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MINDDomakr

Planned Obselecense In gaming?

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Is it just me or does anybody else notice that games aren't made to "last" as long anymore. It's pretty much one game pumped out after the other for the maximum amount of profit. Doom 1 and 2 as well as Quake 1 and 2 lasted. They still have large communities some 20 plus years later? Besides CounterStrike and GTA 5 what modern game has stuck around for that long?

 

Now you can barely find people playing DOOM 4 online because everybodies playing PUBG, oh wait, that's old to. Now it's Fortnite.

 

It seems as if gaming has just shifted to single player experiences as well as MP experiences that are made to die quickly as soon as the next installment comes out a week later.

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I don't think this is about planned obsolescence. I think this is about modding communities. If Doom 1 and 2 did not have the tools available and the people eager to create new, custom content, then the Doom community would surely be as dead as any other. Doomworld exists partly to discuss Doom, sure, but largely to share and discuss custom maps and other mods. And source ports, too, since the engine was made open source.

 

I can think of a handful of other games that are years or decades old and that still have active communities. All of those communities center around modding more than they do around the original games. What about Skyrim, which is relatively recent? The reason that Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls game still have active communities is because of the mod tools, and everyone's interest in using them to change those games, and everyone's desire to play the same games in new ways, with new mods.

 

Doom 2016 tried to do it with snapmap, but it just didn't work out. AAA graphics and assets often don't combine very well with powerful, accessible modding tools, and I don't think that snapmap was either powerful or accessible.

 

Though of course it can still be done - just look at Skyrim. But it's a huge investment for development studios to make mod tools in addition to the normal game, and even though it may allow their games to last much longer, it's no guarantee that players will actually be that interested in those tools. Like snapmap, which not enough people cared about. So many development studios, very understandably I think, just don't bother.

 

It's true that there is a financial incentive for game studios to publish games intended to supplant previous ones. Really, this is almost the whole idea behind video game sequels. Sometimes they continue a story, sure, but usually they're billed as "more of the same, except better". But your example of Doom 2016 being replaced by PUBG being replaced by Fortnite? Bethesda doesn't profit from Doom 2016 players moving to PUBG, and PUBG doesn't profit from players moving on to Epic Games' Fortnite. In fact, it reduces the sales that each might have had if their own game had a longer lifetime.

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14 minutes ago, meapineapple said:

 But your example of Doom 2016 being replaced by PUBG being replaced by Fortnite? Bethesda doesn't profit from Doom 2016 players moving to PUBG, and PUBG doesn't profit from players moving on to Epic Games' Fortnite. In fact, it reduces the sales that each might have had if their own game had a longer lifetime.

I was referring to games being dead online because something new came out a week later when I used that example.

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Neverwinter Nights is another example of a game that has lived a long time, once again because of the tools that come with it.

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Well, there's this whole thing with new mainstream games commonly relying on central servers (even for single player) and leaving no way to play them once the company drops support. There are also plans to move on to a streaming-only future, so basically 100% reliance on the companies' good will and never really owning any game. So that's definitely a thing.

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iD a company that made 9 games in a single year... Doom 2 that looks awfully similar to Doom 1 released a year or so later. Then Ultimate Doom was released. Doom and Quake are just the games that stuck.

 

Games are everywhere and cheaper. Everything new gets old far quicker when you see things everywhere. There's just so much time to fill for the excess there is, so there are more hours of coverage, more places, more ways to get bored of something. Those with so much need for content or entertainment need something fresh to keep interest. Along comes the next game.

 

If you're not fresh and current for a society that can see too much of anything at any time, you're outdated. Lots of companies roll out free DLC / updates every week or month to keep people talking and playing.

Edited by geo

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I question whether games were ever really designed with the hope that they would still have appeal a decade or two on or if that's kind of something that's serendipitously happened. Gaming has always had a push towards upgrade mania ever since the option to upgrade was a thing.  Bit wars, Genesis does what Nintendon't, re-releases (The "HD remake" thing was already alive in a form back in the 90s, just with a different standard of what constituted a "new and upgraded look" was) and all of that.  Take a look at the era of Doom wads around 1996 and see how many text files have authors saying stuff like "this is goodbye, see you in Quake".

 

@meapineapple makes good points and moddability definitely helps but I don't think it's the whole story by any means.  Games that have offered editors out of the box have faded out largely unsung and unexplored (Radix, Chasm, Eradicator, anyone?)  Games that were never meant to be edited have been popular enough to be cracked for editors to be made for them, too (look at the NES/SNES romhacking scene with games like Mario and Metroid...)  It takes a certain sort of greatness and fan following to last whether it was designed to be mod friendly or not.

 

The whole trend towards the game company having full control over whether you can continue playing a particular game is bullshit and a definite factor in the whole games as something disposable viewpoint nowadays, though.

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there's definitely a lot of planned obsolescence with all the online services, but people moving from doom 4 to pubg multiplayer to fortnite isn't really part of it. It's not like you can't play Doom 4 MP anymore, and it's not like id wants you to go to pubg and fortnite, after all they make no money off these games. They probably do want you to migrate from Doom 4 to Quake Champions because they can't make much money off of Doom 4 anymore (just the upfront cost of buying it) whereas they can try to get a constant stream from you in QC. People moving from game to game is the fault of people being quick to move, not really the intentions of the devs (they probably want you to move, but to their newer product, not someone else's product).

 

streaming games is the worst idea i have heard of in a long time though and i seriously hope it dies in a dumpster fire before it even starts happening. Centralized servers for otherwise single player games is frustrating enough (and i'll admit the irony of saying this while having an avatar of a character from a mostly SP mobile game, oh well)

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online games typically have a date. single player games typically are designed to only last a certain time these days because game developers dont make games out of love anymore for the most part. Most want the monetary rewards that come with them. ID made a game that was simple enough to learn, but now days editors and such for unreal engine 4 and such are really complex.

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29 minutes ago, Phade102 said:

online games typically have a date. single player games typically are designed to only last a certain time these days because game developers dont make games out of love anymore for the most part. Most want the monetary rewards that come with them. ID made a game that was simple enough to learn, but now days editors and such for unreal engine 4 and such are really complex.

Unreal 4 is WAY to complicated for the average person.

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Wait, I thought this thing is happening because most games of nowadays have... worse gameplay and are less replayable thereafter? Not to mention trends which people follow, sometimes without a second thought?

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It seems to me that AAA games are released with roughly a year or two until they're expected to be replaced. Sports games and online-oriented FPS games are the main one for this, as Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc. tend to have a yearly release cycle (although Battlefield was once every two years for most of it's life). They pump out of the DLC packs to keep things going over the year and then expect you to buy the next one and move on. Not everybody does, obviously, so servers tend to live on for a number of years before closing down, but they full expect that people will move on to the new hotness. I've noticed that Forza does this, too. They alternate between Horizon and Motorsport each year, and keep the community support running two years or so, with older games getting dropped after about 6 years (going by how Horizon 2 and Motorsport 5 are the earliest releases handled by the Forza Hub now). I do wonder how long this cyclical stuff can keep up, though. People must be getting burned out with each new iteration of a series they like basically being the same as before. Sports games clearly get away with it due to the real-life teams and tournaments they're based on changing over time, but "the generic Ubisoft game" must be getting stagnant by now as each story is stretched out past any real interest for each franchise, whilst your CoDs and Battlefields seem to suffer an ebb and flow.

 

I wonder if there's a change due, or if this online, "service" driven game development and support strategy will continue for the forseeable future?

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36 minutes ago, Phobus said:

 

 

I wonder if there's a change due, or if this online, "service" driven game development and support strategy will continue for the forseeable future? 

Kind of like Shark Cards for GTA 5? Pay to keep on playing. Microtransactions really ruin shit. I remember how much fun I had with GTA 4's online when I still played on my console back in the day. I switched to PC after the last generation of consoles though.

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i've been seriously thinking about giving up on following the latest releases altogether due to this online-only trend. i hope the gaming industry crash and burn hard, let there be a second video game crash.

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18 hours ago, Phobus said:

It seems to me that AAA games are released with roughly a year or two until they're expected to be replaced.

 

That's why I have little interest in a game like Call of Duty or Destiny. They are built to hold the player's attention, spending money on dlc/micro-transactions, until the next year when they release the next game, and the cycle continues.

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This is something I was thinking about a while ago.

 

Like others have said above there's different reasons a game might last longer or die quickly, mod support being one of them and how much can be done with it to keep it alive, games like Skyrim and Doom classic would've most likely been dead by now if it wasn't for it since people want to experience something that's both familiar and yet also refreshing (playing the same game but in very different ways basically), but other factors such as the issue of service. Keeping even SP games tied to servers is one such bad move since it largely depends on the good will of the developers, so if they want to put out something else to replace the predecessor/original or just no longer care, they'll can the whole thing and after that, goodbye game. Foul idea which I hope will get out of the devs' minds and end up absolutely nowhere before it turns into a widespread practice but...

Edited by Agent6

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basically, requiring internet connection for SP game means that you doesn't own a game anymore, you're just "renting" it. so i will never bother to buy such garbage for more than 50 cents. if you want my money, give me something i can own!

 

that is, i won't buy majority of modern games, 'cause their "copy protection" means that i am still "renting" that crap. it doesn't matter if a game require steam, or has some hw check in it, or... just no. seems that GOG is the only publisher worth buying these days.

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Most of the games in the top 100 played list on steam say otherwise, Even if you ignore games from this year. 

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2 hours ago, ketmar said:

that is, i won't buy majority of modern games, 'cause their "copy protection"

 

Might deviate from the subject a little, but regarding the anti-piracy stuff, I very much agree with what Gabe said back in 2011:

 

"Piracy is almost always a service problem."

"Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customer's use or by creating uncertainty."

 

And I would say he was right when you're looking at all the crap that's put into the games nowadays.

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2 hours ago, ketmar said:

it doesn't matter if a game require steam, or has some hw check in it, or... just no

 

I dunno, Steam always had Offline mode option if you don't have internet access, Copy protection excuses sound like exaggerations to me, I've yet to play a game that does not allow using this Offline option, though I imagine it can be frustrating if a Singleplayer game requires internet access.

 

(oh shit, do I sound like a Steam fanboy)

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12 minutes ago, tempdecal.wad said:

I dunno, Steam always had Offline mode option if you don't have internet access

steam by itself is a malware. i don't want that crap on my system. neither it, nor any "copy protection system drivers" (not that they can work reliably with Wine anyway ;-).

 

and i must say that most games out in last years can be "played on youtube" without much loss. cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes, several minutes of crappy "gameplay", cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes, more boring "gameplay", cutscenes... meh, youtube works great.

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1 hour ago, ketmar said:

steam by itself is a malware. i don't want that crap on my system. neither it, nor any "copy protection system drivers" (not that they can work reliably with Wine anyway ;-).

 

and i must say that most games out in last years can be "played on youtube" without much loss. cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes, several minutes of crappy "gameplay", cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes, more boring "gameplay", cutscenes... meh, youtube works great.

Yeah true, the Telltale games were a prime example of this, no wonder why they had to shut down recently, only a few people had to actually buy it then the rest could just watch them on youtube since they are basically all cutscene with very little in the way of gameplay if any at all, they sort of remind me of 90s FMV games except fully 3d instead of prerecorded videos.

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3 hours ago, therektafire said:

they sort of remind me of 90s FMV games except fully 3d instead of prerecorded videos.

 

also better acting and bigger budget.

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