Gaming is now mainstream so suck it
Too bad for “gamers” I guess. Or should I say too bad for gamers who stubbornly keep buying the games they like to complain about?
So what does it mean that gaming is now mainstream? It means that there’s much more money to be made with safer bets than with risky ones. It means that gamers will complain over and over that shooters are too linear, RPGs are not RPGs anymore and that everything is dumbed down. Welcome to life!
Ok so where am I coming from? Basically from some of the games I really enjoyed (and I’m still enjoying) that a lot of people were pissed at for some reason. Well they were pissed at those games for the same reason I might be pissed about “social games” or “WoW” (though rest assured I have far better use of my time than spending 30 minutes each night being pissed at something I don’t like).
A first example is Call of Duty: Black Ops. Gamers made it clear that the first level could be played without firing a single shot. There was also some graphic illustrating how shooters became so linear with years. I’m not denying that CoD: BO was a very linear game and maybe not even a game to some extent but I have to point out that this same very game has been the top-selling game on Steam before AND after its release. So if I’m Activision what do you think this means to me? …
The next example is Mass Effect 2. Some kind of dumbed down RPG game that would be best qualified as an impressive multimedia experience that won numerous “game of the year” titles. Long story short they took an RPG, removed RPG elements and added a massive dose of Hollywood production in it. The result is massive sales and massive praises. Of course RPG fans are still debating if ME2 is really an RPG or not.
The last example is Dragon Age 2. While it’s true that it seems that DA2 received some rather harsh criticisms the game is still in the top 10 best-selling games on Steam right now. Once again it’s the “it’s not an RPG” argument that is leading the way with some additional comments about how assets are reused and how lame it is for such a high production value game this is. One can only see that DA2 is closer to ME2 than its predecessor DA: Origins so can you really blame Bioware for going this way?
I must say that I absolutely love those 3 titles I enumerated here. CoD: BO was an orgy of cutscenes and I loved it. ME2 had a characters driven story which made the whole thing strangely emotive at some point. DA: Origins bored me to death and DA2 seems like some kind of ME2 with dragons so I like it. So if I like those 3 games so much it means that I’m not really a gamer anymore but some kind of biproduct of the mainstream industry? Fine because I feel I’ll get many titles in this line in the coming years.
Yes all those games are probably not what games “used to be”. But I see them as something different anyway. Something that fits me right now. And based on sales it seems that many people agree with me on some level. Feel free to say they are not “real games” I just couldn’t care less. They provide me some mainstream entertainment for which I have time to enjoy. Back in the days I absolutely loved Baldur’s Gates but right now it seems I just enjoy more something closer to DA2.
So what are the options to people who don’t like the same things I do? Pretty simple actually. For example I think that anything “social games” built on the pattern of “spam your friends” and “pay to advance” is lame. That means I won’t play those things and that I will even less work on such games. So to the people not liking mainstream gaming experience I tell you to go see elsewhere. Why not check indie developers for example?
Yes “support” indie developers!!! AAA studios don’t give you what you want then pay for what you want instead of spending money only to be able to whine later. You know you won’t get anything other than linear from Call of Duty so why keep whining about it! It’s not like it’s the only shooter out there. People like me who enjoy simple cinematic shooters will keep buying it but you really don’t have to do the same!!!
Like I recently said in an interview there’s no point for an indie developer to create the same kind of games as a AAA studio as it pretty much means the death of the indie dev. So check the indie devs! They might be able to offer you what you are seeking. What? They can’t offer you the same production value??!?!?! Make up your mind will you!!!
I’ll make it simple. For the next few years AAA games = dumbed down games. Indie games = potentially what you want. Make your choice. Just don’t waste space on the Interweb with your whining how about CoD is linear and how about ME3 is not really an RPG or something. You’ve been warned. It WILL be that way. Those games are for me and many other people. Not for you. Just accept it. Don’t buy stuff you don’t like!!!
By the way I’m an indie dev myself. You might want to check what I do… There’s a reason I like simple or “mainstream” games. It’s because I’m too busy building way cooler games for you all gamers…