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Thread: Has increased cost of producing a game led to lots of generic cookie cutter titles?

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Default Has increased cost of producing a game led to lots of generic cookie cutter titles?

    I've been out of the "buying new games" loop for at least 5 years, and that is largely due to what I see as this horrible trend of developers producing generic "safe" titles. Call of Duty 21: Modern World War II Combat Warfare Special Edition. Yearly sports title. Halo 9. Generic first person shooter that looks just like yesteryear's. Formulaic RPG title that is sure to woo the fans (because it looks just like the last one that sold well.) Resident Evil iteration 30 (amazing to me that they can still milk that franchise) Assassin's Creed every year in a different time period.

    I understand that if a game developer takes a risk on a quarter of a billion dollar video game, it could tank the company if the American consumers reject it (outside of a niche group of hardcore gamers) but the way I see things, the industry has been stale for a long time. I feel the market has entered this trend of easy, flashy, proven games and the idiots en masse just keep buying the same yearly games over and over.

    Granted I know that the indie scene still has a lot of experimental titles, but if you're like me and want a physical disc or cartridge, you don't care about downloadable titles.

    The solution? None really. Replace the brains of all the idiots in the U.S. who keep buying the same schlock over and over with brains of people who like simple graphics, challenging gameplay, and *gasp* physical media with an instruction manual and actual value.

    I've been criticized for liking old games or being accused of trying to relive my childhood, but none of that is true. The games were better back then, more unique, didn't feel as "cookie-cutter." and I could sell them to a game store or friend if I wanted (and hold them in my hand.)

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    There are a lot of indies coming out physically these days. There are also lots of niche games from Japan that are made on relatively small budgets. I pretty much entirely ignore the AAA gaming scene, and I still have more to buy and play than I can keep up with.

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    I like older games, but I also praise the current gen.

    Regardless what larger companies state, production cost is not an issue. Gaming culture is much bigger than it's ever been and while there's a lot of developers out there who are more passionate and want to create a quality game, there's a lot of developers who are just in it for the money. This is not just Ubisoft, Activision, EA, Square Enix, etc. This is also indies. A lot of indie games are just really bad games pushed out there just to make money. Some of them are playable, but not very good, others are complete trash, then you have the developers who really put forth the effort and are passionate about gaming.

    I'm going to say that there are a lot of larger budget companies as well as indie developers who are passionate about gaming and atleast try to make some solid releases. Sony and Nintendo imo are the only two console publishers who really care about the industry, while to me it feels that Microsoft is in it for the money and nothing more. I honestly really don't like Nintendo as a company, and a lot of their habits also push that they're more in it for the greed than their fanbase, but considering that I do feel they make quality handhelds and they make some quality games, I have to also include them, unlike Microsoft that I feel just isn't trying at all. Now Sony on the other hand, despite my thinking some of the head staff are incompetent(think of how many studios they've closed that have released games in a timely manner, now think of studios like Polyphony Digital and Media Molecule,) Sony pushes for quality releases in many different genres and for the most part, many of their games are of a very very high quality. When they get something as successful as Uncharted, God of War, etc, they do tend to milk it, but they also release other games as well. The only thing I don't care for about Sony is that the games they release are always too focused on telling a story and while the gameplay is amazing, unless you want to play Gran Turismo, there's very few gameplay focused games from them.

    I actually think the PS1, N64, and Saturn had far less shovelware on the systems because 3D really just took off for consoles at that time and the barrier to entry was much higher at that time in both time and money. The quality of games then is exceedingly high imo. However, I think this gen is actually fairly similar, as digital is huge and most games that are sold at retial are on average of a higher quality. One thing about this gen is that the variety is much higher than pretty much any generation before, even if I don't think the quality on average is above that of the PS1(which I still consider the greatest console of all time.)

    I could run down a list of how much variety and quality that the PS4 has, but it'd be just that, a list. I did do a couple of videos with plans to do others. Wanted to do a variety of ports/new releases to eventually have a listing of all good PS4 games that are released at retail. The PS4 though has a lot of good to great games and that's just what I've played. There's some bad games as well, Compile Heart for example has never once made a game that wasn't complete trash. Whether it's remasters, indies, or new games, PS4 has an amazing library and it's still got three more years to go at the very least.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    No. It's no different than the swath of platformers, shoot 'em ups, puzzle, beat 'em up and fighting games we got years ago. Or the FPS, RTS and Myst type Álones we got on pc as well. It's just easier to see now when games take longer to make.

    Companies usually jump on what's selling hot, either with the big time publishers and indies (Flappy Bird clones, anyone?)

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    I think maybe you're just burning yourself out. I don't think there was anymore variety on classic consoles. I think there was arguably much less, in fact.

    I also don't feel that people are dumb for purchasing games they enjoy for full price, no matter how long in the tooth the franchises are. I personally just don't have the time to invest in $60 games (not with a backlog of thousands of games), and just purchase discounted or after market titles.

    There are VERY few new releases that I purchase, and they're mainly Nintendo titles, or sub $30 budget/sale releases. The hardcore folks who jump on every Shiney new full price release subsidize my favorite hobby, spending the money necessary to support the industry as a whole.

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    There will always be generic "cookie cutter" rip-off style games.

    Its been going on in the industry as long as there has been a video game industry.

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    I read the first 2 sentences of your post, OP. I like Quake 1 and 2 better than any Halo games. That's where I just went to reply to thread. I didn't need to read what else u had to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboexpress View Post
    I read the first 2 sentences of your post, OP. I like Quake 1 and 2 better than any Halo games. That's where I just went to reply to thread. I didn't need to read what else u had to say.
    I don't know if you're agreeing with the op or disagreeing, but liking Quake 1 and 2 is the same as a Halo fan liking Halo sequels. I don't like Halo at all, I also like the Quake games and Unreal Tournament games better, but, I like current gen games as well as past gen games.

    Copy paste series of games have been here forever. Take a look at the first 10 Mega Man games, each game is barely different from the other regardless of console change. Six of them were on the NES. The last Halo to have released was Halo 5, and with the release of ODST and Reach, that makes seven games across three systems.
    Last edited by kupomogli; 06-13-2018 at 09:38 PM.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    The market is quite tough and the consumer is tougher. You jeopardize the future of the company if you reduce your target market, so generic cinematic titles are a "safe" investment. The market needs to crash again to end this trend of investing 80 million USD to make a profit of 20 million USD, that is not much to keep a company with 300 people running for year.

    Niche titles are only that ... its amazing that they even exist today. I still support Atlus and a few other companies. I have high expectations for DRAGON QUEST XI... looks amazing and its the title that is making me buy the PS4 ...
    Las calles no son basurero, POR FAVOR TIREN LA BASURA EN SU LUGAR !!!!

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    There has always been cookie cutter titles in video games since the beginning (the big console crash in the 1980s had that as a root cause) and 'safe investments' probably just as long. There are still passion projects out there, but I think the proportion relative to the market has been slowly edging down for a while now.



    While I would like to think that the concept that if developers don't diversify, they'll ossify instead has some merit, the fact is that the cookie cutter safe investments are still generating lots and lots of revenue, and businessmen loves their revenue they do. This creates the potential for a fiscally conservative attitude to war for dominance with an expressive, creative attitude in most dev houses. The current output at any given dev is a reflection of how those attitudes are balanced. You actually do need to have some money-centric practices; As an example I'm sure most of us has wandered into a tabletop gaming or other hobby store that was run by gamers for gamers, and wonderful to go and do hobby things and buy hobby things, but wound up shutting their doors within three years because they weren't keeping their finances together. Money grubbing is a necessary evil, I don't like it, I'm not going to like it, but there it is.

    There are still plenty of fun games with bits of that special brilliance being produced, even in the dreaded, derided AAA category that I want to play whenever the stars align again and I get current.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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