The video game market is worth $18.4 billion in the United States. But some of the top gaming companies are hurting the industry more than they’re helping it.
Luckily, indie games are stepping in to save the day! In this article, we’ll cover how big game designers are contributing to massive problems within the AAA gaming scene. You’ll also learn how Indie games may just be the answer the industry is looking for.
Ready? Let’s get started.
The Problems With Big Game Studios
You’ve probably heard some of the biggest names in gaming- such as Ubisoft, Blizzard, Valve, EA, and Square. Unfortunately, many of these top gaming companies have lost sight of gamers and given in to a corporate culture.
Here are just a few ways these big game studios are hurting the industry:
Disappointing and Lackluster Games
This is perhaps the biggest problem. Big game companies are in the business of making great video games. And if customers are going to spend at least $60 (and sometimes much more), they should be wowed by the entertainment value and quality of the games.
But lately, consumers are increasingly disappointed by games that are over-hyped and wind up being underwhelming. These games often end up falling flat with multiple bugs, hollow stories, little character development, or are merely copies of other games with a new skin.
Few things irritate gamers more than continual micro-transactions within games. However big games studios keep pushing forward and include them in as many games as they can.
People may expect to pay for higher levels, new characters, or new weapons in free or very inexpensive games. But when that game costs $60, consumers get annoyed and frustrated. The original point of micro-transactions were to help offset low-cost or free games. When the big studios saw that extra money could be made on top of the already extravagant prices they charge, they instantly grabbed onto it, and are grubbing their way forward to everyone’s annoyance.
Consumers play games to relax and enjoy themselves, and few people want to feel like they’re continually being sold to while playing a game.
Working conditions have long been terrible for employees in the gaming industry, with an awful work-life balance and huge burnout rate. Before a game is released, it’s not uncommon for programmers to work 60 to 80-hour weeks, without overtime pay.
These conditions are driving away the best and brightest programmers and producers, who can easily make their careers working on commercial software for oil companies and banks. Many of them are choosing a stable job that gives them time to start a family over 16-hour days developing games. Because of this the big studios are increasingly losing their top talent, and the games the studios produce are suffering because of it.
Top Gaming Companies vs Indies
A few years ago, the indie gaming scene wasn’t even close to mainstream. Now, some of the best and biggest titles were developed by indie companies.
Independent developers are developing and marketing games without the support of video game publishers like EA and Ubisoft. Sometimes this is just one person, while other times it’s a small team or group.
Without investors and publishers having the final say indie developers can be as creative as they like. This means new concepts and ideas can easily flourish.
Indie studios are beginning to level the field, offering mind-blowing, stellar games that push the boundaries.
As you can see, there are some pretty big problems with top gaming companies. Fortunately, indie developers are stepping up and offering more choice than ever before- at a reasonable price.
What’s your favorite indie game? Leave a comment below or begin creating your own game today.