Last year was pretty grim viewing for Bethesda. They had a lot of big names, but nothing to show for them. The only game they did have any significant time invested in was Fallout 76, which was a game that, by all account, was a disaster befitting its franchise’s name.
There was a time in my life when universally negative word of mouth, very divisive opinions and general bad reviews felt like a challenge. Everyone else said this game was bad, I needed to see for myself, so I could justifiably also complain about how bad they were. That’s because, on almost every occasion, the consensus were accurate and I ended up wasting my time on a game I didn’t like.
This past 12 months, in my 30th year of life, the message finally seemed to sink in. It must have anyway, because I didn’t end up playing a single game that I would deem disappointing that came out in 2018. That isn’t to say that there were some white hot trash fires released this year, I just avoided them. Which isn’t to say there weren’t games that massively bummed me out.
I don’t take any pleasure from games being bad, even more so when they were games I had been looking forward to. And while I might not have that first experience, I have spent hours reading and listening to people talking about these games. I also don’t care anymore. So if anyone reading this takes exception to the fact that I’m complaining about games I didn’t play then feel free to go away, or give me crap for it. Personally, I’ll be a lot happier in the knowledge that my time was spent on only marginally bad games rather than these.
Game culture has changed, it has for me at least. This past year I have found myself playing far fewer new games. It’s not that I’m spending less time gaming as a rule, rather, it’s because I’ve been investing in other services. Xbox’s Game Pass has been a great resource, giving me access to a ton of older games for a monthly fee.
The “Games as a service” approach from developers has also given games much longer lives than they would have had previously.
It’s a change that’s just getting started I feel, with the likes of Anthem, Skull and Bones, Fortnite and The Division 2 all on the horizon, it seems like every big studio wants their “living game”. Something people just play and play and they just keep supporting over time. Which, right now, suits me just fine.