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Default There are too many video games. What now?

September 29th, 2018, 22:08
Just an article I read this afternoon that I thought one or two others might find an interest in since it is related to game making. There was a bit there on streamers which I found interesting as Chein goes on about streamers a lot … but this article, at least, indicates there is some power to sell games for the big streamers.

https://www.polygon.com/2018/9/28/17…indiepocalypse

As the daily deluge of games continues to pour into these disparate storefronts — and many others — developers of all sizes are forced to reckon with the debilitating effect that the crowding shores are having on every level of development, from solo developers building 8-bit dreams in their garages to AAA behemoths cranking away at massive shared worlds. But while enthusiastic hobbyists might simply return to their day jobs if their indie dreams stay unfulfilled, the scale of big-budget games spirals ever skyward, meaning that more and more employees may lose their jobs if the studio’s one big bet doesn’t pan out.

“The market’s hugely different now from when I started,” says Todd Hollenshead, the former president and CEO of the breakthrough shooter factory id Software, who recently joined indie studio Nerve Software. “Now, a big publisher like Ubisoft would look at a game that sells only a couple million units — which is more than what Doom and Quake sold — as something not worth their time. I was the 13th employee at id; I was the 10th employee at Nerve. The possibilities are very different. Today, you can’t make a game that moves the needle for those guys without less than a hundred, 200 people. The costs are just astronomical.”
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September 30th, 2018, 00:12
I think there are far too many games being produced, and I can't see how the market can sustain it. I fear there certainly will be a lot of budding devs who end up looking for other work.

There was a conversation the other day about being burned out on gaming. I don't personally feel burned out on playing the games that I enjoy, but I do definitely have a sense of burnout, or of being kind of tuned out, with regard to the constant churn of the gaming world. To put it another way, if I think about how I felt as a kid going down to the computer shop and excitedly inspecting the shelves for shiny new boxes, the way I feel now is about as far from that as I could imagine. Obviously some of that could be down to me changing, but there lots of other areas of interest where I'm still like a kid in a sweet shop. I think oversaturation is a major factor when it comes to gaming.

Having said all that, I do think that right games can still shine through. I think that if you made a really good RPG, with compelling writing and some original gameplay, it would catch a great deal of attention. I think the indies that will really suffer are the retro shootemups, platform games, etc. I must have a dozen of those sitting in my backlog, that I picked up thinking they might be fun. When I see new ones, I just don't feel the need.
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September 30th, 2018, 01:09
Actuqally I don't see it that way.

Every month one, two, maybe three videogames appear - videogames worth your time and money.
At the same time, tons of shovelware gets released. Maybe some of it is nice, maybe some is fun, but honestly? Who can weed it all out?
And finally at the same time, multiply shovelware with 1000 and you get a number of scamware falsely advertised as games released. Daily. It's all milking schemes posing as games but aren't games at all, usually on phones, sadly moved onto other platforms too.

What now you say? Buy videogames that feel unique, that feel complete and aren't scam.
Ignore the rest.
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September 30th, 2018, 03:35
Most of them are still junky, like they've been for the past thirty years or so. I listen to folks and do some research before plunking down both my money and time, just to not waste either.
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September 30th, 2018, 06:52
Well with the rise of the digital marketplace, crowdfunding, user friendly game engines, & Early Access anybody can make a game nowadays. A lot of them will be failures.

Bottom line the marketplace is saturated and like said before the bubble will burst one day. It's just a matter of when as it happened before when the games industry crashed.

On the other subject about games selling only a few million copies & not being enough I call bullshit, but like the articles say those AAA titans are over-bloated.

It's become an industry standard of working like a sweatshop to make games at larger studio's backed by large publishers. They don't even treat the employees that well.
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September 30th, 2018, 10:24
Some would say that too many games is a good problem to have.
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September 30th, 2018, 10:32
The end result is more low-budget phone games.
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September 30th, 2018, 11:11
I do miss those cute-looking games - well, more or less cute-looking - from earlier PC gaming, from phones nowadays - on PC !

I mean, I really don't need high-end graphics to have a good game for my self. I really don't need great graphics to be immersed in something … So, costs, no, that doesn't mean much to me, because I do remember how much I played with let's say Zoo Tycoon, or Caesar III or with Indiana Jones And The Fate of Atlantis …

In my opinion, it's in part the "graphics whores" who drive the costs up. But on the other hand, there are no more PC developers daring to publish games that have the look of phone games - and, to be frak, that's nothing but the look of 80s & 90s PC games - on the Pc anymore. They fear that everyone would frown upon that look, because everyone's a graphics whore these days - or it seems so.

However, this vicious circle - fewer games because of climbing costs - will come to an end one day - or into a monopoly. Or Oligopoly. Similar to what you see now : Only a few huge companies developing only a few games.

Well, apart from the Indies. When I look at FoxTail, I see that i don't need any flashy graphics. it's the story that counts to me.

I begin to wonder whether great graphics might also be used to hide the lack of a good story ?

Because the amount of development time I ned to put into doing great graphics could also be used elsewhere … with lesser graphics, of course …
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October 5th, 2018, 03:12
I think the bubble burst long ago but people just keep diving in anyway.

It seems a lot like the music scene to me. Playing music isn't easy but I bet at least 10% of the population has enough talent to be part of a great band. A group of these folks get together and quite correctly surmise that they have just as much talent as other bands that made it big had when they started.

The problem is, we've got far more high quality bands than we need. The band members don't want to look at that, though. After all, they've got a shot at being rock stars! A lot of people are going to take that shot rather than study Accounting and work in a cubicle for the next 40 years.

Same thing with game making - though I don't think nearly as many get to the "good enough to be great" level. (They more often find themselves ambushed by an entire army of devils hiding in the details of their dream game.) People do still make it big, though, and many people would rather take a shot at making games than face the cubicles. And so the flood of trash games keeps pouring out the Steam vent.
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October 5th, 2018, 11:52
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
The problem is, we've got far more high quality bands than we need.
Have to disagree. There is never enough of high quality.

The problem is we got overburdened with more junk than we could ever consume. The effect of turning market into junkyard in economy was experienced frequently in past 100 years and is called - recession.
Once the junk is dumped into it's proper place, trashcans and not at the market, economy recuperates.

Currently, the gaming industry has a huge problem with scamware on phones. Soon people will stop caring for that junk but will think every videogame is the same predator as those scams and will not want to risk buying actual videogames. The cure? Well, I wrote above.
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October 5th, 2018, 13:36
I am old enough for remembering the Big Video Game Crash first hand in the early eighties. Just a warning: it started on a similar note (albeit at a much less scale).

Also, having regular chats with my economist friends, make no mistake: the current issue is not just video game related -- it is much more global than that, and hence, much, much more scary is prospect.
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October 6th, 2018, 12:14
I'm selective in what I buy, but still with that, I've got an awful lot of games on my HD.
Far worse with CDs.
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October 9th, 2018, 12:02
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I'm selective in what I buy, but still with that, I've got an awful lot of games on my HD.
Far worse with CDs.
Must disagree. There is nothing better for me than glancing over my video games library: fancy boxes all around the shelves. I have not necessarily completed all of them, but having such a sight, I feel myself part of the video game industry (which I am, professionally - but this one is spiritual - kinda like having a vast library of books, and feeling yourself as the late, great Jorge Luis Borges)
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October 11th, 2018, 21:47
I like probably everyone else here just weed through the news, recommendations of friends and sometimes reviewers and find the interesting gems. I try to support them a bit, either by spreading the word or making videos, just some small way to show support for a game I like. That way, in a small way at least, they have more of a chance of surviving and thriving to make more. But I don't explore the Steam store or anything, just grab a few choice gems and be out. RPGWatch is my main resource and some RPG fans for friends that often recommend me some overlooked titles.
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October 11th, 2018, 22:03
I hate shopping in general. In fact the only two things I really spend time shopping for are computer games and music. When I am bored, I hear music, reasearch games or both. I enjoy it and sometimes I find something interesting in the Steam Store that few people know about. I think most games are losing propositions for their developers. It takes a lot of time to make even a decent game, and most developers don't make a decent wage for their games. But they wanted to try it, like people who want to write, paint, or make music. I agree with Zloth that there are a lot of people who can make art at a competant level. That is to say they could make a decent computer game, just like some other decent computer game that sells well, because it showed up at the right time with the right marketing gimick. But I also agree with Joxer that truly great computer games (or music, or paintings, or books) are pretty rare.
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October 11th, 2018, 22:38
It's not an issue for me. I am picky as hell when it comes to what games I will buy. For example, in 2018, with the year drawing to a close, and looking at my steam account, I have bought a grand total of 3 games.

One of those games was an older classic type game, and bought mainly because it was dirt cheap on a steam sale (Dues Ex Human Revolution for $3) and two of those games were much more recent, Rise of the Tomb Raider (first released in 2015), and the newest game in terms of release date that I bought - Assassin's Creed Origins (2017).

There are a ton of categories of popular genres of games that I have zero interest in.
I'm not interested in phone games, or multi-player games (which is the current craze I have noticed, especially in shooters) or co-op games (part of the same craze and they are pumping these out a lot lately *yawn*).

So a lot of new games are just bypassed by default for me. The only games I'm always interested in are single player focused, either rpgs or FPS, or certain series like the Tomb Raider games, or every once in a blue moon, an adventure game or some off the beaten track type of game. For example, I like rally racing games, and have an eye out for those. But most of these "fad" type games, they don't have anything going for them, as far as I'm concerned.
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October 12th, 2018, 02:48
Uuhhh @Arkadia7? If multi-player is the current craze then that craze has been going on since at least the introduction of World of Warcraft - 14 years back. That's a pretty long craze.
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October 17th, 2018, 18:39
The influx of games has sort of reversed how I approach them now.

The industry was much smaller back in the day, but when I purchased a game, I exhausted it - I wouldn't see a new one for another six months at least. Choices were slim, but this inversely allowed me to truly enjoy what I was playing and soak in every bit of detail.

Back then, developers had space constraints. This forced them to push beyond their creative boundaries to do something amazing with the tiny environment they had to work with. I recall reading interviews from Final Fantasy designers who found these limitations actually liberating. To them, this was an advantage, a reason to push themselves even further.

These days, it's much different. A growing industry means you see a good number of games, but a lot of terrible ones, too. Kind of like going to Amazon, typing in "iPhone charger", and seeing the 20 million Chinese off-brand manufacturers wanting to cash in on things that sell in droves, like Apple products.

There's an interesting side effect of this, though. I'm finding that my standards for great games have been raised a bit, so I'm more picky in regards to taste, but not so picky in regards to the number of games I purchase in a year (which used to be 2 a year or so to what seems like 6-12 now). Sometimes I'd explore other genres, but often I'd regret it and end up requesting a refund.

I'm sort of on the fence with this one. On one hand, choice is never a bad thing, but when it's overwhelming, I think you start to feel burnout (I certainly have). There were times where I opted to watch a movie or TV series instead of playing a game. I just couldn't keep up with the amount of releases in quick fashion.

On the other hand, fewer options meant I could take my time without my attention being grabbed every few weeks or months. I was more likely to appreciate a game too, but that may mean I just need to slow down on purchases in general. If a game wasn't great, though, you had to really wait for a better one to come out.

It's a bit of an odd trade-off.

I'll admit, I'm more likely to remember a great game during a drought than a torrential downpour. That's just me, though.
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Last edited by Ragnaris; October 17th, 2018 at 19:02.
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October 19th, 2018, 12:34
As you can probably guess from my name, I'm not generally a day 1 purchaser, I'm what the industry refers to as the long tail, so it makes no difference to me how many games are released every year, just what cream floats into the public conscious over time.

I have bought games new and/or full price and will do so in the future, but that's very rare for me, glut or no glut & it has to be something that nails my specific requirements.

During the last big drought I was still playing games regularly & my rate of playing games doesn't change dependent on the number of games in the market. When I'm in the market for a new game I browse what's available & buy one game/game series.

I feel sure that no matter how weird the market is I'll cope with finding a new game every other month somewhere out there, either from the past, current or future productions. If nothing catches my eye one day, I have a vast array of games I'll want to replay that could keep me for a year or so.
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