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

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Dom Cruise

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I could be wrong but wasn't Cuphead funded with Microsoft's money and was originally going to be an Xbox One exclusive?

we need another crash so things can get better before they get worse.

BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND!
People have been clamoring for another crash for the last 15 years, if it hasn't happened by now it's not going to happen in the way people want another 1983 style crash, things are too decentralized now.

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.
This is one thing where you don't see enough credit given, most AAA games are not really terrible in the way something like E.T. was terrible, usually they're just mediocre, but there's a way higher standard of quality control within the AAA sphere than there used to be, although the irony is now digital marketplaces are a sea of shovelware, but at least you don't have as much crap clogging store shelves.

Another thing people don't give enough credit for, the death of shoddy movie tie in games, from the NES days all the way to the PS2 almost every blockbuster type movie of note got a game that was mediocre to terrible with very rare exceptions like Escape From Butcher Bay.

These days there's still throwaway phone games to tie in with movies but again, at least that stuff isn't clogging store shelves.

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.
That stuff is just terrible, whatever happened to the days where you'd buy a fucking game and that was that?

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.
Wasteland 2, Thimbleweed Park and Bloodstained are good, but yeah, a lot of Kickstarter stuff turned out to be a lot of hot air.

Are devs even really doing the crowdfunding thing anymore? I can't think of another recent campaigns of note, seems like a trend that has already come and gone.

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.
It's only in recent years has it really gotten intolerable, I miss stuff like Battlefield 1 which was mildly Woke but not in a way that ruined the game.

Last of Us 2 on the other hand? Yikes.

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.
And thank goodness for that since gaming journalism died, I miss when just reading a simple review would suffice.

PS2 was the last great console, gaming peaked during 5th and 6th gen, when it was as mainstream as it ever needed to be.
This is the truth.

There really was a wild level of creativity seen during that time that you very rarely see these days.
 

BrokenWokenBespoken

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I am not bothered by wokeness so much by the lack of people fighting back to stem the tide to speak. When the people scream about wokeness are also powerless consumers shows how badly the opportunity to make game that isn't woke squandered. You don't have the kind of devs who can intimidate their naysayers (contrary to popular belief, you can counter cancel culture by resorting to actual threats and watch them crawl back into their hidey holes).

As for monetization, it's an inevitable effect of service based gaming. Mobile Gaming were the ones who sealed the deal and there is no stopping that.
 

Jeff Gazetti

Republicans are the new Liberals
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For me it was a lot of games:

Breath of Fire series
•What started out at just another typical but engrossing JRPG (1&2) grew over two generations of gaming. Who could forget the god aweful box art adaptations going from anime to roided out dungeons and dragons/Heavy metal illustrations in which the characters looked more like professional wrestlers in the heavyweight division.​
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I think they had it best at III, where you could become a dragon (not just summon one) at the cost of draining your AP (the games version of MP.​
When IV came around l, it was ok but they went back to just being able to summon a dragon instead of becoming one for the duration of battle. Not only that but I felt it was a little too wrapped up in an 15th century Japanese dynasty theme. (Yes I realize where the game was developed).​
The nail in the coffin for the series was V. Seemed different, a strict dungeon crawl only. Kinda like Blizzard’s Diablo. It was very strange and not what we were used to.​
Believe it or not there is actually a 6th installment of the game but it is strictly a mobile game and only available in Japan. Of that I’d want to play it as it has fallen victim to being pay to win garbage.​
Resident Evil:
•Fell in love when I played this first of the series back in 1998. Even slept with the covers over my head for a week or so after pulling an all nighter.​
2 was great, no complaints​
3 was great, no complaints​
Code Veronica, even better!​
Resident Evil 4: ok this one was going in a new direction but it was still memorable and fun. “Heh heh, THANK YUU!”​
Resident evil 5: wtf is this shit?! I never thought I’d find a more annoying character than Ashley Graham, but Sheva sure proved me wrong with her constant “THANKS!” and “I OWE YOU ONE!”​
That was where I stopped playing. Haven’t touched 6, 7 or this new Village one.​
Warcraft Series:
What happened to Blizzard? They use to be a “cool” company. Loved playing Warcraft 1&2 as well as Starcraft. WCIII was also awesome.​
When WOW first launched the game was great but I was always getting my account sanctioned for using profanity. Somehow using F words can make the game “unsafe”.​
Now Blizztard/Activision is nothing more than Chinese communist bootlickers. So sad…​
Well I could go on, but this post is already long enough and my neck hurts from doing this on a mobile.
 

ltlftp

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May 1, 2019
Not really a fan of the idea that gaming peaked at some point or anything like that. To me this is always just a simple case of people putting too much stock into AAA gaming. I mean yeah if that is what you're looking at it seems like things are just getting worse each year, but you need to look elsewhere. And I don't mean just go play some indie games or whatever, I mean looking at the whole industry.

Case in point, the AA market is booming right now. Lots of success stories and there is a lot of money being thrown around and studios are being bought left and right. Just go look at something like the Embracer Group, it's crazy. They have picked up some big names but the majority of what they're grabbing is smaller studios dedicated to smaller games. That is where the wind is blowing right now, companies are starting to realize that they can cater to niche stuff and make good money. Heck just weeks ago People Can Fly said that AA is going to be their focus going forward as well. They want a new game out every single year, but games that are smaller in scope.

Personally none of this is surprising either. I mainly play Japanese stuff and this is something a lot of companies over there started to realize like 5 years ago. Can obviously see it in interviews for stuff like DMC5 where Itsuno mentions that Capcom decided to just stop chasing trends and actually make games they wanted to play, like they did in the old days. And you can clearly see it paying off for them, they are getting hit after hit and the games have long tails. And hell man, I am even buying Sega games again fairly regularly. That shit blows my mind, I thought they were a total lost cause 10 years ago. I think the west is starting to catch up to that, but it's not going to be with like Ubisoft/EA/Activision and shit. They're going to keep pumping out their live service games as long as they can.
 

Coldgrip

Agreed upon laws of the wild
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Have they declined? There's some pretty good games out there, both indie and AAA. I think, at the end of the day, if people want something and the major companies are not willing to or can't make a game people want, somebody is going to make said game. Either out of passion or because there's money to be made, or both.

That was where I stopped playing. Haven’t touched 6, 7 or this new Village one.
I'll say this for RE5 and 6; it's way more fun with a friend.
 

albert the programmer

Java programming under Chris Cornell’s name
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I’ve found myself in the past few months playing games that I was either too young to play growing up, or not too aware of games that never were brought to North America because of marketing reasons.

Plus, since I was not aware of those games in the latter point, it actually made me watch gaming playthroughs online since I could not afford any of the games in question.
 
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PaleTay

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Aug 25, 2020
I feel like a lot of it is just time. New World is a great example of a game which looks like it has a ton of potential even if it were just PVP/Crafting and resource transportation but it's ridiculous that that is all it takes for a massive amount of hype. Most games don't have an end-game but it's a rush to max-level, and even if they do there's optimal builds that are sometimes required and other times strongly suggested. PVP isn't fun if everyone's max leveled and just raiding to get better gear but that's what MMOs have become.
 

Judge Dredd

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People have been clamoring for another crash for the last 15 years, if it hasn't happened by now it's not going to happen in the way people want another 1983 style crash, things are too decentralized now.
The crash of 1983 didn't even happen the way the crash of 1983 did. There were lots of classic games released that year (like Elite and Dragons Lair) and the crash was mostly limited to the US.

People clamouring for a crash are a doomsday cult. They want the gaming industry wiped clean so Nintendo can swoop in and reign for a thousand years, but that's not how the crash happened, and it's not going to happen.

Are devs even really doing the crowdfunding thing anymore? I can't think of another recent campaigns of note, seems like a trend that has already come and gone.
Not really. If you're indie, no one has heard of you so you're not going to get people donating. YouTubers have no reason to advertise you, and games journos won't blog about you unless you're in the clique.

Kickstarter is now glorified pre-orders for middle sized companies that don't need it, or even AAA companies who want to see if an IP is viable. It's a shame, because Kickstarter had real potential.
 

WhoIsSutterKane

I think, therefore you are.
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I play games way less often now, which is fine with me, i save money by waiting for games to price drop before checking them out...unless it's a Fromsoft game. i buy those day 1.
 

Marissa Moira

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Not really a fan of the idea that gaming peaked at some point or anything like that. To me this is always just a simple case of people putting too much stock into AAA gaming. I mean yeah if that is what you're looking at it seems like things are just getting worse each year, but you need to look elsewhere. And I don't mean just go play some indie games or whatever, I mean looking at the whole industry.

Case in point, the AA market is booming right now. Lots of success stories and there is a lot of money being thrown around and studios are being bought left and right. Just go look at something like the Embracer Group, it's crazy. They have picked up some big names but the majority of what they're grabbing is smaller studios dedicated to smaller games. That is where the wind is blowing right now, companies are starting to realize that they can cater to niche stuff and make good money. Heck just weeks ago People Can Fly said that AA is going to be their focus going forward as well. They want a new game out every single year, but games that are smaller in scope.

Personally none of this is surprising either. I mainly play Japanese stuff and this is something a lot of companies over there started to realize like 5 years ago. Can obviously see it in interviews for stuff like DMC5 where Itsuno mentions that Capcom decided to just stop chasing trends and actually make games they wanted to play, like they did in the old days. And you can clearly see it paying off for them, they are getting hit after hit and the games have long tails. And hell man, I am even buying Sega games again fairly regularly. That shit blows my mind, I thought they were a total lost cause 10 years ago. I think the west is starting to catch up to that, but it's not going to be with like Ubisoft/EA/Activision and shit. They're going to keep pumping out their live service games as long as they can.
Yeah AA has quite a good amount of stuff. Maneater is a pretty good open world game about a shark.

I still find it funny that THQ imploded due to a wii accessory that failed and had it's name and IPs bought up by Nordic who then revived the THQ brand, and now they're Embracer who now own a ton of studios like Warhorse.
 

NerdShamer

International Glownigger Commander
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When WOW first launched the game was great but I was always getting my account sanctioned for using profanity. Somehow using F words can make the game “unsafe”.
Nearly every online game is like this. Sure, some have an optional wordfilter; but you're asking for a ban when you're in a modded chatroom.
 

Jeff Gazetti

Republicans are the new Liberals
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Nearly every online game is like this. Sure, some have an optional wordfilter; but you're asking for a ban when you're in a modded chatroom.
I play on Elysium. World chat gets pretty toxic. It helps add to the game’s entertainment I find.

But seriously, if you’re going to ban people just for profanity, why even have an /ignore function?

Also it’s worth mentioning that if these curse words are so bad, why in blizzards previous games do the characters swear at each other? I remember Sylvannis calling Arthas a “son of a bitch”. No F bombs yea, but now we’re just splitting hairs.
 

Glowie Hunter Art Bell

"We are All Terminal" - Art Bell
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Not really a fan of the idea that gaming peaked at some point or anything like that. To me this is always just a simple case of people putting too much stock into AAA gaming. I mean yeah if that is what you're looking at it seems like things are just getting worse each year, but you need to look elsewhere. And I don't mean just go play some indie games or whatever, I mean looking at the whole industry.

Case in point, the AA market is booming right now. Lots of success stories and there is a lot of money being thrown around and studios are being bought left and right. Just go look at something like the Embracer Group, it's crazy. They have picked up some big names but the majority of what they're grabbing is smaller studios dedicated to smaller games. That is where the wind is blowing right now, companies are starting to realize that they can cater to niche stuff and make good money. Heck just weeks ago People Can Fly said that AA is going to be their focus going forward as well. They want a new game out every single year, but games that are smaller in scope.

Personally none of this is surprising either. I mainly play Japanese stuff and this is something a lot of companies over there started to realize like 5 years ago. Can obviously see it in interviews for stuff like DMC5 where Itsuno mentions that Capcom decided to just stop chasing trends and actually make games they wanted to play, like they did in the old days. And you can clearly see it paying off for them, they are getting hit after hit and the games have long tails. And hell man, I am even buying Sega games again fairly regularly. That shit blows my mind, I thought they were a total lost cause 10 years ago. I think the west is starting to catch up to that, but it's not going to be with like Ubisoft/EA/Activision and shit. They're going to keep pumping out their live service games as long as they can.
I think the AA market is a big part of this, and I say that because Alot of Simulators are AA Studios/games.

Being niche, Simulators tend to utilize alot of the old stuff that made games good, and tend to avoid handing out everything, microcurrencies, and shitty development, simply because their fanbase wont tolerate it. Thing is, what they do could be applied to ANY style of game.

If you ever want a good example of this, TXR Series and ETS2/ATS are nearly the exact same gameplay loop. Difference being one is an AAA arcade racer series from 15 years ago and the other is a spergalicious truck sim series. BOTH games are enjoyable even tho their content is worlds apart. And even tho they are way different, the gameplay loop keeps you playing, because there's always that reward, that leads to another reward, and so on.

So many games of today either lack that reward entirely (Rage 2, FH Series) , or water down the reward and hide it behind annoyingly bad grind ("battlepasses", GTAO). Rarely is there a nice in between where you're rewarded for playing and exploring, but also not sweatied to death doing it
 
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WhatIsThePunchline

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I've also been wondering if games have become more bland over time. Assuming that's true I think part of the issue can be oversaturation and an increased costumer base.

With oversaturation, it makes good games harder to find. Even if we assumed the ratio of good games are constant, if instead of having to go trough 10 mediocre games to find 1 great game you instead have to go trough 100 mediocre games to find 10 great ones, or a 1000 or 10,000 at some point it doesn't matter if the number of great games are still produced at the same ratio, you'll barely ever find any anyway.

Also if you're a game dev and your competitors pump out a bunch of game while you finish one, likely it doesn't matter if it's great, you'll get buried.

Also one reason for oversaturation is that distribution becomes easier. If you need to get a distributor to print your games on a physical disk, convince retail stores to stock it, and convince some asshole corporation to invest in your company to pay for it all, all of those people need to be convinced that your game will pay them enough to make it worth it. But today if you want to publish a game, book or movie, you only need to fulfill steams, amazons or netflix standards and most of the time none of those groups will care if your product makes money it won't cost them anything anyway.

Also with an increased customer base quality becomes more forgiving. If you need 9000 customers to like your product to make a profit and your customer base is 10000 you better damn well make sure that product is great. If you need 9000 customers to like your product and your customer base is ten million people, your product can be pretty crap and you'll still make enough of a profit. This especially applies to wealthy companies that can afford large marketing. If you can plaster ads in several cities across several continents you can probably get away with mediocrity, you'll still earn money.

I don't know what any actual numbers are of games published annually or amount of people who play video games but compared to a decade or two ago I assume it's 'a lot larger'.
 

Vyse Inglebard

We fight against Valua so they can't hurt people.
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The video game industry needs another crash.
we need another crash so things can get better before they get worse.

BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND!
Razorfist argues that the game industry already went through a crash in the mid to late 2000s, which, not so coincidentally, lines up with the Great Recession:
:thinking:
I've said it once, I'll say it again. Brolylegs. Dude's the best Chun-Li player in the world, and is a Grand Master in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, despite the fact that he has to play with his face because he's disabled. You have no excuse. GIT. FUCKIN'. GOOD.
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.
So, it's a catch-22, basically. Nobody makes short games because nobody wants to play short games because they cost too much to buy, which is because game development costs too much, which costs too much because nobody makes short games. Do I have it right?
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.
Wasteland 2, Thimbleweed Park and Bloodstained are good, but yeah, a lot of Kickstarter stuff turned out to be a lot of hot air.
A Hat in Time was also pretty good. Actually, that leads me to my personal reason why gaming sucks so much nowadays: the fanbases. A Hat in Time itself is a pretty good 3D platformer, but the fanbase is pure terminal taint cancer. Why? A few reasons:

REASON #1: Much of the "content" that the fanbase makes is unnecessarily grimdark for no particular reason, despite the fact that the game itself, for the most part, is pretty upbeat and jovial. Just to set the mood, here's the trailer for the game itself:
Now, judging from the trailer, what kind of content do you think the fanbase would make? If you said stuff with gore, various characters crying, and "angst", then congratulations! Your faith in """"gamers"""" has just diminished by 10 points!
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Keep in mind, this is all "fanart" for a game that has quotes like this:
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The closet! You only wear one outfit, so there's plenty of room for skeletons.
RESASON #2: I dunno what it is about this game in particular, especially since it was embroiled in controversy for keeping RAYCIST JonTron as a voice actor, but this game has attracted the wokies like ants to honey. I swear to fucking god, if I hear somebody say "HAT KID IS NONBINARY/TRANS/ETC" one more fucking time, I'm gonna take a hammer to my scrotum. Also:

AHIT: So, we have two rival characters who are competing for an award that they want so badly that they'll use under-handed tactics to get it. Also they hate each other's guts.

Fanbase: ThAt ObViOuSlY mEaNs ThEy'Re GaY!
Did I mention that both of these characters are anthropomorphic birds?
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Reason #3: THIS. MOTHERFUCKER. RIGHT. HERE.
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For those of you who don't know, this guy is The Snatcher (the purple guy you've seen in some of the pictures above). He's the main antagonist of Chapter 3. He traps whoever is unlucky enough to wander into his forest and steals their souls, has them do dangerous errands for him, and then kills them. Sounds like an unambiguously bad guy, right? NOT TO THE GODDAMN FANBASE. I swear to Christ, if I'm being generous, 50% of the fanart of this game WILL center around him in some way, shape, or form. If I were being less generous, I'd bump that up to 85%. The fanbase is obsessed with this dude. Also, for some reason, a sizeable contingent of the fanbase has him as a sort of father figure to Hat Kid? Like....
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Whoever thinks that someone who would say something like this to a child would be a good "father figure" for that child has severe mental health/daddy issues (then again, I DID say that a major portion of this game's fanbase is wokies.....)
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TL;DR: Play the game, stay the FUCK away from the fanbase. A lesson well applied to most games, and one I learned the hard way.