Are devs trying too hard to appeal to everyone?

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#1 Posted by HipHopBeats (2722 posts) -

Besides Dark Souls (which I have no interest in playing) I can't think of any recent releases that focused on one core audienece. Practically every AAA game released this year has went the 'appeal to everyone' route in favor of playing it safe and focusing on it's core audience.

Franchises that started out aiming at one core audience eventually devolved into a 'jack of all trades, something for everybody' game instead of sticking to their roots making subtle tweaks. It's to the point where the bigger the hype for the game is, the more I expect it to disappoint.

I even remember reading an article on gamespot that Dark Souls devs were consdiering toning down the difficulty. I think variety is a good thing and not every thing created needs to 'mix it up' and focus on appealing to everyone. Why not just create new IP's instead of reinventing something with hopes of attracting new players? Money and politics is the answer I suppose but it minimizes my excitement for new releases fearing they will all be 'jack of all trades' type of games.

#2 Posted by EvanescentCrow (69 posts) -
Gaming is an industry, not too different from the music or movie industries. What this means is, basically, every time you make something new, you need to sell AT LEAST a certain number of copies, otherwise, you risk going bankrupt and disappearing altogether. Most gamers don't pay any attention to this element, even though it's the main reason developers exist to begin with. They believe developers are simply "artists" who make games out of love... which is false. The few that did try that, aren't making games anymore (exceptions are just that... exceptions). That said, while you - and I suppose most gamers - would like to see something more specific or "hardcore", from a developers' perspective, that's too big a risk. It's preferable to do something that has a high probability to sell, than something that will likely only sell to a niche portion of gamers. Developers who are more open to risk are those who already have well-established franchises. In those cases, they may, every now and then, try something new - as that brings the potential to make them break from the pack, into a potential leadership position. If it works, great, that's one more franchise to add to the success list. If not, you won't see a sequel. Ever. So, to answer your question more directly, no, I don't think they're trying too hard to appeal to everyone. Quite the opposite, I'd say some of them aren't trying hard enough. One good example, for instance, is Mass Effect 3 approach to difficulty... the ability to do the game in "Narrative" as well as "Insanity" modes is a great idea. People who don't care about the fighting can enjoy the game just as much as those who feel the need for a hard challenge. Hopefully I will see more developers embrace the concept, or even expand on it.
#3 Posted by Archangel3371 (16223 posts) -
No I don't think so. The vast majority of developers have been making excellent that I find very appealing and I appreciate the efforts they've made to make games more appealing to a wider audience.
#4 Posted by wiouds (5527 posts) -

It is not an easy answer.

There this ideal that every game developer is going after the CoD players. The bad part about this is that they do not have any proof that is true.

There is nothing wrong with removing bad complexity but some can remove good complexity with it like Mass Effect 2.

#5 Posted by HipHopBeats (2722 posts) -

Gaming is an industry, not too different from the music or movie industries. What this means is, basically, every time you make something new, you need to sell AT LEAST a certain number of copies, otherwise, you risk going bankrupt and disappearing altogether. Most gamers don't pay any attention to this element, even though it's the main reason developers exist to begin with. They believe developers are simply "artists" who make games out of love... which is false. The few that did try that, aren't making games anymore (exceptions are just that... exceptions). That said, while you - and I suppose most gamers - would like to see something more specific or "hardcore", from a developers' perspective, that's too big a risk. It's preferable to do something that has a high probability to sell, than something that will likely only sell to a niche portion of gamers. Developers who are more open to risk are those who already have well-established franchises. In those cases, they may, every now and then, try something new - as that brings the potential to make them break from the pack, into a potential leadership position. If it works, great, that's one more franchise to add to the success list. If not, you won't see a sequel. Ever. So, to answer your question more directly, no, I don't think they're trying too hard to appeal to everyone. Quite the opposite, I'd say some of them aren't trying hard enough. One good example, for instance, is Mass Effect 3 approach to difficulty... the ability to do the game in "Narrative" as well as "Insanity" modes is a great idea. People who don't care about the fighting can enjoy the game just as much as those who feel the need for a hard challenge. Hopefully I will see more developers embrace the concept, or even expand on it.EvanescentCrow

Interesting perspective. I agree, games have become watered down liek the music and movie industry. I'm not a current fan of Nintendo and have no interest in COD games for example, but at least they stick to their core audience. Nintendo gets bashed for 'kiddie games with weird controllers' but they create their own lane instead of competing with Sony and Microsoft. Maybe being established plays a part like you said, but I still believe there is room for creating your own lane instead of keeping up with the joneses.

It like having a super walmart across the street from a novelty store that specializes in a few specific items for certain people. Sure walmart would make more money, but that doesn't mean that little novelty store across the street would loose customers. Variety and exclusivity is still a good thing, even today.

Mass Effect 3 and Assassin's Creed 3 are two examples of 'jack of all trades' games who's roots did not start out like that. Sure they are both good games in their own right, but when you play Mass Effect 2 and Assassin's Creed 2, you can clearly see the devs tried to hard to appeal to everyone which disappointed a lot of fans.

Games like Metal Gear Solid 4 is an example of something that focused on it's core audience, made subtle tweaks for improvement, but did not try to appeal to new fans unfamiliar with the story by shortening it's cutscenes or whatever else gamers who did not like the series complained about. That's what games like Metal Gear Rising are for, gamers who want fast paced gameplay with shorter cutscenes.

#6 Posted by EvanescentCrow (69 posts) -
Nintendo gets bashed for 'kiddie games with weird controllers' but they create their own lane instead of competing with Sony and Microsoft.HipHopBeats
Put simply, they'd be idiots if they tried to go toe-to-toe with Sony or Microsoft. Allow me to elaborate. When people compare sales numbers between platforms, they forget one tiny little detail. Games are all Nintendo has. Games are only a tentacle for Sony and Microsoft. In other words, if something goes wrong for Sony and Microsoft, it doesn't mean the end. It just means they'll refocus and correct mistakes. If Nintendo does something wrong, they don't come back, period. This is why Sega pulled out... up until Sony picked up speed, and Microsoft joined the industry, Sega played the innovation card to trump Nintendo. With Sony's Playstation success, leading to PS2, and the new Xbox coming up, they did the smart thing... pull out while you can and avoid bigger damage. Nintendo remained because they had the portable market to fall back on, but with the release of PSP, that advantage is also gone. Fast forward to the present, the only options Nintendo has, from a business perspective, are... pull a Sega, or do something that's different enough to avoid direct conflict. They chose the later and it's working for them, as long as Sony and Microsoft don't catch up, of course. So, again, it's not like Nintendo is the romantic type that wants to please niche or "hardcore" gamers, quite the opposite - as the focus on family-friendly games, fitness software, and similar titles prove that they aren't just selling to gamers, but anyone who has a pair of hands and legs.
It like having a super walmart across the street from a novelty store that specializes in a few specific items for certain people. Sure walmart would make more money, but that doesn't mean that little novelty store across the street would loose customers.HipHopBeats
Sure, that's the Nintendo vs the big sharks argument. Still, there are relevant differences here. Retailers work with smaller amounts of money (basically, any rent of the store location, the initial investment for "x" number of items, and a handful of wages), while Developers/Publishers have to work with higher stakes (distribution alone can go through the roof, and the number of wages can go from dozens to hundreds - per title), hence risk is much higher. Also, a retailer works on a much shorter time span... between your order to the distributor and actual sale, we're talking days, weeks or, worse case scenario, months. Developers/publishers make year-long investments, so all those extra wages and marketing costs have to be multiplied by a larger number of months, all of which before you even know if you're going to have a solid return. So, again, risk is much higher. The small "novelty" developer is then, either very brave or very stupid. Probably a bit of both.
when you play Mass Effect 2 and Assassin's Creed 2, you can clearly see the devs tried to hard to appeal to everyone which disappointed a lot of fans.HipHopBeats
I'm one of the people who enjoyed the first Mass Effect but disliked ME2. In other words, no, they didn't try to appeal to everyone, but rather shifted from the RPG fans to the shooter fans. Granted, from a business perspective, it was smart as there are more shooter fans out there, but it would have been smarter if they didn't shun the original fans as they did. They probably "got it" afterwards, since ME3 did improve the formula bringing the game closer to its RPG public, without ostracizing the shooter fans. That's when they, finally, tried to appeal to everyone - even though I still think the first game was the best of the three, but that may be just me.
#7 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

I'm not sure that toning down difficulty, per se, is a good approach, but I think game makers should do a better job of allowing a tier of difficulty levels with a little more depth than just adjusting the timing of button mashing or turning AI into artificial idiocy. The problem with higher difficulty levels is that if a gamer finds the game to be more frustrating than fun they will be less likely to buy sequels.

The biggest problem that I see with games now is that the overall quality is down because game makers appear to be cutting costs by cutting coding without cutting prices. I can't think of a single new release this year that has genuinely impressed me. CoD, for example, is a dead fish that gets stinkier as time goes on.

#8 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

Nintendo alienated game makers with the Wii because they don't provide the same level of cooperation in game development that Microsoft and Sony do. They wanted to limit competition from third-party developers in relation to their own offerings for the Wii. I'm going to wait and see what kind of game support the Wii U gets before I decide if I will buy one or not. I have absolutely no interest in 10,000 more versions of Mario.

#9 Posted by MirkoS77 (8399 posts) -

I have no problem whatsoever with developers wanting to try to appeal to a broader audience. I have a serious problem, however, in the approach they are taking in order to be able to do so. "Streamlining" (or dumbing down) is something that is seeming to become more and more of a problem and one I'm growing sick and tired of. Two recent releases, Xcom and Hitman: Absolution, are perfect examples of games that have arguably had features lessened, outright removed, or choices made for the player altogether. No doubt in the attempt to not intimidate and scare away those not familiar who don't game and are unable to use their brain to decide things for themselves.

This is just the wrong way to go in trying to appeal to more people. I don't fully understand how engines work. I get the gist of it, but if you were to ask me to take apart and rebuild your engine you'd need to buy a new car. Should engine makers all of a sudden design them to cater to my ineptitude, all the while having to sacrifice performance in order to be able to do so? I don't see what the difference with games is. I'm sorry to say, if someone cannot come to grasp the demands necessitated by something to become proficient in it, in any aspect of life, then that is tough sh!t on them. I can't believe I'm even having to say this about VIDEOGAMES. Since when did they turn into brain surgery?

And then the thing that astonishes me is that I am labeled an elitist for holding this attitude. As if playing a videogame can be in any way considered within the realm of the elite. If a person can operate a TV remote, they are halfway there, and if asking people to be able to push buttons, move a stick, and maybe think for themselves once in a while simultaneously is considered an elitist attitude, then I weep for humanity. If it's a real challenge, it's nothing some practice can't fix. Too hard? Then too bad. Don't demand that the games beckon to your inability.

/rant. My patience is running thin for developers who believe compromising their games is an acceptable sacrifice in order to bring in the masses. Games are losing depth and players are losing choice. There has to be a better way to broaden appeal while not having to sacrifice everything else.

#10 Posted by Krelian-co (13098 posts) -

ofc dem moneys, can't blame them though, but gaming is suffering from the side effects

#11 Posted by Kocelot (816 posts) -

They try too hard to appeal to everyone, including casuals AKA ppl who dont even play games.

#12 Posted by Venom_Raptor (6958 posts) -

Unnecessary multiplayer is common nowadays, single player should always be the prime focus. Afterall, it's all I play.

#13 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

OP, care to name some games that went to the 'appeal to everyone route' and betrayed their core audience this year?

Also, AAA titles by their very nature must appeal to the lowest common denominator because massive amounts of money go into making them. It wouldn't make any sense to have a big budget game only appeal to a limited audience - that's what kills business.

#14 Posted by Celtic_34 (1433 posts) -

I think so. If you look at games back in the day and I mean way back, I think storylines in general are just too targetted at a certain demographic. Games used to be smart. They were more developed and geared towards smart people.

Just look at a game like GTA. Great concept. But why make it so you are a loser thug? Even sleeping dogs. Cool premise but just the characters are more geared towards something I can't quite explain. Games back in the day weren't trying to be like that. They were just telling stories. Just look at infocom games. Those were games developed by nerds for nerds. Unfortunately there aren't many people out there that appreciate that kind of stuff.

Even mass effect. That game got cheesier and cheesier the longer it went on. The first game still had some of that, but I think the later games were definately targetting a larger demographic.

I think of developers like Tim Schafer who has hung on but really struggled to find a nitch in todays market. He's had to change things up himself and isn't what he used to be.

I think before developers were just making games for their own enjoyment and if someone liked it great. Now there is a bottom line because that business model didn't work.

I think this is true with most of the media. Not just videogames. I think it's about what sells. Companies are more concerned with what sells and are dumbign down the population for their own greed vs enlightening people. Just look at music. It's trash. But it's what sells to the masses. So they get rich. They aren't concerned about the garbage they are selling people.

If idiots wnat to buy garabge then companies will let them be idiots and buy garbage.

#15 Posted by Blueresident87 (5340 posts) -

I think some do. But, as someone else pointed out above, I have a major problem with 'dumbing games down' to make them more accessible. I do not enjoy how XCOM is pretty much a game of percentages and item management instead of real-depth strategy.

#16 Posted by wiouds (5527 posts) -

I think some do. But, as someone else pointed out above, I have a major problem with 'dumbing games down' to make them more accessible. I do not enjoy how XCOM is pretty much a game of percentages and item management instead of real-depth strategy.

Blueresident87

I was happy with them removing time unit since it change the tactical part of the game from counting tiles and percentages to tactical maneuvering and percentage.

As for the rest, I did find they remove some of the depth but I am happy they took out some much of the busy work like making sure each soldier has enough ammo. To me it felt like that they wanted me to worry less about housekeeping and more on the strategy part of the game.

As I said before there is a different from removing bad complexity and good complexity. Sometimes, it is hard to tell them apart.

#17 Posted by darkmoney52 (4310 posts) -

Some genres have definitely been hurt by the "appeal to everyone" mindset. All the old stealth franchises have moved on to more lucrative action-adventure titles. Survival horror franchises have gone the same route.

But that's just the way it is. Gaming as a whole has grown much larger but the niche audience that likes those genres is just as small as ever, so the devs that grew with the medium had to change. That's okay though because there are some smaller devs who focus more on providing those experiences. Amnesia scared me a good deal more than Resident Evil ever did, and from what I hear Lone Survivor gives the old Silent Hill games a money for it's surreal creepy style. Mark of the Ninja provided one of the freshest stealth experiences I've had in a long time. And as Bioware shifts focus CD Project Red picks up the slack, and From Software does the same with ARPGs. And that's not even touching on the Kickstarter projects.

Yeah the old big dogs have moved on, but they still provide entertaining experiences in their own way (At least they usually do, I stand by the belief that ME3 was garbage), and there's new devs to carry the torch. Don't get too cynical guys

#18 Posted by TrainerCeleste (1633 posts) -
Considering when I look at what the Elder Scrolls games have become I would agree. It went from being this very niche thing where you had to actually use your head to level up or die. But oh no! That required thinking so have a hack and slash game instead. Even Ninja Gaiden apparently got easy :P Honestly I don't even want to buy new games any more it seems like every game that comes out is the safe route, cut and copy of just about anything else that I've played with a different story. In this case I'll stick to books, they are a hell of a lot cheaper than copy paste video games :P My older games are still quite fun to play though :) SNES and NES games and some 64 games even xD But I really don't blame the developers of this age, I mean if it was a choice between a paycheck or having my "passion" come to life I think I would take the route that feeds my family :P
#19 Posted by TrainerCeleste (1633 posts) -

Amnesia scared me a good deal more than Resident Evil ever did,]

darkmoney52
This too, Indie titles these days seem oodles better than AAA titles realsed xD Amnesia was brilliant and simple too!
#20 Posted by darkmoney52 (4310 posts) -
[QUOTE="darkmoney52"]

Amnesia scared me a good deal more than Resident Evil ever did,]

TrainerCeleste
This too, Indie titles these days seem oodles better than AAA titles realsed xD Amnesia was brilliant and simple too!

I still find myself spending more time on AAA titles, (mainly because I haven't found a lot of indy RPGs) but indy devs seem to be doing more ambitious titles every year. Definitely looking forward to seeing what some of them can accomplish for RPGs when some of those kickstarter projects are done.
#21 Posted by TrainerCeleste (1633 posts) -

[QUOTE="TrainerCeleste"][QUOTE="darkmoney52"]

Amnesia scared me a good deal more than Resident Evil ever did,]

darkmoney52

This too, Indie titles these days seem oodles better than AAA titles realsed xD Amnesia was brilliant and simple too!

I still find myself spending more time on AAA titles, (mainly because I haven't found a lot of indy RPGs) but indy devs seem to be doing more ambitious titles every year. Definitely looking forward to seeing what some of them can accomplish for RPGs when some of those kickstarter projects are done.

Honestly I still play only old RPGs when it comes to AAA titles. The older ones still have that niche feel, like heyI'm the only loser who wnats to waste his time with this! :lol: I still play morrowind, the old golden sun, Chrono Trigger. 8 bit RPGs and ones that are overly complex are always my favorite :3

#22 Posted by skrat_01 (33767 posts) -
Eh? Not one? Gosh. Dishonored. X-Com. Serious Sam 3. Those are three retail games I've completed recently which utterly contradict that. However, in Triple A console space, yeah more games are trying to appeal to 'everyone'. Why? Because they need more sales to secure actual returns and profit for the development costs. That's the nature of lots of console development. Thankfully those games are exceptions.
#23 Posted by MirkoS77 (8399 posts) -

Eh? Not one? Gosh. Dishonored. X-Com. Serious Sam 3. Those are three retail games I've completed recently which utterly contradict that. However, in Triple A console space, yeah more games are trying to appeal to 'everyone'. Why? Because they need more sales to secure actual returns and profit for the development costs. That's the nature of lots of console development. Thankfully those games are exceptions. skrat_01

Games that contradict what?

#24 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

I have no problem whatsoever with developers wanting to try to appeal to a broader audience. I have a serious problem, however, in the approach they are taking in order to be able to do so. "Streamlining" (or dumbing down) is something that is seeming to become more and more of a problem and one I'm growing sick and tired of. Two recent releases, Xcom and Hitman: Absolution, are perfect examples of games that have arguably had features lessened, outright removed, or choices made for the player altogether. No doubt in the attempt to not intimidate and scare away those not familiar who don't game and are unable to use their brain to decide things for themselves.

This is just the wrong way to go in trying to appeal to more people. I don't fully understand how engines work. I get the gist of it, but if you were to ask me to take apart and rebuild your engine you'd need to buy a new car. Should engine makers all of a sudden design them to cater to my ineptitude, all the while having to sacrifice performance in order to be able to do so? I don't see what the difference with games is. I'm sorry to say, if someone cannot come to grasp the demands necessitated by something to become proficient in it, in any aspect of life, then that is tough sh!t on them. I can't believe I'm even having to say this about VIDEOGAMES. Since when did they turn into brain surgery?

And then the thing that astonishes me is that I am labeled an elitist for holding this attitude. As if playing a videogame can be in any way considered within the realm of the elite. If a person can operate a TV remote, they are halfway there, and if asking people to be able to push buttons, move a stick, and maybe think for themselves once in a while simultaneously is considered an elitist attitude, then I weep for humanity. If it's a real challenge, it's nothing some practice can't fix. Too hard? Then too bad. Don't demand that the games beckon to your inability.

/rant. My patience is running thin for developers who believe compromising their games is an acceptable sacrifice in order to bring in the masses. Games are losing depth and players are losing choice. There has to be a better way to broaden appeal while not having to sacrifice everything else.

MirkoS77

I've never played a Hitman, but I'm familiar with most of the games in the X-com series and Enemy Unknown is the best sequel the series has seen and an excellent game in its own right. It is streamlined, but it is far more faithful to UFO Defense than any of the sequels bar Terror from the Deep (which was damn near a reskin).

In terms of base management Enemy Unknown constantly forces players to make decisions and every decision has an opportunity cost because money and often alien tech (all of which are consumed to some degree by any decision you make) are in short supply. The combat (which does away with movement points) is also less fussy, though its worth noting it gives squad members far more abilities then they had in the original X-com. If you think in the context of strategy games more complex equals more intelligent, we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll just note that the line of board games with more complicated rulesets than chess wraps around the block twice, but no sane person would accuse chess of being simple. Also, in terms of difficulty, Enemy Unknown is just as brutal as UFO Defense.

#25 Posted by Nintendo_Ownes7 (30917 posts) -

Nintendo alienated game makers with the Wii because they don't provide the same level of cooperation in game development that Microsoft and Sony do. They wanted to limit competition from third-party developers in relation to their own offerings for the Wii. I'm going to wait and see what kind of game support the Wii U gets before I decide if I will buy one or not. I have absolutely no interest in 10,000 more versions of Mario.

capaho

That isn't true; Nintendo gave the developers a lot of chances to have successful games on the Wii that is why they had too many droughts with the Wii. There wouldn't of been a drought of good games if Nintendo didn't free up their release schedule just to give 3rd parties a chance to have success.

They had their chance and they failed to capitolize on it.

As for the thread I think they do try too hard to appeal to everyone and they shouldn't because you can't please everyone. I think if the developers make games they want to play the quality would be better and the games might appeal to more people without even trying to appeal to everyone.

#26 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -
That isn't true; Nintendo gave the developers a lot of chances to have successful games on the Wii that is why they had too many droughts with the Wii. There wouldn't of been a drought of good games if Nintendo didn't free up their release schedule just to give 3rd parties a chance to have success.

They had their chance and they failed to capitolize on it.

As for the thread I think they do try too hard to appeal to everyone and they shouldn't because you can't please everyone.

Nintendo_Ownes7
Developer complaints about unsatisfactory Nintendo support for third-party game developers have been well publicized in the past. Research it yourself if you want the truth. It should also be fairly obvious when you compare the game selection for the Wii with that of the Xbox 360 and the PS 3. There are far fewer third-party Wii games compared to the other consoles, with the bulk of Wii games being Nintendo releases.
#27 Posted by Nintendo_Ownes7 (30917 posts) -

[QUOTE="Nintendo_Ownes7"]That isn't true; Nintendo gave the developers a lot of chances to have successful games on the Wii that is why they had too many droughts with the Wii. There wouldn't of been a drought of good games if Nintendo didn't free up their release schedule just to give 3rd parties a chance to have success.

They had their chance and they failed to capitolize on it.

As for the thread I think they do try too hard to appeal to everyone and they shouldn't because you can't please everyone.

capaho

Developer complaints about unsatisfactory Nintendo support for third-party game developers have been well publicized in the past. Research it yourself if you want the truth. It should also be fairly obvious when you compare the game selection for the Wii with that of the Xbox 360 and the PS 3. There are far fewer third-party Wii games compared to the other consoles, with the bulk of Wii games being Nintendo releases.

I can see that they made mistakes in the past but I do know they are trying to get better with Wii U. Well they tried with the Wii aswell.

They took developer input when making the console. Their eShop is supposed to be similar to Steam where there isn't any restrictions for developers and a lot of Indie Developers love that.

#28 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

I can see that they made mistakes in the past but I do know they are trying to get better with Wii U. Well they tried with the Wii aswell.

They took developer input when making the console. Their eShop is supposed to be similar to Steam where there isn't any restrictions for developers and a lot of Indie Developers love that.

Nintendo_Ownes7

I was referring specifically to the situation with the original Wii, but I think Nintendo finally got it when Wii game sales dropped off a cliff. The Wii U won't be successful without third-party developers. Nintendo won't be able to sustain the Wii U with endless releases of Mario and Sonic.

#29 Posted by MirkoS77 (8399 posts) -

I've never played a Hitman, but I'm familiar with most of the games in the X-com series and Enemy Unknown is the best sequel the series has seen and an excellent game in its own right. It is streamlined, but it is far more faithful to UFO Defense than any of the sequels bar Terror from the Deep (which was damn near a reskin).

In terms of base management Enemy Unknown constantly forces players to make decisions and every decision has an opportunity cost because money and often alien tech (all of which are consumed to some degree by any decision you make) are in short supply. The combat (which does away with movement points) is also less fussy, though its worth noting it gives squad members far more abilities then they had in the original X-com. If you think in the context of strategy games more complex equals more intelligent, we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll just note that the line of board games with more complicated rulesets than chess wraps around the block twice, but no sane person would accuse chess of being simple. Also, in terms of difficulty, Enemy Unknown is just as brutal as UFO Defense.

CarnageHeart

You've read my reasons as to why I think EU is inferior to the first why I consider it to be "dumbed down" (though not in the sense you think) and I don't want to bother getting into it all over again. I'll agree to heavily disagree.

#30 Posted by MrGeezer (57097 posts) -

Besides Dark Souls (which I have no interest in playing) I can't think of any recent releases that focused on one core audienece. Practically every AAA game released this year has went the 'appeal to everyone' route in favor of playing it safe and focusing on it's core audience.

Franchises that started out aiming at one core audience eventually devolved into a 'jack of all trades, something for everybody' game instead of sticking to their roots making subtle tweaks. It's to the point where the bigger the hype for the game is, the more I expect it to disappoint.

I even remember reading an article on gamespot that Dark Souls devs were consdiering toning down the difficulty. I think variety is a good thing and not every thing created needs to 'mix it up' and focus on appealing to everyone. Why not just create new IP's instead of reinventing something with hopes of attracting new players? Money and politics is the answer I suppose but it minimizes my excitement for new releases fearing they will all be 'jack of all trades' type of games.

HipHopBeats
As production costs for major releases get higher, the only solution is to try to get more sales. This means appealing to a broader audience. It's precisely why most mega-budget blockbuster movies are pretty bland and uninteresting. They can't afford to be "niche" when they're spending $200 million on the movie plus a S***load more in marketing and advertising. You want the niche stuff that appeals to a smaller audience, then you go with the lower budget movies that can afford to actually make a profit by focusing on a small niche audience. Exact same thing with games. The "AAA" titles are increasingly like the Transformers and Avatars and Avengers of the videogame world, so of course they're going to have mass appeal. You want something for a smaller "core" audience, then stick to the smaller-budget indie game scene. I mean...you wouldn't walk into a Transformers movie and then complain that it lacks the complexity of a David Lynch flick, so why do the same thing with games?
#31 Posted by MirkoS77 (8399 posts) -

As production costs for major releases get higher, the only solution is to try to get more sales. This means appealing to a broader audience. It's precisely why most mega-budget blockbuster movies are pretty bland and uninteresting. They can't afford to be "niche" when they're spending $200 million on the movie plus a S***load more in marketing and advertising. You want the niche stuff that appeals to a smaller audience, then you go with the lower budget movies that can afford to actually make a profit by focusing on a small niche audience. Exact same thing with games. The "AAA" titles are increasingly like the Transformers and Avatars and Avengers of the videogame world, so of course they're going to have mass appeal. You want something for a smaller "core" audience, then stick to the smaller-budget indie game scene. I mean...you wouldn't walk into a Transformers movie and then complain that it lacks the complexity of a David Lynch flick, so why do the same thing with games?MrGeezer

Why is it necessary for games to lose complexity to appeal to a wider audience?

#32 Posted by MrGeezer (57097 posts) -

Why is it necessary for games to lose complexity to appeal to a wider audience?

MirkoS77
Not even necessarily complexity, that's just an example of something that can limit mass appeal. But there are all sorts of things that could limit a game's appeal to a smaller "core" audience.
#33 Posted by Celtic_34 (1433 posts) -

Think of teh adventure genre and the old sierra games. That's proof that games are trying to appeal to everyone. If companies released games like that today they wouldn't sell enough. I'd give quite a bit for a game with that kind of writing and ingenuity in a sandbox environment with todays technology but it wont happen. Alan Wake was sort of like that but it was too streamlined and basically just a shooter. Too simplified. Instead we get gta where every other word is the F word and this is creative i guess. It's what sells. Shooting people in the face and the F word. Or we get other stuff that is too geared towards something else entirely. Metal Gear solid is a good game but it's still trying to be something that games shouldn't necessarily be imo. IT's more about attnetion to detail with games like that. IT's about creating this masterpiece instead of realizing it's a game. They forgot the game part. Then you have games like Madden that never do anything new and just rehash the same stuff year after year because they just don't push the envelope at all. That is what creativity is these days. Games like monkey island were really creative imo and weren't geared towards anyone except just being creative and funny. IF they could get back to oldschool priniciples with todays technology that would make me happy. But developers don't have the balls to do it. I also don't think they are that creative. I think they are too concerned with the bottom line and what the industry is doing as far as trying to make games a form of mainstream entertainment when they are losing touch with what people really want.

#34 Posted by M13L13S (3819 posts) -

I don't believe so. With our advances in technology, I think we should be making games that are able to appeal to a wide variety of people. There is place for limited checkpoints with health pack limits and an ultra hard difficulty, but I don't think everyone should be forced into it. I think that Dead Space 2 did that extremely well. It offered a great amount of challenge for those who wanted it, but also let those who didn't complete the story and have fun as well. Other gmaes that do this well are Halo Reach, Gears of War 3, and Mass Effect 3.

#35 Posted by skrat_01 (33767 posts) -

[QUOTE="skrat_01"]Eh? Not one? Gosh. Dishonored. X-Com. Serious Sam 3. Those are three retail games I've completed recently which utterly contradict that. However, in Triple A console space, yeah more games are trying to appeal to 'everyone'. Why? Because they need more sales to secure actual returns and profit for the development costs. That's the nature of lots of console development. Thankfully those games are exceptions. MirkoS77

Games that contradict what?

Games trying to appeal to everyone. Gosh we've got an immersive sim, a turn based strategy and an olschool shooter.
#36 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"]As production costs for major releases get higher, the only solution is to try to get more sales. This means appealing to a broader audience. It's precisely why most mega-budget blockbuster movies are pretty bland and uninteresting. They can't afford to be "niche" when they're spending $200 million on the movie plus a S***load more in marketing and advertising. You want the niche stuff that appeals to a smaller audience, then you go with the lower budget movies that can afford to actually make a profit by focusing on a small niche audience. Exact same thing with games. The "AAA" titles are increasingly like the Transformers and Avatars and Avengers of the videogame world, so of course they're going to have mass appeal. You want something for a smaller "core" audience, then stick to the smaller-budget indie game scene. I mean...you wouldn't walk into a Transformers movie and then complain that it lacks the complexity of a David Lynch flick, so why do the same thing with games?MirkoS77

Why is it necessary for games to lose complexity to appeal to a wider audience?

To put it bluntly, the layman won't buy into complexity.