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Are Video Games nearly dead?


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Right lets be honest the PS4 and the Xbox One have hardly set the world on fire, the odd good game pops up every few month or so and everything just seems so dull and boring.

 

I'm still happy with my 360 but what do ye guys think, are we seeing the final chapter for the video games market?, or is PC Gaming the way forward?

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The videogame market is making more money now than it ever has, plus it's still early days for the current gen consoles and (at least on PS4 - as that is my personal experience), there are plenty of fantastic indie games to choose from.

 

Maybe you need to look deeper into the well to find the games that you won't find boring.

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The problem is now the gaming market, a far as the console goes, is based around yearly launches of franchises and the Christmas period as being the optimum time to release a game.

 

Coupled to what DC said, there are also lots of indie games out there plus it took the 360 around two to three years to actually have a decent library of games, simply due to the release schedule being biased towards the fourth quarter of the year.

 

So I wouldn't say they are dead, just a bit woozy after a regeneration like the Doctor. Except for the Wii U outside of Japan, that thing is sinking like a stone.

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I think we're just starting to see a shift away from "AAA" gaming. People are starting to get fed up of grey and brown FPS' and gritty action games, but the purchase figures for indie titles on platforms like Steam suggest that gaming is very much still alive and well, we're just looking elsewhere for our gaming fixes now instead of buying whichever iteration of CoD is coming out.

 

Also (as has already been said) we're pretty early on in this generation's life cycle, so most developers aren't taking any real risks with their "big" games just yet.

 

For every sh*tty franchise that just keeps knocking out the annual updates, you have something different like Five Nights at Freddies (although now we're getting to the 4th installment, they might start to be guilty of milking a franchise for all it's worth).

 

Even though the mainstream gaming market is heading towards a world of HD remasters instead of unique IPs, we're still getting games like Ori and the Blind Forest, Child of Light, OlliOlli, and lots of cool other "indie" games (can we really still call them indie now guys like Ubisoft are making plays for XBLA revenue?).

 

Basically, gaming isn't dead, but you are going to have to look a little harder now to find something different and a little more off the beaten track.

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I agree with Chris, I think AAA gaming is going a bit like WWE these days in that they are a bit directionless, relying on rehashes and old names to carry on with innovating. I think Steam is almost like NXT in that there are some class acts coming through as well as a lot of generic replications that won't go anywhere.

 

PC gaming is really better than console gaming in terms of variety and choice, I think in the end the best Sony or MS can hope for is that their controller becomes the PC master race's choice when they want to play a game that works better with a controller.

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I think the bubble's definitely going to burst. The budgets, the business models, the money-grabbing, the copy-catting, the lack of convenience in the hardware, the complete lack of any respect for their own audience, it's all going to burst, we're at E.T. in the 80's. PC gaming will be fine, indie games will be fine, mobile games will be fine, the tippy top, the Call of Dutys and the EA Sports games will be fine, but the upper-midcard, to use a wrestling term, is fucked unless they get very lucky and step up a level, or bite the bullet and step down. Games being budgeted to sell millions and millions of copies just to break even, games designed to spawn franchises without any indication of how popular they might actually be, games with budgets so inflated that, on top of a $60 price tag, they'll want an extra $20 in DLC just to make the game fully playable out of the box, yearly scheduled sequels, entirely falsified "gameplay" trailers, Onion-esque pre-order schemes seemingly designed by the criminally insane, EA's obsession with internet connections and cannibalising 90s franchises (Sim City, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper and The Sims are all dead in the water over the last couple if years thanks to them), the fact that everyone who works for Konami appears to have had a stroke at the exact same time, that kind of stuff just isn't going to last. Either it'll just stop, or it'll die, like a mad bull running around near a cliff edge. There is no way the big companies can make it another console generation haemorrhaging money, popularity and dignity in such vast quantities as they are right now.
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I think Watchdogs finally killed off the lingering hopes of the gaming industry that it was going to become the movie industry. You simply can't make a blockbuster game, gamers are much more critical than film goers and a badly made game is death.
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In a way the movie industry and the game industry are actually very similar. In both it's very rare to have a "blockbuster" actually live up to the hype and expectation. But then every once in a while a great one comes along and knocks everyone's collective socks off. You've got your little indie low budget things, that sometimes bubble up into the mainstream just because they're so damn good. The actually quite a few comparisons to be made if you sit and think about it, and that is probably where gaming is going wrong. Some developers understand that they have a much more in depth interactive medium to tell a story with, but there's an increasing number that just want to give you a short (5-6 hours) movie(ish) experience that looks very pretty and tells a story of sorts, but by no means justifies the budget and the whopping initial price tag. I'm looking at you The Order 1886.
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Plus don't forget, the other kings of rehashing ideas, Activision are this year bringing back Guitar Hero and Harmonix have teamed up with Mad Catz of all people to publish and develop Rock Band 4.

 

Harmonix have said this will be a one off for this console generation and their will be no more sequels, just extensive support with content (aka a tonne of DLC), Activision on the other hand have made no such promises.

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Also Comic Book Adaptations = Zombie Survival Games. But still, I stand by my point that Watchdogs was the first real serious attempt to create a blockbuster game out of the gates by investing millions into a new title and it bombed. A well financed movie has a much higher chance of doing well compared to a well financed game.
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I don't know, if you take adaptations and remakes out of the equation, big budget movies haven't been having a good time right now. In terms of it's brand being basically meaningless on the way in, Watchdogs has more in common with After Earth or Transcendence, or something like that, where they've fallen back on advertising and star power to publicise movies with no built-in fan base, which is a problem superhero movies, sequels, remakes and, to a lesser extent, horror movies tend not to have. Assassin's Creed, Battlefield, Call of Duty, EA Sports, things like that have built in audiences that will buy whatever they make, in the same way that audiences will watch whatever Marvel or DC or Pixar or Star Wars or Star Trek or Transformers or whatever do.

 

I think Watchdog probably was the first, or at least the most prominent "YOU WILL BUY THIS!" game, but I don't think that's a problem movies don't also have, because "out the gate" movies are having a pretty shitty time right now too.

 

EDIT: Just for fun, I thought I'd do some maths. Now I'm doing this as I'm typing, so I may well end up proving myself wrong on my own post, but at least I'm using evidence honestly. I'm taking the top ten most expensive to make films of 2014 not including films that were part of a previously established franchise, like sequels, remakes, reboots or adaptations. This process has led me to the strange point in my life where I had to wonder if Bible movies count as adaptations. I decided they do, so no Noah or Exodus.

 

Anyway! Oh, and I'm using the cliche of a film has to make twice it's production budget to be profitable, because promotional budgets aren't made public, and it tends to work out like that. If it made money, it's green, if it lost money, it's red.

 

Edge of Tomorrow

Hercules

Transcendence

Dracula Untold

Pompeii

Divergent

The Legend of Hercules

The Monuments Men

I, Frankenstein

Winter's Tale

 

Well, that was a complete waste of time, BUT, it would be interesting to see how that 50/50 success rate compared to a similar look at video games.

Edited by John Hancock
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I think Watchdogs finally killed off the lingering hopes of the gaming industry that it was going to become the movie industry. You simply can't make a blockbuster game, gamers are much more critical than film goers and a badly made game is death.

I disagree not about watchdogs which was a let down. But a gta was a blockbuster

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I disagree not about watchdogs which was a let down. But a gta was a blockbuster

 

That's nothing to do with Omega's point. He's talking about franchises being launched with the immediate expectation that they'll be successful without there being any real basis to believe that. GTA has been a blockbuster franchise for over a decade, so that's a completely separate conversation. No one's saying blockbuster games don't exist, Call of Duty exists, GTA exists, FIFA exists, Madden exists. The point is the danger of games assuming they're blockbusters because of their marketing campaigns, and planning their finances around being blockbusters with no previous evidence that it'll pay off.

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I don't think games are dead, but the industry is going to change. The number of pretty awesome tools like Unity is only growing, giving Indy titles access to AAA game tools and graphics etc. So we'll probably switch back to having loads of small to medium size (less than 50) development houses because massive teams aren't needed as much anymore.

 

Also, pc gaming is very healthy, and this gen of consoles is still fairly new.

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EDIT- Out of curiosity is there ongoing game franchises or upcoming games anyone here reckons could be blockbuster status soon?
Arkham Knight and No Man's Sky immediately spring to mind as games from both camps (established franchise and new kid on the block) that should bust the block.
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The videogame market is making more money now than it ever has, plus it's still early days for the current gen consoles and (at least on PS4 - as that is my personal experience), there are plenty of fantastic indie games to choose from.

 

Maybe you need to look deeper into the well to find the games that you won't find boring.

 

The yearly COD and Fifa releases will make shitloads of money but that doesnt mean the games industry is booming.It just seems to me that the consoles will become a thing of the past in time to come.

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I think unity could be a thing, it's used outside of the gaming industry as well so as a platform it's not dependent on just that to finance itself. However at the moment it's a pain for browser gaming as it's yet another plug in to be downloaded and the games tend to be much bigger so if you're stuck on a slower connection can take a while to load. One day though...
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