The video game production has experienced several radical changes over the past ten years. Innovative approaches and technologies have managed to the emergence of unique games, settings, and opportunities that we did not think about in 2010. You can see them if you click here. Who would have imagined that we would have a way to hundreds of premium subscription games? Or did anyone expect the insane prevalence of the action royale-style? How have video games changed over time? A lot has changed over the past decade and forever changed the way we think about gaming.
Although the first loot boxes and microtransactions were earlier, it was in the 2010s that we saw them take over the world. Don’t look at the fact that most utmost of the games where they are being distributed available this is a huge source of income for developers and businessmen. You are probably familiar with the situation with Star Wars Battlefront II, where this system was largely leveled outmatched to the original concept, but this does not change the general trend in any way.
The mechanism of their “work” is simple, it is still the same slot machine, where the player presses a button, takes risks, and wins, or rather, loses more often. The very opportunity to get the coveted weapon or a unique skin motivates the player to buy a new loot box, with which he will certainly be lucky, this time for sure. The shareware distribution model in this case only makes it easier to enter this virtual casino.
In many ways, the impact of loot boxes is akin to the mechanism of gambling, so in many countries, it is a subject for special attention from the state, for example, in China, the developers of Overwatch and other online games had to publish the exact chance of dropping items of certain categories.
Another bearing of the earlier decades is the emergence of the concept of games services. It is one of the new trends thanks to which we can see how video games have changed.
Developing a modern game is a costly and time-consuming undertaking. In the case of single games, the main audience will go through it once or twice, and everything, perhaps, will buy DLC, the development of which also costs a lot of money. And even if the game has worldwide recognition and an army of loyal fans, like Dark Souls, but few of them will regularly send a small amount of money to its creators out of a feeling of gratitude. Therefore, it is obvious that developers and publishers have to look for new forms and structures for the presentation of the game to constantly attract new audiences to it and, if possible, not to lose the old one. On the other hand, for the game to remain relevant for as long as possible, developers need to constantly monitor it, publish updates, attach innovative content and react to events in the real world. Thus, the game becomes a “living” organism that is constantly growing, changing, evolving, and adapting to a variety of players, which was called service games.
- Sea of Thieves;
- Rocket League;
- Forza Horizon 4.
Plus many others that have the above qualities that encourage players to come back to them again and again, allowing publishers to immediately and predictably recoup their investment.
As an interim result, I would like to recall the well-known statement of one of the leaders of Electronic Arts that singles are dead, which, in the context of the trends discussed, is just a statement of fact. Many in this place cite the success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which, of course, was able to bring CD Project Red people’s love, peer recognition, popularity, and income for many years to come. But, this is precisely the very exception that only confirms the rule. Let’s be honest, despite all the genius of The Witcher, the game did not revive the trend for deep, hours-long role-playing medieval games, publishers are in no hurry to invest millions of dollars and several years of development in such projects. This is not a loot box; here the cost of missing the hearts of the players is prohibitively high, because not only money is at stake, but the work and well-being of the families of the game creators.
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