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Study finds gamers are becoming less interested in games with deep strategy

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    This study found gamers are not as interested in games which require a deep strategy. What do you all think? Are you into games like this? Which ones?


    The report from Quantic Foundry collected nine years of data from the researcher's own Gamer Motivation Profile tool, which tracks how appealing different aspects of games are to different people. Categories include Destruction, Excitement, Competition, Community, Challenge, Strategy, Completion, Power, Fantasy, Story, Discovery, and Design.

    Quantic Foundry looked back on what's motivated gamers across the years and found all of these have remained relatively consistent except one: Strategy. "Gamers who score high on this component enjoy games that require careful decision-making and planning," its summary states. "They like to think through their options and likely outcomes.

    "These may be decisions related to balancing resources and competing goals, managing foreign diplomacy, or finding optimal long term strategies. They tend to enjoy both the tactical combat in games like XCOM or Fire Emblem, as well as seeing their carefully devised plans come to fruition in games like Civilization, Cities: Skylines, or Europa Universalis."

     
  • 25,165
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    Played Civilization 6 just today, so yes. Beat various Fire Emblems multiple times. Has also played Warcraft, Age of Empires, the original XCom, Xenonauts, Mario + Rabbids, Triangle Strategy, and a Tactics Ogre game. Mentions things like deckbuilding in Magic: The Gathering too.

    Enjoys them for the reason stated: looking for good synergies, coming up with a plan, and then executing. May have to adapt as it plays out. Did the unit fail to gain strength for seven straight levels? Is Pericles outputting too much culture? Did you just run into your first Chyrssalid? How do you address the problem?

    Understands why people may not enjoy them. Tends to have a steep learning curve. Watched some unfamiliar strategy games before. Presented a lot of menus. Had no idea what anything did. Helps to have things explained, in those cases, especially when you cannot directly interact with the game.

    Remembers Fire Emblem: Three Houses being intimidating in the outset, despite being a Fire Emblem veteran. Gives you multiple pages of information containing personal information, weapons, skill levels, Crests, items, arts, abilities, and battalion. Noped out of trying to absorb that and continued on, hoping to understand it later (perhaps with tutorials).

    Speaking of being intimidating, Fire Emblem Heroes. Played once upon a time and largely stopped. Catches the new unit videos sometimes, out of curiosity. Tells you the units' weapons, special, and (generally) three skills. Ballooned the descriptions so much after years of powercreep. See:

    Spoiler: Male Robin's weapon from launch

    Grants weapon-triangle advantage against colorless foes, and inflicts weapon-triangle disadvantage on colorless foes during combat.

    Spoiler: Bridal Lapis's weapon just recently
    Enables【Canto (Rem. +1)】. Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).

    If unit has entered combat during the current turn, allies within 5 spaces of unit can move to a space within 2 spaces of unit.

    If unit initiates combat or is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+5 to unit, grants bonus to unit's Atk/Spd/Def/Res = 15% of unit's Spd at start of combat, deals damage = 20% of unit's Spd (excluding area-of-effect Specials), and reduces damage from foe's first attack by X% during combat (if it is unit's first combat initiated by unit or first combat initiated by foe that turn, X = 80; otherwise, X = 40; "first attack" normally means only the first strike; for effects that grant "unit attacks twice," it means the first and second strikes).

    If unit initiates combat, deals 10 damage to target and foes within 2 spaces of target after combat, and inflicts【Share Spoils】on target through its next action.

    【Canto (Rem. +1)】
    After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can move again.

    The distance of the movement is the remaining movement the unit had before the actions listed above + 1 (If unit used a movement skill that warps them, the remainder is 0). (Once per turn. Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)

    【Share Spoils】
    Inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-5 on unit during combat and neutralizes "reduces damage by X%" effects from unit's non-Special skills (excluding area-of-effect Specials). If foe initiates combat and if unit is defeated in combat, grants another action to that foe after combat (this effect has priority over other similar effects, including Time Is Light; in such cases, these other similar effects are treated as not having triggered).


    Adds a second problem for strategy games: how confident are you in the payoff? Usually begins slow. Forces you to trust the game and invest time into it. Given how rushed some games have been...
     
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    Not much surprising to me, and it is something which I had expected from long time....

    Nowadays grinding, completionist, collecting, repeatability, etc. had become more and more popular that people tend to do that and intend to things which requires skill or usage of mind. This is my very old rant against which is known by people who had seen my replies related to games.

    The path of strategy doesn't guarantees what will be outcome, but all the things which I said has fixed outcome, and one can get them with patience, and some efforts.

    And then next point of games which impacts strategy are bad lores like open-world exploration, character designs and their voices, etc. Which more or less turns to fantasy views. People may say that everyone has their preferences, but what I am saying is what I feel. Hence I hope people will not turn up against me !! I had seen people complaining about limited world in Pokémon games.


    Quest for getting better item is what that's exploited a lot. And people rush to do that because they want to get false sense of satisfaction.




    I don't see any games going to bring thinking and analysis into the game to better level, because the developers know that people what like, hence they work a lot on storyline and character design, and bringing open-world. Any game having these three mixed with some powercreep will be famous game, nonetheless......



    As a child, our parents buy us the games to improve our cognitive thinking and analyzing process, but when the child grows up then they want the games which have lores more than the elements which cause them to scratch the mind.....
     
    Last edited:

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
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    I'd like to hypothesize that the decline isn't due to any change in gamers themselves, but from a lower amount of strategy games being released in recent years.

    The real time strategy genre in particular went through a massive drought in the 10s, with two of the big three franchises (Age of Empires and Command & Conquer) being shut down by incompetent publishers and the third (Starcraft) dominating the genre so thoroughly that few other developers wanted to compete.

    Major turn-based strategy games lasted well into the mid-10s, with 2016 in particular being an amazing year for the genre, but trailed off in new releases over the rest of the decade and the ongoing 20s. Sid Meier's Civilization hasn't had a new release in eight years, the longest we've ever gone without an installment.

    Grand strategy games are still going strong right now, but they're mostly monopolized by Paradox's games, which are notoriously inaccessible and expensive for new players to get into, and the Total War franchise, which is itself marred by controversy over half-finished games and overpriced DLC.

    The people who play only the big hits aren't playing strategy games because those games aren't getting made as frequently as they used to be, and the people who are primarily strategy fans are moving outside of gaming altogether for different hobbies that have strategic elements, like board games, wargames, and tabletop RPGs, all markets that have grown significantly in the 2010s.

    I also took the test myself and got a 78% ranking in Strategy, which seems about right since I've played these games since childhood, and still do, but not as my very favorite genre.
     
    Last edited:

    Nah

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    I imagine there's possibly more than one reason why they're seeing a drop in interest in that element of games. One is probably people just not having the time and energy they used to for games that are a long commitment and require a lot of thought. Everybody finds different things enjoyable, but most people are busy enough being slaves that the last thing they want to do in what free time they do have is to expend what little energy they have left on something they're doing for fun. Doesn't completely explain it though, since strategy/strategy games aren't the only ones that can potentially involve a lot of time/effort/thought.

    went and took the survey myself: https://quantic.page.link/w5RDCMkM54M9H66C6

    Speaking of being intimidating, Fire Emblem Heroes. Played once upon a time and largely stopped. Catches the new unit videos sometimes, out of curiosity. Tells you the units' weapons, special, and (generally) three skills. Ballooned the descriptions so much after years of powercreep. See:

    Spoiler: Male Robin's weapon from launch

    Grants weapon-triangle advantage against colorless foes, and inflicts weapon-triangle disadvantage on colorless foes during combat.

    Spoiler: Bridal Lapis's weapon just recently
    Enables【Canto (Rem. +1)】. Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).

    If unit has entered combat during the current turn, allies within 5 spaces of unit can move to a space within 2 spaces of unit.

    If unit initiates combat or is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+5 to unit, grants bonus to unit's Atk/Spd/Def/Res = 15% of unit's Spd at start of combat, deals damage = 20% of unit's Spd (excluding area-of-effect Specials), and reduces damage from foe's first attack by X% during combat (if it is unit's first combat initiated by unit or first combat initiated by foe that turn, X = 80; otherwise, X = 40; "first attack" normally means only the first strike; for effects that grant "unit attacks twice," it means the first and second strikes).

    If unit initiates combat, deals 10 damage to target and foes within 2 spaces of target after combat, and inflicts【Share Spoils】on target through its next action.

    【Canto (Rem. +1)】
    After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can move again.

    The distance of the movement is the remaining movement the unit had before the actions listed above + 1 (If unit used a movement skill that warps them, the remainder is 0). (Once per turn. Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)

    【Share Spoils】
    Inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-5 on unit during combat and neutralizes "reduces damage by X%" effects from unit's non-Special skills (excluding area-of-effect Specials). If foe initiates combat and if unit is defeated in combat, grants another action to that foe after combat (this effect has priority over other similar effects, including Time Is Light; in such cases, these other similar effects are treated as not having triggered).
    Yeah powercreep has gotten wild and skill descriptions long in recent years, to the point where even the devs are acknowledging it by making jokes about it in the game's webcomic:
    Study finds gamers are becoming less interested in games with deep strategy
     

    bobandbill

    one more time
  • 16,956
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    ^The above is such a great comic given the context. Pointing out the silliness of the game it is based on, and it's official!

    I wager one trend may also be that there are more gamers now - the more 'casual' crowd, if you will, who play mobile titles and etc. Way broader scope of less strategy games as a result. IDK if there are less strategy games now compared to before... but I would believe that there's a smaller fraction of them.
     
  • 646
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    Not much surprising to me, and it is something which I had expected from long time....

    Nowadays grinding, completionist, collecting, repeatability, etc. had become more and more popular that people tend to do that and intend to things which requires skill or usage of mind. This is my very old rant against which is known by people who had seen my replies related to games.
    Really same here. I am not very surprised myself either.
     

    The Mega Champion

    Strategist
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    I'm sorry but I play video games to chill and relax and not have to worry about BS like frame-data, meta-gaming, competitive, 'optimal' and other crap like that. I want to enjoy my time... not make it a side-job or give myself migraines or a chore because I have to strategize. Sorry that's just how I feel. It's why I refuse to touch the Soulsborne and Rouge-like games. (or if I do I'll play them on the easiest difficulty [Stranger of Paradise is still in my backlog]). I would even extend that to Tactical games, however there are exceptions here too (Digimon Survive). So excuse me for just wanting to chill and relax while playing video games instead of spending 30 to 60 minutes studying something that will probably only relate to about 10 minutes of in-game time. That's for college programs and classes and maybe even high school programs and classes to an extent. This is why I always use a guide just in case shit like that is 'expected' of you.

    Look... all I'm trying to say is I don't really see how this is that big of a deal. Sorry. Again just me.
     

    Setsuna

    ♡ Living that 地元愛♡満タン☆ Summer Life
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    I'm someone who's never been into these types of games and never been good at them. This did kinda make me realize all the people I know that are into them are older than me though, so I just figured it's the kind of thing that's more popular with people in that age range. A lot of new games I see people talking about definitely seem like they're being made for kids or teens, when I think of what's popular I think of more multiplayer-based party experiences like Fortnite or Among Us, or the games being made for older players tend to be more action-oriented or souls-like singleplayer games like Final Fantasy XVI, Stellar Blade, or Elden Ring. Strategy games sort of feel like one of those genres that definitely has its fans, but hasn't ever been the most popular. Hearing about this survey doesn't really surprise me.
     

    Fleurdelis

    Gunbreaker addict
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    As strategy games used to be my whole childhood (played Command and Conquer from a very young age till the day of today, aswell as many other titles such as Age of Empires, Supreme Commander, Stellaris, Civilization, XCOM, yada yada), I am not suprised I scored a 96% on Strategy with that survey :'D

    However I am also not suprised that the genre is having less and less interest over the years. The genre had its period where it shined years ago with C&C, AoE, StarCraft and such, unfortunately those never last and the next big thing came around, and then the next big thing surpassed that.
     
  • 3,297
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    I play video games to chill and relax
    This is how I also see the games.

    No point in playing offensive games where killing, bursting, destroying, etc. occurs. But I guess nowadays people enjoy those kind of games, just for sake of saying or getting better reflexes. I bet they can't even dodge anything thrown at them with those earned "reflexes".

    But the game makers had identified that people like looking the character and their lore more than dwelling into strategy, hence in order to get their business up, they don't focus on other aspects.

    People only want few things:

    1. Big Open world
    2. Character Design and their voice
    3. Deep storyline
    4. Repeatability factor, hence lots of items



    And for fulfilling these needs, strategy and deep thinking is often compromised....






    Though that's how I perceive, and neither expect anyone to be congruent with this idea.
     

    Hands

    I was saying Boo-urns
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    I still like games that require strategy, but so many years on competitive multiplayer games has left me looking for simpler single player experiences just to unwind with.
     
  • 25,614
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    I enjoy strategy games plenty, although I definitely prefer turn-based stuff to the RTS genre these days. I wouldn't say it's the number one thing I look for in a game - or even the number two thing - but I would much rather play something strategic than something endless and repetitive.
     
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