Many people seem to be declaring the downfall of video gaming. These people claim that gaming is not as good as it used to be, that the good old days of gaming are long past and will never come back. I absolutely disagree with this, in fact I think 2011 was one of the best years ever in gaming. There were so many great games released this year and I think gaming is as good as it has ever been. However, that does not mean that everything about the industry is perfect. The following 10 current trends are certainly blemishes on what is otherwise a great time to be a gamer. So, here you have the Top 10 Worst Trends in Gaming.
10. Console Exclusive DLC
A large portion of the decisions any of the major three console manufacturers make are usually an attempt to give them an edge over the other two. The practice of buying total or timed exclusive rights to downloadable content for a particular game is one that is most often employed by Microsoft. Now, I’m certainly no financial expert, but this just seems pointless to me. Most people either have one console or the other, and no one is going to go out and buy a 360 if they already have a PS3 just because the Skyrim DLC is coming to 360 a month earlier. Even for the people that have all the consoles, speaking from my own experience, are going to look more at things like which controller they prefer, which online service they prefer, which system their friends are getting the game on, and whether things like trophies or achievements are important to them. The last thing I consider when deciding what system to buy a game for is which one gets the DLC, which I may or may not even buy, first. The only thing I see this practice really accomplishing is pissing off people that buy the game on the other systems.
9. Retailer Specific Pre-order Bonuses
Nothing is worse than bringing home a brand new game and already feeling like you are missing content before you even play it. This is something that is becoming all too common with the rise of retailer specific pre-order bonuses. Basically what this is is when various retailers such as Best Buy and Gamestop purchase the rights to have exclusive in-game content given to people that pre-order the game at that specific store. Usually these are small things like character skins, weapons, or side quests. However, when every retailer has their own exclusive content, then you either have to buy the game from 7 different retailers to get all the content, or just pick one and miss out on everything else. Never has any pre-order bonus been good enough for me to buy anywhere other than the most convenient location for me, but it is still dumb when the pre-order bonuses for something like Arkham City were so confusing the publisher actually released a pre-order guide detailing which stores were offering which content.
8. Digital Rights Management (DRM)
This is a problem mostly for PC players, but it is really becoming a huge issue, especially with Ubisoft. DRM is when the publisher places restrictions on the player such as having to be online while playing and only being able to install the game on one PC; all in an attempt to combat piracy. I by no means support piracy, and I’m not going to go into my thoughts on piracy, as piracy is only peripherally related to this topic. The fact is, DRM only hurts the people that bought the game legitimately. Maybe if DRM actually worked, things would be different, but as it stands now, the games that have highly restrictive DRM are some of the most pirated games out there. It can be argued that the presence of annoyingly implemented DRM is actually a deterrent to buying the game legally, because pirates can find away around the DRM. Piracy is definitely a problem, especially on PC, but DRM is not the solution.