The year is coming to a close and this is the part where most sites look to the past, to the other 11 months that came and went and decide which of the titles released is the best of the year in a vast variety of categories, with or without use input.
I did a bit of that last Friday but as I mentioned, I don’t do that sort of thing and I generally find it short-sighted, but after a month of intense FPS-ing, I just had to talk about these games.
But what I will do for the close of the year is talk about two things I’m terrified by in the gaming industry, trends that should they continue to evolve—or devolve—as they have in the past year, then much of my goodwill and respect for the industry will disappear, eroded by greed and a lack of creativity. Continue reading Gaming in 2017 – Major Annoyances!
When the first rounds of DLC came into the gaming industry, people split into the hating, loving and uncaring camps, with some denouncing the clear money grubbing scheme and others defending this new way of extending the shelf life of a given title. For me, it’s never been that simple. I’ve always seen DLC from the point of view of its worth. Is it worth getting it, will it add something to the experience and most importantly, is the price right for it?
As we stand now in the industry and with the ever-growing market for episodic and cut up games, we’re never getting rid of DLC. In fact, if we consider digital sales platforms like Steam, GoG and GamersGate, then every game out there is DLC, Downloadable products. We’re sliding more and more into an era where retail physical copies become extinct and everything becomes Downloadable Content.
But even if that is true, the development, marketing and release of DLC (and I’m referring to add-on content in this) could see better practices, something that works more in the consumer’s favour. As my friend Timlah always tells me, “you only see the side of the consumer,” and it’s true, I do. Because I am one and because I feel developers should respect their audience, their fans and some of the current trends in DLCs feel disrespectful.
George Carlin once said: “One of the things I like to do in my shows is complain, it’s kind of a motif for me, complaining…so this next piece of material, like most good ideas is fairly simple. It’s just a list of people who oughtta be killed!”
As you know from reading many of my opinion pieces, I also like to complain. I don’t like to accept things as is and I will strive to make even a tiny change in the world, even if it’s just in changing your mind or opening it to new ideas—and my own in the process. “Think Better, Think Bigger,” is my motif.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the role of the reviewer but since writing that piece I’ve been wondering about game reviews themselves, particularly given the current state of the industry where games make it onto the market without proper quality assurance and so bug-riddled that it takes multiple iterations of re-development to clear them and even fix inherent design flaws. Continue reading Day One reviews…still worth it?
Earlier this month, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, SAG-AFTRA, announced they had approved the strike by video game voice actors after a 96.52% vote in favour by members (of a 75% minimum required).
The strike looms over us. We don’t know all the details due to a media blackout and what little we know comes from SAG-AFTRA and vocal members such as Wil Wheaton. I’ve been wondering about what it might mean for our industry if all voice acting work suddenly stopped and it got me thinking about the conditions the actors deal with, what they’re asking for, some counter-arguments I’ve read but also about the importance of voice acting in video games, the impact these actors have on our experiences, on the memorable characters we love. Continue reading Striking Voices – Video Game Voice Acting
When did Demos die on PC? When did it go out of fashion to show your prospective buyers how your game looks, let them play it for themselves before they buy the product? It used to be almost absolute that a game would have a sample releasing before the actual retail product, but nowadays only a handful of games have them and most are indie. More confusing still is how developers and publishers release demos on consoles but not for PC, even if the game is multiplatform. Continue reading The Demo Perspective