Gaming Magazine

State of the Industry

Posted on the 27 December 2012 by Findthebluekey @FindTheBlueKey
State of the IndustryMaybe its the year coming to a close, or maybe its the snow steadily piling up outside my door(Canada, eh?), but I've been feeling extremely reflective lately. More recently, I've been looking at the trends in the industry as a whole, beginning to wonder exactly where we might be going within our medium. Over the past few years, there's been a definite sense of frustration over the way things have been going. Endless repetitions of Modern Military Solider and the Chest High Wall Adventure, sequels feeling like a copy-paste of their predecessors and the general 'copy what's popular' mentality of marketing-designed video games.
But, and this may just be optimism on my part, things just might be making a turn for the better.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think things are just going to change overnight. I somehow doubt Activision is going to stop producing their money-printing machine in Call of Duty. Nor should they. What the industry simply needs to realize is that if people like Call of Duty, they are just going to play Call of Duty, not your Call of Duty clone. You are going to need to offer gamers something more.
That is precisely the idea that the industry is beginning to pick up on.
Games like Journey, The Walking Dead and Spec Ops: The Line have been proving that you can create a game that is critically acclaimed AND commercially successful by going against the common grain, and taking risks that fly in the face of current consumer data. Adventure games are dead you say? BAM, in flies The Walking Dead, carrying a stream of Game of the Year awards in its wake. Studios are beginning to see that paint-by-numbers game development isn't the only way to go.
Further still, the industry might begin to see that churning out carbon copies of CoD might just come back to bite you. If you want some proof, go ask EA how Medal of Honor: Warfighter has been doing. Not well is the long and short of it. By trying to cash in on the Call of Duty craze, they've hit a brick wall. And that wall is: The people that want to play Call of Duty are already playing Call of Duty.
The indie market has continued to thrive this year. Steam Greenlight is giving indie games a chance like never before, and we've already seen a number of success stories from it. I've always had a special place in my heart for the indie market. There you find experiences you will never see in the triple A world. Though maybe with a bit of a mentality shift, we just might see them in the future.
Oh, and The War Z was canned from Steam, showing that sometimes the market does indeed have a sense of justice.
All in all, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Whether they will continue that way is yet to be seen. I feel like we're always going to have those games that feel generic, and sequels that stagnate rather than innovate. That much is unavoidable. It's everything that is happening around those games that I find far more interesting, and has a whole lot more room to push the envelope.

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