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Why are game sizes so big these days? Let me outline the business reasons for this

Content of the article: "Why are game sizes so big these days? Let me outline the business reasons for this"

I have been wanting to get into Destiny 2 this year. I've played GTA for a long time and I'm tired of the game. Like many, I want a new GTA instead of playing one from 7 years ago. Even so, I feel hesitance uninstalling the game, all because of the large file size. What if I want to play again? My network speed won't support downloading 80+GB. Screw it, I think, time for a fresh game. I decided to Google Destiny's file size. Imagine my frustration when I saw it was 165 GB! Are you kidding me? As is my habit, I started to Google why. Why are game file sizes so big? What is going on? Most articles give us the technical reasons for large game sizes. But no one has talked about the competitive/business practices that outline this trend. Why are game companies making you download large AAA games? (TLDR answer: it's the money.)

On an

, Jack Packard talks about about the new Marvel's Avengers (which is also 90+GB in size). Packard points out that Avengers, like current AAA games, has been developed as a games as a service (GaaS) product. He complains about the ridiculous glut of GaaS games in the market. Every game company wants you to play their game for months on end. I'd go further to argue that we are in some of sort of "games as a service wars" where companies are vying for our exclusive attention. The basic mantra goes: "Why play other games when we offer expanding/evolving content? Don't uninstall because there are more seasons, lootboxes, cosmetics, packs, skins etc. to come!"

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Large file sizes, in my opinion, are another dirty trick used by game companies, especially in service of the GAAS model. Large file sizes discourage gamers from uninstalling a game or even installing other (similarly large) games. Picture this: Bob is a gamer who has a 2TB+SSD along with a lightning fast connection that allows for 100+GB downloads in a matter of hours. How many gamers around the world are like Bob? Very few: less than 5% if I may guess a figure. Most gamers (even in developed countries) have subpar network speeds not to mention restrictive data caps. Also, most gamers don't have 1TB+ SSDs (HDDs are a different scenario but we're increasingly moving towards SSDs which are expensive). Most gamers, in other words, are like me. We have to think twice before installing or uninstalling a game that is 60+ GB. And game companies are quite happy with this status quo.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself but here's what's going through my head. If I install Destiny 2 on my tiny SSD, I'm forced to uninstall GTA which is just as large. I also cannot install Call of Duty Modern Warfare which is 200 GB. If I uninstall Destiny 2, I have to download 165 GB again over days, if not weeks. This works in favor of Bungie/Activision because Destiny 2 is a Gaas game that you play for months on end. Bungie/Activision gets to monopolize my time and attention which is good for their business but not for me!

If I'm sounding angry now, it's because I'm frustrated with the state of gaming today. We have so many great games and the indie scene is booming. I never imagined gaming to be this good! But we also live in a world where shyster gaming companies ruin games with their predatory, pro-business, anti-gamer practices. It's like Charles Dicking said: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

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In conclusion, I don't think I will install Destiny 2. Atleast with my Hulu/Netflix/Amazon Prime/Disney+/Showtime/cable subscriptions, I can switch at any moment. That's better, isn't it?


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