Spellbound #1: Oversaturated gaming market
posted by Syrsly on Sep 03, 2012

Video games are the one entertainment medium that constantly evolves and attempts to offer you days of entertainment for the cost of a simple book or movie. Why are games so cheap? Why are we, as consumers, so jaded by the negative points in games that we cannot enjoy the positive points in the same games? How has the world of gaming changed over the past 15 years, and has it been changing for worse or better? This Spellbound series will attempt to give honest perspectives about the gaming culture and the pitfalls which are associated with it.

I grew up in the age of gaming when we did not have access to seemingly endless supplies of games on the internet. I had to really work at getting just one video game, and none of them were 3D yet! For that reason, I researched games intensely before buying them. I did not want to spend my $20 on a game that would only entertain me for 4 hours. I wanted games that I could play over and over again and never get completely bored of. I was foolish, thinking that any game would be able to satisfy my palette for an indefinite amount of time. However, I learned to buy games that offered gameplay features that were inherently fun to experiment with. For example, I found that I could experiment with stat upgrades and spell combinations in RPGs. I could also spend hours mastering a fighting game only to get annihilated by a better fighter, so I bought a lot of fighting games to play competitively with friends. I also bought platformers to try to run through levels as fast and efficiently as well, speed-running.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is the gaming culture has changed drastically over the course of only a few years. Rather than hunting down the decent games like it is a treasure hunt, gaining additional satisfaction just from finding a good game, we can simply buy whatever we want digitally, and it is a lot cheaper. Gamers simply log onto Steam and see the deals and order whatever they want, provided they have a way to pay. There are even some commercial quality games on Steam which are free-to-play, mostly online games. This begs the question, "Are we headed down the right path, or are we over-saturating the market?"

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