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This Slack discussion by Limarc Ambalina, Jack Boreham, and I occurred in Slogging‘s official #gaming channel, and has been edited for readability.
Is the games as a live service concept a valid one in 2021?
Over the last 10 years we saw the emergence of the idea of games as a live service concept. It gave way to major publishers trying to package major blockbuster AAA titles as a live service. Games that you would buy into and would continue getting support and content for years and years. But does this concept work in the long-term? While Destiny from Bungie and Activision had some early success, Anthem was a complete failure.
Meanwhile, Activision ultimately separated itself from Destiny and Bungie early into the run of Destiny 2. Does trying to keep a game alive for years and years really work instead of spending all those hours, money and labor into creating one truly amazing game experience?
It’s an interesting question and issue in the industry right now Jeffrey. Would Fortnite, and Warzone, and any game that is free with a battle pass fall under this category of games as a service?
Yeah, I think it is. From an economic perspective, games as a live service is a no brainer. Developers and publishers are making a lot of money from this service type games. People like to have constant progression in their games and invest money and time into their characters. I cant see games as a service going anywhere. I think they will get more prominent within the industry.
Under this argument, I’m not counting games that are Free-to-Play.
I’m specifically referring to major AAA game releases that you pay full price for that are meant to serve a “live service.”
EA has now opted to pivot on the new Dragon Age game which was originally going to be live service
Not long ago, an EA executive said gamers no longer like single-player games like they used to.
AHH so other examples of this would be like Morrowind Online, Final Fantasy XIV, these game models right?
If you pay for them upfront, yes.
Then yes I definitely believe that these games have a place in the market. World of Warcraft likely being the biggest example of this game model making millions every year, I don’t think this part of the industry is going anywhere soon.
Especially once VR becomes even more mainstream, I can see these games as a live service models becoming an even larger part of the industry.
The other question is do they improve the industry? I tend to stay away from these games just because I hate updates. i hate downloading them. I’m old school and want my game on a disc or cartridge to work from start to finish without patches. i don’t want half the game on the disc and the rest needs to be downloaded.
Therefore, this model just isn’t for me. However, I definitely understand the appeal
As an update, BioWare has killed all development of Anthem and any hope for a successful relaunch of that IP. Also, Dragon Age 4 is dropping live-service elements. At least for Dragon Age, fans are seeing this as a win. But it seems more and more that BioWare is not the studio to successfully marry deep, in-depth RPG gaming with an online multiplayer, live-service experience.
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