Games will always fail, this is simply a fact of the universe and when they do, it's never pretty. There's nothing worse then seeing the smoldering rubble of a series we love after being butchered with careless neglect, and realizing that it may be yelling its death knell. Then, there's the games which were never meant to succeed, the failures not due to a lack of effort, but simply due to a lack of want or resources needed, perhaps staff. Then finally, there are the games which fail, not because of a lack of want, or a lack of effort, but because of a want to improve.
In many cases, you can probably find plenty of games which fit these categories, the smoldering rubble of Resident Evil 6 however, is a prime example.
Yet it came to my mind, and nothing more or less poetic, and no less inspired by Destructoid, then the thought, are we again taking video-games too seriously? Not in a category of crude humor, or mindless FPS killing fields. But in dismissing the efforts, no matter how paltry, or bought off, of our failures.
Resident Evil 6 was, viewed by all, and understandably, as a disaster. The game abandoned its fanbase, it suffered in quality of its controls and in its design, how can a game which takes a step backward on every front, be commended. In short, it can't it's horribly designed, linear, and lacks emotion. Yet we seemed to have glossed over the fact, we blamed Capcom's failure on too many chefs, on the glut of AAA game development, of over-stepping its budget, and all of these claims are not necessarily wrong, in fact they're spot on.
So what is it we glossed over, why are video-games in a seemingly lukewarm pool of creativity at the moment? We blame AAA budgets, AAA development, and AAA staffing.Yet, have we been wrong this whole time? Why were both Call of Duty and a Halo 4 a success, yet Resident Evil 6 wasn't? Yes, both games stuck to a formula, and both games were already fantastic, mindless FPS games. They had massive staff and massive budgets, and yet they did not fail as Resident Evil 6 did.
It's because, by perhaps wanting, or need, Resident Evil 6 put all of it's budget, not in trying to fine-tune itself, but in trying to change to what we have been asking, it tried to evolve into something better. Why would Capcom put all of it's effort into Resident Evil 6? Capcom never intended to have Resident Evil 6 be bad, and neither did the director, the problem is pedigree.
If you cross-breed an inferior class with what we could call a "pedigree" game, gamers consider it polluted and shameful, this is what happened with not only Resident Evil 6, but many games, Resident Evil 6 tried to cross it's pedigree with other game's, yet in trying to create a new class of a game, we only saw it for what it once was, we called it polluted, a sloppy and clunky FPS, a scatter-brained TPS, and a messy ill written plothole.
Problem is, it wasn't RE6 fault it necessarily turned out like this, in fact, it seems more natural RE6 failed, we graded RE6 on how much of the original pedigree it had, we failed to see, it was imperfect, because it reached for change as much as possible. RE6 was flawed because a large group people, while dedicated in trying to change it they simply weren't familiar with how to translate what they were reading into, it's why Capcom wasn't able to pull a miracle off an make what is called a "Blockbuster" hit, and we shouldn't blame them for not making a block-buster.
In this case, we failed to see the new life which RE could have after being burned to the ground, much like with keeping a forest healthy, it's necessary no matter what the industry, for it to suffer a crash, to fall into ashes, only to rise again. We put the old games on a pedestal for all they did right, yet we should have blessed them for all they did wrong. Yet the game industry isn't as simple as nature, because we refuse to let most games which crash, to heal.
In an Industry, which now seems to be ruled by stocks, by review scores, and by user reception, we're not letting it properly evolve, there was a similar time where we began seeing big-budget, big staff games begin failing, although I, and many others weren't around during the time, it was the North American video game crash of 1983, where videogame popularity and revenue had hit an all-time high before dropping to near extinction. What is cited as causing the crash most importantly, is two, big budget titles with a large pedigree behind them and many tiny games, which led to the downfall of a giant. The most specific reason however, is consumers lost confidence in the gaming market.
While there will always be publishers who have warranted the hate against them, and while the industry will always have filthy, and even offensive behavior. We need to support AAA publishers, when they take a big risk, while we always view ourselves as almost oppressed peasants by AAA monopoly development, we need to fix the mindset, we have a say in games now, and they will fail if we let them, but in our glee over toppling a giant,we will fail to notice the vacuum it may leave for the rest of the industry, and I don't want to see another crash, because of this vacuum.
Role models can always have flaws
If we constantly lampoon, and humiliate AAA games which role-model the industry for being slightly different, or for failing from these differences, the future will be a homogenous mix of AAA games, much as we've been starting to see now. Yes, RE6 was imperfect, and even with all the money in the world, there will be errors, there will be poor decisions, and there most importantly, will be bad games from AAA publishers. But we still need to support them.
In our blind-side of criticism, we've had many developers be killed because we attacked the games of which they made, because we took videogames too seriously, in the case of Mass Effect 3, we had everywhere from death threats to law-suits, all over a video-game? Even though it's owned by EA, and even though EA itself may be clumsy, even corrupt to a certain degree, even though Bioware may be bought out, we shouldn't try to change gaming this way. There won't come any good from killing Bioware, if you want revenge because they made a bad-game, you want them shut-down because they made a mistake, it's not the way a mature industry should act, and even if we kill EA, it won't necessarily benefit the industry.
Even through everything that's happened, we still need to remember what they've made possible, even if they ended it
Likewise, if you want revenge on Capcom for ruining RE for you or because they're obsessed with releasing games filled with DLC, if you want to kill Capcom because they did horribly and you want RE6 and the developers expunged from the industry, just remember, while there may be more funds for other games, in killing the risk and negatives of the industry, we won't necessarily create positives, just empty space.
Perhaps you want to kill Bioware and Capcom, or perhaps EA because they've catered to what you believe the industry has begun standing for, homogenous dosages of FPS and violence without concise story or purpose, with generic controls and questionable concepts. Yes, maybe you seek to eliminate them because that's all they do, they cling to a pedigree, and simply release the same game, over, and over. Yet the reason is because in a industry which cringes, and contorts when anything not fitting a perfect mold is released, it's all they can do to keep employed.
If we want the industry to grow, we need to treat it as more of a partnership, in a way we need to treat gaming, like art, but not as art. We shouldn't blame a game when it's not perfect, and doesn't fit the same style as before, we shouldn't react when a game changes from what was the expected norm. If we want gaming to change, we need to embrace the bad, just as much if not more then the good, we need to embrace the Van Gogh's who may later chop off an ear, we need to embrace the Picasso's who create questionable and possibly borderline works, it's the only way an industry can evolve. Even if we may not understand the purpose in the beginning, even if we don't understand for years why something may have happened, if we want videogames to truly evolve, we need to embrace the industry, flaws and all.