The first article on this blog, and yes typically it’s a ranting one from me, I’m great at that.
At the end of 2018 many big titles were due for release, Just Cause 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, Fallout 76, Battlefield 5, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and many more. I had saved up quite a bit of money so I could get the sequels to titles I know and love but I was severely disappointed with most and angry at the business practices and state of many of the titles. On a positive note, Red Dead Redemption 2 was unbelievable, how did Rockstar again get us attached that much to one of their characters? Indie titles were also a hit during the 2018 period with such games as GRIP Combat Racing, Death Trash, Tetris Effect and many more.
Bethesda, what happened? Fallout 76, while there were mixed reactions to the reveal, sounded like a pretty good premise. Explore the huge open wastes of West Virginia with your friends, take on new enemies, join new factions and gain the power to launch nukes, what’s not to like about that? Well, actually a lot. NPC’s were gone, their defence was that the players replace the NPC’s and robots that give quests which just didn’t feel the same, especially when the limit of players was 24 per server so actually coming across players is pretty hard. The story behind why humans were mostly gone is interesting, the Scorched beats releasing a plague that turns the humans into there slaves, but sadly the Scorched reacted like normal raiders so there was nothing new brought to the table. Among the negatives, you can talk about in the gameplay the number of bugs and issues at launch were horrific. I think it’s safe to say if Fallout 76 wasn’t a rushed job and had an extra year, we may have seen something much better. I can’t help but think Bethesda wanted a cash cow. It feels like they went the games with live services route to keep money coming in rather than actually giving the players what they want. It’s definitely an issue today where the big companies seem to be delivering these games rushed and unfinished, labelling them games with live services and then completing the game later if it does alright. Battlefield 5, a former shell of its once titanic rule in First Person Shooters, and no I’m not ranting about the frankly stupid women weren’t on the Frontline debate, women fought in the war, Battlefield 5 displays that wonderfully. No my problem with Battlefield 5 is that it was released with a very basic amount of maps, reskinned guns from Battlefield One and it was missing several modes at launch and still is. I don’t blame the developers, I feel for them I do, the stick they have to put up with I can imagine is hard. The triple-A publishers like EA, Activision, Bethesda, they need to seriously look at what they’re doing, I understand the shareholders need pleasing but at what point do you start alienating your fan base? It seems we’re already there.
Most games I bought were just unfinished messes, I shouldn’t have pre-ordered them, in fact perhaps I’m part of the problem. I pre-order the game at full price and with no knowledge of how the final product is going turn out. Then I act hard done by when I realise, “oh this game is bad and when they price drop the game because sales are down, again I get angry because I paid full price. I now know in 2019 I have to be careful, I have to wait and see how they will pan out in the end. In 2019 the triple-A gaming industry needs to change and take a step back because if we keep having releases like this, I don’t see these big-time publishers lasting.
7 thoughts on “2018, What Happened To The Triple-A Gaming Industry.”
Amazing read Jake, I agree completely with you about having to be careful this year about what games you buy. I personally now wait for the release and then see reviews and issues with the game before I spend my hard earned cash (except COD, that’s Day One for me everytime).
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I had some birthday money and pre-ordered quite a bit with it, I’d say 80% were so dissapointing. This year I have to be careful but I get so impulsive on pre-ordering for day one releases. This year I am stopping but Metro Exodus, well that I need day one haha. Huge fan of Metro. But games like Days Gone By and others I feel a bit wary due to some comments from the press, and Anthem well EA has set itself up pretty terribly so I don’t believe it will be good, but for the fans, I hope I’m wrong.
Their beta launch didn’t go all that smoothly, with many reporting server issues (not new for EA whatsoever) and many other problems even when they were able to connect. Most of what I’ve been seeing on YouTube about Anthem either revolves around microtransactions (they have $20 premium skins and EA is known to be the worst offender when it comes to those systems) or poor stability in the few weeks before the game’s release. Once again, they’ve also restricted BioWare in their single-player development strengths, instead tasking them to do a shared world loot shooter. I can’t say I know that’s the case for sure but seems EA has been dictating all the content that gets produced for their IPs so it’s a high possibility. I don’t really have faith in Anthem at all, even though I am a huge fan of BioWare, as EA is well-known for releasing unstable games or ones missing gameplay features. Waiting to see the reviews post-launch before I make up my mind to buy the game.
It’s sad because I feel if you let BioWare gave 100% control Anthem could be a hit but I refuse to buy anymore EA games till they sort it all out. Anthem I feel is doomed to fail. Ea needs to either fix there ways or just fizzle out. I’m gutted because Anthem looks cool, but I won’t risk it. There’s always a catch with EA.
Yeah it is unfortunate as BioWare is a really good studio, and they could be doing so much more with Anthem if they actually were given free reign. The game looks really cool for sure, I really want to play it at some point. I won’t be surprised though if they have persistent server issues at launch, I remember the absolute disaster of having SimCity 2013 entirely online. I’d bet their microtransactions store might be the only thing working properly online. I mention it a bunch in a discussion post I wrote on my blog. EA really seems to focus entirely on the extra money they’d get over a game’s lifetime rather than making it great in the first place. They’re the ones rooted in the idea single-player gaming is “dead”, while it’s clearly not the case as we’ve been seeing. I’d take a solid campaign over online features.
good critique of the current attitude of the gaming industry.
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I think the indie scene is doing great but the big ones are dropping in quality.