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The State Of The Gaming Industry

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Is anybody else worried about the state of the gaming industry at the moment? 2019 to me feels like a pivotal year in gaming in regards to the negative aspects of the industry. Lootboxes and micro transactions are being implemented more and more despite the negative feedback the developers are receiving from the public. Games are coming out half finished more frequently with massive day 1 patches to download before you even play the game and then you have to pay for DLC to play the rest of the game. Developers are becoming increasingly lazy. Blizzard are facing a backlash over the China situation. Ubisoft just announced The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint are huge flops both critically and commercially for them due in part to the pay to win mechanics and releasing the same type of open world game every year. Bethesda just released a yearly membership pass for a game that came out with nothing to do in it. EA Sports are always receiving negative feedback due to their pay to win schemes in games too. 2K Sports just released a wrestling game which in 2019 looks like a PS2 game at best.

I hope this is a lesson to the big developers going into next gen. Surely they cannot go into the next generation with the same practices and mindset? People will stop buying their games eventually.

I was worried when I bought Fallout 76 on release day. They were really taking the piss with that monstrosity. I logged on here to write a similar post as yours but my English simply didn’t suffice to get my point across. Then I thought of these titles that are huge commercial successes and marvelous games: Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us, God of War.

I believe there is a market of “old guys” like myself who play single player games and don’t have time for all the multiplayer bullshit. I share your concern but I believe and hope that top quality, single player games will be continued to be made. If not, gaming is officially dead.

Darren G:
I don't personally believe that 2019 has been pivotal in the way that you are describing Andy.  Most of the studios engaged in the practices that you mention have been doing so for a long time now.  Bethesda in particular has been releasing broken games for years and taking the piss with their DLC content, with the horse armour being a meme for some time now.  There are plenty of other games that have released broken in the past four or five years too.  Arkham Knight (2015) for example was unplayable on PC at launch.  The same goes for EA and their lootboxes in that it's not a new phenomenon, but something that's been going on for years. 

If anything I am more optimistic about things going forward than I have been in previous years.  That's not because I believe that developers like Ubisoft will suddenly develop a sense of business ethics, but because people have become utterly sick of the bullshit and - as you point out - it's hitting developers where it hurts in terms of the commercial revenue.  That's not to say that I think that the industry is going to have a complete turnaround.

 At the end of the day, shite developers/studios/publishers will always be a bit shite.  There are also still plenty of good developers around that put out good products though and will probably continue to do so.  If the likes of CDPR, Naughty Dog and Techland start releasing lootbox-driven, broken garbage then I'll concede that the industry is beyond repair.  I don't thik that we're at that point though and I don't feel that things will get any worse than they are now.   

I see your points Darren and agree with you on that it has been going on for years now but it feels like this year people are starting to notice it more and taking action by not buying their products and leaving bad reviews for them highlighting the issues.

Thankfully the likes of Naughty Dog and CDPR continue to release games that aren’t all about monetisation and loot boxes and hopefully other big companies will follow suit going forward.

Governments are starting to question the way companies are monetising their games now too, Belgium has already banned purchasable loot boxes and I can see more countries doing the same further down the line. Established games that already have loot boxes are likely to stick with them but I'm not sure we'll see new games appearing too often with loot box systems, as that tends to earn them negative reviews from the outset. To be honest there aren't a lot of Ubi/EA/Blizzard/Bethesda games I'm really interested in now, only the new CoD.

The one growing scummy practice I'm getting annoyed by is "influencers", content creators who essentially get paid to leverage their existing audience by playing EA/Ubisoft games and not saying anything bad about them.


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