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What The #$%& Is With The State Of Gaming In General?


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#1 Skywalkre

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 1701 PM

I've never been a Fallout fan so only heard indirectly how poor the recent Fallout 76 launch went.  Then I happened upon this review...

 

 

This is quite possibly the most savage review I've ever come across.  What's more depressing is it's regarding a Bethesda game.

 

Bethesda is one of those companies that has a long and storied history of putting out quality products.  Another one of those companies is Blizzard.  If you haven't heard about what's gone on there recently here are two clips from their recent Blizzcon where their big announcement was a mobile game.  :huh:  Take a look at how it was received...

 

I have no memory of there ever being boos at Blizzcon for an announcement like this.  It's not just Blizz going the cash grab route with a franchise like Diablo that's largely been ignored for years.  Their game Heroes of the Storm failed to make an entry into the MOBA market (unusual for Blizz to 'fail' in this way).  Their recent expansion to their flagship World of Warcraft has been a complete flop.  Then an article like this comes out highlighting that a once mighty studio is just a shadow of its former glory and maybe close to crumbling.

 

These are the companies I follow closest.  There have been a myriad of other AAA failures in recent years as well.  In short - what the #$%& is going on with the gaming industry?


Edited by Skywalkre, 29 November 2018 - 1714 PM.

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#2 GregShaw

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 1819 PM

I've been playing WoW since day 1, the previous 2 expacs at least held my attention for 6-9 months before I took time off to wait for a new content patch. I at least reached max lvl on all my toons before giving up. This last expac didn't make it 90 days, and only managed 120 on 3 of my 12 toons. It is boring, there are only 3 zones, and the auto-adjusting lvl and ilvl of the mobs makes lvl'ing a pita.

 

Been playing Matrix / Talonsoft (Gary Grigsby's) Bombing the Reich for my gaming. It's a typical Grigsby micromanaging clickfest, but I've gotten 100s of hours of play already, and I'm only about 20% of the way through the '43 campaign. Matrix games can be expensive, but their value in time played / cost is fantastic.

 

Nothing new really caught my eye during the Steam annual sale, I ended up buying Il-2 Stalingrad and some expacs instead. Besides, I already have a number of games in my Steam library that I don't ever get around to playing.

 

I've played Fallout since the original, but I never got very far in Fallout4. After reading and watching the reviews on Fallout 76 I'l give it a pass. My new machine will get Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, along with Skyrim/Oblivion/Morrowind from my Steam library.

 

Out of the newer stuff; Overwatch, Far Cry 5, Red Dead Redemption and a few others look pretty, but I'm not into First Person Shooters anymore. I'm 51 years old now, not 25-30 like when I played Marathon, Doom, Quake, Unreal Tnmt, etc...


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#3 GregShaw

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 1852 PM

The problem with Blizzard is easy, Activision. And the crappy devs.

 

They aren't making a game they love or want to play anymore, they're making content to keep the corporate cash cow going.

 

There are other problems with the devs, and their unwillingness to take to any feedback. I don't know why they bothered with a Beta, they didn't listen to any criticism, instead doing exactly what they and Activision wanted. That's not a new complaint, dates back to at least Pandaland, but it has gotten worse.

 

The lead dev for Legion wasn't even a programmer, he was a lawyer whose only qualification was leading a raiding guild. 


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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 0317 AM

I've been playing WoW since day 1, the previous 2 expacs at least held my attention for 6-9 months before I took time off to wait for a new content patch. I at least reached max lvl on all my toons before giving up. This last expac didn't make it 90 days, and only managed 120 on 3 of my 12 toons. It is boring, there are only 3 zones, and the auto-adjusting lvl and ilvl of the mobs makes lvl'ing a pita.

 

Been playing Matrix / Talonsoft (Gary Grigsby's) Bombing the Reich for my gaming. It's a typical Grigsby micromanaging clickfest, but I've gotten 100s of hours of play already, and I'm only about 20% of the way through the '43 campaign. Matrix games can be expensive, but their value in time played / cost is fantastic.

 

Nothing new really caught my eye during the Steam annual sale, I ended up buying Il-2 Stalingrad and some expacs instead. Besides, I already have a number of games in my Steam library that I don't ever get around to playing.

 

I've played Fallout since the original, but I never got very far in Fallout4. After reading and watching the reviews on Fallout 76 I'l give it a pass. My new machine will get Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, along with Skyrim/Oblivion/Morrowind from my Steam library.

 

Out of the newer stuff; Overwatch, Far Cry 5, Red Dead Redemption and a few others look pretty, but I'm not into First Person Shooters anymore. I'm 51 years old now, not 25-30 like when I played Marathon, Doom, Quake, Unreal Tnmt, etc...

 

That really is pretty good isnt it? My only objection to it is that they seem to have broke the night bombing component in the 1943 campaign, which is really the one campaign I wanted to play.

 

I bought Phantom Doctrine and im already bored by it. This is the Police 2 was a bore. About the only games that seem to keep my attention are DCS and Ultimate General Civil War. Everything else these says seems to formulaic and stodgy.


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#5 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 0450 AM

These are the companies I follow closest.  There have been a myriad of other AAA failures in recent years as well.  In short - what the #$%& is going on with the gaming industry?

 

In short: It has become unsustainable.

 

Production costs have become so high that it is almost impossible to develop regular single player AAA games, that you can simply buy for 60 bucks and then play, any longer. This is why almost every current AAA game is heavily monetized with microtransactions, "loot boxes" and multiplayer components that are specifically designed to encourage playing as long and as often as possible. You can't just have your customer play a game for 20 hours and then stop. Gamers have to stay on board, "unlock" a ton of "achievements" "perks" and other progression crap, and most important, they have to continue to spend money in your game or it's game over for your development studio.

 

Anything else wouldn't work for big AAA games these days, because publishers expect a certain return of investment. The market is saturated, there are so many big titles coming out every year that no one has time for all that stuff anyway, so you also can't simply sell more games. It's just peak gaming (just look at the prices of Activision, EA and UbiSoft stocks) and only going down from now on.

 

The only thing gamers can do against that is to simply stop supporting any of that AAA gaming bullshit. No more preorders, no more season passes, no more microtransaction gambling crap lootboxes.


Edited by Der Zeitgeist, 30 November 2018 - 0837 AM.

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#6 Ssnake

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 1652 PM

Spot on.


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#7 Mr King

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 2209 PM

For Bethesda the writing was on the wall when they moved to monetize mods. I steered clear of the steaming pile of dog crap that is Fallout 76 since it was announced. It is just a lazy asset flip designed to sell micro transactions, that completes Bethesda efforts in ripping the last remaining bits of "RPG" out of the Fallout series. Putting it on their own launcher was the cherry on top of this crap sunday. So no refund policy like Steam, no bad customer reviews like on Steam, just a nice little safe portal to sell micro transactions to whales, and kiddies with their parents credit cards. I'm finding it hard to feel sorry for the folks that were dumb enough to pay $200 to preorder the special collectors edition, but I do hope there ends up being a successful class action lawsuit against Bethesda for their bait and switch with the canvas / nylon bags, and then offering 500 "atombucks" as compensation after it became a controversy. Of course if you accept the atombucks you waive your right to sue them. 


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#8 Mr King

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1317 PM


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#9 Stargrunt6

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1719 PM

So it begins:

 


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#10 Harold Jones

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1839 PM

Too lazy to Google what's the deal with the backpack?
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#11 Mr King

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1956 PM

Too lazy to Google what's the deal with the backpack?

 

Bethesda advertised the $200 collectors edition as coming with a nice screen printed canvas bag, and instead sent customers a much cheaper in quality nylon bag. When customers contacted Bethesda customer support, they were told the canvas bags were too expensive so they substituted cheaper nylon instead and they were not planing on doing anything about it. When it hit Twitter, the official Bethesda twitter said it was because they could not obtain enough material to make the canvas bags, and then later began offering 500 points of credit to spend on micro transactions as compensation. Last I heard the only things you could buy in the online shop for 500 points were a door and a potted plant, and ironically it was not enough to even get the canvas bag mod for sale in the shop. 


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#12 Skywalkre

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 1647 PM

The problem with Blizzard is easy, Activision. And the crappy devs.

 

They aren't making a game they love or want to play anymore, they're making content to keep the corporate cash cow going.

 

There are other problems with the devs, and their unwillingness to take to any feedback. I don't know why they bothered with a Beta, they didn't listen to any criticism, instead doing exactly what they and Activision wanted. That's not a new complaint, dates back to at least Pandaland, but it has gotten worse.

 

The lead dev for Legion wasn't even a programmer, he was a lawyer whose only qualification was leading a raiding guild. 

 

I think your last two paragraphs are due to the misguided direction driving the bolded part.

 

Ion was head of EJ and for Vanilla and TBC the EJ forums were the place to go to discuss serious WoW play.  He was active on those forums and it's kind of difficult to picture the guy we've gotten out of Blizz the last few years as being the same guy from back in those early EJ days.  He 'got it' back then.  He seems clueless and indifferent now.

 

The only logical explanation is that he ultimately doesn't have much power and has agreed (so, he still bears the blame... I don't mean to come across like I'm excusing him) to go along with whoever is higher up and making the decisions to shift the game into this perpetual grind that's bereft of all fun and engagement.  They've pushed away any good reason to play to implement mechanics that force players to play nonstop to keep subs up... which has only resulted in sub numbers crashing.  It's not like the model is broken or the game is dying... it seems a fairly simply case of they're putting out a terrible product based on really misguided leadership (from somewhere).


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#13 Skywalkre

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 1702 PM

 

These are the companies I follow closest.  There have been a myriad of other AAA failures in recent years as well.  In short - what the #$%& is going on with the gaming industry?

 

In short: It has become unsustainable.

 

Production costs have become so high that it is almost impossible to develop regular single player AAA games, that you can simply buy for 60 bucks and then play, any longer. This is why almost every current AAA game is heavily monetized with microtransactions, "loot boxes" and multiplayer components that are specifically designed to encourage playing as long and as often as possible. You can't just have your customer play a game for 20 hours and then stop. Gamers have to stay on board, "unlock" a ton of "achievements" "perks" and other progression crap, and most important, they have to continue to spend money in your game or it's game over for your development studio.

 

Anything else wouldn't work for big AAA games these days, because publishers expect a certain return of investment. The market is saturated, there are so many big titles coming out every year that no one has time for all that stuff anyway, so you also can't simply sell more games. It's just peak gaming (just look at the prices of Activision, EA and UbiSoft stocks) and only going down from now on.

 

The only thing gamers can do against that is to simply stop supporting any of that AAA gaming bullshit. No more preorders, no more season passes, no more microtransaction gambling crap lootboxes.

 

 

Is it really that it's unsustainable or is it more that certain individuals at the top of these companies are greedy SOBs that expect unrealistic returns/expectations?

 

Take Bethesda and Blizzard.  Neither company, from everything I've read, was ever hurting for cash (Blizzard alone was raking in enough just from WoW to apparently fund everything else in-house).  Both were successful.  Both were releasing in a classic style (no micro-transactions or other means to milk players... instead focusing on solid products that would sell) and it worked just fine.  I've never come across anything to indicate they couldn't sustain what they had been doing for years.  Instead there appears to have been a purposeful shift in both companies to simply get more out of their players and in doing so ruining the products the players had already shown they were willing to spend money on.

 

Look at the reaction above during Blizzcon to the Diablo news.  Blizzard was getting booed from fans who were more than willing to throw money at them if they had simply continued to develop products for that franchise on the PC.  Blizzard is losing subs in WoW not because something better has come along but because players are tired of mechanics that are simply devoid of any enjoyment.

 

To me it seems pretty straightforward.  These companies are failing in a business 101 level way - failing to put out a good product.  As long as they make money and can sustain operations that's all that should matter.  Instead some of these companies may end up losing money in the long run (or even close down) due to these shifts.


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#14 Ssnake

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 1853 PM

Is it really that it's unsustainable or is it more that certain individuals at the top of these companies are greedy SOBs that expect unrealistic returns/expectations?

 

I tend to believe that it's actually unsustainable.

 

Disclaimer: I've never been deeply involved in the computer games industry; my company utilizes gaming technology but we're definitely not a classic game developer studio. As such, my insight into industry practices is limited, the hard numbers that I know are outdated and are probably suitable only for a rough orientation.

Also, the games industry is infested with crooks and shady investors.

 

 

Twenty years ago the numbers I got from the German COmputer Cames Association (BIA) suggested that 80% of all titles would not break even, to the 95th percentile they would make a rather moderate profit, and only the top 1 or 2% of all titles every year hauled in an obscenely large pile of cash from which the publishers would then shovel the money into loss-making titles.

Back then the team size required to make a AAA title was under 50.

Ten years ago the big console manufacturers would NOT grant developer licenses for their consoles for teams under 250 people in size, and rather expect a staff in excess of 300.

 

This suggests that the risks that are involved to lose money have greatly increased. This may be partially offset by super-cheap titles in the mobile/casual market. But we're not discussing Candy Crush here, we're talking egoshooters and other "classic" forms of computer games, effectively offshoots from the simulator business. There are of course a handful of titles that receive a marketing budget in the double digits of millions range, which alone is an indicator of how much money is poured into AAA titles. Just do the math, if a game needs two years of development time and you're required to have a team size of 350 people to make it, that's 700 man years of work effort that must be financed up front.

The only continuous income that you can hope for - if you have a highly successful franchise - are massive multiplayer games with monthly subscription fees, or in-game purchases, provided that you attract a sufficiently large crowd of people willing the shell out the dollars. They exist, but only few titles attract a sufficiently large number of players (just look at WoT and the highly diverse number of regular players if you compare the major servers).


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#15 Mr King

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 1909 PM

For the Diablo fiasco, the new Diablo game is aimed at the Chinese / Asian market. The actual game is not even being made by Activision / Blizzard, a Chinese company is basically reskinning one of their previous games. Mobile gaming is big in Asia , and Activision wants a cut of the pie, while at the same time trying to get a share of the mobile gaming market in the US. 


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#16 Stargrunt6

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 2244 PM

Meanwhile Slitherine got bit by the pc monster

https://toucharcade....-the-app-store/
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#17 Simon Tan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 0231 AM

Investors and management. 


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#18 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 0530 AM

Meanwhile Slitherine got bit by the pc monster

https://toucharcade....-the-app-store/

 

Well that does it, im definitely buying it now. :D


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#19 Mr King

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 1308 PM

EVzRrb1.jpg​


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#20 MiloMorai

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 0029 AM

Is that ment for ED/DCS Mr. King?


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