This is long and ranty. But I feel that it is important.
You guys absolutely got the industry you wanted.
We got here through slow degrees. Like the proverbial frog in the pot - although, it didn't actually seem that way to begin with. So, very quickly, let's talk about the divide between modern games and how they monetize and older games and how those raked in the money.
In the bad old days, a game was a once-off experience - for the most part. You bought the game, it had absolutely all the content on the disk and off you went. This wasn't absolutely universal, of course - even back then we had what were known as "Scenario Disks" and added content through content builders - Things like the Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures construction kit.
But if you bought a game you would be assured of ALL the content. At least until a scenario disk/expansion pack rolled around. There was no messing around with day one DLC [a misnomer, but we'll get there] or very many "added content exclusives." The game you took home was - generally - the same game your European friends took home on the day of release.
Then, Bethesda cracked open the door through Horse Armor and everything changed.
But it's important to realize an important thing about this whole fiasco: we can't go back. We can't stuff the genie back into the bottle. But we can maybe make executives think twice about fleecing us.
I love indie games. So much so, in fact, that I've basically given up on AAA development. AAA development - to me, at least, seems like an endless cesspool of "generic brown shooter 56," or "Watch The Crew Dogs Cry Far As The Creed of Assassin's" takes over. Or to some degree or other, they're plagued with silly launch day fiascos that involve you paying extra money to get stuff that's already on the disk. Even if you somehow dodge all those bullets, you have to contend with pre-order exclusives, Day 1 "Downloadable content" and my absolute favourite, "we're patching the game on day 1, because we didn't actually test properly, so now we have to fix all these errors at launch." [which, of course, doesn't work for the most part, cf: the fiasco that was Batman: Arkham Knight, where that game just didn't work at launch and then continued to just not work even after patching.]
So, I'll take indies any day over AAA games. The experiences are shorter, more focused, often reasonably tested [within the limits/budgets of the small team, of course] and often, they're just more fun to play.
I'm currently about half way through Evoland 2, a game I've been waiting for for several years, now. It does absolutely everything better than the first game and is proof that indie devs can learn from their previous offerings.
The problem is, indie devs still need to learn one crucial skill and that's communication. Read more