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General direction of games

So I am making this thread in hope that others feel the same and have anything to add to a discussion regarding how games these days are all a lot more catered towards the casual crowd (with a few indie exceptions). How come noone (AAA) is making any of those more hardcore games anymore you guys think? I mean there must be a market considering how much hype there is for the few hardcore indie games that are made (look at the popularity explosion of DayZ for example) but never make it out the door or is forever being developed by a few guys. It feels like those hardcore games is more like a window into another world where you try to give the player immersion while the casual games are simply about ‘fun’ which leads to the game getting stale pretty fast as fun often consists of dev made content that is required to be quite polished.

Personally I am hoping games and especially MMORPGs will snap back to the old-school way soon but I do not put a lot of hope on it. I suppose the profit is in the casuals who rather pay a bit more to advance than the hardcores who live by their games.

Thoughts?

As the amount of the casual gamers is much bigger you can make much more money with those kind of games + an easy game provides you a fast gaming experience with lots of fun (the gaming experience moves into the background -> fun is everything). I can see the same when I play Day Z with one of my friends. He really thought about stop playing it, because he always died bevor we met each other in the game -> suddenly (when it got easier and we made funny stuff ^^) Day Z turned into one of this favorite games :slight_smile:

In my opinion there will be some more hardcore games in the future, but the easy ones/the ones for all kind of gamers will be the majority.

A lot of AAA games are simplified and aimed at a more casual audience for the same reason movie studios often force movies into the PG13/non-R rating - bigger audience, more $$$.

Quality of the movies/game be damned :frowning:

Its a pity, but there it is.

Sure I do not doubt that the easy ones will be the majority and I have no problem with that however it feels like there is such a HUGE share of the market with people who are looking for a home and I just can’t understand why no bigger company is leaping at the chance of snatching that up.

It is very sad that it has gotten to this, I think that if people took time to get invested more in one game which provides a deeper experience they would have so much more fun in the long run and a lot deeper experience. I find it sad I have to explain why I played the old games I did back in the day to people who started playing games with games such as the later WoW expansions or other games around this era, I feel they will never understand games as some older folks do.

It’s the same kind of thing you see in the movie industry really. If you want something that is “deeper” in some sense, it’s typically less accessible, and therefore only independent producers dare touch it since they know the audience will be much smaller. To compensate, it has to be a product with a smaller budget.

Conversely, studios in the AAA circuit already have an infrastructure that is tailored only for big blockbuster-like productions. Such an infrastructure costs a lot of money to run, so they have no choice but to go for the biggest possible audience.

Even with the current trend of democratizing powerful tools (thank you, Epic!) the really big operators in the industry will probably never be able to go back to making hardcore games for “real” gamers, but we will see lots of really, really interesting stuff from smaller studios instead.

One might even argue that there is even less reason for the big guys to target the hardcore audience now, since they would be in competition with thousands of small developers. The AAA guys are better off doing multi-million dollar productions for the general casual/semi-casual audience, because the independents cannot compete in that arena anyway (in terms of production value).

In short, the market has split into two segments, entirely orthogonal to the old familiar split between different game genres, and I doubt it will go back to where it once was.

the thing is not everyone has long evenings available to put into deep and complex games. people just want to quickly hop into something and have fun.
and companies have to sell games, so they are just turning into the casual audience. sometimes companies also take advantage of this, instead of making a good long game they just make 2 short games. so they sell more games

as a player I’d agree it’s a sad thing, but as a developer this turns into an opportunity. and there’s working examples that non-casual games can be both good and commercially successful, Dark Souls being the best case I can think of.

now make a game that’s easily engageable (easy to grasp core loop), but with growing complexity and deepness (the fun only starts after the core loop) and you might be onto something

I know that the majority of gamers are casuals but you aren’t really paying attention to what I am saying here, when you make a big title you are fighting all the other big titles catered towards the same group of casuals while the other crowd hasn’t had anything for years, imagine producing something with a bigger budget for this starving group. + A more complex game doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely time consuming, it might need a bit more dedication than angry birds but let’s take EVE as an example, that game has plenty of players who do not spend a lot of time playing. There will always be people who do however and if the game is set up in such a way that those can create content for others by simply playing (alliances and warfare for example in EVE) then there is things for the less hardcore users to take part of. Now I am not saying I think it wise to invest a couple hundred million dollars into a game (like SWTOR) but with such a game I am certain you could save in rather much on the marketing as news would spread like wildfire.

As I see it open systems and UGC is the future in game design and already somewhat used by companies like valve.

EDIT: I suppose I should make it clear that this is very much my own opinion and I would like to hear why I am wrong if you think I am. Maybe I am a bit too much hoping for the games to go back to its former ways.

I agree with the movie analogy. It’s pretty much exactly that reason. Why take a risk making a unique experience like Portal (it was originally tacked on free with Orange Box to avoid risk) when you can make Call of Duty 19: The Great Desert Jungle War of the Future M16 Present/Future/Present Spec Ops and make 80 million dollars in a month?

Why make something with actual film art when you can make Marvel The Avengers 5: The Return of Spiderman Silver Surfer. Free pay check almost.

(This isn’t a bash on Avengers by the way, a lot of Marvel films are decent/good.)