Over-Saturation – Contrary To Popular Belief It’s Not The Only Reason A Game Fails
When it comes to the video game market of today, people are often quick to claim over-saturation. While there’s certainly an argument to be made for over-saturation. It’s not always the culprit especially when it comes to why a game doesn’t sell. Sometimes a title is just bad regardless of how crowded people claim a market to be.
Over-saturation isn’t the only problems that current video games face
The current state of the industry over-saturation is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. In the digital age, many genres suffer from saturation. Problem is that it’s also become a go-to response from people especially developers. When a game doesn’t resonate with gamers in the way in which people feel that it should. There is, in fact, another reason why some games don’t resonate with players in the desired fashion.
Simply put that’s because the game in question might not be as good as the dev/devs behind think it is. I am not saying every game that doesn’t sell is bad. What I am saying though is that often when someone spends months, or years working on a project. They have trouble accepting that it may not be the best thing ever. Which is only natural given the time and effort they put into creating it.
Belief and reality are often different and sometimes that difference can come as a slap in the face. Especially to those that have built their expectations up so high that the possibility of failure doesn’t exist. This mindset only makes the sting of failure more difficult to deal with because the person was so unprepared for it.
Naturally, people look for reasons why the failure occurred in the first place. In the case of video games, that’s usually defined by low or no sales. Then the question becomes. Why didn’t this game sell better? Over-saturation is often where people decide to place the blame. You can literally find articles all over the internet where angry devs are fuming about it.
I wonder how many of those devs stopped and asked if anyone liked their game. Yes, I know that’s a cruel thing to say, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Pouring your blood and sweat into something doesn’t mean it’s going to be good, or that others are going to like it.
When I was in junior high school I had a music teacher that always told us that he wrote the kind of songs that he would enjoy. He would then follow that up with a pun explaining that’s why he’s an eighth-grade music teacher. I think the same can be said of many video game developers especially indie devs. They make a game that they themselves would want to play. Often failing to realize that may not work so well on the open market.
That doesn’t make the title in question shovelware far from it in fact. It also doesn’t mean that you’re going to have a saturation problem. It does mean that you built a game with yourself in mind and not other gamers. Now the catch-22 here is that doesn’t necessarily doom your game to failure. It just means that there’s another possible reason why your game may fail.
Yes, market saturation is an issue that’s plagued gaming for years. You see it in the console market, especially if a console becomes widely popular. The Wii is a great example of this. With over-saturation also comes the influx of shovelware titles (Again the Wii.). So, it should come as no surprise that digital marketplace also faces the same problem. As the gateway to game development continues to lower market saturation is only going to get worse.
Being a developer is difficult even under ideal conditions, this is true regardless of the type of developer you are. In truth, the deck is stacked against you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try especially if it’s something that you’re passionate about. When faced with failure though it’s important to know where to point the finger. Sometimes it’s not a matter of cosmic forces lining up against you, or the market being over-crowded. Sometimes you need only look in the mirror to see the source of your failure.
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