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The Downfall of the Gamer Empire: How the pre-order and dlc culture destroyed gaming 
Posted on September 16, 2015 at 10:10 PM.
I have been through about 3 to 4 generations of gaming ( SNES, Genesis, Virtual Boy, Game Boy, Gameboy color to PS4 ) even the arcade places that used to have prizes when you played skee ball. So over the course of 20 years I have found that games went from one cartridge or 4-6 disk that would provide more content than any game today. Cheat codes, unlockables and secrets gave gamers the ability to have incentives to play a game. It just seems that as times move forward, the less rewarded we the customers are and the more cheated we've become.I said all of that to say this; quantity has replaced quality a long time ago. A game like FFVII in today's time would have had heavy DLC. Goldenye 64 would have had heavy DLC. That is not to say that games back then had glitches and errors, but they were much better than games today.

This is the case because the mid 2000's to now becomes more about money and less about quality. The pre-order culture has taken over and impacted gaming companies, developers and their customers. Gone are the days where pre-orders were to ensure a copy that would be gone soon due to supply vs. demand. Now it's about how to milk more from the customers with gimmicks.

Games now have become nothing but a quick rehash and glitch fest.Now, the gamer has become a hybrid. They have become the beta tester and the customer. Rocksteady to 2k have become greedy,demanding over 200 dollars from customers (with the game DLC, but extra stuff that should be in the game to begin with). Destiny is a prime example of this. They release a game, hold back all the bells and whistles then release the same game again a year later with more stuff and charge more. Now releasing season passes that cost more than the games themselves and provide very little substance worth the price. Honestly, games are far and few in between in the terms of worth paying for these days. Developers have no time because companies care more about making money than issuing a product they care about. therefore, games are released incomplete and are patched more than a band-aid. Eventually, the chickens will come home to roost for these companies. It did to Rocksteady this summer with their debacle of a PC port and their controversial and questionable overpriced season pass. Lessons are still in need to be learned and until then it will remain the same.
Comments
# 1 Perry_West @ Sep 17
tl;dr: maybe it's a good thing.

to play devils advocate
(though i agree with all your points)
gamers are responsible for this era.
we could have seen this trend beginning
and decided not to spend anything extra
but the desire to have it all won over.
when games began episodic releases i
knew things were way past crazy for us.
microtransactions and dlc are two things:
a way to milk the cows dry but also for
some companies a way to add money to the
budget to create better games (like 2k).
in a sense, if the company uses the funds
to provide better wages to employees to
create better products and we provide it
through our post purchase spending then
it only benefits us as well as creators.
that's a huge if considering many brands
only want to drain as much as possible
from their main sources of income (us).
but if the quality and company improves
it takes the sting out of missing the
days where it was press play to play and
that's all it took; no dlc or updates or
download the uploading downloads to update. time moves on and so should we.
 
# 2 ZoneBlitz @ Sep 17
Agree with the OP. That is why I stopped purchasing some games. I don't believe in paying over and over for a game.
 
# 3 jinntu @ Sep 17
I'm old enough to have been around for the end of Atari and to remember arcades being important. I vehemently disagree with gaming being better in ye golden olden days or even less expensive.

I think the biggest issue with trying to compare previous gaming development cycles with current ones is the size, scope, and cost. Making games 20 years ago is in no way congruent with making a game now a days. Especially the cost. .

Consider that older games retailed for more than 100 bucks when adjusted for inflation yet cost much less to make (regardless of inflation). AAA titles have 20-50 million dollar budgets compared to the 1-5 mil cost of games in previous generations and they retail for LESS. Hell I remember some old NES games going for 70 bucks. Which is the equivalent of like nearly 150 bucks.

This means the developers have to find ways to create revenue either through microtransactions or paid DLC because YOU the gamer are more demanding and more critical than ever.

You must have better graphics (say what you want about gameplay being important but people harp on graphics hard, it's wang measuring)and you want to feel the game is worth your money and has replayability which means they have to artificially inflate the game length. Most games now a days don't even get finished let along replayed because they're so artifically long that interest wanes. Notice how most SNES or earlier games can be beat in an hour or two and even most PSX era games just a few hours you just play them over and over.

It's not that companies have gotten greedy perse its that they have to do everything they can to cover the immense costs to produce product for the hardware available. That's why so many of the indie games have trimmed down graphics and really streamlined concepts (Starwahl or Speedrunners) because otherwise the costs get really prohibitive.
 
# 4 jinntu @ Sep 17
Hit enter before I was done -_-

I honestly think its gamers that have gotten greedy and entitled. I don't think we realize how good we have it and we expect perfection at every turn not realizing how unrealistic that is. Older games have simpler concepts, simpler writing, fewer things that can go wrong because there aren't as many things happening at once. There's a lost less than can go wrong in a 2MB SNES cartridge than a 40GB AAA title so of course there will be more bugs there's literally 20,000x more data moving.

I also think nostalgia glasses makes us think more fondly of older games than they may be worthy of. We see more classics that there really are and we expect very AAA game to be a classic.

You generally only remember the stuff that's really good...not the vast majority of older games that are meh at best how the hell did this get through QA at worst.

Hell even a lot of the "good" ones don't hold up 20-30 years later. There are exceptions but those are generally very simple games (Mario or arcade games/ports), or are truly timeless, old Square games come to mind.

That said a timeless game is a timeless game. We still have those (Elder Scrolls games, Mass Effect comes to mind instantly) but they're as rare as they have always been and it's not DLC that cause it its because its very difficult to make anything that truly stands the test of time.
 
# 5 Perry_West @ Sep 17
my tl:dr wasn't for you Mastershake.
i put that as a short synopsis of my
post for those who wouldn't read it.
i did read your post. and i agreed with your points.
 
# 6 mastershake88 @ Sep 17
My apologies to you then Mr. west. And thank you!
 
# 7 Perry_West @ Sep 17
i gotta learn how to clarify
my statements better. it's ok.
i've been thinking for some time
that we were giving up too much
control in gaming (and money)...
i miss cheat codes in single player
(i don't care for trophies at all)
and i agree that dlc is nickel &
diming us or at least a bait & switch.
but sometimes i think maybe i'm that
old guy complaining about the good ol
days. if the extra money improves
gaming i'd consider it a donation.
 
# 8 mastershake88 @ Sep 19
The problem I've found is the fact that the customers have become beta testers.
 
# 9 Woodcutta @ Sep 20
What the OP has mentioned is why I think F2P and Kickstarter are going to be the next major wave in gaming. It has already started with games like Warframe, Path of Exile, and Divinity Original Sin. F2P coupled with Kickstarter like projects will be more commonplace in the near future IMO. There have even been a few games funded through Kickstarter that might have a larger budget to work because of using Kickstarter. If a game looks really interesting I have no issue with supporting it before it is released in order to be able to play it early (alpha/beta) and definitely don't mind paying some money after I've played it and really enjoy it (as I've done with Path of Exile). Hopefully this leads to more control for gamers in what they get for what they pay.
 
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