Just something I’ve been thinking about lately. Has gaming become less harder to play as a casual?
Growing up in relative terms compared to the most of this board, I’d definitely consider myself more casual than most.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve always been into gaming since I was a kid starting with the ameiga 500 plus only consoles I’ve not had since the mid 90’s were the Saturn and original Xbox.
But throughout the years games were less time consuming where even when you gaming wasnt my no1 interest you could play big name games of the time that could be played through as they games weren’t as big that would take 60 to 100 hours to complete. With 10/15 AAA hour games you’d finish it and wouldn’t be burnt out you’d be wanting to buy and play a new game before long.
Now playing big games if you can get a casual to complete a 60 to 100 hour game you can be pretty burnt out where you got to give yourself sometime or find time to consider starting another. So it’s more for the hardcore that are so invested that will jump back in.
Now that I’m older and other interests I have are slowing down ie playing sports etc I find it’s easier but I had I being 10/15 years younger find the time would be hard.
Also back in the day games had a larger variety. It may just be me but it feels as though the genre of games that would attract the casuals is narrowing with more RPG MMO games being the focus and yes I know there are plenty of FPS games out there but other than those the mainstream isn’t there to attract the casuals.
I think that like everything in life, the video game industry has also evolved, casual gamers have been changing, also technology and developers and consequently also games.
For example I just returned to CoD Mobile and now I find that there are events with missions with their story, narrative and scenes. The game went from something very basic like selecting game mode and starting to play to have a story and learn more about the characters. They also added a gunsmith months ago to configure your weapons to be faster, more precise, more balanced, etc. They also made changes to the battler royale, they were adding more complexity little by little, better managing resources, choosing your game mode well, etc.
I am talking about a very casual game that is raising the skills of casual players and people are beginning to raise their expectations about what a game should offer, this is causing the games to evolve.
Forza Horizon 5 will have a lot of mass audience appeal. Flight Sim allows you to use easy settings that make for casual fun. I think you are definitely onto something though when you speak of the broader gaming community that has impossibly high standards… saying halo is missing features or that cyberpunk is trash. Don’t take the groupthink gamer crowd too seriously they just follow the herd. Also don’t be intimidated by game length or the need to complete every game. Play the new Assassins Creed, Far Cry, etcetera for as long as it’s still fun then move on. Backlog obsession should just be ignored because there is nothing wrong with leaving a game unfinished.
Games have been around long enough that there is an element of Darwinism to it. Parts of games that work well (lead to strong sales) are kept, while elements that don’t spark interest are dropped away. Ubisoft is a fine example, they’ve evolved to a point that playing Assassin’s Creed, Wildlands/Breakpoint, Far Cry, etc feels relatively seamless if you shift between them. The characters may be different, but the graphics, menus, enemy behaviour etc is all gradually refined to a formula that keeps selling.
If you had less than a second to look at them, would you really tell Forza and GT apart without scrutinising the HUD? Same with Fifa and Pro Evolution Soccer, or those various hero shooters/battle royals with their bright colour palettes. This is due to years and years of games homogenising towards which works best. Fifa is a good example because they’ve tried to introduce things in the past (ways of taking free kicks, tussling at corners) which have been tried and dropped, while other elements have been tried and kept - not only by them but also by the competition, and so the games become increasingly similar.
Sometimes there is a mutant, in the shape of Battlefield Hardline for instance, where they take the components of a game series and try to make something genuinely different. If it works (Apex legends from Titanfall, Forza Horizon) then it evolves into it’s own thing, if it doesn’t (Battlefield Hardline, Resident Evil Survivor) then it dies out and we carry on with the original game only.
To bring this back to your point, games are less casual because they’ve evolved along the lines of which sell best, and overall 10 hour games are usually good at selling systems, but outside of a few examples that are showpieces they do not necessarily sell well. I think The Order 1886 was about six hours long, and the backlash drove most games to go in the opposite direction.
Totally agree, there is always the indie scene (with some incredible games) and I’d say that there is more to the industry than GAAS/time sinkers even in the AA/AAA space (thankfully). I don’t care about the GAAS kind of games yet I always have more than enough games to keep me busy and entertained.
Some 2021 releases that come to mind and are not 50-60hrs long/GAAS that I have played and enjoyed this year are: Little Nightmares 2, Lost Words, Resident Evil 8, It Takes Two, Psychonauts 2, Death’s Door, Omno, Katana Zero, Call of the Sea, Streets of Rage 4 (well it’s not a 2021 release but the awesome Survival mode is a great pick up and play mode!).
Same. There are some amazing indy titles hidibg in this giant mess of pseudo AAA mainstream games. Side note…Great list you have here, played almost all you mentionned except Little Nightmares 2 (finished the 1st with all dlcs & it was a memorable experience), Lost Worlds & It Takes Two. These are really stand out games. I’m probably gonna pick Lost In Random next.
Re8 was truly awesome, just waiting for the DLCs.
As a personal experience I am tired of the “Ubisoft” type formula you know fast food games big empty soulless open world. I think games are becoming more & more casual.
They almost all look & play the same with no challenge no originality no skill just copy pasta fedex filler everywhere with low IQ A.I and design with everything assisting you like if you were a dumbass.
Everything is given to you for free without any effort or thinking…So I buy way less than before and thanks to GP I can try and insta delete if needed.
What’s the definition of casual? Gaming has become more mainstream. And is a business that is more valuable than the movie industry. Go back to my early gaming in the 90’s and say that. You’d be laughed at.
As a result the industry has tuned itself to focus on often that very broad audience. If you go back 20 years the focus was often on niches. Let’s make an RPG for that fanbase etc. Now most game genres have homogenised to the extent that there is a template. RPG games are more action adventure like. Action adventure games usually incorporate RPG elements to add depth. You see it all the time. Doesn’t mean it’s worse entertainment industries tend to mature in this way.
And behind the big stuff is a slew of indie and smaller titles that fill the specific niche gaps that are left behind. So in theory everyone is better catered for. In theory at least.