War. War Never Changes.

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As dedicated gamers, we’ve always cherished the experiences that we know the developers not only made for our enjoyment, but made because they had a deep connection to their work. There have always been bad games, but it seems that with the emergence of the popularity of games, there were a lot fewer developers working on titles that meant a lot more to them. Even publishers as such as EA were keen to allow developers to put their own flavour into commissioned games, allowing the experience of the developers to flow into their projects. But times have changed, and somewhere along the line, the unrelenting maw of the publisher has grown hungrier for profit than ever, driving an odd trend through the industry. Games have now become disposable items.

Back in the bad old days of gaming, it was more than likely that your process of buying a game involved recommendation via word of mouth. This was a relatively simple process among your group of friends, as you collectively assembled your gaming canon, barring anything unworthy from your kingdom. Incidentally, this is something that developers observed, and through this they learned that in order to gain the respect of the comparatively small gaming community, they had to make something exceptional. Let’s now hit 88 mph and see how things are going on in terrifying space-future of tomorrow… TODAY.

Now here’s an odd trend. Since around the mid 90’s, games consoles have been working against the fluctuation in game design habits, as we see the emergence of only a handful of home consoles in comparison to the growing number of games being made. Regardless, I will always reserve this period as a time of divine experimentation in the games industry. It was around the trailing sales time of the generation 6 consoles that this rise of games that I cannot rationalise the existence of, began appearing nonchalantly throughout our beloved game havens. I can only imagine that they were riding the wave of spare parts left behind after the reign of Mario Party. However, it was not until generation 7 until these strange titles bullied their way onto the Wii and asked no questions.

I’ve always been in awe of budget titles because there is just such a set variation in their quality. On one side of the fence there are the small, most probably indie titles which are just oozing imagination and love, whilst on the other side there are all of the insipid party games and movie tie-ins that some uninformed businessman thought was a good idea after being given a whiff of sweet, sweet green. What some developers have failed to address is what might be good for the industry at large here.

By perpetuating this trend of fast made, low quality market bloating games, it is not only harder than ever for new gamers to get a grasp of what is good, but it’s forcing other unexpected budget gems into the depths of obscurity. It’s not the first time. See, what I’ve been reserving here for massive literary punch is a shocking reality that grates against my previous blissfully ignorant approach towards this problem. THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SHIT GAMES.

See ladies and gentlemen, although back in the day, prime developers jostled and fought to even take a place as a shoe shiner in the gaming canon of yesteryear, there were always companies who somehow managed to make spectacularly bad games and movie tie-ins. Take my appalling Back to the Future reference I made several paragraphs ago; if Angry Video Game Nerd is to be believed, and his rage never lies, that was a game that involved wandering around Hill Valley, throwing bowling balls and evading rogue bands of men carrying panes of glass across the road. Man, that sounds like my idea of a good time. I was totally wrong in thinking that the 21’s century is a single anomaly in rubbish games.

Precedents aside, I kind of feel that I’ve reached a loop in my argument. It’s no mystery that games have always had their good and their bad, but no time like today have so many of the games that have invaded our market with their gaudy covers, and terrible ideas settled such an idea into the minds of gamers, that games are a quick fix arrangement, and expecting too much from everybody will only result in disappointment. However this doesn’t resolve the issue of how games are becoming disposable, so here’s my hypothesis.

Games are becoming more disposable because the vast majority of new gamers (and there are a lot of them) and just buying large numbers of games in vain hope that probability has smiled upon them, and they manage to ladle out some truly great games in the midst. Cashpockets McPublisher here, hears the feeble cries of “what’s good” coming from the timid child who just bought a Wii, and floods the market with big flashy, confusing options of dubious quality.

I’m sorry for being so bitter, I really have no idea why games have become more disposable. I guess you could say that we’re so spoilt for choice these days, that the concept of next year’s big blockbuster game sort of disintegrates into next year’s 25 big blockbuster games, and in our rush to devour them all as they in turn devour our wallets, they sort of lose their individual value that comes out of anticipating a single title for a very long time.

Jasper Rolls – Gentleman bastard

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