It’s the same broken record every time. “This was never intended.” “We missed the mark on this one.” “It’s too hard to make games.” “We’ll do better this time.” Blah blah blah blah! This excuse is being used more and more since the Battlefront 2 controversy, and people are actually defending them. Some gamers are being told the false ideology that games are too hard to make for AAA companies. Something (unless they’re an indie game developer) that is a weak excuse. Especially if they’re a multi-billion dollar company like Activision or EA. They have every resource at their fingertips with the kind of money they have, and they should have no excuse for why they can’t do better. Here’s two main reasons why.
The Gaming Industry is a $90 Billion Business
Like I said previously, these big companies have no room for excuses when they’re making insane amounts of money annually. In an article by IGN back in 2016, Electronic Arts CEO, Blake Jorgensen, was quoted saying,
“The extra content business is a billion-three [$1.3 Billion] a year. Half of that is roughly our Ultimate Team business.”
For those who don’t know, Ultimate Team is an EA contributor responsible with providing players in FIFA, Madden, and NHL games to be able to buy, sell, or trade player cards for cash or in-game currency. A system that EA has been profiting on for well over a decade. That’s not all. The article continues to state that Jorgensen explained that most gamers’ will “typically pay money to beat their friends”. Its also explained that EA makes over $650 million in digital revenue through mobile purchases. They also receive anywhere from $300 to $400 million from digital and subscription purchases across all platforms.
Remember though, these numbers are from 2016. Imagine what those numbers probably look like today. Astronomical I imagine. So when developers want to give the excuse that developing games is “too hard” or “too expensive”. Do yourself a quick Google search of what their annual revenue is. If it’s more than what you make annually, then they’re talking bullshit.
Some Developers Rush Their Titles
One of the biggest problems with games today is that they’re being rushed. It’s a simple yet terrible fact. Look at Mass Effect Andromeda and Battlefront 2, both of those titles were rushed for two different reasons. Andromeda was rushed so they could have it released on time, even though the finished product was not ready for release, and Battlefront 2 was rushed to be released alongside The Last Jedi film. Duke Nukem Forever met a similar fate. Even after all of the old advertising campaigns explained the game is “Coming When it’s Done!”. They had many years to make this game absolutely badass, and it completely missed the mark.
The finished product was completely botched, glitchy, buggy, and a total broken mess at release. The complete opposite of what was advertised back in 2001. A sad end to a rather epic game franchise. This is a very dangerous practice in the gaming industry that has a affected many game developers financially, and has also been the root cause of some companies being shut down. So why are games rushed? Well, it usually depends on the title. To many game publishers, there are some titles out there that they feel are too risky to sell. Which is usually the reason most big budget games are pushed towards the end of the year before they’re released. This is because most titles are usually given only a month to earn any profit.
So what do they do? Market the shit out of it. Over hype the hell out of the game to the heavens above. Scream from the highest mountain top about their game. Do everything they possibly can to hype the game up. It’s what Destiny 2 was very famous for with their Live Action marketing campaigns. Cayde-6 (one of the main characters of Destiny 2) being the face of most of the advertising. Hell, I got a Cayde-6 mini-figure with the copy I pre-ordered. It was to hype up their game as much as possible. So no matter how bad they did, they would still get the money they’d need from the advertisements. It doesn’t matter how bad the game was (and still is), they still got our money, and in the eyes of their corporate overlords, they won.
The Gaming Industry has and always will be one of the biggest industries worldwide, and will continue making money for years to come. Electronic Arts makes $4.8 Billion annually as of 2017. Activision makes $6.6 Billion annually as of 2016. Blizzard makes $2.4 Billion annually as of 2016. You get my point. If you ever hear game publishers complain and whine about how making games is to hard and that they need to implement micro-transactions to support their $60 games, just look at the numbers. A quick Google search will show just how much bullshit they’re spewing. They’re making us look stupid. They’re making us look like easy prey, and we need to stand up to them.
- Passalacqua, Michael. “This Is How Much Money EA Makes on Extra Content.” IGN, IGN, 2 Mar. 2016, http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/03/02/this-is-how-much-money-ea-makes-on-extra-content.
- Barder, Ollie. “When Games Are Rushed To Release Who Is To Blame? Hint: It’s Not The Testers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 Nov. 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2014/11/17/when-games-are-rushed-to-release-who-is-to-blame-hint-its-not-the-testers/#49f0aad84159.
- Lev-ram, Michael. “Activision Blizzard Aims for the Big Leagues.” Fortune, 7 June 2017, fortune.com/2017/06/07/fortune-500-activision-blizzard/.
- Curtis, Tom. “EA Reorganizes after a Landmark $1B Digital Year.” Gamasutra Article, Gamasutra, 12 Jan. 2012, http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/129086/EA_reorganizes_after_a_landmark_1B_digital_year.php.