Modern Gaming Is Actually Pretty Good – Arguing with myself.

Not so long ago, I did the very British thing and complained about some things.  Modern gaming is pretty rubbish to be fair.  There’s plenty wrong with the industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few positives we can focus in on!  So here we are, a few things about this hobby that I’m actually happy about!

I also want to see whether this post or the negative one gets more views!  Do you folks prefer positive or negative words?  Will you be more interested in what’s good about the industry or what’s bad?  I’m interested in the results!  Anyway, on with the words!

Indie development

Alright, so Early Access and Greenlight are often terrible, but the indie development scene has produced some absolute gold in recent years.  The likes of Hyper Light DrifterInside, and The Witness are all very successful and, love them or hate them, highly rated games.  It’s very unlikely that a major publisher would even think to take a risk on unusual games like these.  These are the developers that will drive the industry forward, trying new ideas and giving players experiences that Call of Duty 23 and FIFA 2043 just won’t.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with these games of course, it’s just nice to see developers being brave enough to try something new and put it out there for the players.

Fez happy!
Shame Phil Fish turned out to be a bit of a nutter.

Not to mention Kickstarter.  Whilst the video gaming side of Kickstarter has had a rough time lately, there are some very impressive looking games that are on their way thanks to crowd funding.  I for one am looking forward to Yooka-Laylee and Battletech, expecting them to be well made, polished games.  Mighty Number 9 has been a high profile flop, but there are still plenty of fresh, interesting ideas out there just begging to be made.

Choice

Games
Want to be a chainsaw wielding, zombie killing cheerleader? Sorted. Have the urge to be Ellen Page’s ghost friend? Fine. Or maybe pretending to be Optimus Prime? With the indie digital release scene and mobile market too, there’s pretty much a game for everyone.

This is almost an extension of the indie development point.  There is just so much choice these days (I might argue too much) when it comes to gaming.  Want to work in a kitchen with your friends?  There’s a game for that.  Fancy competing with an evil teddy bear in a battle of investigative wits?  Got you covered.  Feel the desperate urge to walk around a forest pretending to be a bear?  Yep, that’s a thing.  My point is that there is practically something for everybody who has even a passing interest in gaming these days.  Not all of them are good, far from it, but the fact that something like Euro Truck Simulator exists is a testament to how the industry has moved away from platformers and ultra-violence.

Price

Yes, I know I complained about microtransactions.  And I stand by my complaint that they should not be a feature in full priced releases.  But DLC is something that has allowed game prices to remain pretty much flat for a very long time.  Physical releases of console games in the UK have been hovering around the £40-£45 mark for many years in spite of an increase in VAT and inflation (not so much their digital costs).  PC games are even cheaper thanks to sensible digital distribution platforms like Steam and GOG and their regular sales events.

british-1-pound-coins
I don’t think I have enough money to make this pyramid myself. But it looks cool!

Further to this point, some DLC practices have been really rather good.  Whilst so many shooters are content to release another set of maps to play online, games like The Witcher 3 get enormous expansions the size of another full game.  There are some teams who genuinely seem to care about what happens to their game after release, and I’d love to see more of this.

Online passes failed

Do you remember online passes?  They were an attempt to cripple the second-hand games market by locking out the multiplayer portion of a game unless you entered a one time code or paid an additional fee.  Whilst I do appreciate that this existed as a way to offset losses suffered by used game being purchased rather than new copies, an attempt to lock out a portion of a game rather than giving a positive reason to buy a new copy garnered nothing but ill will from the vast majority of gamers.  I don’t know how much sales suffered as a result, but gradually over the years this punitive measure has thankfully dies out.

Online passes are terrible
Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore.

Now, I know where this is going for some people: what about PS+ and XBL Gold?  Well, yes, these models do force payment for online multiplayer.  But put simply, the extras that come with it are pretty great.  Two or more games gifted to you each month is pretty good, especially when some of them have been as good as Rocket League and the Tomb Raider reboot.  I don’t really play much multiplayer, so this has almost become a game subscription service, and I’m sure that’s the case for others too.  Now the Nintendo Switch version of this…well that’s a different story right now.

Ok, so there weren’t as many positives as negatives, and that last one was a bit of a backhanded positive point.  Still though, there are some things that are positive in this hobby these days.  Maybe even major publishers will start to take notice and have things developed that are outside their usual catalogue.  Gaming has the potential to go from strength to strength this generation, lets hope to see plenty of good to offset the bad!

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33 thoughts on “Modern Gaming Is Actually Pretty Good – Arguing with myself.”

  1. I tend to prefer more positive posts; however, it’s okay to gripe about things sometimes. I look at it like. When you love something, you want it to be the best version of itself, and nerds by definition are obsessed with their obsessions. When I criticize, I do it with love 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As I was writing the previous one, I felt like I didn’t want to come over as a whiner on the internet because I’m really not all that negative in real life (most of the time…) There are plenty of good things about this hobby and it’s nice to highlight those too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like positive posts more for the most part, BUT I think we all need to let out some steam sometimes. I think older gamers can relate to the frustrations from the other article, but this was a solid way to circle back. Props.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I agree that older gamers probably do relate to the previous one, if for no other reason that recalling “The good old days” (which probably weren’t that great either) so it’s nice to remember there are some real positives too!

      Like

  3. I don’t mind negative posts, as long as they’re backed up with facts that make the arguments seem valid (rather than one-sided venting). Positive posts are great too, pending they’re also backed up in a way that doesn’t make them seem like outlandish fanboy-ism. Striking a balance between the two can be tough, but make for the most interesting reads to me.

    I do like the nature of this post though. Slightly off-topic, but I follow the world of professional wrestling quite closely, and one of the news sites I frequent has a weekly post where they pick a wrestler and ask readers to talk about them in a positive light (whether they like them or not). I think something like this questions the reader to dig deep and discover the positives in an industry where we’re so used to seeing mass negativity (both from journalists and on social media).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Something else worth mentioning is that with this generation of consoles came the availability of all games released on the Xbox One and PS4 also being available as digital games as well. There was a time when only select games got a digital release, and it kinda sucked. Even as someone that prefers physical copies, I have to admit that the option is nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great companion article. Honestly, there are two sides to every argument, and I’m one of those weirdos who liked hearing both sides equally. If I can be more unhelpful, let me know 🙂

    I do think there is, despite griping even on my part, there is more variety overall in the game-o-sphere, which is important. Not everyone is simply adding and open world and sending it on its way!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love how you brought up the point that we have so many choices in gaming these days. There is literally a game out there for every mood I’m in, and that’s awesome! Of course, the downside of that is there are TOO many games I want to play! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You covered a lot of good points, I kind of forgot about online passes! I think it was Mortal Kombat that I first ran into that – I got it pre owned a few days after it released so I cancelled my pre order. When I got it home however, someone had already used the online pass and I was forced to pay $10 to play online. I am lazy so I did just that, and ended up paying $5 more than a brand new copy would have ran me, plus I missed out on those exclusive pre order costumes, another trend in modern gaming that I’m not sure how I feel about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, pre order bonuses are something of a bad practice in my eyes. Costumes don’t annoy me so much, but when it’s gameplay content, weapons, character boosts and such then it’s irritating to have those locked away unless you paid for something you weren’t fully informed about. Thank you for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good read!

    Though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the gaming industry takes it’s consumers seriously, I would say that as consumers with things like Greenlight and Kickstarter, we have considerable sway in what is sold to us.

    It does however, on the flip side, leave us open to manipulation. I’m looking at you No Man’s Sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They allow consumers to support what they want to play rather than chow down on another sequel, which is great. Those games would likely never get made in the past. But yes, there are some shady practices that go on as a result, with funded Kickstarters disappearing with money and Early Access games never being finished.

      Like

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