Lately I’ve been wondering how stupid we all truly are. I mean there is a few I read and know that are above that yet feel sorry for, for having to constantly watch all us dumb people screw up the industry. The issue is that it appears we just don’t learn from our mistakes, like at all. The same issues keep popping up again and again and we all mostly continue to support these same issues again and again.
Kickstarter projects fail, and yes I feel good about the one I have being mostly smaller organisations and ideas but then we have absolutely huge projects that continue to fail. Or at least fail to meet expectations. Ouya I think was the first big kick-starter that failed to meet their initial pitch. There were a lot of issues there even before it eventual released as a product not as advertised.
Recently Godus was making headlines. Tim Schafer scammed a lot of money for both Spacebase and Broken Age both not meeting their pitch, changing dramatically during the development process. And then we have some big ones recently like star citizen with 70 million and a playing card game that got 7 million which is rather ridiculous. Do we learn, no. We keep funnelling more and more money to them due to our brain justifying it by not wanting to miss out.
People say vote with your wallet and yet this piece of advice seems the furthest from the truth. Pre-ordering games and jumping into early access has been a massive problem lately yet people continue to line up just so they can throw money at their screen earlier. Battlefield 4 was absolutely broken on release, and I believe still is to an extent. There was a huge consumer revolt against it and yet here we are again for the cops and robbers version with people once again gagging to give them money in advance.
The same companies put out their yearly cash grabs, the same companies release buggy incomplete games, the same companies abuse monetisation, the same companies just continually creating the same problems yet ask for their premium price. Yet they get paid, and paid a lot by dumb, ill informed and hype driven fools. I’m part of that I know, I bought wildstar, ESO, Archeage and many other titles because I was too consumed with my consumerist impulses. I probably will again for the next shiny and it’s a cycle I have no idea how to break free from that.
Just going by the principle of vote with your wallet too you’d think the better games, ideas, and services would rise up to the top but no, ours is an industry where the worst possible subscription service possible, WoW. A game that can go nearly a year with no content updates. That has regular long times between patches and charges a premium for expansions that do actually add more things gets several million while decent mmo’s working hard for it, that put out event patches, constantly updates and improvements are left to languish. I can think of any reasonable rationale for that.
Informed gaming decisions is practically an oxymoron and yet we live in an age with a wealth of resources for those that need it. YouTube and twitch for early game play. A great number of websites and blogs talking things over. Community sites like reddit or the numerous public forums that spread information like wildfire. Social media for connecting with developers and companies as well as like minded individuals. Then there is resource sites like Wikipedia and other similar places, specially sites that focus on particular things, archive abilities so that information remains and yet history continues to repeat itself. The same scam artist hype us dreams and don’t deliver. The same companies provide broken day one experiences. The same games peddle us their cash shop nonsense… because they can and will get away with it.
Then we have the weird situation of people actually defending these situations for the companies. Oh, “it’s only early access”, “they have to make money somehow”, or actively attacking those that do voice their criticisms. Accountability for games and design shouldn’t be a bad thing, holding the pathological liars shouldn’t be rather. Yes game development is hard but their is limit to the amount of shit you can shovel before the whole project stinks.
I have no idea where I’m going with this ramble. I look at everything around me, the medium I love and truly want for better. I know we are getting what we deserve but it’s time the industry stops that and gives us what we expect. To have an industry that actually respects it’s consumers as more than just a particular spry rabbit to snare and skin. I know I won’t be a part of that, I’ll continue riding the hype train and throw money at the screen when enough impulses have been aroused and supporting these practices. I loath myself for that.