Most of the E3 2019 trailers have been out for a few days, and it is clear which titles hit a home run, and which ones left a bitter taste in our mouths. We are still living in a microtransaction era for gaming, and the consequences of it can be easily seen, but are gaming companies completely oblivious towards fans now? Here’s our opinion.
Diablo Immortal: A Symptom of a Disease
Back in BlizzCon 2018, almost 7 months ago, we could feel the disappointment of fans towards big companies. This is by no means something that just transpired. For a long time, gamers felt the quality of video games have been taken over by companies interests to grow their bottom line through microtransactions. However, BlizzCon 2018 marked the first time in the history of the event that the crowd booed a big announcement.
With the mention of Diablo Immortal would only be playable on mobile devices, and the crowd could not be more disappointed by this news. Wanting to jump into the bandwagon of easy profit from mobile gaming, Blizzard made this announcement, passing it up as a “new interconnective experience for everyone“.
The crowd was angry at Blizzard for focusing on mobile instead of PC, and many fans viewed the gaming giant as another greedy company that is not putting their users at the forefront of the company.
Nintendo: A Tricky One
It is difficult to assess the state of Nintendo towards their fanbase because they usually hit only home runs, but there are a few things that could be preoccupying. They are working in new titles of franchises already loved by almost everyone. They recently brought Banjo-Kazooie for Super Smash, which is a clear sign that they are listening to what fans want and have to say, so it all seems pretty good.
However, DLC is a plague not even Nintendo can escape from, and it’s disappointing how Smash migrated from discovering all characters while you passed the game, to buy each additional one that comes out. Alongside this, Pokemon Sword and Shield have received important backlash for not having all Pokemon from previous regions available, just a designated few, giving as an excuse that they needed to focus on coding the new Pokemon. The game is still in development, so nothing is set in stone.
This last mistake could not be the fault of Nintendo, maybe Gamefreak or any particular developer is to blame. However, to think that an executive decision to reduce content in favor of an early release came from Nintendo is disappointing. But I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Nintendo, based on their previous and recent successes.
CD Projekt and Kojima, the Heroes We Need
Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be an immersive and really interesting game with great worldbuilding, and to top it off CD Projekt decides to call in one of the most recognizable actors to their game: Keanu Reeves. This guy is not only known to be a good actor but has been involved in some of the most iconic projects for recent generations (The Matrix, John Wick). So obviously having such an actor resonates with the audience, and the feedback for the game was really good.
On the other hand, Kojima Productions (lead by the man himself, Hideo Kojima) definitely took their time with their new project: Death Stranding. Kojima left any Silent Hill project and started to focus on this, after a fight and division with his former partners. So Death Stranding is driven more by story and creativity than by profit, and it shows. The worldbuilding is phenomenal, and the gameplay is unique. Also calling for known names such as Norman Reedus and Miles Mickelsen to be in the project. This game, I dare say, is the most anticipated of them all.
These projects have something in common: they rely on what their fans like and want to deliver their product, quality gameplay and recognizable icons to bring the story to life.
What to Expect From The Future?
We know making a game is no easy task, but companies must not forget what put them where they are, and that is the trust of their players. We need to stop being indulgent as consumers and demand quality over profit.
Clearly, some companies are already in the blackbooks of many gamers, and this probably won’t change unless a huge crisis happens inside. But most of the companies, although infected with the virus, still maintain the core. So we need to show these companies that microtransactions and incomplete content won’t cut it anymore, that we want good gameplay and a good story, and that there is still profit to be found in quality games.