It is pretty common to see bullish articles starting with the line ‘ Gaming Is Big Business Now’ or something like that and going on to be pleased at this evolution from sub-culture into main stream. But there is a dark side to being big business one that is increasingly showing the cracks in the AAA gaming system.
Big Business fail and when they do so the systems they support are changed forever. Worse than that people get hurt careers spirals to nowhere and whole economies could collapse. Look at the global Financial Crisis or any other big financial backslide to see how interlinked system can fall apart like a badly made Rube Goldberg Machine.
That’s kind off how gaming looks at the moment through admittedly the industry’s seemingly forever caught in the very moment of crashing, stumbling forward like a runner not yet fallen after breaking stride.
The wave form hasn’t collapsed.
But What Does That Mean ???
For anyone in the business of making games especially at the AAA end of town, it means that each release must be bigger, better and brighter. Well, perhaps not better. Call of Duty has been putting out yearly titles, and even more regular map packs at a rate of knots but i’m not sure if the quality has been on the rise since, Modern Welfare. Rater, Activation the gamers publisher has been running to catch up to a demand that itself has created.
Before the age of yearly game releases from big publishers most gamer’s were content to see their favorite titles released every few years. I doubt anyone was really calling for a mere year between CoD games but it’s certainly a money spinner. Thus, activation and its two Cod developers, infinity ward and Treyarch are locked into the cycle. They have to keep going because that’s what business- especially public-ally traded businesses – have to do!
Having something to say or possessing a drive for quality does’t really come into it. I’m sure there are many developers behind CoD that are making the best game they can but you will never ever see a CoD game get delayed – the cost to the company and the shareholders would be too high.
Lets take a case in point. All you need look to is fall in Ubisoft’s share price. When it announced a delay for watch_Dogs it’s game of open world hacking and vigilantism. After publishing the game back from this year and the launch of the next-gen consoles, Ubisoft’s share price dropped.
” The tough decision we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance”