What I’m finding more and more is people will inevitably start whipping out phrases like ‘the game is made for more casual gamers’ whenever a bad game comes out that they want to pretend isnt bad (if you like bad games thats fine we all do).
So I’m starting to think we really need to start changing the words we use because we are slowly getting mired in them. I was toying with myself the phrase ‘Game Hobbyist’ or something similar. Something to separate those who play infrequent and a small section of video games from those who play a wide variety of games often.
There is a keenness in today’s game market to shame ‘hardcore gamers’ the problem being that the defenders of bad gameplay and story will use this phrase, while decrying its existence (Oh a guy playing angry birds 3 hours a day is a hardcore gamer its not about what you play) missing out that most people DO consider this guy a hardcore gamer in that he REALLY LIKES video games and most likely if he is just a focused mobile phone gamer hes still a really enthusiastic one and no one thinks any less of him if they are sensible. Just like you have console and PC gamers and flash-game gamers and so on.
This is why we need to start changing how we approach this as people who are fans of gaming as a hobby because we lose credibility just by being clumped into jargon that lets be honest the industry and some small vocal minorities have popularised.
We need to start trying to change our vocabulary to stop this, putting it harshly, slimy and sneaky way of dismissing arguments in gaming by using these terms. Such as saying well DmC has an easier combo system to be More Accessible and hardcore gamers cant expect them to sacrifice players to keep them happy. This implies that the games weren’t accessible before and that hardcore gamers are the people that enjoy complex and frustrating to use systems and this simple term lets the debater get away with avoiding an actual problem with the game (that its not more or less complex but actually lacking in depth and content).
So what I’m trying to say is we need to start thinking about not just what we want from games and being passionate about that but about what we are seen as by both industry journalists and devs and their dedicated fans.
So what do you guys think? Is it possible for us dedicated gamers to shed these words? Or am I living a pipe dream? Do you have some suggestions? Lets get this discussion on you sensible people.
Indie games sell better on Steam and with less hassle for developers than they do on Xbox Live, according to a number of developersGamasutrainterviewed recently.
Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games explains how Zeboyd’s Cthulu Saves the Worlddid a disappointing 16,000 sales on Xbox Live Indie Games, “which means it’s earned just about the same amount of money as our first game – even though we spent so much more time creating it.”
Zeboyd switched their focus to Steam, bundled Cthulu with their first game, and sold the package for $3 apiece on Steam starting in July. Five days later, they had already made more money on Steam than their annual revenue on XBLIG.
There are other benefits to developers, according to Braidcreator Jonathan Blow.
“[I can] live a comfortable life and just put my game on Steam without that much of a hassle, or I can have the XBLA business people dick me around and give me asshole contracts that I need to spend three months negotiating back to somewhere reasonable … it’s like, at some point, the question ‘Why should I do that?’ arises.”
Perhaps developers shouldn’t. Introversion software enjoyed huge success on PC with the superb DEFCON and Darwinia, and were poised to press on with new projects when they tooka detour into XBLA development. It took them three years to finish the project and get certification, during which the company hit financial straits. Rather than guaranteeing Interversion’s future, however, the Xbox release of Darwinianearly destroyed it. An 11th-hour Steam sale for DEFCONproduced enough revenue to keep the company going.
The Gamasutra piece points out that XBLA is a tougher market for indies now than it used to be, and with a high-bar to entry just to make it into the store, Xbox might be offering more risk to indie developers than it does in rewards.