Monday, June 4, 2012

Thoughts on the Future of Gaming & Next-Gen

The gaming industry is doomed.

That's quite a statement, huh? Saying something like that can mean any number of things, but typically it's nothing too great. There're so many rumors running around about the details of the Next-Gen systems and their supposed features, like Touch-Screens and Motion-Control; both of which, mind you, are stupid.

Gimmicks and Casual-Gaming are taking over slowly but surely. The new "Wii U" is all about "connectivity" and their new Giant-Cell-Phone-Controller that is supposed to be so great. I haven't had a chance to use the Wii U personally, I've only held it in my hands, and that was enough to turn me away for good.

The size alone was enough to turn my stomach, but what I was hearing was even worse: Making games that are focused on their "Play-N-Go" system, about using the Touch-Screen to view your games and be able to go from TV to Portable and back. Now, that sounds like a nice thing, right? Well, it isn't.

All of this points towards focusing on making "games" that are severely stripped down and appeal to a Mass-Market. While that makes sense from a Business standpoint, it means shit is ahead for Hardcore Gamers. I do like Casual gaming, things like Angry Birds are great for your phone or PC when you're bored or need to kill a few minutes, but games like that do not bode well for the future of Hardcore Gaming.

As I've said before, it's not that companies wanting to make a buck are all-of-a-sudden a bad thing, it's the fact that the CEO's and Executives and Shareholders have now gotten so damn Greedy it's ridiculous. It's not just the Gaming Industry, it's the entire world, as the General Public has now realized that ever since 2007 things have steadily gone downhill. Companies are not just releasing Casual games to make a buck, they're sacrificing the Hardcore Gaming market because they're not satisfied with only $1 Billion they need $100 Billion, and once they have that they'll want $200 Billion.

But, I digress.

With the news of the Wii U and Microsoft pushing their Kinect and their new "SmartGlass" crap, the overall quality of the products plummets, because they're focusing all of their attention on trying to get the largest piece of the pie that they can. I do applaud companies like Rockstar Games, because although they're just as guilty as the rest of delaying games for profit, at least the games they DO push out are ridiculously amazing (Max Payne 3).

I don't have much hope for the future of gaming, I really don't. I can see the Next-Gen systems focusing more on all of the gadgets and gizmos like Kinect and Touch-Screens to push them through. Anybody who's used Kinect (myself included) can attest to the fact that the quality of that hunk of plastic is as low as a tuna fish's place on the food-chain.

People like Cliff Bleszinski are helping ruin the industry I put well over 10 years of my life into. For the record, Next-Gen systems are NOT needed. What IS needed are Publishers and Developers who still care about the Hardcore fan-base, the ones who helped put them in the place they're in now. I hope Gamers will wake up and start voting with their wallet and show the industry that we all have a voice and that we want better-quality games that we deserve.

Also for the record I'm not a huge fan of Multiplayer games. I don't hate them, quite far from that actually, but I feel making games completely based on simple Multiplayer-tactics that are decades old is a bad move. I do enjoy games like Battlefield (even though EA is apart of it) but when Developers start changing the entire game mechanics of a game's Single-Player Experience to better fit Multiplayer, that is absolute bullshit.

I will keep some faith in the future of Gaming, because it is MY Industry and it's what I love and many millions love as well.

PS: Please quit sending me so many damn messages and e-mails about my writing technique; everybody has their own style of writing and this is mine. I focus on creating Stories and Depth over General Appeal. I haven't been able to write as much as I would have liked because I'm working on some Stories and finishing my third Novel, so I've been a bit busy as of late, but I haven't forgotten so don't worry :).


  1. Couple things:

    1) I agree with most of what you said in this article, Microsoft's press conference seemed to be focused on 2 things: first of which being the "glass crap" you mentioned; the other being their games, which I was unsurprisingly disappointed with. Reason being is because for the most part they were either the next "Halo" or "Gears" (which Microsoft needs to stop relying on so much) or a non Microsoft exclusive.

    2) As far as certain games being developed around the multiplayer component *cough* Battlefield 3 *cough*... I understand where you are coming from, but you know as well as I do certain games are multiplayer games first, and the singleplayer is tac'ed on most likely because the publisher squeezed it out of the devs. Like I mentioned before, the Battlefield series never really had a singleplayer component (except for the bad company sub series); it was designed around the multiplayer, and for good reason too. It's likely they added the singleplayer because of pressure to do so from EA, possibly to ease the transition to consoles.

  2. One more thing... I will admit to being really impressed with Sony's E3 appearance this year (as far as the PS3 goes at least). It was all about the games, and many of the games that were shown are going to be Sony exclusives. I'm with you when it comes to the gimmick's, I bought my console to play good games, not to be able to start my car with my controller.

  3. Sadly people are too ignorant and continue buying whatever comes along.

    The ones that actually think about the future of gaming are a minority.

  4. I agree with what you mostly wrote. Infact I predicted such a dismal period of time back in 2005. This was with the advent of halo 2 and its "mainstreaming" I saw it as an omen. I knew the mainstreaming of games (I like to call it) as a very bad trend that will lead to stagnatated gameplay. Introduction of regenerating health (most shooters now) and the simplifcation and de-complication of games (Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age). This does spell a dark age of video games, however there is hope you have aspiring developers like me with new business models and other developers that might turn things around.

    However, I will disagree with you on one point, that is motion tracking. I been keeping up with the lasted generation (outside of the gaming industry) it has gotten very accurate and there is a huge potiental application to this in both gameplay and game developement. I will agree that right now it is being use in a horrible manner. As I am a very innovative person, I know alot of uses for this and have my own designs to impliment motion tracking the right way. I think blowing it off and ignoring it as a potential is not wise, but in the sense the current generation of how it being use I have no arguement.

    1. First Paragraph: I don't view "simplification" of games as a necessary bad thing, as I think things like Regenerative Health are good ideas. It lets you stay in the story without getting to a point where you have no health kits left and can no longer proceed, thus meaning you're now fucked. Games like Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age are great games, in my opinion, because of their stories and the WAY they implement things, not just for WHAT is implemented.

      Second Paragraph: The Kinect is garbage, plain and simple. You can't sugar-coat that any way, sorry. Also, the original ideas I heard about what Developers had planned for Motion-Sensing Technology, such as having a FPS where you physically move around a lot and physically crouch and jump to do those moves sounds amazing on paper but fails miserably in practice.

      That completely eliminates all disabled people from playing your game. That completely eliminates all people who have sore joints or who either cannot or do not want to do that. I enjoy sitting on my ass, in my nice couch with a tiny controller in my hands that can control every aspect of my game with minimal physical effort so I can enjoy the story and gameplay put before me.

    2. Thanks for the response, I can see your point on the motion tracking, I more think on the lines of head tracking to allow head movement. Granted I am talking about type of perphials. About Dragon Age, the one I referring to is DA2. But we can agree to disagree on the minor tweets in gaming, and what not. Thanks for your response.

    3. The better motion control becomes, the more inherently elusive it will become to those with disabilities (and\or sore joints).

  5. Quick question here mike: When you are brainstorming for blogposts, do you take readers opinions or is it a whats on mikes mind kind of thing>?

    1. Combination of what's on my mind at the moment as well as ideas from readers/comments. I have a horrible memory haha so I tend to forget things I want to talk about because I have so many things going on it's so hectic.

      I'm glad that I was able to get some good ideas from the readers here to address the issues that are most important to all of you. If you write an idea on here there's a good chance I'll write about it for you.

  6. Gaming is becoming more accessible, it doesn't mean it's core experience will disappear. Sure the ratio of core games to casual will continue to decrease rapidly but ultimately core games are still selling more than ever of themselves. I firmly believe core games are here to stay.

    P.S. I share your feelings on multiplayer, ruining games like Mass Effect 3 damn EA / Bioware.