We all love playing video games, watching movies, reading novels and watching anime, right? These are all ways to beat boredom and/or just unwind after a long day of doing work or taking pop quizzes. However, like all activities in life, there are times where they fail to break that boredom and that’s usually because they end up becoming stale or boring. Video games are notorious for having this happen to them. Some gamers might question why they can’t play a shooter they’ve loved for more than an hour when they would put 3 hours or more in one sitting into them. Well folks, we here at Honey’s Anime know why this phenomenon exists and that’s because video games can—at times—lack innovation.
Let’s face the reality of one of the biggest issues plaguing games folks, games are becoming formulaic at times. This isn’t something plagues just games but even some anime we’ve watched here at Honey’s Anime feels similar to a show that aired last season or last year. That’s why gaming companies need to address this matter as soon as physically possible. Games need to become more innovative and we’ve decided to talk about possible solution—or things that are currently happening at this very moment—to make games more pleasing to their targeted audiences. Welcome everyone to our What Can Companies Do to be More Innovative editorial.
New ways of gaming
Ever wonder why Nintendo Wii was one of the most popular consoles ever when there was already the PS3, Xbox 360 and even the PC? Simple folks, the Nintendo Wii aimed to be an innovative way of gaming. Rather than just being another console with another simple set up, the Nintendo Wii gave gamers motion controls and games that utilized that style of playing. Now instead of sitting down shooting baddies in a zombie game, you could play titles like Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition or The House of the Dead: Overkill and actually aim at the zombies with precision. Sure, the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls weren’t prefect—looking at you The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword—they still were more often than not really solid.
Now, we can already feel you arguing to us here at Honey’s Anime that the Nintendo Wii is obviously dated and that can’t be now considered an innovation. Though we’re not saying this is a means of innovation but it led to innovation and even today we’re seeing motion controls being utilized in the true new age innovation of gaming, virtual reality. If you’re a PS4 owner, you’ve probably seen or even own the PSVR—which stands for PlayStation Virtual Reality—and have seen some really solid games for it that are fun and exciting. As of right now, there are actually tons of cool PSVR titles out like Superhot VR, Skyrim VR, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and tons more. Plus, with games like The Impatient and Bravo Team we’re already excited to see how much further the PSVR can go. Virtual Reality gaming also exists on the PC too but even there a lot of games—which many are already on the PSVR or coming to it soon—exist showing a new way to play games. Innovation like VR will truly help game companies find new and innovative ways to create games moving further on.
Nintendo is a name you might be seeing a lot on our What Can Game Companies Do to Be More Innovative article, but that’s because they have truly done things differently than most gaming companies. Have they always been successful? No, Nintendo has made failures before—Nintendo Wii U—but typically, they recover from their mistakes and listen to what gamers say they want. In particular, one of Nintendo’s newest successes comes in the form of the Nintendo Switch. This hybrid portable and at home console truly showed that gamers could not only play console quality games on their televisions but also on the go. That got us to thinking maybe a possible innovation for gaming companies is to do better portability for video games.
Imagine for a moment the PS4 as a portable console. You could literally play titles like Horizon Zero Dawn, Destiny 2 and hundreds of other titles on the go! That’s why we believe if game companies can harness more powerful portable consoles that could be a great way to match the success found with the Nintendo Switch. These future portable consoles might be a bit pricier—which makes sense as they will use better hardware in their systems—but we’re sure many gamers will be willing to shell out their hard-earned money if the games on these portable titans are great.
Pay attention to consumers
We here at Honey’s Anime stay away from gaming politics. We might mention them and make articles about them but with a news focus but we never attack game companies and the mistakes they do. We try to stay as neutral as possible which most groups should do unless they are directly involved. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t pay attention when incidents occur in the gaming world. That’s why we’re now going to talk about Star Wars Battlefront II and how it can be a model of what not to do to be innovative.
Star Wars Battlefront II developer EA Dice and publishers Electronic Arts got a lot of backlash with their in-game purchases and it caused them to lose quite a bit of money. With a lot of games as of the last several years, companies have tried to make more money by having consumers—in this case the gamers—pay more money via DLC and or in-game purchases. This is an innovation that has both helped game companies—for example, Call of Duty’s dual publishers Activision and Treyarch—to gain money to constantly release new Call of Duty titles and for fans of the series this is a great thing. However, for other gamers, microtransactions—the proper term for in-game purchases—are a pretty annoying thing and need to be removed. That’s why it’s important for game companies to pay attention to their consumers when something doesn’t work out as not all innovations are necessarily a good thing and removing the innovations that don’t work actually is a form of innovation in of itself.
Continue taking risks with genres
In the past, we’ve mentioned in other articles for not only games but anime that risks are a scary thing for any company. Risks can be the ultimate double-edged sword, especially when it comes to games. A game that takes risks might be reviewed as amazing and might be loved but might not sell or find love with all types of gamers. However, game companies that take risks are doing exactly what we want in the gaming world. They are being innovative. Let us talk about some of the more recent games that have been innovative and have found some success by taking those risks.
Nier: Automata—the pseudo sequel to Nier—released with fans being quite surprised. The original Nier—which released in 2010—wasn’t that well received in terms of sales. Nier gained more of a cult following thanks to fans of Drakengard and Square Enix. However, Nier Automata still released despite the lack of love for the original and went on to be one of the better selling titles back in 2017. Square Enix took a risk with Nier: Automata and it proved to be a very good thing for them. We could also mention Cuphead which struggled in development hell—it took several years for Cuphead to actually release in 2017—but Cuphead was loved for its old school art and tough but fun gameplay. It was a risk for StudioMDHR—the developer/publisher—to release Cuphead but it worked out for them and it shows that innovation can lead to games becoming popular even when they might be very different than most games of the modern generation.
We won’t try to pretend like we here at Honey’s Anime know every little detail of how gaming companies work and the struggles they face trying to stay relevant in this huge gaming world. However, we do our research and understand that a lot of companies need to keep doing innovative things to keep their consumes buying their products as games continue to release. Though if gaming companies don’t try to be different than the other companies you’ll see eventually a lot of them struggling in the far future and possibly we will get less games from them in general which would be terrible in our minds. With that being said, folks, we have reached the end of our article but we’d love to hear from you now. Leave a comment down below telling us what ideas you think would help game companies be more innovative or if you agree with our suggestions above. For more articles like this one be sure to keep coming back to our hive here at Honey’s Anime.