The gaming industry has changed over the years and so has the community. We now have access to much better technology in order to make games the best they've ever been but is that really what's happening? Over the last few years, there have been a few trends which have emerged in the gaming industry that I feel are quite disturbing. I'm going to point out 5 of them in hopes that they can be dealt with in the near future. All I want is for the gaming industry to produce increasingly greater games in the future.
1. Nonexistent Manuals
This might not seen like a very significant issue but it does bother me quite a bit. I guess I'm just used to getting a manual with my game and always expect one to be included. Manuals used to be included in every game box but they seem to have died off for the most part. Most games nowadays come with just a piece of paper with minimal instructions or maybe even just a web address printed on the back of the game cover. As a result, newer game boxes are disappointingly weightless. Let's be honest, we don't really need a manual but I do like to take the time to flip through them whenever I buy a new game and having one in the box just adds a little something which I personally really appreciate. Picking up a hefty game box with thick a manual inside always feels better.
2. Unfinished At Release
Most games nowadays are released in an unfinished state. Whenever we purchase a full priced game nowadays, we would take it home feeling excited to play it only to be greeted by a day one patch which needs to download for the next 15 minutes while you attempt to read the nonexistent manual. Why did it become so incredibly difficult to provide a finished game on launch day which can be played without any further patches or updates? In the past, game developers were able to develop and release complete games which didn't need any further patches to fix any bugs but in this age of vastly superior technology, some developers struggle to even provide a stable offline experience.
3. On-Disc DLC
Downloadable Content might be the trendiest thing among developers nowadays. Almost every game released recently will have some sort of DLC intergration. DLC by itself isn't a bad thing, it can allow developers to make further improvements and add more content to a game after it has been released. Naughty Dog has been doing just that with Uncharted 4. They have provided multiple updates which have added a significant number of improvements on top of the initial game. However, not all developers are as noble. Some have deliberately removed or locked certain bits of content from a game before releasing it to the public. They are then able to provide these bits of content as paid DLC which can be purchased by the player afterwards. This means that in order to enjoy a part of the game which is already on the disc, the player needs to pay the developer even more money on top of the amount they already spent on purchasing the initial game. Does that sound acceptable to you?
4. Mobile games
In recent years, mobile games have become increasingly popular. The number of people actively playing mobile games is considerably large which means that game developers stand to make a significant amount of money from the mobile games market. This can be very good, ofcourse. Developers could gain some revenue from mobile games and be able to put that money towards their main titles for consoles and/or PC. However, that isn't always the case. Some developers are reducing the amount of time and money put into their console/PC games in favour of mobile games which can bring in more money in less time. As a result, the games released for console and PC suffer from lack of detail, annoying bugs and glitches and poor optimization. This shouldn't be the case. The main goal of a game developer shouldn't be to gain a larger profit by any means necessary. A game developer should strive to develop incredibly great games that will be loved for decades to come, not cash in on the current trend in order to make a quick buck.
5. Always Online
There are quite a few games nowadays that cater to the online community and that's fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with games that are made specifically for online competitive play. The issue here is with games that force the player to be online to play the single player story mode. WHY?? Why would you need to share a map with a few other players just to play the story mode? What's maddeningly sickening is that they don't even give you the option of playing offline. This means that if the online connection between you and the servers are jeopardized in any way, you can't play the single player story. This just means that the developer will be able to shut down the servers whenever they feel it's time for the players to purchase a newer version on their game. "If the old one doesn't work anymore, they'll need to buy the new one". Just another sign of corporate decisions being made with money in mind.
The way I see it, all of the issues with the gaming industry now just stems from a lack of passion for games and an overabundance of corporate decisions. If developers were more passionate about developing truly great games, games that they can take pride in, then it could all change. If developers truly loved their craft and honed it to their absolute limits, I doubt the result would be anything short of spectacular. I truly hope developers understand that if they make a great game, players will appreciate the end product and they will still receive a hefty profit.