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KiDisaster

Video Games: Keanu Re3ves Is Breathtaking

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Old thread is at locking age. 

Some important news to kick us off: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-06-10-cd-projekt-gives-free-copy-of-cyberpunk-2077-to-guy-who-shouted-youre-breathtaking-at-keanu-reeves

I think the announcement I'm most excited for so far is Elden Ring. I'm 125% on board for anything From bring out, and I can't wait to see their take on a bigger open world game. 

Looks like Microsoft is hungry again after having their lunch eaten by Sony this generation. I wonder if they'll try to get their next console to market a year early again. Having Halo as a launch game will be huge. 

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Posted (edited)

As always, it's hard to judge things by E3 trailers, which are often cinematic and crafted by marketing teams to get you as hyped as possible. But I'm interested in a few of the games shown so far- Cyberpunk, The Outer Worlds, Elden Ring (though please, please, please, From, can we have difficulty levels for once?), and the FF7 remake. The Microsoft Game Pass for PC also seems like an incredible deal, and a great way to try out lots of games to see what sticks.

 

Quote

ETA: Let's be real, between games like SW Battlefront 2, Fallout 76, Anthem, etc. the idea these games are worth $60 USD is a joke. I don't care how much it cost to make, this shit isn't worth $60, let alone whatever the actual price ends up being. A Hat in Time blows these games out of the water, it sells for $30. 

Is quality what should decide cost? I don't know; production costs for these games are real. And it seems like it's up to the consumer. If people are willing to pay 60 bucks for Anthem on launch, then that's on them; games that don't sell well almost immediately go on sale now, and even those that do will be at least 50% off in the next year. I think new game prices are generally pretty fair for the hours of entertainment you can get out of them, but I also just buy few games at launch (except for Nintendo games). The last PC game I pre-ordered was Mass Effect: Andromeda; was it a great game? No. Did I love every minute? No, but I liked it enough to finish it, play some multiplayer, and get something like 80 hours worth of playtime out of it. Compared to Breath of the Wild, which I've gotten over 300 hours of playtime out of and loved every minute of it, maybe that's not a great deal; but compared to going to see even a great movie, it ain't so bad.

Edited by Caligula_K3

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27 minutes ago, Caligula_K3 said:

As always, it's hard to judge things by E3 trailers, which are often cinematic and crafted by marketing teams to get you as hyped as possible. But I'm interested in a few of the games shown so far- Cyberpunk, The Outer Worlds, Elden Ring (though please, please, please, From, can we have difficulty levels for once?), and the FF7 remake. The Microsoft Game Pass for PC also seems like an incredible deal, and a great way to try out lots of games to see what sticks.

 

Is quality what should decide cost? I don't know; production costs for these games are real. And it seems like it's up to the consumer. If people are willing to pay 60 bucks for Anthem on launch, then that's on them; games that don't sell well almost immediately go on sale now, and even those that do will be at least 50% off in the next year. I think new game prices are generally pretty fair for the hours of entertainment you can get out of them, but I also just buy few games at launch (except for Nintendo games). The last PC game I pre-ordered was Mass Effect: Andromeda; was it a great game? No. Did I love every minute? No, but I liked it enough to finish it, play some multiplayer, and get something like 80 hours worth of playtime out of it. Compared to Breath of the Wild, which I've gotten over 300 hours of playtime out of and loved every minute of it, maybe that's not a great deal; but compared to going to see even a great movie, it ain't so bad.

Just because you're happy to eat a shit sandwich doesn't make it ok for them to put it on the menu, advertise it as a Philly cheese steak, and upcharge the fuck outta it.

People who casually defend these practices are why there will never be a KotOR 3 worth purchasing.

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52 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Just because you're happy to eat a shit sandwich doesn't make it ok for them to put it on the menu, advertise it as a Philly cheese steak, and upcharge the fuck outta it.

People who casually defend these practices are why there will never be a KotOR 3 worth purchasing.

What's the practice, though? Developing a game that turned out not to be good? If a movie gets bad reviews, should tickets be half off? If the new Joe Abercrombie book turns out to be a dud, should it cost 10 dollars instead of 30 for the hardcover? I just don't see why this is a moral issue. Bad books, movies, and games get made all the time, often with the best of intentions. And marketing is marketing.

Every company is going to sell its product up and try to convince you to buy it. If you listen to the hype and buy something for full price on release without reading reviews or watching Let's Plays or anything, that's on you, not the company. I bought Mass Effect Andromeda for full price- was it worth it? Probably not. Woops, my mistake, I won't preorder a Bioware game next time.

60 bucks for a new AAA video game is the same thing we were paying in the N64 days, even though costs have gone way up. Unlike in those days, thanks to the digital marketplace, you can very easily find discounted copies of games within months after their release, so that you have the ability to essentially decide how much a game us worth to you. So I think we can do without the outrage over luxury entertainment products costing 60 bucks when they first come out.

 

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3 hours ago, KiDisaster said:

Looks like Microsoft is hungry again after having their lunch eaten by Sony this generation. I wonder if they'll try to get their next console to market a year early again. Having Halo as a launch game will be huge. 

Project Scarlett, or whatever its final name will be, is launching Holiday 2020. I'd be really surprised if Sony launches much later than that. Maybe they are, and that's one of the reasons they aren't at E3 this year, but I think both will come out around the same time.

Halo could be big, but I dunno if it's automatic. The reaction to 4, and especially 5, seemed much more lukewarm. They were fine, but didn't set the world on fire. Halo Infinite needs to have a good rollout and, honestly, I wasn't that impressed by that trailer. Now, if that's actually how the game looks and it wasn't just a CG trailer, that is pretty cool; but it still didn't show me anything. It's the same reason why the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer was kind of a dud pre-Keanu reveal; it wasn't showing anything of the game itself. It was just tone, and we already got that last year.

I'm also really curious to learn about this xCloud streaming service Microsoft announced, since there were very few details. I assume it's their version of Stadia, but what makes it better or worse?

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35 minutes ago, Caligula_K3 said:

What's the practice, though? Developing a game that turned out not to be good? If a movie gets bad reviews, should tickets be half off? If the new Joe Abercrombie book turns out to be a dud, should it cost 10 dollars instead of 30 for the hardcover? I just don't see why this is a moral issue. Bad books, movies, and games get made all the time, often with the best of intentions. And marketing is marketing.

Every company is going to sell its product up and try to convince you to buy it. If you listen to the hype and buy something for full price on release without reading reviews or watching Let's Plays or anything, that's on you, not the company. I bought Mass Effect Andromeda for full price- was it worth it? Probably not. Woops, my mistake, I won't preorder a Bioware game next time.

60 bucks for a new AAA video game is the same thing we were paying in the N64 days, even though costs have gone way up. Unlike in those days, thanks to the digital marketplace, you can very easily find discounted copies of games within months after their release, so that you have the ability to essentially decide how much a game us worth to you. So I think we can do without the outrage over luxury entertainment products costing 60 bucks when they first come out.

 

Everyone stand in awe of BIG BRAIN Caligula_K3! He's so smaht that after being suckered he will actively resist disincentiviszing the suckering of others because he's SO SMAHT that he doesn't understand Anthem isn't a "bad" game, it is a halfassed shell that EA knew would recoup production costs and catch a few whales for a minute. And as long as publishers can shit out these turds and rubes get suckered into buying them there's no reason for studios to make actual completed games is there? 

Tell me more about how smart you are because you figured out all by yourself that buying Anthem was a fucking terrible idea.

And if Joe Abercrombie released the novel equivalent of Anthem his publisher would demand their fucking advance back.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not saying I'm so smart. I'm saying bad games happen, and everyone has the power to decide what things are worth to them, and that getting angry over feeling you didn't get your money's worth is silly. Disappointed, sure, but angry as if at moral injustice? Even Anthem, which was rushed by EA at the end to make some money, came out of many years of good intentions on Bioware's part and many years of EA funding, as Schreier's article on its development points out.  Bioware thought they were making the Bob Dylan of games, and they failed for a number of reasons. The only people I feel bad for in these situations are the developers who have to work crunch for 80-100 hours because of poor management and general work culture at video game companies, who then get yelled at and threatened by people on the internet. That's the only issue that has any bearing on morality here, until EA starts hacking into your bank account and forces you to buy Anthem on day 1 for 60 bucks.

I'm just sick of this toxic anger and constant outrage in fandom.  There are worse things in life than not being adequately entertained by a movie, TV show, book, or game you bought. Creating a bad product doesn't equal moral failing. And if you think you got suckered by a company, then stop buying their shit at full price (which is what happened to Anthem, which didn't sell well and within a couple months got devalued). I just don't see how it's realistic to demand companies start devaluing their own products out of the gate, whether you're a book publisher (Crossroads of Twilight; as far as I know, Tor didn't demand their advance back), a film production company (Batman v. Superman) or a video game company (Anthem). 

Edited by Caligula_K3

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4 minutes ago, Caligula_K3 said:

I'm just sick of this toxic anger and constant outrage in fandom.  There are worse things in life than not being adequately entertained by a movie, TV show, book, or game you bought. Creating a bad product in good faith doesn't equal moral failing. And if you think you got suckered by a company, then stop buying their shit at full price (which is what happened to Anthem, which didn't sell well and within a couple months got devalued). I just don't see how it's realistic to demand companies start devaluing their own products out of the gate, whether you're a book publisher (Crossroads of Twilight; as far as I know, Tor didn't demand their advance back), a film production company (Batman v. Superman) or a video game company (Anthem). 

FTFY, thing is these companies actions make it abundantly clear they aren't acting in good faith. This isn't an author who just sucks at writing putting out a bad book. This is abuse of employee's, deliberately cutting content to sell in packages later, releasing actually unfinished games with a "road map" telling you how the game will be complete in just a couple years, exploiting addictive personalities with gambling mechanics, etc. And that absolutely is a moral failing.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

FTFY, thing is these compa nies actions make it abundantly clear they aren't acting in good faith. This isn't an author who just sucks at writing putting out a bad book. This is abuse of employee's, deliberately cutting content to sell in packages later, releasing actually unfinished games with a "road map" telling you how the game will be complete in just a couple years, exploiting addictive personalities with gambling mechanics, etc. And that absolutely is a moral failing.

I agree that the exploitative gambling mechanics are immoral and a shameful part of modern gaming, and most definitely the abuse of employees is immoral. For the rest though, the question is if, say, EA from the beginning knew that they would cancel Anthem's roadmap,  or if they intended to continue supporting the game but  bad sales and dwindling player bases changed their plans. The second option is probably what happened (though we won't know for sure until Schreier publishes another article; but his first one suggested that EA and Bioware were taken aback by the negativity of the reviews and were genuinely hoping to continue and profit off of Anthem for years). In that case, it definitely sucks for the players who bought and want to continue playing the game, but I wouldn't call it immoral, just like it's not necessarily immoral  for an author to get distracted by side projects instead of finishing a fantasy book series, or for a TV studio to cancel a show with crap ratings even though we bought the first three seasons on DVD. As for unfinished games, they've been part of the industry forever. KOTOR II is still one of my favourite games, even though it came out in a much shittier state than Anthem and its ending has had to be reconstructed by modders. For many, this would be a dealbreaker; again, we can read the reviews and decide for ourselves.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying EA or other companies are our friends. They want to profit off us as much as possible; one way they can do that is by delivering great games that people will want to keep playing, and at least many of the 500-800 people it takes to make a modern game AAA want to make their game as great as possible. But in the end, for the company, what matters is if it makes money, good game or bad, and the whole point of advertisement and E3 and hype is to get us to spend our money. I'm pretty far to the left, so for me modern advertising as a whole is immoral, but compared to what other types of companies do, getting us to spend 60 bucks on a game that doesn't live up to our hype is small potatoes. Especially because we consumers have so many ways available to us now to check out the hype if we want to, and to buy games for very affordable prices.

Edited by Caligula_K3

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But you're sidestepping the problem because YOU are smart enough not to get taken in on these shitshows and YOU don't get addicted to lootboxes.

I'll never buy a new EA game again. Ever. But I still like videogames. So now I can't buy EA games because that's perpetuating the cycle that allows them to continuously release half-dicked content. 

Activision? Same deal, can't buy from Activision because they do the same shit but even grosser by delaying their anti-consumer features until after the reviews are out. 

So I'm waving goodbye to like 60 percent of mainstream "AAA" titles. I've been waiting for Cyberpunk 2077 for like 7 years because I can no longer get my RPG fix from any other studio unless I wanna go back in time to 2003. 

I'm not ok with that. And you acting like folks who demand actual quality -even when it's just for someone else's benefit-  are being unreasonable is fucking infuriating.

I'm with you on George. Leave him alone, folks. I make jokes, we probably won't get the ending we need but we got the one we deserved, but George isn't putting out material. That is a far cry from knowingly designing his imaginary universe to be a fucking money trap with no artistic impulse to finish it.

Anthem is completely shut down. They put out a blue filter and called it a goddamn expansion. To act like there was ever some kind of artistic drive to construct that game is willfully ignorant.

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Posted (edited)

I think that's where you and I differ. I'll buy an EA game if I think I'm getting my money's worth out of it. If Dragon Age 4 gets great reviews, I'll buy it day 1; if it gets reviews like Andromeda got, I'll buy it for half to three quarters off at some point. Hell, I might buy Anthem when it goes on sale for 10 bucks because jetpack combat looks fun and I'll probably get 5-10 hours of enjoyment out of it.  If I am going to boycott a studio or game, it would be for abusive practices towards employees, which studios like CD Projekt Red are just as complicit in as EA or Rockstar. That, like lootboxes, is an industry-wide problem. 

I'm not saying people shouldn't want quality. Tons of great games are still being released every year by indie studios, AAA studios, AA studios, first party studios. There are way more great games out there than I have the time to play. Some well reviewed and liked games I've bought and tried and they just haven't been for me, like Divinity Original Sin 2. Buy what you think you'll like for the price you think it deserves and hopefully you enjoy it. I just don't see the point in getting angry if you don't, or in expecting AAA studios or AA studios or any studio to do anything but try to sell you their game. George RR Martin is a good example here, I think, because he has released books recently that are meant to make his publishers money due to the lack of new ASoiAF volumes; like you, I don't think he's morally wrong to do this, but I'm personally just not going to buy Fire and Blood because it's not what I want from him. Lootbox practices aside, since they do exploit people with gambling disorders, we consumers do have agency; you don't need to be "smart" to look at reviews or discussion forums or Twitch or your friends.

As for Anthem, I'm not going to pretend that greed didn't play roles in its design and production, but I really recommend reading Schreier's piece on it (https://kotaku.com/how-biowares-anthem-went-wrong-1833731964). The idea came from Bioware. At the beginning, everyone was ambitious, everyone wanted to make a great game that would people would remember forever, from top Bioware management to lower developers. Most of the problems with the game came from indecisive Bioware management, which couldn't decide on what direction to take the game while still wanting to deliver something great.  My GRRM comparison falls apart here, because if with him we just have to deal with one novelist and a publisher that wants to make money (plus merchandising, and HBO, and all that stuff too), with video games you have something like 600 people working on a game; I think you'd have to be pretty cynical to think all those people had no artistic vision.

Edited by Caligula_K3

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The problem with modern games - particularly AAA games - is a crossover of many issues. The primary one is cost: to make an AAA game, with near-cutting edge graphics, a full custom score, fully voice-overed etc, you need to now spend ~$100 million. Gamers have also seemingly concluded that there is a cost-to-length ratio involved, so a 5-15 hour linear game won't cut it, everything now has to be open world or arranged in a way that it lasts for 50-100 hours or more, taken to the insane level (via Final Fantasy VII Remake) of the opening 6-hour chunk of the game being turned into a semi-open-world CRPG with tens of hours of content (and the rest of the game unlikely to appear in full for another 4-6 years).

Gamers have also made it clear they don't want to pay more for games. The retail price of video games, adjusted for inflation, has actually dropped precipitously. If Street Fighter 2 was released today, it would cost £120 by itself! So the developers and studios have a problem where gamers are demanding far more content, at astonishing levels of detail and quality, in huge quantities but are not willing to pay the cost price for producing it. Unlike 15 years ago, you can't make a linear single-player action game that takes ~10 hours to complete and expect people to buy it at full price (the mediocre sales of Bethesda's Wolfenstein series back that up, although they're thankfully still trying). Hence why they're flailing around trying different things to try and make any of this make some kind of sense.

Some companies have taken the approach of being honest with customers and making a quality product with a lot of value, like The Witcher 3. However, even that was only possible by taking a long-form approach of producing two decidedly crappier games first, releasing a successful on-line storefront to help diversify income streams and being based in an Eastern European country with a (comparable to the UK or US) very cheap cost of living. It was also still a risk, given the simple sales imbalance between games with a multiplayer mode and those with no multiplayer whatsoever. CDPR were lucky in that everything came together well for them.

Other companies are purely reactive and run around like headless chickens, not trusting their designers to do what they're best at, which is EA's overriding problem at present (and Activision's and Ubisoft as well). The absolute lack of innovation in the AAA space is completely breathtaking, but you can also see where the conservatism comes from. Fantastic, well-designed AAA games like PreyDishonored and the two recent Deus Ex games came out and were given amazing reviews, but sold (relatively) poorly because people didn't want to pay full price for a game with no multiplayer, so those series are either on hold or completely cancelled and the teams are now working on completely different (and far more tedious) things. Frankly, it's amazing we're still getting games that buck these trends like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Outer Worlds. Even Ubisoft deserve a doff of the cap for allowing Clint Hocking to make Watch_Dogs 3, with the result it sounds genuinely more interesting than the first two games in the series, and hopefully can iterate on the standard Ubisoft icon 'em up.

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38 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Gamers have also made it clear they don't want to pay more for games. The retail price of video games, adjusted for inflation, has actually dropped precipitously. If Street Fighter 2 was released today, it would cost £120 by itself!

I paid $100 for Phantasy Star IV on release! :lol: 

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38 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The problem with modern games - particularly AAA games - is a crossover of many issues. The primary one is cost: to make an AAA game, with near-cutting edge graphics, a full custom score, fully voice-overed etc, you need to now spend ~$100 million. Gamers have also seemingly concluded that there is a cost-to-length ratio involved, so a 5-15 hour linear game won't cut it, everything now has to be open world or arranged in a way that it lasts for 50-100 hours or more, taken to the insane level (via Final Fantasy VII Remake) of the opening 6-hour chunk of the game being turned into a semi-open-world CRPG with tens of hours of content (and the rest of the game unlikely to appear in full for another 4-6 years).

Gamers have also made it clear they don't want to pay more for games. The retail price of video games, adjusted for inflation, has actually dropped precipitously. If Street Fighter 2 was released today, it would cost £120 by itself! So the developers and studios have a problem where gamers are demanding far more content, at astonishing levels of detail and quality, in huge quantities but are not willing to pay the cost price for producing it. Unlike 15 years ago, you can't make a linear single-player action game that takes ~10 hours to complete and expect people to buy it at full price (the mediocre sales of Bethesda's Wolfenstein series back that up, although they're thankfully still trying). Hence why they're flailing around trying different things to try and make any of this make some kind of sense.

Some companies have taken the approach of being honest with customers and making a quality product with a lot of value, like The Witcher 3. However, even that was only possible by taking a long-form approach of producing two decidedly crappier games first, releasing a successful on-line storefront to help diversify income streams and being based in an Eastern European country with a (comparable to the UK or US) very cheap cost of living. It was also still a risk, given the simple sales imbalance between games with a multiplayer mode and those with no multiplayer whatsoever. CDPR were lucky in that everything came together well for them.

Other companies are purely reactive and run around like headless chickens, not trusting their designers to do what they're best at, which is EA's overriding problem at present (and Activision's and Ubisoft as well). The absolute lack of innovation in the AAA space is completely breathtaking, but you can also see where the conservatism comes from. Fantastic, well-designed AAA games like PreyDishonored and the two recent Deus Ex games came out and were given amazing reviews, but sold (relatively) poorly because people didn't want to pay full price for a game with no multiplayer, so those series are either on hold or completely cancelled and the teams are now working on completely different (and far more tedious) things. Frankly, it's amazing we're still getting games that buck these trends like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Outer Worlds. Even Ubisoft deserve a doff of the cap for allowing Clint Hocking to make Watch_Dogs 3, with the result it sounds genuinely more interesting than the first two games in the series, and hopefully can iterate on the standard Ubisoft icon 'em up.

Ok, I gotta hop on the bike here but I wanted to get this in first.

Game publishers are making more money than they've ever made, ever. I absolutely accept your findings in fact, but in principal there's a disconnect.

Publishers keep going on about the costs and difficulties of making games because it excuses their predatory practices, not because they "just can't keep up with gamers' demands". Gamers didn't demand Jon Snow in CodBlopsIIIIIV: The ReBlopsening. Jon Snow was in that game to sell that game. It's all ack basswards. They crank on those graphics and talk about how much content there is to market the game. Not because that's what gamers want, but because gamers bought a game with an open world and good graphics once that had a celebrity cameo. So they reverse-engineer a 'game' out of the best way to market it.

Of course, there are people who want to make a game. The developers. C3 acts like the existence of developers means everything's the best effort of the best folks available. But in reality the developers have slaved themselves to corporate oligarchs who only care about hitting their bonuses. The quality of the game, the wellbeing of the developers, the artistic fucking vision, all secondary.

There's a reason people keep quitting BioWare since EA got its tentacles secured around them. (That would be around 2013-14 to present)

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Big news so far is release dates:

The Outer Worlds - 25 October 2019

Doom Eternal - 22 November

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Part 1) - 3 March 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 - 16 April 2020

 

Baldur's Gate III and Watch_Dogs Legion both look interesting, but neither have a release date yet. Bethesda kept a low profile, with Starfield's non-appearance meaning it won't appear until October/November 2020 at the very earliest.

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Cyberpunk 2077 is the game that might make me finally decide to upgrade the computer. And I don't really even play RPGs. 

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Between Cyberpunk, FFVII-R, the new V:TMB game, and Watch Dogs Legion, March/April next year is going to be a hell of a time for playing games.

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7 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Just because you're happy to eat a shit sandwich doesn't make it ok for them to put it on the menu, advertise it as a Philly cheese steak, and upcharge the fuck outta it.

People who casually defend these practices are why there will never be a KotOR 3 worth purchasing.

Well, that's just how addicts behave. They get served a shit sandwich and they eat that shit up and come back asking for more, thanking the pusher for such a nutritious and high class meal. On a populations basis gamers have a high level of addiction to their games, and so they'll take whatever abuse is handed out to them, and thank their abuser for it. If the market is stupid enough to keep forking out Philly Cheese amounts of cash for shit sandwiches who is really at fault here? Gamers as a collective have to hit rock bottom and then stop buying the shit sandwiches so that companies no longer profit from the shit sandwich trade.  We have to make a stand and accept nothing less than bologna sandwiches.

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45 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Well, that's just how addicts behave. They get served a shit sandwich and they eat that shit up and come back asking for more, thanking the pusher for such a nutritious and high class meal. On a populations basis gamers have a high level of addiction to their games, and so they'll take whatever abuse is handed out to them, and thank their abuser for it. If the market is stupid enough to keep forking out Philly Cheese amounts of cash for shit sandwiches who is really at fault here? Gamers as a collective have to hit rock bottom and then stop buying the shit sandwiches so that companies no longer profit from the shit sandwich trade.  We have to make a stand and accept nothing less than bologna sandwiches.

 

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I think basically both sides of this discussion are right... but that ship has sailed.  

I have no need for multiplayer.  I like a good, single player experience.  If a company wants to tack on an extra MP experience that doesn’t appreciably effect the game like in Andromeda, I’m okay with that.  But I regret the advent of things like Day One DLC which feels to me like a ploy to release an incomplete game on purpose.  

I agree with @Jace, Basilissa that it is a goddamned travesty what kind of quality passes for release these days.  Oh how we yearn for the days before patches.  A game had to be complete at release.  Now, just release it and we’ll patch it later.

@Werthead accurately described the issues with how to make a quality game as well.  

I worry that gaming at large may not be for me anymore.

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