The Popularity of First-Person Shooter Games
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April 3rd, 2013 (7:57 AM).
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Originally Posted by
I'm not a person that's into games like Call of Duty, but, I've been often told that people like games like Call of Duty, because shooters really grabbed people when it came to the multiplayer aspect, especially when Goldeneye for the N64 came out, along with the other PC shooters of the era.
Hm, I'm just wondering, why do you think copying the style of Call of Duty is a bad trend? I mean, I'm not disagreeing with you, but, I'm just wondering - wouldn't coping the styles be a good thing, for continuous interest? Or... would that mean that they would be more stale?
/sorry if this sounded confusing btw; I've tried to word this the best I could.
Oh, I'm not saying that it's bad in moderation, nor am I saying that Call of Duty in and of itself is a bad game, but one thing that Call of Duty does that's bad for the industry, and some sports games do this as well, is that they create a new game annually with few changes in between. Now, again, this isn't a bad thing by itself (well, for the series it is, but not for the industry), but because of the prominence of Call of Duty specifically, it starts to influence other companies to do the same. The worst part about this is that the consumer becomes accustomed to it and buy into it. Then, as that happens, more companies (and not just those of FPS) take notice and do the same (not to mention the way they gobble up that expensive DLC), and that's why it's a bad thing.
For instance, right now we are on Call of Duty 9. Five years ago we were on Call of Duty 4. Call of Duty 4 is still playable, even today. You won't feel much jetlag, save for the graphics, but the gameplay is definitely something you could just jump into if you wanted to. Other companies start to notice, and then we start to get a lot of rehashes and clones in the industry, which starts to make the pool of variety in a genre (in this case, the FPS genre) more shallow as time goes on.
Then, of course (and this is a big one) there is story telling, and this is where it starts to affect me most as a gamer. Call of Duty has a story, but it emphasizes the multiplayer as that is generally all that the consumer cares about in the game. Here's the problem, though: it has a story. When a very popular game totes a very popular mode and carries around a lackluster fragment of what is in many cases a centerpiece in games and still sells well, people take notice. Fast. It gets to the point where the consumer actually starts to stop caring about stories in games and more about the multiplayer, and as with any sort of commercial work, if it catches on. Nowadays, you can meet people who say that they don't care about stories in games at all and they only care about multiplayer, and that legitimately scares me. Heck, more and more developers are even saying that they wanted to do away with single player in games, and that scares me even more. The thought that Western gaming is becoming more interested in multiplayer gaming and less in single player/story is a scary thought (I'd prefer a balance, really), and while I do love Eastern gaming, I don't want to be limited to that if I'm looking for a complex single player experience.
Originally Posted by
I think you're forgetting a few variables in your analysis of the popularity of them. The kind of people that play FPSs to the exclusion of all else are not the kind of people that bought all those different kinds of games in the past. The audience for video games has vastly expanded, and I would argue that there's probably still around the same amount of people, if not more that like other genres. For example, in the 10 best selling games of 2012, 4 of them are FPSs - two CoD games, Halo 4, and Borderlands 2 (which doesn't quite fit into your war-type of FPS so it's questionable to being with). Outside of that, we have 3 sports games, 2 action games, and 1 rhythm game. There's certainly variety there.
As far as why FPSs are gripping, part of it is the skill involved and the ability to just pick it up and play. When you load into a game, you're the same as everyone else, and the only way to win is to be better. Not lucky or high level, just better. A lot of people see FPSs as the epitome of skill-based games. There's also the multiplayer; just like Facebook, if all your friends are playing this game and no other game and you want to play with them, you're going to pick it up too, right?
Sorry, I was in a bit of a rush when I was writing that, I didn't have time to get out all my thoughts -.-
Well, I think that one thing to note is that there are other very good games out there that are only considered niche because they aren't realistic and don't have guns. This may sound a little shallow, but it can be hard to get an FPS Gamer/Casual Gamer, which is the biggest crowd in both in gaming and in FPS, to play something that doesn't have guns or a lot of excitement. I think people see FPS the way they do because they don't give the other genres a chance because they see them as niche or strange, and this is the case with, from my experience and point of view, a mass majority of the aforementioned party.
But I don't really see the expansion of gaming as a good thing, in that respect, if the Casual Gamers are going to flock to one genre and essentially bloat it. I mean, the expansion certainly is good, but the thing is that games that don't have blood or guns, not necessarily just FPS, are often given the shaft by the average gamer (the Casual Gamer). For instance, Assassin's Creed is one example. I mean, sure, it's a solid game, but what makes the consumer want that over something like, say, Mirror's Edge or something from the same publisher such as Prince of Persia. I think that the casual gamer has a fascination with blood, guns, and immediate gratification, all of which are present in Call of Duty, but can also be seen (in varying amounts) in games such as League of Legends (and most other MOBAs), Devil May Cry, and the Skyrim (specifically Skyrim with the introduction of Killmoves). I think the industry would be better off if the the casuals were freed from the burdens of the big names and would instead look at the other genres, because when you think about it and look at the popularity of other genres with critically or cult lauded games, you start to realize how much appreciation that they really don't have, and in truth, there isn't that much variety among the most popular games in gaming at any given time (though this is a seventh and currently eighth generation characteristic, it wasn't so big in the sixth generation backwards, for obvious reasons).
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