Reports of the gaming industry’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Or have they?
In a “strange turn of events” (according to publishers and developers), fall game sales are down across the board with Destiny 2 reportedly selling 50 percent less copies than the original Destiny. The recently released Middle Earth: Shadow of War is also down in sales from its predecessor, reportedly becoming a disappointment for Warner Bros. Entertainment.
This, in all honesty, should come as a shock to absolutely no one who pays attention to the game industry. It doesn’t shock me, thats for sure. Its exactly what I suspected and predicted at the beginning of the year.
Why is that, you might ask? Because game companies are more concerned about profits and figures than making good games. Its evident in everything this industry does now. From making E3 a fan inclusive event (which was a nightmare) to Gamestop’s latest shameful attempt at pushing pre-orders of Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Its sad. Well, not just sad, its infuriating. Of note as well is this insane fall release schedule. I counted the number of fall releases across all platforms and it seems as if everyone and their mother have targeted October and November for releasing EVERY DAMN GAME KNOWN TO MAN. Just in October alone we’ve had the following AAA titles scheduled to release:
The Evil Within 2
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Super Mario Odyssey
Forza Motorsport 7
Gran Turismo Sport
Fire Emblem Warriors
Destiny 2 (PC)
Thats 10 titles that cost at least $60 a piece for the “base game” and while I could go into the controversy of “you’re not getting the full game unless you shell out at least $100 to included expansions and season passes”, I’ll save that for another day. Looking at that list, however, its no wonder that game sales are down overall. 10 major titles launching in a month with NO new IPs. These are all sequels or continuations on established franchises. Thats a problem. I don’t care if you love the series. I don’t care if you can’t wait for the latest title to hit. I can’t either in some cases. But 0 new AAA IPs in the most jam-packed two months we’ve had all year is a major problem. It reaffirms my fear that AAA publishers and developers are afraid to take risks. They’re afraid to branch out on new IPs that actually mean something. Sure, next year we’re getting a few new IPs, but they all seem to be made in mind to compete with another similar series. Anthem looks like it wants to be 3rd person Destiny. Wild West Online looks like it wants to take on GTA V and Red Dead Online (whenever that releases next year). Forgive me for sounding a bit drained, but I want something truly new, something truly original. Give me something out of left field that I didn’t see coming before you give me yet another sequel!
I’ve been gaming since I was 8 years old. For those of you playing along at home, thats 20 years of gaming across various systems and genres. I’m known for playing anything that I can get my hands on at least once and I have more gaming-centric memories with friends and family than I can even recall at times. This is a huge part of my life and always will be. But even I sit here and shake my head at every new sequel that comes out. While they may be great games individually, they do nothing to push the envelope.
Maybe its finally about to change, however. Maybe the old “your dollar(s) are your voice” adage will finally come into play. If gamers in general aren’t willing to accept what we’re given and in turn don’t buy as many games, perhaps this be the spark that starts the fire that gives this industry the revolution it needs.
Only time will tell.
Lets keep pushing forward, together, shall we?