In hindsight of the current events in the gaming industry it’s safe to presume that the industry is not just headed for a dark age of gaming; it’s in one already. Perhaps that will change in the near future with the new slew of consoles or perhaps publishers will simply stop throwing in overpriced DLC into their unfinished titles and try something more agreeable to make a profit. And that’s despite of the big titles they have launched such as DOTA, and the flourishing dota 2 mmr boosting service offered by some. While the immediate future of gaming looks only like a bumpy road filled with greed fueled people there are some important factors you should also pay attention to.
Some of the bigger publishers of modern gaming prove time and time again that they are not in touch with what gamers want but things will not stay that way forever. Gaming is still a relatively young industry and some of you may fill their shoes someday as the next generation of gamers. Developers today actually do have a relatively strong grasp on what gamers want, but must act upon the wishes of the publishers who fund them which usually doesn’t give them the opportunity to make games the way they want to.
Gaming is now considered an art in the US. This is a huge step towards accomplishing what needs to happen in order for quality games to start being regularly released once more while still keeping publishers happy. That something is a gaming awards ceremony similar to what the Academy Awards are for movies. As a movie studio if you win an Academy Award your movie will have true merit to its name and your sales for the film will go up. It doesn’t matter what category since they all carry importance with them. If your movie wins ‘best soundtrack’ you can market that just as well as winning ‘best picture’. There are smaller gaming awards in existence already but these are not nearly prestigious enough to earn a game merit and boost its sales by very much. The most prestigious award a game can receive right now is a Game of the Year title. This kind of thing is only a single award aggrandizing the entirety of the game. Pretty soon it will lose it’s significance with there being so many of them given out by an increasing amount of reputable gaming websites and magazines.
Right now games do not take risks because there is much to lose and nothing to gain. The next Call of Duty title will still make a large profit no matter how good or bad it is. What then is Activisions incentive to improve the series or take risks in it’s design leading to potentially better results so the franchise can grow?
The future of gaming needs the proper award ceremony it deserves as it becomes a more mainstream form of media embraced not just by hardcore gamers but by the general public. If this happens publishers won’t push developers to release titles sooner and make money with DLC; they will push developers to make quality games that will have to wow people enough to win an award that only a select few titles ever receive. Game of the Year needs its reputation back and amplified even more. Game of the Decade should exist as a category as well. Not to mention the improvements we would see in AAA titles if simpler awards like ‘best soundtrack’, ‘best voice acting’, ‘best combat system’ etc existed.