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Are traditional games under threat?

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Many people have a view traditionally on spending for computer games, in $ per hour. Some compare it to movies. If a game if fun for 10 hours, then X dollars are fine to pay for it.

But more and more, games are offered with other models which offer far more time playing per dollar.

For example, a Magic-like card game, Spellweaver, can easily be played for a thousand hours without spending a cent.

Marvel Heroes 2016, I've played for nearly 200 hours and don't even have a top level character yet, and have spent only $22.50 which didn't even need to be spent.

You can play World of Tanks for thousands of hours and have fun without spending a cent.

So, the old traditional model of, this adventure game has 15 hours of gameplay, this wargame has 25 hours of gameplay, and so on, for $30 or $50 dollars - it that endangered?

Some types of games are labor-intensive - like the adventure games mentioned. Dialogue, puzzles - these things might take minutes to consume and many hours to create.

But other types of games have far more re-usable content. Put new teams on a map in world of tanks, and you have another 15 minutes gaming with no new content created.

MMO's found this out, when new zones could be 'used up' in 2 hours of a player arriving, and so they needed to create repeated use - like a hundred 'collect items' quests.

The original type games can only compete as long as people are willing to pay that far higher dollar per hour of gameplay for them, and some still are - but will the new model push them out of the market?

It's a bit concerning in that it's a real loss of a type of gaming the more that happens. We've already seen some types made obsolete, such as the text adventure.

Is there going to be another "Day of the Tentacle" made if people flock to the 'free to play' games?

My feeling is - no. It's about the money, and investing a lot in the traditional games seems a worse and worse investment.

(Ironically, two of the oldest and best games show this difference: Zork and Rogue.

Zork is a play-one-time-and-you're-done game with the experience hand created, while Rogue has huge replayability with no new content - just procedurally generated new dungeons.

And today, we see interactive fiction an extinct game type, while "roguelikes" are a major fad.)

It's a somewhat analogous issue to tv programming: an hour of tv is an hour of tv, so the studios are tempted by low-cost "reality tv" over costly but higher quality shows.

Find a new situation to throw people in and boom, a cheap hour of TV. Who needs Star Trek or MASH or Person of Interest or Black Sails when you have amateur singers and celebrity judges?
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,633
1,174
126
I think I paid like $40 for quake in the 90s and like $40 for Half Life a couple years after that ... and those games I must have played at least 10000 hours.

Nowadays, I buy a game and it costs $5-40, and I play between 1 and 100 hours usually.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
You are really only talking about casual and AAA titles. Indie/small devs will always create new and interesting content with varying levels of old school mentality. Startups are in it for making it the best they can, money second. It's when publishers and markets come into play things tend to take a dive.

There is still plenty of great content out there, you just have to stop relying on AAA, remember they spend half their money on marketing. The term itself should be downgraded because they've laid shame to the title.
Of course you are also going to have those that take advantage of people (ala Star Citizen). This game will be in build hell for eternity with it's perpetual scope creep and endless money wants, however there are plenty of games like that already. (any P2Play MMO).
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
Of course you are also going to have those that take advantage of people (ala Star Citizen). This game will be in build hell for eternity with it's perpetual scope creep and endless money wants, however there are plenty of games like that already. (any P2Play MMO).
Totally bro. I was thinking about this the other day. I've spent about 100+ hrs so far having fun in the alpha, digging it more than 90% of the "completed" games I've played in last couple of years. But hey....I'm being scammed, right? Despite the fact that I'm apparently being ripped off (at least, according to people like you...you know...that group of folk that doesn't even play the alpha but pretends they know sh*t about it).

Not really sure what I'm going to do now though....because I spent $70 on your "completed" ED space sim, and it was absolute boring sh*t. Guess I'll just keep being scammed, because at least I'm having a little but of fun over there....
 
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BxgJ

Golden Member
Jul 27, 2015
1,054
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The answer is no.
This.

edit - To elaborate a bit, plenty of people still want that big budget game experience, at least occasionally.
Free to play has it's place, but it's still at the core a different type of gaming experience.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
Totally bro. I was thinking about this the other day. I've spent about 100+ hrs so far having fun in the alpha, digging it more than 90% of the "completed" games I've played in last couple of years. But hey....I'm being scammed, right? Despite the fact that I'm apparently being ripped off (at least, according to people like you...you know...that group of folk that doesn't even play the alpha but pretends they know sh*t about it).

Not really sure what I'm going to do now though....because I spent $70 on your "completed" ED space sim, and it was absolute boring sh*t. Guess I'll just keep being scammed, because at least I'm having a little but of fun over there....
Keep your fanboyism butthurt to the other thread. You don't have to defend the game. Nothing I said is false. For people having so much fun, you sure are quick to get defensive. I've played it, what is there shows promise, but that is it. If they ever actually 'finish' the game as it was intended, I will probably play it.
 
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Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
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Don't need the hostility to people - disagree with thei
This.

edit - To elaborate a bit, plenty of people still want that big budget game experience, at least occasionally.
Free to play has it's place, but it's still at the core a different type of gaming experience.
It seems some didn't understand I am talking about the direction of the industry, I didn't say no one is buying AAA traditional games today.

Remember full-service gas stations that were the norm? Things change.

The replies disagreeing did not indicate any appreciation of the dollar per time played issue in my post.

It's a change to how many games are designed and there is economic pressure to head that direction.

I discussed whether interactive fiction might be viable again with the co-author of Zork - he said a strong no.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
You are wrong though, those games are still being made. They just aren't in the limelight. You have to look beyond the spectacle. You also have to remember that the times you are talking about were when everything was new and gaming wasn't a multi billion dollar industry. Everyone was learning and nothing was off limits besides your budget.

Heck there are FREE games out there that are far superior to some paid titles.

The people are you are talking to ARE only in it for the money because they are no longer new and they are old with less imagination.
 

Ancalagon44

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2010
3,275
202
106
Yes, in a way they are.

Corporations are looking to make as much money as possible for their investment, and they have realized two good methods for doing that - DLC and microtransactions. Both work well for different reasons, and neither is going away. Always online DRM is also not going away, for the same reason. Genres are becoming more and more distilled, and genres that are not easily sellable, like real time strategy, have died out almost completely in the AAA games space. When last did EA publish an RTS?

Luckily indie game developers still operate in that space and provide the kind of experiences that many of us still enjoy. Indie game developers also serve another purpose - they are willing to take risks that large publishers never would, and thus can introduce new ideas, genres and business models to the gaming industry.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
I'd say huh?, but I don't want an answer, so I won't.
It's not everyone elses fault if no one understands what you are talking about. If my response wasn't what you were looking for...it's clear you need to rethink what you are asking, because I was pretty sure I understood your concerns.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
Aside from the unsupported assumptions, which was all of it.
Unsupported? Go look at the kickstarter and then try to convince me I'm wrong. They realized they have a endless flow of cash if they string people along with 'new' things. If they are on the up, then they are HORRIBLE at management and wasting a lot of money. The end product 10 years from now may be amazing...
 
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Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
It's not everyone elses fault if no one understands what you are talking about. If my response wasn't what you were looking for...it's clear you need to rethink what you are asking, because I was pretty sure I understood your concerns.
There's a difference between 'you didn't' and 'no one did'.

It's kind of ironic you say that since it's your post that was unclear, not seeming to respond to mine.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
There's a difference between 'you didn't' and 'no one did'.

It's kind of ironic you say that since it's your post that was unclear, not seeming to respond to mine.
So your earlier response about people not understanding your issue was only directed at me and no one else? Finding that hard to believe.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Yes, in a way they are.

Corporations are looking to make as much money as possible for their investment, and they have realized two good methods for doing that - DLC and microtransactions. Both work well for different reasons, and neither is going away. Always online DRM is also not going away, for the same reason. Genres are becoming more and more distilled, and genres that are not easily sellable, like real time strategy, have died out almost completely in the AAA games space. When last did EA publish an RTS?

Luckily indie game developers still operate in that space and provide the kind of experiences that many of us still enjoy. Indie game developers also serve another purpose - they are willing to take risks that large publishers never would, and thus can introduce new ideas, genres and business models to the gaming industry.
Good reply, and you're right. What's unfortunate is that the indies take the risk on new developments, and the ones that catch on can then be used by the big players who will make the big bucks from them. Part of the issue, though, is that so many games now eating up thousands of player hours for so little cost reduce the money for traditional type higher cost per hour games.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
Good reply, and you're right. What's unfortunate is that the indies take the risk on new developments, and the ones that catch on can then be used by the big players who will make the big bucks from them. Part of the issue, though, is that so many games now eating up thousands of player hours for so little cost reduce the money for traditional type higher cost per hour games.
Which is...essentially the same thing I said in both posts. The things you are talking about aren't marketed as much and aren't as in your face because of it. They are still being made, just not by the same people who used to make them.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
So your earlier response about people not understanding your issue was only directed at me and no one else? Finding that hard to believe.
I made one reply to other posters, and another reply to you. The post to you was about your post.

For example, take a look at the post just above this with Ancalagon44 - it wasn't off-track, though he raised different topics.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,818
272
126
Indies this and Indies that. Why do indie developers get a free pass for their endless shovelware as being "avant garde" or artsy for using 2D pixel art and midi tunes with a boring platformer but every other studio that actually puts money into an engine gets crapped on all day long?

Besides, people are still buying big game releases and that will not change. The fact that there is a couple card games or F2P titles you played for a thousand hours doesn't mean the industry is falling apart.

Look at the success of GTA, Witcher 3 etc. Not everyone likes those F2P games or anything like that. They want a game with character development, intricate storylines, good voice acting for the characters, an expansive world etc which is where the AAA $60 releases comes in.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
You mischaracterize the issue. If I give an example of a politician doing favors for an industry and then leaving to lobby for that industry as an example of how the system has been corrupted, you are wrong to say in reply that one isolated case is the whole issue. And you are wrong to say examples of the games I describes are the whole issue with the changes I discussed.

The second part of your post is an opinion which side of the issue you think will happen, but without any basis. Maybe you're right, maybe not, but that's the question I was raising - whether the demand for the expensive to create traditional AAA titles will continue to be competitive in the face of the new low cost per hour played games.

For example, just one of these games - World of Tanks - has made its owner in Russia a billionare as I understand. And I haven't seen many high-selling 'traditional' games in the genre in some time - just competitors with similar models like WarFrame.

Perhaps an example of this would be the way more profitable MMO's seems to mostly shut out the RPG market. Two big companies continue - Bioware (bought by EA) and Bethesda (bought by ZeniMax media). They still put out an RPG every few years for the remaining market. Otherwise, they've pretty much become low-budget, more niche games.
 

Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,942
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Unsupported? Go look at the kickstarter and then try to convince me I'm wrong. They realized they have a endless flow of cash if they string people along with 'new' things. If they are on the up, then they are HORRIBLE at management and wasting a lot of money. The end product 10 years from now may be amazing...
Ok, let's go through it.

Keep your fanboyism butthurt to the other thread.
Nice way to start the conversation. Somehow counteracting misinformation is suddenly "fanboyism butthurt."

You don't have to defend the game.
If misinformation about something you're excited about is spread, I'm sure you would correct that misinformation.

For people having so much fun, you sure are quick to get defensive.
I LOVE mountain biking. I have a lot of fun doing it. If someone said "it's crap" of course I'm going to defend my point. This makes your point look weak to apply illogical if this then that statements.

If they ever actually 'finish' the game as it was intended.
I'm sure you ran to the barn with the first draft of every idea you had too. But, that's beside the point. The community voted to continue changing the scope of the game. We were given a choice, and we chose. I'm not sure how you can blame the devs for that. They're making what we wanted them to make, and it takes time. The major turning point was when the Kickstarter was so overwhelmingly successful. The original plan was to raise a few million to bring publishers and investors onboard to fund the rest. The community raised enough money that no publishers or investors were necessary so CIG can make the game they/we want, without publisher interference or rehashing of cookie cutter ideas (i.e. CoD).

For what it's worth, that "original" game (single player Wing Commander spiritual successor) is due out Q4 2016 or Q1 2017. It and the MMO (Star Citizen) are two separately managed projects with shared assets. Now, let's look at that post I said was all unsupported assumptions.

Of course you are also going to have those that take advantage of people (ala Star Citizen).
This is unsupported because there is no proof they have "taken advantage" of anyone. It's explicitly stated all over their website all you have to pay is $45 if you would like to get the game ($60 now if you want both, but that only changed this year). Additional pledges are only for the intention of assisting in project funding. The game will have no monthly fee, so the longer they have cash the longer the game will continue to be supported after release.

This game will be in build hell for eternity
Unsupported since humanity won't last eternity. However, if you want a non-semantical reason, it's well under dev time for even smaller scope games. They're doing quite well for all of the non-traditional tech they've had to create.

with it's perpetual scope creep and endless money wants
Perpetual indicates something never ending. "Scope creep" already ended in late 2014 with the last stretch goal. They said no more. They're not even going to put every feature that was chosen by the community at launch and will continue to flesh out the less substantial elements (like pets, for example) after launch. We're getting some features much sooner than anticipated (landing anywhere on planets) due to them hiring original Crytek devs and some of the best non-Crytek CryEngine talent on the planet.

Again, on "endless money wants" no one forces anyone to buy another thing. People want it. Most pledges on the store aren't even available most of the time and people demand they make them available. People are throwing their money at them to keep making the game better and better and so it is long lived, and this is CIG's fault? They have never, not once, said "come on guys, buy these things! We want more money!" It's always "okay, if you guys insist, we'll have an anniversary sale for the currently unavailable items." So, please, don't mischaracterize it unless you have something more to offer in the way of proof.

If you want to counter anything here with facts, feel free. I'm a long time backer of the project and have been through it just about every step of the way.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
No, these types of games are not endangered becuase people typically like different kinds of games. I like spending hundreds of hours playing a good multiplayer game, and I like spending a good 10 hours on a well crafted single player story, variety is the spice of life.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,818
272
126
You mischaracterize the issue. If I give an example of a politician doing favors for an industry and then leaving to lobby for that industry as an example of how the system has been corrupted, you are wrong to say in reply that one isolated case is the whole issue. And you are wrong to say examples of the games I describes are the whole issue with the changes I discussed.

The second part of your post is an opinion which side of the issue you think will happen, but without any basis. Maybe you're right, maybe not, but that's the question I was raising - whether the demand for the expensive to create traditional AAA titles will continue to be competitive in the face of the new low cost per hour played games.

For example, just one of these games - World of Tanks - has made its owner in Russia a billionare as I understand. And I haven't seen many high-selling 'traditional' games in the genre in some time - just competitors with similar models like WarFrame.

Perhaps an example of this would be the way more profitable MMO's seems to mostly shut out the RPG market. Two big companies continue - Bioware (bought by EA) and Bethesda (bought by ZeniMax media). They still put out an RPG every few years for the remaining market. Otherwise, they've pretty much become low-budget, more niche games.
To use a previous example GTA5 made a billion dollars in 3 days of sales when it released on PS3 and 360. As PrincessFrosty noted above there will continue to be markets that cater to both types of games. It's not all that dissimilar from the Auto industry in some ways. There are always people who want low cost transportation but they still build the luxury cars with all the amenities because people want that sometimes. Both can exist fine together because the markets are different.

There are also plenty of examples of free games and low cost indie titles that are received poorly and don't sell well. I think if there was a problem in the industry you wouldn't see companies spending tens or even hundreds of millions making a game.
 
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ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
825
126
all that stuff.
LMAO. Someone was bored. Is it a fact that the game isn't finished yet? What year is it? While I am not drinking the kool-aid, I've been realistic about it. Just because you want to 'believe' doesn't make it not true. Yes, I know, there's a whole thread by people who think that no one can talk bad about the situation. Too bad. Like I said, if it is ever delivered (in whole) I'll probably play it. Until then, consider me a skeptic.
 
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