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Default Opinion - The Best Games Aren't From Big Studios

July 21st, 2019, 11:10
SlashGear writes that the best games aren't being made by big studios anymore and points to indie gaming as the exception.

For the most part, it seems that the AAA games industry is more concerned with creating games-as-a-service that can pull money from players on an ongoing basis than they are with creating games that are actually fun and engaging to play. Progression in many of these games is tied to unlockables, which are increasingly obtained by way of opening loot boxes and seeing what you get.

Even aside from the question of whether or not this is encouraging gambling addiction in the people who play these games (some studies suggest they are; EA and organizations like the ESA insist they aren't), shouldn't we be alarmed that major games these days are basically digital Skinner Boxes that are designed to reward us proportional to the amount of money we spend after we've already bought the game?

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July 21st, 2019, 11:25
A commentator in a newspaper recently criticised that Disney was making rather new versions of old movies than doing something *really* creative.

I cut that short to the rule : "Too much greed is hindering creativity, because it tries to merely get save incomes. No risk, please."

Same with big gaming companies : Greed hinders them from doing something *really* creative.

And that's why they will become dinosaurs in the old sense, whereas in the sense of "gaming evolution" small Indies are just overtaking them.
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July 21st, 2019, 11:42
The best, most addictive tactical XCOM game isn't from any studios: its called
X-Piratez.
Its so addictive and so deep that no other tactical game can EVER hope to surpass its gameplay value. Compared to puny XCOM:EU and even Long War, X-Piratez allows any squad size, any equipment configuration, you wear any grenades, weapons, tools. It has a supermassive amount of guns and medieval type weapons, shields, ships - interceptors, gunships, troop carriers, a myriad of faction / police / mercenary gunships and large alien vessels. It has religious cults, cannibal cults, Earth Factions, enemies, lots of Gods, immense amount of Star Factions, Alternate History Factions: like Nazis, all the alien types from UFO DEFENSE & Terror from the Deep, named pet dogs, pet cats, pet parrots, in the super-expanded universe of what happens, when you lose to the aliens in UFO DEFENSE! Guess what? Life goes on with the mutated, warped people on Earth.
Last edited by mercy; July 21st, 2019 at 12:02.
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July 21st, 2019, 12:13
What is X-Piratez and how long have you been working for them? First thing I ever hear of it.

On the topic itself, generalisations are always bad. Truth is that AAA companies are investing huge budgets on games and "risk" is the word they hate the most. They want revenue from their investment, and they'll do what players ask, that meaning, what the homogeneous mass of average console button mashers will buy.

That said, the current top studios got there by breaking the mold back in the day. Blizzard, Bioware, etc, were once kinda average studios that got a huge success with their own merits.

Last decade we've had a few more examples of studios that reached nearly godhood out of their well-earned well-doing, like for example Larian or CDProjekt. The problem is when that money turns a small studio of mostly friends that love working together into a dev grinding machine enslaved to publisher and investor demands that constantly force them to push out unfinished produts with far from optimal polish to cash in.

While originally those devs were happy with feeding their families, working on something they love and getting recognition from the community that loved to play their games, at some point they become wage slaves of that huge monster that grinds them because the corporate heads above them aren't happy with just feeding their families, and don't give a shit about praise or recognition - since they did nothing to earn it anyway. They invested, and want revenue, the more the better, because investors are greedy by nature, and they wouldn't invest to start with, other than to get as rich as possible. That's the dangerous trend that turned the gaming industry into a bling bling factory, rather than something meant for the rejoice and entertainment of the so called gamers.
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July 21st, 2019, 12:53
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
What is X-Piratez and how long have you been working for them? First thing I ever hear of it.
It's not that obscure. RPS reviewed it and called it the greatest total conversion ever made:
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/201…atez-xcom-mod/

On the topic itself, generalisations are always bad. Truth is that AAA companies are investing huge budgets on games and "risk" is the word they hate the most. They want revenue from their investment, and they'll do what players ask, that meaning, what the homogeneous mass of average console button mashers will buy.
But the generalization is pretty spot on, and correct for almost all cases. It's really simple. The definition of AAA is having a certain level of graphics and sound fidelity, cinematics etc. It costs a certain amount of budget to have that level. In order to sell enough copies to make a profit given that high budget, you've almost always gotta appeal to the homogeneous mass of average console button mashing idiots that you mentioned.
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July 21st, 2019, 13:06
This article sits well in this forum as it is similar to the lack of arguments propagated on here.

Half of it: microtransactions, loot boxes. If a game has them, it can not be a good game. The UgoIgo trademark, if it is UgoIgo, it is good game.

Originality, taking risks: whereas crowdfunded stuff is way faster to listening to players who are close minded players who expect every product to enable them into the same experience.

The PUBG thing is spinned as possible: it started as a derailment of a crowdfunded project H1Z1 that was overseen by Sony.

This article dismisses most of the mods that evolved into new genres or stuff were mods at start and allowed by bigger companies. It is one benefit of that mod stuff for developpers, being able to reap afterwards.

Ratio dollars/time: long hours on it, so it is good. Cheapest entertainment ever etc

Zero argument in the article.
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July 21st, 2019, 13:08
X-Pirayez IS the best TC mod ever. Praising it is the greatest thing @mercy ever did on this forum, since that's what made me check it out.

On topic, of course it will always be the indie market that drives the evolution of games, while the big companies will stick to what they know works. I see nothing weird in that. That doesn't mean all AAA games are bad and all indie games good, it just means that if you're looking for something fresh indie is probably a better bet. Or as in my case, looking for something less fresh and more archaic and old school. Kickstarter pretty much saved that genre, at least in my opinion. But few of the crowdfunded games are revolutionary, quite the opposite.

On loot boxes, why do people insist on blaming the developers? Blame the idiot customers that makes that business model more profitable. Hopefully it's something that will stop making money in the long run, but I won't get my hopes up. But I'll keep supporting devs that refuses to go that route.
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July 21st, 2019, 13:10
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
you've almost always gotta appeal to the homogeneous mass of average console button mashing idiots that you mentioned.
In percentage, they are probably more gamers amongst them than there are on this site.

As to the idiocy bit, it might come from players who advocate waxing over a 64,5 vs 72,1 hit chance UgoIgo stuff thing over hours. Idiots might be sometimes too idiot to notice their own idiocy.
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July 21st, 2019, 13:22
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Idiots might be sometimes too idiot to notice their own idiocy.
So true, especially right here and now.
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July 21st, 2019, 14:18
Is it entirely (or mostly) greed that drives the big game companies? Or the fear that a creative game that costs big bucks will bomb? Get enough of those and the company goes under. They make money (generally) on "non-creative" games because they can.

Why wouldn't a company go with more of a sure thing than take a chance and potentially lose a lot of money?

There are indie games out there I LOVE, and also AAA games I love. Conversely, I've played some truly horrible indie games and AAA games as well.
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July 21st, 2019, 15:13
Of course the best games aren't from big studios any more - big studios shifted their business to phone scamware that aren't games at all.
But hey, indie studios did that too.

So the article missed the point completely.
It's not about a studio size, it's about releasing a product that is really a game or is milking machine masked as a game.

Lemme give an example why I find the article too shallow.
GTA5.
Is it "the best" game? To me it isn't, it's trying to bore the player to death. But numbers (of sold copies) suggest there is a huge audience out there for mediocrity, so to that audience it is the best game. And it's a real, proper, game, no bullshit attached.
At the same time GTA5 developers made GTA online. That thing is advertised as a game but is a plain walletemptying fraud.

It was never about studio size. It's always about CEO. In psychology there is a term for people who have no conscience.
The best games are from studios led by a healthy (brainwise) person. Good ones too, but also bad ones. Regardless, those are still - games.
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July 21st, 2019, 16:19
I like indie games because they are more to the point. They are also shorter, making it less of a risk to my mental health when I bought a bad one.
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July 21st, 2019, 18:12
Stories and combat systems that I actually enjoy keep me gravitating to the indie studios, as well as not giving money to companies that I just don't care for. I rarely now play any new games from bigger companies, and avoid replaying their classic fare as well.
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July 21st, 2019, 21:54
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
In percentage, they are probably more gamers amongst them than there are on this site.
You're absolutely right, since 100% among them are people who play a game then 100% of them are actually gamers. I would say the percentage on this site is also pretty damn close to that, but I suppose there *might* be some forum members who prefer reading about and discussing games to actually playing them. Some might also prefer watching others play? That, by definition, is not a gamer. So…1 point for you?

EDIT: Standard definition of the word gamer for clarification:
"A person who plays video games or participates in role-playing games".
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July 22nd, 2019, 14:18
Eh..banal article with cherry picking. Blizzard, Activision, Bethesda ( main studio) are on heavy decline. EA and Bioware, especially. Ubisoft always kind of plays it safe ( though they're more consistent in quality)
Sony, whether you like their style of games or not, puts out high quality, polished SP games. Capcom made a huge turn around, along with other Japanese studios. CDPR could be immensely succesful, next decade or two, and no doubt they make very ambitious games. Warhorse, Larian, Guerilla, could also go same route, and Techland. Microsoft could be interesting with everything they've acquired recently.
Seems offering is a lot more diverse, interesting than few years back.
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July 22nd, 2019, 19:26
Well isn't this why we supported Kickstarter in the first place? The indies are not as bogged down by investor requirements, so they can take bigger risks.
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July 22nd, 2019, 20:15
Indeed. I'd go a bit further and say this is why some of the kick starter initiatives have been wildly successful. Of course, there have been abject failures as well, but for me, they are in the minority.
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July 22nd, 2019, 21:36
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Well isn't this why we supported Kickstarter in the first place? The indies are not as bogged down by investor requirements, so they can take bigger risks.
Were they really that innovative…especially rpgs? Kingmaker is BG clone, Underrail-Atom-AoD of Fallout..same goes for Realms Beyond, Pillars, and ton of others.
There is plenty of innovation in AAA or something that pushes genre( or tech) forward.
Cyberpunk seems to be completely redesigning dialogue system and immersive implementation of rpg mechanics, Watch Dogs complex NPC protagonist system, Last of Us real time animation blending, Star Citizen streaming, etc, etc.
Indies that are really innovative are every bit as rare, and on much, smaller level of ( technical) complexity. ( I mean look at what Vogel is doing)
Games like CoD, Destiny, Fortnite obviously exist only to make money.
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July 22nd, 2019, 22:48
Originally Posted by Bobo View Post
Were they really that innovative…especially rpgs? Kingmaker is BG clone, Underrail-Atom-AoD of Fallout..same goes for Realms Beyond, Pillars, and ton of others.
There is plenty of innovation in AAA or something that pushes genre( or tech) forward.
Cyberpunk seems to be completely redesigning dialogue system and immersive implementation of rpg mechanics, Watch Dogs complex NPC protagonist system, Last of Us real time animation blending, Star Citizen streaming, etc, etc.
Indies that are really innovative are every bit as rare, and on much, smaller level of ( technical) complexity. ( I mean look at what Vogel is doing)
Games like CoD, Destiny, Fortnite obviously exist only to make money.
Did I say "innovative"? No, I said take bigger risks. Innovation is over-rated in gaming. Larger businesses weren't interested in the isometric style of BG2; they'd moved on to 3D graphical glorification. Releasing a AAA game in that old niche style would be a big financial risk.
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July 22nd, 2019, 23:02
I was about to say the same thing, but @rjshae beat me to it. Are many indies innovative? I would say so. Are the general Kickstarter RPG's innovative? Hardly. They just made games possible that the big companies wouldn't invest in today. Not because they can't make money, but because they can't make BIG money. Which again is perfectly understandable.
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