Remember when video games were the future and no one was ever going to read anything ever again and movies at the cinema were going to be like massive games where you could pick the weather? Yeah? Scratch all that.
Video games are doomed. Here’s why.
1 – Microsoft and Sony left it too late
For a variety of reasons – money being the main one – Sony and Microsoft decided to make the last generation stretch approximately five centuries. Henry VIII was still on the English throne when Xbox 360 and PS3 launched. As a result, everyone got bored, loads of people went bust and now we have to wait another millenium for things to get interesting again. Assuming they ever do.
2 – Cross-development means years of compromised games
I know, they said. We’ll make new consoles. Yeah, they said, but what about the 200 million boxes we sold since Anne Boleyn’s execution? That’s fine, they said. We’ll just make sure everyone makes games for everything. But won’t that mean all the next-gen stuff’s rubbish for years? Yes. If you have a problem with that, then stop playing console games. OK, they said.
3 – Triple-A really has bitten the dust
Remember all those features we used to run about Christmas release schedules and all the lovely games you’d be getting in the third and fourth quarters? We don’t do those anymore. Why? Because there are about four major releases a year and the rest of the time’s spent crying about the halcyon epochs of grand success.
4 – Wii U is a case of history repeating
Wii U is an amazing thing. It’s also on the brink of disaster because hardly anyone’s making any games for it. You should still buy the Mario Kart bundle, regardless.
5 – Gaming’s the new skateboarding
Skateboarding was massive and then it wasn’t. But it never went away. It developed. It’s still a beloved aspect of counterculture, but the dizzying hype is long gone. Seeing a parallel? Trends walk a tightrope: too much wobble (“Off with her head!”) and it’s safety net time.
6 – PC gaming’s on fire! (With tiny games)
Yes, PC gaming’s doing very well thank you very much, but are all those games releasing through Steam making money? What happened to the big PC title? You get about two a year, that’s what. Great for Valve. Not so great for everyone else.
7 – Free-to play is mainly terrible
God. Free-to-play may be done correctly on occasion, but, and let’s be honest here, most F2P games exist solely to drill players harder than an NHS dentist on an alcoholic’s wisdom tooth. If that’s the future, we don’t have one.
8 – Discs are media’s drunk wedding uncle
The idea of buying discs in 2014 is like insisting on listening to your “tunes” on a Sony Walkman. So broken.
9 – No one cares
This is the trends graph for Google’s “Computer & Video Games” category, complete with predictive results for 2015. Said Oscar Wilde: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” Grim. Looks as though you’re going to have to do something else with your time in the future.
Tomorrow: This feature was a crock of shit. Come back tomorrow to see why video gaming will never die.