Video games really are wonderful things. When somebody makes a video game they are expending some of their time on this Earth in order to provide entertainment to the rest of us. Not to say that game devs are heroes just for developing games by any stretch, but there is something kind of noble about choosing to spend hours a day on a game that they think somebody, somewhere might enjoy.
When you sit down to play a good video game, you can often feel enthralled by it, your sole focus becomes the world that you are playing in and just for that moment you forget about the outside world. You forget about any crappy experiences you had that day, you forget about what crappy things you might have to do tomorrow, you forget about any worries you might have about your life at the moment. All there is is you, and the experience that the dev(s) wanted you to have.
And maybe this is why it feels so fucking soulless when in some games you are “reminded” about certain DLC packs you have yet to purchase, you meet barriers that you can't pass without paying that bit extra or you get booted straight off of your game because the servers went down. Maybe this is why after the 3rd installment of a “franchise” you get that empty “well that was OK I guess” feeling.
There's something so disappointing about real world concerns like money and business practices seeping into that supposedly beautiful experience, that experience that somebody put time and effort into just so you could sit down for an hour or so and take your mind off of things. It's a brutal reminder that your money is more important to the publishers than you enjoying yourself.
When I'm playing Dragon Age, I don't want some berk begging me for help, only to find that I haven't paid enough real life money to help said berk. When I'm playing Diablo, I don't want to be going toe to toe with the lord of hell himself, only for everything on the screen to start walking on the spot due to a bad connection. I don't want to be thinking about money, or about the fact that I'm sitting on my arse infront of a monitor. I don't want to play a product, I want to play a game.
There's been a lot of debate in the media over whether video games are art or not, and whether they should be respected as art or not. How are we supposed to convince anybody that they are the fucking brilliant pieces of art we know they are if Video Game Publishers don't even respect them as art? If they're quite happy to compromise the dev's vision of the game by throwing in intrusive DRM, DLC and microtransactions, they clearly think of games as nothing more than moneymakers and couldn't give a rat's arse about how enjoyable the final product is, as long as their precious numbers are good.
Capcom clearly didn't respect the Resident Evil series for what it was. EA clearly didn't respect Battlefield or Dead Space for what they were. Blizzard/Activision clearly didn't respect Diablo for what it was, they all had to go that extra step further to try and further the success of their already successful games.
I guess what I'm trying to get at with this rambling whatever-this-is, is that treating game development like a business, treating games like products is very disrespectful towards games, and the people that play them. I'm aware that developers need money for their time and I'm aware that publishers need to turn a profit to keep developers going, but business has no place within the games themselves.
Video games are not a business. Video game distribution and marketing? Sure. Video game development? Nope. There shouldn't be business decisions being made over the content of a game, if games are to be respected as a medium then developers need room to be creative. Games don't need to be “appealing to wider audiences” by ticking off a publishers big check-list of what supposedly successful games MUST have. Single player experiences shouldn't be something you feel you need to keep investing in after purchasing them.
If you read this far, thanks for reading! This was my first attempt at anything like this, I just wanted to kind of air some of my gripes with how games are viewed by the industry and get a feel for writing stuff like this, it is something I'm interested in doing but I'm not that experienced at writing and structuring... anything really, so any tips would be appreciated.