Ready for another dose of Truth Serum? For those of you who aren’t familiar with Truth Serum, it’s a feature on the site that is “in your face” with the hard truth. Well it may not be an actual truth but it’s one person just airing out his or her truth on any subject.
This is another adrenaline shot of Mike’s Rage for you to digest. This time he’s setting his sights on me, you and any gamer out there who has failed the industry.
Mike’s Rage “VanQuish lost… How Gamers Fail Themselves”
Hello fellow gamers. How are you today? Are we winning???
Well I’m not feeling the winning because I’m right here with you failing like Charlie did with Two and a Half Men. Oh I know you are feeling a little defensive but it’s ok to let loose and accept the fact that we are all failing with our gaming hobby in one way or another. So I apologize and ask the gaming Gods to forgive us for thou have sinned against them. How you ask? Developers have made refreshing new IPs this generation that have failed in sales due to us failing in our support for them. Our fail will not only be the developer’s downfall but the downfall of gaming as we once knew it. Follow me now as I break down The What, The How and The Why of how we have failed and the end result because of it.
The What -
So to know what we have failed in is to give great examples of amazing games that bombed in sales. I have one truly special gem in mind and that gem is VanQuish, a new core IP from a tried and true, once beloved developer (Platinum Games aka Clover Studios). No wonder Capcom fails huh? I also have to say it’s the best game I have ever had the pleasure of playing even edging out Borderlands in single player gameplay. VanQuish is in a league of its own but I never gave it much thought before playing it. I only knew that some people on the internet were talking highly of it and it had somewhat good ratings.
However, like you are probably feeling towards me now, it’s all just opinions to easily toss aside and second-guess. So I waited and waited for VanQuish to get cheap not knowing the harm in doing so for the future of the title. Like many of you, I didn’t even give it a chance until it hit the bargain bin. Hell, many still haven’t given it a chance. What a shame for all of us.
The sad part is that we will not get to ”VanQuish” the story unless a gaming miracle is bestowed upon us. That sales speak louder than quality in our society and that a publisher will not want to go back to ever touch a sales failure again, is a shame. That’s not all..you know what is the truly sad part? Platinum Games also made another highly rated core game in Bayonetta (which Deacon loved and rightfully so) and sadly that had poor sales as well. When games of this caliber fail, we all lose. We lose the chance of a great sequel and we lose the developer if they go under. Well, it even may dictate what they do next. Do they take a big chance on spending millions to make a deep involving core IP or do they create a few cheaper ones that can have a greater chance of recouping costs?
The How -
So how did we let this happen? I’m not sure really but I’ll give you my feelings based on how I failed myself, the IPs, the developers and all gamers. I believe it starts with gamers frowning on $60 games and being accustomed to only spending that price on the ridiculously hyped games, important exclusives or mega-hit sequels. I never gave new unknown IPs like VanQuish, Bayonetta, Singularity or Metro 2033 much thought or even read much about them. I let myself down and did what no true gamer should do! I only cared about what I knew to be a “hyped” IP or one based on past installments that did reasonably well. I bought into the media machine and had a blind eye to those that could be just as good but suffered from a lower marketing budget.
The Why -
Now why should we care about poorly advertised IPs? If we don’t care, games that come in under the radar like VanQuish, Bayonetta, Singularity and Metro 2033 have a very poor chance to succeed. Quality developers like Platinum Games or Raven won’t get further publishing deals or a possibly a bigger budget for future games with a lack of interest from us core gamers. They will move on to other types of games or go under altogether and that’s not winning for anyone.
The End Result -
We all will fall into a comfort zone with the same type of hyped IPs over and over. We will experience less fresh and new. Our comfort with the same type of game IPs gets in the way of trying poorly marketed IPs. We will keep losing and put ourselves in a world with the same old crapola if things don’t change. It’s no longer the same as it used to be where developers could have many poor selling IPs with one major hit to keep them afloat. Game development costs are much more than they used to be and one or two failures can close you down for good.
So please, be on the lookout of the hidden gems that need your support to survive in this tough industry. No matter the publisher (even big ones like EA) because all they are trying to do is get their game to market any way they can. Just because the publisher or developer can’t advertise it well enough to reach every crack in the gaming industry, doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time.