Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Oversaturation In The Gaming Industry

I've been itching to talk about the oversaturation of game releases for a while now. It's a topic of discussion that hits close to home, and likely not just for me. For those of you who don't know what I mean by "oversaturation" I simply mean similar genres of game releases that are constantly competing for attention in a market that is overfilled with continuously released copycat ideas. This phenomenon is happening more, and more on the free-to-play front, and in the paid gaming front as well. The problem with these similar releases is that it poses two very significant problems. One problem being the detraction of attention from noteworthy gaming experiences, and secondly the confusion regarding which games the gamers should dedicate their time, and money to. In this industry gamer population means a lot to developers as does time, and if gamers aren't supporting a studios' games on a regular basis those said games eventually become virtual ghost towns while potentially ruining the possible success of another game from the same series/studio. It's a lose-lose situation. Both for the industry providers, and the gamers alike.

If you've been following game offerings on the PS4 side of things you'll notice that MOBAs are becoming a popular fixture on the platform. Currently there are three decent MOBAs in the free-to-play section of the Playstation Store begging for gamers to participate. This includes the long running MOBA "SMITE", the newcomer and possible heir to the MOBA throne "Paragon", and finally the League of Legends clone "Pirates Treasure Hunters". I've played all three games, and for what they're worth each F2P model is rewarding enough for the gamers who wish to dedicate time to them. The problem, as I mentioned before is that with three MOBAs competing for attention the gamers are confused, and divided as to which MOBA would be in their best interest to dedicate time to. As gamers are busy trying to decide which F2P MOBA to commit to they are also dedicating time to their weekly "Triple A" releases, and other games they've picked up along the way that demand such attention as well. This only serves to hurt the industry providers further due to the gamers' time limitations, and it ultimately moves fans from game to game like a swarm of locusts hungry for the next Awesome release. As such some studios that were once somebodies end up becoming nobodies while newcomers steal the show only for a limited time themselves. Thus is the oversaturation of which I speak.

As a gamer with an ever-growing collection of games I'm personally finding it hard to pick out which games I want to play. My time, like everyone's is limited, and I have only so much time to commit to the hobby. As silly as it sounds I'm finding that having so many viable options in my gaming library only serves to confuse me even more as to what game, or games I should play during a given day. I can tell you now a lot of other gamers are in the same boat as me in regards to this situation. In fact ever since I coined the term "Gamer Gluttony" I've had several people come to me with similar complaints. I've even seen memes about it pop-up on occasion on Twitter showing a shelf full of games with the underlying quote, "I have nothing to play!". This in itself should be concerning for the gamer, and the video game providers. We have effectively become an all consuming gluttonous community that leaves scraps in our wake. We make games popular, but at the same time leave them on a dime to try out something new. Even the industry providers are at fault for continuously throwing out these fresh virtual appetizers for us to feast upon. I think the issue undoubtedly lies with how frequently these types of gaming experiences are released. As bad as that is to say since I do like having multiple choices to choose from it's no doubt making a mess of the industry. It's eating it from the inside out like a worm infested corpse. If only gaming studios were original with their creations, and less copycat then perhaps the tide might turn, but even then we'd be faced with multiple choice decisions between said "original" games. It's a tough problem for sure, and one that will not easily be fixed. If anything I think time is the key to it all. By spacing out releases properly, and not churning out the same sh*t on a different day the industry marketplace might actually begin to heal from this oversaturation. Just maybe ...

Anyways, that is enough of my babbling. Feel free to leave a comment if you like. I'm all ears ... or perhaps eyes ... Until next time, keep it Awesome!

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