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Trends.

Posted by phantom, 05 March 2013 · 781 views

With the launch of SimCity I have noticed an interesting trend developing; the acceptance that the launch of any game will be a week of frustration and disconnections while the publisher sorts out the servers.

Note I said 'any game'.
Not a multi-player game.
Not an MMO.
Any game.

One fan of SimCity, when faced with the question of 'why cant I play what is largely a single player game because I can't connect to the servers?' responded by comparing it to an MMO launch and that 'this should be accepted'.

In fact I'm getting a sense of deja-vu as I sit here and write this as I'm sure I've called this subject out before?

SimCity might well have multi-player aspects which require a connection but when the game has the ability to mark a region as 'private' this implies you can play on your own which brings up the question of why do I need to be online to do this and why can't you play the new game at release, instead having to suffer a week of 'server issues' while the publisher waits for demand to drop off rather than deal with it directly.

This acceptance I find worrying because it is a slide towards a world where you install your shiny new single player game but instead of being able to play it you are forced to login to a server which will not have enough capacity to deal with the launch day demand because the publish didn't want to spend the cash to do so.

Note this is not an argument against 'online drm' - my acceptance of Steam pretty much gives me very little to stand on there. This is against the requirement to be connected to experience a product when the person you have brought it from clearly hasn't, and never had plans to, allow everyone to experience it one day one.

In this instance given the overly inflated prices of games on Origin this is pretty unacceptable.
(I'll refrain from a longer anti-Origin rant at this point however.)

But I guess while people will pay the money for a game which may or may not work on release (and more importantly KEEP paying) this is a trend unlikely to reverse.

The funny thing is I dare say a cross section of this crowd have also complained about the idea of the next consoles requiring an online connection...




I agree, I feel its the big game companies heading down this path as they can afford it. But have some faith in the small Indie developers still producing some amazing games that work out of the box, no connection required. I really think the large companies have lost their way, so removed and unaware of what the gamer really wants. And yes I know we want it all :-)

I suppose saving private maps locally on the player's computer was deemed unnecessary. NO! IT MUST GO INTO THE CLOUD! EVERYTHING MUST!

 

At least Steam (iirc) has a go offline button where you can choose to play single-player games without internet, assuming you've validated the game once online. Though last time I tried (a couple years ago) the button did not work. I just don't get that trend either. Especially for games which are mostly multi-player with an optional single-player aspect, most people are going to be interested in the multi-player aspect and pirates will only get to play single-player, how much revenue loss can an illegal digital download possibly cause in that situation?

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