I'm am a dedicated PC gamer who believes that everyone deserves to hear the facts. I have beta tested multiple games in the past and have been known to outright tell developers what needs to be done to make it tolerable of a game. That's why it's beta right?
Nonetheless, gaming has been a hobby for me since I was a wee little lad. My favorite console of all time would be the SNES(even if I only ever played it a few times) with the N64 following that then the Gamecube. Nothing will ever compare to those consoles. Ever.
You know enough. The personals can be found out if you get to know me.
Disclaimer: Rosters don't count as innovative. Nor does a minor engine update. An overhaul is innovation and so is a completely new gaming experience altogether.
Indie games have hit the market hard by picking up where major developers/publishers like Activision with their Call of Duty series and EA with their sports brands have constantly lacked the time to innovate the market. Where has the actual innovation come from? Studios with bigger risks but also smaller in size. Indies. Indies are picking up where the big behemoth has forgotten its place. Why innovate when people buy the same thing over and over again? That's how big companies compare to small ones that struggle for cash and are lucky at times to make enough to survive.
I would say that major AAA publishers are bad for not taking risks but it just means they're too comfortable. I understand there's some publishers who take risk such as games like Sleeping Dogs and Dishonored proving that there exists a market for innovative new games. No one likes to have the same experience multiple times unless you play a series that hasn't tried hard enough to innovate whilst perpetuating that we need more.
Now if we compare AAAs to a smaller studio like Wolfire Games who i'm biased to say I love. They're a studio who has been helping other smaller studios like themselves get recognition for their games easier by their Humble Bundles. David Rosen and his team has proven that they can make unique games with specific engines for their titles and take all the development time to make it well worth playing. Receiver is a gun game where once you're dead then you're dead. Lagaru and its soon to be sequel proves that animal combat is awesome while having a deep and interesting story to make us love some of their characters.
What did Rosen innovate? Trying to be different with his studios games by making their own engines like for Overgrowth which while it may still be in the Alpha stages is proving to have a better engine than most AAA games and Receiver which shows that people care about realism in gun games other than simply pressing the reload button and dealing with recoil. He is one of the many example of unique innovation in the indie game industry. Mojang has proven that you don't need a story to sell a game, just the experience. The same could be said for Dear Esther. It's that you don't need extreme HD graphics to make a game sell. You also need that experience.
If we were to compare a vast majority of bajillion dollar development releases to a smaller Indie who has spent sweat and tears on their game while a bigger studio spends the work force of over 200-300 making the game as streamlined as possible without much regard for the experience. Who innovates the most? The bigger or smaller studio? Is a smaller studio release more emotional due to it being developed by a less than 100 team? Are big teams really necessary to make a game get complete within a 2-4 year deadline? You tell me. We're all gamers but i'm only ever just one.
Disclaimer: Jim Sterling didn't endorse this article. Yet.
Free 2 Play gaming has become such a massive trend in the game industry for the past couple of years. Being defined by games such as Company of Heroes Online, All Points Bulletin, and many others. You can play any game without any financial risk but be stopped in your tracks if you don't cough up enough money to allow your level cap to rise and keep enough stat bonuses so that you can sustain your characters. But is it really worth paying $50 for a brand new character or a piece of clothing?
I can understand that certain games do not find ways to cap your level at a certain point nor actually add stuff that imbalances the game thus OPing paid weapons. Major publishers/developers are starting to get into the market with a vast majority of those games failing to be able to compete. A prime example would be the debacle that was The Old Republic by our favorite company Electronic Arts whom is a shining example of Free 2 Play gone wrong. That isn't there first incident though of trying to ruin the Free 2 Play market.
EA has been pushing Free 2 Play as Ubisoft has been pushing Free 2 Play with the idea being that they'll be able to make a fair profit but the former has been proven to not understand Free 2 Play while the latter hasn't exactly shown any proof that is incompetent. Though we shouldn't give Ubisoft the benefit of the doubt as they don't exactly have a track record that has proven to be clean as a whistle when it comes to consumer relations.
Games like Battlefield: Heroes, Play 4 Free, Need For Speed: World, SW: TOR and soon to be Command & Conquer are some of the few games that are examples of bad Free 2 Play. I know i'm specifically naming Electronic Arts games but you have to agree that there happens to exist many problems with their F2P model. The items they charge you for are overpriced and really OPed to the point that you might as well just hand over your wallet because advancement in any single game requires alot of money before you might actually be able to enjoy it as you'll constantly be dealing with paid players using really powerful stuff compared to what a free player has.
I'm not directly saying they are the only guilty party but they aren't the most innocent either. Gamers are also guilty for failing to try to stop what failed model has existed on the front and encouraging developers like EA to shortcut the development of games and micro transaction everything and anything in their games. It gives reasons for smaller companies to do the same and not try the best to produce a quality release in order to cash in on a brand. And we keep allowing it. When is it that we will finale give money to people who strive for quality to make money and not money in order to sacrifice quality? Why is it that EA is the best example of the worst in the F2P market? Are they perhaps to blame for our problems? Why is it that we let it continue to persist? And will the market eventually equalize to a point where EA itself has extended too far and tried too little?