The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
The video game industry is a fast moving place. Everything from from game development to news coverage is running on a treadmill with the speed stuck on full. NBA Coach Mike Dantoni, the focus of the picture above, may not have anything to do with gaming outside of his likeness appearing in a few sports titles, but he fairly accurately represents how I feel looking at the world of video games as it blurs past. I can only imaging he's saying something along the lines of: "Whoa there everybody, let's stop and take a look at what we're doing for a moment."
I'm asking the same thing of whoever decides to read this right now, take a moment to stop and think about how fast the video game industry moves. Don't worry, I can wait. Unlike so much around us these words aren't going anywhere (provided you don't leave the page). While the people who chose to take a break do so I'll just touch on some things for everyone else.
Collectively, we as gamers are so impatient that we purchase games months in advance. I myself have already preordered Assassin's Creed III and the Borderlands 2: Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition. I've already bought into those games, regardless of how they turn out. I don't regret it, but it's probably not a good thing that this is the case. My of us purchase games just to get our hands on a thin vertical slice of another game in the form of a demo or beta trial. In fact, the original Crackdown can probably attribute most of its success to being paired with the Halo 3 Beta. Stores have long since embraced early purchases by tying in-game content to them, rewarding those who fork over their cash in advance with a litany of exclusive goodies. All of this in the name of getting the game as soon as possible.
Gaming publications almost universally review games with heavy multiplayer elements or that aren't up-to-date just to get a review out earlier, regardless of whether or not that truly represents the product that players will be getting their hands on. Publishers like EA and Activision schedule their releases not to correspond with when the game will be finished, but rather when they can make the most money. They push titles that aren't complete into certification early in anticipation of preparing a patch for distribution at launch. They dangle DLC in front of players right from the start to take advantage of everyone's attention being on their title. All of this to get that money in the bank, as soon as possible. From top to bottom the majority of the video game industry is structured around getting things done fast. Not everyone operates in said manner, of course, but those that don't are the exception rather than the rule.
This overabundance of instant gratification is ingrained into gaming culture, and gaming culture is notoriously slow to change, but that doesn't mean that some things shouldn't. Maybe it's time that we start taking things a little slower. Perhaps publishers wouldn't get away with so much of their release day antics if they didn't already have the money of millions in their pockets. The semi-questionable practices that occur now would have more of an impact on sales, and would likely disappear in the face of losing a considerable number of consumers. Perhaps technical issues like Blizzard's Diablo III servers going down or Modern Warfare 2's Javelin Glitch would be fixed beforehand without guaranteed money already on the table. Likewise, perhaps waiting to review a game could help paint more accurate pictures of what consumers will actually be playing.
Many people may not like the idea of slowing down, it does seem so naturally contrary to reason in a competitive environment, but as a whole we're losing. For all intents and purposes, we gamers are that athlete who falls on his face while running out of the tunnel because he's just so excited about getting a chance to play. Our coaches are drawing up plays based on old tape and our organization is handing us equipment that detracts from our experience just because it puts money back in the bank. I wouldn't even know where or how to start putting the brakes on but we're not working with a winning formula right now.
Well I don't have a huge comment to post like the guy above me and what I say is a little bit off topic but I agree that the game industry is moving a bit too fast. By that, I mean that so many games have come out in such a short period of time that it would be impossible for me to finish them all. This forces me to pick and choose which ones I want the most. If developers could slow down a bit and add a bit of polish to the final product instead of rushing to release something with the promise of patches, it would help a lot.