March 5, 2013
How To Save Next-Gen Gaming (Part 2)
In the first post, I mentioned things about how competitive multiplayer has lost its thrill for the masses. I also mentioned that because of this, both the target audiences and casual audiences have migrated to greener pastures. The last thing I mentioned was that in order to pull those two crowds back, these companies need to invest in developing a new, defining experience.
The defining experience leads me to elaborate on the second question from earlier; what is the new niche that the video game industry needs?
The new niche is simple: cooperative gaming.
The whole competitive multiplayer team deathmatch thing has been overdone to no end and filled with a bunch of try-hards anyway. Co-op gaming has been around since the early days, but has not been elaborated upon since then. Sure, more games have been released onto the Xbox 360 and PlayStation consoles that have the option of local or online cooperative modes. But they always feel a little clunky and rushed, like it was a last minute decision since the team spent entirely too much time worrying about rehashing a competitive multiplayer mode that is only half decent.
There have been a few exceptions to this, of course. In instances where a game would release with an online co-op mode that works seamlessly and allows the player to go on an extravagant journey accompanied by other players worked surprisingly well and gave an extraordinarily new refreshing experience. Imagine if the next great stories where told through an experience like this. Think of going through an epic the likes of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, instead of being a camera with a gun attached to it. This is the new niche that the industry needs.
Creatively, the cooperative genre has been untouched. Like I said before, these modes feel like an afterthought. It is hard to believe that a game can only fit four players into a co-op game, but has hit pinnacles like 16 vs. 16 in the competitive multiplayer modes. They are better than that, not to mention more creative.
This is the way that the consoles should go. Microsoft and Sony need to invest in a more unifying experience if they expect to capture the attention of both the target audience and the casual one. I am not saying that there is no room in gaming for competition (there’s plenty of room for that); I’m just saying that every game released can’t just be Call of Duty (or a failed version of).
In a creative industry there needs to be creativity. There needs to be diversity among the art form of game development like there are many kinds of different movies out there. The next console generation is around the corner and they have seemed to have lost most of their audience before they even have a grand entrance into the world.
Image Credit: Photos.com