2019 Game Results: Epic Failures

FreeMMORPG continues to take stock of the outgoing year. In a series of five fascinating articles, we will determine the most important thing that happened in 2019. Incredible successes, epic failures, unexpected surprises, neglected games and the most high-profile events – two authors with opposite points of view on the situation will express themselves on each topic. So the picture will be more objective. Today we’ll talk about the worst nightmares.

Few gamers who are passionate about the genre of sports simulations have not noticed a growing trend in recent years. The fresh parts of the popular franchises have become less and less like really new games, more likely reminding updates for the previous ones – when large-scale, and when not very. It seems that the developers began to pay much more attention to the optimization of monetization systems, trying to increase profits than the qualitative growth of the products themselves. In 2019, the situation has reached a new level: FIFA 20 looks like a copy FIFA 19, and the developers NBA 2K20 introduced a full-fledged casino into the game, forgetting even to change the icon in the taskbar. But, of course, not forgetting once again to reset the blood and then the compounds for online. At the same time, the sports community is so large that by inertia it continues to carry this scheme forward, minimizing any prerequisites for change.

It seems that this freight train with micropayments can no longer be stopped: all sports simulators have focused on extra income in online modes and completely forgot that there are still people who like to play against artificial intelligence, passing the career of a coach or player. For me, the charm of sports simulations, do not believe it, in this very simulation – they make it possible to feel in the shoes Messi, Ovechkina or LeBrona, visit the best sports arenas in the world, win the main sports trophies.

But all this only works in offline modes, where the AI ​​is trying to recreate the experience as close as possible to the prototype, only adjusted for the shortened duration of one game. Online chaos is happening: either you fall into a nerd with a legendary composition, or (less commonly) a child who is unable to give two accurate passes in a row – in any case, when the balance breaks, all the magic is destroyed. But in online modes there is also twisted gameplay: ball / puck (although to NHL 20 these claims are the least) go faster, athletes are less likely to make mistakes, and everything that happens begins to resemble a competition of cyborgs, but not living people. This could be forgiven in the nineties, when technology did not allow realistically transfer all the subtleties of game sports, but now they sacrifice realism consciously, so that the top donators in no way lose their desire to add another couple of packs.

We who want to enjoy the realism and complexity, and not the carnival of wooden blanks, can only believe that someday at least part of those incredible incomes will be spent by the publisher not only to invent regular mechanics for pumping out real money from video game casino fans. Although every year this faith is dim.

It is impossible to argue with the fact that in recent years the quality of mainstream sports simulators has slipped below the plinth. And it’s not just about the ubiquitous lootboxes and microtransactions. The gameplay itself, the basis of the game in the next FIFA if it changes, it seems to be only for the worse.

The reason for this lies on the surface: what EA, what 2K with their NBA they felt like invulnerable monopolists. If there is no worthy competition, what prevents you from releasing the same game every year? Fortunately, while snickering market leaders are guided by this principle, competitors do not lose time. Pro evolution soccer getting better every year. Konami for once, she managed to set priorities correctly – the gameplay is first of all. Pes not perfect, but now he really has no equal in the matter of football simulation (thanks Kojime behind Fox engine) Yes, sales up EA Sports he is still far away. But, as adherents of the social sciences like to say, it is not the dry figures that are important, but the dynamics.

In addition, the Japanese have finally entered the fight for sports licenses, which have long been one of the key selling points. FIFA. For the second year in a row, the Russian Football Premier League has been exclusive Pes. And in 2019 Konami managed to conclude a long-term contract with one of the most popular clubs in the world – Turin Juventus with Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile in FIFA one of the best football players on the planet stands for the fictional “Piedmont Calcho”.

I have no doubt that in the coming years the alignment of forces on virtual lawns can radically change. And what about 2K Gamesthen sooner or later the market will definitely solve them. A holy place is never empty.

Often, PC owners love to consider themselves to some privileged caste – 4K, 60 fps, ultra-settings and all that. But practice usually says the opposite: what was the cost of launching the long-awaited port Red dead redemption 2 for this platform. The PC configuration indicated in the recommended system requirements seemed like a mockery, because even on components of a much higher level RDR 2 managed to show terrible performance. And in general, such a trivial thing as launching a game was not given to every gamer: some Rockstar games launcher refused to install, for others it did not go beyond the main menu, for others the game constantly crashed to the desktop. Games Rockstar and before they showed themselves on PCs not in the best way, but it seems that there were no such nightmarish situations.

This has not happened for almost 11 years – Rockstar how the publisher again failed to launch his game on the PC, but now also with his own launcher. When it became known about the launch of the latter this fall, the PC brethren breathed a sigh of relief: it means the console beta test Red dead redemption 2 is nearing completion, and the appearance of the main western of the decade on a charitable platform is just around the corner. There it was!

A variety of problems fell upon the boyar estate – from the failure of the rockstar launcher to start correctly, ending with terrible performance problems even on the latest machines. Yes, changing the graphical API in the settings or completely reinstalling helped someone to cope with this, while others continued to suffer even after updating the BIOS.

And okay, the game would initially have been poorly optimized, but the worst thing that happened to RDR 2 on consoles (usually on “thick” PS4 and XBO) – FPS drawdowns of up to 25. The bakers, it seems, got some kind of semi-textgen prototype on rocket technologies, which did not find stability even after a certain number of patches. Add problems with raw input when controlling the mouse and get one of the worst generation ports.

Well, the bakers did not miss the chance to cry over optimizing the PC version Red dead redemption 2. But let’s say this: nagging is the position of the weak. If you whine, acknowledge your weakness. It’s time to accept the fact that nobody owes you anything. There is a train that in any case will reach its destination, despite the fact that dogs barked at it all the time. Money for such a port does not make you pay. If you want to play on the release, buy yourself a console. As long as there is money for a powerful bakery, you can also find a prefix.

Big publishers dream of releasing as many successful game services as possible. This is such a profitable scheme: it is worth making just one game, as hundreds of thousands of gamers flock to it. Then the breadwinners will spend money on cool skins in the internal store for a long time, and the developers will use their shovels to row revenue, reassuring the audience with regular updates. Why make a lot of games when you can make one? But the current year clearly shows: such a scheme works well in very rare cases. Most publishers simply don’t have enough money to, firstly, make a really interesting project, secondly, how to fill it with content, and thirdly, release regular updates. Failures Anthem and Ghost recon: breakpoint become a good lesson for EA and Ubisoft: the second company did decide that it would be time to stop chasing this business scheme.

As practice shows, obvious things do not reach the sharks of the market right away. For some reason, it seems to them that in a dynamic and constantly developing game industry there is a recipe for a philosopher’s stone. Some kind of stable and stable formula that needs to be opened once, and then it will bring mountains of money constantly. In the current generation, the “game as a service” model seemed to such a formula to marketers. It seems that this, or last year, some big shot from Electronic arts stated that service games are a model for the future. Say, single-player projects will simply die out, and gamers will only play services. What caused such a forecast? Nothing but the benefits that such a “bright” future promised to corporations. Sometimes you really want to believe in a pleasant illusion, sweeping away any grain of rationality.

The harsh truth is that a person by nature is very quickly fed up. First you try a slice of the finest chocolate cake, but when you chew the third, it no longer seems so delicious. It’s worth eating a few cakes at once – from the thought of the next you will feel sick. In fact, all game services are built around the most primitive grind mechanics, reminiscent of the Korean MMORPG. For a while, she can satisfy a gamer, but then he will certainly want a new experience. Not a bored chocolate cake, but something completely different from it. And he will not even look towards any other such project.

Now add to this the completely idiotic business decisions of corporations to launch another chocolate cake on the market, but without glaze and fillers. Anthem and Ghost recon: breakpoint – This is a uniform lean biscuit, in which an egg shell unpleasantly cracking on the teeth periodically comes across. In these games, the content is not just not enough for users to chew it before the supplement is issued – it is also of lousy quality. In the meantime, you are chewing a tasteless factory mass, spitting out inedible elements, raking legs of a homunculus that wants to pocket all your money are pulled from the packaging. I sympathize with people spending their time on such games.

Anthem could become a lifesaver for Bioware, could be a martyr, who cannot be scolded, a sort of “game of complex fate”, but became the anthem of a new generation of players – evil, young and very strict in his opinion. And now when you are again given a non-working product, the actual semi-finished product – this new generation reacts with predictable cruelty. The pressure that accumulates on yourself Anthem “It would have flattened a smaller sardine a long time ago, but our client is almost a humpback whale.” What happens next with the studio Biowarewhat and when will be next Dragon age – time will tell, and right now we have witnessed a loud failure in which the ice of marketing and the flames of creativity came together.

The project was initially too ambitious, and its publisher Electronic arts – principled and courageous. And hardly a playable thing enters the market, which not only did not meet the most modest expectations, but in general it was broken, low-quality and non-working. In many ways: in a game with online passing and cooperative interaction, there was a dead netcode. The broken reward system did not give players motivation to clean up high-level content and upgrade characters, and the balance of complexity completely incinerated any desire to gather friendly parties. Not without its numerous disconnects, lagging enemies and quests quested. The technical condition on the release is comparable to the cheddar: a lot of holes and a pungent smell.

Why with Anthem it is not obvious, and why not throw it in the scrap and forget it for good? If only because it is still one of the most interesting and epic gaming worlds of recent years. With other inferiority, artistic value Anthem comparable to the background with which the original started Mass effect at one time: fractions, locations, the most powerful narrative, piles of all kinds of descriptions of the lore, absolutely fantastic and unique setting, the basis of which was laid down by the eminent screenwriter Drew Karpyshynwho gave us the coolest ups and downs from the virtual life of Commander Shepard. To this just add a mesmerizing vibe soundtrack from Sarah Shahnerthat distinguished itself in recognizable style in several parts Assassin’s creed and Call of duty. And all this, including the mesmerizing synthesis of eastern ethnicity and exoskeleton furs, was buried under the scoffs of the public, the gall of bloggers and the reviews of disappointed customers. I want to believe that Anthem the potential will survive the crisis, which will degenerate into a qualitatively different iteration, and that will be able to win the hearts of millions. And it is a pity that not many were interested in the topic in close acquaintance with this crippled, but still living project.

Even if this event is specific and does not apply to the gaming industry, it was simply impossible to miss it in 2019. “Game of Thrones“Started in 2011 and instantly riveted millions of spectator eyes and minds to itself. Vivid images of the characters, high-quality production and intricate plot lines entered into a harmonious relationship with the unique subgenre of fantasy – gloomy, dirty, vile and shocking. In the end, the script of the show went against the original source, the cycle “Song of Ice and FireGeorge Martin. Closer to the last seasons, the scriptwriters had to think through the story arches on their own, and even the uninitiated viewers felt how the narrative changed. And then the finale struck. Well, as he struck – like a baby clapperboard. But bright confetti flying around in different directions settled for a long time in the information space.

The only joy that brought the eighth season “Game of Thrones“- the series is over. We can finally tell him “valar dohearis” and forget it. Either as a nightmare, or as the best event in the history of television since “To stay alive“,”Clan soprano“,”Breaking bad“Or, at worst,”Santa barbara“. Alas, Benioff and Wyss They didn’t know how to finish their own series. For show runners “Game of Thrones“Became a fun carnival of deaths and unexpected actions of characters. Benioff and Wise decided that one character could be made a traitor, the second a conspirator, the third insane, the fourth dead, and the fifth king. And all for six episodes lasting about an hour with a little. But this does not happen. Do you know what happens? TV shows are just … ending.

Many shows left their heroes with their personal finale or even threw them at a crossroads. What will happen to the six friends next? We hope that we don’t know. We would not have guessed what happened to Jesse Pinkman, if not El camino. And, although this is not the best example, but what happened to Tony Soprano? Is he alive, and if not, then who shot? Building theories and dreaming about the future of heroes is much better than laughing at Jaime’s dirty brawl. Or from somewhere out of nowhere Euron. Therefore, people remember the episode in which nothing was visible, as well as the forgotten cups of coffee. Because the audience understands – the creators didn’t care how and how it ended. Just to end.

In the wonderful comedy “Airplane“The plane, which remained without pilots, is being tried to land by a former military pilot and a frail stewardess. When they sweat (literally), trying to hold the helm, the hero comes to them Leslie Nielsen and says: “I just want to wish you good luck. We all rely on you. ”How will your career develop? Benioff and Wyssa further – a riddle. But for some reason it seems that even luck will not help them fill up the 200 millionth contract with Netflix.

First season “Game of Thrones»Was released in 2011. At that moment, the boom of online cinemas had not yet happened, and each series was eagerly downloaded in the translation of Lostfilm. Just think, have you DOWNLOADED the series for a long time? I swallowed the first season and looked forward to the sequel, which for many years has become a traditional seasonal attraction. “Game of Thrones“- not just a series. This is a phenomenon that everyone discussed – even those who did not watch the show. You can scold the finale, hate the scriptwriters, but you will not be able to deny the significance of this project for world culture. And everything else, in principle, is not important.