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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Video Game Connoisseur?

Video Game Connoisseur
Video Game Connoisseur

All too often I feel like I’m just playing the same damn game I played last week. Sometimes I am just playing the same game because developers just don’t always understand the concept of ‘difficulty levels’. Other times it seems like some company creates a successful game and everyone else just tries to copy it, occasionally the copy removes issues that were present in the original and ends up creating a better game. The rest of the time they just create a miserable, uninspired, piece of crap that ends up in the discount bin in the far corner of the store, the far, dusty, corner that only I go to (hey, dirty girls need love too). The main cause for ‘cloning’ is the rise of third party developers in the videogame industry.

Before a third party developer can create something new or groundbreaking they need money, and to get money they need investors, and investors won’t invest in something they aren’t sure will sell. Thus third party developers end up creating a ‘clone’ that they can move a few thousand copies of, make some money off of, and prove to developers that they’re a viable company with. Unfortunately some third party developers never get off this stage and end up churning out poor imitations until they fade away.

Remember the Super Nintendo? It was an awesome system and extremely revolutionary for its day, but it only had like twenty different games. The rest were just duplicates with different names and graphics. The developer Atlus was one of the guiltiest of this particular crime. A large number of their SNES games were just the same platformer with different graphics, no major changes in the games mechanics, hell the controls barely changed from game to game.

You may be wondering why I’m bringing up third parties now, well here’s my point: third party developers are extremely important to the video game industry, always have been and always will be. However I feel that next generation systems may be ignoring third party developers in their quest for the top. The vast majority of Playstation and PS2 games were made by third party developers, they provided the library of games that made a PS worth owning. The PS3’s Blu-Ray disc is an expensive format and the systems selling price of $500 will cause third party developers to see it as a bad investment for new developers while current developers are likely to (and have been) moving to the more cost effective X-Box 360. Nintendo’s new WiiMote controller will not be immediately accessible to everyone and make take sometime to be fully integrated and accepted into the mass market, therefore third parties will not immediately flock to the Wii. Also Nintendo of America has a history of censoring games released on its systems (go ahead and find a game rated Mature of the Gamecube that was released in America, I haven’t seen one yet).

Third party developers are past of gaming systems and most likely the future. But it’s looking more likely that third party developers are going to flock to the X-Box 360, The PS3 is going to be treated like someone with leprosy, and Nintendo’s Wii will get some third party attention when it comes out and more if its sales go up. So where does that leave us the gamers? I’m predicting that the PS3 will flop and the X-Box and the Wii will become the top two systems, All from the influence of third parties. Who ever has the games has the players.