The next big game crash is coming
Every day, every hour maybe even every minute a new game comes out. We live in a time where thousand of games are published on steam in only 1 year. We live in a time in which gaming is the biggest growing business. In a time when every year we get everything from little indie games to big AAA games every month.
Be honest, do you would know if a game would be worth buying if you would walk into your local game store? Maybe for some but for every single game?
You simply can´t.
The last big game crash
During the years 1983 till 1985 the last big game crash took place, which resulted in the downfall of one of the biggest game developers at this time: Atari. They could never recover from this again but they survived until now unlike many other developers that went bankrupt at that time.
So let´s take a look at the reasons for this;
Too many games
In that time the game industry reached a new high point of their development, more and more game studios were funded, more and more people started working on games and more and more games came out. The market got flooded with games from all kind of different developers.
The consequence of this was that the retailers got so many games in their stores that no customer could possibly know which games are good or worth buying and it became a guessing game. While the games became cheaper and cheaper because of the little demand compared to the amount of games. At the same time many games were just bad, many developers didn´t know how to actually make a good game but still flooded the market with them.
As a result the customer couldn´t keep an overview of all the games and due to the sheer amount of games only a small percentage were actually good, which resulted in a stagnation of demand and the inflation of games.
Too many consoles
1983 there were not just 3 major consoles like today, while Atari was the king of console gaming at that time a lot smaller or bigger companies brought their consoles to the market.
So the market got not only saturated of games but of consoles too, too many consoles were available and only a few had actually good games that could keep them alive which resulted in a mass dying of consoles and a sheer oversaturation of consoles.
No one could keep an overview of the available games and consoles while the market got flooded by them more and more.
Atari was the king of gaming at that time … until they decided to make “great” games like E.T.
E.T became the symbol of the big game crash, over 3 million copies of this horrible game got buried in a desert in new mexico but it wasn´t the main reason for Atari´s downfall more the last stab on a dying body. Games like the Pacman port for the Atari 2600 which were highly anticipated but ended up as horrible and rushed games hit Atari´s money reserves hard. They just couldn´t recover from all the mistakes they did during 1982-84.
Instead of standing above the flood of games, Atari did the same, not knowing what the result would be they became one with it, when the king goes down the industry will see the consequences.
To summarize, the big game crash of 1983 was a result of many things, the oversaturation of consoles and games which was caused by the giant growth rate of the industry combined with the downfall of Atari just were to much to handle for this yougn industry.
To many games, sounds familiar, right? The best example would be the PC market, especially Steam. In 2016 40% of all games on Steam came out, for a platform that were funded with the release of Half-Life 2 that´s pretty much right? Do you know of all the good games that came out during the past years?
We may not have an over saturation of consoles but that´s not necessary if it continues like this. The PC gets flooded with indie games, which are mostly bad, the consoles slowly get flooded too, even tho their policy is stricter, just look at the Life of Black Tiger for example. Slowly all platforms get flooded with games and only a few are good, even AAA games are getting worse. No consumer could possilby keep an eye on every game that comes out every day, just look at Steam´s “Upcoming” section.
“It´s because their quality control is so bad!”
This is a popular argument to bash on Steam´s policy and give them the fault for it but imagine being an employee of Valve. Imagine how many indie games want to be on Steam, imagine how many people would be necessary to control every single game and every single developer if their game is good endough for Steam, the number of games is just to big every year in our current situation.
This is also seen at Sony, how could games like Life of Black Tiger get on their store? Maybe because they just get slowly overwhelmed too, like Steam is since years. Steam tried to outsource this problem to the community with Steam Greenlight but as seen, it´s nto a very trusty way if games like The Pasture can successfully get on Steam.
It´s just not possible anymore to control any game, it´s not possible to play any game, it´s not possible to know all good games.
Sounds familiar right?
Is there a solution?
In my opinion there isn´t. This is the consequence of the giant growth rate of this industry, it´s the fastest growing industry on the world, it´s the biggest and it will stay like this. Of course little studios want to get a piece of the cake too but due to the fast growing rate it´s not a slow process, it´s fast and uncontrollable.
2016 was a sign for this, too fast too many games came out, too many developers were funded and slowly they begin to overwhelm everything. The same with AAA studios, everyone wants to bring out more games in a shorter amount of time for more profit and less costs.
How should we stop this? You can´t stop the growth of this industry and you can´t control it.
Over the past years the gaming industry began to grow faster and faster, more and more people began to enjoy games and more and more people got attracted by it like moths get attracted by light. Especially 2016 was a sign for this with all the games that came out and 2017 won´t be different, probably even worse.
At the moment the history begins to repeat itself, games are getting shit out by thousands of studios and there is no sign of change. Like in 1983 the market gets flooded by bad games while only a few are good, the consumer gets overwhelmed, the publishers get overwhelmed and the retailers are getting overwhelmed.
A next big game crash will come soon if the industry doesn´t understand that it slowly kills itself like this. Of course games will never disappear, to many people love them but in my opinion the market will get rid of a lot of these developers soon because it can´t continue like this.
Maybe this year, maybe next year, who knows but the next game crash will come soon in this pace.
What do you think about it? Do you agree? Wanna give feedback?
Leave a Comment below!
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