For the purposes of this article, I will not be acknowledging games for young children. The one player games and here will refer to games for ages 13 and up.
While there are a large number of high-quality video games hitting the market every year, there is one ‘genre’ that is on its way to being forgotten. One Player Games. Or even, for that matter, non-PvP (Player vs Player) games.
Lately, the vast majority of new games have one purpose, and one purpose only, Player vs Player combat. While these games do have their place, there is more to gaming than simply running around shooting at each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the violence, far from it. But the fact is that the bulk of these games all share a number of common problems.
For starters, the unofficial (and often hidden) “teams”, which are really more like gangs. Groups of friends that band together in-game to hunt down and harass new players. Often to the point where the new players have no chance of progressing and simply quit playing out of frustration. If the people doing this stopped and thought about it for a moment, they would see how they are ruining these games for themselves as much as anyone.
Another problem is the lack of originality. The majority of these gamea the weapons, does not make it an original game.
The third major problem with the flood of PvP games, is the real-world affects of them. These games create an enormous amount of competitive behavior. We are all aware of the ‘gaming addictions’ that can affect people. Competition is an addiction in its own right. The combination creates something akin to digital crack. I would be willing to bet good money that if a survey was ever done, it would reveal that the vast majority of gaming addicts are hooked on multiplayer FPS games. I personally know many people that spend nearly every waking minute glued to the screen trying to climb from #375 to #374 on some leader board.
So why not some one player games? Take the newer Fallout games for example, great graphics, cool environment, and intense game play (at higher difficulty levels). And you get it all without being chased by packs of teenagers you’ve never heard of, or the constant flood of infantile remarks in the chat. Just straight up gameplay without the garbage. Games such as Fallout, Skyrim, Anno, Civilization, Final Fantasy, they all prove that there can be great, innovative, one player games.
Many people are only interested in these games. Myself, I have spent many hours playing many multiplayer games. But after a time I found that the garbage out weighed the play. I’ve since sworn off multiplayer. I know a number of people personally that have done the same, or had no interest in multiplayer to begin with.
But there is a problem for us lovers of solo games. Each year there seems to be less and less good games made for us. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are a couple things that we can, and should do. First, don’t pirate your games. If you’re a lover of one player games, buy them! Show the game creators that there is still a market there. And if you’re really passionate, do what I do. Whenever a new multiplayer-only game gets released, I email the company that made it and say something like,
“Can you please, please please make this playable in single-player?”
Try it! You likely won’t get a response. If you do it will be a brush off. But if enough people do it, for enough games, it just might get these companies to reconsider releasing these games as multiplayer only. So take a few minutes and do your part. No one else will.
Video game piracy is a beast that the industry just cannot tame. Many different techniques have been implemented to try and tackle this problem yet none seem to work. With pirated video games becoming more easily accessible by the day, it poses a massive hurdle for the industry and one that the industry is determined to crack. This article aims to examine the ways in which the video game industry tries to combat piracy and if those methods are effective.
The main thing that Video game publishers and developers must realise is that in their attempts to combat piracy they must punish the pirate without punishing the consumer. Many companies incorporated anti-piracy software onto the install disks. Consumers were getting the sense that they were being punished for what the pirates do. EA games tried to do this with the game ‘Spore’, they added DRM software onto the disk.
It backfired and the game went on to be one of the most pirated games ever. It turned out that pirates could bypass this software protection while consumers were forced to live with it. Publishers therefore must reward the consumer for purchasing the game; this can be done in many ways. They could offer money off the sequel of that game when it comes out, offer free downloadable content or offer free merchandise with every order. One of the main reasons for piracy is that people demand more for their money.
More and more games are being released per year and the consumer only has a certain amount of money available to spend on video games. By offering a better value proposition the consumer is more likely to purchase the game rather than pirate the software. Punishing the pirates can be done through numerous ways but the traditional way of fining the odd pirate just does not work. Video games must play to their strengths; just recently EA games unveiled ‘Online pass’ which allows the consumer to enter a code to access the online play, a code is given to anybody who buys a new copy of the game.
The importance of this is that people who pirate games will not be able to use one of the most important features in today’s games, online play. Of course people could still pirate these games and use the online feature by only paying $10 to acquire a code; this will allow publishers to get extra income from pirates who would not consider paying for any part of the game. As another bonus Ea games will receive extra income from the used games market. Other publishers such as Activision must take note, Call of duty is famous for its online experience. If they can utilise this same method you will see people purchasing the game rather than pirating it so that they can play online.
Another way to combat piracy is to simply make a good quality game with increased longevity. As stated earlier consumers will not see the value of paying full price for a game that might be great but only lasts 10-12 hours. By making a game of good quality and longevity the consumer is going to see better value and will be more likely to buy the game. If the individual were to evaluate a video game and realise it was not worth their money they are more likely to pirate the game instead of before when they would not buy it and consequently never play it, this is due to the convenience and easiness of pirating in modern times.
Another point to consider for developers is which bit of hardware they should develop for. The Sony PlayStation 3 is notoriously hard to crack and therefore pirated games can’t be used on that system. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 and the Wii can be cracked by any individual who has access to the internet and a decent guide on how to crack the system. The PC needs no cracking at all and has become the pirate’s choice when choosing to pirate a game. Developers should work with these hardware companies to make sure that they are hard to crack or they could look at just developing solely on the PlayStation 3 as long as this trade off is a viable one.
The final point that could help combat piracy is to become a publisher or developer that listens to the community. By having a community that respects the organisation the chances are they are more likely to buy the game and discourage piracy. Ways companies can do this is by regularly communicating with people on forums, listen to their key consumers and by offering incentives. These incentives can be access to Beta’s or money off codes for being a member of the organisations forums or websites. More people will pirate a game if they feel the developer or publisher disregard the consumer’s desires or neglect them altogether.
The ability to keep connected with their key audience is a very powerful tool and should be considered by publishers who have a poor relationship with their consumers. The knock on effect could lead to greater sales and thus profit margins. If all else fails and piracy is still too high you could ask consumers what they want to pay for that game. ‘World of goo’ developer’s 2D boy allowed consumers to name their price when purchasing ‘World of goo. Although a lot of people chose to pay one penny for the game it was still a huge success. It could be said that would be pirates who had a chance to pay what they liked for the game would do so instead of pirating it.
In conclusion, there really is no sure fire way of stopping piracy. The old method of fining people randomly for downloading Illegal software is outdated and does not work. Publishers have to be creative and think outside the box, with people having less disposable income more and more will turn to piracy as a way of fulfilling their gaming desires. By using some of the methods stated in this article developers and publishers could start to see piracy for their game falling and their profits rising.