Is Gaming dead?
The 2 cents:
Yes, a slow painful death is coming yet again for Video Games. The toll has been ringing
since Sony brought the Playstation from the depths of hell into the world. the Playstation
single handly changed the face of gaming forever and now it is killing it slowly.
Some people would like you to think that gaming is dead now by spewing forth ‘hard data’
from slipping sales figures and stock counts. You know I barely trust my local EB games
to stock GBA games let alone provide HARD data about the games they get in and and ship
out of their stores. Let alone Wal-Mart, and the thousands of other gaming store out there.
Tack on the millions of dollars that are lost each year due to piracy. Ok, if people
providing the facts know how much money is being lost then don’t they also know who’s
doing the copying and how many of those copies are send to friends?
The ‘hard facts’ are made my those ‘in the know’ that know nothing. Figures that I believe
are totally wrong and in the best part in conclusive. So now that we understand that the
‘hard facts’ of the moneys that are being made and lost are bull….
A little history:
Let’s take a step back shall we? Enter the going way back machine into a golden era of
gaming. Back to the days of the Atari and the 2600, the best known gaming system of the day,
to a time where Home gaming was a new concept and the 2600 had the most bang for the buck.
1000’s of games where produced for this system all the way up to the the great game crash of ’83.
The great game crash of 1983 was caused, simply put, because there was too much crap games on the market.
There was even a game to be based on the hit movie (of the time) Kramer Vs. Kramer where your
players would hurl bottles and plates at each other from across the room.
Gamers said ‘We’ve had enough’ and just stopped buying. Gamers had had enough.
and voiced there opition the only way business will listen.. though the check book.
Nintendo came in a couple of years later with the NES and changed home gaming. No one at the time
thought that games where ever going to make a come back outside the Arcade. However, this time
people where treated to much better graphics, sound and most importantly gameplay.
of course there where a few crapware titles, but mostly the NES sported a quality games
that gamers could enjoy!
By this time, the PC was starting to become less of a pure business machine and more
game friendly, with hit titles like Kings Quest, and the new series of games from
companys like Dynamix that created some of the first VGA games. the Quality was
there and gamers where happy.
Toward the end of the 2nd generation console war, Sony made a deal with Nintendo to create
a CD-Drive Addon to the SNES. After that deal fell apart, Sony entered the ring with the Playstation.
the system that changed gaming yet again. Sony also changed the BUSINESS of gaming.
up until that point, everything was 2D with a few titles trying to break out into the 3D
world. the PC already had Doom, and Castle Wolfenstien 3D.. but besides for a few titles
the ‘3D’ on Consoles was lost. The Playstation changed all of that, by giving developers
hardware that could really produce 3D graphics. But on a low note, Sony also degreed that NO 2D game
was to ever been made for their new system. ushering in the new era of 3D and Dropping 2D almost
Since Sony wouldn’t allow any 2D games for thier machine, and 3D to home game systems was
the new cool thing, people bought the PS1 by the droves. Publishers pushed the 3D type of games
more and more because Sony wouldn’t allow them to do it any other way. Over time the developers
forgot that there’s any other way to do it. If a game isn’t in 3D, it isn’t ‘cool’, and if
it’s not ‘cool’ it won’t sell.
This action from Sony is really the root of the problem we are seeing today. All A+
titles are in 3D, from WoW, to BattleField2, to Call of Duty (Yes, I said Duty,
but no time to laugh about that now.) even Sonic has been moved out of the 2D realm into
3D with no turning back.
With only one type of console game to be made, what are developers left to do? They can’t
imagine games in 2D anymore, it’s all got to be 3D. This limited thinking leads to
‘Me too!’ type of games wich is the beginning of crap games in the market.
And then Nintendo comes along and gives gaming a needed shot in the butt by bringout out the Gameboy.
this new system now allowed developers to get back to their roots and produce ‘old school’ style of games.
However, this move also futher devided the games into 2D for the handhelds, and 3D for the consoles.
The Present Age:
Sony and Nintendo now have unknowly tied the hands of most developers. Developers are split
between the lower powered handhelds which are still mainly 2D, and the high powered consules
which now only really cater to 3D grahics.
PC gamers where left thinking, who cares? we’ve had 3D for much longer, networking for even longer
and I’ve got a keyboard and mouse vs your little thumb sticks. now, shut up, and let me play Quake4.
This also completely divids the devlopers into what type of game they can build for what type
of system. PC’s are more networking, multiplayer games. Consoles are for action/adventrue
games, and the handhelds are for Quick-Fix type of games.
But the publishers don’t see it that way. if they can make a buck by selling the sims on
PC’s, Consoles, Handhelds, Cell-phones, and anything else that goes ‘bing’ they will do so.
Game ports that do not take advange of a system or change the game play so
much it’s not even the same game tend to be over looked by gamers. Splinter Cell is
a good example of this. On the Console and PC, it’s in 3D.. on a Cell phone is in 2D
with horrible controls. This completely changes the game, to the point that the only
tie in with the PC/Console game is the title.
Gamers tend to turn up there noses to that crap but instead of publishers realizeing that
people arn’t buying it because it’s a load of crap, they think people no longer like the
splinter Cell series. There’s been more version of Splinter Cell on the PC’s.. why?
because it PLAYS better on the PC, where as there’s only been one version of it for the Cell
EA has a lot to learn about there Madden football also. The 2006 version is a perfect
example of what I’m talking about. The PS2/Xbox/GC version of the game is almost PERFECTLY
the same. Why? because of money, it’s nothing more then a direct port of the game.
which looks good on the publishers bottom dollar, but that makes the XBox look like a POS
that can’t push any polys.
Ports,cause the casual gamer to shy way from specific consoles and leans to even more
crap in the market. Ports are nothing more then ‘ME TOO!’ games with the same title.
So what does this mean to gaming?:
Ports, Forced game types, shareware, and patches are the biggest threats to gaming
as a whole. Ports force crap, removing the imagnation from developers causes crap,
programmers that think they can make games flood the market with crap, and pushing a
game out before it’s anywhere near done with the attitude of ‘we can patch it later’
causes crap stright out of the gate.