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Five Inscrutable Things the Games Industry Still Does in 2019

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By Nelson Schneider - 10/06/19 at 04:31 PM CT

5. Draconian DRM and Treating Customers Like Criminals
It’s the eternal tug-o-war between corporations and customers. No matter how many studies, or sales models, or anything else rooted in facts proves that anti-piracy measures accomplish nothing, and that giving users of digital/electronic products a slick, easy experience with no hoop-jumping required is better for everyone on both sides, corporations still acts like feudal lords or totalitarian dictators. They probably do it because IP rights in the civilized West haven’t been reformed significantly since 1662. Sadly, with the renewed focus on the Chinese “stealing” American ideas, I don’t think any upcoming reforms will actually take things in the right direction.

4. Releasing Licensed Tie-In Trash for Every Kids’ Movie/Show
We have known since at least 1982 that licensed games based on movies, TV shows, and… dog food are untrustworthy, to say the least. Yet even this year, in 2019, we’ve gotten our fair share of crap games based on non-game intellectual properties. Why does the industry keep doing this? Nobody reviews these things anymore, and I find it difficult to believe anyone buys them either. Hell, I can’t conceive of anyone pirating this level of crap!

3. Autumn Games Flood
I always point this out in my patented ‘Backlog: The Embiggening’ articles, but every year, when the young people who are still the primary demographic for videogame sales go back to school and suddenly find themselves with very little free time to dick around playing videogames, there are tons and tons of monthly releases. Last week’s Backlog: The Embiggening for October was one of the biggest months of the entirety of 2019, and yet it’s happening smack in the middle of Homecoming month.

2. Releasing Games After December 25th
In an Industry where word-of-mouth and the journalism of the blogosphere does most of your marketing for you, releasing a game this close to the end of the year is ludicrous. Not only does such a late release mean that nobody will have the opportunity to receive the game for the Winter Commercialism Holiday formerly known as X-mas, but it also means that traditional games journalists, bloggers, and YouTube pundits won’t have time to produce any reviews, previews, game of the year lists, or other content featuring said game, what with all the end-of-year unproductive down-time. No, a release date after Dec. 25th in a given year is just a burial license for a game, as few will be aware that it was released and even fewer will remember post-New Years.

1. Summer Games Drought
I also always point this out in my trademarked ‘Backlog: The Embiggening’ articles. Every summer, when the target gaming demographic is out of school for a whopping three months straight, and even when the people who grew up playing videogames find themselves burning their surplus of vacation days or ‘going on holiday’ if they’re European, the games industry schedules next to nothing for release. Why is this a tradition? Why doesn’t some publisher take it upon themselves to become the ‘Legendary Drought-Breaker’ and make a specific point of releasing quality product during the summer? There would be no competition, and there’s nothing corporations love more than not having competition.

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