The Current State of Triple-A Games
The Current State of Triple-A Games published by Guardian At The Gate
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Posted on 2018-10-04
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This writer has written 3 articles.
When someone says triple-a games, usually the first thing that pops into your mind is the great childhood memories of playing 2-D platformers or, if you were lucky enough to own one, the first ever three-dimensional games on the PlayStation or Nintendo-64. Who would have thought in nearly two decades we would go further beyond polygonal textures and physics engines perfected to realism? But I digress. Today the state of triple-a titles has lowered in quality while continuing to gouge its players for the value of their hard-earned dollar. So, when exactly did everything start to go wrong?
In my opinion, I believe it started in the early 2000’s with the console era. This era earned its name when Microsoft bought out Xbox from a company named Atari Jaguar. The original unit was not very successful outside of the United States, over a million units flying off the shelves, whereas small portion was sold in Japan, 123,000 units being sold in the first week. But there was a good reason, PlayStation was already a powerhouse in the gaming industry. The PlayStation had already gone through it’s growing pains in the 90’s and in the year 2000 they released one of their best consoles in the history of gaming, The PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 2 sold 155 million units by the end of its run in 2012. It was not until the Xbox 360 that there was truly a war between these two titans.
In this era, there were many exclusive titles that either console would entice the gaming crowd to join their side; however, there was one title that ruled over all platforms and grew in infamy within a decade. The Call of Duty (COD) franchise started with a wonderous potential from the beginning. There were so many war shooters at that time it was hard to stand out. What really compelled me as a player was the realistic dialog and how immersed it would bring you into the game as if you were storming the beaches of Normandy or jumping out of the planes with your brothers in the 101st Airborne Division. By Call of Duty 3 the developers were well known and praised for their games and expansions. But no one was ready for the revolution that they were about to bring. In 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare hit the shelves and It set the bar for all other war shooters in its time. From there it began to slow down in popularity because of a simple mistake that now almost all triple-a developers make, rapid release. Almost every year after COD4 was released there was another game title with the franchise name on it. The lack of content from each game began to show and the developers began to cut corners. In 2010, a fresh breath was taken in with the newest installment COD called Black Ops. Even though the game was short, it was a new way to play the game and the hype for COD came back ever so slightly. But by 2012 they had released Black Ops 2 and the game was met with hostility. Players felt that it was just the same game as the original Black Ops which lead to the down trend of COD. This downward trend continued through its next few years with the release of several titles: Ghosts (2013), Advanced Warfare (2014), Black Ops 3 (2015), Infinite Warfare (2016). All these games had little to no content but had a huge sticker price along with paid downloadable content (DLC) that made the price of the game go even higher if you wanted the full game experience. Finally, in 2017, Call of Duty had released its latest title COD: WWII and it was like returning to its original stomping grounds. The only major issue now was the release of “Loot Boxes”, making the price of the game go even higher than paid DLC did in the past.
The price of the game is how much the company says the game is worth. When someone purchases games, they should not have portions locked behind hidden fees or micro transactions. This is the current state of triple-a games in todays industry. Every major title now has a form of micro transaction or DLC pack that the player must unlock to give them the “Full” experience of the game. Some would even go far as to say that loot boxes are a form of gambling, which is why they are being banned in other countries where gambling is ban.
Considering this evidence, there is a few independent companies that are on the rise due to their distaste for how triple-a companies are handling their titles. As a result, they have developed titles that have put the “Big Boys” to shame. One major title known as “Cup Head”, entered in with the biggest hype train since being crowd funded. It brought back the difficulty of platformers mixed with a bullet hell feeling and an Original sound track (OST) that will make anyone start to dance in their seat. It’s titles like this that bring me hope that the state of triple-a games is not doomed to empty our wallets for a lack-luster gaming experience.
Sources: https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/the-history-of-the-xbox/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Call_of_Duty_media https://www.pcgamesn.com/triple-a-development-cliff-bleszinski
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