In the gaming world, we’ve hoodwinked ourselves into thinking that saturation in the gaming market is the result of bad taste in entertainment. Saturation of military shooters are due to the “bro-gamers” who refuse to try anything new. We assume then that innovation just doesn’t sell as a result. Or that “we don’t know what we want” because the claims that we want something different is contradicted by the actual people who bought the game (which is everyone who actually wanted it…. vs the rest of the world).

The game industry and idiots over the internet really don’t understand he fundamentals of selling a product to people as we’ve convinced ourselves that gaming is something more than a product. And we do that, we disconnect gaming from regular trends of buying and selling. We just don’t understand why games sell anymore. Hopefully, I can alleviate that as I’ve become arrogant enough to believe so.

First and foremost, people need to understand the reason people buy anything. Yeah. Why do you buy the things you do?

People buy food… to feed themselves.
People buy clothes… to have something to wear (unless they’re strippers, then anything goes)
People buy cleaning tools… to clean
People buy 8 inch drill bits… to make 8 inch holes.

This pattern is easy to understand. People… buy products… to gain a benefit. Something that is advantageous or good. People buy products to benefit from them. Women buy cosmetics and clothing to benefit from them by… looking good (or ridiculous).

Men buy steroids to get buff for hollywood roles that require them.
Kids buy toys because COLORS!

But more reasonable examples, people buy knives to cut stuff. People buy vegetable seeds to save money from having to shop at the groceries (and avoid Monsanto products). People buy Lawn Mowers to cut grass.

People… buy… things… to… benefit from them.

If you buy something that has no benefit to you, then you are simply wasting money.

So why buy anything regarding entertainment? Afterall, entertainment has no tangible benefit to you that makes your life more productive.

But that’s where you’d be wrong. People need entertainment. That old saying about dull johnny is much deeper than that. People can’t just work themselves to death, they need something to stimulate them and make them forget life’s bull, temporarily. Yeah, most people can make their own fun, but most people end up hurting themselves in the process.  So people buy entertainment for what? To have fun. Having fun is something that is plain necessary in our lives so that we don’t grow old feeling like angry bastards pissing in the wind about these young whipper snappers who got famous for bad singing over youtube.

Or being exploited over youtube.

So we have books, music, toys, television, movies, and video games to fulfill the benefit of having fun. Entertainment is supposed to give us joy. Laughter. Happiness of a sort. To give us a breather from the harshness of reality. The benefit of entertainment is stress relief. Make believe. And in some strange instances, inspiration.

So we get to the video games, the benefit of buying a video game is to eventually have fun. Or for parents to get their hyper active kids to shut the hell up while they pork on their anniversary.

This is a universal trait amongst anyone who buys a video game. No one just buys games to be “bros” or obtain a sign of status. When you talk about Call of Duty, people buy these games en masse because they provide the benefit of having fun. Being entertained is the ultimate goal.

So if you’re a game developer, publisher, w/e the hell you are or want to be, the ultimate goal that you must achieve is to create a game that delivers a benefit to the player, IE entertainment. Fun Factor. More than likely, you’ll just copy off Call of Duty anyway because it’s a money trail, but ultimately failing to understand why it sells gang busters… until now, that is. It produces entertainment. A benefit to everyone.

I’m gonna repeat that a million times. Entertainment value/Fun Factor is the benefit of your video game. Ultimately, and periodededededededededd. If your game is not built around entertainment value, it serves no benefit to the player.

Think back to the NES. The benefit of owning one was to have better games than the competition at a much cheaper price tag. But ultimately, better games = more entertainment value = more beneficial to you. So NES was a juggernaut. Then Sega Genesis had a… similar strategy though kinda more fucked up. It advertised having better games along with a better price than Super Nintendo. Over time, these morons started advertising hardware as being the main attraction, and then Nintendo started doing the same… with cheaper prices.

This is where gaming started to turn on it’s head. Games stopped being about benefits and started being more about features. A feature is simply what your game can do, while the benefit is what your game does for other people. Or for the mentally delayed, try the nice guy argument.

Nice guys have better personalities, dress nice, and have great smiles. But the thugs can “protect” the woman from people they have no business being near anyway. At least that’s their perception. Or think about every video game hero that gets laid and compare them to the animu main characters that piss everyone off for doing nothing… and getting laid anyway. Mario saves peach, she bakes cherry cakes. People want to be with people that can do something for them.

People want to buy games that can do something for them. Advertising hardware features or features of a game does nothing but alienate people. Because people don’t see a feature as some sort of benefit. Therefore, selling games on features rather than benefits has created the gaming atmosphere of the modern industry.

This is where we get to the dilemma of “innovation” or why it doesn’t sell. First off, take a gander at this video of Metroid Prime 3.

Look at all the pointless stuff you can do with Nintendo’s new innovative motion controller! Control Samus Aran in ways you never thought possible like… moving your arm around to press buttons! Twist and contort your arm to open doors! This totally makes the game more life-like!

If you thought that was rad, get a load of Skyward Sword’s unique usage of the motion plus upgrade that you’re totally required to have in order to do things you could do without it like… DOWSING! A feature so rad, we couldn’t just use the infared scope on the Wii mote! No, you… aim…with.. the GYRO…….THINGY… IN THE WIIMOTE!!

Seriously… they had a goddamn trailer for this crap.

Can anyone point to the benefit of these innovative features? What benefit is there to your enjoyment of the game? None. Because these features are not created with the intent of generating entertainment. They are done to demonstrate how “cool” the product is. And that is the fundamental flaw of innovative games. They provide no tangible benefit to you or anyone looking to have a fun time.

The “genius” behind Wii’s marketing wasn’t really showing people playing the Wii (which I assume was what everyone got from it), but demonstrating that people could benefit from the Wii. Take all those workout/weightloss commercials where you see people actively trying out these workout sets or routines and getting results. They’re demonstrating the benefit of these things to you.

“We’ll gaurantee that you’ll get rock hard abs and slim sexy waistline, or your money back!”

There’s a benefit for yah.

I raised this point about Pokemon earlier which… went ignored, but why would I buy a pokemon game for it’s pointless features like “Bases” or Pokemon contests? They provide no entertainment to me (or anyone else) as they are not fun distractions from the main game. Therefore, a majority of Pokemon’s features don’t benefit anyone outside of catching and training Pokemon.

People buy things to benefit them. Not just because they have features. Remember Me has a rhythm based combo system, but it serves no benefit to me as it is not fun. RE4 featured QTEs, but they provide no benefit as they’re definitely not fun. Blazblue has fighting characters based on gimmicks, but they provide no benefit as they make half the characters unplayable pieces of shit… there by making the game not fun.

I harp on this so many times because the same point stands firm as to why people buy games. When a developer decides to do something different for the sake of their own personal goals, there is the high risk of those goals not being of any benefit to the consumers. Their intent is not to benefit customers but to meet their own desires.

So when we look at the issue of the most “innovative company of all time”, Nintendo, we see first hand just why the PII U is in the jam it’s in. It is a console that was created with no intent of benefitting the customer. It is overpriced, it looks uncomfortable to play, the console has technical faults of having to rely on a crappy looking controller that you might not even use to play a game, only one can work with the console at a time, and extra Pii U controllers aren’t even available for purchase, so if your old one fucks up, you might have to buy an entirely new console. And why should you go through the hassle? Afterall, the Pii U has no games. Therefore, it is of no benefit to you. More hassle than there is entertainment? No deal.

The 360 is the most faulty piece of hardware out there, but people are willing to put up with bad customer service, RRODs, disc read errors, crappy D-Pads and more… to get entertainment value from the games they have. Because Minecrack is awesome.

Reading about Nintendo’s developers gives you the impression that they don’t care about their customer’s own entertainment. Therefore, they do not seek to benefit you in any way. And it shows with their games and hardware. That’s why they’re failing. You do not put out a product that has no purpose of benefiting people. Ever.

Innovation only sells when it does something for people. In gaming, it’s rare because innovation usually comes out of someone’s rectum… where their heads might be. The vision of someone who has no intent of appealing to anyone’s tastes. Psychonauts looks butt ugly. Beyond Good and Evil doesn’t have enough sex appeal (I guess). Wind Waker looks like child’s play. Wii Music sounds gay and un-fun. Pikmin fits the rule of uncool.

In Nintendo’s case, all they’ve really done was take what was already available and make them better. SMB is a better Pitfall. Pokemon is a better turn-based RPG. Mario Kart is a better racing game (I guess, F-Zero GX is way better). Zelda was a better computer RPG. All of Nintendo’s greatest hits are not innovative. They simply filled a void that was created by asshole game developers that had their own interests in mind. Now Nintendo has become the asshole developers, and the results speak for themselves. When developers seek to make games with no benefit to the customers, they usually fail.

And now, I await the failure of Sonic Boom and Bayonetta 2 especially.