Author Topic: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?  (Read 12305 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline martyk

  • Simon Belmont
  • *****
  • Posts: 5333
  • Never underestimate the power of dolphin!
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2010, 12:34:33 am »
If every other form of media can do it then why not gaming?

Besides, it's nigh impossible that EA would direct all their attention towards casual games.  Even if they did, many would probably leave and we'd have new companies sprinnging up.  Keep in mind that while it might be lucrative from a monetary viewpoint, most game developers are in the industry to build fun games, not make fat stacks of cash.
Quote from: Doctor Zay
Martyk is a handsome fish.
Quote from: Brandonazz
This dolphin is delicious.
Quote
<Sgore> Martyk, mentally I always picture you as like, our forums bartender.
<Neoadept> I've always pictured you trapped in a tuna net

Offline Kregaaron

  • Lunar Lander Leader
  • *
  • Posts: 91
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2010, 12:57:28 am »
If every other form of media can do it then why not gaming?

Besides, it's nigh impossible that EA would direct all their attention towards casual games.  Even if they did, many would probably leave and we'd have new companies sprinnging up.  Keep in mind that while it might be lucrative from a monetary viewpoint, most game developers are in the industry to build fun games, not make fat stacks of cash.

Good points, but can your last comment be confirmed? I always thought the "big bucks" were certainly a part of getting into the industry. Then again, I've known plenty (myself included) who've wanted to get into the industry to make fun games as well. I'm not sure my type actually gets in though, so I'm asking. I don't know the psychology inherent in most game developers, so not a rhetorical question.

Offline Snork

  • Ensign Seventh Class
  • *****
  • Posts: 2934
  • Do I care?
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2010, 03:50:23 am »
PC gaming will always remain hardcore
Phew, I was almost worried about all of this. Almost.
Quote from: Orc Creation Story.
Stop rolling like pigs amongst the faeces and get out of the way of my sunlight, you stupid f***ers.
Jawless women and their fine, fine feet

Offline Doomsday

  • Track and Field Jock
  • *****
  • Posts: 2475
  • And, boom goes the dynamite.
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2010, 06:45:43 am »
PC gaming will always remain hardcore
Phew, I was almost worried about all of this. Almost.

I disagree with Gorman's sentiment. PC Gaming is the genre most at risk. PC Game Sales, especially quality PC Titles in general, have been sliding down the tubes for years. "Casual" Gaming is also easier on computers because so many people have computers (almost as a necessity anymore), where as only the 'hip'/hardcore delve into Console Gaming (with the Wii being the exception), though there has been increasing market share and ease of use/availability in the Console Market (it probably outstrips PC gaming by a fair amount). Casual gaming has a ton more market penetration in the PC Market over any other market. High system requirements and the costs of upgrading/building a PC every 3-4 years ensures that the PC Gaming Market stays "pure" and hardcore as far as traditional gamers go, but low system requirements, low cost, and a large market of 'potentials' makes casual PC gaming a threat to the more traditional/hardcore PC gamer. Even if that threat is mostly over-hype.

Good points, but can your last comment be confirmed? I always thought the "big bucks" were certainly a part of getting into the industry. Then again, I've known plenty (myself included) who've wanted to get into the industry to make fun games as well. I'm not sure my type actually gets in though, so I'm asking. I don't know the psychology inherent in most game developers, so not a rhetorical question.

CEOs, company presidents, shareholders, and executive boards care about money first. Most of the people who actually work on the game (the actual game developers rather than the companies they work for/who publish them) care about making a game that is fun, accessible, and that is good. There is a concern about money, and whether the game will return it's investment and do well (it's a business after all). But from what I've seen from interviews with game developers, there is a emphasis on making a game that is good, fun and that they themselves would want to play. There is always the distinct presence of "will this make money?" when talking about game development. Someone could make an awesome, dynamic, deep, story-driven RPG-RTS hybrid with unique gameplay elements, but unless the markets are there for it to return the investment costs of developing the game it won't get made.

Personally, a RPG-T/FPS-RTS hybrid would be the most awesome game ever (especially set in a semi-modern fictional/Sci-Fi universe). The few games that have tried have been Medieval Fantasy-styled games (SpellForce, for example).

Anyway, back on topic. Casual Gaming will continue to have deep market penetration and the PS3 may be more at threat of skewing towards the casual end of things instead of the 360. My reasoning behind this is that a controller is much cheaper to buy, and far easier to use/setup than Microsoft's Project NATAL. A motion-control on the PS3 should only be about the cost of a normal controller (between 39-49 dollars), where as Project NATAL is a whole new accessory with 'new' and old technology (most of it's technology is actually quite old but some of it's uses are new) that needs to be bundled with a game in order to sell well so you are looking at LEAST a 100-150$ investment. If you look at it from the cost respective (depending on implementation) you could see an influx of Casual Gamers on the PS3 quicker and in greater numbers than in the 360. The 360 may have a larger Market share (though it is losing ground to the PS3, and cannot even begin to compare to the Wii), but the cost and general implications of having another accessory to find a spot for and connect to a system with an absurdly limited number of connections will prevent NATAL from making too big of an impact, right away at least. What I mean by "absurdly limited number of connections" is that the 360 only has 3 USB ports, one of which is used by the Wireless Adapter, and the default controller is wired as opposed to wireless which means that's at least one USB port gone. For prove of this (and to get a sense of the challenges involved for NATAL), go look at the history of Sony's EyeToy accessories.

Still, casual gaming will continue to grow and large publishing houses (like EA), as well as developers, will start to and continue to give increased weight to the creation, marketing, and sale of 'casual' games for at least several cycles. So anywhere from a few quarters to a few years there may be an increased presence in casual games and/or traditionally hardcore games with a casual streak and a decreased presence in traditional/hardcore games, but in the end the market will be burnt out, over-spent, and tapped out. The markets will eventually equalize and traditional gaming will most likely make a full come back as even more people come into the fold, until then gamers should remain vigilant and continue to support there game of choice. It may be a sparse few years in the "traditional gaming" markets (especially the problem-ridden PC Markets) but in the end I don't think casual gaming can kill the traditional/hardcore games.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 06:47:57 am by Doomsday »
"Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and hurt you." - Elvis Presley

Offline Snork

  • Ensign Seventh Class
  • *****
  • Posts: 2934
  • Do I care?
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2010, 07:37:46 am »
Eh, whatever. There's still enough games out there to satisfy me, and no-one's going to take away the games I already own.
Quote from: Orc Creation Story.
Stop rolling like pigs amongst the faeces and get out of the way of my sunlight, you stupid f***ers.
Jawless women and their fine, fine feet

Offline Skyward

  • Ballblazer Plasmorb
  • *****
  • Posts: 3481
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2010, 07:44:45 am »
Personally, a RPG-T/FPS-RTS hybrid would be the most awesome game ever (especially set in a semi-modern fictional/Sci-Fi universe). The few games that have tried have been Medieval Fantasy-styled games (SpellForce, for example).

You might like Battlezone 2: Combat Commander.
It doesn't really have any RPG aspects though, besides choosing a custom weapon load out from the armory building, but its a really good vehicle based FPS/RTS.
I still play it every now and again with my friends at LAN parties.

Also, has anyone else ever played it? I get the feeling I am the only one that knows of its existence.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 08:56:33 am by Skyward »
Hell, Skyward Descent is pure win!
Quote from: Captain
I kill you in the name of DELICIOUS!

Offline martyk

  • Simon Belmont
  • *****
  • Posts: 5333
  • Never underestimate the power of dolphin!
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2010, 01:14:59 pm »
Good points, but can your last comment be confirmed? I always thought the "big bucks" were certainly a part of getting into the industry. Then again, I've known plenty (myself included) who've wanted to get into the industry to make fun games as well. I'm not sure my type actually gets in though, so I'm asking. I don't know the psychology inherent in most game developers, so not a rhetorical question.

The average salery of a game developer is about $55,000.  Hardly enough to entice those who only want a high paying job.
Quote from: Doctor Zay
Martyk is a handsome fish.
Quote from: Brandonazz
This dolphin is delicious.
Quote
<Sgore> Martyk, mentally I always picture you as like, our forums bartender.
<Neoadept> I've always pictured you trapped in a tuna net

Offline Kregaaron

  • Lunar Lander Leader
  • *
  • Posts: 91
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2010, 08:02:36 pm »
Good points, but can your last comment be confirmed? I always thought the "big bucks" were certainly a part of getting into the industry. Then again, I've known plenty (myself included) who've wanted to get into the industry to make fun games as well. I'm not sure my type actually gets in though, so I'm asking. I don't know the psychology inherent in most game developers, so not a rhetorical question.

The average salery of a game developer is about $55,000.  Hardly enough to entice those who only want a high paying job.

Wow, I thought game developers made much more than that on average. Point well taken then.

Apparently though, the "developers" will be going where the "money" is, and it's all in facebook style games. Gaming Steve linked to this article and says on his twitter (unsure how many of you guys follow it) "this is happening right now".
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 08:55:32 pm by Kregaaron »

Offline Kregaaron

  • Lunar Lander Leader
  • *
  • Posts: 91
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2010, 08:06:17 pm »
PC gaming will always remain hardcore
Phew, I was almost worried about all of this. Almost.

I disagree with Gorman's sentiment. PC Gaming is the genre most at risk. PC Game Sales, especially quality PC Titles in general, have been sliding down the tubes for years. "Casual" Gaming is also easier on computers because so many people have computers (almost as a necessity anymore), where as only the 'hip'/hardcore delve into Console Gaming (with the Wii being the exception), though there has been increasing market share and ease of use/availability in the Console Market (it probably outstrips PC gaming by a fair amount). Casual gaming has a ton more market penetration in the PC Market over any other market. High system requirements and the costs of upgrading/building a PC every 3-4 years ensures that the PC Gaming Market stays "pure" and hardcore as far as traditional gamers go, but low system requirements, low cost, and a large market of 'potentials' makes casual PC gaming a threat to the more traditional/hardcore PC gamer. Even if that threat is mostly over-hype.

Good points, but can your last comment be confirmed? I always thought the "big bucks" were certainly a part of getting into the industry. Then again, I've known plenty (myself included) who've wanted to get into the industry to make fun games as well. I'm not sure my type actually gets in though, so I'm asking. I don't know the psychology inherent in most game developers, so not a rhetorical question.

CEOs, company presidents, shareholders, and executive boards care about money first. Most of the people who actually work on the game (the actual game developers rather than the companies they work for/who publish them) care about making a game that is fun, accessible, and that is good. There is a concern about money, and whether the game will return it's investment and do well (it's a business after all). But from what I've seen from interviews with game developers, there is a emphasis on making a game that is good, fun and that they themselves would want to play. There is always the distinct presence of "will this make money?" when talking about game development. Someone could make an awesome, dynamic, deep, story-driven RPG-RTS hybrid with unique gameplay elements, but unless the markets are there for it to return the investment costs of developing the game it won't get made.

Personally, a RPG-T/FPS-RTS hybrid would be the most awesome game ever (especially set in a semi-modern fictional/Sci-Fi universe). The few games that have tried have been Medieval Fantasy-styled games (SpellForce, for example).

Anyway, back on topic. Casual Gaming will continue to have deep market penetration and the PS3 may be more at threat of skewing towards the casual end of things instead of the 360. My reasoning behind this is that a controller is much cheaper to buy, and far easier to use/setup than Microsoft's Project NATAL. A motion-control on the PS3 should only be about the cost of a normal controller (between 39-49 dollars), where as Project NATAL is a whole new accessory with 'new' and old technology (most of it's technology is actually quite old but some of it's uses are new) that needs to be bundled with a game in order to sell well so you are looking at LEAST a 100-150$ investment. If you look at it from the cost respective (depending on implementation) you could see an influx of Casual Gamers on the PS3 quicker and in greater numbers than in the 360. The 360 may have a larger Market share (though it is losing ground to the PS3, and cannot even begin to compare to the Wii), but the cost and general implications of having another accessory to find a spot for and connect to a system with an absurdly limited number of connections will prevent NATAL from making too big of an impact, right away at least. What I mean by "absurdly limited number of connections" is that the 360 only has 3 USB ports, one of which is used by the Wireless Adapter, and the default controller is wired as opposed to wireless which means that's at least one USB port gone. For prove of this (and to get a sense of the challenges involved for NATAL), go look at the history of Sony's EyeToy accessories.

Still, casual gaming will continue to grow and large publishing houses (like EA), as well as developers, will start to and continue to give increased weight to the creation, marketing, and sale of 'casual' games for at least several cycles. So anywhere from a few quarters to a few years there may be an increased presence in casual games and/or traditionally hardcore games with a casual streak and a decreased presence in traditional/hardcore games, but in the end the market will be burnt out, over-spent, and tapped out. The markets will eventually equalize and traditional gaming will most likely make a full come back as even more people come into the fold, until then gamers should remain vigilant and continue to support there game of choice. It may be a sparse few years in the "traditional gaming" markets (especially the problem-ridden PC Markets) but in the end I don't think casual gaming can kill the traditional/hardcore games.

Very interesting post. I don't have any refutation myself really, since I predict the same thing will happen as well. Still, want to get all sides of the issue...  :P

Offline Doomsday

  • Track and Field Jock
  • *****
  • Posts: 2475
  • And, boom goes the dynamite.
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2010, 09:17:40 pm »
Most people TL;DR me or blanket dismiss/ignore me, so I didn't expect a full rebuttal or refutation. :-p
"Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and hurt you." - Elvis Presley

Offline Kregaaron

  • Lunar Lander Leader
  • *
  • Posts: 91
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2010, 09:27:39 pm »
Most people TL;DR me or blanket dismiss/ignore me, so I didn't expect a full rebuttal or refutation. :-p

Haha, well I was serious in that I agree with you. I seriously doubt "farmville" will actually take over the industry, or facebook games period. I do think though, at least for a while, as you put it, casual games will certainly take a front seat in the industry (maybe even permanently).

Worst comes to worse, more complex or "hardcore" games will have their own Lars von Trier, who, just in case you don't know, established a foundation for the "Preservation of Elitist Films" or something like that. Their purpose is to preserve movies as they were intended before they went mass-marked. Those movies that receive critical acclaim, but will never be blockbusters. Simply because most people don't get them. It goes without saying that they don't do it for the money. They do it because they love making movies. They love pushing the boundaries, they love pushing themselves to be better and they don't really care about what you want from a movie. They do it for themselves or to make a statement. I can see the same happening with gaming *if* the mainstream market completely betrays that style of game.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 09:30:18 pm by Kregaaron »

Offline Cow

  • Track and Field Jock
  • *****
  • Posts: 2475
  • Rad.
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2010, 03:11:33 pm »
Meh, people like me who want to go into the business and like games will continue to make fun, deep games. I imagine most in the game business like good games, like most in the movie business like good movies. Like in the movie business, there has been, and always will be tripe made for the masses of people who don't know any better, yet every year there are many fantastic movies made - but here's the rub - the gaming business is even bigger. So, I don't see the flow of great games stopping up any time soon, and we aren't, under any circumstance, in danger of it.

/mini-rant

Offline dndfreak

  • 1942 Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 3766
  • The GM
    • View Profile
    • PathLosers
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2010, 03:16:18 am »
Not to skip over the majority of posts in this thread, but I'm going to skip over the majority of posts in this thread.

First off, my personal believs on the differences between the two game archetypes.

Casual games are games with limited time commitment.  Things like FarmVille or Bejewled, where after five minutes you understand everything there is to know about the game.  Casual games usually have no storyline, but if they do then the story or setting has little to do with the game itself.  You could remove all the story parts of a casual game and the experience would be the exact same.  Casual games are designed for people who want to put as little time as possible into a title to get their enjoyment out of it.

Hardcore games are designed for those who want more bang for their buck.  These games, like GTA IV, Modern Warfare 2 or Halo 3, often take on more serious themes since their stories play a bigger role in the game and often affect the core mechanics.  Hardcore games offer much more than a single activity, unlike casual games that will have you doing the same thing over and over again.  Hardcore games also feature a longer playtime, usually with bonuses to unlock along the way so that you still have something to do after you reach that final level.  Hardcore games also feature increasing difficulty, something rare to find in a casual game.  All in all, the thing that gives a hardcore game it's namesake is depth, that there's more to the game than what you do in the first few minutes of play.  To use the adage, they're easy to learn (sometimes) but hard to master.

As for the question of one of them gaining advantage, let me first say that hardcore games are NOT dying out.  As a matter of fact, they just might be getting bigger and bigger.  However, they might seem like they're getting smaller only because of the rapid expansion rate of the casual market.  Due to social sites like facebook, not to mention the power of phone games, gaming in general has hit a much wider audience.  Casual games have hit a wider market of appeal, especially since the majority exist on devices a person would own anyways such as a phone or a PC.  Someone new to gaming would play something on a gadget they already own compared to buying a console.

That's another reason why casual games are expanding, many of them are free to play.  Let's call them the 'gateway games', that means Facebook games, free iPhone apps, flash stuff, social sites like Whirled or Gaia Online, etc.  These games are the things that EVERYBODY's tried, everyone's played one of these games at some point.  Whether it's seeing what Mafia Wars is all about, an old friend sends you a referral link to Whirled, or you're just the kind of person who hangs out on Newgrounds, you've tried it.  In fact, the level of accessibility that casual games have today is the main reason why the industry is growing.  The more people that try it, the more people like it.

Now, just because people are getting lured in by the gateway games doesn't mean that they'll stay there.  It's a fairly long process, mind you, but many who start out with simple facebook apps will see a post a friend on FB made about a game they're playing, maybe an MMO.  In the same way that they were hooked by the gateway, they'll be lured into trying the game out with their buddy.  After all, how hard could it be?

Much of the people switching over will try that game and hate it, not understanding anything that goes on and they'll decide to stick to their gateway games.  A few, however, will enjoy the experience so much that they'll denounce the game to be purely amazing, continuing to play not only that but many other games as well.  Instant hardcore gamer.

The ones that didn't like the hardcore game?  Maybe it just isn't the right genre.  Often they'll repeat the cycle, succumbing to peer pressure and trying another hardcore title.  If they do, they do.  If not, that's probably it for them.  Either way, because of the accessibility of casual games more people will try out more hardcore games, thus insuring that hardcore games aren't losing anything in the deal.  If anything is hurting the hardcore market, it's the multiplayer aspect of games that causes many to buy only one or two titles a year where otherwise they'd buy five to ten.  Multiplayer gaming increases the life of a game so much that it's hardly necessary for the average gamer to own more than a few titles at a time.  However, it's by the same token that more people are buying games BECAUSE of the social aspect.

In conclusion, hardcore games aren't going anywhere too soon.  If anything, casual games form one giant ad campaign for the hardcore market.  They give a wide demographic a small taste of something bigger, much like a commercial for a movie.  If they like what they see, they become eager for more.

Offline GrapeFruit

  • Gorf Goon
  • ****
  • Posts: 817
  • I'm killing my way to truth!
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2010, 03:10:17 pm »
The problem I have with all this is, that the so called casual games attract more players, be it hardcore or casual, to consoles. That's not a bad thing, however this also affects PC games, because: A) It's a logical step for a dev to release a game on as many platforms as possible. So PC gamers have to deal with games adapted to consoles (that seldom works out). B) a lot of games are getting watered down to appeal to not-so-hardcore gamers. Everything seems to be getting simpler so even the dumbest player can eventually figure it out. A lot of games don't need as much skill anymore. For example dying (as has been mentioned before here, I think) has hardly any repercussions anymore. You just wake up at the next safehouse or whatnot.
When I think back to Resident Evil 2 on my beloved N64... it was freaking hard (at my age back then, damn I was scared sh*tless at times). The puzzles were actually puzzels, there were no floating blinking arrows showing you where to go or what to do next, not just "Press this button then this one and you win".
It would be interesting to see what happend if you released a genuinely good game as difficult as Battle Toads was to the whole gamerkind. (My guess: Except for the real gamers you'll hear "booohooo, i can't get past level 2, this game sucks")
Also, games like Farmville have nothing to do with skill, just patience. It's grinding at it's purest.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 03:19:55 pm by GrapeFruit »
Quote from: Liquos
I can't wait that long! I'm gonna explode from patience!

Quote from: Parkaboy
Quote
"Around the world you may notice that other creatures evolve while others don't"
That's because some of them are christians.

Offline /lurk

  • Dragon Warrior Slime
  • *****
  • Posts: 5251
    • View Profile
Re: Are "hardcore" games a dying breed?
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2010, 04:41:46 pm »
STATEMENT: If a game is as difficult as Battletoads, then it's not 'genuinely good.'

CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT: There is no such thing as a "hardcore game" and there never was.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 04:46:20 pm by /lurk »
Not a winner anymore.