Diseases in the gaming industry – 7 sins of big publishers

1 May 2022, 11:58

author: Dariusz “DM” Matusiak

I shoot and drive – virtually and in real life. I write about this later – critically or with pleasure.

Modern games are big projects and big budgets. And when it comes to money, it is not difficult to follow various pathological practices, just to maximize profit at the lowest possible cost. Here are seven common problems that computer games suffer from.

Remembering the early big hits of the 80s and 90s, we often think of that time as a time of making games with passion. Maybe it was in part, but there’s no need to cheat – even then, virtual entertainment was created to sell it to as many people and earn as much as possible. Such a goal was, among others, Trip Hawkins (founder of Electronic Arts) or Bill Stealey (co-creator of MicroProse).

Today, when the production of a big budget game consumes tens of millions of dollars, and the key decisions concerning even the technical aspects are taken by “accountants” ignorant of the programming, this feels much more than before. Meanwhile, the desire to make the highest possible profit at the lowest possible cost leads to many negative phenomena in computer games.

We have unfortunately grown accustomed to some of them, treating them as a necessary evil. Only in extreme cases can the reactions of the outraged community be so strong that they bring about the desired changes. Publishers, however, continue their efforts to constantly push the boundaries of what can be done by finding new forms of profit maximization. Here is a list of current “diseases” in computer games – both new and chronic.

NFT – “new form of transaction”

NFT, i.e. a unique token that looks like a certificate of authenticity of a given thing, is the latest trend to earn big money on the internet with relatively little effort and cost. Its popularization was supported by campaigns with avatars of celebrities of different colors taking place on social networks. Game publishers also noticed an opportunity to make money by quickly assembling a few pixels, allowing the purchase of specially created skins, graphics, trading cards or videos.

This trend was immediately followed by Ubisoft, Capcom and Konami, regardless of the reviews of this type of objects in Internet games. Voices of outrage have prompted some to drop plans to introduce NFT or promote token distribution-related businesses. This is what the creators of the new stalker or Troy Baker. Others, in turn, have taken the opposite direction – celebrities such as Richard Garriott and Dr Disrespect have recently announced that their new works will be based on NFT elements. Their owners will influence the shape of the game or they will own part of such a virtual world.

It is still difficult to talk about NFT as a mainstream phenomenon in the virtual entertainment industry. Some publishers, such as Electronic Arts, are constantly monitoring the development of these types of solutions and possibly suspending membership with the rest. However, looking at how the snowball that started with the infamous horse armor has rolled, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see more and more NFT in games.

Hated but still profitable

Despite huge reviews from gamers, NFT tokens are selling like hotcakes. There are reasons for satisfaction, among others the company Konami, whose special anniversary graphics of the game Castlevania sold for a total of $157,000! The most expensive single item with a game world map fetched a staggering $26,000. It seems that the strength of a given brand among the fans is not unimportant at the moment, because on the other side we have a spectacular failure of Ubisoft. His game chips Ghost Recon: Breakpoint on a specially launched Quartz platform, they sold for just $400.

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