In the past decade of gaming, a fairly recent phenomenon has taken over the industry, transforming not only how games are covered in the media but also how they’re actually developed, with some titles being further catered towards specific audiences. If you couldn’t guess from the title already, I am indeed talking about the rise in popularity of watching gameplay for entertainment—also known as Let’s Plays. The impact this new form of games coverage has had on the industry cannot be understated, as it has demonstrably changed how game companies value the media, with a higher priority placed on advertising through ‘influencers.’ However, when all is said and done, Let’s Plays are still just people playing video games and recording commentary—the main meat of the content is still gameplay. So should developers at least make their games fun to watch?
Since the beginning of the eighth generation of consoles, there has been an epidemic of remastered video games hitting the market, as developers and publishers churn out their past successes in order to meet the supposed demands of the ‘nostalgia generation,’ where people like me have felt a sudden urge to go back and replay the games of their youth.Read More »
Look around on the internet or in real life, and you’ll find that there’s no greater disconnect between consumers and producers than in the gaming industry. Indeed, you’d be forgiven for thinking that gamers hate where their video games come from, as there is no shortage of online criticism—particularly from me—as well as unconstructive hate—not from me. After all, this was the community that voted Electronic Arts the ‘Worst Company In America’ twice, in 2012 and 2013, both times edging out the Bank Of America. So why is it that some gamers hold such a disdain for the biggest companies in the gaming industry?
Depending on who you are and what time of year it is, you’ll likely be thinking either one of two things: there are not enough games to play or there are too many. When we were kids, the former sentiment was what rung true for us the most. As young people, we had too much time and not enough pastimes. Now that we’re older, the prevailing opinion has switched, with more people struggling to get through their personal checklist of video games. However, this isn’t just an individual issue but one that affects the entire games industry. Indeed, from repetitive trends and genres, gaming has bloomed many oversaturated markets.
Out of all the reasons why people choose not to play video games, the most often heard excuse is that as a hobby, gaming is simply too expensive to both break into and maintain. This sentiment is echoed not just by newbies but by longtime gamers as well, with many expressing grievances over the physical price of being a part of video game culture. Indeed, there are quite a lot groundwork and ongoing costs required, including the purchase of a modern system (PC or console), accessories, good internet, and new games. At first, the concern over expenses seems quite understandable, as video games can lead to hundreds of dollars spent on mere entertainment. However, what many people seem to miss in regards to this topic is just how subjective the idea of cost and value is. The problem isn’t that gaming is ‘too expensive,’ but that the greater public doesn’t know how to value the art form.
Lately, in the video game community, I’ve been seeing a similar problem brewing between two different sets of gamers. One side is troubled by the fact that they don’t have enough time to enjoy gaming, and the other side is struggling not to play video games, going so far as to call it an addiction. Both of these issues are similar in that they both concern how some of our favourite hobbies fit into adult life. Personally, I fall into the category of not being able to play games as much as I would like to; however, I’ve dabbled on the other end of things as well.
After four-to-five surprisingly short years, it appears that once again we are at the end of a console generation. Even though not all of us own or play on a console, the systems themselves and the brands they represent are often good indicators of the gaming industry itself. With one console cycle finished, a bookmark is left in the pages of video game history, which brings us to where we are now.