days. The developers do not believe in the longevity of the series and are instead driven by short term gains instead. So, with all this being said, it is now time to back these claims and how they are hurting gaming as a whole-
BROKEN GAMES GALORE
Look at some of the biggest AAA titles in the recent years- Battlefield 4, Halo MCC, Medal of Honour: Warfighter, Assassin’s Creed: Unity etc. What do these games have in common? They were all broken and almost unplayable. It was a test of your patience if you ever sat down and decided to play any one of these games when they came out. The fact that all of these games remained unfixed and without support for at least a month each shows a worrying trend.
Kudos to DICE, who halted all further game production and allocated all their resources to fix Battlefield 4. However, the same didn’t happen for Medal of Honour and the franchise was killed of. Microsoft and 343 didn’t even acknowledge the issues in the Halo MCC and it was unplayable for almost 4 months. Yes, they offered to refund the consumers but then they only offered it to people who bought it before Christmas that year. This meant that not only tons of people missed out on the refund but they mislead hordes of people to buy the game on Christmas even though it became playable only after March the next year.
So, why does this happen? The answer is pretty simple, money. All these developers are money driven and on a tight schedule. So if they come across these game breaking elements, they choose to ignore them. They cannot push back their release dates because that would mean lesser profits. Since they can’t do that, we get stuck with broken games. Even after releasing broken games, these developers don’t stop. They refuse to release early patches because that would mean admitting that they released a broken game and this would adversely affect their sales. The only way to stop them from continuing this damning trend is to sue them just like EA got sued. Maybe this will stop them from releasing broken games and prevent more franchises from dying out. This profit driven thinking is destroying our gaming experience.
RNG AND SUPPLY DROPS
To me, it seems as if Activision is at war with its fans. With each passing entry, they seem to introduce more and more annoying stuff. They reached the pinnacle of this when they introduced the supply drops in the Call of Duty franchise and followed it up in Destiny. It won’t be long that other developers start following this trend and this borderline illegal trend is introduced everywhere. The reason that it exists is because it allows the developers to price gouge stuff and add ons and make a killing. Since most of the adults avoid it, the thing becomes even more sinister as it is promoting kids to gamble. This is a wholly negative and douche thing to do as it is depriving the entire gaming community from great content.
GAMING AND DLC
Since we are on the topic of content, this is my next problem with them, DLCs. Short for Downloadable Content, this is soon becoming the next big issue that people have. If you actually look at it, the effective cost of the entire game comes out to be $110. This is almost double the cost of the release price. This is an extremely negative practise because not only did it remove forge creations from the game but it is also depriving vanilla players from the full content.
To add insult to injury, it even fractures the online playlists. So, not only are vanilla players being deprived from full content, they are even being denied from full online access. This eventually dissuades gamers from buying the games in the first place. This may seem as a detrimental step to some but the companies have found ways around them too. They have now started selling DLCs as new games. Example – Battlefield Hardline. The profits that these people are making are ever increasing. However, we, the members of the gaming community are suffering more and more with each passing game.
LACK OF SKILL GAP
This one is on both the developers as well as the gamers in general. When the skill gap was compressed for the first time, everyone welcomed it. However, now it has reached the point where it has become almost non existent. The reason it is being compressed so much is that now it no longer exists. This is a major let down because not only is it letting down our standards as gamers, it is alienating old fans as well. Halo 4 was a kick in the teeth for veterans because it completely overhauled the older skill based experience. It compressed the skill gap and completely alienated the veterans. The reason? 343 had realised that now the original community was in its 20s. They wanted sales so they targeted the 15 year old noobs and just for the sake of profit, completely alienated their hardcore fans.
The games that respect the skill gap such as Evolve exist but they don’t get proper traction from investors. This simply because we as gamers don’t support them much and so they can’t reach their full potential. It has all turned into a money making scheme instead of a means to spread electronic and digital art.
LACK OF ORIGINALITY
This brings me to my next gripe. The games these days are just reskins of older games. The reason it is so is because they know that they have tried and tested formula in their hands. Since they know that it is a tested scheme and will guarantee profits, they don’t venture outside their comfort zones. As a result, what we are getting is the same old games made to look as new. Don’t believe me? Just ask yourselves, when was the last time you truly played something new? For me, it is Far Cry 3 and Battlefield 3.
This is exceptionally annoying because not only are these things nothing new, they end up making tons of money as well. This is a profit driven, futile exercise that is damaging the industry as well as the community as a whole. People with original ideas are not being given a chance. On the other hand, imbeciles like the people in Infinity Ward get to take home a fat pay-check every year just because they are able to recycle the old Call of Duty games.
LITTLE REGARD FOR THE DEVELOPERS
The final nail in the coffin that these big houses have hit is the gross mistreatment that they dish out to the original developers. Look at the way Activision fired the founders of Infinity Ward – Jason West and Vince Zempella. Why were they fired? They didn’t like the way Activision was taking control over their artistic freedom and they were earning too much for Activision’s liking. Another prime example is Martin O’Donnell and Bungie. Those scumbags fired him after he had completed the work on the music for Destiny. Not only was he fired but he lost all his stock options as well. Thankfully for us, he won his lawsuit and made Bungie pay for their greediness.
This, however, won’t be the last time such shady things went down. This is a trend. Whenever the companies want to make even more money, they will indulge in such malpractices. Because in the end, it is the money that talks.
So, from the above said things, you can clearly see that the sole purpose for these shady deeds to be committed is the incentive for more and more profit. Everyone wants to make a profit. There is nothing wrong with that. However, when that greed for money overtakes integrity and honour, the entire community suffers. Right now, it has overtaken these corporate heads and the entire gaming community as whole is suffering. Take out this lust for money and we will once again be getting classic games like Halo 2, Call of Duty 4 etc. Till the time that happens, let us enjoy Battlefield 1.