Gaming sites have been cropping up apologists articles left and right to dissuade on-the-fence gamers from canceling their Xbox One pre-orders (an attempt to appease the ad overlords, perhaps?), but before getting to that let’s first look at how this scenario came about and why.
Good to see more and more people calling out the gaming press as being nothing but an underpaid PR firm.
Asked by Anonymous
It’s a load of horseshit.
For one, the primary reason games cost so much to make right now is because of poor use of resources, which stems from the western game industry’s practice of ‘pump a franchise or genre relentlessly until it dies, then move on to the next one’. Things get enormously popular in the west and then die suddenly with almost no warning. Tony Hawk games were wildly popular, until they weren’t. Guitar Hero and Rock Band were wildly popular, until they weren’t. World of Warcraft was the biggest MMO in existence, now it’s bleeding subscribers like someone slit it’s femoral artery. There’s serious concern that it might even be beginning to happen to CoD. Pre-orders for Ghosts are the lowest they’ve been for any CoD game in years. Things suddenly stop being profitable very quickly, and instead of the approach of ‘have a lot of smaller teams working on varied projects at once’, the majority of large publishers and developers go ‘Let’s just put our entire team on one project and make the game in a year before it’s too late!’
Except this fucking SKYROCKETS the cost of developing the game. For those who aren’t familar with economics at all, there is something called the “Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility”. It states, that as a person increases consumption of a product - while keeping consumption of other products constant - there is a decline in the marginal utility that person derives from consuming each additional unit of that product. Or, to put it into simpler terms, the more resources you put into a single project, the less efficient they become. 50 people can make a game in four years, but 100 people can’t make it in 2 years. It requires many more than that, because of diminishing marginal utility.
So, when you throw your entire staff on a game, not only are you paying more salary, you need a bigger space, more equipment, more maintenance, more janitors, more electricity, more water, more layers of management, and more chances for something to go catastrophically wrong. This is why small developers can put out stuff that looks and plays better than the largest AAA titles and yet cost significantly less. Witcher 2? Looks AMAZING, plays great, cost something like 15 million. Why? Because they had a long dev time and weren’t killed by diminishing returns. Same for Metro 2033. Same for Atlus, and NIS, and Gust, and all the other japanese devs who can sell 100k worldwide and have made a profit. And all the marketing budget doesn’t help either.
And Used Sales and DLC? Both of those exist for a single reason: The majority of games nowadays are mediocre. You know what games don’t have high resale rates? Nintendo games. You know what else didn’t? Just Cause 2. Games with a lot of value because they’re not fun to ‘experience’, they’re fun to ‘play’. If you make a 7 hour long linear experience with mediocre shooting or action tacked on, where the only actual value in your game is the narrative which diminishes significantly beyond the first playthrough? No shit your game is going to be sold back. Movies are cheap enough to get away with this. I own a lot of movies I’ve only watched once, but they were also fifteen dollars. Not 60. And I couldn’t get shit for selling them anywhere when I finished, but I could get 30 dollars towards my next linear experience garbage dump if I sell back a game. First they tried tacked on multiplayer, then they tried DLC, now since both of those failed they’re moving to just blocking used game sales entirely. Because fucking the consumer is easier than making a worthwhile product!
Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, 1927-2013 ⊟
Yamauchi took over his grandfather’s hanafuda card company Nintendo at the age of 22, driving its transformation into a thriving toy maker and then a video game powerhouse. During those transitions, he fostered inimitable talents at Nintendo like Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi, famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and the firm’s current president Satoru Iwata.
Just as important, he instilled principles in the company that endure there today a decade after his retirement, emphasizing the importance of compelling software over powerful hardware, and pushing his employees to create unique experiences.
"What did Hiroshi Yamauchi care about? He couldn’t stand making the same kind of toy the other guy was making, so whatever you showed him, you knew he was going to ask, ‘How is this different from what everybody else is doing?’ The worst way to answer was to tell him, ‘It’s not different, it’s just a little better.’ He’d be furious. He was very clear on just how foolish that attitude was for a toy company."
Yamauchi passed away today due to complications from pneumonia, just a year after his wife Michiko died.. He is survived by his two daughters, Yoko and Fujiko, and his son Katsuhito.
im way more interested in exploring the world than any of the actual gameplay
Unpopular opinion: Even though I’m a bit of a challenge gamer myself, I really hate how the hardcore community constantly rags on people who play on easy mode.
Given, in a game like Dark Souls, sure, it makes sense that there’s no easy mode considering the challenge the game presents is half the appeal (fun fact: Demon’s Souls, its spiritual prequel, had to have a second printing released because it sold way better than ATLUS expected).
But frankly, in any other game, if some people play easy mode so they can experience the game, then what the fuck does it matter? Just let them fucking enjoy the game. How in any way does it affect your experience if someone else decides to play on a lower difficulty than you?
What’s even more infuriating is that the harder the game’s Normal mode is, the MORE players get ragged on for playing easy mode (Devil May Cry, Touhou, and the like) or for lacking skill if they DO play on normal mode.
This is one of the reasons I really don’t like the hardcore gaming community (I myself fall somewhere between casual and hardcore). Seriously, just play hard mode and let the rest enjoy the fucking game. This is, after all, a medium of ENTERTAINMENT.