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Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Your comments on our articles.

AAA game sales are declining and competition for our free time is higher than ever...

We polled hundreds of readers to determine how their buying and playing habits have changed, how they perceive games, and what all this means for the future of Xbox... and beyond.... read more

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Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby 1Nightmare1 » 18 Nov 2012, 20:49

I agree with some about lack of innovation especially in sequels. That part of that is because some developers choose to milk their franchises and thus release half-baked games. I think the quality of sequels would improve if publishers gave developers at least 2 or more years to work a title of the franchise, instead of releasing one every year. Take Rockstar for example, they have yet to disappoint with making proper sequels to GTA or with any open world game in that matter. They also did a cool thing by making additional DLC packs that add more content and a different story dialogue to GTA IV. If this was Activision, regardless of who makes the game, they would do no more than one of GTA IV DLC expansion packs, call it day and sell it for a full game price. This why I predict that the next GTA(V) will considerably outsell Black Ops 2 and probably any other copy and pasted title that Activision will release.
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby budge » 18 Nov 2012, 22:57

Just lately i've found myself getting bored of games and i'm wondering if it's me, the state of gaming today or just the fact that there hasn't been anything particular released from my favourite genre, the good ol' fashioned RPG.

Saying that, I am looking forward to Far Cry 3 and that 2nd GTA V trailer got me all kinds of excited but most of all I just cannot wait for Ni No Kuni in January. And FFX HD (whenever the hell that's out!)
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby TheLastDodo » 19 Nov 2012, 01:48

"Yes, but not by the same games I used to be. I get excited when a new IP like Watch Dogs is announced, or a sequel to a game I really enjoyed like Borderlands 2. Most AAA games just don't appeal to me any more."


"There's a lot to be excited about. But that's the problem - there is 'a lot'. Sacrifices have unfortunately become necessary. There are a lot of games I am excited about that I'll never end up playing."


"YES but not full retail games... I have fallen back in love with smaller independent XBLA type games. I don't want flashy graphics and high production values at the expense of originality and gameplay. Limbo, Slender (on PC) and Trials Evolution dared and succeeded in doing something different."

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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby illage2 » 19 Nov 2012, 08:12

Me personally I love open world/Sandbox games like Skyrim and Fallout Vegas as they allow me to get lost in a world for hours, and doing whatever I want without having to constantly do objectives. Which is why Far Cry 3 is appealing to me.

As for finding the time to game, I agree as an adult with a job I find very little time to game any more. In fact I can only game fully at weekends. I also might slip in some gaming when I get home from work, but it's very difficult to do.
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby richomack360 » 19 Nov 2012, 10:03

I am not as excited about gaming as I used to be, whether this is down to the poor attitudes of publishers such as EA and bizarre dismantling of franchises I know and used to love (Resident Evil) or if it's down to the large fact that I don't have as much time as I used to.

Am now approachingm y 31st birthday, I have a house, I now have a 11 week old daughter and work during the day and go to the gym most evenings - so for me, getting a new "AAA" game (I hate that phrase, as sayng something is AAA before its released is just pretentious) is daunting as I know I will not have the time to paly it.

Take Halo 4 for example - was pumped up for it, looking forward to blowing StoneCold MC's eyes out of the back of his mjolnir armour - but, in the first week I had played it less than 5 hours.... FIVE HOURS ! On a Halo release week you could barely peel me away from the screen !

Prior to the arrival of my first child I was playing through Halo CE Anniversary pretty much every other night, doing the cheevos and enjoying some free time - now, I have hardly anytime as I am mostly changing a nappy, cooking a meal, tidying up the house or other. I cannot get onto XBL for fear that the little one wakes up half way through an important match ! Couple this with my opinion that Halo 4 isnt THAT good anyway...

Nowadays I find myself back on the DS with Fire Emblem or Advance Wars or iPhone with Battlenations, Don't Look Back or Scrabble rip off - Words With Friends as I have to be able to "pick up / drop" whatever I am doing the drop of a hat to tend to the spawn of my loins.

Simply put, the older I get, the less time I have - when baby number 2 comes out gaming, for me, will be a non entity as I will simply be too busy.

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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby FixBeatGames » 19 Nov 2012, 14:43

does a sequel always have to massively innovate?

what's wrong with a sequel just giving you more of the same that you clearly enjoyed?

classic games are still heralded compared to modern titles, and imo it's innovation that has ruined alot of classic franchises, such as resident evil and sonic the hedgehog.

compare sonic 2 with sonic 1, apart from having 2 players, it's the same game just refined. different levels is what people wanted it for, having played all of sonic 1s levels to death. now look at sonic 3, which is a great game, but they tried to add too much to the formula, from game mechanics to shiny rendered looking graphics, and overcomplicated it which is why sonic 2 and not 3 is still seen as the best in every poll ever.

resident evil 1, 2 and 3. they're still great games today, resident evil 6 was boring after playing just the demo. 'innovation' ruined it, turned it into a shooter that isn't scary, rather than a puzzle game with a b-movie scary feel where dodging zombies (like in proper zombie films) was the order of the day rather than gunning them down.

dead space. people moaned at the lack of innovation in dead space 2 compared to 1, and it certainly looks like they're ruining 3 by 'innovating' it. me? i just want dead space 1 with a new ship to explore, perhaps some new scarier enemies (not humans, to have gun battles with).

final fantasy. they perfected the combat in 7. everyone said so. it's still seen as the best in the series. yet they insist on 'innovating' the combat system each time still, receiving lower and lower review scores each time. just make 7 again with a bigger world / nicer graphics already!!

honestly, i don't get this 'innovation' in gaming being so important. IMO, a game that has sequels should just be giving us more of what we loved about the original, just make sure it's done at least as well. if you have some 'innovative' ideas to add to the game, you should take those ideas and make a new game with them, rather than bolting them onto an existing game in the name of innovation.

look at grand theft auto games, they've got it right. the reason everyone still loves grand theft auto games, is because they're the same game it was back on pc as grand theft auto 1, only with shinier graphics and refined gameplay.

so devs, ignore these cries for innovation. if a game sells well and has many fans, those fans will happily just play more levels of that game as long as they're made as well. mario games, call of duty games, grand theft auto games and fifa games are all good examples to follow! if you want to innovate, don't ruin your good games, just make new games / franchises!
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby FishyGinger » 19 Nov 2012, 15:20

I think it's mostly you lot. I feel the same way that things are going downhill and whatnot coupled with having too much to do all other times (played about 2 hours last week if that, and I don't have kids), I spend most weekends with the girlfriend so it just doesn't seem as interesting the older I get. I still enjoy it massively so of course.

I think the other main factor is the quantity of decent games. There are too many out now. In days gone by there wouldn't be as much info about with the lack of internet, there'd only be 1 or 2 games I'd be really interested in so the excitement for each one was higher.
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby KK-Headcharge78 » 19 Nov 2012, 17:16

Interesting article but one which neglects a major issue from our side, and it is that of apathy and having the luxury of tons of readily avaialble, highly publiscised, cheap games. Games are now a major business, we have the super hardcore to the super casual, across more machines, with more online participants reading more reviews, websites and forums than ever before. Everything comes under massive scrutiny and the archetypal gamer has come to 'expect' quality, cheap games delivered yesterday. It's not a blame thing, it is an off-shoot of an industry that has grown so big it is hard for people to truly see the options and in the end it is easy to bleat crap about a lack of innovation (believe me go back to the 90's when the vast majority of games were either a fighter, platform or racing game- for which you would pay a kings ransom for)

There is a very relevant truism that exists in most consumer markets, the market is barely a hair's length ahead of the very consumers it serves. I recall the level of publicity and reviews being limited for games of old, I try to remember that when I'm looking at yet another advert for f**king Assassins Creed.

We too are a major cog in this machine and as such the community must take some responsibility for the good and the ills of gaming.
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby wallcat » 19 Nov 2012, 18:22

I do get tired of sequels but mostly because more keep coming out at a quicker pace and I just can't find the money or time to keep up with them all. I'm also the type or person who prefers to play the games that came before a sequel, but if there are too many and I'm late to the franchise I can get put off in favour of playing a unique ip instead. I reckon ill always love games, but that's not to say I don't get ups and downs based on the current quality and originality of new games being released. The way I see it is, games are expensive so i'd rather make sure each new purchase can offer me a unique experience that I haven't had before. I also agree that the surprise and wonder have gone now and we need some new fresh ideas to be introduced. I have to admit, I've lost faith in the mainstream industry of late, and this is the first year in a long time where I've struggled to find a mainstream game that id like to get for Christmas. Things can change though and im keen to see where games will go next.
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Re: Reality check: Is the way we play games changing?

Postby Barca Azul » 20 Nov 2012, 23:10

Time is against me playing more these days, im a mature gamer that has evolved over 30 years.

I still get amazed by how amazing some games look or play and wonder how far devs can push them.

I dont have a problem with sequels if they are good, and not a yearly rehash.

I feel some games focus less on story telling and sound than in the past, whilst others do it very well and are often the best games around. I think this is why CoD 4 was so popular, or FF Vii, Uncharted 2, ME, Batman AA, RDR, GTA San An or Vice city and why some were disappointed by IV.

Sonic 2 was crap BTW, it lost its fluidity of the first game.
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