Me and games go way back. I have been gaming for as long as i can remember, most of it for fun but i have been a part of the professional scene also. The following article is about how i see the developments in the game industry. If anyone feels differently, feel free to disagree and leave your opinions in the comments.
Games as they were is going well
I will not go into the start of games but i would rather start from times of Doom and Quake. Those games marked the days of real competitive games. Be it for fun or on tournaments. Games in the past used to revolve around a solid single player campaign. I believe most of us remember games like Final Fantasy, all providing excellent gameplay combined with a really compelling story line. Those games kept you on the edge of your seat even tho they were not competitive in any way. I personally loved the in depth single player games that provided us with a unique story line and really told a story. But as computers became more widely spread and the speed of the internet grew so did the popularity of multiplayer games.
The games of today
Today’s games focus mainly on the multiplayer part of the gameplay. An excellent example of this is the Command and Conquer series. The first part of the game were amazing but with the latest developments i really feel that EA is burning this once great icon to ashes. We will see if the so called “Generals 2” delivers the final blow or not. As with everything else, there are two sides to this. One on side we get a new and interesting world where the entire game is connected. Allowing sharing of achievements, playing together and enjoying huge battles with your friends. On the other hand we loose great single player campaigns. With the emphasis on multiplayer many developers feel that they can skip the single player completely. I feel it is a dangerous path to take as many gamer’s still love a good story driven single player game. It feels more relaxing and when done properly it can provide just as much or even more than a multiplayer game.
The future of games
What the future brings is always uncertain, so we can only speculate. But what i have seen from the developments of games in general i can tell that the games might get better visually but i fear the depth they had in the past will never be matched again. It seems MMO (massive multiplayer online) type of games will be dominant in the future. I have nothing against this genre of games but i hope developers will not forget their roots and from where they came.
On another perspective i see many games going Free-To-Play style. This means player do not have to buy the game but instead the company earns money from micro transactions from the game. These can vary from custom skins to in game items. While it is good to play the games for free the downside is that the strategic balance can shift inside a game. If you spend money, you get an edge. It is actually a very clever technique that can help the developer even more than they would with a single fee.
The changes in the gaming world show that everything is moving towards multiplayer oriented games. I understand that it provides a good social effect to the games but i feel the loss of great singleplayer games will hurt the industry more than anyone would ever believe.