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Weekend Musings #12: Are There Simply Too Many Games?

Weekend Musings: Too Many Games

Apparently, some 14,000-odd games were released on Steam last year. How many of them did you play? 5? 10? 20? 100? Whatever the number, chances are it’s less than 1% of them.

Of course, many of those games will be absolutely shite. You only have to browse Steam for a few minutes to see that its offerings are being gradually watered down by a sea of asset flips and other low-effort cash grabs. But, you have to ask, especially when you also factor in console releases, even with all those bits of chaff taken out of the equation: are there simply too many games?

What is Weekend Musings?

Weekend Musings is a weekly feature about, well, anything and everything. It’s where we’ll muse about things that have happened over the last week, including the joys of running a website, general life stuff and of course, plenty of video game chatter. You’ll also find a round-up of news and content from over the last week. Stay up to date with Weekend Musings here.

The world is in a state right now. We have wars to deal with, global warming is kicking our asses, and the economy is tanking. You could say that we need games more than ever as a distraction, yet at the same time they’re costing more to make and for some, affording them is a real problem. The effects of subscription services such as Game Pass are also a double-edged sword. On the one hand it’s great that for a flat fee every month people can access a range of the latest and greatest games. But at the same time, how often do you now see people posting on social media that they’re simply going to wait for something they’re excited to play to join such a service rather than buying it outright?

Over the years, thanks to things like mobile gaming, cheap PC games bundles and subscription services, the value of games has undoubtedly been diminished. And whether you’re a developer on the indie or AAA end of the spectrum you’ve likely been hit hard. Many people will outright refuse to pay more than a small sum for a indie game or staunchly wait for it to join a service that will allow them to play it for “free”.

When it comes to AAA, players want bigger, more believable worlds with cutting-edge visuals and stellar voice acting, but they don’t want to pay more when that leads to spiraling development costs. And all developers are now being faced with demand for more post-launch support. Everybody hates live-service games, but seemingly expect all games to have additional content or features to be added for free.

Ultimately, something’s got to give. Last year there were layoffs at studios across the globe, and unfortunately we’re likely to see more this year. It’s only January and already there are a handful of major releases jostling for the spare cash in every purse or wallet. Some will get it at the expense of others – people only have so much money and time, after all. And so we ask again: are there simply too many games? Probably. And unfortunately we don’t really know what the answer is.

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Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!