What are your thoughts on the decline in quality games/gaming companies in the last 10 years or so?

Cardenio

*YAWN*
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Indie games fall into 3 categories these days:

1. Shitty woke fests that pander to trannies
2. Soyboy 'spiritual successors' that not only are often worse than the game they're playing on but also beat you over the head with references to other games. I don't want to be reminded of another game I'm here for your fucking game.
3. Shit like Cruelty Squad that's so weird that only a few people get.

I am a normie that's just looking for games that are fun and won't take me out of the experience with dev sperging. The 6th generation was peak gaming and 2007 was the beginning of the end.
I think you're selling Indies short, there's quite a few games made over the last decade that I argue are bona fide classics. Games people look back on fondly for years to come:

The Binding of Isaac
Slay The Spire
Hotline Miami 1 & 2*
The Boomer Shooter Revival - Specifically Dusk, Prodeus, Ion Fury
Streets of Rage 4 (FYI game was only licensed by Sega, it's an indie)
Factorio
The Talos Principle
FTL: Faster Than Light & Into The Breach
Papers, Please & Obra Dinn
Baba Is You
Outer Wilds
Hollow Knight
Cuphead

I'd consider each of these games to be 10/10s. As a passionate gamer and and a regular critic these games are just designed so ingeniously and/or have such fantastic presentation that I personally can't think of ways to improve them.

*Yes Hotline Miami 2 has ridiculously difficult levels. But it's still a game I remember vividly years later which speaks volumes to how memorable of a game it is.
 

Grub

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All the things i used to hope video games would become right around the late 90's early 2000's when all the potential of 3d games were finally being understood and implemented properly failed to be. Instead i watched all the game series i enjoyed become pale imitations of themselves and the entire industry devolve into flash over substance and corporate greed. I'm speaking broadly general here, there's lots of games i've enjoyed since then and there's plenty of games released since then I have mo problem saying are better than those older games especially many indie games as @Cardenio mentioned above , still it feels like the whole game industry just went in a totally different direction than my young naive teenage self expected back when things seemed more carefree and well just fun.
 

mario if smoke weed

Maclunkey.
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While things have gotten shit in some areas, the last ten years have brought us great games, great soundtracks, and great experiences. I'd say things are getting better as more people have more tools to make more games. If you tried making a game for the DOS you'd have limitations on what you can make, especially if you weren't heavily experienced. Nowadays if you have vision and drive you can load up Game Maker and make Undertale, or Nuclear Throne, or Hotline Miami. Triple-A gaming like EA and Epic might be turning brown but indie games are kind of shining gold, like a diamond in the rough.
 

Thiletonomics

SEMEN CING
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Increasing the price from $60 to $70 for current-gen games where those consoles are hard to obtain was a ballsy, dumb move.

The fact that the games themselves aren't any better, even with the extra $10 to the cost, i.e. all of the Sports games that have done this exact thing, makes the companies look terrible as well.

Even those who have lasted long have become the villains themselves. Epic, Valve, Ubisoft and every still living company are vulnerable to shit practices in games nowadays. The games under their care have turned to shit and the companies will not stop ruining what made those fun, so even online games are screwed.

Valve is the one big standout to this whole mess. They're not bound by shareholders, and Steam literally prints money for them, meaning that they don't even have to try to make games these days, and HL:Alyx aside, their newer games in Artifact and Underlords, in which Valve was trying to milk the DOTA 2 IP by making a card game and an auto-chess game respectively, pretty much flopped. And in the case where Steam Deck crashes and burns, how many more failures can Valve afford to do, before realizing that they actually have to release good things, and not just live off of solely Steam money.
 

WULULULULU

We call this a difficulty tweak! Broke Dick Ed.
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Valve is the one big standout to this whole mess. They're not bound by shareholders, and Steam literally prints money for them, meaning that they don't even have to try to make games these days, and HL:Alyx aside, their newer games in Artifact and Underlords, in which Valve was trying to milk the DOTA 2 IP by making a card game and an auto-chess game respectively, pretty much flopped. And in the case where Steam Deck crashes and burns, how many more failures can Valve afford to do, before realizing that they actually have to release good things, and not just live off of solely Steam money.
I love Alyx but damn they should dedicate their big ass funds to update their games. Give DoD:S more theatres to explore, fix CS:S' netcode and give bigger mod potential, merge L4D and L4D2 into one game so that both fanbases can work as well as introduce a fuckton of fixes and QoL changes instead of relying solely on Alliedmodders, overhaul TF2 entirely and so on. Then again, Newell is not calling the shots anymore and just remains a figurehead so that's thrown out of the window.
I think you're selling Indies short, there's quite a few games made over the last decade that I argue are bona fide classics. Games people look back on fondly for years to come:

The Binding of Isaac
Slay The Spire
Hotline Miami 1 & 2*
The Boomer Shooter Revival - Specifically Dusk, Prodeus, Ion Fury
Streets of Rage 4 (FYI game was only licensed by Sega, it's an indie)
Factorio
The Talos Principle
FTL: Faster Than Light & Into The Breach
Papers, Please & Obra Dinn
Baba Is You
Outer Wilds
Hollow Knight
Cuphead

I'd consider each of these games to be 10/10s. As a passionate gamer and and a regular critic these games are just designed so ingeniously and/or have such fantastic presentation that I personally can't think of ways to improve them.

*Yes Hotline Miami 2 has ridiculously difficult levels. But it's still a game I remember vividly years later which speaks volumes to how memorable of a game it is.
Would have added Stardew Valley, Darkest Dungeon and Disco Elysium as well. Otherwise, those are wonderful picks. When the fuck are we getting news on Silksong?
 

Jerri's Kid

Moist as a snack cake.
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I've been playing video games since the early 80s. My first console was an Odyssey 2 which was released in 1978. It was my parents' console.

The biggest differences I see are the following:

1. AAA games cost a lot of money to make so they tend not to take very many risks, which is why they feel formulaic.

2. A LOT more people play video games now, so there is much greater demand for quality control. I don't see very many truly terrible games being made anymore by non-Indie studios (i.e. E.T: The Extraterrestrial for the Atari 2600) but I also see fewer groundbreaking ones like Doom (which made FPS explode in popularity). When I play a bad game it's more forgettable than it is offensively bad, and most good games are interesting but very few of them become all-time favorites.

3. Shady monetization schemes are the things I hate the most about newer games. I don't like lootbox gambling systems, buy stuff with in-game currency to win, and buy the DLC to see the true ending bullshit that I've seen with some games such as Dead Space 3. The AAA studios pull this kind of crap the most, so a lot of what I play are AA or Indie games.

4. I don't know why people invest in Kickstarter games. They take forever to release a lot of the time if they release at all. Also, they often don't turn out to be what people expected. You'd be better off donating your money to charity since you can at least take a deduction. Just because a dev made a great game in 1993 doesn't mean he will succeed today.

5. The "woke" stuff is annoying, but it's usually AAA devs that go overboard with this kind of stuff. There are a few Indies that have always been like this but I can still find plenty of Indies and AA games that aren't preachy with their politics.

6. It's easier than ever before to find out if a game is shit because you have people streaming them or making YouTube videos before the games are released. As a result, I am generally satisfied with what I buy.

7. Games tend to release with more problems since the devs can always patch them with an Internet download. However, games are also easy to install and you don't have to worry about configuring the sound card, getting the joystick to work and other irritations that happened a lot with PC games in the 80s and 90s. Multiplayer is a breeze now compared to some of the issues I used to run into getting everyone's system to work on a LAN.

Overall, I'd say that today's gaming has both good and bad things about it. You used to see a lot more oddball and creative games in the past, but a lot of today's games are very polished and I still find interesting ones such as Rimworld. There are so many games now and we have so much choice in what type of game we want to play that I don't have this doom and gloom feeling about the current state of the industry.
 

Judge Dredd

Senior Layout Artist
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I disagree with kiwis saying people will by any AAA shit if it has a brand name on it. That used to be true, but now only consoomers do that. Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Mass Effect, they're all big names that bombed.

The video game industry needs another crash.
How many more crashes do you need? The gaming industry has been through many booms and busts since the Xbox 360 at least.

Why are games getting so expensive to make? I am mystified.
Because people demand 8k ultra HD textures and movie quality models for everything, or else Crowbcat and friends will mock you for "looking like a PS1 game" and bring up Crysis again. Try to save money by reusing assets from other projects, and expect every outrage YouTuber to call your game an asset flip.


Something I've not seen mentioned (and sorry to bring it up again) is the business model where quarterly growth is more important than sustainability, and having one billion dollar hit is better than a number of ten million dollar hits.

Another related problem is, if you're anything like me, you don't have the time or inclination to put 100 hours into every game that comes out. I prefer have a high quality 3 hour game instead. Yet people still flip out if a game doesn't have a 50 hour play time, which results in a lot of boring, low effort filler content. A game like Resident Evil or Silent Hill where you can beat the game in 7 hours, and in less than 3 when you know what you're doing wouldn't fly today.
 

Sea Urchin

Probably not drunk.
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A game like Resident Evil or Silent Hill where you can beat the game in 7 hours, and in less than 3 when you know what you're doing wouldn't fly today.
Yes, and that's because people rightfully expect some bang for their buck when a single game can range from $70 - $80 nowadays, and they are that expensive because devs have to allocate a lot of time and money into making the boring filler content (and make it look good graphically as well) to justify the price.
 

Male Idiot

Das rite!
kiwifarms.net
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Nov 6, 2014
Games are expensive due to bigger staff. This is mostly because a smuck needs to make a model, texture and animation in 4k for even the toilet paper.

Another problem is that it has become woke, watered down shit that officials demand and no longer a vision of a few head creators.

Indies aren't exactly better. For every Cuphead you get 999 shitfests which are just "pixel art" rehases of the same thing, either with crap or woke crap.

Pixel art is shit. Mario looked good when it came out and it was a good game. I never played Mario, I don't play platformers.

Games nowdays also must fit the normies and are thus watered down. So it all ends up as the same grey goop, just AAA is 4k textured goop while indie is pixelated goop. Cuphead for example avoided this and went hardcore. It had a smaller customer range but catered better to them.

Tl,dr, there is a whole lot of problems in every field. You sometimes get a few great ones, but most games nowdays are 4/10 forgettables, and who pays 70 dollars for that?

I torrent it, I play it once, and off to the consoomed file bin it goes.
 

wtfNeedSignUp

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Dec 17, 2019
About reasons I'd blame the death of AA studios which is shared between people not buying their games and journos ignoring any reporting on it. This not only gave AAA publishers complete control of the market, but made everything static since there are no new studios to break ground and rival the big ones.
I think you're selling Indies short, there's quite a few games made over the last decade that I argue are bona fide classics. Games people look back on fondly for years to come:

The Binding of Isaac
Slay The Spire
Hotline Miami 1 & 2*
The Boomer Shooter Revival - Specifically Dusk, Prodeus, Ion Fury
Streets of Rage 4 (FYI game was only licensed by Sega, it's an indie)
Factorio
The Talos Principle
FTL: Faster Than Light & Into The Breach
Papers, Please & Obra Dinn
Baba Is You
Outer Wilds
Hollow Knight
Cuphead

I'd consider each of these games to be 10/10s. As a passionate gamer and and a regular critic these games are just designed so ingeniously and/or have such fantastic presentation that I personally can't think of ways to improve them.

*Yes Hotline Miami 2 has ridiculously difficult levels. But it's still a game I remember vividly years later which speaks volumes to how memorable of a game it is.
Most of those recommended indies are half a decade old by now. Out of the literally thousands of indie titles coming up in recent years you'd barely be able to fit 10 games that aren't just a ripoff of better titles or "concept games" that are fun the first hour and then get old. At least AAA tend to get fun gameplay with longevity consistently.
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

Excuse me, I currently have some brain damage.
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Why are games getting so expensive to make? I am mystified.
vidyaevolution.jpg

Graphics! That's part of it, the art teams are enormous. Remember how in old games you always noticed repeating textures and how they were tiled, not so much anymore, every corner of an environment can look unique but that comes at a cost. Creating a simple 3d asset in the past didn't take as much time even though the tools were more primitive. You have a 25 triangle budget to make a waste bin, blam, did it with 18 triangles and if it's flipped and scaled a bit it doubles as a lampshade. A single person could just crank out more stuff.
 

LinkinParkxNaruto[AMV]

I try so hard and got so far
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Jul 28, 2020
PS2 was the last great console, gaming peaked during 5th and 6th gen, when it was as mainstream as it ever needed to be.

The AAA open world sandbox shooter with crafting rpg mechanics can fuck off, every mainstream game is samey shit, Skyrim is gay, GTA is gay. Minecraft is gay. Wow and its consequences have been devastating to the gaming race. Indie gaming was always an empty promise as an alternative to AAA. i stopped caring years ago.

Also, if you are old enough to have experienced gaming for so long just face reality, even if we were (we are not) in a new goldern age of gaming it probably would not include you either, is never going to be the same for you and me as when we kids or teenagers.
 

The Penultimate Warrior

kiwifarms.net
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View attachment 2616087
Graphics! That's part of it, the art teams are enormous. Remember how in old games you always noticed repeating textures and how they were tiled, not so much anymore, every corner of an environment can look unique but that comes at a cost. Creating a simple 3d asset in the past didn't take as much time even though the tools were more primitive. You have a 25 triangle budget to make a waste bin, blam, did it with 18 triangles and if it's flipped and scaled a bit it doubles as a lampshade. A single person could just crank out more stuff.


I hate to think of how much time and resources were dedicated to making those hours of cringe worthy cut scenes.
 

Judge Dredd

Senior Layout Artist
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Aug 23, 2018
Also, if you are old enough to have experienced gaming for so long just face reality, even if we were (we are not) in a new goldern age of gaming it probably would not include you either, is never going to be the same for you and me as when we kids or teenagers.
Depends by the standard. If you're expecting to phone your friends and ask if they want to head to your house after school to play goldeneye, they're going to tell you to fuck off. They have work and kids to worry about. If you're expecting to relive Mario 64 for the first time, you're not going to get that.

For me, the golden age of indie games was Xbox Live Arcade. Games like Assault Heroes, Geometry Wars, and Castle Crashers were loved back then. On paper, there's no reason we can't go back to those days.
 

BrokenWokenBespoken

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The AAA industry is a service now, it doesn't make games. It gives you an experience for an hour or two before you got to do the things a normal person would do. It doesn't cater to the nolife shutin with few people to see. You finish your dailies like a chore and focus on other things. Let it be Fortnite, Apex, Ubishit, they are services meant to give you some pause before you return to your miserable life.

Hell GaaS extends to Patreon game development where development of the game is glacial and no goals are set. Just milk that dick money your thirsty coomers are looking for and don't finish it. It will last forever while the industry keep moving on

As for the proverbial wokeshit, I think the major problem with development in gaming are the edgelords are consumers while producing nothing in the industry they have grown to hate. They go around stamping their feet and going on online freakouts but they never produce edgelord games as the devs that enable them are slowly retiring or being replaced.