Well, I wasnt sure what category to put this under, so I figured Editorial would fit. Its funny, Im up way past the time I should have gone to sleep, but today has been an odd day so what the heck. So here we go.
The state of gaming, such as it is today, is well, disheartening. I remember at the ripe ager of 6 or so, playing commander keen and being totally blown away. Truthfully I have been PC gaming for about 18 years. Its funny but trying to figure out how long its been sparked a memory of this one store my grandmother took me too back then. You could buy games cheap, they didnt come with a box though. Just the disks. I would venture a guess that they might not have been legal copies, but then again we bough them so....
I brought up commander keen because at the time, I felt like there was no way they could improve on what had been done. Like, this was so amazing, this was it. Then came Wolf 3d. If you haven't played this game, you cant call yourself a gamer. Honestly, it was what made pc gaming. Well, not really, but it did things for PC gaming that, just propelled it forward. Another funny memory pops into my head, the absolute horror on my mom's when I looked up from the screen and said something along the lines of, "Look mom, I'm killing nazis." I would love to have a picture of that expression.
I started playing games online with quake, but I didnt begin my serious online gaming untill 1997 with Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight. Man was I addicted to that game. Oh right, its not an addiction, its a compulsion disorder. Back to the topic at hand dear friends. I remember the origional "clans" or gaming groups I got involved in as well. A bunch of kids acting like they rule over others, being a leader was something to aspire to. Well, not much has changed on clans and gaming groups, a great deal of people still act like that, but I suppose I have changed. I dont aspire to be a leader in any clan/group/whatever. I guess you can chalk that up to helping biuld and lead more than 5 of them, maybe more. I guess the blur into eachother after a while. Well, its 13 years, so it cant be helped.
It saddens me when I think about the industry as it is. On one hand I understand all of the DLC packs, and the rushed delivery dates. Its a buisness thing, and ill touch on it in a moment. But on the other hand, the gamer suffers. All of the shortened experiences, for example Modern Warfare 2, the singleplayer campaign took 3 hours. Now, I took solice in the fact that I got the game for multiplayer. Well, alot of good that did, the current matchmaking system is horrible, the multiplayer ends up lagged out and not a great experience. This is one of many symptoms of the industry growing beyond greed. Now, before you start shaking your head or rolling your eyes. The fact is, they pulled the dedicated server support before launch. It was done, case and point, the hacked servers were out within a month or so. It was already there. Why would a company pull something that for many years has been part of almost every PC Online FPS? Because they want to sell map packs & custom content. Now wait, wait, wait. How do I connect those dots? Look at it this way, if they released the executable and its files for a dedicated server software, people could modify how the program works. Aka, they could change the server settings and such, even maybe to the point of creating "mods" if only by editing the settings. Thats lost revenue for a company that might intend on adding additional game types later on after the players ask for it. If the players could set up servers to do the type of game play they wanted, they wouldnt buy a DLC pack that allowed them to do the same. Lost revenue.
Why are some companies making thier games shorter? They announce DLC before and on release days. Why? Because they can charge you any where from $2 - $30 dollars USD for them. So we might get a half completed game, and then have to pay for the rest as DLC. Or, maybe they do a great story, but they leave cliffhangers all over the game, and then release DLC packs so you can finish those stories ect. It makes the gamer pay, it makes us suffer and 10 years ago, we wouldnt have stood for it. We wouldnt give them out business. Why do we do it now?
Now to the other hand. Its a business. Really, that should be all I have to say, but then again... The game industry has always been a business, but it wasnt nessicarly handled like it is now. The suits are trying to, as the old saying goes, get blood from a rock. They are trying to bleed us dry, put forth as little effort as possible, and ignore what we ask for and what we hate, rather depending on focus groups that poorly represent the majority of gamers, both casual and hardcore. And we take it. We take it and we thank them for it. Why?
I guess that really is the question every one should ask themselfs. Why do we allow sub par product and service, why dont we tell them no, why dont we hurt the companies that ignore us in the best way we can. Dont buy thier product.
Did you know, EA reported almost a billion dollar loss over 3 or 4 quarters. Do you know why? Because people wernt buying some of thier games. They are back up into the black again, but what would happen if people said, "No. No more. Give us what WE the customer want, what WE the customer need. And then we will buy your product again." They wouldnt listen at first. But when thier 30Million dollar projects wernt making the money they think they should. Then they would listen.
Well, its pointless for me to say this, people dont care about it. They just allow it to happen, they take it and they keep going. They keep buying, and they keep grazing in the fileds with sub par grass.