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Lifecycle of a Video Game

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avatar Jetra
Level 28 : Expert Archer
I am on a roll with these ideas, it's almost like I secretly have a stash of hidden topics only I can access. Welcome back to another blog where I entertain the notion that Pay to Win servers are not inherently bad and loot boxes could be cool to have if they weren't so damn annoying.

Minecraft: Death and Revival

Alright, I've been known to claim the game is dead / dying with the only proof being "Oh, they just released the Better Together Update" which...doesn't add much. Another thing I've heard is that the community has shifted which, from what I've seen, is not really for the better. Instead of kids shoving their youtube channels, they're now throwing servers at me. While yes it does show people still are active, it doesn't exactly reflect their interest in the game.

When 1.12 came out, I was hoping that it would bring back some of the older players since I know they're all creative sort of people and the new advancements are something that I drool over. Would love if they added Seasons and more random structures, but whatever. To my surprise, people were actually coming back with a renewed love for it.

Everyone else...not so much. From the look of things, people continued to play even long after the vast majority had moved on to other things due to various reasons ranging from "Game is boring" to "OMG, Microsoft ruin MC!" (Funny of the last thing. 3 years later and they haven't really done anything horrible to the game. Just the marketplace, but that's such a minor thing I'm not even going to bother over it)

Anyway, before I go further, the point I'm trying to make is that nobody let the game die naturally which poses problems for those who continue to play and the people working on it. Everyone is split in half: one side devoted to their love of profiting from the game and those who actually enjoyed the sandbox nature of it. Minecraft is not an MMO, it should have been put to rest after 4 years which is 2 longer than any Single player game with Multiplayer elements compared to Online only titles, at least in my opinion.

Think of it this way, if you had cake every day for 4+ years, would you still like it? I'm going to guess not. Developers need to constantly make the game attractive to both new and old users to keep it from getting stale. Instead of major updates like 1.8 and 1.12, there are tiny little additions like new slabs or a new mob, the development time being strained by having the content be stretched thin so you're not really renewing that passion.

Look at Slime Rancher and Stardew Valley, two games that have gotten extreme praise because they were such a rare sight for gamers. Those like myself who grew up with the Harvest Moon games fell in love we finally got a farming game on PC while those who wanted something different fell in love with it's "innovation" which is really just something we have not seen in a long while. I can guarantee that the same cheer would go up if there was an updated BattleTanx game.

Interest and Burnout

There's been this growing trend of "video games as a service" which is pretty stupid because people will eventually get tired of the same thing over and over. You can add as much shiny new content, different ways to play yet even the most diehard will eventually say "I'm bored of this" and seek other types of entertainment. This is why the idea works for pure MMORPGs and not something like Destiny 2 or even Minecraft and where modding could suffice to let them stay relevant for a little while longer.

After five years of the game, I got tired of Start New Game, Punch a tree, Survive the Night, Repeat. I eventually joined a server where I spent my days digging out plots on a Towny, even then I started to think it wasn't fun anymore and would really like to do something new, something exciting.

Enter: League of Legends, where I sought to prove myself worthy of fighting against real people, being an amazing support, and enjoying the many ways I could outsmart my opponents.

Alas, I got tired of that and moved on to Fighting then I went on an anime binge, then on to Action RPGs, back to Minecraft now. Variety is the Spice of Life and the world is full of wonders to explore, to share, to experience. There is nothing wrong with wanting to try a new flavor and don't let others judge you for liking something that's considered bad (ie Early Access games).

My belief is people hold their focus to a game for, at best, 6 months to a year if the game is a decent enough single player. 4 years if it has multiplayer and achievements / trophies with 6 being Online only with regular yearly updates. It's pretty sad to see people dedicate their entire lives to one game when there's so many other great titles out there like Torchlight II and CrossCode. I can understand the joy, but still one game for 10+ years? I'd be driven mad even with updates.

Trends: Their Value and Necessity

Companies used to follow the people, but now it seems that the people follow the companies. This leads to Call of Duty clones, half-finished games, and now loot boxes. We are being told what we should like, forced to take it at face value simply because developers claim that is what people like.

Yeah, no.

Back to the cake - let's say they added chocolate sprinkles on it. Seems good, right? Now add raw fish, fried chicken, take out the frosting, add in ghost pepper sauce and the chef saying "This is what everyone else is eating." Another point I could make is say you ordered a burger but three people ordered fish sandwiches. The waiter comes, takes away your plate and gives you a fish sandwich. Instead of fighting against it, many have just given in to eat it instead of going to a different restaurant.

If enough people leave, then the staff would have to change how they serve their customers. It shouldn't be how the customers serve the employees. Everybody is different and won't like the same things I do and I can accept that. What I don't like is that my taste is bad and I should feel bad.

I don't want to play another League, I don't want to play another Skyrim-like Open World game, I don't want my MMO to contain MOBA elements, and I do, not, want, ANOTHER OVERWATCH! Give me Katamari, I want my Megaman Legends, I want Dragon Warrior: Monsters, I will throw my money at a new Animal Crossing on PC, but for the love of God stop telling me I have to like the garbage being shoved into my face.

Hot Topic: Pay to Win and Loot Boxes are fine

Whew, didn't think I'd even get to this part but I'll try to explain it as best as possible without making it seem like I am outright defending them. I do agree that they ruin the experience for many others, not everyone has the time to grind 60+ hours of content just to get to the end game nor have any interest in dealing with "fluff" like story or side missions.

The only solution I could offer is some sort of spending cap to avoid any sort of financial difficulties that many will fall into. It's their money, who am I to tell them what they can and cannot spend it on even if I think that it's a waste. The reality of it is all gaming is a waste of time, even if you become an eSports player. You could better spend the time and effort to developing cures for cancer or space travel, but that's none my business.

As for loot boxes and gacha games, I'm going to slightly defend them here in that I grew up with those quarter capsule machines and I love having a little surprise come out. Actually, if they made a game that's nothing but a gacha machine that you can get little trinkets out of, I'd enjoy it.

Anyway, yes they're annoying and something should be done about them. However, like I said earlier, companies are the ones setting the trend while we just consume it. All you need to do is walk away and do something else or completely stop playing games altogether. That might be a bigger issue, but to that I just suggest finding some flash games on Newgrounds or something to pass the time.

The only way to show your anger is through your wallet, simple as that. There will be people that will continue to buy without you yet you only need to convince one person to convince another. All this yelling and fighting is getting nowhere if you really do feel that strongly about them. Just get up and walk away.

Well, this was a novel and a half. Didn't expect it to come out as long as it did. Whatever, hopefully my points got across and gave you something to think about. Feel free to argue amongst yourselves in the comments. I'll be watching.

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  • Cib
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Pixel Painter
  • December 12, 2017, 12:24 pm
This is perfectly written. Great article!
  • Jetra
  • Level 28
  • Expert Archer
  • December 12, 2017, 1:24 pm
Thank you, but I really feel like I may have sped through a bit here or there. Sort of did it right off the top of my head without any sort of thought behind it as is my style.

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