The Technomancer and my take on current gaming practices

The Technomancer was a generally not well received game. Make no mistake about it, I loved the story. The characters were well developed, although a tad hackneyed. I like that you could romance somebody. I really liked the ending.

But it was not well received. Why? Well, for a variety of reasons. Number one reason for most people, it was a challenging game. Most gamers these days have gone soft. I’m not trying to throw shade at anyone, I’m simply stating facts. The average age of a gamer has gone up from 8-12, up to about 30-35. With work, a significant other, stuff to do around the house, I get it. I do. You probably don’t want to spend that much effort into a game, especially one as long as Technomancer. Other reasons include, the hackneyed story (and yes, I agree there was some hackiness there), bugs, how difficult it was, etc.

Now, for a bit a segue here. Most game companies, like EA, UbiSoft, Bethesda have put microtransactions into their games. Why? Well, let me back up first and go into mobile gaming.

Mobile gaming is the elephant in the room right now. It has a commanding lead over both the PC and the console market. And I believe even if you combine the PC and console market, it would still lead them.

So why aren’t EA, UbiSoft, and Bethesda making mobile games? Because in order to do that they would have to compete with the tons of crap already on the market. I don’t have any solid figures on this, but I’m willing to bet you if you put out a hundred games, 95% would fail after a month. So it’s a really big payoff, for a really big risk that you’re taking.

Who wants to compete in that? Where you only have a 5% chance of making it? Certainly not me, certainly not the developers. No, they want captive eyeballs. That’s where you, the PC gamer comes in. And I suppose the console gamers as well, but from what I’ve seen of them, they’re willing to accept anything thrown at them.

The average PC gamer has, on the whole, a much longer attention span than the average mobile gamer. You’re most likely the same people. People who play games on their PC are more than likely gonna be the ones who play games on their phones. This isn’t a knock. Again, simply stating facts. We’re gamers, it’s in our blood.

Developers want to bring the “fun and excitement” of mobile gaming to the PC and console market. Note the quotes. When I think of the mobile market my heart just drops. I have three games on my mobile phone right now. 8 ball pool, chess, and a word game.

Developers also want to cram together the PC gamer market, the console market, and the entirety of the mobile gaming market into one big conglomeration of this thing we’re calling gamers. Well, sorry chief, it doesn’t work that way. You’ve got people that have played Candy Crush for 994 hours calling themselves a gamer, and have never picked up anything else. You’ve also got people who have played maybe a half an hour of Scrabble With Friends (and never picked up anything else) calling themselves a gamer.

Here’s the rub though, based upon what it means to be a gamer, both would be right.

So, we’re being punished for having longer attention spans by devs who don’t wanna compete.

wait… wat?

Let me repeat that. You, as a PC gamer, are being punished for having a longer attention span than mobile gamers, by developers who don’t want to compete.

Mobile games are simple, hell, they have to be. Yeah, sure… I’ll spend $2 for another 5 lives, because my train stop is another four miles. And god forbid, this guy right next to me stinks and I really don’t wanna think about where he’s been the previous night. This $2 is my salvation from having to think about all that. I would offer him $10 to get off the train, but I don’t wanna offend him by telling him that he stinks.

Here’s my thing though… I’m not against microtransactions. I’m against microtransactions in PC (and console) games. There is a distinct difference between someone who has played Candy Crush for 994 hours and me. I laugh at those numbers, and I don’t even play games that much anymore.

I’m looking at you EA, UbiSoft, Bethesda, anybody else that puts microtransactions in your PC and console games : If you wanna make mobile games, make mobile games. Put all of your microtransactions there.

Just remember why you got into the business in the first place. To provide a challenge that only a select few can beat, just like The Technomancer. They put their heart and soul into the game.

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