All About MaskRisen
"Blogs? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BLOGS!"
But if you do, read mine c:
Oh G4, if you only new it wouldn't stop there.
2013 is going to be a strange year for video games. Playstation 4 was announced, sequels on the way, and the industry is so called "struggling". And it's prime time for the blame game. I read an article about Crytek and how they claim Crysis 3 is suffering from this newly discovered ailment, "Gamer fatigue". Let's take a quick break here. Let's discuss how we've reached this point. There is a 3 letter phrase that sums up the problem we are facing. Lack of innovation. The community of "gamers" is divided into 2 sections. Gamers who accept the industry, and gamers who demand more from the industry. The gamers who accept the industry, and what ever comes out of it far outnumber those who demand more.
One more time isn't going to hurt, right?
Now, it's not all that bad. And it's understandable. Publishers want to make money. Developers want money to develop, everybody happy. But who suffers? It's a big circle of problems. First, we have to understand(if not already) It can be hard to sell a new game. The human mind is designed to be drawn to familiarity and will associate anything with something they already understand. COD4:MW was an amazing game for consoles. It helped introduce a lot of people to competitive play, and was accessible. Now, obviously they were going to make a sequel. It too was a good game for it's time, but it wasn't as big as a leap as Modern Warfare. Then we have Black Ops and so on. It's a franchise likely to see the same development pattern as Madden. Being that it was established as the premier first person shooter(at least for those on consoles) that was the level of gameplay the came to expect for an FPS. But sequels have been around for ages. Civilization gets better with each installment, Metal Gear Solid, and Grand Theft Auto are both games with amazing sequels. But whats the difference? Profit and development.
You said this was the last one!
Now I'm not going to bash COD in any way, but let's compare its development process to that of GTA or MGS. In a span of 5 years, starting in 2008, The COD franchise has 6 titles. Grand theft Auto 4 came out in 2008 and it's direct sequel is coming out in 2013. Metal Gear Solid 4 was released in 2008 and Metal Gear Solid Rising released this past February. If we focus on major titles, the development time frame is about 5 years. The biggest problem is that so many sequels come out in such a short time that there is no time for creativity or competition ("Time is money friend") because the publisher wants results asap. How can this be healthy for the industry?
And to top it off with a bit of salt, publishers only see numbers. They rarely wanna help a new game developer be successful because if your not doing what the other guy is doing, why should they fund your project? Statistics and past results equals money, not creativity. They use less assets to produce the same results year after year. There are a lot of indie companies doing a great job. And that is where Cliffy B got his idea about iPad games becoming the wave of the future. Not to limit it to the iPad in general, but it is easier to develop for a mobile device and be successful than it is to try and publish AAA titles(by a huge margin). They are easier, and a more cost effective way of getting artistic and creative games to consumers, leaving the big dogs to just release more and more sequels because there is no competition on their level. This lowers quality and stifles competition because if any new game comes out, the first thing that comes to mind is "is this game like like *insert other game here*?", "Is it easy to play?" A similar effect to that of the "WoW clone" logic.
I'm pretty sure that's illegal.
And to be honest, it sucks. I would rather spend 60 bucks on a new IP from a passionate development team who cares about story and gameplay then give a sequel 60 bucks for an 8 hour campaign. But it's so few developers who actually are that dedicated are rarely ever funded, at least on an AAA scale. And to top it all off, either developers toss would toss in mulitplayer to make it seem like the game is worth 60 bucks, or throw in a campaign when the game is all about multiplayer. If you break down, price per minute spent, think about how much time you actually get out of a game. And I can't answer on behalf of others, but if I can play a game like League of Legends, DOTA2, Planetside 2, Hawken, Team Fortress 2, a number of quality games for PC and mobile platforms, why would I pay for a game with only a slight variation over the previous installment? Witcher 3 has over 100 hours(projected) of gameplay and will be about 60 bucks. Now that is value. That's what games are suppose to be.
Everyone's taste are different. I have a friend that loves the Dirt series and gets hours out of the game on and offline. So I don't aim to critique anyone and their preferences, but the industry as a whole is understood as suffering. But I, and maybe like many of you, will have to assume that marketing will always win and the consumer will always but into it. Video games are suffering because major players in the industry are milking this gen for what it's worth, primarily because it's coming to an end(can someone say, new bundles for old hardware?). But it's going to leave a nasty stain. Now I am not saying sequels are bad, but it's when a company fails to do better than the previous installment, or in my opinion, resell me the same game with a new skin, we all suffer. You can't expect to be as successful as someone else without putting in the same effort as them. That's why you suffer from gamer fatigue.
I'm only getting it because all my friends are getting it and I don't want to be alone .
I know I've probably shot myself in the foot several times, but addressing this is important. It was once said that 2011 was the year of the sequels, but with this current trend in gaming, it seems that's all we are going to see likely for years to come. Sequels went from a way to tell a story, to a way to milk a previously successful installment. Publishers sell games either with innovation and integrity or repetition and dollar signs, it's up to you to decide which boat you're going to sink in. Quality is a limited resource nowadays...
15Feb 13"Lack of innovation". The phrase that seems to describe what the game industry has become. Game developers are being seen as lazy. Rarely has a new game come out that has caught my attention. We can still expect some great sequels from companies like Rockstar, Konami, Naughty Dog, and Bethesda just to name a few. GTA 5 which was pushed back because Rockstar felt the game needed more work to be the best it can be when it's released. Why is this a forgotten concept? When did spending a little more time to polish a game become a bad idea?
The problem is greedy publishers. Publishers base their investment on a game on a few key things. How many people will buy it and how much of a lost they will take if it doesn't meet expectations. So naturally the publishers will give developers money to work on a sequel because the previous installment was successful, or the game is based on similar principals and design philosophies of another popular game. Sounds logical right? They made money before, obviously they will make money again. But that's where the problem starts. Constant sequels, reused content, and over milked IPs destroy the industry.
OK, so we have addressed the problem right? Easy problem to fix right? Well, not exactly. Firstly, anyone with a good amount of brain cells in their head probably already knew this, and I'm more than likely preaching to the choir. The real problem is the amount of success these low quality games receive. Sequels not only prevent innovation, they also lower the standards for whats acceptable for quality video games. With each release, most people discuss the scores these sequels receive, be it positive, negative or neutral. Overall, the scores are getting lower and lower, at least from critics. Developer's reuse the same engines and game design, change a few key assets and update the story a bit and release a game with a relatively short turnaround time. And even though it seems very similar to the previous installment with little change, it's still has a high success rate due to customer loyalty(Thanks Apple!). Now yes, sequels are by design suppose to be similar to the previous game. But how similar is Metal Gear solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3?
Yes, I know. I completely bashed sequels when there are so many good ones out there. But the problem is, most are doing it wrong. The reason games like Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto (notice how the titles have 3 words) are successful is because the developers understand how important narrative, production, and storytelling is. The biggest problem isn't that the game reuses the same engines(although I feel this is cheating the consumer if they don't step up their visuals and features in some way at least), it's the fact that they do not do anything to make the game feel like an addition to the series instead of the same game with a new logo. It isn't needed that the game engine be as powerful as possible, but I feel it should compliment the progression of the story(Konami has me spoiled). They may add a new feature in here or there, but at it's core it's generally the same as the previous installment with the new features not changing much in most cases.
I could go on and on in detail about how bad sequels can be, but I would rather speak about optimism. Sequels are about progression. Either I'm progressing in a story arc, or I'm being introduced to the developer's narrative told through new technology or means. With companies like Konami and Rockstar that deliver excellent quality games, they will more than likely continue to provide quality sequels with proper development time and high standards. And with developers releasing sub par sequels they are hurting the gaming community. It hurts new and smaller developers who are trying to be original but ultimately can't compete in this market due to the success of games that are only acceptable because of the company they came from. Big companies don't want to invest in something new as long as whats old keeps working.
This was brought on by Dead Space 3. I LOVED Dead Space 2 and couldn't wait for Dead Space 3. I didn't buy it, but I read tons of reviews and watched tons of gameplay footage. I passed on it. For 2 reasons. Firstly, Micro transactions. Could be bypassed, but this is NOT a feature that should be in a single player game EVER! This is just a sign of company greed. Include a cash shop in a "survival horror" game? And 2, roughly a 9 hour single player campaign. Other notable reasons were the same old scare tactics, lackluster storytelling, and a lost identity. I really thought they were going to knock it out the park, but it's just not worth the 60 dollars to me. And of course, these are my opinions. I feel that the consumer deserves quality for the money they are going to spend. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date in Bronze Hell with with Panda Annie.
MaskRisen does not have any recent activity. What a slacker! Maybe you should send MaskRisen a private message and ask, "Where are you hiding?"