The games that serve us: The people who only play one video game

By Julio Franco
Jan 21, 2015
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  1. league of legends call of duty world of tanks game as a service video game culture world of warcraft

    2014, PAX Australia. I stand on the outskirts of a ponderous crowd. A friend, he also writes about video games for a living, is beside me. We are confused. Ahead of us to our right is — absolutely — the largest screen present at the show. It is dozens of metres high. It dwarfs every other screen in the convention hall.

    Five years ago that screen would have been playing Call of Duty, or Assassin's Creed. Halo at a push. A group of strangers might have been up on stage playing 'Hot for Teacher' on plastic instruments.

    But today the screen is playing a different game. Today it is playing League of Legends. To reiterate: we are confused. 'Things' are happening on the screen, people are cheering in response but we have no way to parse precisely what they're cheering at and why.

    Read the complete article

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2015
  2. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 271   +127

    One of the most interesting articles I've read in some time. Good read.
  3. I know exactly what they mean I used to play lots of games till I came across Vindictus I have been playing that game since open beta 4 years ago and I cant stop playing it even tho I am max lvl I still haven't found any hack and slash game out there that even comes close to this game!
  4. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,436   +592

    This is being taken completely out of context and its starting to get on my nerves. The popularity and money games like Tanks/LoL bring in does not make it any different then any other popular title played my millions for several years, both in competition, marathons, fundraisers and casually.
    The only difference now is that you have millions of viewers watching this, instead of flipping through cable to see what crap is on there so it brings in $$$.
    That doesn't anoint it nor does it make it anymore sacred, its just a bunch of people playing videogames and creating a self reliant loop of players & watchers.

    Don't get me wrong its damn cool but that doesn't change what it is at its core.
    "If 50 million people like a foolish thing, its still a foolish thing."

    Most of the people still require real jobs to survive, and like anything else it will dissipate overtime.
  5. Dota2>LOL, you can't "deny" that.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    LoL is different... it's not just the next fad, or popular because everything thinks it's popular. It's a perfect execution of a great idea. They took out the stuff that would constitute a AAA title (like voice actors and cut-scenes and storyline) and they replaced it with brilliant game play that is both easy for a beginner to pick up and difficult for an expert to master. The first part of that formula allows the game to free, and the 2nd part allows it's popularity to grow exponentially. Throw in some professional touches like careful balancing and top-notch character art, and voila, insta-hit.

    I disagree that the 'service' model is what drives it's popularity. There are plenty of 'service' games that have failed. Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR) comes to mind. That game had a TON of potential, but it failed where LoL succeeded, easy for casuals and being FUN.
  7. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,436   +592

    It's still just a popular free game that will run its course, many other free and paid for games have good balancing/pro touches and offer diablo/mmo type gameplay.
    It's not a fad, but its not a gamechanger, more of a representation of where gaming is headed and has been headed.

    SWTOR is WoW with a crappy paintjob. It's the exact same thing with crappier character models and less input.

    Just to say, not trying to be argumentative or say anything is foolish, just putting things in perspective.
  8. This line sums up the difference between these games and many others:

    "There's no magic formula that you can repeat or replicate."

    The problem with other games not in this genre is the fact that they are becoming more formulaic. The Call of Duties, the Borderlands, the Saints Rows. They can't move as quickly as an online free to play. They have to add DLC here and there where these F2P's are much more fluid. THAT is what keeps the LoL and WoT players here. Another good example of these "service" style games is Warframe. They don't need to hype an expansion three months down the road. It just happens. You download the updates for the client and there's your DLC!

    The IP games either A.) Replicate what's been done with a shiny new content wrapper or B.) Try to get too far away from the original IP that it's bound to make some fans drop either way.

    What "service" based games ensure is a consistent rule set that adds more content over time and a much quicker and no frills way of getting that content to its fan base. It doesn't have to reinvent a formula when the formula is already in place. It's just adding sugar and candy to what's already there.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    Ha, funny, I'd have said SWTOR was WoW with a great paint job and crap under the hood. The actor voice overs and class quest storyline was superior to WoW, but just about everything else wasn't. I said it had potential because an MMO needs an alternate world and star wars is a very successful and proven alternate world. They just failed on the fun factor.

    LoL is a no-frills game, but all that time and money saved on fancy writing they spent on diversity and balance in gameplay. It's a great formula if you can pull it off, and they did.
  10. Renee C

    Renee C TS Rookie

    ahhhh.....Warcraft 3: ROC *sniff sniff* Ahhhhh........PD, How I miss you. I will come home W3 :) Funny about it, I play LUX in League of Legends :) #support
  11. Kazi7

    Kazi7 TS Rookie

    I dont understand LoL or these types of games but everyone has their game they love. I could never play just one game. Despite the ridiculous hours I put into Call of Duty (yes lol) I still play tons of other games. Way too many good games exist to just play one
  12. Praise Gaben !

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