Gaming industry plateau. Have games become stagnant? (TL;DR topic)

#1ImThe8thWonderPosted 7/30/2013 12:44:14 PM
We might as well try talking about this, given how the next generation is right at our doorstep. For the first time in a very, very long time, games are essentially reaching the limit. Not because hardware is limiting how grand games can be, but because our poorly designed videogame market is making it impossible to expand the quality of games any further.

What I'm actually talking about is that even though our hardware has advanced, the graphical fidelity or sheer scope of next-gen games don't seem to be making huge leaps as game generally have in the past. It probably is too early to say for sure, and I certainly haven't tried any next-gen games out myself (that are on the XB1/PS4), BUT, looking at what our demos showcase is a little underwhelming. It's possible to see improvement, but not enough to make it feel like we're looking at a next-generation game. They feel like something that would release for the current generation, but with some texture packs added or something.

Now, there are many reasons for this, and as I said, it has nothing to do with consoles. It's caused by how limited game production has been due to the suffocating standards everyone plays along with. When games have an increase in possible scale/scope/graphics, the budget also has to increase to accommodate the extended amount of man hours that will go into making games look even better or become even bigger than before. That limitation of quality vs scope is partially the reason why Skyrim can't look like Crysis, and is the reason why next-gen games are only a slight bit prettier. And how could games really become much better? To make games take-up full use of the hardware, you need to have a bigger budget. Normally, that's not too much of an issue for big companies, but this next-gen jump is large enough to be bigger than what current budget limitations. What we have there is a wall.

There are roughly 2 main reasons why production budgets have reached their limit: 1) $60 dollars is not enough to keep up with rising fidelity/costs, and 2) Used games prevent more sales to be made. Out of the the two, only the very first point is a true issue. Used games do prevent new sales, but it is not as bad as most think. Used games can both hurt, and help videogames quite a lot. Think, how many game series become discovered or simply gain popularity thanks to players buying them used on a whim? Game companies like EA have it all wrong by trying to use DRM or passes to limit used game sales. Not only all of that but used sales don't really hurt other similar markets. The videogame market is very much like the automobile market. Used cars haven't ruined the car market, and the car market has more at stake since people don't buy cars as much as they do videogames. But unlike the videogame market, the car market has pricing freedom. You want a higher-quality car? So long as you have extra money, you can go and get one. A Mercedes Benz is more expensive than a Honda for that exact reason.

The videogame market needs the EXACT same structure. $60 dollars simply won't work in the future anymore. Yet, out of fear from competition, all companies price their product at $60, which is killing our videogame potential. Games need to vary in price beyond 60 if we ever wish to see true next-gen games. And fear not, you don't need to increase the base price by much to make a huge difference. Adding in an extra $5 dollars would make amazing things possible. I personally wouldn't mind paying $70 or $80 dollars for a game if it actually makes use of its higher budget. But this is unlikely since a higher price is a huge gamble for big companies. The game would need to be practically groundbreaking to convince people to buy it. And since the economy isn't growing as fast as the gaming industry is, combined with the fact that games are normally hit-or-miss, we might not see the shift in the market that we need.

TL;DR - - Try reading the last 2 paragraphs, or at the very least, the last one.
#2FuRiOuS 198774623Posted 7/30/2013 12:49:05 PM
There are roughly 2 main reasons why production budgets have reached their limit: 1) $60 dollars is not enough to keep up with rising fidelity/costs, and 2) Used games prevent more sales to be made.


No, no, no, no, no, no, ****ing NO. Game budgets are out of control because they seem to think throwing money at their problems is the way to fix them. There are plenty of creative and innovative games that have come out that did not need $100+ million budgets. Publishers and developers just need to manage their money better, and stop expecting us to foot the bill.
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#3Laylow12Posted 7/30/2013 12:50:30 PM
FuRiOuS 198774623 posted...
There are roughly 2 main reasons why production budgets have reached their limit: 1) $60 dollars is not enough to keep up with rising fidelity/costs, and 2) Used games prevent more sales to be made.


No, no, no, no, no, no, ****ing NO. Game budgets are out of control because they seem to think throwing money at their problems is the way to fix them. There are plenty of creative and innovative games that have come out that did not need $100+ million budgets. Publishers and developers just need to manage their money better, and stop expecting us to foot the bill.


This
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#4Ch3wyPosted 7/30/2013 12:50:33 PM
A couple things:
1. Budgets have nothing to do with why this generation isn't as big of a leap.
2. Raising the prices of games isn't the best approach at increasing profits. Lowering the salaries of executives and reducing frivolous spending will work much better.
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#5YeomanlyPosted 7/30/2013 12:51:02 PM
The only thing at this point that can help gaming is advertising, gaming has no other external revenue.

Some AAA brands do well in toy sales associated with the brand.

They have defiantly hit a plateau, but in no way become stagnant.
#6ImThe8thWonder(Topic Creator)Posted 7/30/2013 12:53:54 PM
FuRiOuS 198774623 posted...
There are roughly 2 main reasons why production budgets have reached their limit: 1) $60 dollars is not enough to keep up with rising fidelity/costs, and 2) Used games prevent more sales to be made.


No, no, no, no, no, no, ****ing NO. Game budgets are out of control because they seem to think throwing money at their problems is the way to fix them. There are plenty of creative and innovative games that have come out that did not need $100+ million budgets. Publishers and developers just need to manage their money better, and stop expecting us to foot the bill.


Low budget games can easily be great, but they're not usually a step up from what we have. I am talking about extending the limitations of what videogames can be, not simply being creative with what we have. Being creative or clever is awesome, but it would be best to be creative or clever with expanded limitations.

So, yeah. Try thinking things through before going on a rude rant.
#7MRL3G3NDPosted 7/30/2013 1:48:29 PM
I'll tell you investors and corporations have run gaming into the ground with their greed.

The original xbox had so many different types of games from mech assault to crimson skies

now everything is a COD clone in hopes of fleecing the casual scene

I am happy for kickstarter, because this removes the funding from big publishers to the real hardcore gamers

while MS and sony try to sell you more of the same we have things like the oculus rift on the way thank God

corporations see things like VR as a risk, so they won't go near it...so the industry gets tunnel vision and lame...you can't call gaming an art anymore...they are no longer free to express outside of dinky little indie games

it's sad
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#8HelmesSeiferPosted 7/30/2013 1:58:01 PM
I actually kinda like your idea. I would definitely pay $80 for a high quality game that I would get hours and hours of enjoyment from. My fear is that the current gen is becoming too big on DLC. I feel like content is specifically left out in order to sell later as DLC. If I pay the $80 I want the whole damn game and all the "DLC" that comes with it.
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#9BudWisenheimerPosted 7/30/2013 2:03:16 PM
FuRiOuS 198774623 posted...
ImThe8thWonder posted...
There are roughly 2 main reasons why production budgets have reached their limit: 1) $60 dollars is not enough to keep up with rising fidelity/costs, and 2) Used games prevent more sales to be made.


No, no, no, no, no, no, ****ing NO. Game budgets are out of control because they seem to think throwing money at their problems is the way to fix them. There are plenty of creative and innovative games that have come out that did not need $100+ million budgets. Publishers and developers just need to manage their money better, and stop expecting us to foot the bill.



I don't see why both of these specifically quoted assertions can't be correct.

8thWonder can be absolutely right about rising costs to produce high-production-value games ... and used game availability preventing publishers from seeing revenue from each person playing their game.

Those are factual statements.

And Furious can be absolutely right about publishers seeing the above facts to be true ... and going the wrong way about solving them.

The "****ing NOs are unnecessary. Not that I mind them.

#10SinisterSlayPosted 7/30/2013 2:05:52 PM
More than half of a game development budget goes to marketing....

Just think about that for a few minutes.
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