A reader is upset by the information from Microsoft and Ubisoft and argues that huge price range video game growth has by no means been in a worse place.
So, it’s been fairly the week for faceless companies this week, eh? Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and more all making 10,000 or more people redundant for no good motive. None of those corporations are in monetary bother, in reality they’re in main revenue, however as a result of that revenue is barely lower than the earlier year they have to be seen to be doing one thing about it. Naturally that doesn’t contain a change of management or wage cuts in the board room however as an alternative the victimisation of bizarre staff that have no say in how the businesses are run.
There’s nothing new or uncommon in any of that, sadly, but it surely does underline simply what a soulless manufacturing line fashionable AAA video game manufacturing is. There are exceptions, in fact. Most of what Nintendo makes appears to have loads of creative spark in it, as do video games from different corporations, like the superb Elden Ring and lots of what Sony does. Games might be huge price range, mass market, and financially profitable however the huge Western publishers don’t even appear to attempt.
You know we’re in a nasty spot when EA appears essentially the most dynamic of the large publishers in the intervening time, whereas Activision simply trundle on with their one single game that’s been the same for the last 20 years. Or 2K, who simply tread water for the 5 years between every new Rockstar release. But it’s Ubisoft and Microsoft that have been in the information essentially the most this week and for good motive.
Not only has Microsoft got rid of 10,000 staff however they appear to have decimated 343 Industries’ single-player crew, whereas ex-team members call them out for unhealthy administration. If you observe the video games business you’ll know people have been accusing Microsoft of that for years and but it’s taken all this time for them to understand the issue and begin to do one thing about – and that’s only if the rumours are true.
For my cash Ubisoft is even worse although. I’m positive the mass redundancies are only a matter of time however they’ve been making more and more samey video games for years now, with the pandemic that means that time lastly caught up with them they usually’ve been compelled to confront the truth that every thing they make is only a gray sludge of regurgitated concepts.
Just have a look at the listing of 2023 releases that got leaked. Filled with cellular video games and live service rubbish that they know doesn’t promote however they’re going to hold on with anyway. Meanwhile, precise good and original video video games – which have a confirmed observe report of being profitable – are nowhere to be seen, until you’re enthusiastic about Assassin’s Creed 14 and The Crew 3.
What struck me most was the phrase from one Ubisoft developer, complaining that Ubisoft’s present video games had been ‘not what gamers wanted’. They clearly perceive. But no, the issue is that every one the execs see is one profitable game and the only factor they’ll suppose to do is copy it and duplicate it till it’s run into floor.
Never does it happen to them that the original was standard as a result of it was one thing new and so the perfect factor to do subsequent is also make one thing new. No, essentially the most artistic they get is copying another person’s thought, till every thing finally ends up trying and enjoying like every thing else. Grey sludge once more.
The more costly making a game will get the much less threat you’ll be able to take, and but on the same time it takes longer to develop. So we end up in the situation we at the moment are, the place you wait 5 years simply to play precisely the same game that already exists.
There is one thing basically incorrect with the fashionable AAA video video games business. If publishers can’t afford to take a threat then they have to discover a way to make video games more cheaply in order that they’ll, or in any other case they’re doomed.
And that’s not hyperbole, simply have a look at Ubisoft – it’s taking place to them right now.
There by no means was a golden age of gaming, it’s only ever been the highest 5% that’s any good, however the hazard now could be that proportion is falling as a result of video games actually can’t afford to innovate. It’s not rose-tinted glasses that makes older video games appear more ingenious, it’s chilly exhausting economics.
I’m positive all Ubisoft’s cellular and free-to-play video games will fail after which what? They’ll most likely be purchased by Microsoft or Google after which a number of months later they’ll sack a number of thousand builders and we’ll be in an excellent worse position, and down one writer.
Gaming is in a horrible situation in the intervening time: gross sales are down, creativity is down, the variety of releases is down, and people have no cash. If corporations aren’t cautious their short-sightedness goes to trigger one other business crash and to be sincere, as long as indie builders survive, I’m unsure how a lot sympathy I’m actually going to have.
By reader Allogoriant
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