Originally Posted by Wildcard36qs
Well, I think the industry as a whole has been stagnant and resting on it's laurels. No one is really bold enough to do something different, something new. All the major publishers/developers are releasing rehashes of the same game that they know has been successful in the past. That is why we are at a turning point. With kickstarters and indie developers, we are seeing more and more unique and enjoyable games that are becoming way more successful than many AAA titles. That combined with nearly everyone having some form of device capable of playing games, these big old giants are going to fall hard. SQuenix has been living off of Final Fantasy fame for too long, EA has been milking every franchise it can buy for too long, Activision and Blizzard are seeing their titles drop off, heck even Nintendo has hit a wall (for now /Ninty fanboy). These companies need to stop focusing on $$$ and start paying attention to what we as gamers want.
If they don't, they deserve to fall.
That's the problem. They are. The major publishers are laser-focused on what gamers have proved
that they want. Game development is too expensive to take risks with, and every attempt to lessen those risks has been met with an almost unreasonable level of vitriol from gamers. I mean seriously, I still don't understand the objections to in-game advertising.
Originally Posted by sdlvx
Budgets have gotten so large that it's not worth taking the risk of doing something completely radical. A game budget is an investment. Making something new and unique with a massive budget is a huge, huge risk, because it's deviating so far from a known formula of a game that will sell well.
Compare the size of the smaller, more unique game companies to the larger ones and look at their budgets.
Minecraft and Mojang aren't even remotely large, yet they made a huge game. But look at what went into it. They basically created an engine to create worlds, added a little content, and then let the players make content.
Now look at a game like Sleeping Dogs. Every asset, everything in the whole game, pretty much needs
to be made by Square-Enix.
There's a huge problem with traditional games where the entire content and story-line is laid out and completed for you.
A large part of it is the shift from games where users create content to games where everything is created, you can't mod it or make maps, and all new maps must be DLC.
Just for fun, lets compare one of the most popular shooters from the early 00s to one of the most popular shoots of the early 10s, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Battlefield 3.
When UT2k4 shipped, it only had a few maps. The amount was kind of disappointing, really, but you had all the tools to make your own maps. In fact, it was very, very encouraged. After a year or so the server list would be almost entirely user generated maps.
Now, BF3, is completely locked down. So, where the developers of UT2k4 got off and could either not pay people do make maps, or they put the people who would be making maps on making the game engine better, EA and DICE must pay people to make maps. This adds to the budget massively.
Now, consoles and computers have also advanced to the point where it takes significantly more people-power to create a game. Players expect more verts in the models, more assets on the screen, better textures, etc. All of this costs money.
However if you ask me, the shift to this model has a lot to do with the change from abandoning focus on the PC, where users can make their own content, and shifting to consoles where content creation is nearly impossible and all you can do on it is consume content.
Up to this point, very well said. But the lack of mod tools increases profits as DLC makes up for the increased initial investment for professional maps.
But I don't get where you're saying Microsoft is the big innovator here, specially when the Xbone's main selling point has been CoD. I don't know what bold changes you're talking about MS making. The boldest changes I've seen are to DRM and online requirements, which will not affect the actual quality of the games themselves and offer to reason for developers to take higher risk. It's not like forcing a console to check in every 24 hours is going to make your game that is completely different and unique start selling.
No, they wouldn't take higher risks, it'd make games less
risky. As bizarre as it sounds, that family sharing plan would have increased
sales for all but the extreme blockbusters that go past 10M copies as you'd be getting more for your money and even if you didn't like it your friends might and vis versa on other games. Additionally, the transition to all digital would encourage buying through XBL, which is far better for publishers. Right now on console games, everything is split 4 ways- Publisher, Developer, Console Maker, Retailer. On digital sales, that retailer share gets divided up between the other 3 and increases everyone's profit-per-sale so you can do more with less sales.
It's not about taking bigger risks, it's about making currently big risks smaller.
However after picking up a 3DS after being away from Nintendo for so long, Nintendo does seem (from the games I've played, Tales of the Abyss, Fire Emblem Awakening, Super Mario 3d Land, Kid Icarus, Monster Hunter 3, Animal Crossing New Leaf) to be the most innovative out of the group. I realize a lot of people seem to think Nintendo is just re-hashing IP and not innovating, but their games are vastly unique from what you can get on PC or Xbox or PS even if they're not radically different from Nintendo's older games (which I would highly debate, I've been playing Mario since Mario Bros on NES with a hiatus in the Gamecube/Wii era but I have picked those up a little bit).
With Nintendo, people seem to equate using the same character in different games as re-hashing. New Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 3d Land, Mario Galaxy, and Mario Sunshine are all massively different games when it comes to play-style and if it didn't feature Mario and related IP, you'd have no idea they were the same game because the game play is so radically different between the games.
Nintendo innovates more than most, this is true. But they haven't been dealing with HD games when doing so. And now that they are and see the challenges
with it, they may end up changing.