For the most part, video games are fantastic. I spend a good part of my free time sitting in front of my computer monitor or TV wrapped up in a video game. The fact is, video games are fun, engaging and downright addictive. There are games out there for everyone. Whether you like solving puzzles, shooting people in the face or trying to survive in a horror filled world, there is a video game out there for you.
That being said, there are plenty of things that happen in the video game industry that make me angry. Just when you think everything is perfect, something comes along and takes the wind out of your sails. Most of these annoying things could be avoided, but sometimes it is just an unfortunate side effect that comes along with any big business. I would love for the video game world to be perfect all the time, but the fact is, it just cannot be. There is bound to be bad stuff that happens, and the things I am going to talk about today are the ones that piss me off the most.
Release Dates Pushed Back
One of the worst things that can happen to a video game is their release date being pushed back. Most of the time, it is just a couple of weeks or a month, and I can live with that, but sometimes games get pushed back by a large amount of time. Generally, the game gets pushed back when it is far away from the release, so the anticipation is not too bad, but now and then, a game gets pushed back when it is close to hitting the market, and that really sucks.
Let me just say I love Valve, but they are terrible at hitting their release windows. Half Life 2, which was supposed to be an episodic game, is still not wrapped up. It’s been something like 100 years, and we are still left waiting for the next episode. Of course, there is always the most infamous example of all – Duke Nukem Forever. That game missed release dates that spanned multiple console generations. They missed so many release windows that the game became the biggest joke in the history of video games, and no one thought it would ever come out.
Lack of Innovation
I think at this point we can all deal with the fact that the video game industry is sequel driven. When a game is popular, developers and publishers are going to do whatever they can to cash in and make as many variations of that game as possible, and generally, I am okay with that. However, what pisses me off is when they clearly make no effort to innovate between titles and the new version ends up feeling almost exactly like the previous one.
Activision is probably most guilty of this. They are well known for releasing essentially the same game over and over again until gamers are sick of it. I like to call this “Tony Hawking” a franchise. Tony Hawk was awesome, and for a while it felt like Activision was really trying to drive the series forward, but at some point they seemed to give up. They kept spewing the same game out every year, and eventually gamers spoke with their wallets and stopped buying it.
Sports games are also huge offenders. I understand there is only so much you can do to change hockey or football, but it still annoys me when NHL 2011 and NHL 2012 are indiscernible from each other.
Overhyping a Game
Developers and publishers are only partially to blame for this, as much of the onus falls on the gamers themselves. Of course, it is the job of PR to get gamers excited for a release, but most overhyping comes from players who get too excited for a game and honestly believe that it is going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. The game comes out, and is a good solid 9 out of 10, and they are genuinely disappointed. They built their expectations so high that there was no way any game could ever live up the that. (I think I am actually doing this to myself with Borderlands 2, so I am just as guilty as anyone).
The list of games that are overhyped is massive. Of course, every Call of Duty game is overhyped. Everyone thinks it is going be the second coming, but in reality, it is always just a slightly improved version of the last one. For some reason people were hyped on Duke Nukem Forever, although I can’t imagine why. It was pretty safe to assume that game was going to be garbage, and of course, it was. Even Mass Effect 3 was overhyped to some degree. It is a great game, but the fact that people are filing complaints to the Better Business Bureau just shows that their exceptions for it were way too high.
As I said from the beginning, I love video games. However, sometimes stuff in the video game industry pisses me off. I wish everything could be perfect all the time, but as with anything in life, there will always be negatives. After all, if there were no unimaginative sequels, overhyped games and pushed back release dates, we wouldn’t appreciate it when a game nails these things perfectly.
What happens in the video game world that makes you mad? Let us know in the comments!