Game developers biggest challenge… Re-playibility value. Over the years, they have become more and more aggressive and cleaver at finding ways to bring us back to their titles and give them more money. Of course, us as consumers, are usually fool enough or eager enough to fall for the bait. But when does it become too much? What does it take to get a gamer to say, “No, I’m done with this, I’m not spending anymore time or money on this.”
I’d like to take one of the biggest examples of one of these titles that has been used to continuously bring gamers back to the controller (or mouse.) Call of Duty. Think about how many titles, and how long these games have been around. Why do we go back? Aren’t they the same game, just a different story, maybe a little bit of a different play-style or some new weapons? What is so appealing or attractive about these new titles, released on a yearly basis, that has us spending another $60 ? They’ve taken the simple appeal of “new.” It’s a new title! It’s got new features! It’s still Call of Duty, but NEW!! When we truly think about any such title, what really is new about them? The same could be said about Halo, Assassins Creed, Borderlands, Gears of War, and many other titles.
Call of Duty has been running for years now, bringing a new title each year, and making really good sales off of their titles. How many gamers have decided it’s too much though? I, personally, have decided that a Call of Duty title is no longer interesting to me. I still find them enjoyable, but they no longer bring any appeal to me to go spend $60 on them. They’ve gotten too repetitive, too bland, even with the added “exo-suits” in the newest “Advanced Warfare” title. Other games though, still have me coming back. Borderlands still has a hook in my mouth, and I’m baited and ready for when they announce the 4th installment. So what is the difference?
I believe that story has a lot to do with it in many cases. For games that have developing stories that arc across the titles, that is much more of an appeal than simply saying, “Here is a new game that is the same in every way, but we’ve somehow made another universe/story for it! Have fun!” That’s what made me lose appeal to Call of Duty. No longer did it stay in the same universe. It was many different Earths that all had some sort of disaster or war that happens on it, sometimes even taking place in the same time periods. A good story helps motivate towards another purchase, especially when you’ve been given a cliff-hanger ending that has you up at night wanting to know what happened.
The same could also be said to phones and other technologies. Apple has been producing the Iphone for long time now. What makes the Iphone 6 so different from the Iphone 5? Or, better yet, what is the difference from an Iphone 5 and Iphone 5C? An update that is restricted on the “lower end” phone simply because they purposely put a block in it that causes it to be unable to update so that you are forced to go spend another $600 to get a “better” phone? Is that really worth it? Is it the appeal among peers that unspokenly says, “Look what phone I have! Be jealous of me!!” When does it become too much and people stop buying the “updated” phones?
I may seem opinionated, but hey, we are the “Opinionated Gamers.” I’ll leave the discussion to you. Leave in the comments what you feel is “too much.” When have you had enough and moved on to bigger or better things? Or are you still stuck in the rut of the repetitive games and technology? The choice is yours…