Why Video Games are Becoming Boring

Published by Berkan K. on December 28

book 3 min read

In recent years, a trend has emerged within the gaming industry, which has sparked discussions and debates among gaming communities and critics. Video games that once was celebrated for their creativity, are increasingly being criticized for becoming more boring and looking too similar.

The Convergence Crisis

The heart of the problem lies in what can be termed the “convergence crisis.” As the costs of game development have skyrocketed, particularly for AAA titles, there’s been a noticeable shift towards unoriginal designs. Publishers and developers, wary of the financial risks associated with innovation, often opt for proven formulas and mechanics. This risk-averse approach has led to a market flooded with sequels, remakes, and games that heavily borrow from the success of their predecessors. I mean, just look at Watch Dogs, Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed games. Don’t get me wrong, they are all really great sequels. But they just feel so incredibly similar.

AAA Games

Another contributing factor is the consolidation of the gaming industry. A few large companies now dominate the market, acquiring smaller studios and pushing their franchises to the forefront. This concentration of power influences creativity, as the financial and creative directions of many games are controlled by a few selected people. The result is a gaming landscape where unique, experimental titles are overshadowed by blockbuster releases that play it safe with familiar themes and gameplay mechanics.

The success of certain genres and formulas has also cast a long shadow over the industry. For instance, the battle royale hype, ignited by titles like “Fortnite” and “PUBG,” led to many similar games hoping to capture a slice of the lucrative market. This effect not only saturates the market with indistinct titles but also takes resources away from potentially innovative projects.

Market Demand and The Bright Spots

It’s important to acknowledge the role of player preferences and market demand for shaping the industry. Game companies, after all, are businesses that respond to their audience. If data shows a strong preference for certain types of games, companies are naturally inclined to meet this demand. However, this feedback loop can create an echo chamber that amplifies conservative tendencies in game design, further limiting this diversity.

Despite these challenges however, there is still some hope out there. Being a highly indie gamer myself, the rise of indie game developers has been a beacon of hope for us craving originality and diversity. With lower development costs and the freedom to experiment, indie games have brought forth innovative and daring titles that break the mold. Platforms like Steam, itch.io and the Nintendo eShop have made it easier for these games to reach a wider audience, proving that there is a market for unique gaming experiences.

The Future

Workers & Pages

For the industry to break out of this cycle of “sameness”, an effort from both developers and players is required. Developers must dare to innovate and explore untapped ideas, while players need to support and give other types of games a chance to shine. Additionally, fostering a culture that values creativity and risk-taking over financial success alone could gradually shift the industry’s focus towards diversity and innovation.

Hello, I'm a 23-year-old Software Engineer based in Denmark, specializing in Cybersecurity and
Fullstack Development.

Beyond programming, I enjoy sharing my journey and insights through writing, aiming to contribute to the tech community and inspire like-minded professionals.

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