Have ‘Games as a Service’ (GAAS) Reached Bursting Point?
February 2019 saw the release of Anthem, Apex Legends and Crackdown 3, all around the same date. These highly anticipated titles are yet more ‘time sinks’ following in the footsteps of Destiny and The Division.
Whilst Anthem came out with plenty of notice, a playable demo, and a launch fanfare, it wasn’t long before the comparison videos popped up showing how different the final version was compared to the teaser footage. In stark comparison, Apex Legends just appeared with no previews, stress tests, demos or fanfare. The resulting game came with no expectations and was positively received.
However, does the market really need another Destiny or Division? Why do games need to take so long?
As the average gamer is a time-poor thirty-something, GAAS games are an investment and not one that can be easily switched. Some choose to spend their time embroiled in epic battles, whilst others may just kick back and play online casino games on Lvbet
Recently, gamers have been swamped with time sink games such as the battle royal titles such as Fortnight and PUBG and the thought of having to put another 50+ hours into a new game feels exhausting.
Couple that with the controversy around loot boxes and pay to win mechanics, console games are getting ever closer to the bad side of mobile games. It would be fantastic to buy a game and know that you have everything you need to enjoy the game and there was no season pass, no characters behind paywalls, or no shop to buy hats and coloured guns to your ‘enhance or personalise’ the experience.
With AAA games such as Resident Evil 2, proving that there is still life in the single player game market and a plethora of indie titles, such as Psychonauts 2 on the horizon, I realise now that it is these more unique ‘complete’ games that now excite me. The thought of a 20-hour slog, only to then be sold loot boxes, outfits and gear (which are needed to beat the overpowered ‘bosses’) fill me with dread. As a reviewer, I love the feeling of completing a game and experiencing the game as the designer intended. One single isolated experience.
As I discuss it with others in the industry, I am finding this be a common feeling that is growing with each new GAAS game. Many feel like tools to drain players of any spare change they can muster.
How do you feel about the new crop of GAAS games? Are you committed to Destiny or will you jump ship to experience the latest time sinks on the market?