Perhaps it would be best for you not to be successful in game industry

Everybody wants to make money and be successful, right? Well, outside the game industry that seems to the ruling idea. Not only the game industry hates success, but it seems that people who play games hate successful games too.

Wired had an article on Flappy Bird and it’s short history. As someone who doesn’t give two shits about mobile PC gaming, which is different form handheld gaming, Flappy Bird went under my radar, thou I have seen it being played almost everywhere. The article nicely states how the game industry, or the people who call themselves as the game industry journalist, have no goddamn idea what the hell is going on or what makes a game successful. Any casual bystander can tell you why; It’s fun.

What makes Flappy Bird fun is that it’s  simple and wants you to keep trying again and again. The game is hard, but not impossible. It rewards you for trying again, and you feel the joy of getting one more point.

It follows the same simple principles that early arcade games did that paved way to the game revolution. The Best games have always spawned from simple ideas with great execution. Flappy Bird has both. After trying the game with a friend’s phone, I can’t say but the game isn’t doing nothing wrong.

Because Flappy Bird became a success, the game industry hates it. It does not go with the grand vision of video games the game industry and the game industry journalist have. Flappy Bird shows how out of touch the industry is from the general consumer. Flappy Bird, for all intents, hit the Blue Ocean once it took wind. A great product will sell itself. Word of mouth is the most strongest way anyone can have his product out there. TV commercials are for propaganda, inside-industry reviews lie and are worthless pieces of garbage, random pop-ups are annoyance and practically everybody have AdBlockers installed in order NOT to see the banner ads. I hope you have yours on while you’re reading this blog. But when a friend tells another about a good product, and this person tells to three people and these three tell to three… it explodes. Social media allows one person to spread his views on a subject like a wildfire. Naturally, advertisers use this method to virally get their own propaganda out, but in many cases they’re way too overt, especially on forums and image boards.

Flappy Bird didn’t became  a hit through bots as some suggest. It was just a simple and addictive game to play that didn’t took too much attention away. It could be whipped out, played for a moment and then put back. It’s a happy person’s game, someone who wants to play a little here and there. It isn’t a game you spend sixteen hours of watching some awful Lord of the Rings or Star Wars copy living itself out, but something that is active for that short burst of time again and again. Not that people couldn’t sink multiple hours in it in one go, but then we’d had to question other things with this person.

I am sad to notice that Dong Nguyen got flak from the industry and the users. However, perhaps all the attention was unwarranted. The product speaks more than the actions of the person who made it in most cases. Nguyen seems to be a happy fella that wanted to have his dreams come true is some way, but modern game industry doesn’t allow people like him to become a success, not with a game like Flappy Bird. That is sad and wrong. I wish the game industry will have a time, when products are allowed to become successful, to go against the self-destructive behaviour it has nowadays. Flappy Bird wasn’t a million dollar Tripple A game, but it’s success was nevertheless in the same calibre, or even higher when you take notice the amount of time it was out and the resources that must’ve cost Nguyen to develop the game.

Shouldn’t the game industry follow the same model; simpler, more addictive games with lower production cost and yet with great gameplay? Ah, you’re right dear reader. It costs millions to develop a game nowadays, and to make those millions make more millions back in return takes years and hundreds and hundreds of workers in order to put out a game that will shatter screen with their 4k high-definition visuals and 7.1 sound that has music licensed from the most popular bands. Then there’s this one guy who makes a game with something like five bucks and starts raking fifty thousand bucks per day for it.

I bought a used Nintendo 64 recently. I have no interests in the current console generation, so I decided to give the N64 a chance. Yet, whenever I recheck what games I might want to hunt down, I always dismiss the same games; StarFox 64, Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong64, Pilotwings 64… I have no interest in majority’s of Nintendo’s N64 library, because they are those multimillion games that barely make their budget back. The games I seem to have most interest are games like Bomberman, Mischief Makers and Robotron 64, games that are more about that similar arcade-style get-in-get-out mentality than Super Mario 64. There’s few exclusives that I want to check out, namely Super Robot Wars 64, but all of these games are exclusivities that have no staying power or attraction outside selected group of people.

Flappy Birds is an anti-thesis of N64 and its games, and it seems the more anti-N64 a game or a console is, the more successful it will be. I hope Nintendo will be moving towards NES and Wii kind of gaming in the future with Wii U now that they have admitted that the problem with Wii U is the quality of the games. Well, if you want to sell games more, the quality needs to be up there, up to the infamous Nintendo Seal of Quality. Perhaps Nintendo or some other company may want to employ Nguyen for their game department and listen to him. He might have some nice insights that have been long lost from the industry. He might as well end up spouting same indy garbage about art most indy devs do.

It’s a sad situation when I want the game industry be successful, and the industry then shuns the successful people away. All I can ask is What the fuck is wrong with you?

Microsoft has been changing their Xbone policies a lot.

Ever since Microsoft was laughed at by pretty much everybody in and out the game industry, they’ve been periodically changing their policies with Xbone. It’s a very positive thing to see Microsoft taking in all the flak and reassessing their position with the console. They’ve had so much negative press since the E3 that it would have been a sort of miracle if they had stayed with their initial plans rather than taking a different approach.

Now Microsoft has made another good step, which emulates SONY’s policies, which dictate that the console is free of region locking. Free region home consoles are becoming a standard, which is a definitive welcome change in the overall scenario. Now if the rest of them could be free of region limits outside the account the user is tied to.

SONY has been rather good example on their account system, where the user is able to open an account to any region store where he wants. There’s some gray area what needs to be to fully utilise them, but that’s something that hasn’t been hurting anyone and mostly has brought more profits to SONY and its partners.

While Nintendo was initially somewhat a forerunner with the whole ‘net connectivity with the Famicom, they’ve been far behind how the current world functions. There should be no restrictions why I shouldn’t have the option to have one account that works on all Nintendo systems that have the ability to function with their current Virtual Console or whatever it’s called now.

Microsoft has been rather humble while still trying to lift their image. Still, what we’re hearing from the is just about the console, what it does, what doesn’t need to be attached to it in order to function and so on. Mostly we’ve heard stuff that isn’t really relevant for an actual game console to have to function, and no region locking is actually the first news that has some level of impact on what people will play on the console. Now, Xbone has larger library of games, if you’re willing to import.

Nowadays importing has become just as easy as any Internet purchasing. I’ve have no idea how customs are handled in various other countries, but locally it’s as simple as getting a letter, which states that the customs officials have taken package until the customs are payed. From their website you fill in a form and pay the customs according to the form and the package is released. Even after customs most games will be cheaper to import form outside Europe rather than buy them locally, which is pretty sad when you think about it. Back in 1997 importing was hard. You had to know certain people who knew certain people, or had an access to a random import service. I have no real recollection if ’97 saw an Internet shop that was willing to ship abroad from US, but I think there was at least one. Back then some of the prices were about as much inflated as the worst eBay prices.

Microsoft also took out the compulsory Internet connection a while ago, which makes the machine itself rather import friendly as well. It’s sad to think that home consoles are doing better on the region free front rather than the hand held consoles.

What region free consoles gives to the customer is power to decide over their purchase in more free way. With the Internet there are no boundaries where or how you can get your item, whatever it may be. Only legislation stands in your way. Only electronics seem to have bullshit limitations why you shouldn’t be able to use them in any given region. GameBoy didn’t have region, as you could buy any game from any region during holidays and play it on your machine.

As region free console allows the consumer more freedom on choice on his purchases, this also means a slight paradigm shift how the company has to approach their systems. SONY’s account based system is a good middle ground, but it’s unfortunate to see that they still enforce use of PSN Cards, as an European credit card can’t purchase US/JPN games those regions. This is somewhat comical, as I’ve been able to buy Japanese Virtual Console game with my European console. Is the system intended to work like that? No, but at least it works and they’re getting my money for the product I want to purchase.

It’s damn weird that the user has to cheat the company in order to purchase their product in more legit way.

With region locked consoles and games the companies have been established that the software won’t work within certain region, which on the other most likely has lessened number of complaints and similar contacts. I know one person who called local SONY branch and complained that his game didn’t work on the PlayStation he bought from a ship validated by them. Turned out the had bought the game from Russia. General source of complaints from older times would have been picture being a mess due to wrong signal, black-and-white screen and with machines their power overloading due to different output from the wall socket. That’s why we have power bricks and socket adapters. This is also why I’d rather see hand held consoles using real batteries, and you wouldn’t be tied down to a rechargeable battery. Unfortunately, the 3DS and Vita consume way too much power for any sensible use of AA-batteries in them.

Honestly speaking, there’s very little chances that we’re ever going to see completely region free console, if it has an Internet based service. This is because of various business contracts with distributors between regions varies widely between regions. Then you have the in-game license issues, which actually prevent some of the older games being released on modern consoles… like Mega Man Legends 1 and 2. And that’s mostly because CAPCOM refuses to pay money to get more money.

However, you wouldn’t find me complaining much if the future consoles and their account systems would have similar loopholes as PSN.

Well, it’s a good thing that Xbone is region free, as it’s a glimpse of sanity in a place which wants to see what you’re doing all the time.