The Popularity of First-Person Shooter Games
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April 3rd, 2013 (2:17 PM).
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Originally Posted by
I find the term "freed from the burdens of the big names" to be a bit weird. I mean, aren't these people rational consumers just like you? They choose their games for a reason - maybe they don't have time for a time-consuming RPG, or don't want to put forth the effort to research a lot of titles to find out which is good so they pick up a series they know is good.
I don't know if they really have the choice. I mean, I grew up with a variety of games, so as I got more into gaming, I learned to broaden by searches and to make more experienced choices on how I would go about looking for games and the like. Not everyone can do that, especially if they're casual. Casuals are practically forced to rely on what they see, often via commercials or case-shopping or media like Game Informer and IGN because they don't really have much other choice. Heck, this is how most people start out, and since media like IGN and Game Informer often put major focus on the aforementioned big names, they get the most casual attention. I don't think it has anything to do with them being irrational, nor does it have anything to do with them just wanting to do what's popular, but I think it's a matter of them often not knowing what to look for save for what's given to them. Well, that, and there's the fact that, going along with one of your examples, Casual Gamers (Core gamers is another term I use to fit them it, I couldn't remember it at the time of my initial post, but it works well since it hits the same mark) don't always want to delve more into the gaming industry than they already are. Maybe they do want to just play quick and easy games; maybe they don't want to research more and invest time that they could otherwise use on other things.
Originally Posted by
In addition, Mirror's Edge sold over 2 million copies. About the same as the original Assassin's Creed (2.5 million) and more than Assassin's Creed II (1.9 million). It's not exactly being ignored. These numbers are still much, much higher than older games, because the fanbase was smaller. This is why I feel there's not enough consideration of fanbase expansion; in the end, if there are 2 million people enjoying a game (probably more considering used sales), can you really complain that it's not popular enough? I feel like arguing that FPSs are
popular is another way that "real" gamers try to marginalize those that don't play as much. Filthy casuals and all that.
I won't go the elitist route. I may think that Casual's can have an adverse effect on the industry, but I think that, conversely, they can also have a positive impact on it as well, and I'll be darned if I belittle them or call them "Fake Gamers". While I do think there are different traits among the different types gamers, I won't go as far as to say that one is better than the other because one plays more games than the other. Really, I guess Mirror's Edge was a bad example, but that doesn't matter at this point. The thing is, I'd be perfectly fine if the FPS genre was popular among Casuals if it weren't in the same way that it is, but when it threatens the industry, that's when I start to take notice.
The thing is, I don't completely blame the Casuals for the way things are, nor do I think that Casuals as a whole are even to blame. This all started because companies started to take advantage of how the Core Gamer (the biggest crowd of gamers which, in this day and age, are both the Casuals and the FPS Gamers) spends money. Specifically, the Core Gamer will continually by these annual releases and DLC regardless of the content, and this is most evident in the Sports industry as well as the Call of Duty series (though the DLC deal is widespread). I indeed think that it is the Publishers' fault for the expand and increasing demand of such practices, as their continuing to practice them only promotes the desire for more in the consumer. However, I will say that the blame is a two-way street, as the continuing to buy such annual releases and DLC without any naysaying promotes the behavior in the Pubs/Devs as well. It's a mutual relationship in that sense.
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