Will mainstream gamers' tastes change?

Do you think complex games will ever become the mainstream?

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 12.5%
  • No

    Votes: 35 43.8%
  • Probably so

    Votes: 4 5.0%
  • Probably not

    Votes: 31 38.8%

  • Total voters
    80
  • Poll closed .

fattypants

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We all went through gaming phases, most of us starting with the Atari, NES, Genesis, or SNES, and PC.

Over the last 20 years, games with a steeper learning curve than Angry Birds or Call of Duty have been often been put on the back burner in favor of the the copy-and-paste, texture-swapped, low-overhead titles that maximize profits.

Do you think that it's possible that grand games could make a return? Could we see a worthy successor to games like Baldur's Gate? Could we see game like Tropico sell ten million copies? Or even see highly advanced games like Dwarf Fortress rise to prominence?

Personally, I don't feel that complex games (relative to whatever is on the market at the time) will ever be out in front again, but the people enjoying games today are eventually going to want a deeper experience, right? I mean, everyone moves on from peanut butter and jelly and enjoys a good Reuben eventually...
 

MacLeod

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I say no but not that gamers tastes have changed, its just that I think developers have managed to tap into the non-gamer crowd with mindless games like Angry Birds. Before, video games were aimed at us gamers. I know cause Ive been one since my Atari 2600 back in 1982 and when the Commodore 64 came out, it was only hardcore gamers that had one. All the games were geared towards hard core guys like us because there was no alternative consumer base. There were no portable video game systems and obviously no cell phone games.

All that has changed now. People that never cared about video games and would never plunk down the cash to buy an Xbox much less a gaming PC, are now spending lots of times with mind numbing games like Angry Birds.

The downside to all this is that there are a whole lot more of them than there are us. So big name developers will go where the most wallets are and so we're left with the scraps.
 

Gorankar

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No, games have become progressively less challenging, and more casual. Especially in the last 5 years or so, casual little time wasters, like Angry Birds, seem destined to become the majority of the market.
 

piscian18

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This isn't represented in the popular media but the science shows clearly that gamers tastes actually change with the phases of the moon.
 

SicKlown42012

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Games will end up like any other entertainment medium. The majority will devolve to cater to the largest part of society, who tend to like simple things. There will always be a niche for more complex forms, but they will stay just that.
 

mak10z

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i don't mind being in a niche market (like an art film lover) but that would mean there would be some kind of studio putting out niche market games, and as of now there are only 2... CD Project Red (for rpgs) and DCS (for sims) the Indie studios are trying but none of them have the deep pockets like an EA or Bliz/activision

TLDR: Wheres My Fox Searchlight / Sony Pictures Classics studio for my niche gamer needs?
 

SLiGuy

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Probably not.

Video games are bigger now than they've ever been, and day by day gaming is becoming a more "acceptable" hobby. People are no longer socially ostracized for playing video games (or not as much as in the past), and because the market has grown so much, devs now tend to cater to the masses to rake in as much dough as they possibly can.

That doesn't mean that there aren't "good" games out there. CoD sells a shit ton and can be fun to play for an hour or two but I think most would agree that it doesn't have many of the components or the makings of a true "classic". Same goes for movies; you never see any movies in theaters that really make you think about something meaningful nowadays, all you have is Michael Bay's butch, er, "interpretation" of Transformers, which is mostly just big explosions and crazy camera angles that make you dizzy but somehow still seems like the most amazing thing ever to your average American sheep. It might be a fun movie to watch but its not going to intellectually stimulate me in ways that a lot of older films do. In fact, I don't think there's been a movie in the past few years that really got me thinking about something.
 

Drakenfeng

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No, not as long as texting/facebook/twitter remains mainstream and most people remain to have an attention span of about 7 seconds. Hell, most people have no business driving let alone playing games. I don't think I can make it to work a single day without seeing some idiot hanging up traffic at a stop light due to playing with their phone.
 

Frog2

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Messages
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Expose an intelligent person to complexity and they might adapt, expose anyone else and they literally shit their pants.
Most people are not just of mediocre intelligence, but also have an arrogance shield, which must be a necessary defense mechanism from in-depth thinking, risk taking or just being adventurous.
 

PrincessFrosty

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I vote probably so, it may just be wishful thinking but I'd like to see the casual crowd actually get bored of Call of Duty 217 and eventually demand more from their games. Casual gamers are a relatively new thing to gaming (at least in these kind of numbers, it's a sort of boom right now), they're a massive market that demand the most money, but they're also the youngest audience to exist (that is to say casual gaming as a industry wide change of focus is relatively new) and so given time they mature to demand more from their games.
 

Tudz

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Of course they'll change. They always change. They just take longer to change than "enthusiast" tastes because the mainstream isn't over exposed. The reason enthusiasts get sick of something quickly is because they over immerse themselves in it to the point where its not interesting and they need something new. The mainstream will also eventually want something new, they just will take longer than the enthusiast community.

Whether their tastes will change to accomodate games similar to those of the past, mmm, I dunno quite so much about that. There's a limit to the complication in a game the mainstream will enjoy. What the enthusiast might find enjoyably deep the mainstream will likely find boringly tedious.
 

Frog2

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Of course they'll change. They always change. They just take longer to change than "enthusiast" tastes because the mainstream isn't over exposed. .

How does COD or some of the sports sequels fit into that equation?
 

Plague_Injected

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When something else comes along that provides high levels of satisfaction with even less effort and time, the mainstream gamers will flock to that and leave the current fads behind.

Maximum enjoyment for minimum effort.
 
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Tudz

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How does COD or some of the sports sequels fit into that equation?

I wasn't really thinking of sports games as I never think of sports games :p I dunno what the trends there are like, are sports games actually that mainstream? I almost never play them and have never played them in the past. I can't think of a single sports game I own. But I reckon if it doesnt change, people will get sick of CoD eventually and move on like other series that have been beaten to death in the past. They might not move on to the games YOU like, but I'll be surprised if they don't eventually move on to something else.
 

sd11

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I wasn't really thinking of sports games as I never think of sports games :p I dunno what the trends there are like, are sports games actually that mainstream? I almost never play them and have never played them in the past. I can't think of a single sports game I own. But I reckon if it doesnt change, people will get sick of CoD eventually and move on like other series that have been beaten to death in the past. They might not move on to the games YOU like, but I'll be surprised if they don't eventually move on to something else.

Sports games do sell and there are some people that only play sports games. Madden is a cash cow.

Really though what people are seeing is a combination of there being more gamers and games are costing more to make. So there is a lot more money to be made, but also your investment becomes a metric ton riskier at times.

There isn't much risk in something like angry birds or other simple games that can be developed cheaply and pushed out through PSN, itunes, or on the PC. Cheap as hell to make and fun and addictive enough anybody can play them.

On the other hand if you're spending $Texas on developing a game that's a pretty damn big risk and it better pay off. So you need to make sure it's something that will sell like gang busters (see all the versions of COD, Street Fighter, et all) which resorts to taking a known formula with a known franchise and catering to the most people, lowest common denominator.

View it like the movie industry. We're going through pretty much the same cycle. There will always be "quality movies", but most of those are rare low budget indie type deals that almost nobody ever sees. Big budget Hollywood stuff needs to make money and is mostly garbage.
 

TwistedAegis

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It's like anything. Art, movies, books...you will have a mainstream market, the largest market, that will be more vanilla/easier/plain, however you want to say it. You will then have those that like to be challenged, whether it is intellectually, skill-wise, etc, who want more. It has been like that since the beginning of time and will always be that way, I see no reason why gaming would be any different.
 

LeninGHOLA

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Average people are turned off by thinking. It has always been this way and always will.
 

YankeeDoodle

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Average people are turned off by thinking. It has always been this way and always will.

This. Games will always cater to the lowest common denominator now that they have become mainstream. There will always be exceptions of course, but only for small indie developers. I want to cite one of my most eagerly anticipated games earlier this year as a prime example (because it was so disappointing) but shall refrain from derailing the thread :)
 

theNoid

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Absolutely. Why do I know this? Well I've been gaming since the early 80s and I've watched the mainstream change several times. Its not going to stay the same.
 
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Let's face it. Gaming has become more and more of a past time than ever, and out of those people that recently picked up gaming will prefer pick up and play for an hour type games. People like us are the minority, and as long as that is true the publishers and developers will be catering to the masses. For monies.
 

LeninGHOLA

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Absolutely. Why do I know this? Well I've been gaming since the early 80s and I've watched the mainstream change several times. Its not going to stay the same.

I almost made the same mistake of just replying to the thread title, rather than the content in the OP, too.
 

Xephian

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The average person doesn't like to be challenged nor do they want to feel failure. Notice how recent games no longer have harsh penalties in comparison to past games. So no, gaming will stay on it's current path to cater to the average in order to maximize profits.
 

TheCowOfNow

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Most people who enjoy a complex game have probably played many games before. They understand some basics, are quick to pick up on controls and mechanics etc.

Casual games have limited skills to learn. Your grandma could play Angry Birds or Cut the Rope. Odds are she would struggle with even the most basic RTS.

This implies that the possible market for complex games is smaller vs people who can play casual games. Smaller market = less $$, therefore greater focus on casual gaming.

That is all
 

Gorankar

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^^^^We understand the economics. Some of us simply believe that there is enough of a market for the more complex games to justify making them. After all, with so few of the more complex games being made, those that like them will have far fewer game choices to spend their money on, than just another casual game among a thousand other casual games released that year.
 

schenks

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Yes, if for no other reason than the shifting of 'mainstream' being a shift into the casual space. Mainstream as far as the industry is concerned is going to be the safest market available for increased revenue. In some sense, this is currently sitting on top of the console-based war shooter space, but I wouldn't be shocked to see it shift to a large mobile/casual space (and there's evidence of that already happening now).

Edit: That's not to say that I think that hardcore titles are going to go away. It's simply that their sales will likely plateau at some point relative to the growth of casual titles.
 

Shalafi

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No, because games are made to serve the lowest common denominator, like the Battlefield and Call of Derpy games. Even seeminly "complex" games like World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Dragon Age 2, and the list goes on and on, you can go down the list, they are all games that started out with the best of intentions. Mostly the intention was to make a challenging game that rewarded you for making good choices. Now? They are all dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. They are just garbage.

But hey, they still sell millions, all it really means is that the MSG (MainStream Gamer) is an idiot who doesn't mind parting with his money for shit in a box instead of demanding a quality game experience like we got in the old NES/SNES days.

When games that look like Michael Bay flicks sell millions of copies and bring in over a billion in revenue, it doesn't take an Einstein to see what game companies will do in reaction to that, which is to say, MORE MICHAEL BAY GAMES.

Gaming has been on the decline, with a few bright spots like Deus Ex: HR, Dark Souls, and Portal 2. The rest has been mostly garbage. I think Skyrim will be utter garbage too, untill at least a year after release when the modders get enough time with the modding tools to overhaul it and fix the bugs, which would raise the score of the game from 7-8 territory to a solid 9. Before that? It's garbage.

Bobby Kotick has had a broad influence over the conflux of games we've seen lately, as Kotickization of a game is all the rage in the quest for higher profits at the expense of the real gamers, and no, mouthbreathing retards who buy just about anything don't qualify as gamers.

That's my stance and I'm sticking to it.
 

Sovern

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The main problem isn't making complex games that appeal to the mass, but actually making games that are easy and simple to get into but incredibly deep. Most of the top multiplayer games on the PC fit the criteria that I just mentioned. Games such as CS, SC, and DOTA are pretty simple to get into but are very, very complex.

That's just talking from a purely multiplayer perspective though. From a single player perspective I'd have to say that there's still a huge market out there for complex games its just that the big dev's would rather push out a game that they know will appeal to the masses such as a generic fps or a generic tps.

Games such as Portal and Amnesia prove to me that complex games still have a market people just need to grab the game industry by the horns and start to design them and put them up on STEAM.
 
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PrincessFrosty

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*snip*

That's my stance and I'm sticking to it.

I always agree with fail on these matters, there's only been a few diamonds in the rough over the last few years, Dragon Age Origin, Deus Ex, great kick backs to the older generation of games, hardly perfect but utterly solid gameplay etc.

DA2 was trash, utter trash. In contrast to the original it was a complete U-turn, all the changes detracted from the old Baldurs gate style and catered for the casual gamers, a real shame.
 
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