Is the gaming industry being taken over by casual games?

#1 Posted by smittenroade (13 posts) -

We have all seen It happen. Your beloved franchise is coming out with a new title and the trailer looks awesome but something doesnt feel right about the gameplay trailer... You find out after shelving out a hesitant 65$ that your game is now the dreaded, "Casual Game"'

If you dont know what Im talking about look at Dragon Age Origins, clearly a game made for a distinct group of people. RPGers, DnD fans, and then Dragon Age 2 came out. Well...you can do flips in it? The abilities and levels progress is watered down. The magic sparkles more than tinker bells hot ass. Dungeons all have the same graphics. The producers even pushed the gay factor, as to get as much publicity as possible. I have no problem with gay stuff personally, but when it becomes a selling point and someone clearly is pushing an agenda it takes away from the game.

DA2 was clearly a game made to aqcuire the most revenue....but do they really make more money in the end?

The post here is not to bash any game in particular, its more in the preservation of the game industry itself. I once heard a quote from Miyazake- "When you make a movie for everyone, it will appeal to no one."

I think this philosophy rings very true in video games too.

What do you think about the "Casualization of Franchises" and what games did you love that this happened to?

#2 Posted by mastermetal777 (1717 posts) -

This happens, but I don't think it's as common as you believe. And I think you're confusing a game being "casual" with being more "accessible". Granted some games pull it off better than others, but there's a reason for it. Trying to expand an audience is not an outright terrible thing if you can do it without alienating the core audience.

#3 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13701 posts) -

I think you don't actually know what "Casualization" means exactly...

Infact any change done to a Franchise be it: Streamlining, Improvements, Mixing, Rebooting, Splicing, Optimizing, Balancing & Rebalancing etc, the fans see it as the work of Satan and they always describe the process using only these two terms: "Casualized" and "Dumbing Down"

sometimes they'l get creative and call it "Catering to the 'CoD' Crowd"... That one is my personal favourite to lol at. :)

In the case of Dragon Age and Mass Effect they were actually "De-Abstracting" it.... Yes thats a real word... ;)

#4 Posted by smittenroade (13 posts) -

@mastermetal777: i have no qualms on revising, or mainstreaming. I just dont think they shoukd do it at the expense of "alienating the core audience" like you said.

Some companies are coming to realise it and some are not.

#5 Posted by smittenroade (13 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: your post is full of assumptions and falsity.

#6 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13701 posts) -

@smittenroade

Obviously.... Your post inspired mine.... ;)

but seriously you're not the 1st to feel betrayed and you certainly won't be the last... Excluding the recycled and reused assets I think Dragon Age 2 was pretty sweet......

#7 Edited by mastermetal777 (1717 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: There was more than just the recycled levels and assets. It also had a lazily written plot that lacked the weight of facing the Blight. Hawke is essentially a glorified errand boy for the city, the characters are weak/uninteresting/annoying (apart from the Qunari), and the final act doesn't make you pick reasonable sides, but rather says "who do you trust less than the other since both royally screwed up?" The hack-and-slash gameplay was a step in the right direction, but it lacked the tactical aspect that made Origins so deep and engaging. Also, customization was barren and/or uninteresting, as you were severely limited to what your class is rather than creatively mixing and matching in Origins. You couldn't even customize your party members anymore. All you do is buy new articles of clothing specifically for them...and that's it. They keep their same weapons and clothing style. And the cameos from previous characters were more fan-service than anything. Dragon Age 2 was rushed. BioWare should've been given more time than they had, but EA at that point in time wanted simply the bottom line and rushed out many of their games.

#8 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (13701 posts) -

@mastermetal777

You know me... I'm a gameplay whore... No wait... I'm a GAMEPLAY FUCK RECEPTACLE :p so things like story and all that genereally don't bother me.... Not to mention Bioware's track record of broken dialogue/choice systems can ruin any great story. Plus the so called deep and strategic tactical combat of Dragon Age is easily offset be classic Progression and Level up systems.... Grind hard and become overpowered. If by some miracle they do balance it then it becomes a flawed RPG because people won't feel like their progressing if their don't win with fewer moves and less effort. Its a doubled edged sword dilema. Every RPG-Hybrid will eventually have this problem of having to choose between Balance and Role Playing...

#9 Edited by mastermetal777 (1717 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: Funny, I never thought that Origins had a lot of grinding. A lot of the enemies you faced in the game never returned to the same areas, in my experience.

And I can understand being a gameplay only type player, but since video games have evolved, gameplay isn't the only aspect to consider anymore. It's important, yes. In fact, I rank it number 1 on my priorities list whenever I play a game, as well as story. And the dialogue system only becomes broken or repetitive if you make the same dialogue decision over and over. I believe BioWare dialogue serves mostly to characterize the player and drive the choices in the game, and I'll be damned if Dragon Age: Origins didn't make great use of choice. There are so many different ways to reach certain conclusions and endings it's crazy. And since I hear Inquisition is going to be even more open-ended with 40 different conclusions possible, I'm all in to see what's gonna happen, and to see where my choices end up going. I don't care how many choices there are in a game as long as the choices I make lead to the ending I was hoping for. And if it doesn't, then I learn to live with the consequences of my actions and plan accordingly. It's a win-win for me when choice is introduced in a game, even if at the base level the developers only have intentions for the story to go a certain amount of ways. Does the player know that from the offset? No they don't, and that's what makes it stronger. And hell, if they're curious, they can go see what doing the opposite does to the narrative in the long run, if it's that dynamic.

I love choice in a game much like I love having an incredibly strong linear story in a game. Strong gameplay drives me forward, and a strong plot keeps me interested. That's my criteria for liking a narrative-driven game.

#10 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13701 posts) -

@mastermetal777

I never said it has alot of Grinding... I said it can be offset by Grinding, or at the very least by Optimizing.

But before I waste anymore of your time I just want you to know I never actually played the game. I'm doing the responsible thing and telling you right now just to save you the trouble. :p You're Welcome.

Anyway, the Problem with Choices in RPGs is they add stats and Attributes into that too, which not only limits the choice but breaks the whole system entirely.... They like accompanying certain choices not with consequence but with abstract rewards like more XP or some stupid morality system, not to mention theres certain choices that will not be made available to you if you don't meet the hidden stat requirements.

Dialogue Systems are just one of those things that should never ever have RPG elements, it doesn't need them, why would you want them in the 1st place ?

#11 Posted by wiouds (5257 posts) -

The big games are become too costly to to be niche games so they need to do something to give it a more wider appeal.

There are different type of complexity. There are bad complexity that are there just to be complex and there are some that will call a game being made for the casual game if they are removed. Look at removing TU from the new XCOM game.

#12 Posted by Jacanuk (4762 posts) -

@smittenroade said:

We have all seen It happen. Your beloved franchise is coming out with a new title and the trailer looks awesome but something doesnt feel right about the gameplay trailer... You find out after shelving out a hesitant 65$ that your game is now the dreaded, "Casual Game"'

If you dont know what Im talking about look at Dragon Age Origins, clearly a game made for a distinct group of people. RPGers, DnD fans, and then Dragon Age 2 came out. Well...you can do flips in it? The abilities and levels progress is watered down. The magic sparkles more than tinker bells hot ass. Dungeons all have the same graphics. The producers even pushed the gay factor, as to get as much publicity as possible. I have no problem with gay stuff personally, but when it becomes a selling point and someone clearly is pushing an agenda it takes away from the game.

DA2 was clearly a game made to aqcuire the most revenue....but do they really make more money in the end?

The post here is not to bash any game in particular, its more in the preservation of the game industry itself. I once heard a quote from Miyazake- "When you make a movie for everyone, it will appeal to no one."

I think this philosophy rings very true in video games too.

What do you think about the "Casualization of Franchises" and what games did you love that this happened to?

The gaming industry isn't being taken over by casual gamers, it has been taken over years ago and you just have to look at games like Battlefield, DOTA, Call of Duty, League of Legends to know that.

And honestly i don't have a problem with it, those games provide a huge income source for the developers which allows them to take small risks with other games.

#13 Edited by Planeforger (15797 posts) -

I'd also like to point out that Dragon Age 1 was a dumbed down casualisation of the Baldurs Gate saga, with hilarious sex scenes and copious amounts of blood thrown in to keep teenage boys happy. Everything was simplified and made more generic to appeal to a wider audience.

#14 Posted by loafofgame (634 posts) -
@smittenroade said:

We have all seen It happen. Your beloved franchise is coming out with a new title and the trailer looks awesome but something doesnt feel right about the gameplay trailer... You find out after shelving out a hesitant 65$ that your game is now the dreaded, "Casual Game"'

Naah, you don't have to spend that $65 to find out that you won't like a particular game. Just trust in your gut and do a little reading and you'll have all the info you need to make the right choice. It is of course sad if the game is part of a beloved franchise, but well... plenty of other tasty fish.

Also, to answer the question, I do think 'casual' games are becoming more numerous, but personally I do not experience a lack of great games, so I choose not to worry.

#15 Edited by Kevlar101 (6218 posts) -

Casual gamers are the ones who play pointless stuff like Candy Crush or some damn thing. Games like those are casual games.

#16 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13701 posts) -

I personally hate it when someone says CoD is a casual game.... Yes its a smouldering piece of crap but its not casual....

Also Casual games aren't bad....

#17 Posted by Treflis (11575 posts) -

Unless Candy Crush Saga or other mobile games start flooding the PC and Consoles then "casual games" aren't taking over.

#18 Posted by garywood69 (11 posts) -

I don't think 'casual' is the right description for the problem with DA2. They certainly tried to mainstream both Dragon Age and Mass Effect, which I wholeheartedly disagree with. Sometimes I think making games more accessible is a good thing (Fire Emblem Awakening).

But no, casual games aren't taking over. They don't sell well on consoles and handhelds, only on phones.