Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a highly anticipated First Person Role Playing Game, and it’s going to be a huge disappointment.
Why is it going to fail?
It’s really simple.
Skyrim is the fifth installment in a long series of extremely nerdy games. I don’t say that with an insulting tone, I’m just stereotyping.
So, as a game for nerdy people, it should be targeted toward these guys in order to niche properly. Hell, even in the trailer, my nerdyness got blown out of the water when an epic showdown between a burly man and a giant flying dragon ended with the burly man speaking in some iteration of french and the dragon just falls dead (Note to fans, I know it’s not french). So, obviously, this game should be for nerdy people. Right?
Well apparently the developers don’t think so.
The game isn’t released yet. But the quality of the game doesn’t match its history. In a nutshell, the developers are dumbing down the game as if a toddler could grasp what used to be an incredibly complex game. The developers have been chopping off what used to be, at least to the nerds, incredibly appealing. They liked a complex Spell system. They liked having the game laid out in detail and scripted properly as to convey the gameplay and story (Instead of using auto-leveling, so crabs covered in mud cause you just as much trouble at lvl 1 as they do at lvl 20)
When you take a game that was really complex, this complexity becomes a feature. The fans like it. It gives the game an element that makes it different from its competition. When you take it out, the game loses that element, and it becomes more bland to the fans. Despite this, why on Earth would they dumb the game down?
The answer happens to be the same reason why ES5: Skyrim will fail. They want to sell the game to “Everyone”.
To non-business people, selling your product to “Everyone” on Earth seems like a good idea. But when you have the mentality that everyone on Earth might want to buy your game, you create the mentality that you should show your game to everyone on Earth. So what happens next? You create your game, and target it, as if “Human” was your target customer. Basically, you create something that nobody wants.
So they take this game which should be for nerds, and instead make it for casual players. Since it’s a casual game, nerds won’t like it, and neither will the fans. Since it’s obviously a game for nerds, 10 year old Suzie and frat boy Jim aren’t going to be jumping up and down come release day.
That’s it, as simple as I can make it. Don’t get me wrong, this game won’t get zero sales. It’ll get them, because it’s the fifth installment of a popular series. The game doesn’t have to be good. Fans will buy the game up, hoping it will be the same as games before it. Other than that, the only person I can see buying it is a nerd, who’s a casual gamer, and hasn’t played any of the games prior. He’s probably aged 16-19, and he might actually like it, but he’ll have to be pretty hardcore nerdy.
Fans of the Elder Scroll saga, I’m sorry if this sounds mean to you, but you’re not going to like this game. You’ll buy it, hoping it might be good, hoping that Dragon Speak lets the game get back to it’s complex routes but confused by the simplicity of features that used to be detailed. Then when you buy it, what you’ll have is this five minutes of satisfaction followed by a sour taste and hours of a bland, mediocre feeling, but you’ll keep going hoping that you can find as much satisfaction as you did in previous installments.
Maybe developers of videogames will one day understand that niching and selling a quality game is better than this current trend.
My predictions came true. It’s got sales, and a ton of piracy.
For a number of people, this is going to be their first ES game. For a lot of fans, they’re heavily disappointed. Right now we’re in a “Golden” phase, where all the people who bought it are going to rant and rave about it. Because it’s new. Eventually, regret will set in. Thankfully, ES5 wasn’t as messed up as Battlefield 3 which has undoutably lost 70-80% of all of its old fans (See how they managed that, here)
Anyway, piracy numbers are huge for this game. It was leaked a few days before release. Developers were openly irate about piracy, which they still don’t have any understanding of. In this case, since numbers are large, I’d say it’s just a lot of fans that are convinced the developers have created something they won’t enjoy, so the decision to purchase the product has become more risky, so they pirated it. What’s going to be their feeling in a week? They’re probably going to hate it. Read about how they could use piracy as a tool here and I hope they take an out-of-the-box approach to this and seek to renew their relationship to their betrayed fans. Instead, they’re just going to think “Our fans are jerks! Humph!” and they’ll dive even further away from their target customer, further hurting success of the future of the series, further isolating their fans, and making even worse products.
Read here how the “mainstream” or “casual” market, as videogame producers often call it, isn’t a market at all and it just represents an incredibly ignorant view of marketing and sales in general (Leading to bad products and failure)