So, there I was this morning. Sitting at my computer, drinking coffee, contemplating my life decisions, gearing up the self hatred and anxiety that fuels my day and I see a review from GamesRadar on Rage 2[click here to read]. Naturally I'm like "Ooo, lemme see" so I click it and commence to reading it.
What I read was not bad. I will not knock the author for their opinions on a game because it is, after all their opinion. We all have them and not everyone has to agree with them for us to all act civilly and carry on with life. However, there was a part in the review where it was mentioned that Rage 2 had a roadmap for DLC and that the game felt overall empty and just devoid of anything substantial to do because of this roadmap. "Another game falls victim to the GaaS model" is all I could think to myself, sipping my coffee and shaking my head.
Don't get me wrong, the Games As A Service model is great in theory and works well with certain genres of games. It nets the developers/publishers a steady stream of cash after the game has launched and ensures that, even as most of us bounce from new title to new title, that they'll get all the revenue they can from their loyal fanbase with new DLC, cosmetics, loot boxes, weapons, areas, emotes, etc..
But lately it seems that games that do not need to follow this model are trying to adopt it. There's no reason for Rage to have adopted this type of model. The GaaS model is more fitting to your MMO/Sports/Racing games than it should be for a single player experience. Putting the single player game on the GaaS model intentionally(or unintentionally) strips away a lot of content from players that should've been there from the start.
Why would you put content for a single player game behind a roadmap? What's the point? There's no one around to "impress" with whatever new "thing" you obtained because you have....whatever the hell it is you have that someone else might not have(season pass, bought currency, etc..), that got you that "thing". Why not focus on adding real content to a single player game?
This Games As A Service trend disturbs me. Thankfully I haven't noticed this a lot in single player games. The fact that Bethesda has taken this route with Rage makes me question how Elder Scrolls 6 is going to be handled content wise. Not just Bethesda either but other developers may see that we consumers/customers don't mind(or begrudgingly put up with) this being a thing in our ever diminishing single player games. So the other publishers will step up to the plate and start doing it as well. I mean, they've already turning FFVII into an episodic adventure......
Not like we didn't have season passes already doing something similar, I just feel that more content will be getting cut out of our "finished games" and sold to us as separately if the GaaS model continues to leak into other genres of games.
I think that the GaaS model has been so pervasive/invasive in the industry for the past couple of years, and that so many games have been adopting the model, that almost all games are starting to become too similar in make just to perpetuate the model. Publishers intentionally making the "vanilla" game just interesting enough for you to want more.
In turn you get lackluster campaigns(if one at all) because they can cut it up into pieces and sell it to us later or they strip out vehicles/equipment/characters just for sake of having content to release during the roadmap. This effects reviews as well, often making it to where reviewers get a sub-par game and all they can really say is "it's a solid 6/10 but I can tell you when the DLC starts hitting it's going to be at least a 8/10" Is this what we are going to resign ourselves to or have we already done it?
In conclusion the Games As A Service model can be extremely beneficial to players if done correctly. Otherwise it can turn a game that should've been great right out of the gate into a terrible experience because the game just simply isn't there...but cut into pieces and locked behind their "roadmap" getting sold to us bit by bit. You know, saying we actually stuck around long enough for the DLC to start hitting....but by then who cares? We made the initial investment with the base game so the publishers already have our money regardless.