So much has been said about the gaming industry and the competitiveness being at an all-time high, but it appears a shift may be occurring.
There are still sports betting among the professional esports leagues and daily fantasy and season-long fantasy opportunities. But the casual gamer who isn’t getting paid to play video games may be looking for – and receiving – different gameplay options.
Take those who play Madden, for example. The popular franchise that is a simulation of the National Football League recently had an error in which users’ franchise modes were corrupted.
Whether the offline or online variations, it was concerning and upset the Madden fan base.
So what did Madden do? The title offered 50% off next year’s game to those who had their cloud franchise saves corrupted or lost, and even to those who were able to have their franchises restored.
But the outrage over franchise mode in response to the debacle the game had – which was well warranted – shows that fans still care about playing offline. It also shows that there may be a shift in the way video games are consumed as a form of entertainment.
A title already ahead?
Fans have been upset with the gameplay surrounding Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2. The titles have been out since October and November, respectively, and have given some pushback about the time to kill in the game and the slow movements.
Professional players, big content creators, and even frequent players of the series have said that the game caters to those who aren’t very good. Some of the complaints include not being able to track progression across games played, and the way skill-based matchmaking doesn’t seem to give easier lobbies after frequent losses.
But perhaps that is because the game developers are ahead of the gaming curve. The original Warzone was great for the gaming community during the COVID-19 pandemic, as friends were able to connect safely over a game they enjoyed. As it nears three years since the pandemic, it is worth noting that a lot of people are returning to work in offices and taking advantage of being in communities again that go out for forms of entertainment.
With there being far more options for entertainment, people are likely going to begin playing video games less. Sure, there will be a hardcore group that continues to play – the professionals, content creators, and others – but the general consumer base may appreciate the changes Modern Warfare 2 has made to be more balanced.
The title will be a two-year game, meaning all updates will be done in the game itself and a new game won’t be created a year from now. But that makes the patchwork and updates to create a balanced game for all ever important.
Door opened for others?
That title, in particular, is already difficult to compete with. But the door may be opened for competitors like Fortnite and Apex Legends, which are also popular battle royale games that compete specifically with Warzone.
It may also allow other competitors to secure new customers willing to try something new. Overwatch and PubG are popular games that may lure people away. Minecraft is an old faithful game, as are some of the various Mario Party games. Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most popular games of all time and could bring users back in, too.
Then there are other sports games to secure those sports fans who also like shooters. The NBA and NHL titles are becoming popular, as is FIFA, with the different seasons going on. All these games seem to have fairly balanced gameplay and can capitalize on the casual players with their various online and offline game modes.
Maybe an anomaly
The reality is that there will always be a gaming consumer base among children and teenagers. So it does not matter as much how the competitiveness or different games play. But as far as gaming has grown into a new generation and retaining young adults in their 20s and 30s, it is somewhat concerning that the gaming market would potentially alienate that consumer base who are getting deeper pockets and investing in their own setups.