Dear Readers: Why People Make Bad Games

In case you're curious, I've recently discovered the secret of Why Developers Make Bad Games: We keep asking for them.

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(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the April 1, 2006 issue of GameCola, back when GameCola was published in a bi-monthly online magazine format.)

GameCola Headquarters
College Park, MD 20740
April 1, 2006

Rogue AgentDear Readers,

In case you’re curious, I’ve recently discovered the secret of Why Developers Make Bad Games:

We keep asking for them.

We said they should make a new GoldenEye, and unfortunately, they made a new GoldenEye. We said they should make a new Final Fight, and unfortunately, they made a new Final Fight. We said they should make a new Bomberman, and unfortunately, they’re making a new Bomberman.

We need to stop asking so much.

When we say we want a new GoldenEye, we mean we want a gnarly FPS based on the Bond license and with great multiplayer. The developers, unfortunately, don’t see it our way. They think it’s better to make a generic shooting game with the name GoldenEye finger-painted all over it. They think fans of the original will flock to their garbage because it bears the name of a favorite game, and they also think new fans will check it out because they’ve heard such great things about the original. In the end, the developers end up making a few bucks off the people who don’t know any better, but you’d think they’d strive for much better than that.

It’s not like we’re asking for much, really: All we want is game that’s awesome, just like the original. Not a game that’s mediocre and completely unlike the original. What’s so hard about that? What’s so hard about just adding a little bit to the gameplay, creating a few new levels and introducing a few new characters that makes it so much more worthwhile to make rubbish instead?

We’re not going to buy a game called Final Fight if it’s only called Final Fight. GoldenEye’s not going to become a best-seller if it’s nothing like the original. (Hands up—who out there even knew there was a new GoldenEye? That’s how successful the title was.) Bomberman’s going to remain a memory if anything more recent isn’t worth remembering. Tampering with classics is a bad, bad idea, unless you’re looking to cheese people off and develop an absolutely immaterial title.

You might as well just create a new putrid game to go along with your old putrid gameplay, rather than involve yourself in something that could actually be worthwhile. Leave the sequels and remakes of classic games to people who actually care.

Love,

Paul Franzen
editor in chief
e-mail: pfranzen@gamecola.net

P.S. The “Holy Crap Give Us a New Logo” contest rages on! C’mon guys, throw us a bone here! What more can I do for you? I’m already offering a free t-shirt (with your new logo on it, no less), and I’m already offering you this great design to start with:

almostlogo

What more do you want from me, blood? If you’ve got a logo for us, please, please, please send it on over!

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