• The Degeneration of Gaming


    We talk about it often, but now we figured it was time to write an article dedicated to discussing and pointing out the degeneration of gaming. Today, the video game industry is one afraid of innovation, and one that looks to milk consumers like cows. Most modern mainstream games are barely even a shell of the pioneers.

    How and why did this happen? The truth is, there were multiple causes that led to the degeneration of the gaming industry. Continue on to the next page to find out why.


    Comments 12 Comments
    1. strudinox's Avatar
      strudinox -
      I think it all came down to money and stats. Back then, game devs would make a game and get little to no feedback as to how players enjoyed it, what percentage completed it, and what the overall opinion was (roughly). So they tried to produce the best game they could based on what they think everyone at the time would enjoy. Imo, this is what produced better games. Now days everything is track monitored, and studied. Devs now days spend millions on trying to figure out what the average gamer will buy (not so much enjoy). Lasting appeal is pretty much one of the least important aspects devs consider when designing a game. It's all revenue. How quickly can we pump out new games, based on a series that should have been abandoned 10 sequels ago. (hence the buggyness you mentioned)

      There are still a few game devs out there that still make great games, but it's like you pointed out, it's the mindset of the gamer. Gamers don't want to play a hard game, they want to unlock achievements or trophies to prove they are a l33t gamer to their friends. I remember back in the 90s many times some of the games you'd play were nearly impossible and it was frustrating spending 10+ hours on a single mission/quest or whatever. But finally beating it actually meant something.

      I dunno, just my $0.02
    1. Enad's Avatar
      Enad -
      You're very correct Strud.
    1. Grompz's Avatar
      Grompz -
      I think multiplatform games is a mistake. Instead of taking the best of the two worlds, devs took the lowest common denominator.
      I just think each platform should re-focus on what they do the best.
      PC: RPG, FPS, Simulation, Strategy, Advanced Racing and Point&Click.
      Consoles: 2D, Fighting Games, Platformer, Action/Adventure, Casual Racing, Hack'N'Slash, Shoot'Em up, Beat them All.
      Mobile: Paywall, Casual.
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Quote Originally Posted by Grompz View Post
      I think multiplatform games is a mistake. Instead of taking the best of the two worlds, devs took the lowest common denominator.
      I just think each platform should re-focus on what they do the best.
      PC: RPG, FPS, Simulation, Strategy, Advanced Racing and Point&Click.
      Consoles: 2D, Fighting Games, Platformer, Action/Adventure, Casual Racing, Hack'N'Slash, Shoot'Em up, Beat them All.
      Mobile: Paywall, Casual.
      That would probably make the industry much better than it is now, but I don't think it's the best solution. I wouldn't mind if a game was designed for PC first and foremost, and then ported to consoles later in its development without making compromises to the PC version. But it's too bad that studios tend not to do this, so your solution is safer.
    1. Grompz's Avatar
      Grompz -
      Speaking of PC games design: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computi...lSuEDE9V6O68DA

      This is the kind of stuff I do not like to see. 500k is around 5% of Steam users, that's tremendous considering that, I'm pretty sur of it, those 5% represent more than the half of cash flows on the store.

      Controllers becoming mandatory for playing games on PC is one of my worst fears for the future of gaming, the other ones being:
      - VR becoming too popular, that would mean the death of non-immersive experiences such as strategy games, not to mention, I find those headset disgraceful and non-ergonomic.
      - Western RPG being on Borderlands, MMO or The Division standards.
      - Horror Games becoming jumpscares fests.
      - Endless cycle of reboots/remasters, it would be nice to see some classics redone with nowday tools but that should be a work done by either different devs or fans. Black Mesa is a good example because it's not Valve who made it but fans.
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Quote Originally Posted by Grompz View Post
      Speaking of PC games design: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computi...lSuEDE9V6O68DA

      This is the kind of stuff I do not like to see. 500k is around 5% of Steam users, that's tremendous considering that, I'm pretty sur of it, those 5% represent more than the half of cash flows on the store.

      Controllers becoming mandatory for playing games on PC is one of my worst fears for the future of gaming, the other ones being:
      - VR becoming too popular, that would mean the death of non-immersive experiences such as strategy games, not to mention, I find those headset disgraceful and non-ergonomic.
      - Western RPG being on Borderlands, MMO or The Division standards.
      - Horror Games becoming jumpscares fests.
      - Endless cycle of reboots/remasters, it would be nice to see some classics redone with nowday tools but that should be a work done by either different devs or fans. Black Mesa is a good example because it's not Valve who made it but fans.
      Strategy games and the like will never die out, I wouldn't worry about that. There is a substantial audience in gaming that plays only strategy games; still a niche, but a niche that will never go away.

      As for the rest, I agree totally. Games being designed for controllers is part of the reason games are so dumbed down now; you can't physically have a certain amount of complexity on a controller. Not enough buttons. Some great examples are ArmA 3, most strategy games, and more complex tactical RPGs with point-and-click such as Neverwinter Nights 2 and Pillars of Eternity. Also, controller is the reason games tend to have aim assist and acceleration.
    1. Grompz's Avatar
      Grompz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jester View Post
      That would probably make the industry much better than it is now, but I don't think it's the best solution. I wouldn't mind if a game was designed for PC first and foremost, and then ported to consoles later in its development without making compromises to the PC version. But it's too bad that studios tend not to do this, so your solution is safer.
      Considering the growing popularity of PC gaming, your solution is actually realistic nowdays. As for the quality of the games, I don't think asking for a innovative game each time to a large publisher is reasonable, too much uncertainty for the shareholders. I think 1 innovative game for 2/3 money-milking game is a fairer deal.
    1. Charcharo's Avatar
      Charcharo -
      All art forms go through these ups and downs in genres and themes and needs and wants.

      Do not worry. There will be a golden age of Strategy and Tycoon games once more. I do not know when it will happen, but that it will happen.
    1. Grompz's Avatar
      Grompz -
      Man, if the first-person shooters could take a break for a while and let more refined and complex RPG/strategy games, pure hardcore 3D platforming games and Telltale games taking the crown, that would be amazing. Think about it, no longer games would be seen as mindless entertainements by the media, but rather cognitive and intellectual challenges.
    1. Charcharo's Avatar
      Charcharo -
      Honestly, I think the media are in a sense irrelevant. They always operate in this predictable fashion for awhile... before they lose. They already are losing.

      Once upon a time people looked down on Cinema. Now it is considered a great art form (still inferior to books though!).

      Think of the anti-DnD propaganda that was for awhile popular in the US. Now I guess I have mostly participated in newer edition DnD games (and most of the time I read nothing, I was just on set and ready with a concept, the others filled me in), but what I saw there was completely flat out superior as a roleplaying experience to all video games I have ever played. The depth was also there, especially considering the people and DM we had. And even something like that had a negative representation in mass media... it is just not relevant to quality or depth or themes or anything really

      The FPS genre is a strange bird, but it has produced some amazing experiences. The problem in recent times is not with the genre in my opinion, it is with the requirements of publishers and even the expectations of some gamers. We know the genre has just as much legitimacy as any other, but it has... ironically grown somewhat stale due to its own popularity.

      It makes me sad as a person that loves the genre. But such is life, things can and will eventually change.
    1. Grompz's Avatar
      Grompz -
      You have a point. I guess acceptance is a matter of time for the most part.
      FPS have indeed grown stale due to their popularity, and so were platformers and arcade games during the 8 bits/16 bits era. History showed us that this situation won't last forever, as I wrote earlier, I somehow except gaming platforms to revert back to what they originally do. The PS1/N64/Saturn was one the best era for gaming (let's put aside the painful 3D transition) in my opinion because each platforms have their exclusivities, focused on certain genres only and they were complementary with PC. Consoles nowdays are trying too hard to mimic PC features and sooner or latter, they will realise that they can't compet, because of the price range they are meant to be in and technical limitations. I really hope PS4 Neo and Xbox Scorpio will be massive failures.
    1. Charcharo's Avatar
      Charcharo -
      I hope so as well... then again I see no point in Console gaming and havent seen for years now.

      It costs more long term, it gives you less content (lack of good modding, lack of decent backwards compatibility, lack of emulation...), it has almost as much BS as PC Gaming, the console itself can not do other things that aren't gaming all that well.

      I just see no point in them. The only one I can see is MAYBE (but this depends on where you live) lower up-front costs and sightly easier to use (but then again you MUST know how to use a PC anyway). That is it really. The second hand market has some level of equivalency on PC, but it itself is hated by Sony and MS

      Yeah, time is what solves these things. Not flat out trying hard :P . It is already happening, hell even the opposite at times is happening where people claim games are a superior to far elder art forms (incorrect). Still, they are gaining acceptance.