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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Growing Out of Gaming?

Posted by MikeB Saturday January 7 2012 at 2:10PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Am I growing out of video games?" by Thunderclash. In the thread, Thunderclash wonders if his waning interest has more to do with him or with the direction the industry is going:

     Several years ago I had a blast playing any video game I got my hands on. It didn't matter if it had horrible reviews or did indeed suck, I enjoyed the hell out of it. I owned a HUGE library of games on every console. I loved the concept of gaming in general.

     Now though, it's becoming the exact opposite.  Even if gaming is what I put most of my time into, I only buy about a total of 5 major games a year. I'm interested in very few games now. Most of the time when I see a trailer for a game or a preview, I think in my mind, "Wow, that game is going to be aweful", even if I'm usually right.

     So since I have interest in few games, I've been trying for several years to get into a mmo, but so far I can't find one mmo that I like. I've tried a very wide variety of free to play and pay to play mmos. I absolutely can't stand WoW, I tried it for 6 months, never liked a single minute of it. Right now I'm looking forward to GW2. SWTOR looks alright, but to me it's kind of a reskin of WoW. I really want to try it because I love Star Wars, but I guess I'll have to wait a few months until they release a free trial.

     Because of my recent realization of my disgust of today's mmos, I've been trying to enjoy some rpg's. A few I think are alright, but I can't get my hands on one that makes me melt in my seat. Skyrim is alright, too repeptitive and little content (armor, weapons, creatures, spells) even if the map was HUGE. I loved Fallout 3 though, best rpg Bethesda made in my opinion. Witcher 2 was really good but my laptop can barely run it on the lowest settings. Red Dead Redemption was my favorite game for a while, and I will always remember it's story. I'm not going to sit here and tell you all the rpg's that I've played, but I think you catch my drift.

     Is it just me or is the gaming industry going to crap? I mean look at games like MW3, BF3, Crysis 2, etc., how did they get good ratings!? Did reviewers realize that most games suck now and that these games should be rated high by comparison? Or am I just setting my standards too high? I'm longing for an epic game that will blast me away, whether it's online or not. Do you guys have any suggestions? Am I getting tired of video games?

Do other MMORPG.com readers feel the same way? Read on to find out!

Yaminsux feels its a bit of a mix of both for Thunderclash:

@OP

It's just you, when you played so many games. You be at a point you'll just generalized everything. For example, you said TOR is a re-skin WoW (which btw is a re-skin EQ). You felt you've experienced everything the industry have to offer, and indeed you are.

That being said, it's not entirely you though. Through the lack of innovative thinking, the industry is getting "stale". Much like the movie or the music industry.

edit: Suggestion? Leave gaming, do other stuff.

Ceridith shares the same feelings as the OP, and offers up indie games as a potential solution to reigniting that fire:

It's not just you.

The majority of games being pumped out by the big name developers are rehashes of the same old crap with shiny new graphics. There's so much emphasis on making games "accessible" and "eye catching" to grab the attention of a wider audience. The result is that actual gameplay, enjoyability, and replayability take a complete backseat in development priority. The result is bland games that all start becoming copies of each other because they don't even try to do anything noteworthy.

Ironically, it seems to me that it's the indie developed games that have comparatively sub-par graphics, tend to actually be a lot more fun to play lately.

IAmMMO asserts that the push towards console gaming is the primary source of stagnation, noting that PC games are essentially being held back by the designs and restrictions of the console gaming market:

  Seven years ago we had Pc exclusive developers for single player gaming going for pushing the envelope with the Pc tech of the time, since then the cross platform age came upon with more able consoles which resulted in developers going for the middle ground compromises that has left Pc gamers  feeling something is lacking from their gaming of old.

 
 When Intel released their C2D cpu's in 2007, gaming stood still for people to be able to use this gen right up until today and would only have trouble with a couple titles with only a GPU upgrade at most, as that's how dry and stale it's been for Pc exclusives.

 With gaming as mainstream as it is now, we're left waiting for the next gen of consoles for the gaming envelope to be pushed once again, whilst in the meantime we get tossed a few bones every now and then from developers like those behind The Witcher, and of course we all know how the MMO side of things have gotten for a lot of Pc gamers. There is hope though, 2012 is the year of Planetside 2, a name to install excitement into any Pc gamer, a true MMO using our Pc tech of today incoming!

I'm pretty much on the exact same wavelength here as IAmMMO. PC gamers have been essentially taken hostage by the game design philosophy that fits console gaming as well as the technical limitations of the existing consoles since the release of the XBOX 360. The former is not likely to change with the next batch of consoles, but hopefully games will push ahead on the technical side of things when the new consoles roll out. There would be some pretty exciting things going on in PC gaming right now from a technical POV if PC gaming were in the same position it was in the 90's or early 2000's. Unfortunately, games that are prettier but still "consolized" are still sure to dampen the excitement of many of us PC gaming diehards.

This has been a major source of frustration for me over the last couple of years, and while the MMO genre isn't always going in the direction I'd like it to, we at least (for now) have that genre all locked up on the PC side of things. So, I don't feel I am "growing out" of gaming so to speak, but I can definitely empathize with Thunderclash's feelings, even if the source of his frustration isn't necessarily the way the PC side of things has turned out.

What about you? Do you feel like you're growing out of gaming? If so, why do you think that is? Let us know in the comments below!

Weretigar writes:

I buried it lol, I know how he feels but everything is a copy of everything. Were all looking for that feeling of (First Time) feel except we've already had it.

Now we should be looking for recreation and not a living. 

Sat Jan 07 2012 2:26PM Report
MindTrigger writes:

No, I feel like game developers are building games for idiots.  In their quest for bigger profits, they are no longer making games for gamers.  They are making games for the masses, who are completely content to play crap like Farmville for yease because it's a little distraction, a treadmill that they don't need to think about to play.

People who play MMO games to be challenged are being left in a wake of failed or flailing MMO offerings that were unable to get WoW subscription numbers.  SWTOR has proven that there is a growing number of people for whom this formula no longer works.  It's time these companies start making unique games for smaller market share, where there is still plenty of money to be made.  Your game doesn't need 2, 5 or 10+ million players to be successful.   Let's drop all this scripted, predictable content, and start opening things up again.

Sat Jan 07 2012 4:57PM Report
erictlewis writes:

Yea I blame the game companies for the past 5 years, one piece of junk after another.   Leaving us to play the same old boring games. It is no wonder why folks are at their limit.

I think the current dev crop has no clue how to procude a good game its the same kill 10 rat theam over and over with shallow conent.

 

Sat Jan 07 2012 6:04PM Report
k11keeper writes:

I think it can be bit of both. Maybe at times people have burnt themselves out when it comes to gaming but at the same time developers haven't done much to break the mold. For me my "growing out of gaming" came from becoming an adult and having responsibilities for people other than myself. In my early adult years it was work and play not much else. Now I have to juggle work, play, family, and relationship responsibilities. Also play has moved more outdoors because I don't have job that keeps me in shape like I did when I was young. With all of that in order for me to really dive into a game it has to be really really good or else I feel like "been there done that" and go back to my other things in life.

Sat Jan 07 2012 6:42PM Report
fenistil writes:

Well thing is many games try to cater to most wide audience possible so they go "Shrek" way. 

Something that is not very serious, but something that has bit of seriousness under a skin, something that a 14 year old and a 50 year old may enjoy.

 

Frequently productions are theoreticaly "adult" because they have alot of violence like f.e. Dragon Age 2 but on the other hand story and dialogues are like from some cheesy fantasy tale for youngsters.

So cheap violence, sometimes bit of nudity + story / dialogues so 13 year old can understand and relate.

 

Hypocrisy if you ask me :/

 

So nah it is not ONLY "growing out" it is cause gaming even thought many (most?) consumers are adults - is still viewed as kid / youngsters thing and that's how 98% of games and especially AAA productions done.

 

Publishers know that 16+ or 18+ tags don't matter one bit, huge majority of underage will buy all adult games (maybe except porn games in some countries) without any problems (even easier with digital distribution atm) so games are made to be nice for widest audience possible.

 

This is understandable ,but it will turn against publishers sooner or later.

 

Like Swtor - on one hand in some cutscenes you can murder someone ,but many dialogues are like from some class B low-budget adventure movies.

 

-------------------

 

Second thing.

 

Industry don't want to take risks. Making game cost money and alot of. So huge majority of games are sequels , prequels, spinoffs , reviwed old / ancient IP's ( upcoming UFO and Syndicate games anyone?) . 

It is more like :

a) take old idea + add few small quirks here and there and try to sell it

or / and

b) buy / acquire proved IP and make MMO or FPS out of it

and / or

c) follow beaten paths - simple, easy, avoid niches

 

Current games are like old 80's tv series.  They're like "Knight Rider" , or "MacGuyer" or "Dynasty" - industry don't seem to grasp that there is market for bit more 'targetted' productions like "Rome" , "BSG" , "Game of Thrones", "Boardwalk Empire" ,etc

 

Not everything has to be like "Baywatch" or "BEverly Hills 90210" to be commercial success anymore...

 

First games were for "nerds" then slowly they started to reach mainstream , then they entered mainstream and now are battling movies and tv series in profitibility.

Time for hit niches with mainstream productions, they are big enough to be commercially viable.

 

Not every game have to be easy , cheesy and give everything on a plate.

 

-------------------------

 

One more thing. I think some older players just know WHAT they want and don't want to waste time on productions they don't want.

That's why some big productions even if they will be VERY succesful like SWTOR, Diablo 3, Call of Duty, etc apart of tons of fans they will also have tons of people that despise them.

 

Same as "The Vampire Diaries" have tons of fans, but at same time tons of people hate it, and those people are big enough audience to for example want "commercial but bit more serious production" like f.e. "The Tudors".

 

---------------------------

 

Time to wake up investors and devs.

 

 

Sat Jan 07 2012 6:50PM Report
Mykell writes:

The indie scene has brought back the pure joys of gaming for me. I actually have more indie titles than i can devote time to playing atm lol.

Sat Jan 07 2012 9:09PM Report
maplestone writes:

It's hard to compete with nostalgia.

Sat Jan 07 2012 9:48PM Report
picommander writes:

No wonder why a very small number of old games with utterly outdated graphics are still alive and healthy. Games like e.g. Jumpgate classic or Asheron's Call. Ok, they are not "massive" anymore but still... Imagine one of the relative new games developed in the last 5 years with such simple graphics. Would you really think more than 5 people would play them?

But it's not only the industry and not only the graphics. I remember the time when Jumpgate was still "modern", there were so many players complaining about the difficulty of docking. These days games having to be a money machine is the sad truth. Fortunately, for old school gamers like me there is still Asheron's Call... And no, in this case it's not nostalgia. I started just recently and this game feels so fresh, so different. The vital elements of AC were never copied by other games, there is no such thing like an AC-clone (you also kill monster, have loot and quests. But the way *how* it's done is truely unique . What a blessing!

Sat Jan 07 2012 11:33PM Report
TROLL_HARD writes:

In my case, I go through phases. If there is nothing special going on and the weather sucks, I tend to enjoy gaming more.  If I am tired or maybe had a long day at work, I like to get into my gaming for a couple of hours at a stretch.

 

If I am involved with a creative project and have lots of ideas, I do that and gaming seems like a waste of time. Also, if there is a girl I'm interested in or if I have a good dating rotation in place, I just game to fill up the waiting time.

Sun Jan 08 2012 3:05AM Report
Zeus.CM writes:

I blame consoles for this stagnation in gaming industry! Consoles are severely limited in hardware and design, the whole gameplay is being created so you can play it with some gamepad with 8 buttons (not including direction buttons). Because of that games strive towards simplicity and fast production (and quick money).

Only good thing about consoles I can think of are those indie mini games that are really fun.

Sun Jan 08 2012 6:35AM Report
Dru998 writes:

I don't know if you have tried it, but Dark Souls for me has been the best game I have ever played.  I finished it weeks ago and still cannot stop thinking about how awesome it is.  I am playing Skyrim right now and its just okay.  Dark souls brings back real gameplay and real consequences.  Not much of a story but you will remember each area in the game for life lol. Give it a chance and don't give up on it at the beginning. Also remain hollow until you get past lvl 25.(Super twinked out people will one-shot at the least opportune time). It is a very hard game, and well worth the difficulty.  Also Fallout: New Vegas, was pretty good aswell.

Sun Jan 08 2012 10:49AM Report
Classicstar writes:

Stagnation of consoles that hold back whole gaming industrie or the mistake microsoft made with vista, WoW release in 2004-5. Gaming is so mainstream now that its catered towards super casual.

Its both industry and mass casuals who comepletelt RUINED the market.

I dont know about others but ive try lately some new F2P mmos and the community is just terible and games are in my view garbage. And with the gameplay videos and all the little reviews ive read about big new budget game just release its prolly also garbage.

Im affraid all who want hardcore and good old times in good sandbox or even a good themepark are gone for good community is just to far gone no social skills and it must all be instant uberness and lots of cookies in super ezmode constant holdhands or they cry and whinewhole day.

Sun Jan 08 2012 6:08PM Report
BillMurphy writes:

I feel this way sometimes too... then I play something like Scribblenauts, Glitch, and others and my faith in creativity is restored.  :)

Mon Jan 09 2012 5:18AM Report
fenistil writes:

Glitch is fun, but it really is not a replacement for good sandbox or even good themepark mmorpg ,that would not be easy mode, conventiant everything-on-silver-plate with automation, and focused on individual experience rather than on building real communities :/

 

It is just diffrent kind of game, I am not saying that Glitch or other similar creative browser games are worse or anything. It is just not something I really looking to play.

 

Same as I am not really into e-sport FPS for example. Even though many ppl like them.

Mon Jan 09 2012 6:42AM Report
zalitz writes:

I actually feel the same as the OP. I remember when I could grab a game and play for days on end. Basically letting it take over my life. In the last 10 years games have progressively gone downhill.

Even if you look at games that are supposed to be the next step in a franchise. Final Fantasy is not an 80 hour game like it was in 7 and 8. Tomb Raider now makes me say lets not and say we didn't. CoD and BattleField have both suffered. Even racing games which never had much content in the first place have deminished.

The problem is exactly that. Developers care more about Eyecandy than actually content. And adding in feature that dont really affect the game itself..

As for MMO gaming, It peraked with Ultima Online and everything else is just crap with a pretty wrapping paper. Now I am not saying nothing good has come since UO. just nothing groundbreaking. As for Sci-Fi the SFMMO scene has never been big, and its just gonna go to waste. Lucas Arts pulled SWG and Put all its eggs into one basket TOR. Yeah it looks nice but its no where near was its predicessor was.

That being said, I miss the old days when gaming was actually fun. Unlike today when playing through a trial or demo seems like a task because games Just plain suck. Developers need to take a step back and remember what made them want to do what they do. Then start making games with those aspects in mind.

I dont know about the last 3 months I stoppped Buying/Renting games a few months ago. And I barring pure geneous games I dont think I will be supporting any developers any further.

Mon Jan 09 2012 3:33PM Report
tbox writes:

I feel the same way myself.  Although slowly playing less video games as you grow up  may not be a bad thing. Although mindlessly watching TV is boring as well. 

I feel like I am waiting for a Andriod/Iphone when all we have is to play is non smart phones. 

 

Mon Jan 09 2012 6:32PM Report
MumboJumbo writes:

Mykell writes:

The indie scene has brought back the pure joys of gaming for me. I actually have more indie titles than i can devote time to playing atm lol.

BillMurphy writes:

I feel this way sometimes too... then I play something like Scribblenauts, Glitch, and others and my faith in creativity is restored.  :)

Same here: Omnivorous beyond fav genres is the way forward, imo. MMO-less atm, so indie games are were creativity seems to keep me as excited about games as I've ever been

eg:

Bastion
Frozen Synapse
From Dust
Terraria
Minecraft
SpaceChem
Stealth Bastard
Monaco
Faster Than Light
Nidhog
Fez
Journey
Limbo
Castle Story
Star Command
Superbrother: Sword & Sorcery
Junk Jack
Ravenmark
Star Command
Async. Corp

Topia, Eufloria... Just a grand shame no mmos, GW2? : )

 

Fri Feb 10 2012 2:58PM Report

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