Now we all know what gaming developers do to persuade the gaming masses to buy their newly released plastic disc. Trailer here, Press Conference there, hell they even get GameStop in the mix with an Exclusive Add-On. What seems most effective though, is bringing a demo of your item to E3. But, none of these may truly persuade the crowd to buy their game. Sure we may "PURCHASE" it, but we all know what happens afterwards. We play it, send it back for a slight refund then buy the new Game Candy coming out next month. If they truly want to sell their game, then they have to make us, the consumer somehow, keep what they have put on the market
That's where things like DLC, online modes and multiplayer come in. But, they are truly useless to those who don't play online. And if the game doesn't have any online content then the developers need to work harder. How can they do this? By, hitting all the basic gaming requirements. Nowadays, we are looking for 5 things out of our games.
Games like Uncharted 2
and Heavenly Sword
have done well in this department. They have received high praise for their stories and memorable characters. A good story sells games.
What's the use of a good story if the game play is weak? No one wants to play a book. Game play has to co-exist and backup the story in an innovative way. Also explosions!! :) Good game play sells games.
It helps a fucking lot, if the game looks great while you explode something. It does justice to the eye if the story and game play were supported by realistic textures and dynamic game physics. Good graphics sells games.
Great games usually have a decent length of play about 8 to 10 hours maybe even 15 to 20 if you add in Side Missions. Duration is key, because if a game is too short the players will feel betrayed. If it's too long then the appeal can whither over time. And most of all the duration has to fit with the other game requirements. The story must expand and shrink accordingly and the game play must last for a certain extent. Developers must find the middle ground when it comes to length. Short enough to make the gamer want more, yet long enough for them to feel completely accomplished with their endeavor. Duration sells games.
5. Re-play value-
No game is complete without having a certain appeal that drives the gamer back everyday. If you can convince the gamer to play threw the game twice then you have succeeded. Re-play value sells games. (And I don't mean just having online modes.)
Like I said these are the BASIC gaming requirements. What has to be the GOD of gaming requirements has to be 'Familiar Ground'. It is the most difficult, yet the most simple to master.
With familiar ground you get that home sweet home feeling. But, if that familiarity becomes too apparent then all appeal is lost. Battle Field: Bad Company, MAG, Halo, and Call of Duty all have familiar ground. That ground is being First Person Shooters. Everyone knows this. But, what keeps them from being tossed away as average? They have differences that sets them apart from each other.
Battle Field has it's destructible environments, MAG has its large numbered battles, Halo has it's unique weapons, and COD has it's terrain. These, differences are what keeps gamers happy and from turning in their copies. The gaming developers have successfully sold their item. Mastering familiar ground can make the difference of having a crap game or a game of worship.
Companies like ACTIVITON who usually take familiar ground and exploit it until it becomes bland, usually fail at keeping their target audience happy. I just hope they can learn from their mistakes and actually master the requirements before attempting any new products. But, then again they are making another Spider-Man game. -_- Lesson, not learned. Those four dimensions better work well together.