The advancement of technology, artistic creativity, new tools for engagement and modern developer tools have taken the video game industry to a whole new level. Gamers can enjoy surreal graphics and immersive gameplay, vivid characters, and great in-game music. Publishers are competing to come up with the most interesting and engaging video game. So, what is a real state of video gaming these days, and if it is so great why gamers are so discontent?
Publishers invest tons of money in graphics, game design and development in order to maintain customer loyalty and provide a great gaming experience. Video games are big business, and big game companies want to get all the money they can. Exorbitant in-game purchases and microtransactions have become all too commonplace. Many feel that the industry is getting too greedy and that this money hungry behavior is sucking the fun out of video games. Let us not forget the recent Starwars Battlefield II lootcrate scandal. In a nutshell, EA allowed players to pay to upgrade their characters, and these pay to win antics caused outrage in the gaming community. In addition, developers are giving them a chance to access some stats early – if they pay for it. Because of this accelerated reward system, many gamers are flat out boycotting online games with microtransactions.
A huge development in the gaming industry has been the rise of mobile gaming. Everyone has a smartphone, and mobile games account for up to 90% of both Google Playstore and Apple’s App Store revenue. Advertisers have taken full advantage of this, and mobile games are increasingly drowning in unwanted in-game ads. Games with overly aggressive ad strategies are likely to lose players fast, so many have resorted to “reward ads”. Angry birds is a great example of this, giving players rewards when they watch an advertisement. The lines between marketing and entertainment are becoming blurred, and user experience is taking the blow.
Randomness Of Loot Crates
Similar to microtransactions, loot crates are very unpopular, especially within core gamer community. So how can it be so hated players but still used by publishers? The traditional model was, you put hours and hours into a game, level up as you have more achievements, and unlock advanced weapons and items along the way. Nowadays, players who spend a certain number of play hours might get the chance to buy a loot crate that may or may not give them the upgrade they so eagerly want.
Single mode, offline, just you and a great game, that’s how it used to be just a few years ago. Not so anymore. Nowadays you can’t even play most games without being connected to the net. Ok, we are living in the digital world, but why are all games, even those who were single player games, turning to online, multiplayer ones? It is because if you are in multiplayer – you will be there a little longer and be encouraged to make microtransactions because you will want to evolve your character and be better than anyone else. Most companies are using subtle tactics for getting players hooked, like giving player A some kind of in-game reward if he gets his friend, player B, to start playing with him. And while there’s nothing wrong with promotional items (they were a traditional part of marketing mix since, well, forever), it still goes to show how companies simply don’t care about singleplayer anymore as they can’t milk it as well as multiplayer.
Price Of Games
Let’s face it: games are becoming more expensive, as is all the DLC content you sometimes have to pay for in order to have the best in-game performance and experience. Gamers on a budget are resorting to waiting for a good deal on the web, scouring the internet for discounted steam codes, and even downloading pirated versions of big games on torrent sites. While the majority of people who download games illegally get away with it, there are many who have faced legal consequences.
As the video game industry continues to revolve shamelessly around making as much money as possible; publishers are losing their true fans – core gamers. If you are a great gamer but do not spend money on in-game purchases you may be over-leveled by some random player with half the skill who paid to upgrade his character. You rarely have the intimacy of playing your game in single mode and you need to spend a lot in order to get a game in the first place. It looks like gamers are not enjoying the rise of technology and graphics so much after all.
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