For some time now, I have found myself to be complaining about recent games coming out. These complaints usually put me in the minority and are just me, admittedly, just being an older gamer not wanting to change in my ways. With the recent year of gaming, I noticed that I was not alone in my complaints. This could be down to gameplay not quite being what was expected, depth of endgame being gated through pay walls or even just the game not being what it quite used to be.
That being said I have also heavily praised a few Game Devs for working closely with the community and because of this, they have become arguably the best in their fields. Overwatch (Blizzard), Path of Exile (Grinding Gear Games) and Pokemon (Gamefreak). This can vastly be attributed to a growing presence from their part in their own community forums and Reddit
After a few discussions with some friends, we came to the conclusion that it appears to be due to most game developers attempting to convince the community on what it should want, instead of listening to what they are asking for. A prime example of this is Square Enix’s recent release of Final Fantasy XV.
I am still in my first current playthrough of the newest addition to the franchise, however, I immediately noted several concerns which when researching appear to have been due to us “wanting” these features, yet most people who comment in the Reddit or personally to my questions actively disagree that it might have been better without these features. My first bug-bear of the 2016-2017 trend in modern RPG’s is the removal of turn-based combat.
Turn Based combat has been a staple in most JRPGs and later breaking through to the western market. For some, it’s actually what people enjoy, however, recently as graphics have improved we have been told “people don’t want turn based”. This is directly disproved by high sales of other turn based games such as Disgaea 5, Pokemon Sun/moon, and Bravely Default/Second.
Thinking forward into the future, we have the heavily awaited release of Final Fantasy VII Remake: Episode 1. Despite the entire community requesting a HD remake, with nothing changed other than updated to current gen consoles we will instead be getting a whole new type of gameplay similar to Crisis Core/FFXV. This is due to us wanting it, despite almost everyone disagreeing with the sentiment. The lack of control from this means that we could be moving from no longer being able to control Tifa and Barret in our party and just hoping they don’t blow their limit’s too early. Final Fantasy has been a series which thrives off of it’s usual winning formula and attempting to change this is both against the community…and just plan stupid
Going back (A fair bit) Several major changes to World of Warcraft to the talent tree and then to the culling of many spells were leading it down a path against what the community wanted. While there were several ALL HAIL BLIZZARD who trusted anything they projected down our throats, the majority were anxious for the changes and it’s continuously taken a dive in numbers. While these changes may not be the main cause, I personally attribute the lack of listening to the community. Which is strange, considering they are doing so well on the Overwatch side of things. Once again, when the community voiced their concern they were swatted down with the justification, “it’s for the best, this is what you want”
Above is proof that hard work with your community pays off. Overwatch worked hard and received it’s reward. Maybe other departments within Blizzard can take note, maybe we’ll see a Diablo 4 that actually has weight to it? I find my time fairly limited and being told what I enjoy has become a fairly boring and expensive mistake at £49.99 a go so for now I think I’ll stick to games which have a thriving Reddit filled with Game Devs offering their own time.