2017 was an incredible year for gaming, but that didn’t mean everything went smoothly. There were plenty of shitty things going on in the industry in 2017. Especially when greed is involved. Here are the 5 worst things to happen in video games in 2017.
An epidemic infecting the games industry, AAA publishers have shoved loot boxes down our throats. Overwatch popularized the trend back in 2016, with it raking in the money for Activision Blizzard. The rest of the industry scum took note. No longer are rewards unlocked through player skill, but rather a RNG gambling system. Star Wars Battlefront II was the most egregious example to date, with a pay to win gambling system. EA will get its just desserts later in this post. Destiny 2 made the popular shaders a one-time use item to encourage the purchase of loot boxes. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, a single player game, used loot boxes to unlock new orcs. Its almost understandable in multiplayer games but inexcusable in single player games. Why can’t playing the game unlock new stuff? Sonic Forces does this right. After each completed stage, the player unlocks more costumes for their custom avatar depending on rank. You know you fucked up if you’ve made Sonic look good.
Steam Direct replaced the much maligned Greenlight earlier this year, and its been an abject disaster. The floodgates have opened with liquid shit gushing all over the storefront. Valve has shown a total disregard for quality control, burying good indie games under landfills full of awful games. Over 6,000 games were released on Steam in 2017. 6,000! This is after 4,000 games were released in 2016, totaling over 10,000 games in two years. Steam Greenlight may have been shit, but at least it posted some barrier to entry. Direct has none. Pay the entry fee of $100 and you’re in. Many so called “developers” buy premade assets from engine stores (like Unity or Unreal), cobble them together without any thought to artistic cohesion or alterations, and sell them as original “games.”
Why would Valve want to be associated with so much trash? Their aversion to quality control is baffling. It would hardly take any effort on their part to do so. All they need to do is have several employees survey the entries and determine which are up to standard. Valve continues to rely only on algorithms with little human input. Its great they have such tools at their disposal, but it has limits. Human oversight is needed in compliment with these tools. But Valve chooses to throw caution to the wind, so they can claim to have the largest digital distribution in PC gaming.
Star Wars Battlefront II
Should we even be shocked by EA’s fuckery anymore? Star Wars Battlefront II launched with loot boxes being the central mechanic. Instead of going with the usual cosmetic unlocks, EA opted to use a pay to win system. Battlefront II’s loot box system gives players in game advantages, defying competitive game conventions. Needless to say, this didn’t go over very well. Players were outraged by this glorified gambling simulator. Someone who hasn’t even played the game can theoretically beat an experienced player by obtaining superior gear through throwing money at EA. Thus, destroying any semblance of competitive balance. EA attempted damage control through a Reddit AMA, in which none of the concerns were truly addressed. The AMA ended up being one of the most disliked posts in the history of Reddit. Quite the impressive accomplishment. EA’s blunder even has lawmakers breathing down the industry’s neck.
EA’s backtracking reveals how pathetic they really are. They removed the loot boxes completely, leaving a shell of a grindy game behind. EA even has the gall to turn around and tell shareholders that the removal of the loot boxes won’t hurt the bottom line. If that’s the case, why did you even have them in the first place? You can’t keep your grubby little fingers out of our pockets, can you? Clearly, making a lot of money isn’t enough to satiate your greed. All the money in the world and more still wouldn’t satisfy such greed. Hopefully, EA’s fuckwittery will lead to the loot box bubble bursting.
Lax Quality Control on PSN
Steam may have the worst quality control, but the PSN store seems hellbent on taking the shit crown. Have you seen some of these games? Some are even being promoted on PlayStation’s official YouTube account. Life of Black Tiger being the most notable example. A broken mess of a shitshow that must be seen to be believed. Not to mention Sony refuses to answer any questions regarding it. Leaving many to speculate with numerous conspiracy theories regarding why Life of Black Tiger made it on the PSN. Then there’s Horse Racing 2016, a so-called horse racing simulator that arbitrarily decides when the player wins or loses. They couldn’t even get the year it was released right. There are numerous other examples, but I don’t think I could stomach any further rummaging through the bowels of the PSN store. I have to ask, is Sony high? If so, I need to have whatever their smoking. They must have the good stuff. And one more thing, why can’t PS4 get Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds yet have all this other garbage?
Despite all the amazing games that came out in 2017, industry bullshit was at an all-time high. Publishers have shown so much contempt for gaming audiences. To them, games are a product to make money. They don’t care about artistic integrity or leaving a lasting legacy. Shortsighted greed and no regard for consequences is rampant among the big publishers. I’m sick of the loot boxes and the lying. I’m sick of them cutting games into pieces. Publishers constantly cry poverty about how expensive games are to make, justifying extra monetization, yet turn around and gloat to their shareholders about record profits. Maybe the AAA industry needs to crash and burn before things get better. EA, Activision, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros call all eat dicks. These publishers will never get my money again.
That was all the things in the gaming industry that pissed me off. It was mostly a good year for games but there were a lot of awful things major publishers did this past year. Hopefully, the industry cleans up its act in 2018, but they sure make it difficult to be optimistic. What do think were the worst thing to happen in games in 2017?