How long does a videogame’s life last? I mean, how much time does it take to turn a “simple” game into something worthy of being in a museum, or into a downright phenomenon which endures the passage of time and is still played, modded and appreciated decades after being released? Selling millions of copies surely helps in reaching the “classic” status, as much as it’s useful to not to exclusively depend on digital stores that are on-line now and will likely be off-line tomorrow. In the end, as the 2015 E3 in June showed, gaming memories strike back on new generation machines as well.
This new gaming world completely tied to Internet servers is horrible, and the number of players realizing (they MUST realize it) how wrong the on-line only setup is grows as the accidents arising from the intrinsic unreliability of the Net increase: the outcomes of the preannounced shutdown of Games For Windows Live are affecting games released years ago, Steam automatic updates remove contents from the games users have already paid for and crowdfundend projects don’t keep the pledge for including a working off-line mode. An exemption to the DMCA for lawfully removing Internet DRM is a good thing yet it isn’t enough, to avoid this abomination.
Right now the video game industry is infected by a cancer called free-to-play, ie that business where publishers exploit the popularity of well known gaming brands like Dungeon Keeper to make a scam in “app” format for mobile toys out of it or forgettable multiplayer degenerations of a story-based series like Legacy of Kain. To survive the potentially fatal disease of F2P, the industry can however rely on powerful antibodies like 30+ million units-worth blockbusters (Grand Theft Auto V) and the PC market which died aeons ago yet still amounts to tens of billions of dollars in revenues per year.
2013 in gaming is finished and the new year promises to be as much full of ideas, decent games and maybe some unforgettable gem here and there. 2014 will surely bring a great number of titles worthy of being taken into consideration, indie games capable of selling millions of copies or collecting millions of dollars in funds, mega hits of tens of millions of copies sold and extremely interesting graphic technologies (AMD’s Mantle). The list of what I personally would like to see never again includes the silliness of “cloud” games that must be reprogrammed to work off-line afterward, the rubbish (or the downright frauds) on the Kickstarter slot machine and the fucking remakes of everything.