“What do you think the takeaways from gaming/industry are in 2014?”
That mobile games like Fappy Bird are usually flashes in the pan? That Kinect was dead weight from the beginning? That it’s a mistake to antagonize fundamentalist gamers as they’ll SWAT your house? There are a number of smaller lessons I think 2014 has taught us, but the biggest lesson was “don’t pre-order games.” One only has to look to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, The Crew, DriveClub, and of course Assassin’s Creed: Unity to see that more and more high-profile AAA games are broken day-one. And it is the people who pre-order that pay the price.
As Richard Mitchell of Joystiq pointed out, we’re paying for broken games and it’s unacceptable. For all we know, it may also be the start of a new holiday season trend. Publishers put these firm release dates in place and development studios have to rush their work to meet the demand, often missing important bugs in the process. With newer games requiring more time and money to create, publishers are usually in a rush to get their money back and during their most lucrative quarter at that. It’s awful, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of this next winter.
Other than the failure to deliver quality products at their release dates, I would have to say that the biggest takeaway is that micro-transactions are still a problem and one that isn’t going away. Sure, iPad games that make your kids pay $0.99 to progress past a paywall are bad, but the real issue I have is with paying real money for in-game resources a la Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Yes, I’m mentioning Unity twice in the same article and both times I’m talking about it negatively. Hilariously enough, the one thing that worked day-one with Unity, without fail, are its micro-transactions. What a world we now live in.
I won’t be playing an Assassin’s Creed game for a while.