9: Death to the Games Industry, Part II

Death to the Games Industry, Part II

In Part I of Death to the Games Industry, Greg Costikyan outlined the problems inherent in the current state of the industry. This week, he focuses on potential solutions.



Well, new does not nessicarly mean better which is the whole problem I have with the so called "Young Turks". Right now it seems to be a meme that turn based RPGs are some how bad for example. I want to be able to create and control my own party in it's entirety for crying out loud. Sure, a lot of this premade hero and his companions stuff and real time engines can be good, but nothing beats being able to make my own team and coordinate them perfectly and do exactly what I want them to do, how I want them to do it.

Plus as I said in response to Part 1, I want a product in hand. Sorry to internet publishers.

Take a look at the whole "Classics Of Gaming" article or whatever it was. Truth is what games survived and are out there as Abandonware to become recoverable classics did it due to physical media storage. Game that are download only just asking to disappear and never be remembered to be learned from.

It's nice to know that even if it takes some tinkering I can go whip out say my old "Planescape: Torment" CD-Roms and install it any time I want, even if I have no
interest in playing it now. Download only, for all I know your site could evaporate, and if I want to play a game I bought years after the fact there will be no way to get it. [shrugs]

I paid to Download "Sins Of A Solar Empire" only because part of the deal was them sending me a boxed version as well.

The bottom line is that there is no simple solutions to the presented problems. Though it's a young industry and I think things will work themselves out. In long running industries there are cycles of innovation and stagnation.

Look at television, you go through periods where there are a lot of fairly innovative science fiction and fantasy shows. They end for whatever reason. You see cruddy attempts to imitate them, and then things go into the safe territory of dramas, cop shows, and sitcoms for a while, and then you see another period of creativity.

From my perspective the last real burst on television for example was when we had that "Action Pack" contest which spawned "Hercules: The Legendary Journies" along with
lots of imitative drivel where every network had to try something similar (Sinbad, Conan, etc..) the way this seemed to me is that it opened the door for things like "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" to be attempted. We're surviving on the last dregs of that creative burst right now, it will get even worse for a while, and then eventually it will happen again.

Computer gaming is in it's dry spell. There are problems that need to be solved, but I don't think they are the kinds of things that can really be addressed through intentional action, but the kinds of things that will solve themselves over time.

As Lazy as that sounds, think about it. Even if some kind of community "death to publishers" crusade could be organized among gamers (unlikely as dumb undemanding 'Jock Gamers' are the problem to begin with), what would it accomplish?

Not to mention organizing gamers is like herding cats, and honestly just try logging into forums dedicated to even the most derivitive tripe of a game on something like "Gamefaqs" and trying to organize a boycott or something to demand better. You'll be labeled a troll and a troublemaker instantly no matter what your intention. :P



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