What is happening to the gaming industry of today?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by on1ondevelopment, Apr 24, 2015.

Remove all ads!
Support Terra-Arcanum:

GOG.com

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
  1. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Hello fellow Arcanum players!

    Earlier today, Valve announced a new system of paying the creators of modifications on the Steam Workshop. As you may have noticed, many forums are full of negative feedback, especially Steam itself which has been thrown into a state of utter chaos and turmoil. There are dozens of Steam groups of people whom are against this, and a petition against this, on the Internet, has received over 39 000 signs as of now, of which the number is rapidly increasing as we speak.

    See for yourself here, there are also more articles to be found other than these.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/140575-Valve-Announces-Paid-Skyrim-Mods
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/games/68020538/Valve-introduces-paid-mods-to-Skyrim

    Despite the negative feedback, there might still be something to make out of this? Well, let us see it this way. If you are familiar with such titles as Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim and Counter-Strike, you would be well-aware of the vast amount of people modding them. There are a lot of thieves, stealing models from other people, so that is clearly a problem for Valve - after all, no one would accept other people making money of their items of hard work.

    When buying something of the Steam Workshop, 75% of the money is shared between Valve and Bethesda, while the remaining mere 25% goes to the creator of the content. Also, seeing as Valve are only willing to pay the mod creators when there is at least 100$ to pay out - which would require the mod to make at least 400$ - that wouldn't give you a penny for your mod unless it is extremely sucessful. Buying a mod has no warranty, you only have a 24 hour money-back guarantee - that is unsafe thinking of the future, what if a mod developer abandons their project and the game would receive an update, causing the mod to become obsolete? That money is gone to the Void, and you have spent it all in vain. Valve responded with saying that you should kindly enlighten the mod creator as to the issue, and ask for an update.

    Personally, I find this to be outrageous. I am aware of how much work there is to making even something so simple as a model replacement, but is it acceptable to squeeze the most money out of the heart of the gaming community? A plethora of game series, such as "Battlefield" and "Microsoft Flight Simulator", have become famous largely due to the vast modding capabilities of them. Thousands of people have bought "Battlefield 2" for its modification "Project Reality", and there are tens of thousands of add-ons, custom textures, sounds and much more for the "Microsoft Flight Simulator" series, let alone Flight Simulator 2004!

    I find it unfair to kill what built up the reputation of many companies ten years ago, back in the day companies weren't as huge as they are today, they were fed by their communities and cared for them. And look at the industry today! Electronic Arts and DICE cut modding support for the latest Battlefield titles, so as to making people have to buy their own DLC's, and EA didn't save GameSpy last year, despite having the knowledge of that thousands of people still enjoyed such classics as "Battlefield 2142", "Command & Conquer: Generals" and "Flight Simulator X".

    Do you remember how the gaming community was for the most part for about fifteen years ago? Most gamers were enthusiasts and hard-cores, spending a lot of time and money on games. Arcanum is a good example of this, look at how advanced its character-creation system is compared to new computer role-playing games. Today, most gamers are casual ones, usually buying the latest AAA title because they don't know a lot of gaming, after all the new large titles are everywhere. AAA today? Bah, look at the nonsense we get today! Cut-down versions of older titles in the series, with slightly better graphics, tons of DLC to download, and nearly impossible to mod.

    What I am saying is that, the once small and reliable companies which you loved as a young gamer, are now either gone to their despair, or huge greedy over-rated monopolists. They focus solely on making money and have not the slightest care for their communities nor the negative criticism they receive. I mentioned earlier how they can cut modding support to ensure people can't be creative, but instead buy their own repeated worthless map-packs, skins and season passes, which are far too overprized.

    Look at what Microsoft Game Studios did to their classic products - with "Fable", they released an "Anniversary" edition which has some new textures, to earn money again because the original "Fable" game was the only good one in the franchise. The new edition has DLC items which are inferior to the stock ones, and much of the original content is just recycled. Worse yet, with "Flight Simulator", they released "Microsoft Flight" some years ago, which was a cut-down, arcade version of their loved franchise. Instead of about 30, you could fly 3, yes, THREE airplanes, and instead of the ENTIRE WORLD as a map, you could fly on ONE HAWAIIAN ISLAND, of which the rest of them were A PAID DLC. Instead of downloading, or making yourself, the aircraft you wanted, you could as a DLC buy A FEW planes, some of which had a "premium" status, indicating that they had A COCKPIT. Obviously, they were too lazy to make cockpits for the other buyable ones. Today's atrocities of Microsoft are even worse than that. They decided to re-release a polished version of "Flight Simulator X" on Steam, with better performance. Also they brought back Multiplayer! Huzzah! Hang on, where is the modding community? I don't see it. They contracted a lesser company to keep developing content for FSX to release as DLC on Steam, but it is over-prized inferior content again. It would cost nearly 70€ for some new textures for just the British Isles, and the total prize of all DLC for it is 268,26€. That is the SAME KIND OF STUFF the modding community has been doing for YEARS, look at SimViation for example, and you will see tens of thousands of add-ons, most of which are in quality as good as, if not better than, what you can buy on Steam.

    Electronic Arts, possibly the most infamous gaming company in the world, has commited atrocities YET EVEN WORSE than Microsoft Game Studios has. "Command & Conquer" and "Battlefield" to name but a few, extremely loved franchises. "Command & Conquer" was insanely popular in the late 1990's and early 2000's, two of the C&C games were released before EA bought Westwood, who used to develop C&C. They didn't listen to the community, and strayed away much too far from what made people love C&C. And "Battlefield", as I mentioned before, they cut the modding support of to ensure people would buy their inferior DLC's. Going from a great experience based on teamwork and communication, to an arcade mess full of lens-flares, unlocks, terrible balance and based on only how well you can shoot rather than how well you could work together with others in a team - obviously that would destroy what was once a good game. Only the newest Battlefield titles are possible to play online, clearly not saving GameSpy was intended by EA for ensuring people would buy their latest titles.

    I have strayed away quite a bit, so let us come back to the more specific point of this whole story.

    Valve was one of the few last companies I still had faith in, 'til today. When I saw how deep they have sunk, I realized that not even them I can trust anymore. As most people say their customer support is complete rubbish, they had lost some trust I have heard. I myself have not had a single problem with their products or services, although what I have gained the knowledge of today made me change my point of view.

    How can they do such a thing? Making money of what people love(d) them for to keep free and open, they have really sold their soul (Maybe they made a pact with a demon to pursue a path of evil and magick and thus gained +20% Magickal Aptitude, at the cost of -20 alignment modifier).

    I can only trust the indie game developers these days, and hope that some day companies start to realize that their communities are the most important thing. Gaming has truly lost its meaning of being supposed to entertain people.

    I thank you for reading this, I've spent quite some time, heart and thought into this. I am not intending to offend anyone, but rather to enlighten and share a point. Feel free to counter me, I ask only that you provide good arguments as to opposing me, though I wish not to fight but to see the point of view of others.

    Yours truly,
    on1ondevelopment
     
  2. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    As usual, I don't understand the outrage. In general, if you want something, pay for it. If you don't want it at the price it is being offered then do not feel compelled to part with money for it. If your cut isn't large enough to justify the time you will spend generating it, don't generate it.
    I'm open to being convinced otherwise, but the outcry against this and DLC smacks sorely of gamer entitlement.
     
    Smuel likes this.
  3. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    I think it's a good idea, especially with how in depth some of the mods are for Skyrim. I guess my problems would be the modders themselves don't get much of a cut, but at least they do get something, and that mods can often be buggy in which case it's not really right to charge money for faulty content. However some mods will inevitably remain free (e.g. I'm sure there's a Harry Potter mod for Skyrim) due to copyright issues.

    I suppose last but not least, no one's making you go to filthy filthy Steam for your games. I'm sure there will be other mod sites that don't charge, though maybe with Steam doing this it will set a precedent for these sites to come to arrangements with companies and start charging.
     
  4. Vorak

    Vorak Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,812
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    I'm of the opinion if you are making a mod you shouldn't be able to monetize it.

    I don't dispute a lot of hard work goes into mods but its just an unofficial addition to a game you didn't make so what right have you got to turn a profit from it? And reasoning you should be able to cover your costs makes no sense to me either, if you are doing something as a leisure activity and it costs you money then bad luck, you are doing it because you enjoy modding.

    If modding dies off because people can't make cash out of it I see that as people who were only motivated by greed and not passion dropping out of the field and I have no issue with that, I would rather there were no mods ever again than modders making them purely because they are driven by profit.
     
  5. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Nobody is forcing the modders to set a price for their mods. I often see mods put up a paypal donation button on their download page. If the modders don't like the cut Steam/Valve is offering, they can stick to that. Obviously they'll get less money by depending on people's willingness to pay, then again even $0,05 price will mean a lot, lot less downloads of their stuff. Lots of times people grab the mod to try it and don't like it, redownload it after losing the file or never install it in the first place. Having to pay will put an end to this sort of carelessness, so we'll see much less demand for paid mods than expected.

    Obviously, people are still likely to use that feature, and many good mods will remain unnoticed because of it. Both because less people will be willing to risk paying to try out a mod that might suck, and because whatever pirated versions will be available will not be listed as nicely as mods are on steam workshop or nexus mods.

    In theory, this feature might be a good thing because it might bring about full blown expansions, made by professional coders and artists hired with some hope of making a profit. After all, even it its just 25%, this arrangement does make it a lot easier to piggyback on some game's success and sell content for it, without having to get any sort of license or explicit approval from the creators. While I think it is unlikely to happen with a cut that small, time will tell.

    The real reason we're angry with such practices is that we know people are too stupid, greedy and shortsighted not to fall for this sort of thing. Enough will use it for Valve to consider it a success, despite the outrage among the "vocal minority".
     
  6. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    I know that people have to get paid for their work, but I enjoy mods because they are useful for games that you were tired of, for a new experience. They keep games alive, having to pay for mods would ruin it somewhat. Surely most people playing on a PC have installed a random model replacement or something, just to test it, and then remove it if it's not good. The money-back guarantee is not the same thing, I don't want to pay to try some random sword for Skyrim for example.

    That some mods are very in-depth, you are correct. Despite how it is unfair to charge money for random people's free-time content, at least game developers can focus more on new games. Still, a donation button would be much better, as that would at least cause more people to download it, and thus it would become more known to the world.

    I agree, modding is a hobby and not an industry. I mod games because I have fun trying to figure out how games are built-up. I am still in school, but when I get older I will probably not be able to do mods for a living, but I will have the passion for computers and knowledge enough to perhaps work for real in the actual gaming industry.

    Piggybacking on a game's success is a really good thing with modding, a lot of game developers started off as modders. As I mentioned in my reply to Jojobobo, some mods are deep enough to become something like unofficial expansions, but as games are already very expensive today (especially with DLC), one would like to spend money on other things as well, buying even more content for the same game is a bit of a waste, unless you're really into the game.
     
  7. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    It is plain that paying for a mod is a threshold at which many gamers will balk, and I agree that putting any price on a mod will limit its exposure. I see how this can result in a less active community surrounding a game.
    If you are unwilling to pay to try something that has a price associated with it, I would say the fair consequence is that you don't try it. I don't care if somebody punches a clock before generating something or if it is created in his off time, it has value. It is absurd for anybody to set the value of that content other than the person who generated it. I hope you didn't mean that the consumer is better suited for setting the price of something somebody else generated and that you are referencing some nuance of Steam's system that I have missed. (I get it, the consumer is not going to part with more than he thinks something is worth and in that sense sets the price. I'm more reacting against the idea that a consumer sees that something was generated in somebody's off time, decides it should be free, and takes it .)
    Circling back to gamer entitlement, this reads to me as "I want an active gaming community, so I should have it. I want to spend money on additional game content as well as other things, but I cannot afford both, so the price of one should come down so I can." Our access to money is limited so it is on us to spend it in such a way that we will get the most out of it. It is nobody else's responsibility to make your dollar go farther.
     
  8. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,096
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    230
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Oh great, now I'm gay for TheDavisChanger, again.
     
  9. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Jim Sterling did a fairly interesting video on this very subject, bringing to light some interesting points I'd have never thought of (for example, games like Skyrim have an unofficial bug fix patch - much like the UAP and classed as a mod for these purposes - that people now have to buy. I guess this is slightly annoying as developers are essentially profiting off their own laziness in such a circumstance as all these unofficial patches do is fix crap the devs didn't do properly in the first place, and yet they're still getting a cut).
     
  10. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Steam scrapped the pay-for-mods system due to negative feedback.

    THIS THREAD IS OVER!
     
  11. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Damn pinko liberals ruining the mod for pay dream.
     
  12. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    It may have been forgotten about now, but one day someone might remember this and implement a new monetizing system as this one.
    "A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on." -John F. Kennedy
     
  13. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

    Messages:
    4,003
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    I actually have zero qualms with this? I've paid for some of the more elaborate mods for various versions of the Sims (including one which removed the no incest limitation, enabling me to create a near-immortal woman who gave birth to her great-great-grandchildren), and a few other games. I do vastly prefer when people make the content available for free, but you know what? I'll readily cough up $5-10 for a mod I enjoy.

    To those of you who object so adamantly to this, do any of you play Clash of Clans or similar? If so, have you ever bought gems or gold, and what would make that any different?
     
  14. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    This week I joked with a coworker that he and I steal entertainment from Blizzard by playing Hearthstone for free. On the one hand I am not stealing what is offered for free, but on the other hand I am getting more out of Hearthstone than what it is costing me. While I don't feel this actually makes me a thief, I do feel the hypocrite by not supporting what I enjoy.
     
  15. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,096
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    230
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    You are supporting it. Your mere existence in the user base contributes to the pool of opponents that paying customers can play against, adds competitiveness to in-game leaderboards, and boosts the game's numbers for real-world online game comparisons. If Blizzard didn't gain anything from letting you play the game for free, they would not allow it.
     
  16. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Another friend of mine--a player of World of Tanks--remarked that if our games were populated solely by players like us, then they would not persist. I shouldn't rely on other people supporting my habits.

    As usual, I should feel no pity for the profiteers. Thanks for talking me back from that ledge, Smuel. I nearly paid for something!
     
Our Host!