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Game Industry Growing?

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I was not sure where to post this thread because I didn't see any category related to what I wanted to post. Anyway, I wanted to ask you the gamedev community what you think about the growth or decline of the game industry. I mean games are still coming out and people are buying them and in some way or another the industry will always be around but is there just as big of a hype for upcoming games as there was a few years ago or is the industry now leveling off, becoming saturated with all of these new smaller companies trying to break in. I find myself not playing as many games as I use too simply because I have to focus more on work and things like that so perhaps I don't notice the hype as much as I did when I was completely engulfed in gaming. Is it more difficult than ever now to break into the game industry with so much competition trying to fight for a new spot on the gaming throne? Simply, where is the game industry headed?

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In my opinion the game industry is declining in general quality. But the actual industry is large and still growing.

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in my area (Montreal and Quebec) all the major players are firing on all cilinders.

Major corp. like Beenox (Kung-Fu Panda, Bee movie game, latest James Bond game, some spider man, Myst end of ages, X men games, etc), EA and Ubisoft are ALL hiring, and not just one or two employees.

So it's definitely a growing industry.


As far as quality goes, I agree with KodeNerd.

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Quote:
Original post by ECorELSE
in my area (Montreal and Quebec) all the major players are firing on all cilinders.


Totally misread that, I thought you meant they were firing employees for a second.

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Original post by KodeNerd
In my opinion the game industry is declining in general quality.


Define quality.

At some point, a watch was something passed through generations. There were only a handful of craftsman capable of building one.

Today, watches are not only dime-a-dozen, but ubiquitous.

Did their quality go down? Were the old watches really of such "high quality"?

Has the number of bugs per line of code increased? Has the number of spelling errors increased? Are they delivered on inferior media?

The problem with personal opinion is that you're probably 5,10,15,20 years older than you were. A 12 year old and a 32 year old see world quite differently (hopefully). For a toddler, a box can be perfect toy, but hopefully in their teens, they won't feel nostalgic that "they don't make boxes like they used to".

Game industry is blending into general entertainment industry. Panem et circenses says it's here to stay.

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It's growing, it could always explode or implode at any time :)

I think something of note, is that previously PC only developers have now been focusing on consoles, it is a no-brainer when you consider the greater revenue and rise in costs , team sizes etc.

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Quote:
Original post by Antheus
Quote:
Original post by KodeNerd
In my opinion the game industry is declining in general quality.


Define quality.


I define quality as a game which is actually worth playing. There are many these days that aren't, and the hype train and epic marketing schemes are causing AAA releases to be made out to be better than they actually are. CoD4 had me thinking "Wow", but I played it and I thought someone had slipped me a mod for CoD2, nothing had changed besides the weapons and environments. The demo and adverts suggested much more than this.

GTA IV was a letdown, as was Haze. These games, by marketing and in GTA's case past reputation, had you thinking they were bigger and better than Jesus but both ended up sucking horribly and being shunned by actual gamers for differing reasons. It's the reviewers who tell us games are amazing, go out and buy them now etc. but the opinions of everyday gamers count for bugger all, plus the industry is just driven by suits looking for $$$ and not by a love of the games themselves. The same doesn't always hold true for the casual market, but there's less money in that so people are less inclined to do it.

I've noticed plenty of nice shiny graphics effects and perfect physics, but the games themselves are often buggy, glitchy, repetitive and dull. I can't remember the last time I played an actual game as opposed to an overhyped tech demo. I know people here are now going to start on about Crysis but get halfway through that and you're back in bland-FPS land again. Going back to the theme of glitches and bugs, I remember the good old days where console games were actually tested properly and released in excellent condition, instead of shoving them out the door and relying on the Internet to push patches out as is the norm now with the current gen systems. Another point I'll add is, despite what people say, console ports are always gimped and trimmed down. I don't have an epic gaming rig but even I can see why people would prefer PC as a gaming platform, try playing The Orange Box on the 360 then try playing it on the PC. You've got a much bigger online population, better graphics options, user created content and mods, as well as controls that don't feel like you've been dropped in a bath of wet concrete.

I don't enjoy looking at games in shops anymore, and I'm beginning to get tired of gaming in general and am now seeking another hobby. The money I had set aside for a PS3 will now probably go towards savings instead (much better place for it). My feeling is that games these days are all overrated and nearly identical; everyone just licenses the Unreal Engine and you get an army of clone games sitting in stores, it's pathetic.

For the above reasons and more, the industry is expanding sideways but not up the way. There isn't a huge amount of originality any more in my opinion and it's more of the same, the market is oversaturated with the same damned stuff repeated time and time again. The quality isn't increasing at all, it's all £34.99 tech demos we're getting these days.

How to solve the problems?:


  • Put industry veterans in charge of companies instead of fatcats

  • Stop making your game out to be better than it actually is, rein in your PR and marketing teams

  • Make games longer than about 5 hours

  • Focus on core gameplay, future expansion and replay value.

  • Don't go swaggering around about how good your games are (Bungie, I'm looking at you; stop putting pretentious crap about ninjas and world domination on your website and actually make a decent game besides Halo; Marathon and Oni were complete and utter goatshit even at the time they were originally released)

  • Don't produce the damn same game all over again and slag anyone who tries to do something different (CoD4 was identical to CoD2 yet laughed at CoD3 during the end credits)

  • Stop taking the piss out of other games in your own games. It's just arrogant, stupid and not terribly big, funny or clever. GTA IV has references to Apple, Saint's Row, BioShock, Assassin's Creed and apparently Halo although I don't see that one myself.
  • Oh really, is your game that much better than the others that you have to start taking the piss? Who do you think you are? Have some decorum and humility, idiots, many bets are in saying that Saint's Row 2 will wipe GTA IV off the map anyway.
  • MAKE GAMES, NOT TECH DEMOS. I couldn't care less if the G-Man has perfect lipsynch speaking in ancient Phoenician if the rest of the game is 3 hours long and has more bugs than all the rainforests of the world combined. The Source Engine is just a showcase, the actual game surrounding it still, after Episode Two, is still having more than its share of problems. Don't get me started on Portal either, what's original about it? Did Valve ever play Prey?



I, as a gamer, don't like the way the industry is heading. So I might just cut my losses and stop gaming TBH. The cost of gaming is going through the roof and for the developers and publishers the production costs are going up. It still takes time, effort and money to produce total turd so why bother?

I might dust off my N64. I have some genuinely fun, proper "games" for it unlike playing £40 worth of identical tripe on my 360.

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I think UK dev is right.

Games are such a big business now that most developers don't have the balls to go out on a limb and make something new. So we see Fifa N being the same as Fifa N-1, and New First Person Shooter being a Halo clone, cause god forbid that anyone innovates. And why should they? The games industry isn't ran by the innovators any more, it has been taken over by the business men. Out went quirky ideas and novel concepts, in came profit margins and target audiences.


There are still great ideas being tried and boundaries being pushed, but go down to your local games store today and look at the shelves. There will be a mass of sports sims and movie tie-ins (which, almost religiously, lack any substance). Only a handful of developers have the authority to do what they want on the merit of their reputation.

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Quote:
Original post by Winegums
The games industry isn't ran by the innovators any more, it has been taken over by the business men. Out went quirky ideas and novel concepts, in came profit margins and target audiences.


The problem is that it IS a business; with all the time and effort it takes to make the damned things they need to get the costs back somewhere.

Novel concepts and ideas do come out, the problem is they then fail to sell enough to break even never mind make a profit. Maybe X years ago you could throw out a novel product and say 'oh well...' if it didn't sell well however these days if something fails to see investors want to know why and peoples heads roll.

And even noval concepts aren't the answer because as soon as a novel concept comes out and does well 1001 other companies go 'hey! good idea!' and release basically the same thing with only a little change here and there to cash in.

In a way the games industry has become a victim of it's own success.

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