Making games has got easier since the 70’s. Very few games that are made today are arcade quality any more. In time when PC got all the homebrew and bunch of horribly coded games, arcades had more often perfection of their time. In the 80’s arcades were the place to play games, meet people and commune in general. An arcade game has to succeed, there’s no losing in arcade market. Those games that do fail will never make their due. Those games aren’t remembered by anyone these days, except hardcore MAME fanatics.
A successful arcade game has to have playability, replay value, easy yet complex controls and unseen depth, but most importantly, it must be easy to pick and play. Everybody has heard of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Pong even if they haven’t played the games. Computer games will always lose to arcade games simply because arcade games are for everybody. Let’s make this clear; Arcade games are not computer games. Console games are combination of computer and arcade games. The term for computer, console and arcade games is electronic gaming. It compasses more than just these three, it encompasses everything from digital pinball machines to certain love test machines and to all modern gambling machines. Modern computer players have a good reason to mock modern console games, as both Xbox360 and PlayStation 3 are nothing more than glorified one-use computers. They’re not game consoles, they’re multimedia centres, especially PS3 with its Blu-Ray support. Exactly this is the reason why both of them lost to the Wii and why Wii U will be a disaster compared to its predecessor. In the 80’s and early 90’s we saw a lot of games that were essentially arcade games for the home consoles, like the all Atari consoles, the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Sega Master System and the Sega Mega Drive /Genesis. Nowadays we’re looking at consoles filled with computer games made for consoles, and they’re not selling as much as games sold in the 80’s. People keep looking at sales charts and pointing out that this is false, but they never take into account population growth, how many people own multiple consoles etc.
Arcade games demand perfection from both developer and player. Very few developer these days can make arcade games any more, and now that Nintendo has abandoned their arcade roots, the future of console games is dire. I find it laughable that both 360 and PS3 has add-ons that are basically a keyboard and mouse for “more precise control in your action games.” The fact that developing of console games themselves has shifted into developing computer games for consoles. Development of arcade games does not exist par few exceptions. Capcom has gone all the fighting game craze during these last years, and not the good kind might I add. Because the skill of coding has diminished during the last thirty years, it just might be that the second Video Game Crash isn’t because there’s so many bad games nobody pays for, but because the market is filled with games that have too high price for wrong reasons.
Personally, I am willing to pay 60€ for three new games and that’s that. The first one is being released 19th of this month (next week’s Friday) and the game is Xenoblade.
When people say “they don’t make it like they used to” is painfully true.
I wonder what it takes for companies to notice that their tactics is more damaging that constructing?