Thursday, November 14, 2013

The video game crash of, let's say 2014, maybe 2015?

I'm not the first guy to notice or mention this, but it seems pretty apparent to me that the video game industry is headed for a rather nasty crash, probably in the next year or two. Now there are a number of reasons I and many others think this is coming which I will touch on here, one of which I really haven't heard others talk about but I think is a major factor, but first a little disclaimer and a short history lesson.

First, I'm by no means a hardcore gamer, and unlike that scumbag Sarkeesian I'm not gonna lie to inflate my gamer cred here. I play video games, but I tend to like more retro and "casual gamer" games. I love the stuff I grew up on, Sonic, Mario, Mega Man etc. That's the main types of games I like, although I do play other ones. I'm a fan of video games, but by no means a hardcore gamer.

Second let's take a moment to remember the first video game crash, back in '83. I'm not going to go into great detail, just a quick somewhat simplified look to better understand where we are now. Back then the idea of a home console for video games as opposed to arcades was still relatively new and Atari was hot shit. Now the thing is anybody could make an Atari game. Anybody. And everybody did. Companies that had nothing to do with electronics farted out garbage games and flooded the market. And back then, there was no such thing as video game magazines, or any other media devoted to it so there were no game critics. If you were lucky maybe you could get some word of mouth on what games were good, but for the most part it was a guessing game when buying a game, and if you shelled out money for a game that was balls, sucks to be you. Hell there weren't even places like Gamestop with used video game markets so you couldn't even unload the damn thing. You were just stuck owning garbage like the infamous E.T.: The video game. Se eventually people just gave up on it and the game industry all but died.

Then along came Nintendo, and thanks to some clever marketing, fantastic games with memorable characters, and at least a little bit of quality control regarding its third party developers (although LGN games still make me question how much the Nintendo Seal of Quality ever really meant) the gaming industry rose from the ashes like a Phoenix, stronger than ever. By the way on a side note, it absolutely pisses me off how some of these hardcore gamers sneer at Nintendo. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard, for example, that Mario Kart isn't a "real game", and that's usually said by people who couldn't beat me at it to save their immortal souls. But even if you are enough of a joyless bastard to not enjoy a Mario or Zelda game, you better at least realize you owe Nintendo both respect and gratitude for saving the industry.

So that was the '83 crash. Now where are we today? Well, let's consider a few things. First of all, Capcom is nearly broke. Capcom is arguably the greatest third part developer in the history of the industry. They own such memorable franchises as Mega Man, Street Fighter, and Resident Evil, and they're nearly broke. It's not just Capcom, that's just the most extreme example, but how in the hell much mismanagement does it take for Capcom to nearly be bankrupt?

The second biggest thing is DLC. Now, I've said before I dislike digital content in general, not just video games but all media. If you don't own a physical copy, you simple don't really own it, you're just renting it. But DLC is a pretty blatant fucking rip off. Rather than take the time to actually finish a game developers are rushing out unfinished crap and then making you pay for additional DLC to get extra levels, characters, what have you that should have been in the game you already bought to begin with. Hell sometimes they just make DLC to fix flaws and glitches, although to be fair those are often offered for free. Still shouldn't be needed and finally gamers are beginning to wake up to how badly it's being run up their collective ass on this one.

Then there's the XBOX One debacle. We all know how they were trying to make it so you had to register a game with your console so that a friend couldn't borrow it and it couldn't be sold as a used game. Now XBOX did a 180 on that and changed their mind, but what's to really stop them from going back on that? There are even hints that Sony might end up going that way. Now the damage this would do to the game industry would be devastating. How much of Gamestop's income is from used games? I've heard it's as high as 70%. And things like GameFly would just vanish. So this move would wipe out whole sections of the industry's infrastructure. And they want to do it. They want to do it so badly. Media outlets in general are dying to get rid of your physical copies. They want to control where you get it and how long you have it. They don't want a used game market, because they see no direct income from that. Are they smart enough to realize the harm it would do to the industry as a whole and the subculture? Or will greed get the best of them?

And finally, and this is the one I haven't heard talked about all that much, the sorry state of gaming media. One of the things in the '83 crash was you had no reliable way to know whether a game would be good, there were no game reviewers and critics. Well now there are tons, but most of the more mainstream ones kinda suck. My friend was telling me about a game called Gone Home about a girl who comes home to find her family is missing, but it turns out they were just at the store or some shit. This game is getting some pretty rave reviews from some major sources. Meanwhile Grand Theft Auto V, probably one of the most ambitiously immense game ever made is criticized by a tranny on GameSpot site for being sexist. And that's the thing about the gaming media, it has been pretty well taken over by the social justice leftards, or the "Left Wing Moral Majority" as I like to call them. Look at that scumbag Anita Sarkeesian. Aside from her piss poor arguments, she is an absolute PROVEN liar, and yet mainstream gaming and geek media still kisses her ass. You have to go to youtubers like Jordan Owen or Aurini, or that fat borderline autistic asshole Amazing Atheist to get any sort of truth about that slimy bitch. When you have the supposedly mainstream game critics praising Gone Home and only begrudgingly praising GTAV you got problems. And if these people can't or won't see through Anita Sarkeesian they simply can't be taken seriously. Which leaves people having to swim through youtube to try and get an opinion of a game before they buy it.

So you have companies in serious financial trouble, you have an audience waking up to the fact they are getting ripped off, and you have, instead of no gaming media an untrustworthy gaming media. Seems like all the ingredients are there. Storm's coming folks. Meantime I'll be here, playing some Sega Genesis.

6 comments:

  1. I'm not sure there will be a "crash" like there was in the early '80's, mostly due to the low cost and ease of digital publishing nowadays, but there will be an adjustment for sure. It will probably happen at the upper levels, i.e. the big gaming companies will feel it the most. Already happening to companies like Capcom as you mentioned. Low-level indie devs and the like will probably keep chuggin', or even get a boost in sales as people turn away from the mainstream publishers/devs. That's exactly what Valve seems to want, actually. Don't expect Steam to go anywhere any time soon.

    Speaking of an ailing Capcom and out-of-control DLC, there's a very good recent example relating to them both. Capcom recently came under fire for "Street Fighter X Tekken," which had locked content ON THE DISC that you had to pay to "unlock" as "downloadable content." This led angry gamers to start referring DLC "disc-locked content." Also, the game was buggy as hell, almost unplayable, clearly unfinished and sloppy. There was a huge backlash and Capcom is suffering for their sins.

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  2. Well I to am hoping for a crash or at least a major change in the industry with consoles. Although it would tragically kill many companies which I will get to. But first you all may think that I'm wrong because the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are selling rather well as of now, but I believe it is mostly launch hype syndrome. If there is a crash I think it will go like this:
    January 2014- Xbox and Playstation continue with launch hype and sell fairly well despite Sony's shortages of Playstation 4's. Wii U starts to pick up sales a little.

    March 2014- Xbox and Playstation continue to have good sales even after hype is over. Wii U sales are rising. Hackers start using the Xbox kindest to spy on people.

    May 2014- Xbox One sales decline from good to decent sales. News is leaked about Xbox hackers and spying with the Kinect. Public outrage takes place. Playstation sales suffer slightly but nothing to worry about. Wii U sales decline from good to average.

    June 2014- E3 takes place. Xbox One sales go from decent to very bad mainly because of hackers. Playstation sales remain good. Wii U sales spike with Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8.

    July 2014- Xbox sells terrible and decline each week. Playstation sales starts to fall behind. Wii U sales become only decent once more after game hype is over. Third party companies become worried.

    September 2014- The Playstation 4 loses profit and both it the Xbox One, and the Wii U suffer greatly.

    November 2014- Capcom is bought out by Nintendo giving hope to the Wii U and some Capcom fans. Call of Duty sales for 2014 suffer majorly, causing the FPS market and genre to crash. Critically finishing off the Xbox One and majorly wounding Activision and later EA. Microsoft leaves the industry to save money from the dead Xbox One.

    December 2014- Playstation 4 and Wii U sales are surprisingly terrible despite holiday season. Sony losses thousands as well as Nintendo.

    January 2015- EA loses millions because of formerly allying with Microsoft and mistreating gamers. Sony and Nintendo continue to lose money.

    February 2015- Many gamers and the media hypothesis of a gaming crash possibly already here. Sony starts to becomes very worried as does everyone.

    April 2015- Sony is on the verge of death but continues to fight with pride like a brave hero. Nintendo frantically is trying to find ways to sell more Wii U units. EA continues to lose a lot of money. Nintendo plans on 9th generation console.

    June 2015- Sony announces possible bankruptcy. Nintendo announces possible 9th generation console.

    July 2015- EA goes defunct and sells off its IP's. Sony is nearly defunct. Nintendo and Sony unleash many games that sell average.

    September 2015- Playstation 4 is pronounced dead by many, as is the Wii U.

    October 2015- Sony files for bankruptcy and sells the Playstation brand to Samsung. Activision gives one more shot at Call of Duty.

    December 2015- Call of Duty and Skylanders fail, with Activision going bankrupt. Nintendo begins to stop Wii U production but continues to make games for it.

    The once hyped supposedly decade long 8th generation of video games comes to a halt.

    Aftermath

    2016 Amazon enters the industry and along with Nintendo, Rockstar, Namco Bandai, Valve, SEGA, and a few indie developers, they all help rebuild the Industry into a golden age of gaming.

    So that's my theory on all of this. I'm just and idiot who probably doesn't know anything but I still don't want to see any company die, and I didn't mean to make this a documentary lol sorry. But this is just a wait and see thing and it's interesting to look into. I hope you all enjoyed.

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    Replies
    1. Just as a Mega Man fan I would love to see Capcom bought out by Nintendo. I think Nintendo would handle the Blue Bomber well, certainly better than Capcom as lately.

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    2. It seems to me that EA games is not dying fast enough. We don't want this crappy company ruin anymore games for us.

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  3. Yeah I agree but Capcom going bankrupt could also lead to a crash in itself, or just make things worse for the other companies.

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  4. Businesses fail all the time. New businesses emerge that nobody predicted the year before. Tools are developed which make working cheaper. Consumer standards rise, as do production values and systems. Experiments in marketing that are bad tend to self create. Bad staff tend not to last it out.

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