These are the biggest things ruining the gaming industry

The past five years or so, the gaming industry has changed quite a bit. It has gone in a much different direction than it was years ago and as a long time gamer, I don’t quite know if it has changed for the better.

It seems like the industry has debased itself to a heartless frenzy of money grabbing, minimizing effort and maximizing profit. There are a few things that stand out that really send this message to gamers.

One of the biggest things that exemplifies this shift, is the growing trend of remastering games and re-releasing them. This topic was addressed in a previous column, but there are more things that need to be expanded on.

This trend mostly plays into the gaming companies minimizing effort and maximizing profit. So instead of releasing new content and new creative games, they are releasing games they have already put the work into that only need polished to release again and make millions of dollars.

This lack of originality is also exemplified by the absence of huge, innovative titles. Many gaming companies have one or two major blockbuster series. Instead of coming out with new, more innovative games, they add on sequel after sequel to the same old series that we have seen for the past ten or so years.

Not only do they keep making sequels, they are pumping them out year after year. A good example of this is the Assassin’s Creed series. The series started in 2007, and the first few games were some of the most universally loved games ever. Since then the developer Ubisoft has managed to pump out over 40 titles. 

The reception of these games has decreased, as they have clearly began to prioritize quantity over quality. These games were considered some of the best on the market and now most would consider them a second rate series.

Another prevalent trend that seems to be hallowing the game industry is something that gaming companies have snuck into their games over the past five years. It is a feature of many games now called microtransactions.

Microtransactions are small purchases of usually less than a dollar and sometimes ranging to ten dollars. In some games, these small purchases can get the player in-game currency that can help further the player in the game or lessen the work a player must put in to advance in the game.

Microtransactions gained popularity in Facebook games like Farmville which then evolved into app games like Clash of Clans. These games have been dubbed “freemium” games which is newer classification for services that are presented at base level as free, but money is required for a better service.

This concept has been further applied outside of the gaming industry in things like Spotify, Hulu, Apple Music and many other digital services. The trend trickled into big ticket titles like Destiny.

In Destiny, you can pay money for in-game cosmetics and a few things that can be bought instead of worked for in the game. Most of the time, to market these transactions, they make their game more difficult or tedious to earn the things that these transactions give you in order to make them more appealing.

One final point is not in content in the games exactly, but a shift in focus on the part of the companies themselves. Many companies have seen the success of these freemium app games like Clash of Clans and jumped right on the bandwagon.

For almost every major game series, the developers have pumped out one or more freemium app game that has the same formula of Clash of Clans and is mainly driven by microtransactions. These games are all almost exactly the same aside from theme, and have shown to have huge financial success.

This is further evidence that these gaming companies are more focused on putting their time and manpower into these low effort, high profit titles, and as a result we are seeing a major drop in quality of many games that have proved to be great in the past.