Stargazer2600

Who's really to blame?

8 posts in this topic

There are A lot of good games still to come out in 2017. 2017 is a great year for gaming and that's all fine and good, only if you find the games to your liking. I was surfing the net earlier and realized something, When does a game really fail? I'm not talking about in sales or what not but as in for you, the buyer. Is it when the graphics arn't 1080p? Is it when its not done for 4k? Talking to a friend of a friend on Facebook, i realized that maybe the games arn't bad. Allow me a few moments to explain.

 

Gamers are a fickle bunch, you cant please them all since some will hate your game just cause its successful.However i found that, when a game is new, as in being a new IP. people are less critical, they dont know what to say. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn is a good example. When its new, the game can get astounding amounts of praise but after that, things change. After that, gamers have a expectation, you gave them something and now they expect you to do it again, only better. Some games are able to do this like Borderlands or Arkham Asylum to Arkham City, But how much better can something be? After ever successful title, gamers expect the next one to be bigger and better and at some point there is a limit, a point where it cant get any better. So when the next game comes out either its not as good and the game gets dumped on, Or they do something new and the fanbase is fractured to those who love the new turn and those that hate it. We will touch briefly on both.

When a game fails to meet gamers expectations. Its torn a new one, I have seen it happen to many titles, but who's fault is that really? Is it the developers for failing to deliver a better and fuller experience? Or the gamers for expecting more and more after each previous title? One example i will use will be Silent Hill. Each Silent Hill is different, with different characters and different stories but the object is the same, solve the mystery. Silent Hill did just that with Silent hill 1 all the way to 3. However When Silent Hill Homecoming came out, that was the one everyone really seemed to dump on. Why though? it was the same Silent Hill vibe they knew and loved. had deep insightfull monsters that had deep hidden meaning, dead children, cults, evil gods. etc. So why did it fail? cause it didn't meet the expectation people had. Resident Ecil 5 could be said for the same. Everyone i know LOVES Resident Evil 4 and when Resident Evil 5 came out, it was called lame and stupid and picked apart for being action over horror when gameplay wise and such, it was the same as 4. In the end, after research, you learn that it wasnt the game that was bad. its cause it didnt meet expectations.

and i honestly feel thats unfair

 

We live in a world now where games can be hailed or crucified by mere reviews and every title from that franchise, we want more and more. fail to deliver more and thats it, your done. So who's fault is it really? the devloper? or us for having such high expectations?


If a game chooses to take a new direction, it could split the fanbase. All you need to do to see this, is look at fallout. The original games had this top down view with turn based combat. However once Bethesda got the rights, it turned into a first person RPG game as you see today. This actually split the base into pre and post Bethesda with pre Bethesda fans known as "true fans". Another example is MGS TPP. it is HUGELY different from its other games nd depending on the person, they will either hate it, or love it

whichever way a developer chooses to go, they are gonna get flak, but a developer cant change the game style with each title. This brings me back to my first sentence. A lot of games are coming out in 2017. GoW 4, RDR 2, TloU 2 and more, and these are all big games, with big expectations. What happens, if they fail to meet them? I know that following hype should not be encouraged and i'm by no means saying to do so or not. I'm just saying, wouldnt it be easier for everyone, both gamer and developer to keep expectations in check? If you keep low expectations, then perhaps we could have more terrific games when we get blown away. Sometimes that game is lightning in a bottle, it wont happen twice and who are we really to expect them to do it again? So who is really to blame, when a game fails?

 

thoughts?

Edited by Stargazer2600
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Excellent write-up.  A game fails for me if there is an unforgiving glitch that prevents me from achieving my goal, if the frame rate lags, or the graphics could be better.  If there are impossible fights/jumps/combos.  Also, if a game does not have realistic checkpoints (for those games that do not have a save option).  Playing the same level from the beginning for the 45th time because I did another lame jump is just frustrating.  

 

I used to buy games because I looked forward to them and wanted the preorder bonus.  But the past 2 years I very rarely buy a game before it is released because there have been so many dogs out there.  That bums me out.  Your example RDR2; I really like RDR but can they improve upon it so much that I would preorder?  Will it look like GTAV (which I love and played for 3 years) on horseback?  

 

Also, realistic pricing on the DLCs.  I really don't want to put out another $50 for the DLCs unless they are worth it.  ESO P2P isn't a bad idea; I buy a month for $15 and get all the DLCs (for the month).  Of course, then I know I'll be playing this game exclusively to get value!

 

Who is to blame?  Unless it is a horrible game and the developer can be blamed, I think it is just gamers changing their likes or what works for them.  Also, if a game has multiplay and your friends don't pick it up, kinda bums you out to play alone or get new friends!

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You make some good points, and I think it is a problem that comes from the serial nature of many of these games. By the time that you're delving into the 4th, 5th or more title in a series, the potential for negative comparison is perhaps too great. I also think that the closeness in games is often shorter these days, which means the memories of past successes are much nearer, and the potential number of innovations is reduced.

Franchises with many games develop a fanbase with some degree of loyalty, and they also develop a group of gamers who decide that that series isn't for them. When a game innovates or changes direction, it is a risky strategy because it divides the loyal fanbase. You might lose half the fanbase over your decisions. The trouble is, you won't gain as many players from the group of people who aren't interested in your series as you will lose from those who are. 

In my opinion, games (and movies, books) should for the most part be capped at trilogies. It is much too difficult to maintain a level of success across anything much longer. Of course, exceptions exist. Of course, it will never happen, because the name carries weight (I doubt "Space Journey" would sell as well as "Mass Effect: Andromeda" even if the games were identical). But new can also be extremely successful (see HZD) because they don't have the burden of expectation on them.

 

And then there's Final Fantasy XV :hmm:

 

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As somebody who has been playing video games for at least 25 years, I pick and choose what's good or best for me, not what others think.

 

Horizon Zero Dawn has been on my list since it was announced well over a year ago. But I've yet to play any game from 2017 due to my backlog, and the fact I'm struggling financially as of right now. I'm looking for another job, but it hasn't been easy.

 

Personally I think the first two Fallout games are some of the best games of all time. The amount of variety with character creation and the number of missions and side quests you could take on was astonishing for something that wasn't a fantasy RPG set in medieval times. I never played Fallout 3 or New Vegas. I tried to get into Fallout 4 but couldn't take the mediocre dialogue and the rather boring male/female voice actor for your character. It's on my backlog, and I will get to it at some point.

 

Assassins Creed is sort of hanging in the balance. This is an example of a franchise that started off a little rough but became a celebrated series when Ezio came in the picture. But since around Revelations or III, Assassins Creed has had a lot of mixed feelings from the fans. Syndicate got a lot of good reviews but some people still didn't like it. The present day story was completely shot when Desmond died, and now people merely watch behind the scenes without really interacting with the storyline. There was a strong correlation between the present day and the historical periods based on the ancestors. The struggles between Assassins and Templars could of eventually lead into a strong conclusion and a lasting impression for the fans who invested a lot of time into the series. But Ubisoft messed that up by focusing too much on the Ones Who Came Before, the First Civilization who built the Pieces of Eden, rather than the conflict the first Assassins Creed did so well in portraying. The Assassins Creed storyline was one of the most interesting ones in the mainstream gaming community, and it now it's just "Well we'll just pop a random person into the Animus or simulator and have them play one of their ancestors". It disappoints me that Ubisoft did that.

 

God of War could see a new generation of fans but it's unsure how the old fans will feel. Santa Monica has pretty much dried up all possibilities of there being a time paradox, a prequel or an an actual sequel to the Greek lore. All the Greek Gods fell in III, but when Ascension came out it felt more like a padding to try to expand Krato's story a little more. My one gripe in the sequels is he is merely a monster. In the first God of War he is more human, he shows feelings and remorse for killing his own family. By the end of II he is literally a killing machine with no forethought or real emotion other than pure hatred for everything. I've only watched a little footage of the new God of War but I'm assuming Sony Santa Monica shifted their focus to Norse mythology. The Greek mythology has been played out and there's really nothing more to explore there.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 will be interesting. It's tradition for Rockstar to star a different character, which makes me wonder what happened to Jack Marston once you beat the entire game 100 percent. Is there a new gang of outlaws? Are we seeing an earlier time period in the old American West? I don't know, I haven't done any research. But it wouldn't be Red Dead Redemption without multiplayer, which is one of the few times I felt it was completely necessary to put it in. I'm hoping Rockstar will do a better job in eliminating the hackers and glitchers from this game. The first game is riddled with bugs and glitches, and some of the hackers who still play it make the experience horrible for everyone else. More than likely Red Dead Redemption 2 will have a lot of multiplayer trophies, along with multiplayer DLC just like the first game. I have yet to see a Rockstar game people were extremely disappointed with. If the game does well we could see a GOTY contender.

 

The series that really dropped the ball is Sonic the Hedgehog. Younger viewers here won't remember this as they were too young, but Sonic was a huge deal in the early 1990s. The early games were all about collecting a lot of rings and racing to the end of the stages as quick as possible. They were memorable and they are easily in my top 10 games of all time. SEGA cashed in a little further with Sonic CD and a few other fairly successful titles. But once they went downhill with the 32X, the Saturn, and a poor showcase of bad games in the mid - late 1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog suffered. The Dreamcast was somewhat of a success, with Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 bringing in a new generation of fans, and a couple of other titles developed by SEGA that were successful on their own. But that didn't stop the generally poor sales, and SEGA dropped out of the console race entirely in 2001. Sonic the Hedgehog has probably one of the most divided and mixed fanbase I've ever had the misfortune of knowing. Sonic's games have received all kinds of mixed feelings, some of the titles were mildly okay while others, like the 2006 Sonic reboot, were a disaster. It's sad, because as a little kid Sonic was an icon to look up to. Now he's merely a shell of what he used to be, and to add insult to injury one of the comics I subscribed to (Archie Comics) is one of verge of shutting down, due to lawsuits and other legal problems. What a shame.

 

This is all I can say for now.

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1 hour ago, Stargazer2600 said:

However When Silent Hill Homecoming came out, that was the one everyone really seemed to dump on.

I think people dumped on SH: The Room and Downpour a lot too. Personally, Homecoming is easy to target as it followed the aesthetics of the first movie and die hard SH fans would most likely be moved to say that the game is a bit of a cop out. Yes, it does have those established SH tropes, but the way it was presented came off as pretty uninspired and boring. The only saving grace for me was Yamaoka's music.

 

Game "failures" can be attributed to a huge number of reasons, anything from logical to downright inane. It's a mix of both the game company and gamer.

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I wrote an article on my website about this last year. For me games usually fail because they announce them too soon or commit too much resources to development - to meet player "expectations" - but also those of neglect.

 

For instance, Pokemon Go. It didn't fail - it was a huge success, but only because of the decade-and-a-half cult following Pokemon has achieved over the years - yet, most of its players only turned towards it again after release in response to the hype its released stirred. They had gotten so bored of hearing and reading about it being "in development" and "not ready for release yet" so much that they lost interest prior to its release. The same thing happens with a lot of games. Not only that, but to maintain their funding, they have to announce these big projects at events such as E3 to bring the shareholders and investors in. Because of the nature of these events, it's an announcement of the game in the truest sense of the word, and it's almost always announced too early.

 

Then we turn to the amount of resources. Games back along were costing well over £2 million. Now they are upwards of £50m. But the codebase and the projects are an even bigger scale; the mechanics of the games are more complex; the more people working on a single thing the more likely bugs are going to slip through that development net - and nobody hates bugs in their games. This isn't much of a problem usually: open-minded people are understanding enough to see that it isn't a case of "devs just use the excuse nowadays to release games to make their money and patch it later", but rather the truer form: you can stare at something for long enough that you won't see your mistakes until somebody else notices them. But because of the money, they have to resort to the above: announce the games early.

 

Further along this line, as well as that of neglect, is "pushing" games out. Look at Dragon Age: Inquisition or Shadow of Mordor on the PS3: games that should never have been released on that console because they just weren't compatible with for the dated hardware. Yet they done it anyway. And neglect can be a sight in which one looks at No Man's Sky untoward too. And other titles like Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider (with their Xbox timed exclusivity deal).

 

 

But it's not always the developer studios. It's players too with their ever-loud whinging and droning on about this and that and everything in between, like they know everything about developing games and the like - I can even point an example of this to a post on the forums, but I won't because it singles a user out. This excludes how developers stop paying attention to fans much of the time because of their outright abusive attitudes. Look at this link, an article of disgusting abuse aimed at the lead Dragon Age 2/Inquisition writer; all because fans didn't enjoy her particular writing style.

Link: https://encyclopediadramatica.rs/Jennifer_Hepler

Quote

Bioware, possibly feeling pity for the marooned moron, decided to put her onto their writing staff, where she promptly smeared her stanky ambergris all over Dragon Age II and Star Wars: The Old Republic, ensuring that no one could ever enjoy those once hotly anticipated games. Bioware had made the unfortunate mistake of hiring a 16 ton marine creature that could neither write, play video games, or avoid the malicious harpoons of the internet.

Another Bioware example, the lead animator for their recent animations hiccup. And the Sean Murray drama around No Man's Sky - how could he have said anything at all when he knew that a single comment would mean a lot of trouble for him (personally)? It's easy for some to forget that they are targeting real people, but targeting real people is what they are doing.

 

These sorts of people are explanation enough to show us why video game developers don't often "listen" to fans anymore; in turn, the features fans want to see aren't imported, or not imported in such a way that pleases them.

 

There's no single answer because, in short, it's everyone - to an extent - thus leading to a debate. It's a little like a diplomatic debate on which platform is best to play on. You're only going to get long-winded replies like this one saying "it's all of them".

 

 

 

Edited by GarryKE
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1 hour ago, GarryKE said:

Then we turn to the amount of resources. Games back along were costing well over £2 million. Now they are upwards of £50m. But the codebase and the projects are an even bigger scale; the mechanics of the games are more complex; the more people working on a single thing the more likely bugs are going to slip through that development net - and nobody hates bugs in their games. This isn't much of a problem usually: open-minded people are understanding enough to see that it isn't a case of "devs just use the excuse nowadays to release games to make their money and patch it later", but rather the truer form: you can stare at something for long enough that you won't see your mistakes until somebody else notices them. But because of the money, they have to resort to the above: announce the games early.

 

If you go back to the 1980s and early 1990s, games were developed by very small studios. DOOM is still one of the greatest games of all time and will probably forever be one of the greatest. id Software was a small studio, their budget was nothing like the juggernauts we see today. John Romero and John Carmack both turned the video game world upside down because now we have a first person shooter that was not only revolutionary, but could also have multiplayer. Last year's DOOM was a success among old fans of DOOM. Wolfenstein The New Order and The Old Blood also did wonders for those who grew up on Wolfenstein 3D. Apart from Nintendo and a couple other developers, video games were mostly for a niche audience. Now the industry is mainstream and has overtaken the movie and music industries. As a result, the fans, the players, have become much more judgemental.

 

EA and Ubisoft both get a lot of bad criticism. EA was voted Worst Company in America TWICE. Ubisoft still releases games with a lot of bugs and glitches. The industry is a profit machine, in the early days that wasn't really the case. Games that get released with a lot of bugs by one company is often a telling picture. Assassins Creed Unity was riddled with bugs, glitches, and annoying game mechanics. Same thing with Assassins Creed III. Batman: Arkham Knight was released to a lot of criticism, due to it's story and terrible PC version, which Steam had to remove due to overwhelming response (but later added back on when the game was patched and fixed). I don't know whether these games were released too early (Assassins Creed III was a bit rushed because of the 2012 DOOMSDAY storyline it told) or if there was just no way for someone to proofread the story scripts and read over endless lines of programming code to see if anything was wrong.

 

The video game industry is so big and complex now that it's literally impossible to please everyone. There's a whole business with making money off of games, just like American Football. Whenever I look at the credits for a particular game from Ubisoft, you can easily guess that a good 90 - 95 percent of those people had absolutely nothing to do with the actual game. There's marketing teams who design and put out the video advertisements for games, there's teams to recruit game play testers, there's teams that deliver their games to various Youtube channels like Brian (PS4Trophies), PowerPyx and theRadBrad because they want the games to be played by someone ahead of everyone else. It becomes extremely complicated. Gone are the days where a tiny studio was renting a little office with a few computers and a couple microphones.

 

We just hope that we, the players, issue out a statement when there is a problem with a game, and have the developers see and fix their own coding problems before their games get marketed and shipped out.

 

2 hours ago, GarryKE said:

Further along this line, as well as that of neglect, is "pushing" games out. Look at Dragon Age: Inquisition or Shadow of Mordor on the PS3: games that should never have been released on that console because they just weren't compatible with for the dated hardware. Yet they done it anyway. And neglect can be a sight in which one looks at No Man's Sky untoward too. And other titles like Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider (with their Xbox timed exclusivity deal).

 

Any bad port really. The Jak and Daxter titles on the Vita. Usually they're done to cash in.

 

2 hours ago, GarryKE said:

But it's not always the developer studios. It's players too with their ever-loud whinging and droning on about this and that and everything in between, like they know everything about developing games and the like - I can even point an example of this to a post on the forums, but I won't because it singles a user out. This excludes how developers stop paying attention to fans much of the time because of their outright abusive attitudes. Look at this link, an article of disgusting abuse aimed at the lead Dragon Age 2/Inquisition writer; all because fans didn't enjoy her particular writing style.

Link: https://encyclopediadramatica.rs/Jennifer_Hepler

Another Bioware example, the lead animator for their recent animations hiccup. And the Sean Murray drama around No Man's Sky - how could he have said anything at all when he knew that a single comment would mean a lot of trouble for him (personally)? It's easy for some to forget that they are targeting real people, but targeting real people is what they are doing.

 

These sorts of people are explanation enough to show us why video game developers don't often "listen" to fans anymore; in turn, the features fans want to see aren't imported, or not imported in such a way that pleases them.

 

There's no single answer because, in short, it's everyone - to an extent - thus leading to a debate. It's a little like a diplomatic debate on which platform is best to play on. You're only going to get long-winded replies like this one saying "it's all of them".

 

 

 

 

I saw this with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When Snake and Sonic were announced back in 2007, fans were going "Why didn't you put Cloud in the game? Why didn't you put *insert character from Metroid*? Why wasn't 'said' character included"?

 

The man who maintained the announcements for the game probably got tired of the fans, as you can imagine. When secret characters were leaked there was a huge uproar about it. Several years later when Brawl was the WII U was released, time repeated itself. People complained about the game mechanics, no Snake, no Ice Climbers, etc etc etc.

 

Everybody is on their own it seems.

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I wouldn't say every game in a franchise, has to continually innovate/change to be successful. Scott Cawthon's 'Five Nights at Freddy's' franchise didn't really change massively until FNAF 4 and Sister Location. Before then, you were a dude, in an office, trying to protect yourself from spooky animatronics. Then again, those games came out rather quickly each time, and had that insidiously tantalising hidden lore, for players to sift through and decipher. Sometimes a big change can do well, like how Fallout turned into a shooter, when it was a strategy game prior to Fallout 3. 

 

Assassin's Creed was a franchise that went overboard with the sequels and released them so frequently that their were games that could get lost in the shuffle. Plus the storytelling and characters became less fleshed out, as a result of Ubisoft pumping out games too quickly, and not taking more time, to develop them. Hence why we ended up with the bug-riddled AC: Unity. I feel Ubisoft got really lazy, after Assassin's Creed IV, filling their maps with loads of collectable tat, to drag it out and keep you busy. I recall spending days in AC: Rogue, tediously tracking down every collectable fragment, treasure chest, viking artefact etc. Thankfully Ubi seems to have taken a break, to hopefully work on a solid AC game.

 

The Uncharted games for me, are really good in the innovation/adding more to the series aspect of improving sequels. Each new game adds some new mechanics, that enhance the experience, whether it's unique enemy types, new characters or even something mundane, as weather effects. The series is always taking you to exotic or ancient locales, and even brings you into more modern cities, for scenes of the game. Uncharted is in that comfortable zone of progressing the franchise, without changing too much. This also makes each Uncharted game memorable, keeping that uncharted feel through all the series.

 

Also I liked Resident Evil 5, I don't think it's a good 'Resident Evil' game, but I do think it's a good game. It feels more, like it should be a spinoff, or side-story game, starring Chris Redfield. Like how Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is hack n slash gameplay-wise and most of the series is about stealth.

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