There are very few types of games that I don’t enjoy. I will play just about anything. MMO’s, 1st person/3rd person shooters, strategy, RPG’s, puzzle. It doesn’t really matter as long as the game play is there. To me, graphics are about as important as a warm bucket of hamster vomit. I know that others feel different but I think that most of my fellow “Old guys” probably fall somewhere along the same lines as I do. A game done all in text can be superior to any dx10 monster out there if the game play is the primary driving force.
The reason I have been thinking about this lately is actually twofold. I read a article on Slashdot that more or less said “The average cost to develop a game (It didn’t state MMO/Non-MMO) is around 10 million dollars”. Wow, That is a lot of money in today’s economic crisis. Secondly, I have been playing a game called Mount and Blade which as far as I am concerned is one of the best gaming experiences I have had in the last 10 years.
Here is some interesting information about Mount and Blade. It was for all intents and purposes developed by 2 people. It only cost 29.99 as opposed to the standard 49.99-59.99 average of most games today. Between the game its self and the modding community there is a metric crap ton of content. The downside is that the graphics are definitely not great (Which as previously stated…remember, hamster vomit and such…).
I could be wrong but somehow I doubt this game will ever show up on a top 10 list unless it’s a indie dev list. I doubt it will ever sell a million copies. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter. The game was made by TWO people! They don’t have a ton of costs to recoup. They don’t have to have X amount of subs. They don’t have a huge staff to pay. And frankly, I hope this is the future of the gaming market! And giving the current economic crisis this very well may be where the industry is heading.
A common complaint about games is lack of originality. For the most part I agree. I currently have a subscription to WaR however I generally only play once or twice a week. I am however looking forward to a MMO. Fallen Earth. Guess what…INDIE COMPANY. Original ideas. Once again I will admit that the graphics aren’t top notch but I don’t think I need to mention again what I think about graphics. The game is being produced by a small company which again keeps their costs down.
Some of the most popular games on Steam are under 19.99 and are categorized as Indie titles. A lot of these are made by one person or a small group. Low costs, high quality game play, lower quality visuals. In my opinion gamers are starting to wake up a bit and are starting to understand that bleeding edge visuals mean nothing without compelling game play.
I think Age Of Conan is a great example of this.
Disclaimer – I don’t think AoC is a bad game. I never played it myself. However my entire guild from WaR came over from AoC and they all pretty much say the same thing. “Best looking game I ever played!!!….was sick of it in two weeks”. Good looking games that have no game play are like a really hot girl friend that you hate. Sure she is fun to look at, but she’s a bitch, whines to much and general makes your life a living hell. If your willing to stick it out with her just for some quality arm candy then more power to you. I for one much prefer the slightly less hot girl that I actually like.
Don’t me wrong. There are always going to be major studios around and big budget titles. I however think in the next few years you are going to see a lot more releases from small indie type developers and if all goes well, I hope…I PRAY they will start getting more attention because they are putting out a quality product. Then maybe some of the large studios will get the picture.
Oh, and one other thing. I almost never buy a game before gametrailers.com does a review on it. I like to actually be able to SEE what I am getting instead of just watching trailers. I was kind of interested in “Wanted, Weapons of Fate” The previews looked pretty decent, the move was decent. Then I watched the game trailers review and they stated the game was about 5 hours in length. You have to got be f’ing kidding me. You want me to shell out 50 bucks on a 5 hour game?? I know it cost you a crap ton of money to make the game, but I don’t think there is a game in the world I would pay 10 dollars an hour to play.