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

True & Honest Fan
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Jun 18, 2019
There was the crash pre-NES that led to the industry improving itself in the NES era.
And starting with the NES gaming had a golden age of about 20 years, from 1986 to 2006 where things really did just get better and better as time went on.

Then when the Wii and PS3 showed up it was game over for that, starting with the fact that Wii looked no better graphically than the GameCube despite being a "new" console and even many early PS3 games look worse than a lot of PS2 games or at least not nearly as good as the hype wanted you to believe, when I think PS3 I often think of muddy, blurry graphics, stuff that just wasn't appealing to the eye despite "technically" being more advanced, I honestly think PS3 to PS4 was a bigger leap than PS2 to PS3 (with rare exceptions like God of War 3)
 

Cuckoman

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Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Games need to be CINEMATIC.
So a publisher with no clue about film making pays a game developer with no clue about film making to make a game that requires film making skills like story telling, directing a scene, cinematography, ...
For some of the games, they could save a lot of expenses, like pressing disks, cut to distributors, cut to retail by just going straight to youtube.
 

Finder of Games

Forgetter of Passwords
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Jan 22, 2021
Pardon the spoiling. Didn't want to clutter up the thread too much, but wanted to respond earnestly.
that game released a month and has 3 reviews. so it's not like a lot of people bought it, so honest question, how did you find it?
It wasn't intended to be a knock against it, or the curation systems, they have potential (Although they're very new and could use refinement). I simply meant that on the whole, offering this free for all hurts more than it helps for the average end user, because said end user simply won't use the systems and will bitch until it's changed, which is why we're seeing the current censorship of games and products on steam. Not just the porn, but the anti-china stuff being scrubbed out, as well as gore after being on the platform for months, or years beforehand. Because people are now suddenly being recommended this stuff (because of their new steam labs tests) and are having meltdowns because of it and complaining to steam about it. Having to self-curate, or seek out curation is what we used to do, and it's what we have to do again, which is why I mentioned going on forums to chat with likeminded people. I've done that since LUE on gamefaqs, and usenet before that. I thought greenlight was great too, what didn't you like about it? It meant putting out a case for why your game belonged on the platform versus just paying $100 and it being up there no questions asked, minimal QA, usually not even testing for malware. I guess it was pretty rife with corruption/slow moving, but that was more on steam's part than the devs, most of the time.

I don't have significant issue with people flipping assets and trying to make a buck on steam even though I think it's lame and annoying, I'd do it too if I wasn't a lazy, talentless hack, but it is what it is. How I found that game, actually, was through curation. I was taking a gander at african-developed games when I stumbled upon some romhacks from SA and other african countries for NES and SNES games the other week, so I decided to just look through steam, thought that the asset flip I linked was funny, simple as. My argument was never against curation, it's great when you have very specific tags to search for; or that I want to have my hand held and be told what to play, it's that I think there should be a higher standard of quality than simply not caring what people put on your storefront. Steam is the place to be, not the designated shitting street, and not the fucking boxed pc game section at walmart (or at least, it shouldn't be). But when people would rather go on youtube and find an opinion to decide what to get or even look at, do you not think that's a problem with the storefront? There's no point in windowshopping with how much filler and bulk there is taking up that virtual shelfspace, as you called it. It's time you have to spend scrolling through page after page of garbage to find something decent. I just think it's a bad play on steam's part, because their algorithm does recommend trash. It's partially due to it's relative youth, no doubt, but they keep piling on other systems like tags that are easily exploited that will recommend completely incompatible games with your choices, shit like that. THAT is what I'd like to see fixed. So I can actually search through steam in a reasonable and efficient manner without "action adventure soulslike open world survival crafting" tags on nearly every game, or tags that are completely inaccurate because some fucker's trying to sell an asset flip as something it isn't, or someone decided it would be funny to tag games with random tags removing them from the possible search pool, and not have to rely on generic dipshit youtuber #450 to hear about a game I may enjoy because steam by default only recommends AAA that is tangentially like something you played for 5 minutes one time, or the newest indie shit it wants you to impulse buy.
indie is alive and well, the problem is you simply won't get certain stuff that's outside their reach. same way an indie movie won't have expensive CGI, an indie game won't have 4k assets and be an mmo. that distinction always existed (and was previously filled by mods which gave you the combination of both), the other part is the industry being much different than 90s/00, and costs for AAA have gone up to what people expect for 60 bucks, with the market being more and more saturated.

as for vision, lets face it most of the time it was ass.
Indie is alive and well. I'd personally argue better than ever with all the tools to profit and monetize your work, and get your work on every platform under the sun at any stage in development. (even with how often early access is abused, there are genuine ones out there) My point was that companies fit in between indie and AAA, like the ones I listed (at one point in time), are a dying breed. I think the last real group that we saw of them was stuff like team meat/ed micmillen, Klei entertainment, and Supergiant. Maybe Larian Studios? Everything else tends to either remain solidly indie, or get snapped up by a huge group, devolver included. I don't want indies to be AAA, or the other way around, they have their niches and that's good. Variety is good. But there's not that much variety, because indies are very decidedly indies, and AAA is very decidedly AAA, with almost 0 in between anymore. It's not about graphics, it's about the sorts of games that would be made. The feeling and ideas put in of a moderately sized team, and the amount of polish able to put on it. Something that you could only get with something between indie and AAA, that neither can provide. It doesn't exist anymore. The saturation is only there on the extremes of a dozen earthbound clone indie JRPGs being shit out every year, and every AAA release scrambling to have a battle royale mode. The middle is left starving and wanting because the people who have these ideas that may fill that void are usually bought up, and put through a grinder of publisher demands and forced changes that gore the concepts and ideas to become more palatable and marketable to the average consumer because that's where the LCD is. There are exceptions, yes, but exceptions are not the rule. And even the exception can sometimes get fucked.

Cost is a terrible excuse though, partially because games used to just cost more or less based on their quality (or branding). MSRP varied wildly and stores usually adjusted the first month based on sales. You wouldn't be hard pressed to find a $70 or even $80 SNES/mega drive (genesis) game at all. I'm a firm believer that costs for production haven't actually gone up that much based on that practices have remained near identical since the start of gen 7. Hours, stations, positions in major studios, all near identical. What HAS changed is how content is delivered (DLC, expansions, season passes, patches, always online), and marketing. Marketing has gotten so extreme. Not just in gaming either, I'm sure everyone's heard about the 50/50 split for a "movie's budget" being half to actual production, half to marketing, gaming is not far behind. Of course, I can't give out names and specific sheets detailing spend exactly because I don't have them, but I can say there are many many public statements about games like call of duty's marketing spend (the actiblizz IRs are also a fascinating read to see how little their expenditure really changes from year to year, and the wonderful thing about it is they archived them alllll the way back to 1995!), though it's traditionally tied up in marketing of the company on the whole through those investor reports (but that's business stuff). Their 2016 title, Infinite Warfare had a reported spend of $36m USD on marketing. Actual production/development budget? Somewhere in the range of $20-$25m USD given it was a derivative title using engine improvements made with black ops 3 released the year prior. Modern Warfare 2, another CoD game, had a supposed production budget of $50m (Worth noting it was the game that backed a major engine upgrade, similarly to MW2019 which had a similar production budget), and a marketing budget of fucking $200m USD (Again, supposedly). FOUR times the cost of production of the game. You know, actually making it.
Given what we know about Anthem, and how hard EA pushed it? How about Destiny? I'd wager those games are similar cases of a pretty standard budget, capped around $50m USD (maybe $100m) as has been the standard since the late 2000s for major AAA blockbusters, while marketing spins out of control for a variety of reasons. Worth mentioning Destiny had that leaked document mentioning $500m USD yadda yadda, but it was for the course of multiple games and potentially a movie and TV show if I recall. And we all know the contract broke very very shortly after the release of 2 when bungie bought themselves out, so who knows how much of it was actually spent, though one particular IR mentions losses accrued due to development and failure of destiny 2's launch. And that sort of insanity isn't even uncommon anymore, BECAUSE of this split between the indie, and the AAA means all the competition for major blockbusters boils down to marketing, buying marketing exclusivity (RDR2, GTA5, Deathloop) to try and cash in on normalfags. Look at how much money devolver digital has spent on their E3 presentations the last few years, look at Sony's fucking FWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE garbage for ghost of tsushima that E3.

Even still, games have similar sized teams (or hell, even smaller) to gen 7, and they retain their scope, rather what changes is the length of time people work on games. Rather than huge churn and revolving door/seasonal employment practices, you hire, and people are stuck on a game. So I guess costs may go up in the sense it's longer lasting and deferred, but that's certainly not the massive price hike you may expect or think of, which would explain why games get put out in these unfinished states so often, the initial development cycle doesn't get finished until it's sitting on store shelves and there's a day 1 patch ready, because development runs out of funding or they don't want to risk polish time, and they depend on launch sales, presales, or other data to determine whether it's even worth continuing to pay their dev teams to bring the game past it's bare minimum. Going "gold" means nothing anymore. I think that's also why the amount of 'content you get' isn't all that impressive, because it's not a lot of content. Or at least, it's nothing extravagant or large compared to older games released in the last 15 years. An example most people would know is GTA5. The main game is fucking barren after you've finished the main story. Compared to GTA4, like the OP mentioned? It's not even close. But, online? That's rich with stuff. Tons of heists, tons of extra features, cars, races, content in general. But it wasn't always that way. At launch, GTAO was burned through like good old everquest with Tigole and the poopsock brigade. Empty and void of content, cleared to 100% in a matter of days. Rockstar had to tone down RP rewards for the existing missions, and start trickling in content to keep people playing until the first set of meaningful content updates arrived. It took them a lot of time to get to that point though.

As for vision, I think I may have misrepresented myself. I didn't mean vision for the product on behalf of the creator and some grand undertaking/flop (like too human, or Advent Rising, or Kingdoms of Amalur), I mean idiots throwing money at star citizen because they genuinely think it won't be a scam and believe in a 'vision' of their OWN creation, their own headcanon, or a marketing pitch. Or people who still pay $20 a month for summertime saga thinking it will be the ultimate western smut, or the people who threw money at yanderedev for yandere sim. They don't believe in the product, they believe in the idea of what the product may eventually be, or they hope it will be. That sort of money is enticing to devs, and it takes only a minimal amount of brain cells to realize that once that "vision" dies either through completion of the project or through a change people don't like, the money will stop coming in. (set it to all and look how the payments are so insane before and during bug testing to get BOTW playable, and then how sharply it drops off after it's playable. It's not a coincidence). So, they delay, delay, delay, and never finish, because finishing means they lose their income, hilariously. Never pay a contractor up front.
 

Tikbalang

Wear your shirt inwards out
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Aside from shit monetization and broken games, I think people will never be satisfied with the games they played, wokes and edgelords alike.
 

ZMOT

wat
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
I guess I just feel like another crash may just make things worse, imagine a world where publishers bow out of AAA gaming entirely and focus on mobile trash, say what you will about the AAA scene but it's still better than mobile games.

And no, there's no guarantee that someone would swoop in and make gaming good again ala Nintendo, once the market died that would probably be it for good.

Remember a decade ago where a lot of people were saying console gaming was dead because of stuff like Farmville? The threat of that never fully went away imo, we're probably lucky that didn't happen and we still got some good stuff over the last decade, even if it wasn't as good as it could have been.

More to the point I just instinctively find talk about another crash irritating because people have been clamoring for one for the last 14 or 15 years, it's boy who cried wolf syndrome.
well, there's a reason they clamor for it the last 14-15 years. plus, could you imagine describing how shit the industry (and western media in general) is right now to someone 10 years ago and think he'd believe you? people expect something to happen but even their worst expectation turning out to be too optimistic.

as for the market, where's money to be made someone will come in and do it, simple supply and demand. there will always be too many people spending too much money on shit, since they rather consoom than save, but an actual good alternative would suck up lot of that money quite easily, leaving less for the rest.

Pardon the spoiling. Didn't want to clutter up the thread too much, but wanted to respond earnestly.

It wasn't intended to be a knock against it, or the curation systems, they have potential (Although they're very new and could use refinement). I simply meant that on the whole, offering this free for all hurts more than it helps for the average end user, because said end user simply won't use the systems and will bitch until it's changed, which is why we're seeing the current censorship of games and products on steam. Not just the porn, but the anti-china stuff being scrubbed out, as well as gore after being on the platform for months, or years beforehand. Because people are now suddenly being recommended this stuff (because of their new steam labs tests) and are having meltdowns because of it and complaining to steam about it. Having to self-curate, or seek out curation is what we used to do, and it's what we have to do again, which is why I mentioned going on forums to chat with likeminded people. I've done that since LUE on gamefaqs, and usenet before that. I thought greenlight was great too, what didn't you like about it? It meant putting out a case for why your game belonged on the platform versus just paying $100 and it being up there no questions asked, minimal QA, usually not even testing for malware. I guess it was pretty rife with corruption/slow moving, but that was more on steam's part than the devs, most of the time.

I don't have significant issue with people flipping assets and trying to make a buck on steam even though I think it's lame and annoying, I'd do it too if I wasn't a lazy, talentless hack, but it is what it is. How I found that game, actually, was through curation. I was taking a gander at african-developed games when I stumbled upon some romhacks from SA and other african countries for NES and SNES games the other week, so I decided to just look through steam, thought that the asset flip I linked was funny, simple as. My argument was never against curation, it's great when you have very specific tags to search for; or that I want to have my hand held and be told what to play, it's that I think there should be a higher standard of quality than simply not caring what people put on your storefront. Steam is the place to be, not the designated shitting street, and not the fucking boxed pc game section at walmart (or at least, it shouldn't be). But when people would rather go on youtube and find an opinion to decide what to get or even look at, do you not think that's a problem with the storefront? There's no point in windowshopping with how much filler and bulk there is taking up that virtual shelfspace, as you called it. It's time you have to spend scrolling through page after page of garbage to find something decent. I just think it's a bad play on steam's part, because their algorithm does recommend trash. It's partially due to it's relative youth, no doubt, but they keep piling on other systems like tags that are easily exploited that will recommend completely incompatible games with your choices, shit like that. THAT is what I'd like to see fixed. So I can actually search through steam in a reasonable and efficient manner without "action adventure soulslike open world survival crafting" tags on nearly every game, or tags that are completely inaccurate because some fucker's trying to sell an asset flip as something it isn't, or someone decided it would be funny to tag games with random tags removing them from the possible search pool, and not have to rely on generic dipshit youtuber #450 to hear about a game I may enjoy because steam by default only recommends AAA that is tangentially like something you played for 5 minutes one time, or the newest indie shit it wants you to impulse buy.
it wasn't directly aimed at you, but I constantly see people say "everything's shit", and as proof come up with games no one ever heard of. the average user never sees those (especially porn/violent games which have an extra check) because they don't look for it, so doesn't have that problem in the first place, and steam itself is usually smart enough to filter those games on their own (recommendation are really is just "oh you like X? well here's more of X", but even those aren't complete random). or they go by simple lists like "new releases" and are surprised even shit games are in that list (where else would it be if it's a new release?), then demand those games don't get released on steam at all so it doesn't clutter the list, when in reality they're just retarded and need to filter properly.
take your game for example, if you go through the games from curator "african games", most likely he's gonna give you every african game he knows, no matter the quality (and I wouldn't expect african games to blow me away to begin with, so even an asset flip might be an honest try). but that's like typing "boob" into google and then get annoyed you get everything related to boobs when you were actually looking for fat anime tiddies. sure, it's "curated", but that means asking for curation alone doesn't fix it (ironically steam already collects stuff like how many people like which boobs, so there's a good chance you get the most popular ones anyway).

the simple truth is it takes some effort to get proper results, there's no way for steam or anyone else to know what people like, and what I like differs from you, and probably the rest of the thread asf. unless people want to get profiled by AI (which still wouldn't be perfect) there's simply no way around it, which means people will get a turd every once in a while they simply have to ignore, but it's not like they're bombarded with. I have to defend steam here a bit since the one thing they actually spend any manpower on is constantly optimizing how people find more games (to buy), not to mention offloading that on the community itself which is why those games already get filtered out for the most part by people not buying/playing them.

outside of that they do stuff like next fest which is actually much stricter in selection and has demos available, but again that requires people to actually download and play those. one example that this actually works is when even /v/, which is probably one of the worst places to discuss videogames, actually has threads with proper discussion and hardly any shitposting about it.

TLDR: there are good games (in certain genres), people just need get off their ass for a minute and look for them.

Indie is alive and well. I'd personally argue better than ever with all the tools to profit and monetize your work, and get your work on every platform under the sun at any stage in development. (even with how often early access is abused, there are genuine ones out there) My point was that companies fit in between indie and AAA, like the ones I listed (at one point in time), are a dying breed. I think the last real group that we saw of them was stuff like team meat/ed micmillen, Klei entertainment, and Supergiant. Maybe Larian Studios? Everything else tends to either remain solidly indie, or get snapped up by a huge group, devolver included. I don't want indies to be AAA, or the other way around, they have their niches and that's good. Variety is good. But there's not that much variety, because indies are very decidedly indies, and AAA is very decidedly AAA, with almost 0 in between anymore. It's not about graphics, it's about the sorts of games that would be made. The feeling and ideas put in of a moderately sized team, and the amount of polish able to put on it. Something that you could only get with something between indie and AAA, that neither can provide. It doesn't exist anymore. The saturation is only there on the extremes of a dozen earthbound clone indie JRPGs being shit out every year, and every AAA release scrambling to have a battle royale mode. The middle is left starving and wanting because the people who have these ideas that may fill that void are usually bought up, and put through a grinder of publisher demands and forced changes that gore the concepts and ideas to become more palatable and marketable to the average consumer because that's where the LCD is. There are exceptions, yes, but exceptions are not the rule. And even the exception can sometimes get fucked.

Cost is a terrible excuse though, partially because games used to just cost more or less based on their quality (or branding). MSRP varied wildly and stores usually adjusted the first month based on sales. You wouldn't be hard pressed to find a $70 or even $80 SNES/mega drive (genesis) game at all. I'm a firm believer that costs for production haven't actually gone up that much based on that practices have remained near identical since the start of gen 7. Hours, stations, positions in major studios, all near identical. What HAS changed is how content is delivered (DLC, expansions, season passes, patches, always online), and marketing. Marketing has gotten so extreme. Not just in gaming either, I'm sure everyone's heard about the 50/50 split for a "movie's budget" being half to actual production, half to marketing, gaming is not far behind. Of course, I can't give out names and specific sheets detailing spend exactly because I don't have them, but I can say there are many many public statements about games like call of duty's marketing spend (the actiblizz IRs are also a fascinating read to see how little their expenditure really changes from year to year, and the wonderful thing about it is they archived them alllll the way back to 1995!), though it's traditionally tied up in marketing of the company on the whole through those investor reports (but that's business stuff). Their 2016 title, Infinite Warfare had a reported spend of $36m USD on marketing. Actual production/development budget? Somewhere in the range of $20-$25m USD given it was a derivative title using engine improvements made with black ops 3 released the year prior. Modern Warfare 2, another CoD game, had a supposed production budget of $50m (Worth noting it was the game that backed a major engine upgrade, similarly to MW2019 which had a similar production budget), and a marketing budget of fucking $200m USD (Again, supposedly). FOUR times the cost of production of the game. You know, actually making it.
Given what we know about Anthem, and how hard EA pushed it? How about Destiny? I'd wager those games are similar cases of a pretty standard budget, capped around $50m USD (maybe $100m) as has been the standard since the late 2000s for major AAA blockbusters, while marketing spins out of control for a variety of reasons. Worth mentioning Destiny had that leaked document mentioning $500m USD yadda yadda, but it was for the course of multiple games and potentially a movie and TV show if I recall. And we all know the contract broke very very shortly after the release of 2 when bungie bought themselves out, so who knows how much of it was actually spent, though one particular IR mentions losses accrued due to development and failure of destiny 2's launch. And that sort of insanity isn't even uncommon anymore, BECAUSE of this split between the indie, and the AAA means all the competition for major blockbusters boils down to marketing, buying marketing exclusivity (RDR2, GTA5, Deathloop) to try and cash in on normalfags. Look at how much money devolver digital has spent on their E3 presentations the last few years, look at Sony's fucking FWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE garbage for ghost of tsushima that E3.

Even still, games have similar sized teams (or hell, even smaller) to gen 7, and they retain their scope, rather what changes is the length of time people work on games. Rather than huge churn and revolving door/seasonal employment practices, you hire, and people are stuck on a game. So I guess costs may go up in the sense it's longer lasting and deferred, but that's certainly not the massive price hike you may expect or think of, which would explain why games get put out in these unfinished states so often, the initial development cycle doesn't get finished until it's sitting on store shelves and there's a day 1 patch ready, because development runs out of funding or they don't want to risk polish time, and they depend on launch sales, presales, or other data to determine whether it's even worth continuing to pay their dev teams to bring the game past it's bare minimum. Going "gold" means nothing anymore. I think that's also why the amount of 'content you get' isn't all that impressive, because it's not a lot of content. Or at least, it's nothing extravagant or large compared to older games released in the last 15 years. An example most people would know is GTA5. The main game is fucking barren after you've finished the main story. Compared to GTA4, like the OP mentioned? It's not even close. But, online? That's rich with stuff. Tons of heists, tons of extra features, cars, races, content in general. But it wasn't always that way. At launch, GTAO was burned through like good old everquest with Tigole and the poopsock brigade. Empty and void of content, cleared to 100% in a matter of days. Rockstar had to tone down RP rewards for the existing missions, and start trickling in content to keep people playing until the first set of meaningful content updates arrived. It took them a lot of time to get to that point though.

As for vision, I think I may have misrepresented myself. I didn't mean vision for the product on behalf of the creator and some grand undertaking/flop (like too human, or Advent Rising, or Kingdoms of Amalur), I mean idiots throwing money at star citizen because they genuinely think it won't be a scam and believe in a 'vision' of their OWN creation, their own headcanon, or a marketing pitch. Or people who still pay $20 a month for summertime saga thinking it will be the ultimate western smut, or the people who threw money at yanderedev for yandere sim. They don't believe in the product, they believe in the idea of what the product may eventually be, or they hope it will be. That sort of money is enticing to devs, and it takes only a minimal amount of brain cells to realize that once that "vision" dies either through completion of the project or through a change people don't like, the money will stop coming in. (set it to all and look how the payments are so insane before and during bug testing to get BOTW playable, and then how sharply it drops off after it's playable. It's not a coincidence). So, they delay, delay, delay, and never finish, because finishing means they lose their income, hilariously. Never pay a contractor up front.

I think you're conflating several things, price is only part of it and you can't really compare it to 20-30 years ago. at that time people were used to pay that money for games you could finish in a few hours, but since there were only a handful releases each month they got played much more. these days people see 70 bucks and expect a certain "value", part of that being playtime. I think that's a retarded metric, especially on their own, but it is what it is. games are a disposable commodity now. otoh it also counteracts the "games as a service" cancer a bit since people want that content for their money now, not at some vague point in the future when they want to play other games.

as for AA, that still exists, but like I said it's limited to what they can do, especially when spectrum got extended so far with AAA teams all around the world working on it for months. a handful of dudes in a garage simply can't compete with 1000+ people working on asscreed, because even with the best and most polished gameplay lot of people still want eyecandy. that's why those games usually are limited to certain genres like platformers or isometric genres where graphics are less important or easier to do (there are other factors involved, especially with multiplayer games, but that's the biggest one). great when you like platformers and those games, sucks if you don't.
and that doesn't even cover marketing so most people don't even know your game exists. the more saturated the market the louder you have to scream to be heard, that's a big part why marketing costs are that high, even for games like cod which would sell on brand recognition alone. it might work out for cod but one bomb will leave a big crater, they might make millions in revenue but that's still not enough profit, just look at squeenix complaining about 3-4 million sales for tomb raider. it's getting more and more unsustainable for more and more companies.

regarding vision, that's part of what I meant. star citizen isn't the first and won't be the last, just the method has changed. there's nothing really wrong with people funding those visions, even if they turn out crap - the good parts will be ripped off by others and refined, so it's not a complete loss. most of the time you can also get it for free in some way (like summertime saga), so if people want to waste their money on it it's up to them.
but star citizen etc are also bad examples, there's good stuff out there you don't hear much about because they do their thing, deliver what they promised, everybody enjoys it and moves on, there's nothing to complain/comment on for months or years, it's human nature to remember bad stuff more. all in all it's really not much different from a developer fleecing a publisher and never delivering or customers who "want to believe", in the end the customer is out 60 bucks (or whatever the pledge is for a turd). look at bioshock infinite, or DNF, etc.
the other part no vision at all, leading to shit like battlefield which gets produced by people who obviously never played a battlefield and understand what makes it good, which for me is even worse. with star citizen there is still a chance you end up with something enjoyable (if you keep your expectations in check), but battlefield or any other product mimicking a game never will.

it also doesn't help that most people are fucking retarded and only ever want to play the most popular game or what they think is a 10/10 game, which means less known games and even 8/10 games fall by the wayside.
 
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WULULULULU

I CLOAMK, I TWEEK, I KEEL
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Joined
Jun 27, 2021
>gives entire paycheck to Genshin Impact and other shitty micro transaction bullshit
Genshin and by extension, FGO's success was the final nail in the coffin for me. I grew up in the 1990s where vidya games were defined by the content they had and lacked the DLC/microtransaction bullshit we see today, not to mention the creativity of most games since gaming was a very new concept. To see the gaming that you grew up with turn into retarded acceptance of shitty business practices and consoomers with nothing other than the thought of treating games as a job really breaks the soul for me.

The best way to summarize this is in Zero Punctuation's video on E3 2018, it details the snowball effect of all the corporatization of gaming, from once simple controller action, to the first downloadable content, to the first usage of subscriptions, and now microtransactions and battlepass crap. The reason I highlight those two games in particular is because their success means other game companies will follow their footsteps and most games will turn into a virtual playground meant to control pixels, not a world that you can explore in your free time.

Another issue that is stifling my optimism is that the indies and some AA companies are prone to being captured by the big boys. Many are excited that some big corpo is buying your favorite studio so that more content is added in the future, when in reality they will shut down anything creative and send the devs to work on the next big thing. We have seen Red Hook Studio's Darkest Dungeon II being used on Epic Game Store as early access and they are not the only ones. 11-bit Studios also had a deal with NetEase for Frostpunk Mobile and anyone with a fraction of a braincell can tell it will end in shambles. If you want another proof, take a look at Volition or New World Interactive, makers of the Saints Row and Insurgency series. Purchased by Embracer Group, games suddenly taking a nosedive in quality, with the reboot and Sandstorm's piss-poor updates.

I do not care about the idea that there are still good games, it is more of "how long till the company sells out and with it the creative minds of the team". In other words: a parasite.
 

SSj_Ness

Time to rape organized crime
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10 years? 6th gen was the last great one, from '99-'05. There's still good games but rarely anything special. We're never getting something like Chrono Trigger or Super Mario Bros 3 ever again. We'll get these "good" New Super Mario Bros games and that's it.
 

The Last Stand

It's mine, x3. Whose world is this?
True & Honest Fan
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Imagine playing a shooter like Call of Duty, Gears or Halo and seeing a character dance in the middle of the battlefield.

EvenLiquidKudu-size_restricted.gif


We're literally paying for animations.
 

ZMOT

wat
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ironically hard to beat on pure content/cost value

>inb4 muh gatcha
pretty much optional, and getting angry over it's existence alone is dumb, considering every business model can and will fuck you over, and in genshin's case it doesn't really matter how others spend their paycheck since you're not competing with them. and there's no slippery slope either, because even if every company on the planet is now shitting out genshin clones this competition inevitably would be in favor of players, even more so if you don't play genshin.

Another issue that is stifling my optimism is that the indies and some AA companies are prone to being captured by the big boys. Many are excited that some big corpo is buying your favorite studio so that more content is added in the future, when in reality they will shut down anything creative and send the devs to work on the next big thing. We have seen Red Hook Studio's Darkest Dungeon II being used on Epic Game Store as early access and they are not the only ones. 11-bit Studios also had a deal with NetEase for Frostpunk Mobile and anyone with a fraction of a braincell can tell it will end in shambles. If you want another proof, take a look at Volition or New World Interactive, makers of the Saints Row and Insurgency series. Purchased by Embracer Group, games suddenly taking a nosedive in quality, with the reboot and Sandstorm's piss-poor updates.

I do not care about the idea that there are still good games, it is more of "how long till the company sells out and with it the creative minds of the team". In other words: a parasite.
those are several different issues you confuse here. epic didn't buy red hook, they just paid to have the sequel on their store first, they don't dictate how and what they produce. spinoff games were almost always shit (especially handheld/mobile), and frostpunk mobile doesn't replace the sequel they're still working on. volition is part of deep silver, and that's all you need to know (and it's not that volition "suddenly" turned shit, red faction armageddon and SR3 were done before THQ went under, and then SR4 and AOM), sandstorm released in 2018 and they became part of embracer in late 2020. this also ignores that embracer is fuckhuge and also owns THQ nordic, which is like the exact opposite of the whore deep silver sucking timmy's chinkdick.

and who cares if they fuck up their next games? if brand is all that matters might as well keep playing AAA games. same way if a game is good it's stupid to skip it just because it has EA on the box, what matters is if the game is good (and if people are not willing to buy good games, what message does that send?).

The older I've gotten, the more I've realized Robert Ebert was right all along.
>games are entertainment
>entertainment can't be art
>movies are entertainment too

ebert was an overhyped idiot.
 
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whitepumpkin

UwU #Candlecore #Wintercore #Cheercore
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I think with the decline, you just have to be a lot pickier at what you play.

I'm actually thankful for Youtube because I can at least watch some people play a game before I decide to purchase it, and even then I'll take a long ass time to do so. Because a lot of games look pretty but have very little substance underneath that. Or it was a huge hype-fad for about 3 weeks, then it dies. Remember Fall Guys and how you couldn't look a Twitch without seeing it everywhere? It's gone now. Glad I never wasted money buying that despite my friends saying I should. Same with Among Us.

There are some good modern games I find, but why they appeal to me vastly differs from why they appeal to someone else. I like huge open worlds that I can sink hours into because I like playing podcasts while doing those meaningless busywork tasks like Collecting X Shit or Do Sidequest Y. I completely get why other people hate that - you bought a game, you want to complete it, why the fuck do you have to find shit on a map to do so or do busywork like fetch quests. But I've dwindled down to buying a single game a year and replaying my old ones, so if I'm going to waste $20, I want to at least get beyond my money's worth for that.

So far, in the last year, nothing has come up that I'd even want to buy used. If it continues, then c'est la vie. I'll just replay Rollercoaster Tycoon and Civilization or something and read more books.
 

Michael Wade

Jesus Christ is king, the way, and the life.
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For the ps4 at least, I’ve actually noticed a serious lack of original and large scale multiplayer shooters
 

mindlessobserver

True & Honest Fan
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It's a combination of three things I think. Always online consoles means developers can shovel shit out the door and fix it later. Before that if you released a broken shit pile like Atari's "ET", there was no fixing it. It created an incentive to not release broken buggy messes.

Second issue is cultural homogeneity. Modern creatives have been indoctrinated at art school to be authoritarian hacks so worried about offending people and using games as a "platform" that everything else suffers. Imagine the modern developer coming up with Mortal Kombat. You can't.

Third problem is the Gaymers keep buying this shit. There has not been a unique version of FIFA or Madden in years, yet every year the mongoloids shell out more money. Why should time and effort be expended by the companies when the lazy crap they shovel out sells just as well?
 

LomaMursu

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I can definitely agree that there's something missing in most modern games. I think it's love and attention to detail, personally. I was playing Dead Rising 2 with a friend just last week and we both had this simultaneous realisation that this was one of the last games with soul in the last generation with soul.

Though Final Fantasy XIV has some shitty practices as part of the real money store, there's obviously a lot of love placed into it, even aside from the fantastic music and encounter design. Just small things like how taller characters kneel down to perform emotes if the target is a lalafell show that the devs thought a bit further than the bare minimum, and I think that's what "soul" is in a game.

Most modern games seem to lack exactly that. At least the big name ones do. Played Final Fantasy 7 and Onimusha for the first time this year and I loved them both, so I can't even say for sure that I'm just old and jaded
 

Billy Beer

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For me, the disappointment and resentment comes from the lies of technology. I haven't seen a vast improvement in enjoyment, story telling or gameplay, despite the industry having 20 years from the Golden era of the experimental 90's to improve things.

Competitive multiplayer:
CS:S with private servers was the peak of FPS multiplayer games (Change out CS:S with unreal, quake et al to match your personal tastes) - We no longer have private servers, so our online sessions are riddled with spoiled, over-hyped, under-disciplined nob heads. The games have gone from skill, to pay to win.

Multiplayer and couch co-op:
Sonic 2 had a system where your friend/sibling could plug a pad in to the Mega Drive and control tails. It had no bearing on the main story, took nothing away from you as the player of Sonic, yet allowed someone else to join in for the fun. This system was perfected with the drop in, drop out gameplay of Brute Force, a single player game where the player controlled a squad of four people, similar to Mass effect, KOTOR or Dragon age. Yet friends/family could drop in and out of your single player session, controlling one of the AI characters, while not affecting your game play or story in anyway. That was, IIRC 2002. Yet, nothing like that has happened for 20 years.

Capture tech:
Yes, this is brilliant and seemless in modern consoles. I can't knock it. Except, now that capture tech is built-in to games, I now have restrictions and controls over what i can do with my characters and what I can name them. Sure, it's an autistic complaint, but it reminds me that gaming is no longer a single player, private entity, and is instead, an always-online, eternally connected 'social' hobby.

All that power, no imagination:
Games have lost their fantastic approach to story-telling or world building. And by fantastic i don't mean great, i mean fantasy taken to the extreme in the minds of the creators. Dark worlds, vibrant worlds and strange, bizarre creations are few and far between. Those that do exist are cheesy dark or snarky vibrant. Plants vs Zombie Garden Warfare is a great example of how a 'light' and 'happy' world works perfectly juxtaposed to the carnage and death. Yet, it is the only example i can think of where vibrant isn't this quirky kitch, happy-for-happy sakes cookie cutter commitee designed cheese.

Likewise with dark, almost horrifying and extreme violent worlds. Dead space did it well, original Resident Evil was fucking terrifying. But what of the Spawns, the FEARs and the Soldier of Fortunes?

Not just in world building, but in world interaction. During the PS1 era Red Faction i could blow walls up to enter behind the enemy. While scripted, it gave a great sense of freedom. Dark Sector allowed for land manipulation and the king of kings; Bad Company 2, allowed you to reign down hell fire via artillery strikes against any unlucky enemy hiding inside a building. But where is that now? 2 generations after BF:BC2 and I am yet to see such destruction. That's before we get on to the physics puzzles of Half Life 2.
We have more technology at our fingertips than every before, but instead of settling for 108-p@60 or 120fps, with all of the bells, whistles, tricks and treats that 30 years of world building has given us, we are still suck in PS1 era complexity of level design (think crash bandicoot) without any of the experimentation or world building, like Soul Reaver.

Indie:

Fuck indies. Sorry, not sorry. They're rehashing old shit without refreshing or taking the diversity of the old concepts and making them work. How many times to I have to play 2d pixel faggot-quest, that is praised by everyone in the industry as being amazing. Where are the Diablo clones, the Fallout clones, the Baldurs gate clones? If indies are going to be a thing, why rehash the same concepts that 100 other indie studios are rehashing, without breaking free and trying to emulate different successes. Altered Beast, Shinobi, Road Rash - to name but three games off of the top of my head, would make for a great 'indie' knock off.

Worst of all, Indies have replaced the B-tier bargain bin diamonds. The Dreamcast was fantastic because almost all of its' library was crazy, zaney, janky and unique B-tier games. Some were fantastic, some were terrible, but all of them earned my respect for trying something new. Which again, is the biggest disappointment of the 'indie' craze.

A Game left desired:

Finally, DLC and MTX. We all know about it, we all know what they are and what they have allowed the industry to get away with. No longer are games a complete package, they're now a seven course meal, served at monthly intervals to keep us coming back to the game, in order to peddle and push more costmetic shit. The most frustrating part of all of it, is that it doesn't work. CS:S, Fallout, Diablo, Baldurs Gate, Elder Scrolls, Divinity, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider and many many many more games from the past came as complete packages. What you bought is what you got. But those games I replayed more than any other piece-meal option of today. Nowadays, games are so plentiful, so cobbled together and thrown out that they no longer feel special, or even worth my time. Most games I hardly complete, or get half-way through, let alone replay multiple times (10+ times for each Fallout 1 and 2). How often have we enjoyed a games introduction, only to be left bored shitless by the mid-game collect-a-thons that are used to stretch a games length - and supposed worth, out? A replayable 6 hour game will have a longer lasting effect on me than an insufferable 30 hour game.

TL;DR it's not that the industry has gotten worse, or that it's changed at all, it's that the medium and the industry - that was once built upon pure fantasy and imagination, has faultered and failed to live up to its' own principles: Create fantastic, strange worlds, with different gameplay and empower and inflame the imagination.
 

Jarch6

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Throwing my two cents in here I feel that 2d games basically continually improved until the transition to 3d. Like with a lot of technologies (e.g., walkmans, vinyl players, etc.) this transitionary period includes some of the most sophisticated games of all time in terms of pushing the graphical (especially for the quality of pixel art) and technical limits (e.g., metal slug, Chrono trigger). By that same token, a lot of the early 2d games are not worth playing nowadays unless it's a platonic ideal arcade game like Tetris or Pacman. The PC 2d highpoint occurs at a different time and I would say it marks the end of a time when PC games and console games were rather strictly separate. Gems like Fallout, Xcom, sim city, doom, quake, and so on. With 3d I also feel that a lot of the early games don't hold up but that you get a nice period in the late 2000s early 2010s where the industry is really growing and the passionate "hobbyist" developers get access to real cash and can create good stuff. In general, there is somewhat of a balance between graphical and gameplay resources and one is in a tolerable period of monetization with stuff like map packs in fps games. A big problem nowadays is simply the lack of meaningful content in AAA releases. This in part can be blamed on an overfocus on graphical details, but at the moment I would say the trend is going towards making it easier to implement good quality art with PBR, ray tracing, procedural textures, and so on. rather than the sort of tricks developers in the past would have to know how to use well in order to spoof the aforementioned.

What I think the problems are

I think the real failure of recent games is in lack of vision because the caliber of games leadership doesn't come from the same stock as before; That and the suits needing to play it safe and iterate on something that's already been done before because of how much money games cost. This may be a hot take but I can't stand most PlayStation exclusive games like the new god of war or any of the other ones of the same species like the last of us, they just bore me to tears and feel utterly insipid. They illustrate the problem of narrative wankery where hiring some jagoff to make some cinematic masterpiece will only turn out bland and forgettable tripe. Compare them to the old GOWs and its no contest or the PS platformers like crash bandicoot. The same goes with Xbox games, Halo 4 and 5 made me realize the only reason I owned an Xbox was to play halo, and now that it was shit I would never have a reason to own an Xbox again. In the case of halo and other FPS games I think the major problem is esports and ranking systems. Besides incentivizing optimizing the fun out of the game (from both the players and the developers) it really brought in cheaters to the point that nowadays most fps games are a lost cause and that's not even including the new stuff on the horizon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=revk5r5vqxA. Although not an fps, dead by daylight really illustrated this when they switched to MMR ranking as the cheating and the sweat you would encounter spiked hard and most players have been getting burned out even though from a balance perspective the game is (or at least was until boon totems) in a much better state than it was previously. With that said, theres still some good AAAs and a lot of AAs which are good. For AAAs I have to say them Japs still make good shit, pretty much all new Nintendo games are at least fun and FromSoftware keeps turning out gems. Also while a lot of Indie games early on were pixelshit (many also aged like shit if you look back) there are some good pixel art games today and the amount of good indies increases every year. With that said, the proportion of good to bad indie games has actually decreased because valve opened the floodgates after the introduction and subsequent removal of greenlight. That makes it tougher to be an indie dev and to find good stuff nowadays, but if you follow people with similar tastes online you will find the good stuff.

Tl;dr fuck art/cinematic shit this is a fucking videogame, not a movie. Fuck esports/comp because it incentives optimizing the fun out of the game. Them japs still make good games and so do many indies.
 

Screw Danlon

Bestest Kurea
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tl;dr another "wahhh games suck now a days" thread when no, most games like any other medium always sucked, and is mostly populated by garbage titles and you're only aware of it now. Dig below the surface and things are just as fine as ever, unless you need your triple A blahfest and in that case you can go to hell.
This. How many people have actually tried downloading a full, uncurated NES or SNES Roms pack? Or Genesis? There’s over 700 NES & 700 SNES games released in the US.

Of those, I’d say there’s a universal agreement on about 30 or so amazing games per console and each person probably has another 5 or 10 personal favorites. (If you look at the Nes and Snes emulators on Switch, they have about 40 games each. they’re missing the key Konami ones, & Mega Man but even then they’re scraping the barrel for stuff.).

So, in all, about 100 games, out of 1400 games, over the space of about 13 years (1985 -1998 [SNES was sold through 2003, but I feel like 1998 was when the Playstation definitely took over]). That’s about 7% great games.

I’ve had a Steam account for 13 years. I own about 1200 games. Plus another 40 or so each on Xbox and my Switch. Of those 1300, I definitely have more than 100 games that I would say are great. I’m aware that’s subjective, but I think the ratios are still pretty good, there’s just more games.
 
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albert the programmer

In Memoriam Of Vangelis (1943-2022)
True & Honest Fan
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Considering how they seemed to butcher the most popular GTA games for the PS2 by porting it into new age video game consoles, we’re heading into the era where making sequels or reboots of popular movies In Hollywood is leaking into the video game industry.

You see more emphasis of cinematic like trailers being the end all, be all than the actual gameplay itself.

 

Marissa Moira

True & Honest Fan
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Considering how they seemed to butcher the most popular GTA games for the PS2 by porting it into new age video game consoles, we’re heading into the era where making sequels or reboots of popular movies In Hollywood is leaking into the video game industry.
Where the fuck have you been for the past few decades?

allstars.jpg


We have had Dragon's Lair being ported and remastered to consoles since DVD became a thing and prior to that you had half assed ports on the NES.

They even made a Seaboot for Dragon's Lair on the gamecube

All this stuff with remakes has existed since before the 16 bit era, look up how many times stuff like Amiga, PC Engine, or Neo Geo shit got ported to other systems. Atari was king of constantly porting games that already existed in new formats. Hell how many different versions of the same game were made with stuff like Jurassic Park? Most times they had to remake the same game from the ground up for vastly different pieces of hardware.
 
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albert the programmer

In Memoriam Of Vangelis (1943-2022)
True & Honest Fan
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Where the fuck have you been for the past few decades?

View attachment 2753199


We have had Dragon's Lair being ported and remastered to consoles since DVD became a thing and prior to that you had half assed ports on the NES.

They even made a Seaboot for Dragon's Lair on the gamecube

All this stuff with remakes has existed since before the 16 bit era, look up how many times stuff like Amiga, PC Engine, or Neo Geo shit got ported to other systems. Atari was king of constantly porting games that already existed in new formats. Hell how many different versions of the same game were made with stuff like Jurassic Park?
In this case, however, Hollywood making cash grabs off of video games in current day seem more soulless and agenda driven than in the past where it was slightly the same, but with less pandering.

The success of Sonic The Hedgehog and (possibly) the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie next year will not be due to the success of the streaming services – it’s mainly because of the fans and the original creators of respective companies (Sega and Nintendo) guiding over the projects.