Let’s talk about the state of gaming. Like the real state of everything in 2022, from CG trailers for far-off releases to on-fire behind the scenes reports, overblown AAA attempts at games as a service, to the idea-rich indie scene occasionally birthing something that you dominate for a whole month.
Because there’s a change in the air right now; a reality that’s rearing its head.
“Gaming” as we’ve known it for the majority of its lifespan – the constantly innovating, forever impressive tech-meets-art showcase of new, interactive ideas, stories and concepts… has hit a bit of a brick wall; a malaise of competing factors resulting in almost total inertia.
Look at the data side and spending is down across the board.
Titans of the industry like Ubisoft have performed disastrously, canceling various interesting projects like Splinter Cell VR, while still funding the likes of XDefiant, a Call of Duty clone that feels dead in the water. Blizzard, Rockstar, Square Enix – all feel demonstrably less confident in their brand identities than where they were even a generation ago.
Now, some of this is absolutely, entirely down to the pandemic. Millions more gamers than ever before invested in the medium as a way to get by, while developer schedules were completely overhauled as millions adapted to work from home.
Still, strike this conversation up with any regular gamer – or check the comments on the video I hyperlinked above – and you’ll find common ground in admitting that to some, gaming just isn’t what it used to be.