New Year’s resolutions for the gaming industry
You’ve heard the recycled sayings every year. “I’m going to join a gym.” “This is the time I lose weight.” “I’m getting out of debt.” These are the promised proverbs that make up the New Year’s resolution. It’s a tradition; whether taken seriously or not, it is something each person strives for. We know the gaming industry can never be asked to make similar promises of any kind, but we at Urbanology Magazine think that should change. Like any one person who serves to benefit him or her self, the voices that make up a multi-billion dollar industry should have their own set of vows to follow. So without even asking for permission, here are a few resolutions that the industry needs to abide by:
Complete your games:
Once upon a time there was a golden age when patches were a non-existent entity. The “patch” as we know it, has become a fail-safe feature that screams ‘yeah we weren’t finished with our game, but give us a minute.’ In the past during the good ol’ days of Blockbuster Video, you’d pop a cartridge into the sleeve of a console; play that bad boy from start to finish without some wait game. That annoying prompt that demands that you download a piece of software to “fix” a title before you even start playing – it’s the musical equivalent of purchasing an album with an incomplete playlist.
It’s disgusting to know that it’s becoming an increasing norm for companies to release titles before they’re finished, just to meet ideal selling periods.
Now this can easily be a case of looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses, but a broken game in the ’90s and early 2000s was a distinct rarity. Compare that to the pressures of meeting holiday release dates during a period when development costs are through the roof. It’s disgusting to know that it’s becoming an increasing norm for companies to release titles before they’re finished, just to meet ideal selling periods. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Halo: Master Chief Collection, Assassin’s Creed Unity – just some of the culprits to this annoyingly stupid trend. Developers, you need to do better: finish your games.
Stop making promises you can’t keep:
This is the epitome of the average New Year’s resolution. A promise to workout at the gym lasts a total of a week, and then you’ll find that same person regularly skipping gym on their list of things to do. In this regard, it’s like the industry took first hand PR lessons from Peter Molyneux who made an art in over emphasizing the expectations of his audience by promising everything aside from being a god himself (though, he kind of did that). Whether it was the Watch Dogs announcement that presented over-delivered visuals, only to start the downward trend of under-delivering a mess of a product, or Destiny, publicized as a huge, inventive MMO-like shooter that became largely remembered for its inane loot functionality and overall soulless story. It proved to be a year of hype over honesty. Developers, you need to do better: make promises you can actually keep.
It’s easy to understand the appeal of something you used to love with a high definition finish; like dirty kicks made new with a good cleaning. The problem comes from looking at it from a different perspective – it’s kind of lazy. Despite scrubbing off all that dirt, a clean finish on an old shoe still makes it an old shoe, and in gaming terms, the same old game. Tossing a few new textures on an old experience shouldn’t warrant a purchase that’s priced the same as a game that was developed from the ground up. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition brought about a worrisome trend going into the New Year. During long development cycles involving costly titles, there comes a period when it may seem easier to take an older game, with assets and models already in place and tinker at a few visual areas to make everything seem brand new. Stamp a high price tag on it and it makes for an easy buck. The potential problem comes from the possibility of the “remake” taking time away from the new. Originality shouldn’t be replaced with thoughts of the past. Developers, you need to do better: if you’re going to spend time on remakes, provide something new and more affordable in the process.
A lot of sane individuals are still trying to understand how this even happened and why in the world it’s still a thing. It goes something like this. A game developer is dating a guy, supposedly she sleeps around with a few other guys from the gaming industry, boyfriend gets mad, posts this reveal in public after they’ve broken up, nerds on a forum get pissed and accuse said girl of using sex to promote her industry related projects, and the whole industry proceeds to get accused of corruption by a select few. Everything that started the rumors proves to be false; forum nerds continue their accusations despite being led by a movement that started with ill intentions. They begin to harass anyone, particularly females who speak against this movement they’ve coined as Gamergate, and the ridiculousness continues on.
While some who attached themselves to the hashtag may have entered into the discussion with good intentions, #Gamergate was largely a crusade aimed at silencing those that spoke for more diversity within the industry.
This was an embarrassing time to be a gamer and lasted for the better part of the last year. While some who attached themselves to the hashtag may have entered into the discussion with good intentions, #Gamergate was largely a crusade aimed at silencing those that spoke for more diversity within the industry. It was such an out-of-hand uproar, that it brought mainstream publications into the fold that only managed to show the general public, how immature this industry can be in the face of a quarrel. Gamers, you need to do better, period.