Put It All In the Box - Arkayde Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Put It All In the Box

Do you... do you remember when everything you needed in a console was already in the box? Do you remember when, all of the content to a game was also already in its respective box? If you don't, then you're probably very new to gaming. However, I'm not; and I do remember when all I needed could be bought in one swipe. I miss that....

I know that I might get called "archaic". I know that, someone will read this and feel that I should, "get with the times" and "crawl from under my rock". I'm sure that someone is bound to feel that I'm being overly nostalgic and allowing it to cloud my judgment. But I'm not. And I know that I'm not. I'm being honest. I'm being realistic. I'm acknowledging the fact that this new way of gaming isn't exactly a better way. But in fact, it's an excellent way to ensure that our valued hobby and pastime will not hold the same honored place in history that music, books, and films now do.

Finding satisfaction in imperfection is a sure fire path to obsoletion. Mandatory day 1 updates should not be, "just the way things are now". I shouldn't have to "update" my controller. Online multiplayer shouldn't be my only option in a multiplayer game. And whatever happened to unlockables, and how did it get replaced by DLC? What happens when people want to play these games and consoles years from now? What will they do when the servers are down? How will they get the full story of a game when the DLC is no longer available for download? Has anyone from within the industry even bothered to pose these questions (not being a smarta$, I'm seriously asking)?

In my travels and business doings I've met so many people who refuse to play newer games and consoles because they hate the path that the industry has chosen. My father, who's been gaming since the dawn of Pong has so far chosen to sit out this generation (still working on bringing him to the PS4 side). This past weekend I met a guy who hasn't bought a new console since the Sega Genesis but is instead looking to finally get a SNES. And every day the Retro Gaming community grows just a little bit more, and with it so does my follower count on Twitter.

What does this tell you? What does this signify? It shows that gamers (or at least a sizable portion of them) don't like being screwed over. They don't like paying 60 dollars for an unfinished game. They don't like the fact that even though online is not technically required; their console can't actually live up to its full potential without it. They don't like spending God knows how long waiting for an update to play a brand new game (something the PS3 was notorious for). And they don't like the fact that years, thousands of dollars, and many emotional investments later, they'll be forever cut off from their favorite characters and games; with nothing left to show for it, other than a console and a game that is now unplayable due to technological restraints.

So how do we solve this? Simple, we starting put things back in the box. I don't expect a complete 180. I'm not expecting a return to the 80s and 90s, with power gloves and Sega CDs running rampant. But I would like to see less DLC and more unlockables. Make me want to replay your game so that I can unlock the additional content, thus getting me past the initial trade in phase, resulting in one less used game to be circulated, resold, and taking from the developer profit. I'd like to see more games include local co-op. With a short and often times uninteresting campaign, and only server dependent multiplayer to entertain me, what's to stop me from just passing over your game all together? I mean, it will be virtually of no use to me once the servers are down.  Start putting out more, finished, bug-less games. I know it's pretty much impossible to remove every single bug, but a least put more effort in to delivering an as close to perfect product as possible. And last but not least, stop with the updates. Ok, fine, don't stop. But at least make sure that there won't be a need for so many of them. And perhaps, have an alternative means to obtain these updates. Think PS4 day one update; now that's a good alternative. Because seriously, If I wanted constant updates, I'd just go in to PC gaming. And honestly, with the way things have been going, I really can't see a reason (other than money) for why I shouldn't.

I'm not trying to bash the gaming industry. I love it. I love gaming; it's an integral part of my life. But because I love it so much, I have to treat it the same way I'd treat anything I love; with constructive criticism, aimed at inspiring long lasting progression - not this surface level stuff. I don't want to see another industry crash. I don't want to see the industry die. And as much as I want to see my son go outside and toss around a football, I also want to see him sit around and play the industries latest and greatest. But that can't happen if mediocrity becomes normalized. Isn't mediocrity why Nintendo had to come in and save the day back in the 80s? Or did we forget the history of gaming and the industry that has sprung up around it? And did we forget that history has a tendency to repeat itself? Let's not kill the legacy of this beautiful medium. Let's start putting some things back in the box.

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