Originally Posted by bd2003
Damn, that's quite a lot to lay at the feet of a single genre. I'll honestly never understand this line of thought.
I guess I just miss the days, back around the time of the PS1/PS2, where if you were playing multi-player it meant that you had a friend in the room with you and you were having a blast with your friends in person. There were also PLENTY of single-player games out there if you wanted to play on your own, and the developers would be spending their entire time focusing on the single-player game and not diverting resources to online multi-player. If there was multi-player, it was a co-op type thing or a split-screen where you both would be playing together on the same TV.
I can't recall how much fun I had playing games like Goldeneye or WCW/NWO Revenge with my buddies in college on the N64. Yes, Goldeneye was a FPS, but it was still playing in the same room with your buddies. Grab a few beers, do some trash talking, but in the end have fun.
Once MS got into the mix with their console and the XBOX Live service, everything in the industry seemed to change. Now, on the console, people could get behind their veil of anonymity and behave like miscreants. Trash talking is perfectly fine. But in MP games these days there always seems to be people who go too far and become horrifically offensive and tasteless. Yet, as a community of gamers, nobody seemed to step up and say "Hey, this isn't cool." As a result, this became accepted behavior on console gaming we soon saw an increase in the number of people who just wanted to pick up a shooter and be able to spout off everything on their minds without any fear of consequences whatsoever.
The developers quickly realized that if they just rushed and spat out a new version of a shooter each year with different maps, they'd be able to get boatloads of sales from all the people who buy anything if it says "FPS" and "MP Enabled". Developing games has always been about making money first, then everything else second. It's just that it seems like so many devs today are focusing less and less on the quality of the game experience and more on the rush to get the next thing out and sell DLC for it.
Even worse is the fact that due to the massive amount of money that these FPS games create via their MP play, upper management at the development studios are starting to force the developers to include MP in EVERY SINGLE GAME THEY RELEASE. This is what irks me the most about all of this. With MP being mandated with virtually all games, the resources that have been devoted to developing said game are now split across the MP and SP experience. Even games that in no way, shape, or form should be MP are getting it shoved into there. I LOVE the God of War games. My most favorite game franchise of all time. It provides me a great deal of playtime, great story, great visuals, great audio, etc. For the latest iteration of the franchise, the director (Todd Papy) stated that MP is a mandate for the game. While there were all the promises in the world that the SP would still be great, it isn't. The SP is full of so many shortcomings, needless changes in order to integrate the MP, and countless bugs (many of which are completely random and require you to replay a good portion of the game hoping it doesn't happen again) that are without a doubt caused by the inclusion of MP. Throughout the development of the game, any questions to Papy about SP were brushed aside and MP was gloated over. The end result was one of the worst games in the franchise that countless numbers of people have issues with.
While that was a bit off-topic just whining about MP (
), it all comes back to the widespread explosion of FPS games on the consoles which people seem to soak up no matter what. This has caused the studios to put too much focus on how much money they can get from the consumer and not enough focus on giving the consumer something good. If this model works perfectly in the FPS genre, why not do this for all genres of games? Sadly, to me at least, it seems like this attitude has resulted in games being rushed out the door in order to get in on the latest "fad", or having every game that comes out be some sort of FPS like game. Perhaps my previous paragraph wasn't off-topic and my hatred of the FPS genre is really due to the MP? To be honest, I don't mind playing FPS games if there is a good SP mode to it with plenty of replay value. The thing is, I haven't seen one of those in a long, long time.
What's worse is that with so many iterations of these games coming out every year, support for older versions of the games drops off quickly. If you are a fan of MP it means that the casual gaming crowd will have moved on from that title in order to get the newest one. The studios won't bother supporting the older versions, so the servers slowly trickle offline and any type of moderation or "policing" of those servers becomes absent. People who use modifications and/or hack into the servers to cheat then go on to ruin the experience for others. If you have a complaint, they'll just say "buy the newest version".
I truly miss the days where I could count on a good number of SP only games to come out without some type of MP mode being forced into it. I miss being able to play games alongside my friends in the same room with some pizza and beer at arms length. I miss having a SP game that wasn't shortened or given less development time in order for more time being made available for MP modes. (While it's not console related, I remember playing Half-Life and Half-Life 2 on my PC. That was a FPS with a VERY extensive and involving SP mode, but which also had a good MP mode. As time went on and new FPS games came out, the SP modes got shorter and shorter with less "wow factor" in it until we get to games like the CoD franchise where there isn't even really a SP anymore).
Just imagine what we could possibly get as games if studios weren't pushing out yet another FPS game each year. What if they only released them every other year and spent the inbetween years devoting resources to new IPs in other genres? Yeah, what I posted may have been a bit strong, but I truly do feel that way. I just hate that there are so few games for me to even try and enjoy each year because so much of the same comes out as studios just want to go with what makes them a ton of money for very little work; FPS games.