« Home | Sloth: NFL Week 13 » | Pride: Me Too » | Pride: Alternative energy is civil defense » | Gluttony: Coffee » | Pride: Snot-Nosed little brat repellent » | Sloth: Meh » | Sloth: Battlestar haiku » | Anger: RINO » | Sloth:Conspiracy Theory » | Anger: Crash » 

Saturday, December 03, 2005 

Greed: Old Time Games

Will Collier (at VodkaPundit):

When I was a kid, during the early "golden age" of videogames, you'd have needed a cattle prod to get me out of the arcade, or away from a friend's Atari or my own ColecoVision at home. Today though, I don't own a Playstation or XBox, and have no particular intention of buying one.
I think Will speaks for many of us. The games coming out today are all sizzle with no steak. The addicting gameplay that made the quarters fly out of our pockets seems to have been replaced with extremely great graphics and equally complex gameplay. The kind of gameplay that only appeals to the very hardcore gamer. That hardcore gamer group is the very loudest voice in the market. The voices of the casual gamer, the female gamer and the “in and out” game fans are drowned out by the cries of the hardcore. Publishers only hear that the market wants super complex puzzles requiring a full-time job like effort to solve or ridiculously gratuitous violence.

There is a place in the market for these hardcore games and hardcore gamers must be served, but isn’t there a way to also serve the rest of the market? These markets must be served in order for the industry to thrive and survive, but there are big problems with trying to make a living in that space. The road to success in the industry is littered with the bodies of casual game developers.

Getting a publishing deal for casual games is like having a successful snipe hunt. The big publishers want nothing to do with casual games, mainly because the “marketing geniuses” like the safe sales numbers of hardcore games and management likes the high unit prices. Throw in the development teams attitudes (they generally are hardcore gamers themselves) and you get a recipe for another industry crash.

So how does the industry get Will, and the million or so like him, back into the profit stream? If I knew the answer to that question, I would be a millionaire celebrity blogger. It seems clear that we need to write different games than are currently available, games that appeal to different audiences. Getting these games into the hands of new gamers is getting harder with each new generation of game consoles. The user entry costs go up, causing only the hardest of the hardcore to keep up with the latest technology. As new consoles get into the market, the natural desire to support them causes developers and publishers to leave the old generation consoles behind. Also costs of developing games go much higher with each new generation of hardware, causing more pressure to go for the “safe” hardcore market.

I don’t have any answers, believe me I have tried and it cost me a great deal. The industry is doomed to repeat the cycle of boom-crash-boom unless someone figures it out.

Technorati tag:

| | Trackback URI

Blog Info

Praise for The 7 Deadly Sins

"I have to admit that you do sloth like nobody's business."
- tee bee
"omg...you're even nerdier than my bf. That's hawt."
- trouble
"Not everybody remembers the glow of green text on black monitor with fondness"
- cathyf
"That's just crazy talk"
- tee bee
"Holy crap! Where's the ACLU pukes this time?"
- justanothermngirl
"Quick, edit these before anyone sees them!"
- Chris
"See? Getting old isn't all bad."
- David
"Best wishes to my Blog Brother."
- Retired Geezer
"Congratulations to one sinner from another."
- basil
"I just sic them on punks like that like a couple of pitbulls."
- digitalbrownshirt
"I hate to say anything negative about someone I've never met (OK, that's a lie), but that guy is a $#@*& idiot."
- John from WuzzaDem

Video Game Voters Network

My Blogfather

Feed The Sins

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Open Trackback Alliance

Open Trackback Alliance

101st Fighting

Powered by Blogger and Blogger Templates
Listed on BlogShares

Top100 Bloggers
Top 100