I'm not a frequenter of IGN. Sure, I have a profile set up with them but that's only because they have a way for me to keep track of my immense game collection and I've been too lazy to set it up elsewhere. This article has been brought to my attention and it's flawed for several reasons. First of all, its criticisms are far too narrow. The root cause of the problem, which is supposedly stagnating the game industry never comes to fruition. Secondly, he fails to cite any of his claims, which borderline on extraordinary. Third, he confuses some definitions of games, namely casual and independent. I'll just go ahead and break down each point because I have nothing better to do (not true I have Red Dead Redemption and Rock Band 2 waiting for me).
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1. Regenerative Health Systems
"Regenerative health systems – be it an infinite shield that gradually recharges or a health bar that slowly refills – now dominate the whole shooter category..."
That particular type of health system certainly dominates the action genre. But it's stagnating because you can just sit back for a handful of seconds to catch your breath during a pretty intense firefight? I kind of like that idea better than hoping that after a particularly brutal fight that the developers were mercyful (sic) enough to supply me with a Medkit or even a measly Stimpak.
I will agree that is a tired system just like one hit kills dominated for the greater part of the early video game industry. Then health packs dominated the middle fourth generation (16-bits and early 32-bit systems) era to around the middle sixth generation (Dreamcast and Playstation 2 era consoles) era. Now, regenerative health dominates the scene. I think it's ripe for a change, but what will it be? A comeback to the health packs? Makes sense seeing all the nostalgia going on in video games and everywhere else in pop culture.
Or perhaps the health system will go away once developers start branching from more than just kill and shoot?
2. Used' is the New 'New'
"Retailers are ordering less stock to try and strong-arm consumers into paying for 'used' copies of returned games." "...and it also encourages piracy."
The used game debate has gained a lot of steam in recent years with consumers and developers forming deeply divided camps. Several developers hold used game sales in disdain claiming loss of profit. There have been ways to combat this such as offering incentives to buy new by forcing a consumer who purchases a copy of a game used to pay for the online components if they want to play online.
Personally I'm all for used games for a variety of reasons and I strongly hope that developers do not try to alienate the consumers with strong-arm tactics. DRM has already backfired on some companies such as EA and Ubisoft, we don't need repeats of this.
On topic, the idea of retailers purposefully ordering less copies in order to strong arm consumers into the second hand market is news to me. I tend to stay up to date with the industry by following GamesIndustry, Gamasutra, GamePolitics, Kotaku, Joystiq and other gaming sites and I've never heard of such a thing. It would be nice to get a figure or a statement or something to verify this claim.
It doesn't seem to make much sense to me to employ this sort of tactic. Wouldn't retailers make more money buying more copies of the game, selling out of it, then accepting the returned copies and then reselling those copies? I certainly haven't heard of any of the big blockbuster games having problems with being stocked by retailers. Niche games are completely different manner.
Now the topic of used games lead to piracy. That's a load of bullshit. That's the same illogical asinine bullshit that the MPAA employs saying that pirating their movie means you support terrorism. A slight hyperbole but you need one to counter. The author never expands how this is made possible.
Used games are probably just a gateway. First you buy Halo: Reach used because you were young and just wanted to see how it was because all your friends bought it used and they seemed to turn out fine. But you wanted more. You couldn't just stop at one used game. No. You needed more. You need Red Dead Redemption at 20% of its cost, missing the instruction manual and the original cover completely. Since you don't care about that, why not just go to your favorite torrent site and download Modern Warfare 2? All your friends are doing it now having gotten enough of the light buzz and wanting to graduate to a harder high. It's all good though, just one or two downloads won't hurt anyone.
Thirty terabytes later and you've amassed the entire Xbox 360 and PS3 library! But you certainly don't have an addiction you tell yourself. You can quit anytime. In fact, you're going to grab your $60 from your wallet. Oh wait, you stopped carrying cash a long time ago. That's OK. You have your debit card. But that means you have to get up from your comfy couch, grab the car keys, hope the car starts then drive about three miles with a few stop lights along the way to slow you down. It's probably best to stay home anyway, you're more likely to get into a car accident then have your door torn down by the video game piracy police.
But you're not done yet. Thirty terabytes is simply not enough. Maybe you should pirate automobiles. Or take over business establishments by force. Now you're on a boat motha fucka sailing the alestorm high seas as a swashbuckling pirate because you do as you please! All because you decided to buy a single game used. Kids, don't do drugs. Or bestiality. That's just wrong. And I guess don't buy used games either.
Part Two Soon...