Our fifth podcast is now live! This edition includes the rumoured Xbox Scarlett!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on Fortnite! Cross-Platform Play shenanigans and Mega Man 11 absolutely not coming to Europe at retail too! Everyone is Here in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on E3 2018 and Sony does….what to your Epic Games account?!
Thoughts on Battlefield V vs Call of Duty! Pokemon Let’s Go and Mega Man 11 not coming to Europe at retail too!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on some pre-E3 reveals and the comments about…a new portable PlayStation?
This week, the comparison data will be from the day prior, April 14th, as some interesting things have shown up. All future weeks will be compared to the prior Sunday!
Numbers in brackets are previous positions based on: 14/04/2018 (Unless they haven’t moved)
1: Rocket League – £15.04
2: Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – £19.99
3: Football Manager Touch 2018 (NEW) (Up from 4th) – £29.99
4: Stardew Valley (Down from 3rd) – £10.99
5: Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. – £6.29
6: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – £49.99
7: Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (20% OFF) (Up from 9th) – £17.99 (Usually £22.49)
8: Oxenfree (75% OFF) (Up from not charting) – £3.99 (Usually £15.99)
9: Snake Pass (Down from 8th) – £15.99
10: SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt (Down from 7th) – £8.99
11: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Up from 12th) – £49.99
12: Kirby Star Allies (Down from 11th) – £49.99
13: Don’t Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition (NEW) – £17.99
14: Sonic Mania – £15.99
15: ARMS (Down from 10th) – £49.99
So what do we take away from this? Well a few things.
First, even though Football Manager Touch 2018 arrived with no fanfare, it’s skyrocketed up the charts – a surprise, but given FIFA does the same whenever it goes on sale, it’s expected especially when the UK is prime footy territory.
Another note is the resurgence of a few indie games. Snake Pass is fresh off of sale, and Oxenfree and Shovel Knight have absolutely shot up. Don’t Starve is the other new entry this week, showing a good showing for yet another release of the game.
Kirby is still hanging on, to my surprise despite falling hard out of the retail sales charts – and ARMS, fresh out of a sale and demo, is about to vanish again. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has decided to show up again too, probably for some new Switch owners as it seems to be the go to game.
It should be noted the top of the charts rarely changes. Arcade Archives VS. Super Mario Bros. is a prime example of why Virtual Console most likely won’t arrive at all: Imagine all those games clogging the charts like this one does. But Minecraft, Rocket League and Stardew Valley always occupy top spots and have since launch – real mainstays those are.
So that’s it for this week on the Switch eShop in the UK! Join us next Sunday when we see if Football Manager can remain on top. It probably can, it’s football.
So work this out. DLC can extend the life of a game and in the Fighting game sphere, it’s usually welcome.
So here comes BlazBlue, a series doing a cross over game with Persona and RWBY (For some reason I can’t understand) and it releases in six months, with a roster of 20 fighters.
Now if this was a newer fighting game without the huge stable of known fighting game characters under the wing of the developer, Arc System Works, that would be fine, but 20 feels a little light considering the pedigree of the studio.
Now with the release date revealed to be June, Arc System Works has made an error in revealing the DLC plans at this stage, 6 months prior to launch.
Now in the industry that isn’t a good sign. I’ve talked about this before, but the idea of announcing DLC so far in advance indicates that it was planned to nickel and dime the player early in development, and given the heavy re-use of assets, it does feel like a cash grab.
By all accounts it seems the game was designed around the DLC. What is perhaps even more egregious is that it has been revealed that 20 characters will be in the DLC.
Half of the roster for the game is DLC people. We find this out months in advance, and it was clearly planned from the start.
This is perhaps one of the most irritating examples of aggressive monetisation in a game. Half of the final roster is planned DLC far in advance and made known to the player.
The asset re-use is one thing. The limited roster for such a wide-reaching crossover is another. I have to wonder what appeal this game truly has outside of appealing to these fans.
Then again, it’s not micro transactions, it’s not lootboxes, but it feels somehow worse. DLC abuse is seriously an issue, and the only thing that would put this issue down in history is some Marvel Vs Capcom 3 levels of scum, with the fighters being on the disc/cartridge/download, and you pay to unlock them.
Sometimes I wonder if the industry will do DLC right. It can truly extend the life of a game, and done right can provide great value and expansions to a game. This is just cutting part out and selling it back to the player.
Imagine if Super Smash Bros launched with half of it’s 58 character roster behind DLC. You’d be fuming.
Thanks for reading this admittedly short article. There isnt much you can add to this kind of thing I’m afraid. It’s indefensible. As always give a share and like on social media, and I will see you next time! Happy Gaming!
Okay, so before we go in to this, we need context on both Super Sonic, and Sanic.
Sanic is a meme. Honestly I would love to just leave it there and have it expunged from the game entirely, but the series has decided to embrace the crudely drawn MS Paint rendition of Sonic, dubbed “Sanic”, in ways that move beyond just the TV Show as a reference (Alongside the fan-fiction of all things) and a nod in LEGO Dimensions.
Sanic is available, for free, in all copies of the game, as a t-shirt design for your custom character. Okay, at least it’s free. I mean I would honestly prefer it if the series was a little more….delicate? about being self-aware, rather than just opening the door and saying “Yes, all this mockery online is entirely just”. We all know how the mockery of a fan base can actually impact people mentally, it’s not a very smart thing to do, just let folks enjoy what they enjoy, you know?
I think there is a fine balance between being self-aware and poking fun, and straight up embracing what was a joke meant to demean the franchise and it’s titles (Because many have been lacklustre prior to 2010, and a couple since) feels like…almost giving up. Like the series has no integrity anymore. On one hand yes, nice joke, and in some loose ways it does fit the avatar creation side of things.
On the other hand, you put a reference to a meme used to demean the franchise…in Sonic Forces.
This is a game that is hardly “Good”, instead treading the fine line of mediocre to plain boring, it has obvious development problems, clear instances of things being scrapped and restarted, insanely short levels and not very fulfilling gameplay, and what do they do? Put some DLC in the game used to mock the franchise. Did they actually not see how amazingly self-fulfilling that is?
But anyway, on to Super Sonic. This little feature has been a part of the games since 1992 in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, usually as a reward for certain tasks, like clearing the Special Stages, or for the unlockable final boss throughout the mid-2000s.
Super Sonic did return to fully playable status in 2010 with Sonic 4 and Sonic Colours (The first time ever in 3D), and this has remained the case for Generations, Lost World, and Mania. Super Sonic has been there as a reward for completing the game, or certain milestones.
So Sonic Forces came along and in the PC version they found inaccessible (Though later accessed and fully playable not long after the game came out) code for Super Sonic. It’s in the game, fully playable. I assumed it was just dummied out. I wish it was.
So again, for 25 years Super Sonic has been a part of the franchise as your reward. An in-game thing meant to reward you (Or beat up a final boss in some cases). In Sonic Forces however, it’s in the game, but you can’t access it. Unless you pay up for some DLC of course.
Yes, for the first time ever, this feature of the series for over two decades, is now on-disc DLC. I am absolutely dumbfounded and also surprised. It’s free for around a month, but as of late January, cough up some dough for Super Sonic.
This is honestly a problem that goes further than the Sanic DLC, as this is removal of a series staple and put behind on-disc paywalls. It’s very egregious, and frankly one thing it does have in common with the Sanic DLC is the feeling that it’s just rubbing salt in the wound.
We had it so good, heck Sonic Mania was months ago, and this game comes along, from the team that brought us Colours and Generations, two highly loved games, and it falls flat in so many ways. To rub it in how unfinished the game feels, we get to wear a mockery of the series made official, and pay up for things that used to be standard.
At the same time though, as we have talked about here before many times, this feels like it is becoming the norm. Things you used to be able to just do are now locked behind cash, and the games mock you in the same way trolls on the internet do.
I don’t know what is worse really: Seeing Super Sonic become on-disc DLC, or having to see a meme people have almost weaponised in a game so utterly mediocre it surpasses parody and enters the realm of “Oh we know”.
I guess we can rest easy knowing Mania 2 will be a thing?
Bayonetta is the brain child of Platinum Games, a studio famous for Okami and Devil May Cry, before leaving Capcom and becoming independent. Most of Platinum’s work has been on licensed titles (See TMNT, Transformers, Korra etc.) or as hired help for things like Nier Automata and Metal Gear Rising. Their own projects however, haven’t really hit the same heights.
Platinum’s games are very stylised and fast paced, full of action, but often have little caveats of detail and depth that open it up to a more dedicated audience. Bayonetta isn’t just Devil Mat Cry, it has layers, combos, weapons, upgrades, like a mini-RPG hack and slash.
So when SEGA published Bayonetta and let Platinum have a free reign with a game, it hit Xbox 360 and later (Though very inferior quality wise) the PS3. I didn’t play the game at this time, I had a PS3 late 2010 and so Bayonetta completely skipped over me. A shame too, as when I spoke to a retail employee when pre-ordering the sequel, they talked me into the double-pack (I was the only one there to order it too!).
Bayonetta across both platforms though, seemingly didn’t sell well enough for SEGA. A sequel was planned but never came to be, later revealed to be an issue with no one seeing value in the title, except for one publisher. Maybe the provocative nature of the game was a turn off, or maybe the marketing wasn’t very good. Either way, it didn’t hit internal expectations.
Nintendo of all people, stepped in, paying for the development of the game and publishing rights. SEGA still owned the IP, but at that moment when the Wii U was up and coming, the news Bayonetta 2 would be exclusive was shocking. To say some places reacted poorly would be an understatement, but the writing was on the wall: If the series was to continue, and Platinum was to be given complete freedom, Nintendo had to step in when no one else would.
So a double pack of both games hit the Wii U late 2014, to acclaim. For what it’s worth considering the system it was on, Bayonetta 2 sold well, and then the series went quiet. It became a cult hit, a must have on Wii U, and Nintendo was evidently very happy to allow Nintendo themed costumes and assets into both games. They even had Platinum co-develop Star Fox Zero, a title with mixed reception, but a solid game none the less.
What follows next is quite possibly the biggest indication of the future for the IP. With the cancellation of Scalebound at the hands of Microsoft earlier this year, another Platinum dreamed IP shafted, and some great work as hired help, Platinum was given, by popular fan vote as it happens, a chance for Bayonetta to enter Super Smash Bros. and they leapt at the chance, back in late 2015.
Personally to me and many others around the world, that moment sealed it. Bayonetta had found a home, and it was one Platinum was clearly more than willing to go with. The response to Bayonetta 2 and her inclusion in Super Smash Bros. alongside two amiibo figures, cemented her and the franchise as a Nintendo staple, which looking back on what people consider typical “Nintendo fare” is quite humorous.
Now regarding the future of Bayonetta as a franchise, I openly would have said maybe Bayonetta 3 wouldn’t happen, but Platinum was listed by Nintendo as a key developer for them, and Platinum themselves were teasing both Wonderful 101 (Another Nintendo aided project for Wii U) and Bayonetta.
Come along the Game Awards 2017, and at last, we were graced with the new that Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are coming to Nintendo Switch in February as a double pack. Great news for those who haven’t played the original on 360/PS3/PC/Wii U, and the many yet to play the sequel. It didn’t stop there though.
Bayonetta 3 has been the shock of recent weeks, with many now eagerly awaiting more news about the Nintendo Switch exclusive. It has become apparent where the future of Bayonetta lies, and while SEGA still owns the IP, Nintendo is once again letting Platinum make their dream, and fans around the world are now eagerly looking for the next showing.
That’s the real success of Bayonetta. The fans pushed it, getting her into Smash via popular vote, making the original such a cult hit, and showing that something Platinum made won’t be forgotten. As we move forward to the releases of the first two games, and eventually the third title, fans of the franchise are happy to see Bayonetta has a home in an unlikely place, with Platinum given the freedom they wanted for their own IP.
The future of Bayonetta is clear: Nintendo wants this franchise to flourish and develop, and Platinum is all too happy to do so. Bayonetta 3 will most probably be the best-selling entry in the series to date, and you can bet future Smash Bros. games will feature the witch in her combo based glory, and a fourth title will emerge.
If you enjoyed this look over the Bayonetta franchise with Behind The Game don’t forget to share and like the post, send it to your friends, let us know what you think of the series, and we will see you next time. Happy Gaming!
Title: Sonic Forces
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
Developer: Sonic Team
Sonic Forces is an interesting game. On its own merits, you can see ideas that would work excellently if given time to develop, and gameplay that in the past has been spot on. It’s a winning idea really. So why does this game strike the average feeling so half heartedly?
So first, some positives. This game looks great. Vibrant, colourful, and runs smoothly. Audio wise, some of the tunes I could do without, namely for the “Classic” levels, but a lot are top-notch unique tracks, some with vocals that really suit a stage. Even the overuse of synth isn’t a detriment, as the music is composed around the instruments.
Now if we are being honest, this is a game of three parts. Each has its merits and drawbacks but before any of that, let’s talk story.
Story wise, this game is a mess. There are ideas started, that are never finished. There are points that are brought up and then dropped. There are huge opportunities that are simply in the game as marketing tools. The returning 4 villains for instance are nothing more than cut-scene fodder, and any plot point with them is dropped as important while the story shifts to another thread. Chaos and Shadow aren’t even fought, instead being dealt with in cinematics, and Chaos…Chaos just is. This creature shows up for 2 scenes and vanishes. There was potential here, and it raises the question: How often did this game end up being rewritten?
The main plot, or rather the one that actually ends up being followed through, is nothing special. The tone of the story is fine, albeit sometimes taking itself a little too seriously. The main villain of the game “Infinite” is enjoyable, though the resolution to the whole plot is rather empty. Infinite just disappears after being bested, you get your final boss and…hooray we won. That’s another point against the story. Like a lot of this game, it feels unfinished.
The game is broken up into 30 main stages, including boss fights, with numerous extra and secret stages unlocked via progression or collecting Red Star Rings. Red Star Rings are 5 per level and are fairly simple to get. Nothing more than an alternate pathway or a little tricky platforming to get. Collecting all 5 unlocks 5 numbered rings that you must collect in sequence. Doing that unlocks 5 silver rings that you must collect in a short time. This is true for every stage. Unfortunately, outside of Red Star Rings, you get nothing for doing this in-game.
Missions are also a thing, both daily and regular, and it amounts to no more than busy work, such as maxing out rank on each avatar species, stomping a certain number of enemies, clear each stage fast enough, use each weapon enough, so on so forth. You get nothing for this either.
So with all this fluff, all you get for beating missions is items for your avatar. There is a huge assortment of items to select from, so you will be spoilt for choice in the end, though seeing the game list your unlocks after every mission gets tiresome fast. The avatar creator itself is simple to use and the creativity possible, while not incredible by any stretch, is a fun novel experiment.
The gameplay for the avatar is also novel. You take your character (With their own native secondary ability such as a double jump or pulling in items when near, species dependant) and run in a shifting 2D/3D space just like Modern Sonic. The grapple hook is used automatically most times, though some are down to the player, and the avatar can use it to homing attack enemies, albeit this is fairly slow.
The character also has Wispons. These are unlimited use weapons you equip before each stage. Drill for instance, lets you dash forward and destroy any enemies. Void swallows enemies and objects in a generous radius. Hover acts like a shotgun that can launch enemies into each other, also with generous range. These are pretty simple though novel ideas, albeit enemies don’t pose much of a threat anyway.
Additionally, Wisps can be used with their corresponding weapon. You can only use say, Red Burst, with the Burst Wispon, and so on. These are used mainly for navigation and are limited in use, such as air jumps, flight, creating platforms, and travelling through lines of rings.
The avatar system is a good idea, but could have been fleshed out more.
Modern Sonic returns to the Boost gameplay of past games (Minus a Drift feature for some reason) and largely it works the same. Destroy enemies or White Wisp capsules to fill a boost gauge and go to town. There is also a double jump feature but it’s very limited in helping you given its minimal height.
These levels typically have the most thought put into them, as high-speed platforming can quickly transition to a race or grinding sequence thrill ride. Additional paths are strewn throughout the levels for those observant, though they are often brief. The only downside is when boosting, the ability to turn is reduced exponentially, something a Drift feature would have alleviated. Expect to find yourself hugging the sides of paths a lot.
Both the Avatar and Modern Sonic however, share a similar issue regarding 2D and jumping. The distance you can travel in the air feels inconsistent, and during my time with the avatar I noted moments where he would gain maximum speed immediately after landing from a jump, resulting in death. It’s sloppy to be sure, with inconsistency being its biggest flaw. This remains true in the few tag team stages as well, where you control both Sonic and the Avatar, except the stages are designed to use either or.
Finally, is Classic Sonic, a character I didn’t mention in the plot summary, as this chubby little fella has absolutely no reason to be here. To be frank, the game may be better without him.
So, during the obligatory “pinball” themed stage for the little guy, I felt forced momentum. This is where the game completely changes and locks your momentum, so you only ever travel a set distance after interacting with say, a bumper, or flipper. This made those sections, particularly awkward, but more so is how this applies to jumps.
Not only does Classic Sonic have the same momentum issue regarding speed and jumping distance as the other characters, his jump is cancelled out by hitting enemies or boxes. Bounce on an enemy, your momentum ends, and that gap just ahead of you wont be cleared, in fact you’ll fall right in. It feels very stiff and unnatural.
Similar, Classic Sonic feels heavy when running or jumping regardless, with acceleration only occurring when curled into a ball, and even then, it’s sluggish. The Drop Dash returns from Sonic Mania and does, thankfully, work exactly as expected. However, it also seems subject to the unusual weight of Classic Sonic, so don’t expect to fly up gentle slopes with it.
Regarding level design, this game is again leaving an unfinished impression. Stages are exceptionally short for any character ranging from less than a minute to 2.5 at most. Classic Sonic has the worst with very flat, blocky, almost rudimentary stage layouts. Modern Sonic has it better, with brief alternate paths, but a lot of straight lines with enemies in the way simply to continue boosting ahead. That feels mindless. The avatar has many alternate paths for Wisps to take, but again, it’s short.
Where a level has great aesthetics (Egg Gate) or ends just as it seems to start (Aqua Road) it is undoubtedly frustrating. The levels being short means as you get into the rhythm of a stage, it ends. Some levels could have honestly been condensed into bigger stages, but for some reason they weren’t, possible with the aim of spreading the characters out.
Additionally, level aesthetics are once again borrowed. The returning Green Hill and Chemical Plant, while pretty, leave little to be desired, and the returning Death Egg, while nice, is also predictably dull (With the exception again of Egg Gate). The new aesthetics such as the City, Metropolis, Mystic Jungle and the final zone range from very well conceived to pretty generic. This variety is again compounded by how short the stages are, so no one lasts long enough to leave any impression.
Finally, we come to boss battles. This is also a mixed bag, with once again, reuse of ideas from past games (Or even this game towards the end!). Not battling Chaos or Shadow leaves a lot to be desired, as the battle with Zavok, while interesting, occurs early in the game, and the battle with Metal Sonic, and the Egg Dragoon, are both reused later in the game for different bosses.
Additionally, the two initial battles with Infinite are fantastic. Unique with nice mechanics based around his powers keeps you on your toes as you endeavour to counter attack. More of this would have been greatly appreciated.
None is especially difficult, however. A lack of lives in the game removes any real threat, though some can provide challenge by making your avatar wield less advantageous weapons for their battles.
Also of note is the free Episode Shadow DLC. While cool to control our favourite black hedgehog once again, he does play exactly like Modern Sonic after all, his levels (All 3 of them) amount to little more than remixed existing stages. A nice touch is the ability to play as Shadow in Modern Sonic’s stages, so for Shadow fans, this is a win.
Plot wise though, it gives a little back story on Infinite in the run up to the main game. It’s the most consistent part of the story, at least, but again, entirely skippable if you don’t care.
Sonic Forces is by no means a bad game. It’s sadly also not going to blow your socks off. It’s an uninteresting, safe romp, with a mix-match story and ideas, held together by 3 gameplay styles, that with more time and depth added (Or just longer levels, who knows) could have been pretty good. Sadly, that isn’t the case as the game feels unfinished, as though content was cut, with moments where quite clearly something has been removed.
Overall, if you are a Sonic fan, sure, pick it up. If you are looking for a 3D platformer, you could do worse, but you can also do better. Sonic Forces is ultimately a forgettable experience.
As always if you enjoyed this review give it a share, let me know what you think of the game, and I’ll see you all next time! Happy Gaming!
So EA closed Visceral in late 2017, suddenly but to the surprise of no one. As it happens this was just yet another in their hit list: Be it studios swallowed whole or internal studios biting the dust.
Now EA, not long after disbanding Visceral and their single player Star Wars project, has bought Respawn and the IP for Titanfall.
Titanfall 2 was actually surprisingly awesome, and it even made a little marketing push on having no DLC, no micro transactions, and just being a solid game you got the entirety of with one purchase.
And EA, the publisher, put it right in between Call of Duty, and it’s OWN Battlefield 1, effectively cannibalizing its sales. We now also know with this acquisition that Titanfall 3 is a thing in the works. Taking bets as to how that will turn? Well let’s look back at Dead Space.
EA wanted Dead Space to be a multimedia thing. It didn’t happen, but the first two games sold really well. Dead Space 3 however, needed 5 million sales for a future, and had micro transactions and modes added that frankly had no place in a game like that: Sales tanked, Visceral got moved to Battlefield Hardline, that didn’t do too well, and now they are gone.
You can probably tell what Titanfall 3 will be like can’t you? Oh, and the developers get bonuses based on how well the games review. Money talks apparently.
Respawn is just yet another studio with talented staff, good IP and a drive to make good games snatched up by proverbial vultures. When, and it isn’t a case of “If”, Respawn is closed by EA, it will be for not meeting expectations. But what are those expectations?
Let’s look at Activision’s Q4 2016 sales figures:
Activision Blizzard confirmed during their Q4 2016 Earnings Call that the entire company, across Activision and Blizzard titles, made over $3.6 billion just from in-game content sales. In-game content sales includes Call of Duty Points, Overwatch Loot Boxes, and more.
Now let’s look at Take Two:
“We’ve said that we aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model, it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board,” Zelnick said.
EA themselves have quoted games as a service model as a key driver.
Let’s be honest though, is this shocking? No. Businesses exist to make money, but the more staff they have to hire, the more the consumer demands better graphics, the more capable the hardware for games becomes, and the longer games take to make, means bigger budgets, more wages, and ultimately, a need to sell more copies. Far, far more.
Part of this is the “$60” price tag of games. One time purchase, that’s it. No more money for the publishers and developers. So what do they do? Find a way to increase monetization: A constant stream of revenue. Lootboxes, In-app purchases, DLC, it all goes straight to them. But it doesn’t stop at covering costs, it continues to making as much money as humanly possible, often with minimal effort and some very dodgy practices.
Take Call of Duty: WWII for instance. The game has lootboxes, with a twist. Others can see what you get, with the aim of seemingly spurring jealously.
According to redditor cuzseile, who uploaded the video, the supply drop exists in the game world but other players can’t steal it, which you’d expect. But cuzseile reports other players can see what you get from a supply drop
The psychology of reward and feeling good is at full use here, akin to gambling, and of course, Activision also has that patent, where matchmaking can be based on pushing you via losses and other players into purchasing lootboxes.
Publishers have leapt to the furthest end of the spectrum in seeking additional monetization. Honestly, as many have noted, if the game was free it could easily sustain itself on in-app purchases just on player base. Any game could in theory. In practice though, its not just a case of making ends meet as they claim: Now it’s predatory, and now it is about milking as much as possible.
Even smaller studios, to loop back to the start of the article, are in need of money. It is why studios are bought up: They need publishers, and a source of income. Why wouldn’t you take that opportunity if presented? But the publishers typically twist and gut the studio into their vision of maximised profits.
Personally, I would be fine with a $10 price increase on games. That could go a surprisingly long way to meeting costs and break even points. Sadly though, the big publishers have already tasted the blood in the water, and won’t settle for the more market friendly lesser revenue.
AAA gaming is a vulture. Or maybe a parasite is more apt? Either way, it swallows creativity whole, and turns studios most people knew and loved of all sizes into factories, producing not games but products.
As an aside, during my time studying Games Design at university, this is the model we were taught: Not to produce games, but products. Plan ahead from the mere conception of a game to form ways of further monetizing, be it DLC, removing content to sell later, or in app purchases. This is something I heartedly disagree with. Yes, in-app purchases have a place, mostly in free games, but not in a title already paid for.
The games industry is a ravenous beast, hungry for the taste of as much revenue as possible, and all the talent it can absorb to get that revenue. As consumers want more from games, studios need to fund that. They turn to publishers who want as much money as possible, then in a few years see more hardware come out, games look better, cost more to make, and the cycle continues.
The industry isn’t unsustainable, at least not yet. It needs change. Perhaps the biggest problem is that it is noticeably cannibalising itself, breaking down what talent it has and the bright futures and ideas of many, in the sake of the now, the money, the gain, and it isn’t looking to the future, where games are solely predatory and more expensive than ever, without any reason to be that way.
As always if you enjoyed this article leave a comment with your thoguhts, share with your friends, and happy gaming!