With the demise of the Ryan Johnson lead star wars movies and Disney’s sudden retraction of production it should be more and more apparent to larger publishers that consumers are smart enough to simply sit it out. When Black Ops 4 released I had no desire to purchase the game. I have always played FPS with a mindset of playing through the campaign is the primer for the online game play. Like a tutorial of sorts. I also admittedly enjoy the story aspect of the FPS games and games as a whole.
With the controversy surrounding the story in Battlefield 5 and the complete lack of a story in black ops 4 I am beginning to think that publishers have lost sight of what an FPS game is. Very quickly the things that it is not.
It is not an opportunity for the creator and publisher to push there political basis on the consumer. Of course they completely have the option to do so. But then people like myself and others will sit it out. Battlefield 5 is a great example of this. The inclusion of women was fine, and the telling of perhaps less known stories is great. But when the fan base pointed out that the vast majority of fighting in WW2 was done by men, and that rewriting stories to include women and erase real men that died was in poor taste. Dice took a tactic of shame. Calling gamer’s uneducated and not smart enough to understand that this wasn’t necessarily how the war went, but how the war could have gone. Going further and telling fans if they didn’t like it do not buy it because they don’t care. Battle Field 5 was a failure in the field of Triple A titles and the gamer’s that sat it out had there voices heard. Developers at Dice told gamer’s they didn’t know there history and even if they had rewritten something it doesn’t matter because this was how it could have been in WW2. Wait are you telling me I am wrong, but that if I am right it doesn’t matter because make believe. That is what is sounded like to me and many other gamer’s. Sales of the game reflect this poor story telling and bad attitude on behalf of the maker to the consumer.
Moving on to Black Ops 4’s full price game, with mandatory season pass to stay relevant in the online game play arena, micro-transaction thorough a cash shop, and no campaign, and loot boxes. That’s right folks. Tryarch made a FTP game with a 109$ price tag for the first year of game play. Live service is just code word for scam…….. Anthem! We have so many examples of excellent FTP FPS games on the market that this sort of bait and switch nonsense is sad. Sales of black ops 4 reflects this lack of consumer interest with almost 1 million less copies sold then projected. Its poor sales continued on to be one of the issues sighted by Activision for needing to lay off 1000 employees.
The sad moment this last year was realizing that if you take the good components of BF5 and BO4 and combined them into one game you would have had the top selling game of the year. IF they had created a fun FPS game with an excellent campaign, great online game play, stayed away from politics, not insulted the consumers waiting to buy the game, and released DLC free like BF5 is doing they could have sold an awesome game at 60$ and had a cosmetic cash shop which would have been crazy busy.
As more and more games come to market at an ever growing volume gamer’s are going to have more and more choices, but the same amount of time to play. This means that this over the top price gouging is going to close studios and publishers in the long run. This means creating these preachy woke games and talking down to you target market is going to come at a cost.
I hope this cost does not come at the end of a franchise I personally love. I know there are gamer’s out there that have already suffered the loss a franchise that had more stories to tell, but through poor development and management they will never see the world they grew to love again.