Recently, fans of video games have become less confident in video game companies on delivering complete content. As one of the fastest growing business industry, there is a larger focus on revenue due to more investment in sales. The global video game industry is valued at $100 billion. There is expected to be 2.2 billion gamers throughout the world by 2018 based on Newzoo‘s analytics. With a larger focus on mobile game revenue, triple-A games have to find alternative methods of continuous revenue to meet investor demands.
The biggest game companies, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have consistent in publishing huge games and the largest revenue generators. They are also infamous for the micro-transaction that they have added to their games such as Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2. Their infamy has made many gamers view them as greedy companies. We want to believe that the industry is more focused on delivering good games rather than money because it is considered a unique medium and product. More gaming companies are trying to disguise their MTX methods in triple-A games but the trend has continued on for so long that it is very obvious.
Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 are both recent games by Activision and EA that were known for influencing players to rely on micro-transactions to unlock more of the game’s content. The games received harsh reviews from players (mainly Star Wars Battlefront 2) and the uncertainty of the companies response leave players angry. Whether its the drop rate of exotics in Destiny 2 or the difficulty of unlocking heroes in Star Wars Battlefront 2, gaming companies need to be more transparent with its audience. The concept of DLC content is still negatively viewed but when developers create quality downloadable content or are more upfront about what is on it, gamers would be more accepting.
Popular games such as Titanfall 2 and The Witcher 3 were upfront about their downloadable content to their fans. Respawn created payable cosmetics while CD Projekt spent time on creating immense side stories. While we shouldn’t expect all games or companies to create similar quality content, both companies announced their plans prior to the release of the game. As a company, you should treat your potential audience with the idea that they are aware of the current paterns of the industry. You can still cater to a casual audience while also maintaining a better image to a more “hardcore” audience.
EA (Electronic Arts) has recently put a bid to purchase Respawn Entertainment. They would have to pay $151 million in cash for Respawn, up to $164 million in long-term equity, and a maximum of $140 million in performance milestone payments. The deal is worth $455 million. EA outbid the South Korean publisher: Nexon. Respawn is known for developing Titanfall. Titanfall was published by EA but they are an independent company. They spawned from Jason West and Vince Zampella, who are ex-game designers from the Call of Duty series.
Electronic Arts is known for changing the games in different ways after purchasing the development companies. Games such as Mass Effect 3 and Plants vs Zombies 2 are different styles than their predecessors and were reviewed worse. People attribute EA’s influence to cause the sequels to be worse games. Respawn has acquired great reputation for releasing free DLC and updates for Titanfall 2. Fans are worried that EA will ruin the good faith that has been down by Respawn. EA has also gained a reputation for acquiring developing game studios and shut them down. Fans are also worried that they will eventually shut down Respawn and prevent Titanfall 3 in the near future based on EA’s track record. Below are a list of EA’s acquirements and closed game companies.
- Visceral: Formerly EA Redwood so technically an EA branch. Developers of Dead Space series and found in 1998. Shut down in 2017.
- Origin Systems: Created of some of the Ultima series and Wing Commander. Acquired in 1992 and shut down in 2004.
- Bullfrog Productions which was found by Peter Molyneux. They are also known for Syndicate (1993), Magic Carpet (1994) and Theme Park (1994). They were acquired in 1995 and dissolved in 2001.
- Westwood: Created Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (1991), Dune II (1992). They brought Dungeons and Dragons licensed games to video games. They were bought by 1998 and shut down in 2003.
- Mystic Entertainment: They released another well-known MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning in 2008. Sold to EA in 2006 and dissolved in 2014.
- Maxis: Instrumental in porting SimCity to the PC. Bought by EA in 1997. Created The Sims(2000). Shut down in 2004.
- Kesmai: Created the MMORPG forerunner Island of Kesmai (1985) and multiplayer online air-combat game Air Warrior (1987). Bought by EA in 1999 and shut down in 2001.
- Pandemic Studios: Created Star Wars: Battlefront(2004), Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005), Full Spectrum Warrior (2004) and Destroy All Humans! (2005) among others. Bought by EA in 2008. Shut down in 2009.
- DreamWorks Interactive: Created Medal of Honor (1999). Bought by EA in 2000 and re-branded as EA Los Angeles. Re-branded again as Danger Close Games in 2010. Folded into Dice Los Angeles in 2013.