NB: Producers – if you WANT TO SELL GAMES please take note!!
The more games I review, the more peeved I become! I think it’s about time that Game Designers, and their controlling Producers and Marketers, take note of how disgruntled their buying public are becoming with them and their grab for our dollars.
Online Passes and Activation Codes – are not necessary. There was a time when you bought a game, downloaded the free trial, played it, bought it, and the game was automatically unlocked for you (REALARCADE). You could download it at any time, onto any computer because you owned it. Now you buy a license for one computer (SOLSUITE), or must type in an activation code to unlock the full game, before you can even play it. If you add it to another computer you either have to type the saved activation code or type in your User Name and/or Email address plus Password in order to activate it again. It is yours – you paid for it! Of course, you are offered the opportunity to buy a backup disc when you purchase the game – in some cases they at least add all the games you have purchased onto 1 disc, or as many as required, for the same cost (BIGFISH GAMES), while others require you to pay the cost per game (SPINTOP)- bearing in mind that a disc costs about 50 cents! No doubt there are other variations on this theme – I have barely scratched the surface.
And why can’t we burn our own copy of the game? We own it. We paid for it. Okay there are some unscrupulous beings who might burn copies to sell, but I think it’s highly unlikely. There is not enough money in it to do that. Let me rephrase that – most of the public are law-abiding citizens, who just want to play their PC Games and enjoy life. It can’t be very hard to discern which email addresses and purchasers are genuine – after all they have our credit card details so they can easily find out all about us. As no doubt they have.
So now we come to the Fair Play aspect of the Games they want us to play and buy.
Some Designers put a lot of effort into making the game attractive to players – they make the game play logical and easy to negotiate, the graphics clear and easy to see, the story interesting and integrated rather than intrusive, player participation catered for, and the Tedium and Frustration Factors as low as possible in order to present a Game that will give the player the maximum Satisfaction on completion. These Designers obviously have Marketers and Producers who are on the same page and distribute the game as created. And we consider ourselves lucky as a result.
Others couldn’t care less.
They bog the player down in murky graphics which cause eye strain and major frustration. These are either dark and gloomy or full of tricks of the light – streams of light haze across half the screen so you can’t discern anything through it.
They hide the Hidden Objects or Inventory Items by blending them into the murk, or making them so small that you would need to hold a magnifying glass to your screen to see them, or both! There is in fact NO FAIR PLAY at all.
They produce games where the opening storyline blathers on in endless dialogue that won’t allow you to fast forward through it, as you read, preventing you from getting on with the actual game. No matter how interesting the story is, if it intrudes into the gameplay in this way between levels also, then it causes frustration. It is pointless pressing the available Skip – though it is often impatiently done and no wonder – as then you miss important game-play clues, and get to the next play-screen and haven’t a clue what is required of you.
They churn out game after game of dark gloomy depressing macabre graphics with accompanying narratives – when their chosen genre covers so many areas and can be protrayed in so many ways – because they think that is what the public want.
But they don’t listen to the public.
What the Public wants is to play a game that they can see, work their way through, use their brains to solve problems (as long as they aren’t virtually unsolveable), overcome obstacles, move from level to level with a feeling of satisfaction, and get to the end with a feeling of achievement for a job well done, accompanied by the desire to ‘Play it again!’
What the public wants is to feel that the game was worth buying.
They don’t want to feel ripped off by the fact that since their purchase a Collector’s Edition has been brought out with extra footage, Walkthroughs etc, that they will have to fork out more money for.
They don’t want to get to the end and wish they hadn’t bought the game because it caused nothing but headaches and anger.
They don’t want to feel manipulated, or locked into codes, and time limits, and restrictions as to the use of their game.
I know I am not alone in these views – there are many blogs out there saying very similar things. I just thought it was time I said it a little more forcefully than I have done in the past. I think the Chinese water torture drip…drip…drip… of my nagging on about it hasn’t had much impact. So I needed to SHOUT it this time!
PS: Could all PC Game Providing Companies PLEASE put the name of the Publishing Company on the Game Information and To Buy Pages for each game, so that we the buying public can readily avoid those Publishers we intensely DISLIKE, and buy as many as possible of those whom we LOVE without having to wade through game after hideous game till we strike it lucky!
(C) Copyright Jud House 25/10/2011
* * * * *