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As we've learned more about Google Stadia, it has me thinking about the direction gaming is headed over the course of the next several years. How do you feel about the "near future" of gaming? Do you think services and console like Google Stadia will result in other manufacturers moving to streaming/digital only platforms as well? More generally, what do you think the gaming industry looks like in 10 years?

As always, take this in whatever direction you'd like.
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Luke Stirling
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In a world of broken copyright and profit-oriented corporations I detest the idea. If one could fix those things first, then streaming games that aren't negatively affected by latency sounds like a great idea.

Which is a bit like saying that living on Mars would be a great idea, if it wasn't for the deadly radiation and year-long dust storms.
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For a long time, I've taken a "hope for the best, expect the worst" attitude towards the industry.

Sony's PS4 E3-counter-reveal to the XB1 was an outlier. It was a delicious moment, where Microsoft left themselves open in a surprisingly naive way, and Sony turned the whole internet hate train against them. I don't expect a repeat.

Stadia sounds purely bad to me. It's about further corroding any notion of long-term, concrete ownership while removing whatever small barriers are left to anything-and-everything data collection. It's an attempt to further reconfigure the market towards corporate convenience.

The hope is always that good games will come out, one way or another. We knew that "free to play" would be incredibly stupid, and it was. We knew that microtransactions would damage a lot of games, and they are. But those things are no longer "near future," and they haven't put a stop to the occasional modern classic.

To be honest, if there was an industry "crash," I'm not sure I would care. Today's videogame industry is forever running away from its past achievements, desperately hoping to cultivate and compete within a kind of permanent amnesia. It spends a lot of energy trying to narrow down and police what "counts" in terms of quality. It horribly mistreats its employees, and the logic of "everyone wants to be paid to work on their hobby, therefore none of you are valuable" is as strong as ever.

And on top of that, I'd say that anticipation of unreleased games is a cornerstone of gamer-toxicity to begin with. The less time thinking about what could happen, instead of enjoying was has happened, the better.
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I thought about it. I built a computer for somewhere between $2000 to $3000. I expect my computer to last about 8 years. That comes to a cost of $21-$31 per month. If I could lease computer capabilities for less than that so that all I need is a stable internet connection, then that would mean my computer is always up to date with latest technology. In order to be worth it though, I'd need full computer capability through that stream: word processor, internet browser, file storage, etc.
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I dont see stadia succeeding the way some hope. At best it will be like Netflix, where gaming companies that make really good games dont want to be on it because its not as profitable. Netflix is where mediocre older stuff are put out to pasture. Once the movie studios figured out how much money Netflix was making they upped thier prices, now Netflix has to make thier own mediocre content to survive. It will be part of the landscape and another option, but it wont replace anything.

Im excited for Polymega, which is a great direction for the hobby. I think as long as there is physical media I will be in the hobby, streaming I cant see caring about outside multiplayer. I imagine one day I wont have the internet either.
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I love it! The more innovation the better!
 
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MeteorBear wrote:
I dont see stadia succeeding the way some hope. At best it will be like Netflix, where gaming companies that make really good games dont want to be on it because its not as profitable.


Good observation.

Additionally, it seems to me that Stadia is dead in the water without something resembling a global transition to 5G broadband. Without inviting a political discussion, it's possible that the world's major economic zones will be split between entirely different tech standards by 2020/2021.

In fact, there's a lot that Google, Microsoft, Sony, and the rest would like to see settled across the three biggest markets (US, EU, China). I'm not sure we'll even see a Fall 2020 launch for new consoles if they don't (yet) have clear enough answers.
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MeteorBear wrote:
Netflix is where mediocre older stuff are put out to pasture. Once the movie studios figured out how much money Netflix was making they upped thier prices, now Netflix has to make thier own mediocre content to survive.

Most stuff I watch these days is on Netflix. In fact since the movie studios started pulling their shows to their own services Netflix has made some really good stuff. And they've also showcased little-known movies and series from indies and other countries that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Will Stadia do the same for gaming? Who knows? Nobody seems to predict this kind of thing well. I think Netflix managed to pivot their business model at the right time and were ahead of the game but Stadia doesn't have this advantage.
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Cricky wrote:
MeteorBear wrote:
Netflix is where mediocre older stuff are put out to pasture. Once the movie studios figured out how much money Netflix was making they upped thier prices, now Netflix has to make thier own mediocre content to survive.

Most stuff I watch these days is on Netflix. In fact since the movie studios started pulling their shows to their own services Netflix has made some really good stuff. And they've also showcased little-known movies and series from indies and other countries that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Will Stadia do the same for gaming? Who knows? Nobody seems to predict this kind of thing well. I think Netflix managed to pivot their business model at the right time and were ahead of the game but Stadia doesn't have this advantage.
I like Netflix too, because of the variety it offers. It may not offer the AAA titles (which are often boring) but I love the AA and niche titles it does have.
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manukajoe wrote:
Cricky wrote:
MeteorBear wrote:
Netflix is where mediocre older stuff are put out to pasture. Once the movie studios figured out how much money Netflix was making they upped thier prices, now Netflix has to make thier own mediocre content to survive.

Most stuff I watch these days is on Netflix. In fact since the movie studios started pulling their shows to their own services Netflix has made some really good stuff. And they've also showcased little-known movies and series from indies and other countries that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Will Stadia do the same for gaming? Who knows? Nobody seems to predict this kind of thing well. I think Netflix managed to pivot their business model at the right time and were ahead of the game but Stadia doesn't have this advantage.
I like Netflix too, because of the variety it offers. It may not offer the AAA titles (which are often boring) but I love the AA and niche titles it does have.


I'm also a big Netflix fan. It gets used daily in our household.
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I'm old fashioned. I like to own my games.

That is, in fact, the major reason I finally decided to switch to Steam: It will allow access to all of the games I own and I won't have to deal with the fact that computers no longer use 5-1/2" floppy drives, making older games I own inaccessible.

(I realize some will argue that what Steam sells is really a "license" to use the game, but I'm okay with that so far.)

I don't see a problem with streaming games if some people find that preferable to their tastes so long as games are also still available to purchase. Not everyone is entertained in the same way and some people like to play a game once, beat it, and be done with it, and streaming games sounds like an excellent plan for those sorts of players.

I just like to go back and replay my favorites again and again because something in the writing/acting/visuals/etc. makes me happy. And I can only ever play so many games (I feel bad about the dreaded Steam backlog), so new games every month, even ones I didn't want to play and didn't have to play, would kind of stress me out because I'm a completionist.

I'll add that I don't find streaming games and streaming TV (like Netflix) to be the same thing. While there are programs/episodes that I would like to watch again and again, I grew up in an era where it was expected that a TV show would be on, people would enjoy it, and then it would go away. So I don't feel the need to own shows in quite the same way I feel the need to own games.
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I would hate to be 40 hours deep into a 60 hour game and my streaming video game service abruptly discontinues access to that game.

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Eh, it feels like there will be another crash, especially now that PC clients are starting to get the console style exclusivity competitions. The industry needs it to help them remember that this is a vastly different art form that has, historically, had its success dictated by the consumers more than any other industry out there. Someone here mentioned how badly Microsoft flubbed their E3 presentation where they revealed the XB1, and they changed nearly all of it thanks to what could effectively be labeled as weaponized gamer outrage. EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was nearly stillborn thanks to their obvious attempts at money grubbing and, in addition to hurting the game's sales, caused Disney to essentially take the license back and reopen LucasArts. The games industry is trying really hard to become the TV industry but it's gonna hurt itself in the long run. At any rate, I'm continue to keep giving small indie devs my money and snipe the occasional AAA title.
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VanillaCokeMule wrote:
Eh, it feels like there will be another crash, especially now that PC clients are starting to get the console style exclusivity competitions. The industry needs it to help them remember that this is a vastly different art form that has, historically, had its success dictated by the consumers more than any other industry out there. Someone here mentioned how badly Microsoft flubbed their E3 presentation where they revealed the XB1, and they changed nearly all of it thanks to what could effectively be labeled as weaponized gamer outrage. EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was nearly stillborn thanks to their obvious attempts at money grubbing and, in addition to hurting the game's sales, caused Disney to essentially take the license back and reopen LucasArts. The games industry is trying really hard to become the TV industry but it's gonna hurt itself in the long run. At any rate, I'm continue to keep giving small indie devs my money and snipe the occasional AAA title.


You mention when XB1 tried coming out with esentially all digital purchases for thier new system. American corporations would love it but Japan is going to be a major road block. Japan is the nerdiest, collectiest society on the planet, its hard to imagine them moving away from physical media. The fact Xbox had to do a complete 180 because of Japan shows how greedy of an idea it was to begin with.
Ironically PS4 saw the cancellation of free PSN, something that went under the radar because of the sketchy money grab Xbox tried to pull. Gamers were so desperate to not get screwed out of game ownership they praised Sony instead of being rightly concerned that Sony was offering less than previous generations. Sony must have been like, 'thank you Microsoft, people are praising us for giving them less!'

Our integrity as consumers is just as much at fault as any game companies greed.

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It's hard to say, the video game industry always seems to be in flux. I know other companies were thinking of streaming services and either backed out or have put those plans on hold. There could be quite a few other alternate streaming services in the future.

Honestly, the biggest changes I think are going to happen on the backend that the public doesn't see (until expose articles are written). As game devs get older, they are less sanguine about the prospect of "crunch time" spending 60+ hour weeks away from their families, and I could see a massive push to get away from that and into schedules that are closer to those in the movie industry.

Though honestly, in 10 years I'm hoping that I've moved to a job in the video game industry that I like, or it is likely I'll be out of the industry entirely by then... the video game industry tends to chew people up and spit them out.
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adularia25 wrote:
[...]the video game industry tends to chew people up and spit them out.


The way employees are often treated seems terrible. It's as if employers are saying "if you don't want to work in these conditions and circumstances, we can easily find someone else who will."
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ghostpants wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
[...]the video game industry tends to chew people up and spit them out.


The way employees are often treated seems terrible. It's as if employers are saying "if you don't want to work in these conditions and circumstances, we can easily find someone else who will."


That is the traditional way of working. It's only in the late 19th and 20th centuries that we have government laws and unions to look out for workers. Normally, you take what the business gives you (and businesses are trying to get back to that) or you get nothing.
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Mysti_Fogg wrote:
ghostpants wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
[...]the video game industry tends to chew people up and spit them out.


The way employees are often treated seems terrible. It's as if employers are saying "if you don't want to work in these conditions and circumstances, we can easily find someone else who will."


That is the traditional way of working. It's only in the late 19th and 20th centuries that we have government laws and unions to look out for workers. Normally, you take what the business gives you (and businesses are trying to get back to that) or you get nothing.

It's almost as if workers in an industry that arose in a period of weakened labour unions have less protection than their peers in their nearest equivalent industry that emerged in a different era of labour relations (i.e. the film industry).
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MeteorBear wrote:
VanillaCokeMule wrote:
Eh, it feels like there will be another crash, especially now that PC clients are starting to get the console style exclusivity competitions. The industry needs it to help them remember that this is a vastly different art form that has, historically, had its success dictated by the consumers more than any other industry out there. Someone here mentioned how badly Microsoft flubbed their E3 presentation where they revealed the XB1, and they changed nearly all of it thanks to what could effectively be labeled as weaponized gamer outrage. EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was nearly stillborn thanks to their obvious attempts at money grubbing and, in addition to hurting the game's sales, caused Disney to essentially take the license back and reopen LucasArts. The games industry is trying really hard to become the TV industry but it's gonna hurt itself in the long run. At any rate, I'm continue to keep giving small indie devs my money and snipe the occasional AAA title.


You mention when XB1 tried coming out with esentially all digital purchases for thier new system. American corporations would love it but Japan is going to be a major road block. Japan is the nerdiest, collectiest society on the planet, its hard to imagine them moving away from physical media. The fact Xbox had to do a complete 180 because of Japan shows how greedy of an idea it was to begin with.
Ironically PS4 saw the cancellation of free PSN, something that went under the radar because of the sketchy money grab Xbox tried to pull. Gamers were so desperate to not get screwed out of game ownership they praised Sony instead of being rightly concerned that Sony was offering less than previous generations. Sony must have been like, 'thank you Microsoft, people are praising us for giving them less!'

Our integrity as consumers is just as much at fault as any game companies greed.


You're absolutely right and I certainly wasn't trying to say that Sony was blameless, but Microsoft is a much more well known, egregious example of my points.
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Mysti_Fogg wrote:
ghostpants wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
[...]the video game industry tends to chew people up and spit them out.


The way employees are often treated seems terrible. It's as if employers are saying "if you don't want to work in these conditions and circumstances, we can easily find someone else who will."


That is the traditional way of working. It's only in the late 19th and 20th centuries that we have government laws and unions to look out for workers. Normally, you take what the business gives you (and businesses are trying to get back to that) or you get nothing.


Oh of course, it's just that the gaming industry in particular seems particularly rough.
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I thought the concept of the EULA was gross overreach, so I think 'software as a service' is completely 'round the bend. Unfortunately it is so far 'round the bend I have doubts about our ability to reclaim any kind of consumer rights in this industry unless there's a major sea change.

I do think the industry needs a crash. Not just for the benefit of the consumer but even more so for the benefit of the poor wageslaves trapped inside the beast. I thought we were going to get one after the indie craze of the mid-aughts, but when all is said and done no one seems to have gotten the message that we don't need to put up with AAA price tags, DRM, and day-one DLC that still doesn't fix all the bugs. Everyone loves to moan about EA, but everyone still buys Battlefield on day one.

I don't buy AAA games at launch, I certainly don't preorder them, and the only gaming-related thing I subscribe to is Switch Online. And if we don't have SNES games by the time my annual comes up I won't be renewing.

I can't even believe there's a debate over gambleboxes.

But there's a lot of good work being done by smaller studios. I'd like to think they could thrive in a world without the profit-driven conglomerates stealing all the advertising bandwidth, but I realize it isn't that simple.

Mysti_Fogg wrote:
I'm old fashioned. I like to own my games.

That is, in fact, the major reason I finally decided to switch to Steam


It's funny how people can have such different reactions to the same stimulus -- this is exactly why I am slowly abandoning Steam for GOG where I can. But I admit that it is entirely reactionary and a matter of preference at this stage -- Valve has yet to reveal itself as a bad actor (in this aspect, at least).
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I don't like the idea of streaming/paying a monthly fee for games. Like, what if your internet goes down, and then you are SOOL, not to mention being subject to the whims of the provider because the game is on some server somewhere that you have no control over. What happens to "your" games if this experiment is deemed a failure and they decide to cut their losses?

It seems like it's just one more step where something could fail and keep you from playing any potential games purchased (or lose progress in a game). Not to mention I'm not sure if we have the necessary network infrastructure to support it without lag and connection failures as it is right now. It seems like there are so many things that could go wrong.
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dmz2112 wrote:


Mysti_Fogg wrote:
I'm old fashioned. I like to own my games.

That is, in fact, the major reason I finally decided to switch to Steam


It's funny how people can have such different reactions to the same stimulus -- this is exactly why I am slowly abandoning Steam for GOG where I can. But I admit that it is entirely reactionary and a matter of preference at this stage -- Valve has yet to reveal itself as a bad actor (in this aspect, at least).


Well, before that, I had boxes slowly overtaking my desk area filled with random game things, plus some things just in jewel cases.

And then I went digital, but I wasn't sure I could really trust small companies like Telltale and Wadjet Eye to stick around when I found them, so digital buying was risky. I purchased some on Amazon, but I wasn't really finding much that satisfied me.

Steam was the better bet. GOG hit my radar at that point and then I decided to ignore it because I wasn't looking for *old* games. I had those. I was looking for new. And also there was Portal. I really wanted Portal.
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paralipsis wrote:
Mysti_Fogg wrote:
ghostpants wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
[...]the video game industry tends to chew people up and spit them out.


The way employees are often treated seems terrible. It's as if employers are saying "if you don't want to work in these conditions and circumstances, we can easily find someone else who will."


That is the traditional way of working. It's only in the late 19th and 20th centuries that we have government laws and unions to look out for workers. Normally, you take what the business gives you (and businesses are trying to get back to that) or you get nothing.

It's almost as if workers in an industry that arose in a period of weakened labour unions have less protection than their peers in their nearest equivalent industry that emerged in a different era of labour relations (i.e. the film industry).


That's certainly part of it.

I could go into the woes of US workers specifically further: salary workers in general are being gypped by having fewer protections on the hours they work, which squeezes the labor market and makes fewer jobs available than there should be and more work is demanded of them; the minimum wage in 2019 is nowhere near that of the minimum wage in 1949 if you adjust for inflation and look at purchasing power, which means everyone takes home less money unless you're making millions; etc. etc.

I think we kind of need a new union movement focusing on the modern era, and maybe that's what slowly going to happen.

::shrug::
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dmz2112 wrote:
It's funny how people can have such different reactions to the same stimulus -- this is exactly why I am slowly abandoning Steam for GOG where I can. But I admit that it is entirely reactionary and a matter of preference at this stage -- Valve has yet to reveal itself as a bad actor (in this aspect, at least).

I largely prefer GOG for similar reasons. I actually do generally trust Valve at this point, from a really poor start, Steam has become a good and relatively fair platform. However, there's always the worry of 'what if they get bought?' Most problems with platforms like this happen after a change in ownership.
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