Live service games: If so, please do it right!

Live service games: If so, please do it right!

Live service games

What a surprise, the new content for Marvel's Avengers is mediocre to dull and doesn't manage to upgrade the mediocre to dreary main game to the point where it suddenly becomes a misunderstood pearl.

Who would have guessed that can? So, except for absolutely everyone?

The story of the making of Marvel's Avengers is symptomatic of perhaps the most annoying trend in the gaming industry over the past few years: live service games.

Table of contents

1 Pioneer Destiny 2 Very short eternity 3 Roadmap to nowhere 4 And if the other games jump off the cliff ... 5 It would be better - hopefully ... Most of them Players should be able to relate to the term, but for the uninitiated in a nutshell: Live service games are an attempt by developers, or more precisely in the vast majority of cases by publishers who set the developer accordingly, with a game via the Purchase price and DLCs in addition to pulling money out of people's pockets. This is done by regularly publishing new content, sometimes packing it into seasons so that people don't stop playing and, if necessary, loosen up toads in the in-game shop that happens to be also present and mostly prominently advertised.

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Live service games, as I mean them are Not that.

About the author

Live service games: If you have to, then please do it right! (1) Source: Lukas Schmid Lukas Schmid has been working in various functions at Computec Media and thus at PC Games since 2010, first as an intern, then as a freelancer, then as a volunteer, editor and now as editor-in-chief for, videogameszone. de, and He loves action, adventure, action adventures, shooters, jump & runs, horror and role-playing games, you can hunt him with strategy titles, most rogue likes and military simulations. Every Saturday at 9 a.m. he tells you in his column what is annoying or happy about him. Hate comments and love letters are welcome in the comments under the column, to [email protected] or on Twitter to @Schmid_Luki.

Pioneer Destiny

Sure, there are positive examples, see Fortnite, see generally the successful battle royale title. They have the fact that they are almost constantly changing products, and are more comparable to classic multiplayer shooters.

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Live-Service-Games: If it has to be, then please do it right! (4) Source: Square Enix Behind it, however, lies the second row, the large mass of me-toos who also want a piece of what they believe to be an easy-to-get cake, and who are almost always devised by major publishers who are based on Hell, come out of wanting to create products that simply cannot be what was invented on some management floor.

Destiny appeared and with it one of the first successful live service games according to modern understanding, it was sounded loudly, that the game would be supplied with new content for a full ten years, and all of a sudden, after Destiny was a success, all the other studios thought: "Great, we'll do it too!"

Not considering that Destiny is good because of that arrived because it was new. And also not considering that the ten-year statement was quite a shot in the oven. Two parts and much less than ten years later, with now a significant drop in player numbers and publisher Activision, who was apparently so enthusiastic about the success that he and developer Bungie separated some time ago and the Destiny brand was also given up, can be said: It probably didn't quite work out.

Very short eternity

But it just sounds so nice, ten years! Or alternatively five, if you are modest, or "for many years" if you would rather pile up small. Hey, why not pack a little more, what is spilled, then someone will clear away!

Destiny - ten years!

The Division - 50 years!

Anthem - 100 years!

Fallout 76 - 76 years, 1000 were planned, but the rest were bugged!

Marvel's Avengers - until the sun dies down, the universe cools down and humanity is on alpha Centauri built the first McDonald's!

Roadmap to nowhere

Live service games: If you have to, then please do it right! (6) Source: PC Games Hardware Am I Cynical? Yes, but it's hard not to be when almost every widely announced live service game falls in the face with its plans for the next decade, including canceled roadmaps, disappointed to angry players and much, much scorched earth.

Not only is such a situation catastrophic for developers who have to fear for their jobs, even though they basically just delivered what was asked of them. If a live service attempt is a financial debacle, then it almost always goes hand in hand with layoffs.

And the games are mostly of poor quality because all resources are simply put into this constructed, never attainable, eternal gaming experience to create, so that the actual game testing, fun, creative design, all the things we play games because of, fall behind.

And when the other games jump off the cliff ...

Live-Service-Games: If it has to be, then please do it right! (5) Source: Bethesda Destiny and, to a similar extent, The Division and the sequels at least worked. But Anthem? Imagine if Bioware could have focused on what the studio is known for, namely great stories and complex game mechanics. Now you have a nice, but dead world and funny flight mechanics, but no incentive to experience both for more than a few hours.

Fallout 76: This could have been a really nice post-apocalypse role-playing game. But since it is only important that you invest real money diligently, you can deliberately do without NPCs (later patched in), important elements such as VATS, something that essentially corresponds to an exciting story and, of course, bug testing.

And then just Marvel's Avengers, that the probably largest pop culture brand of our time pops its nose with so much attempt that earthquake warning is issued. And Avengers was also developed by - well, who knows? -, Crystal Dynamics, a studio that has already proven several times that it can do really great single-player adventures.

You can feel it in the campaign of the adventure. But well, don't invest too much time, the alternative color skin for Captain America's underpants then has a bit higher priority.

Live-Service-Games: If you have to, then please do it right! (2) Source: Ubisoft And then mostly the inevitable end of all these live service escapades: canceled plans, shutdown servers and the realization that it is not that easy to reinvent a game over and over and keep it interesting hold. Because what then comes as big content updates is rarely more than a mild breeze of content before the creators then miserably turn to their next, hopefully more successful project.

Also bad: games that actually work at all have nothing to do with live service, but still want to snack. I have rarely seen more uninteresting "content updates" than the River Raids and the two festivals in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. The plan was for me to keep playing and hopefully invest in cosmetics from time to time. The result is that I am so annoyed by my last couple of experiences with the title that I actually have a lot less desire for the upcoming real DLC than before.

It could be better - hopefully .. .

And now it comes: Still, I don't think live service games are bad per se. The idea of ​​keeping the world of a game alive, expanding and changing it, introducing new game elements, all of that sounds charming.

But that takes a lot of money, a small studio can develop this kind of permanent development do not afford, and with the big manufacturers it is not the most creative minds who decide, but those who have to give account to the shareholders.

Live service has to be rethought so that it elicits different reactions from the players than just annoying ones Groan. It has to come from teams who have a vision and who are provided with the means to implement it.

This vision will hardly ever be compatible with excessive attempts, including the last aspect of a game to exploit financially.

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