Are We All Getting Ripped Off By The Game Industry?

Written by Makke

As our computers get better, faster and bigger (well - smaller in some cases) and the computer world expands, the gap between the game-industry and the users (read gamers) seems to get wider and wider. Some software houses seem to look upon the users only as sales rates and profit, and not as people that actually have a brain and that can have their own opinion. They seem to think that if they set a standard people will settle with that. But we won't. At least not the experienced user. And as our computers get better, faster and bigger, they seem to think that they absolutely HAVE to use ALL the power they can get out of the machine, and a little more. For instance:

To play any of the latest games that use any kind of 3D you've got to have a 3D card! Why? Because it makes it easier for the software houses to program the graphic-routines, and therefore take less time.

It actually seems as if the software houses are in some kind of conspiracy with the 3D-accelerator companies. I can name at least one example that drew my attention, and that's NHL'99 from EA Sports. Electronic Arts is a good game company, and I think they make some of the best games in the world today, but are 3D-accelerators needed for playing NHL'99? In EA Sports' opinion yes. In my opinion HELL NO!

My machine is a PII 300 MHz with 64 MB of RAM. This should be enough to play this game without a 3D-card! And if you take a look at the graphic of NHL'99 it's not that much better than in NHL'98 that ran just fine on both my 166 MMX (32 MB RAM), and my PII 300. Then why the hell can't I run NHL'99 properly on my 300 MHz PC?!

EA Sports (and many other software houses) seem to think that everybody has a 3D-card (at least the gamers), and that it would be wasted time and money to make a 3D routine that would run on a machine without a 3D-card. Or they think that everybody wants to play NHL'99 so badly that they'll run and buy a 3D-card JUST so they can play their favourite game. And here comes the conspiracy theory again!

If the software houses can make EVERYBODY buy 3D-cards they won't have to program routines for non-3D-card computers. And if you need a 3D-card to play all the hottest games many will buy a 3D-card.

So IF the software houses only support 3D-cards both the 3D-accelerator companies AND the software companies will win. And that's a fucking conspiracy against the ones they should be sucking up to.

But the worst part of all is that no one seems to realize this. Not the computer magazines, not the software dealers and certainly not the gamers! The game industry is ripping everybody off, and everybody seems to like it!

This makes me dream back to my Amiga days, when the software houses had to optimize their products after the computers, and not the other way round. AND the games were generally more fun then as well, plus that the game industry had better contact with the users.

How come? Well, the software houses mainly hired old scene people (or scene people started their own software house) and these sceners had a reputation to live up to, and they had a lot of close friends that would give them feedback on their production. Today this is not reality. Not in the same way as before anyway.

Sure, software houses still hire sceners, but not in the same amount as before. There is a lot of non-scene coders and gfx-guys, and this has caused the gap between the users and the industry. Which really sucks. The game manufacturers don't think of the users as 'good old Chris' or 'my dear friend Math' anymore. The users are just some people that are supposed to buy the product and nothing more. If you get bad feedback from some total strangers, that you really don't care that much about, it's easy to ignore, and say: 'Well, what the hell do they know anyway?!'

But if you know the guys who say: 'Man, your 3D engine SUCKS ASS!' you feel a little bad, coz YOU know, and the guys who gave you feedback know, you can do better. Yet you didn't.

So what do I want to say with this? Actually not much. I just wanted to waste your time. :)

No, seriously. I mean that the game industry is just a big joke that once in a while produces something good and original. (Often the good productions come from the same companies. Those companies who still have some of the old spirit alive.) I say that many gamers only fool themselves into thinking that a game is a great production, that actually sucks ass if you go down to the bottom!

You may not agree with me, and I hope not everyone does, coz then it's a shame that the game industry makes as much money as they do - on bad productions!


- Makke / Comic Pirates / Hugi