Video game industry is in over its head
This rant was originally posted on my personal Mastodon.
I've seen a lot of debates on the current pricing entry point for video games, especially since the release of the 4090, and yes I fully agree that at minimum the HW industry has gone full cynical.
THAT SAID. I see one argument coming back again and again that I CANNOT agree to: that the best entry point for modern gaming is Nintendo.
So that's it, gaming actors have all become so bad that we're ready to forgive big N for more than 30 years of anti-consumerism? Nah dudes, the only thing I'll give big N is that you don't need the latest and greatest HW to create amazing games, but that is all. For the rest, they can die in a ditch for all I care.
The industry is in a very bad situation at the moment. It's been already decades since we warned that rising production costs are symptomatic of creator folks needing to chill out and come back to the basics.
This gave birth to new generations of indie devs and makers, and they are the heroes. Of course, I like many love to indulge in a big dirty AAA game once in a while (I do enjoy COD from time to time), but it's just unsustainable.
It's still the same debate as it has been for years:
- companies need to be lead by creators, not investors
- gaming culture needs reform and I'm banking hard on the new generations
- it is up to us creators to make this shift happen, by going back to our sources and making games, not products
We can't sustain productions with 1200 people involved. We can't be spending 80% of a game's budget on things that are not gameplay. We can't allow companies like Nvidia normalizing price hikes that have fuck all to do with the real economy. We can't let their competitors like AMD take it as a cue to also normalize the same thing.
We need to reform the way we create and play. The alternative has been very well documented in 1983. We're already heading that way at blistering speeds. Consumers will start abandoning us at this rate.
And this time it's not saturation of the market for the consumer, it's saturation of the industry itself high on its fumes of being the biggest entertainment industry. That's something we can fix.
We're just not ready to have this conversation because money.
Just to finish on something positive, here are some things as a consumer that you can do to not feel like games are ripping you off:
- never, NEVER preorder ffs
- be vocal about the real problems: anti-consumerism and not because there are “politics” in your game
- support local and marginalized creators, even if you need to step out of your comfort zone. You'd be amazed at the creativity from the scene nowadays
Remember, we're here to make and play games. To have fun.
Some thoughts I couldn't fit in:
- cloud gaming is not and will never be a sustainable solution, nor is it an “easier” entry point for gaming
- I'd like to encourage players to start making: gamedev has never been this easy, you don't need to code, and the term “asset flipping” should be banned from anyone's mouths because artistry is a whole separate matter from gameplay
- there is no problem about liking a AAA game. Just realize the cost it takes and consider if it's worth it. Don't feel guilty for it though, awareness is more than enough to make a change.