Do you remember a time when a game would be released and you would just buy it, no strings attached? Do you remember a time when you got exactly what you paid for nothing more, nothing less? I remember that time, a time when some of the best games ever created did not presume that I needed a pre-order, micro-transaction or remaster in order to be satisfied. Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, 007 Goldeneye, Mario 64, Final Fantasy 7, Crash Bandicoot. The list goes on of classic games that are not only re-playable but not payable. It is to this effect that I make my first jab at the infected gaming industry in reference to remasters.
“Remaster” a term sold to us gamer’s as a re-releasing of the best titles from older generations with typically improved visual and audio quality, which in most cases are rarely wanted nor relevant. Granted there will be a few titles that deserve the treatment such as Last of Us or Bio Shock which in their own right had a large impact in the industry, but did Sleeping Dogs, DMC – Devil May Cry, Dead Island and the long list of mediocre games really need it? Whether it be related or not, my issue with this process revolves around the fact that I have never seen a console generation where the manufacturers have been able to sell while providing a pitiful number of console exclusives. Take away remasters and small indie exclusives and answer how many console exclusives can you name from the three years of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 existence? Three, five, maybe ten? Either way, it is truly pitiful especially when you consider a few of the key exclusives were terrible such as Knack, Rise – Son of Rome and the Order: 1886, just to name a few. Combine this frustrating element with the fact that any game that looks promising either grotesquely under-performs or is just delayed until 2017. As such, can I be blamed for feeling cheated and betrayed for handing over money and loyalty to a console that gives me nothing in return but re-releases of games I have already played? For example, with DLC I have already spent the same amount of money additionally that I had already spent buying the original game. It’s a joke, don’t give me a five-year-old game! Instead, give me a new game because at the moment there are only two or three titles that make Xbox and PlayStation different from each other and in 2016 where gaming is having a legitimate boom this behavior is ridiculous.
I honestly believe if developers such as Bethesda were not spending their time trying to push out a remastered Skyrim, then maybe they could actually give us a new Elder Scroll’s that everyone has been waiting for since the poor initial release of Elder Scrolls Online, or am I just being too demanding of you multi-million dollar companies? For most this may be a mute argument as obviously, I cannot attribute a re-master as a root cause for a lack of exclusive content. However, in an industry that in my opinion is undermined by propaganda and lies alongside changes to gaming culture and payment strategies, it’s how the consumer feels and not what they know which leaves us all slightly more susceptible to PR manipulation and thus forms the first part of my holistic view of an industry prostituted for power over passion.