Trends on video games industry are toxic
You may have already guessed it, I will not, for once, write about code. Here I’ll share my opinions and thoughts about our modern video game industry.
Spoiler alert, I’m a Nerd
As far as I remember, most of players’ hearts beat to the rhythm of major games releases. These same games that impose an intense release cadence to the game industry.
I would call these games Worldwide Phenomenons.
Are they toxic to the video game industry ? Will these mastodons crush global creativity ? Will the industry fall in the hit-driven business ?
Let’s dive into the story.
One to rule them all, one to find them, One to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Don’t be a fool, the medium never waits the 21st century to bind itself on games which reign as supreme. Did you remember Tetris (1984) ? What about the supremacy of World of Warcraft (2004) ? The crazy ascension of League of Legends (2009) and the e-sports desacralization. The boom of Pokémon GO (2016) ? Or, more recently, Fortnite (2017) and Apex Legends (2019). All these Worldwide Phenomenons focus the attention of players, professionals and the press to a melting point that occult the existence of competition.
Still not convinced ?
I’m not blaming the quality of these creations — nor studios. If these games explode all records, it’s primarily because of the quality and juiciness they give to players — controllers in hands. I’m blaming their omnipresence in the press and the global saturation we resent from it. The 10th art has become an addict to hype.
Formerly sporadic, these effects disappear today only to give place to another even more voracious game.
The major drawback of this situation is the industrial mimicry. Editors, Publishers & Studios develop new projects fitting into the current Worldwide Phenomenon. The Battle Royale Breakthrough demonstrates the effect of a medium that strikes while the iron is hot.
Still, the copycat strategy isn’t new, remember Resident Evil 4 or Call of Duty 4, respectively 2005 and 2007 — how many sequels were released since then ?
It can be said that the medium has reached a level of maturity where creation is mass-produced, where a few groups are the main source of inspiration for many publishers, leading to unimaginative and sterilized video games year after year.
Players are now more focused on a tiny field of games, if not only one, without that much curiosity about broadening their field of view.
Opportunism takes precedence over creativity.
They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine on new technology.
- The Buggles
The more I think about it the more I realize that AAA video games are not my thing anymore.
I’m now more into indie games and I maybe have an explanation for that.
I think having less time to play video games has a huge impact on my gaming experience. Today, I am more easily able to justify dropping $20 on an indie game with 6–8 hours of gameplay as opposed to $60 on a game that offers more than 100 hours of gameplay.
I’m also sick of AAA studios focusing on money shot projects with impressive visuals, I prefer games where I found fresh game mechanics, uncommon soundtracks, and unattended stories.
Still, I have been surprised to fall in love with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice a gem from Ninja Theory — a middle-class studio of 100 passionate.
An interesting parallelism on how independence has affected two industries that have many things in common can be made.
The film industry is the closest cultural industry to video games, it is clear that both industries share many facets, and that both have experienced independent movements throughout their history.
The indie movement has affected the video game industry and has produced a new culture that benefits the gaming media as a whole.
Independent games have claimed their place in the industry.
Loving independent cinema does not prevent me from enjoying Hollywood blockbuster. I recently watched Avengers Endgame and loved it.
It should be the same for video games. I do not find myself into all AAA licences — fine — but I still enjoy playing Divinity Original Sin and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next Baldur’s Gate 3.
Let me finish this story with a quote from Andy Serkis, the guy behind Gollum.
Every age has its storytelling form, and video gaming is a huge part of our culture. You can ignore or embrace video games and imbue them with the best artistic quality. People are enthralled with video games in the same way as other people love the cinema or theatre.
- Andy Serkis
Sources & References
For the most curious of you, here are some sources of additional information that inspired the creation of this article.
Phil Hornshaw (10 April, 2019). The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon
See on https://www.digitaltrends.com/.../history...
Carlos Planes Cortell (27 January, 2015). Importance of the independent video game phenomenon and how it is pushing forward the video game industry
See on http://openaccess.uoc.edu/.../.../...
Keith Stuart & Jordan Erica Webber (23 July, 2015). 16 trends that will define the future of video games
See on https://www.theguardian.com/.../.../trends-that-will-change...
Kellie Ell (18 July, 2018). Video game industry is booming with continued revenue
See on https://www.cnbc.com/.../.../.../video-game-industry-is-boo...
Silent_Jay (25 February, 2019). Billet : PUBG, Pokémon Go, Fortnite, Apex… les effets de mode nuisent au jeu vidéo
See on http://www.jeuxvideo.com/news/.../billet-...-les-effets-de-mode....