The gaming industry.
Posted on Monday, September 5 2011 @ 12:44:17 PST
You'll have to forgive me, Gamerevolution readers.
I've just had a long talk with a friend of mind and I'm feeling very opinionated. So the structure of thisblog is going to suck a big one. Hopefully it'll get my message across and I'll be able to sort it out later. Where to s tart, where to start.
The gaming industry as a whole has started to disappoint me. I say started because it has only been very recently where a few unsavory characters have begun to ruin it for the rest of us. No, I'm not talking about thePplaystation network fiasco or any of those hacking bits that everybody harps on about. Nobody was hurt there. Those were men like me. Those were faceless masses that were striking back against an industry that is slowly chiseling away at our soul.
DRM. Digital rights management. I swear to god I am going to go back in time and strangle the man who thought this was a good idea. It's gotten to the point where we are no longer paying for games. We're paying for the right to play them. The CD is nothign but fluff. It's a reminder of things that used to be but are now lost. It's frustrating to pop in a CD (We will for the sake of argument use DEUS EX as an example) only to have steam bot up and ask me if I wanted to install it. For me, this is a big resounding yes. But for somebody who doesn't have Steam, or for that matter doesn't have an internet connection; they just got ****ed big time. I just put a CD into my computer, and there are no files on the CD save for a runtime that tells Steam to wake itself up and get to work.
It's terrible, really. The way things are headed. That's just the tamest of examples. Ubisoft loves to screw its gamers coming and going. They love to lord their networks over our heads and remind us that we're playing their game. They like to tell us that we don't have a connection even when we do, and they love to boot us out of Assassins' Creed or Splinter Cell just because I'm running programs in the background. It's not as bad as it was, but it's still pretty awful all things considered. The fact that these companies can essentially kick us in the crotch for PAYING for their games is insulting. Why should I bother spending money on stuff you're just going to punish me with later? It makes no sense. Yes, pirating is a problem. Yes, it should be stopped. But you're not going to stop it by demanding that we attach a DNA signature to an installer.
It used to be EA was pretty good about this. If I bought a new copy of the Sims 3, I was entitled to a few bonus points and a free download. All good. In fact, Mass Effect 2 did this too. They rewarded me, the purchaser of the product with free stuff because I didn't download their games illegally. That's great. That's fantastic. More power to EA. But by the same token, they're testing my patience by doing something else I loathe. Offering an incomplete product.
It's not just the Sims they do it with. Practically every game that comes out of their doors will inevitably function as a money funnel. When I purchased the Sims 3, I knew what I was getting into. Inevitably more Sims games will come out and in a desperate bid not to be left behind I will purchase them. Whoopee. My question to EA is WHY. Why do you do this to me? Why do you sell me a shell of a game and then fill it out later with content. Why do you make me pay for it even though I already proved my loyalty by not pirating one of the most downloaded games on Demonoid? C'mon, EA. Help me help you. I want to be on your side but you're making it hard.
Dragon Age was terrible about this. I was smack dab in the middle of my party camp clicking around and having fun. I was enjoying Dragon Age because it was a throw-back to the games I used to play as a kid. I loved every second of it until I was bombarded IN GAME by an advertisement. A man walked up to me and demanded that I abide by Duncan's promise to save some keep in an ancient section of Fereldan. Cool. Love that ****, sign me up. Then, the bastard proceeds to tell me I can purchase downloadable content via the in-game store. I exploded and hurled my keyboard through a wall.
WHY is that acceptable? WHY can Bioware or EA or whoever shove themselves into my game and remind me I'm not done PAYING for **** yet? The whole state of DLCs disgust me! When I go to the store I don't ask for a cake and expect thirty percent of a cake!
I expect a whole goddamn cake.
Mass Effect 2 gave you whole worlds to explore. It introduced new gameplay elements and new characters and new EVERYTHING if I could just find it in my heart to shell out enough cash. God. GOD.
DLCs and DRMs and vegetable soups aside. There's one thing that really grinds my gears. It irks me to see the direction games are heading. Yes, we've all noticed it. But it's gotten terrible of late. I pop in Dragon Age, I get a decent RPG. It's deep, it's frustrating, but overall it's a fun experience. I slide in Dragon Age 2, and I get--- I don't know what. I get Dynasty Warriors with a fresh coat of paint. Game companies do this to bring in new audiences. They want to branch out. They want to grab the guys that play Call of Duty and don't understand how to balance a character or trick him out with awesome equipment. Sure, yeah. I get that. But you're forgetting about us. You're forgetting about the guys that got you to where you are in the first place.
Even developers I love are doing it. Valve has all but abandoned the Half Life franchise. I haven't seen news on that front in a long time. But sure enough, Team Fortress 2 has gone free to play. Portal 2 is coming out and have I SEEN the robot dancing animations I can buy in the in-game store? Defense of the Ancients, Counter Strike. I'm seeing a lot of names but I'm not seeing ANYTHING that tells me they still care.
On the whole the gaming industry has become something I can't stand. It's no longer about the fun of it. It's no longer about pushing the bounds of what machines are capable of. It's no longer about stories or gripping narratives or anything like that.
It's how much money we can squeeze out of the kids stupid enough to buy our games the first time.
I'll sort through this later, but it's good to get some of this off my chest. I love you.