The video game industry in my opinion has a lot of toxic trends happening in it and I personally feel it should have some form of government regulation. Here are some trends that in my opinion, I do not see how this could be at all beneficial to the consumer. Just for reference these trends mostly refer to paid games,
Preorder bonus: Companies trying to entice you to buy a game not even released, on the premise of if you do not buy it you will be missing out on certain exclusives. As someone who is very impulsive, it's easy for me to understand why people buy preorders, but I feel this tactic preys on the idea of impulsiveness and missing out.
Special editions: It feels that every AAA game that comes out has at the very least, three different versions of the game, and again I feel this also preys on impulsiveness and missing out. Because if you buy the normal version of the game and enjoy it, then want to buy the DLC, you feel you would have missed out on a great deal of a special edition.
Day 1 DLC: This content was available and ready before the game out. DLC in my opinion should be reserved to after the game has been out for some time, and the developers wish to add more to the game. But with day 1 DLC, it can sometimes feel like there's not enough in the base game, making you want to buy the DLC.
Season passes: Similar to preorder bonuses, trying to entice to buy a product that's not even out yet. And with day 1 DLC becoming more popular, season passes can feel like the better choice, when day 1 DLC in my opinion shouldn't be a thing in the first place.
Loot boxes: The idea of trying to normalize gambling in videogames, a lot of which children play, I think is awful. And loot boxes can constantly nickel and dime you so you don't really realize your losing a lot of money till the point where you look at your bank account. I for one love a good gamble here and there, but when gambling becomes my only option, I can find it quite boring.
Microtractions: Similar to loot boxes, microtransactions can nickel and dime you also. And even then just having microtransactions in a paid for game just sucks.
Day 1 underdeveloped games: A lot of AAA companies in my opinion have been releasing games severely underdeveloped and buggy. And they are kind getting rewarded for doing this. They can release way earlier than planned, they get the consumer to pay to bug test the game for them instead of hiring play testers, and they get free press since everyone goes to talk about how buggy the game is. I do feel that there is no such thing as bad publicity. And this practice is accepted on the terms of it can be patched out later. But the way I see it, these companies are selling you a game they claim to be fully developed, and they are selling it to you full price.
Patenting game mechanics: Warner Brothers recently patented the Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor. In my opinion this stifles creativity within the game development community. Anyone who wanted to be inspired by this system, and use it in there own fun way, now has to be afraid of receiving a lawsuit. I know WB is just one example, but the idea stands that patenting game mechanics is a scary thing.
One company hold license to product: The only example I have of this at the moment is EA owning the Star wars license. However I feel this can apply to any franchise. I find this sad because there were tons of fun games released with the star wars license, but now that EA owns it we've had a drought with this franchise. I know more recently they been making more games with star wars, but I feel star wars could benefit more if it wasn't only EA that owned it in terms of games.
Pay to win: In general this just sucks, but especially seeing this in paid games is awful.
$70 games: This one I wouldn't have a huge problem with if I truly believed that the extra money would go into developing games, paying developers more, and stopping the above trends, but I know in my heart that's not true. It's just gonna be extra money for the high up CEOS.
We as consumers of games have become desensitized to these predatory practices (myself included). And every one of these trends requires its own separate fight to try and stop. While I do not have an exact plan for how this would look, I do feel that we should have some form of government regulation within the gaming industry. This post doesn't even go into the problems with the development community, crunch times, layoffs, underpaidness, but that's a whole different discussion.
Some Fun Questions to Answer:
-What are some other trends within the gaming community that you feel are toxic to the consumer?
-Do you feel that we should have government regulation for the gaming industry, why or why not?
-If we were to have some form of government regulation, how do you think it should be implemented?
Also I don't know if this post actually a triggering post but I put the flair on just incase
- I hate seeing people promote the lie that you can vote with your wallet
- The ethics of video game piracy
- Are we powerless as sports game consumers?
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