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The state of the industry in 2021 - Are games becoming progressively shittier over time or is that perception just a symptom of getting older?

nkarafo

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All those points are legit. But getting older is also an issue.

Getting older means you get more experienced with games. You've seen more, you played more. That means a new game is less likely to impress you. Because you have more chances you played something similar/better already.

Modern games can also be very complex, having many aspects from other games combined. Each of these aspects (on their own) may be better in games you played before, thus, making the new game feel worse if you focus on those things and ignore other things said game does well.

Same thing happens with every media. New movies become even worse than games as you get older.
 
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Mistershine.

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The thing that bites me the most about microtransactions is that the developer does the work on the skin or whatever it is once and then just keeps collecting all this money from microtransactions indefinitely, when they shouldnt be making additional revenue off of it. It's a scummy business model. In extreme cases, like EA, microtransactions are blatantly abused and borderline scam territory. (loot boxes, 'surprise mechanics' and all this nonsense justification)
How long should they be allowed to make money? If they create a skin and people buy it, when should they stop selling it and start giving it away?
 

BattleScar

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Mixed bag.
The industry is heading towards the shitter with MTX madness everywhere and publishers thinking they can get away with shipping broken games and then fixing them later (and they are...for now).
Meanwhile, once you've seen and played a lot, there is less of a chance of you seeing something genuinely new and interesting. It's all been done before in some form or another. The novelty has worn off.
This is a personal thing.
 
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Balducci30

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I feel like games these days seem to be hella recycled, boring experiences - the same shit reskinned again and again for the same (if not higher) price tag. Perhaps its because im like 25 now and I've seen my fair share, so it's not as exciting anymore, but maybe its also just because the quality of them has decreased?

Developers also seem to be more afraid to go out on a limb and take risks, resulting in games that play it way too safe. One thing I noticed is that usually developers will try a few things, find something that works, and then milk the fuck out of it. But then they don't make better games - once they have their cash cow you'd think they'd be like "ok great we solved the money problem, now lets make some good shit" - but they dont even seem to in a lot of cases.

Maybe that's a shot at capitalism, but it's funny you know because when you start a business, your funds are low and you're trying to cultivate something amazing, and by the time you finally see success youve just become heinously greedy and creatively bankrupt. This isnt just a reality for the videogame industry either, it happens all over. The world in general is a more insane place than most people realize outside their sheltered reality.

Overall, I feel the following is the sad reality/issues with video games in 2021:
  1. Microtransactions are everywhere and they're being accepted by docile consumers (and/or ignorant younger people) who are not choosing with their wallet, further perpetuating the problem
  2. Certain developers appear to be hacking gamers for $$$ and getting away with it, while no one acknowledges what is happening before their eyes
  3. New games are often recycled hot garbage thats hyped to the moon and back (but never lives up to it's expectations)
  4. Video games dont even ship complete anymore, content is cut from the disc or original offering and then being offered later as DLC, or worse, it's being left on the disc and then unlocked after the initial purchase with yet another purchase
  5. Console gamers have to pay monthly to play online (when they already pay for internet - yes i know this isnt a new thing, but its always been bullshit)
  6. Video games are hitting prices far too high for the average consumer to realistically want to buy more than a couple a year
  7. Fewer games are developed each year, and the ones that are play it incredibly safe to ensure profits aren't low
  8. Games/writers are now injecting political and social agendas into video games
  9. Developers are pandering to anything that makes anyone uncomfortable and completely blunting any apparent edginess to appeal more to a larger audience (devs are legitimately afraid to be edgy in today's world as apposed to two or three generations ago)
  10. Every developer seems to want you to have and use their own marketplace and app launcher so they can make more $$$ and profile you harder, forcing consumers to install trash they dont want just to even play games
  11. Developers skimp on substance and instead make everything hella shiny/explosive in an attempt to overstimulate the player and 'wow' them (because explosions and shiny things are entertaining, right?) - a general over-focus on graphical fidelity and how it looks rather than how it plays
  12. Games ship broken with many bugs - developers release day 1 patches to supposedly fix the issues, but the patches dont even fix the issues in some cases (why not just fix the issues before launching the game, the fuck?) resulting in consumers getting a shitty experience that is in some cases unplayable (and effectively being scammed)
  13. And more that's not coming to mind right now
I recognize that some of these issues are due to the way business goes and economical pressures on both the consumer and business' side, but the overall state of things is concerning.

Does anyone feel like most games aren't living up to their hype and or expectations? At what point do you think the shift happened? IMO there seems to be many industry wide issues that aren't really being addressed, or companies aren't being held accountable. What could be done to resolve these issues?

Discuss.

Excuse any poor formatting/weird continuity issues, this is just a bunch of thoughts dumped onto a page.
I have the exact opposite opinion in a lot of ways. I feel like games by and large have gotten much much better - at least single player ones, but it’s stagnated a bit so there isn’t as much innovation as there used to be. But overall I’d say quality is higher in spite of the bullshit that comes with it like micro transactions and patches - but those don’t really fuck with me as I don’t care enough
 

nkarafo

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There are quite a few personal favorites that haven't been surpassed:

Super Metroid (only Metroid Prime and SOTN comes close. Maybe Axiom Verge too. Some more recent Castlevania games on GBA/DS are OK. Bloodstained was just OK)
Dungeon Keeper (any similar modern game was inferior for me)
Zelda - Majora's Mask (the time loop is unique and the dark atmosphere also elevates this more than any other Zelda game)
SMW2: Yoshi's Island (still the best 2D platformer)
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (the 2nd best 2D platformer IMO)
TMNT 4 (SNES)/Streets of Rage 2 (still the best beat-em-ups)
Starcraft 1 (single player campaign is magnitudes better than SC2)
Red Alert 2 (still the best RTS overall imo)
F-Zero X/GX (where are the modern futuristic racers? The indy ones also kinda suck)
DOOM/QUAKE/Duke Nukem 3D/DOOM 64 (the labyrinthine "puzzle" like level design is dead. Some indies are trying to emulate this but they are not as good)
F.E.A.R (still the best AI in a shooter)
Sega Rally/Daytona USA/Colin Mcrae 2.0-3.0-2005/Rallisport Challenge/Outrun 2006 (where are the 60fps arcade racers now?)
Anno 1404 (it's still the best Anno/city builder IMO)
System Shock 2 (Bioshock and PREY were great. But i don't think they were better)
REmake (still the best Resident Evil game)
Rogue Leader (still the best Star War game)
Baldur's Gate 2 (what's the modern equivalent? Are they as good?)
Diablo 1/2 (same as above)
Advance wars series (GBA and DS, so they are old. anything similar now that is as good?)
Silent Hill 2/3 (nuff said)
Portal/Portal2/Talos Principle (haven't seen something as good lately)

I don't think these older games have been surpassed in the last couple of generations. Though some like Portal 2, Anno and Talos could be considered modern games but oh, well. Talos is still a 6 year old game.

If you think that's "nostalgia" you'd be wrong. Some of those games i played well after they were considered old. I played System Shock 2 after Bioshock and i still liked it more. Same with Duke Nukem 3D. I'm enjoying it more than any modern FPS right now. There's even a DOOM mega wad released in 2007 (Knee-Deep in zDOOM) which is like a remake of the original DOOM's first episode and even that i enjoyed way more than any FPS i played the last, dunno, 10 years?
 
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Sparhavoc

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Sep 4, 2020
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I feel like games these days seem to be hella recycled, boring experiences - the same shit reskinned again and again for the same (if not higher) price tag. Perhaps its because im like 25 now and I've seen my fair share, so it's not as exciting anymore, but maybe its also just because the quality of them has decreased?

Developers also seem to be more afraid to go out on a limb and take risks, resulting in games that play it way too safe. One thing I noticed is that usually developers will try a few things, find something that works, and then milk the fuck out of it. But then they don't make better games - once they have their cash cow you'd think they'd be like "ok great we solved the money problem, now lets make some good shit" - but they dont even seem to in a lot of cases.

Maybe that's a shot at capitalism, but it's funny you know because when you start a business, your funds are low and you're trying to cultivate something amazing, and by the time you finally see success youve just become heinously greedy and creatively bankrupt. This isnt just a reality for the videogame industry either, it happens all over. The world in general is a more insane place than most people realize outside their sheltered reality.

Overall, I feel the following is the sad reality/issues with video games in 2021:
  1. Microtransactions are everywhere and they're being accepted by docile consumers (and/or ignorant younger people) who are not choosing with their wallet, further perpetuating the problem
  2. Certain developers appear to be hacking gamers for $$$ and getting away with it, while no one acknowledges what is happening before their eyes
  3. New games are often recycled hot garbage thats hyped to the moon and back (but never lives up to it's expectations)
  4. Video games dont even ship complete anymore, content is cut from the disc or original offering and then being offered later as DLC, or worse, it's being left on the disc and then unlocked after the initial purchase with yet another purchase
  5. Console gamers have to pay monthly to play online (when they already pay for internet - yes i know this isnt a new thing, but its always been bullshit)
  6. Video games are hitting prices far too high for the average consumer to realistically want to buy more than a couple a year
  7. Fewer games are developed each year, and the ones that are play it incredibly safe to ensure profits aren't low
  8. Games/writers are now injecting political and social agendas into video games
  9. Developers are pandering to anything that makes anyone uncomfortable and completely blunting any apparent edginess to appeal more to a larger audience (devs are legitimately afraid to be edgy in today's world as apposed to two or three generations ago)
  10. Every developer seems to want you to have and use their own marketplace and app launcher so they can make more $$$ and profile you harder, forcing consumers to install trash they dont want just to even play games
  11. Developers skimp on substance and instead make everything hella shiny/explosive in an attempt to overstimulate the player and 'wow' them (because explosions and shiny things are entertaining, right?) - a general over-focus on graphical fidelity and how it looks rather than how it plays
  12. Games ship broken with many bugs - developers release day 1 patches to supposedly fix the issues, but the patches dont even fix the issues in some cases (why not just fix the issues before launching the game, the fuck?) resulting in consumers getting a shitty experience that is in some cases unplayable (and effectively being scammed)
  13. And more that's not coming to mind right now
I recognize that some of these issues are due to the way business goes and economical pressures on both the consumer and business' side, but the overall state of things is concerning.

Does anyone feel like most games aren't living up to their hype and or expectations? At what point do you think the shift happened? IMO there seems to be many industry wide issues that aren't really being addressed, or companies aren't being held accountable. What could be done to resolve these issues?

Discuss.

Excuse any poor formatting/weird continuity issues, this is just a bunch of thoughts dumped onto a page.
Exactly what you said, games in the west are playing it too safe as to not hurt anyone's fee fees. Thing is, that destroys creativity and the restriction of freedom creates a bland game. They don't seem to realise this.
 
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MasterDerico

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Im with you OP!
90% of what u said it's sad but true...

Yes Thumbs Up GIF by Paper Triangles
 

brian0057

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I mean... people unironically call The Witcher 3 an "RPG".
That alone shows you just how low the bar has been set since the glory days of the almighty Daggerfall.
 

Clear

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Feb 2, 2009
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There are quite a few personal favorites that haven't been surpassed:

Super Metroid (only Metroid Prime and SOTN comes close. Maybe Axiom Verge too. Some more recent Castlevania games on GBA/DS are OK. Bloodstained was just OK)
Dungeon Keeper (any similar modern game was inferior for me)
Zelda - Majora's Mask (the time loop is unique and the dark atmosphere also elevates this more than any other Zelda game)
SMW2: Yoshi's Island (still the best 2D platformer)
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (the 2nd best 2D platformer IMO)
TMNT 4 (SNES)/Streets of Rage 2 (still the best beat-em-ups)
Starcraft 1 (single player campaign is magnitudes better than SC2)
Red Alert 2 (still the best RTS overall imo)
F-Zero X/GX (where are the modern futuristic racers? The indy ones also kinda suck)
DOOM/QUAKE/Duke Nukem 3D/DOOM 64 (the labyrinthine "puzzle" like level design is dead. Some indies are trying to emulate this but they are not as good)
F.E.A.R (still the best AI in a shooter)
Sega Rally/Daytona USA/Colin Mcrae 2.0-3.0-2005/Rallisport Challenge/Outrun 2006 (where are the 60fps arcade racers now?)
Anno 1404 (it's still the best Anno/city builder IMO)
System Shock 2 (Bioshock and PREY were great. But i don't think they were better)
REmake (still the best Resident Evil game)
Rogue Leader (still the best Star War game)
Baldur's Gate 2 (what's the modern equivalent? Are they as good?)
Diablo 1/2 (same as above)
Advance wars series (GBA and DS, so they are old. anything similar now that is as good?)
Silent Hill 2/3 (nuff said)
Portal/Portal2/Talos Principle (haven't seen something as good lately)

I don't think these older games have been surpassed in the last couple of generations. Though some like Portal 2, Anno and Talos could be considered modern games but oh, well. Talos is still a 6 year old game.

If you think that's "nostalgia" you'd be wrong. Some of those games i played well after they were considered old. I played System Shock 2 after Bioshock and i still liked it more. Same with Duke Nukem 3D. I'm enjoying it more than any modern FPS right now. There's even a DOOM mega wad released in 2007 (Knee-Deep in zDOOM) which is like a remake of the original DOOM's first episode and even that i enjoyed way more than any FPS i played the last, dunno, 10 years?

The way I see it, our feelings about games (of any vintage) are based on the balance of things we like versus things that we don't. The shortcomings can stand alone, or they can get in the way of enjoying the good parts.

So its not ever really about the merits, its about the whole package. My feeling is that back in the day we were a lot more tolerant of good games with major flaws. When I suggested to go back and see how older games are perhaps less perfect than remembered, I meant that specific thing. For example you mention RA2, which In agree is probably the best RTS ever made, but I also remember Westwood's god-awful IPX-based lan code which made setting up network games a horror-show, I also recall the frequent hideous slow-downs and crashes you'd get with custom maps and mods if the number of entities in the field exceeded a certain amount.

My point was that the problem with nostalgia is what you (choose to) forget in deference to your fond memories. The past was never perfect, and our expectations are now higher than ever.
 
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Yup, games are getting worse especially AAA Western games, also gaming companies are making games with no risk at all, just the same game over and over. i miss when Sony used to publish all of these soulful diverse games.
Most of the games in that list are just the same think over and over. I look over at what a buggy mess and a terrible frame rate The Getway had and yet people here moan about Cyberpunk ;) .
All that's changing is most of us are getting older (close too or past 40) and we also now have the internet to bitch and moan about things and pretend gaming was better back in the old days.

When you're in your teenage and young 20's everything seems better.
 
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Larrydavidyawngif.
This thread again...... Nostalgia's one hell of a drug, these threads and discussions always pop up at the end of each gen, and it's always the same circle jerk and the same answer always applies try to play different games (God knows there are more games then ever before right now) or take a break do something else.

Better yet dig up your old consoles and play those games from start to finish and come and post about your thought of it holds up or if newer games in the franchise outclass it, there are so many beloved games that don't "hold up" because they've been iterated and improved upon in the years since it's release.
 

Valkyria

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Gaming has never been better. I don’t know why the people keep on using the AAA tag, nowadays the lines are really blurry and many developments rival with the quality of past gems too budget games. You can play new games plus all the olders one, even in new hardware.

Well, let’s see how playing AAA was not so long before. Before before Kinect, “the consoles are dead” and the dreaded GaaS.















Welly… welly… Wellington. I’d seem you do can judge the state of an industry by the output of that industry. Shocking.
All those games have new and better entries this gen. I’m gonna suppose that you are on your early 20s because I can tell you for sure that I played way before those games similar or even better. There are even games on there that meant the dismiss of the franchise.
 

Starbuck2907

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Both. Part of getting older is that you get harder to impress plus you gotta dig through more games to find the gems. But, they are still there.

Sometimes, I find that taking a break from gaming helps.
 
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Philfrag

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As I've gotten older ive suddenly become hyper-aware that 99% of video games involve just killing things. No matter what genre, it always leads to that. I understand this isn't always the focal point of some genres, but its always part of the aesthetic. I'm not so much concerned about games becoming shittier, its more that the industry has never escaped its infancy, even though i always thought it would. Looking back it's a shame. The industry should be so much better, so much more diverse (with game mechanics, game genres etc) and experimental but its even less of those things now, more than ever. I understand it, games are a multi-billion dollar industry now but it always makes me laugh when shows like the game awards has game developers patting themselves on the back like they're bringing dreams to life. FUCKING YUCK. Just sit down and keep pretending you're movies you hacks
 
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Rudius

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It depends on the game and some specific aspects. In terms of controls, performance, bugs, quality of life stuff, amount of content, it is better today in my opinion. Games take longer to make, but are larger and higher quality on average.

Where it is worse, apart from the DLC/pay-to-win/mobile/online crap is in terms of innovation, taking risks and trying to make good stories and characters. In these areas new games, like new movies, fell more mass produced, average, non offensive, bland and passionless then older ones.
 

Radical_3d

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All those games have new and better entries this gen. I’m gonna suppose that you are on your early 20s because I can tell you for sure that I played way before those games similar or even better. There are even games on there that meant the dismiss of the franchise.
1) All of this games were a novelty in the year they came out. Now many are a derivative carcass to keep milking the IP. 2) I wasn’t implying that they were better that generation but the point where the industry stoped to care, and that AAA once were risky and varied. 3) Please show me the better version of Halo 3 or Mass Effect 2 or Dead Space which I can buy this generation. That’d be so awesome. 4) I’m forty.
 
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sainraja

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The majority of people don't like them, atleast that I've talked to - I havent heard many good things. I think developers started offering them to test the waters, people accepted them and eventually it's evolved and become a standard (but predatory) practice. Disregard the characterization, and their prevelance remains.

The problem is that a lot of people dont see the issue with it. The reality is that you end up buying these expensive ass games with less actual content, and then paying more over time to get all these dumb skins or other things which should already be included in the game in the first place. It's actually very anti-consumer the way it is handled, while under the veil of being 'additional content' to not seem as scummy as it really is.

The thing that bites me the most about microtransactions is that the developer does the work on the skin or whatever it is once and then just keeps collecting all this money from microtransactions indefinitely, when they shouldnt be making additional revenue off of it. It's a scummy business model. In extreme cases, like EA, microtransactions are blatantly abused and borderline scam territory. (loot boxes, 'surprise mechanics' and all this nonsense justification)
On the flip side, you may not actually see a lot of content like that if it weren't for micro-transactions. You are making the assumption that if micro-transactions didn't exist, this content would ship with the final game. Many games that we bought during the PS1-2 era, were a single package, one and done experience but we have no idea if those experiences could have expanded if the market and infrastructure was there.

The issues you point out are still very real and can't be ignored. We're just criticizing or looking at it the wrong way. Micro-transactions aren't necessarily bad but they shouldn't become an excuse for a developer to give us less stuff (I can't say it doesn't happen, but luckily the games I am into haven't been guilty of this, minus a few maybe.)
 
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Dec 7, 2008
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Ive been gaming since the Atari 2600 days so ive seen and played so much over the years, so many masterpieces but also seen so many terrible games, so i'd say that it's based on your experiences and how long you've been gaming that you just naturally have a more critical eye.

Another factor is, when you're older you have a full time job, significant other, kids, etc.....and life just sometimes gets in the way and you can't play as much as you'd like so now the factor thrown in is "Hey, my time to game is limited at times so now i need to be even more critical to what i purchase and play because i don't have the time to sink like i used to".
 
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MarlboroRed

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I don't think games get shittier, I think we've just been there, done that. We are not as hungry as we used to.

We are coming off an incredible rush, 3D games are not an unknown frontier anymore and graphics don't "wow" us as easy. Doesn't mean there is nothing that could be innovated on, or still improved. It's just an increasingly risky venture for studios and publishers in comparison to the relative safe by the books games.

The way we consume media has changed, too. When I was younger, I used to read gaming magazines all the time. It was the premiere way to get a glimpse of what comes next, infering what was going on through written words and screenshots. Now we have on demand videos, trailers, game coverage through a thousand different sources. There is a lesser sense of mistery regarding new products.

But we also have VR, which will kick off the whole 3D rush we saw with the OG Playstation/N64-era again. People just need to take the risk, invest and put on a headset themselves.
 
Dec 7, 2008
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I don't think games get shittier, I think we've just been there, done that. We are not as hungry as we used to.

We are coming off an incredible rush, 3D games are not an unknown frontier anymore and graphics don't "wow" us as easy. Doesn't mean there is nothing that could be innovated on, or still improved. It's just an increasingly risky venture for studios and publishers in comparison to the relative safe by the books games.

The way we consume media has changed, too. When I was younger, I used to read gaming magazines all the time. It was the premiere way to get a glimpse of what comes next, infering what was going on through written words and screenshots. Now we have on demand videos, trailers, game coverage through a thousand different sources. There is a lesser sense of mistery regarding new products.

But we also have VR, which will kick off the whole 3D rush we saw with the OG Playstation/N64-era again. People just need to take the risk, invest and put on a headset themselves.

You have the percentage of people though like me, however small that percentage is, that get bad motion sickness after playing VR. I was fine during it when i tried it, but after i took the headset off i felt horribly nauseous for almost 2 hrs. Until that factor is 100% or fairly close to that eliminated, i feel that VR will only ever be a niche thing.
 
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Valkyria

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1) All of this games were a novelty in the year they came out. Now many are a derivative carcass to keep milking the IP. 2) I wasn’t implying that they were better that generation but the point where the industry stoped to care, and that AAA once were risky and varied. 3) Please show me the better version of Halo 3 or Mass Effect 2 or Dead Space which I can buy this generation. That’d be so awesome. 4) I’m forty.

You are 40 and you are telling me that Bioshock is better than System Shock 2? And that is just an example. Halo 3 and Mass Effect 2 are one of the best games of that gen and will be invictus for ever. But show an experience last gen as Nioh 1-2, as Forza Horizon 3, as Super Mario Oddyssey, as Spiderman, as Conan Exiles, as Dirt 4, as Assasin's Origins, as Resident Evil 7...
This gen had lots and lots of awesome games that were not possible in the previous hardware. That funny thing is that you saying "the industry stoped to care, and that AAA once were risky and varied" is exactly the same you could read here en 2008 regarding the previous generation. Big games don't take risk, they are formulatic, just like the movies. Every gen was the same, 16 bits was plagued with platformers, but we only remember the best. This gen there was a lot of innovations, and many small studies thanks to technology could deliver incredible games with very little resources. And this is only gonna get better, and many more people is gonna publish more and more experience games.
 

Evil Calvin

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Look at the AAA releases for PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Series X and Switch. 90% are sequels, prequels, remakes, remasters. I don't this Nintendo has released a new IP since Ring Fit. No originality or risks by publishers in order to keep the profits high. Also, sales expectations are unrealistic (looking at you Square Enix.... When Tomb Raider sold 6 million they said they were disappointed and fell below expectations,. Same with Hitman 1 a few years ago).
 

Loope

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I’m enjoying games more than I have in almost 30 years because of the Nintendo Switch. I prefer shorter, less cinematic games. I’d rather watch movies than play a game that is trying to be like a movie. You just need to know what you like and look for it. It’s likely out there.
This is the reason why i am considering Switch for a console, i'm waiting if they announce a revisiion. I do play on PC also, just not realy cinematic games or anything with many cutscenes.
 
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MarlboroRed

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You have the percentage of people though like me, however small that percentage is, that get bad motion sickness after playing VR. I was fine during it when i tried it, but after i took the headset off i felt horribly nauseous for almost 2 hrs. Until that factor is 100% or fairly close to that eliminated, i feel that VR will only ever be a niche thing.
I'm sorry to hear that, and I'm glad I don't get it myself. Do you get motion sickness from every VR game you tried? What about games like Star Wars Squadrons, where you can be safely seated?

I don't think VR is here to replace flat screen gaming, it's apples and oranges. But it's definitely something that still has a lot of the growth and excitement ahead of itself.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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People using the expression “getting older” at 25, smh.

A lot of the issues stem from the fact that there’s lots of money to be made in this market, thanks to the internet. Devs always tried to milk consumers for smallish stuff - in the SNES days, you’d have to buy full price for Street Fighter II Turbo, which would be a DLC pack (or two) today. And these days gaming is for older people on average, so it’s not parents buying games for their kids (which would limit the amount of games the typical user would have back then, and as a consequence, the number of games made) but adult people with disposable income i.e., again, more money to be made. So of course you have DLC, MTX and GAAS. Which would be fine, if entire games weren’t made to keep milking money out of the player, virtually forever.

The internet also means games and their content are everywhere, so companies can’t hope that today’s Joseph Lieberman doesn’t happen to see his nephew playing Mortal Kombat on his family time day. There’s hordes of people with nothing better to do than be outraged and offended and looking to set new trends, so every dev, big and small, has to be very careful what type of content they put in their games. 1993’s hearings and ESRB didn’t cancel Mortal Kombat. A Twitter shitstorm and a REEra campaign can give you lotsa trouble, though - jobs can be lost, and money as well.

A game’s content and quality is highly subjective. There’s a ton of original games out there, but you and I likely don’t know about them because we don’t know they exist, or those games don’t sound like our cup of tea on paper (puzzle games, for example). The way today’s market is, it’s highly unlikely to have a sleeper hit because all the attention of the internet and the press is on the big titles from the biggest devs/publishers. You have people screaming their heads off if a Nintendo game wins GOTY against a Rockstar game, like fucking Nintendo is some small fish. Name an indie game for GOTY and you have every games forum and every YouTuber laughing their asses off. Even a game like Cyberpunk, broken as it may have been at launch, is guaranteed to rank higher than more polished games next year simply because of publicity and budget. And it’s practically impossible at this point that a game that doesn’t have realistic graphics, top-quality VA and cinematic scenes can compete for GOTY. You are never going to see a Mario game or a JRPG compete for GOTY, ever.
Still, there’s lots of good games out there. They’re just not part of the zeitgeist.
 

BusierDonkey

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Sep 21, 2018
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People just need to look outside their comfort zone.

The big AAA developers aren't the only people making games, but even within them there are diamonds in the rough that get largely overlooked because they aren't the focus of the media and the industry.

Indy studios pump out everything from shit sandwiches to genuinely creative and fun to play games.

Things really haven't changes wince the 80s in this regard. When I went into the rental store with my brothers I looked at a wall of games. 70% of them were complete shit.
 
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I'm sorry to hear that, and I'm glad I don't get it myself. Do you get motion sickness from every VR game you tried? What about games like Star Wars Squadrons, where you can be safely seated?

I don't think VR is here to replace flat screen gaming, it's apples and oranges. But it's definitely something that still has a lot of the growth and excitement ahead of itself.

It was a couple years back that i tried it and it soured me on the whole experience and VR. Maybe i need to try it again and see if i have the same experience now. Maybe it was just bad tech at the time.
 

Ascend

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Jul 23, 2018
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I felt the same way, and in a way it is true, but in another way, it isn't...

If you're playing new games expecting better versions of your old games, you will inevitably be disappointed. There are some franchises that achieve this, but most of them don't. Many franchises try to overstay their welcome so to speak, and both developers and publishers try and emulate their previous success, and that is almost impossible. Factor in the nostalgia factor, and it's quite an uphill battle.

Back in the day I played so many shooters, that I completely grew tired of them. This manifested itself in me disliking new shooters. I thought they were worse, but they really weren't. They simply didn't add something new or surprising. I became bored of gaming and was having the same perspective as in the first post.
The same applied to racers. Nothing was ever as good as NFSU.

In a way, the moment I discovered that the lack of novelty was the main culprit, was with Mass Effect. I loved playing it so much, that I found myself wishing I could delete it from my memory to experience it again for the first time. Obviously that is not possible. The subsequent experiences will always be inferior, thus, I figured out that having essentially the same experience in different games is going to have the same effect I was experiencing within this game.

What ultimately helped me to like gaming again is trying more genres. It can revitalize your gaming experience. If I wouldn't have tried other stuff, I would have missed out on some pretty great recent gems. One genre that I never really bothered with is strategy games. It's not something that looked attractive to me at first glance. But when I played Frostpunk, I was REALLY impressed with it. So much so that I consider it a must play for everyone. Even random small indie games like Missed Messages or Doki Doki Literature Club, which normally would not fall into my interest at all (or so I thought), were really great and original experiences.

I do have a bias against 'blocky' looking games for some reason. Something like Undertale, which is apparently very good, I simply didn't pick it up because it looks like it looks. Even though I have zero issues replaying Pokemon Yellow on my 3DS. So it's not rational at all to dismiss these games, and I am planning on trying more of those.

One genre that I know I will never drop is the fighting genre. I can drop fighting games, but the genre itself is too good. And from game to game within the same franchise, things are generally different enough to keep me interested.

From time to time I dip my toes into genres I used to play a lot, and most of them are still meh, while some of them end up being great. Gaming is not necessarily worse. AAA games are generally unoriginal however, and if you want out of the box and novel experiences, you'll have to look for them somewhere else.
 
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MiguelItUp

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Honestly I think it's just a symptom of noticing that the AAA industry isn't full of many creative and unique experiences like it used to be many moons ago. The cost of development has increased over the years a great deal. Games have become prettier, larger, and to some degree, more ambitious. However, with costs and risks being SO high, you're seeing AAA developers taking routes that feel safer (while trying to get a piece of whatever current successful gaming fad is hot) and produce a product that doesn't feel as unique as majority would want or prefer. So, we end up getting a number of games that just blatantly feel like other games we've already played as we're seeing recycled mechanics, gameplay loops, etc.

Now, SOME developers have certainly done this better than others. Where they can take known gameplay mechanics and adjust them enough to make them feel even just a bit refreshing.

The saving grace in all of this is the reality of indie developers and smaller studios creating experiences that can go up against the AAA industry. Visuals and mechanics are on-par, if not in some instances surpassing. While they're able to continue to show us more unique experiences that the AAA market are concerned about creating themselves. For the longest time people associated indie/smaller studio games with art-sy fart-sy pixel-art styles and nothing else. But that has definitely changed over the past few years.

I'm 36 now and I've noticed that I frequently hit patches where I want to play something, but I don't know what *IT* is. As I grew up loving FPS and Arena Shooters, I naturally lean towards wanting to play violent, fast, and chaotic multiplayer when I'm in that spot. But when I look at the AAA games in that space with the highest population (that ever so slightly scratch those itches) they don't interest me whatsoever as they're basically all Battle Royals. The most recent lingering fad in gaming. I gave all of them a shot at least once, but they didn't stick for me. I think Apex may have been the only one that ticked somethings in me. But in the end they just all felt too similar to me and not in a way that I'd want.
 
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kyussman

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Nah,I think generally modern video games are pretty amazing tbh.I'll be 48 this year and I could never have dreamt as a kid of doing and seeing the stuff in todays games....running around the whole of ancient Greece(scaled down obviously),with beautiful realised graphics in Assassin's Creed.....that's like some sci-fi shit to a 10 year old in 1983.
MTX are a non-issue for me playing single player games,I've never spent a penny on one or thought I needed to....I will say there is quite a bit of copy and paste in many games(Assassins's Creed is a great example),but given the size of games I understand why this is.....overall,gaming today is unregonizable from when I was a kid...and a hell of a lot more fun and engaging.
 

Madflavor

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Jul 27, 2018
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Gaming kind of got too big for its own good. I don't think gaming as a whole has gotten worse, but I do think certain aspects of gaming have definitely gotten worse.

Back in the day there was a lot more room for experimentation, and that experimentation led to the birth of so many different beloved genres, and gaming classics that came from the said genres. Games were smaller and scope, and because of that many of the teams developing them were a lot smaller. Teams comprising entirely of passionate nerds. Now games, especially AAA gaming, requires hundreds of people to develop in a timely manner, and they're all constantly managed by their corporate overlords.
 

THEAP99

Banned
Mar 16, 2020
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They're getting shittier. The type of unfinished bullshit that we've been experiencing in the industry this past year would not fly at all in other industries.

Imo the top-tier single-player games are getting better but there are fewer and fewer of those top-tier single-player games.

And multiplayer games have fused into money-making machines it's terrible.
 
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Nostalgia certainly does play a factor when you're playing old games you're fond of, yes. But I dont think that's the complete story.
It's not and I can't repeat it often enough as someone who grew up with a Gamecube and Wii (I also played some PS1/N64 because my brothers had those, but they weren't my consoles). There are definitely games that do age poorly, but definitely not all games. I often go back to the PS1, Dreamcast, or Sega Genesis for example, and find a lot to like. Also, in many cases, trends change. Mechanics that were used industry-wide in the late '90s don't necessarily get used today. Often because those mechanics are dated. However, often it is because those mechanics aren't the trend anymore. How many developers for example tried to make another COD or Gears? Plenty! Are TPS and FPS prior to those games dated because they don't have fancy cover systems and aiming with iron sights? Hell no! I also think expectations play a role. Like when you are used to modern mechanics and then go back to a classic to find out it plays completely different so you deem it as a poorly aged P.O.S instead of, well, learning the mechanics and master them.
 

junguler

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Sep 1, 2019
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yes, the average quality has gone down and probably continue to do so, not even the first party games are as good as the older gens. i find myself enjoying less and less games each year and having to go back to playing older games which is an amazing problem to have.
 
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Rat Rage

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Aug 13, 2019
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It seems that the only really entertaining thing when it comes to todays gaming is just taking some popcorn, leaning back and enjoying the shitshow continue to unfold.
 
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you are getting old. games are getting objectively better each year. if the best 2000 game was released today as it was everybody would hate it.

no achievements. no new content. no progression. awful graphics. awful animations. awful gameplay. awful ui. awful quality of life features. no patches fixing things

you may hate that it has became a real industry now instead of a couple of people making passion projects but that sounds like someone complaining about the beginning of hollywood in 1915



sorry but crunch time was even worse in the old days. the only people making games were basically the people that really wanted to and that means working all day.

Rubbish, /just replayed Doom 64, Turok 2, Quake II and Bioshock. All good games regardless of era.

Now on Bad Company 2, better than the new ones.
 

Jokerevo

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May 30, 2020
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I feel like games these days seem to be hella recycled, boring experiences - the same shit reskinned again and again for the same (if not higher) price tag. Perhaps its because im like 25 now and I've seen my fair share, so it's not as exciting anymore, but maybe its also just because the quality of them has decreased?

Developers also seem to be more afraid to go out on a limb and take risks, resulting in games that play it way too safe. One thing I noticed is that usually developers will try a few things, find something that works, and then milk the fuck out of it. But then they don't make better games - once they have their cash cow you'd think they'd be like "ok great we solved the money problem, now lets make some good shit" - but they dont even seem to in a lot of cases.

Maybe that's a shot at capitalism, but it's funny you know because when you start a business, your funds are low and you're trying to cultivate something amazing, and by the time you finally see success youve just become heinously greedy and creatively bankrupt. This isnt just a reality for the videogame industry either, it happens all over. The world in general is a more insane place than most people realize outside their sheltered reality.

Overall, I feel the following is the sad reality/issues with video games in 2021:
  1. Microtransactions are everywhere and they're being accepted by docile consumers (and/or ignorant younger people) who are not choosing with their wallet, further perpetuating the problem
  2. Certain developers appear to be hacking gamers for $$$ and getting away with it, while no one acknowledges what is happening before their eyes
  3. New games are often recycled hot garbage thats hyped to the moon and back (but never lives up to it's expectations)
  4. Video games dont even ship complete anymore, content is cut from the disc or original offering and then being offered later as DLC, or worse, it's being left on the disc and then unlocked after the initial purchase with yet another purchase
  5. Console gamers have to pay monthly to play online (when they already pay for internet - yes i know this isnt a new thing, but its always been bullshit)
  6. Video games are hitting prices far too high for the average consumer to realistically want to buy more than a couple a year
  7. Fewer games are developed each year, and the ones that are play it incredibly safe to ensure profits aren't low
  8. Games/writers are now injecting political and social agendas into video games
  9. Developers are pandering to anything that makes anyone uncomfortable and completely blunting any apparent edginess to appeal more to a larger audience (devs are legitimately afraid to be edgy in today's world as apposed to two or three generations ago)
  10. Every developer seems to want you to have and use their own marketplace and app launcher so they can make more $$$ and profile you harder, forcing consumers to install trash they dont want just to even play games
  11. Developers skimp on substance and instead make everything hella shiny/explosive in an attempt to overstimulate the player and 'wow' them (because explosions and shiny things are entertaining, right?) - a general over-focus on graphical fidelity and how it looks rather than how it plays
  12. Games ship broken with many bugs - developers release day 1 patches to supposedly fix the issues, but the patches dont even fix the issues in some cases (why not just fix the issues before launching the game, the fuck?) resulting in consumers getting a shitty experience that is in some cases unplayable (and effectively being scammed)
  13. And more that's not coming to mind right now
I recognize that some of these issues are due to the way business goes and economical pressures on both the consumer and business' side, but the overall state of things is concerning.

Does anyone feel like most games aren't living up to their hype and or expectations? At what point do you think the shift happened? IMO there seems to be many industry wide issues that aren't really being addressed, or companies aren't being held accountable. What could be done to resolve these issues?

Discuss.

Excuse any poor formatting/weird continuity issues, this is just a bunch of thoughts dumped onto a page.
Dude take a break. You're burned out. If you look at the quality of titles across all devices you'll realise that in terms of choice we have never had it better as gamers.

Go back and play your favourite games of all time, bet they ain't aged well. As you get older it's all nostalgia.
 

Goro Majima

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Sep 2, 2007
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As diminishing returns and iterative game design continues, newer games will feel less amazing as the years go on.

You could sum things up like:

Atari: 2D experimentation
Nintendo: 2D refinement
SNES/Genesis: 2D perfection
PS1: 3D experimentation
PS2: 3D refinement
PS3: 3D perfection

I tend to agree with the notion that around 2005 game developers figured out the formula for making great games and it's been mostly tweaks since then.

I'll admit though that a lot of advances have been made in the overall presentation, graphic fidelity, gameplay loop design, and overall user experience. It's just that you're not really going to see many new types of games from here on out unless room scale VR ramps up.
 

Hugare

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Sep 8, 2019
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Games are way, waaay more complex to make nowadays (and cost way more than ever before)

Big productions cost hundreds of millions, takes 3+ years to make and 400+ workers

Of course no one is going to make a Shadow of the Colossus experimental type of game with this kind of investment

They aim to maximize proffits, as they should.

Companies like EA or Ubi can take some L's, because they are huge.

But independent companies trying to make games with a considerable budget cant survive in this environment.

So its either indies or AAA games from huge companies, with almost nothing inbetween
 

Corgi1985

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Dec 31, 2020
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Yes they are ... it’s not just nostalgia, it’s not just growing old.. it’s really simple actually. Games have hit that “ blockbuster movie” rut where it’s such big money invested now that everything is narrowed down to one simplistic formula that’s proven to extract the most money.
I agree, fallen order was a very bad game and one of the worst AAA games ever made. Masters of teras kasi was a better star wars game.
 
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GametimeUK

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I miss a time where big budget games were unapologetically gamey and amazing. Resident Evil 4 was bonkers.

That being said I think gaming is in a fantastic place right now. So many genre's, a plethora of amazing titles released at such a speed it's unrealistic I'll ever play everything I want. It's a constant feed for me, but then again my tastes are rather broad. If I was just sticking to numbered sequel Ubi games (don't get me wrong I enjoyed Watch Dogs 2) I'd be pretty burned out. It's all avoiding too much of one flavour for me. Keep switching it up and keep your meals fresh so you don't get bored.
 
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Corgi1985

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It's all the same genres we had 10 years ago but none of them have done anything interesting since. Unfarted is still the same fucking game.
 

MacReady13

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Jun 22, 2018
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100% getting worse, in my opinion. Gameplay is a thing of the past. Who cares how well a game controls, when we need state of the art graphics with Hollywood style stories and actors. Give me the Nintendo style of games any day over the shit we have devolved into.
 

bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
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Gaming has always been about following trends. It's why shit like Bugsy, Gex, Blinx and Voodoo Vince exist. We've recently moved on from everything needing to be a first person shooter to everything needing to be an open world game that is filled with needless content that makes a game that should be 20 hours long, 60+ hours. The price of better technology is that it's a lot more expensive to make games that take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware. One failed game could sink a studio or publisher which is why most AAA games don't tread new ground.
 

Rickyiez

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Jan 20, 2020
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30+ here and has been gaming since the PS1 era and still loves games as ever . FROMSoftware is the one that reinvigorate my love in gaming , they are almost the antithesis of the current trend . The Dark Souls trilogy might have felt like being milked towards the end of it , but FROM turns it around by creating Bloodborne and Sekiro . All these games are complete , fully featured from day 1 release , no MTX , no agenda just pure amazing games with deep exploration and unlocks akin to the games from past years .

Then again I don't really have issues with most of the AAA games , I had amazing experiences from Cyberpunk 2077 and TLOU2 for what they are . Some of the gaming sequence in it are mind blowing and unparalleled . You just need to stop thinking about the "agendas" that much