The concept of ‘easy’ in MMO land

A while back GameMonkey made this post, basically stating that “easy is fun”, and that easy is one of the keys to reaching the mass market. He later goes on to state in the comments that the easy version of any game will outsell the harder version, I point I counter with Madden vs Blitz.

But as someone who really enjoys a challenge, I’d love to disagree with the basic premise of the piece, but taking one look around the MMO genre and it’s very clear that, today, easy does indeed equal mass market. But like I noted above, that same rule does not apply across the board to all of gaming. Madden is a VERY complex/hard game to get into, and yet each year it sells millions of copies despite the fact that EA does so little to update it. The new Super Mario game is anything but easy, as are Street Fighter 4, Tekken 6, or even Dragon Age, and yet each title sells millions. So why then is EVE the only mass-market MMO (if I define that as games with 300k+ subs in the US/EU) out that most would consider ‘hard’?

To start I think it’s important to understand just what ‘hard’ really means. When we are talking about MMOs, a lot of the ‘hard’ factor comes from the arcane MMO-only rules that many games follow. Understanding stuff like stats, BoE, rare spawns, agro, etc all present a frustrating challenge to a new player, and none of those things has much to do with the actual difficulty of an encounter. Mario is hard because the damn platform you have to jump on is tiny, moving, and covered in spikes, but everyone understands HOW jump works within the first minute. A lot of ‘hardcore’ raiders still don’t understand how agro works, or why they are using a certain skill rotation they saw on a forum (likely wrong because they don’t have the right gear to make that rotation work, but yea…)

Something similar happens today when players go from a traditional MMO to DarkFall. They find the first few days hard because of how different the basics are, even though the actual difficulty in the tasks is still rather low. Killing your first goblin in DF is tough by MMO standards, but only because the first goblin in most MMOs has zero chance to kill you and is all too happy to stand still directly in front of you while you bash him over the head with a rusty dagger. The simple fact that a goblin in DF has the audacity to move away or around you once you agro him gets a lot of players killed, but the actual combat is not much harder than the average jump in Mario, and certainly can’t hold a candle to scoring a TD in Madden.

I think the major reason easy=fun for the average gamer in today’s MMOs is because compared to the average game, even an ‘easy’ MMO like WoW is tough to get into and fully understand. By making it so you don’t have to actually understand it, the average player can still progress and collect his ‘epics’ in WoW today, while back in 2004-05 anything at-level required some basic understanding of stats/mechanics, and raiding required an Elitist Jerks degree in theorycraft. Yet while the challenge was higher based on game knowledge, the actual gameplay was still relatively easy. You still had to decurse, step out of the fire, and not unload until the tank had agro. The margin of error was much lower, but the actual player skillset required was still low, certainly much lower than what it takes to play Madden or to beat a Mario level.

If MMO games really want to break out into the mainstream and join WoW (the one break-out fluke), the frontloading of arcane mechanics and trivial details needs to be replaced with better core gameplay. Mobs standing in front of you waiting to die so you can move on and kill 14 more to finish a ‘quest’ is not good gameplay, no matter how ‘epic’ the reward at the end is or how well you write the quest text (that 90% skip anyway). Or if that is the height of MMO gameplay, at least make it easier for the average player to understand why that ‘epic’ he just got for killing those 15 bears is great, without having to understand 10 different stats and 20 different modifiers to stuff-like-stats-but-not-exactly-stats. That works in Diablo because that’s ALL THERE IS to Diablo, and at least you get to click a whole bunch while playing and the mobs die by the hundreds.

In other words, easy=fun in MMO land only because at their base, MMOs are NOT easy to understand. Make the basics (jumping/fighting) Mario easy, and you can make the actual gameplay (levels/encounters) Mario hard. Until then, “don’t stand in the fire” is about as complex as you are going to find the average encounter in any MMO looking to hit 300k+, and you might have to play *shudder* a niche MMO to find something a little less sleep-inducing.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Combat Systems, Console Gaming, Darkfall Online, EVE Online, MMO design, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to The concept of ‘easy’ in MMO land

  1. merlin3649 says:

    I think something possibly overlooked in evaluating an MMO’s difficulty is the amount of grinding involved. I think the grind has two effects. For one, fewer potential subscribers (and it’s casual players we’re talking about) will participate in a grind if it’s “hard” — this is one reason why the Goblin doesn’t move around you. Secondly, few potential subscribers will participate in an environment that requires a huge grind time-sink without some guarantee that the effort will “pay” off or be worth the time.

    Casual players require fundamentally “accessible”/easy gameplay (Nintendo is the living definer and inventor of this concept), and something they can pick up and put down relatively without consequence. While most casual players can put up with higher levels of complexity the deeper they get in a game (complexity not as a barrier to entry, but as a reward for further involvement), they want to be able to wade into it relatively easily and harmlessly.

    Supporters of complex MMOs aren’t just competing against WoW or ToR for development energy; but against Cooking Mama and Mafia Wars. It’s an entirely different world out there for most players, and while gaming is mainstream a serious passion for it simply is _not_

  2. Malakili says:

    The reality is that most people gaming these days aren’t from the traditional pool of gamers, they aren’t computer power users, they aren’t interested in mechanics, or reading about the game outside of their play time, and so forth. They want to sit in front of their computer and veg out for a few hours and talk to friends and maybe kill some stuff.

    Thats reality. You and I are the old dinosaurs at this point. Even the most CASUAL player who reads the blog is far more hardcore than the average player who is playing these games nowadays just by virtue of the fact that they even care enough to read a blog on the subject.

    • SynCaine says:

      I completely accept that, but then who are the millions playing Madden every year? Who are the millions buying SF4 and learning/pulling off the moves offline and online? Hell, who are the millions who are going to buy StarCraft 2 and learn all the different unit combos and builds?

      I get that people who only play Mafia Wars are a different breed, but there are a LOT of gamers who get into complex games of high difficulty. They just don’t play MMOs by the millions.

      • Malakili says:

        I think your mistake is comparing SF4 and Madden to the MMOs. They really aren’t on the same level in terms of learning the game mechanics. Perhaps more importantly, you can just fire it up and play, no fuss no muss. You want to play a game of madden, you turn on your machine, and you play. You want to get better at Darkfall, you’ve got to read up on stuff, build up some gear and some backup gear, join a clan (most likely), go find some folks. While thats not a big deal for you and me, the logistics of it are daunting to someone who isn’t accustomed to. The people who play Madden and SF4 are actually far closer to the WoW player than to the Hardcore MMO player.

        And you definitely over estimate on the Starcraft side, while there is a minority that learns build orders and hotkeys, the vast majority of players are “clickers” and join “20 minutes no rush” games, waste a minute staring at their screen deciding to build a Wraith or Battlecruiser while their APM drops basically to 0, and so forth.

        It isn’t just difficulty, its ease of entry, its required logistics, its time needed to devote outside of the game, and a host of other factors. The hardcore MMOs require a commitment that is unlike anything except maybe the most hardcore type players in other games.

        To when people talk “easy” its not just a matter of being able to kill a mob easily, its the ability to PLAY easily period.

  3. Wintersdark says:

    There aren’t millions buying SF4 and perfecting all the combos, and there aren’t millions buying Madden and mastering it.

    There are millions buying Madden, guys with random consoles who love sports and want to play with thier buddies. Few of them will really dig into the game itself to learn all the I s and outs.

    Millions will buy SF4 and mash buttons randomly to win fights, and the will in single player. Online, they will become the countless hordes who whine about overpowered combos and such.

    We are the statistical anomoly now, the tiny and becoming irrelevant demographic in what was once OUR industry.

    Just look at the numbers of people and time investment that goes into Farmville and other bullshit games compared to our games.

    It’s depressing.

  4. mbp says:

    Perhaps we should distinguish between difficult and complicated. Mario is difficult because you need to split second timing to make those jumps. EVE is complicated because you need a dozen spreadsheets to figure out the best way to fit out a ship.

    Traditionally mmorpgs were always more complicated than they were difficult (in the split second timing way). I don’t know if Darkfall has changed that balance.

    I do suspect that complication for complications sake has got out of hand in WoW like mmorpgs though. There are so many trivial skills, ablilities , variations of equipment etc that only the combined activity of a community like ELitist Jerks can make some sense out of it and the vast majority just blindly follow cookie cutter builds. Guild Wars does a better job of complexity in my opinion because the 8 skill limit means there are no real “optimum” configurations. Of course there is still a vast array of theory craft and cookie cutter builds but the average player can still come up with useful builds.

  5. sid67 says:

    I think fun = fun. Not easy or hard. If something is fun, it’s fun. Period.

    I think what you are talking about is the depth of complexity. The more complex, the deeper and more involved players get into a game. Complexity can be learned so it’s ideally suited to MMOs.

    That’s distinctly different than something being easy or hard based on the how much skill is required to perform actions. MMOs have to have a ‘skill’ barrier that is very low or the mass market can’t perform the basic functions of doing anything. Very few MMOs reward skill (EVE included).

    And as a poster above said, there is the whole idea that making things take longer make them harder. No they don’t. They just make them take longer. Which may, or may not, be appropriate for the reward. But it isn’t HARDER.

  6. logandilts says:

    sid summed it up perfectly… couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. Ponder says:

    HCC fails, plz repeat Blizzard 101 classes.

    “Easy to play, hard to master”

    • SynCaine says:

      What’s hard to master about WoW?

      • Max says:

        For start become top team in your battlegroup arenas . WoW is a lot harder than darkfall in this respect as actual skill plays major role in high rating arenas, as opposed to darkfall where the only thing that matters is how long you macroed your char and how big you zerg is

        WoW does not require split second timing as FPS do , but it requires other aspects still such as knowledge of all different classes , combos and abilities (minor part ) and actually choosing the right one in a time-frame of GC (and this is what separates skilled from scrubs).

        Darkfall is a grind based game (and so is eve to large degree) next to nothing of skill is involved, only thing matters is how long you grinded (in eve – how long you were subscribed to it )

  8. Hirvox says:

    I’m not really following your line of thought here.

    In other words, easy=fun in MMO land only because at their base, MMOs are NOT easy to understand. Make the basics (jumping/fighting) Mario easy, and you can make the actual gameplay (levels/encounters) Mario hard.

    So.. you recommend that game developers follow in Blizzard’s footsteps and use “easy to learn, hard to master” as their mantra, otherwise..

    Until then, “don’t stand in the fire” is about as complex as you are going to find the average encounter in any MMO looking to hit 300k+

    ..they’ll end up like Blizzard?

    Or are you saying that while Blizzard’s design philosophies are exactly what the industry needs, their actual products don’t follow that philosophy? I can partially agree with that.

    • SynCaine says:

      More or less, yea. WoW is probably the easiest MMO to get into today, but even it has some strange and basically unneeded complexity to it, while at its core the gameplay is comparable to watching paint dry. You don’t notice that at first because your too busy trying to decipher all of the arcane rules and numbers floating around, but they don’t do much of anything to make the actual gameplay more fun. (Outside of those who love to theorycraft, but that’s a tiny minority).

      Now you can’t go and make the gameplay more of a challenge without reducing the base complexity, because then you are just creating a bigger barrier of entry and that obviously won’t attract more players. My point is that if you reduce the complexity (at least initially), you can increase the player-skill challenge, and while eventually most players will figure out the numbers and rules, good core gameplay (DF combat for example) is still good core gameplay 1000hrs in.

  9. Gooney says:

    The fundamental mistake in a discussion like this is that everyone is operating from a different definition of what exactly “easy” and “hard” are.

    I’ve played WoW for several years, I wouldn’t say that its “easy”, nor would I say that it was “hard”. I would say that the game of WoW delivers its fun to the gamer via the smooth experience of the game play. There is a type of enjoyment derived from repeatable predictability. Not worse or better than DF just different.

    I’ve also been playing Darkfall for a while now and I don’t think that game is any more difficult than WoW. The lack of a significant amount of information available about the game obfuscates its mechanics making it slightly more difficult to understand initially. But its not hard. Crafting for instance, is essentially the exact same activity as in WoW, collect components, click combine. There is a possibility to fail involved, but that doesn’t make it any more difficult, just less predictable.

    DF delivers its fun by providing a world that allows a greater level of uncertainty. Its not any harder than WoW.

    In WoW you are on an item treadmill, you are constantly striving to have better items. In DF items aren’t as important, no matter how bitchin your gear is your going to loose it if not from it being looted from your cooling corpse, you’ll loose it from item decay.


    • SynCaine says:

      The core difference between WoW and DF is that in DF, player-skill is a huge factor in combat, while in WoW it’s trivial until the very, very end. Now that makes DF a bit ‘harder’ in PvE, but it opens the game up greatly for PvP. The gear/stats/skills are still a factor, but they don’t ALWAYS determine the winner, and every player can always get better at aiming, situational awareness, etc. DF offers player-growth in addition to traditional character growth.

      • Latrodanes says:

        Ditto for EvE. Many players can get right into the game and be effective as they develop their play skills, not their toon’s.

        • sid67 says:

          No way. What takes skill about looking at little squares and starting/stopping modules? EVE does NOT take skill. It’s a very deep and complex game, but it doesn’t take skill.

          Don’t confuse complexity with skill. And that’s not as huge a knock on EVE as it sounds. Most MMOs don’t require skill. If they did, then average joe player would quit in frustration.

        • Hirvox says:

          Playing chess only requires one to pick up a piece from one square and drop if off in an another one. Hand/eye coordination is not the only skill out there.

        • SynCaine says:

          What Hirvox said. Twitch skill is not the only skill, and EVE has lots of areas where player action (skill) determines the result of the outcome (market, PvE, PvP).

        • sid67 says:

          OK. I’ll buy into the idea that skill can be defined merely as a measure of expertise.

          But that being said, you’ll never convince me that COMBAT in EVE is so complex that it requires a greater degree of expertise than it does in WoW.

          And back on point, I was responding to the idea that EVE combat takes skill. Which, if we are calling out WoW as an example as a game not requiring skill, is not true. Even by your definition.

        • SynCaine says:

          I’d say that the result of a fleet battle is far more player-skill dependent than the result of a raid boss encounter (saying nothing about the pre-battle work in EVE vs that of WoW). But if we are talking the skill required to kill an NPC frigate vs the skill required to kill an even-con mob in WoW, then no those are about equal (zero).

          But you can’t just zoom in on 1v1 combat ONLY and do the ‘skill check’ only at that level. There is a lot more to all games than just that, its just my opinion that in EVE there is a whole lot more compared to WoW. Same goes for DF (plus the whole 1v1 is more than zero)

        • sid67 says:

          Ah… you mean Fleet battles which are decided by which Fleet is in the System first?

          I’m not a fan of Arena PvP, but if you are talking about things that require the most skill in WoW, then you you should be drawing the comparison to 2200+ rated Arena matches.

          We can both poo-poo the flawed nature of that PvP end-game but it’s hard to deny how fiercely competitive it is at that level. It’s all about counters, line of sighting and coordinated tactics. It’s anything but easy.

          But MY point isn’t really to defend WoW as much as it is to say that EVE is not any better.

        • SynCaine says:

          2200+ arena is comparable to the yearly EVE tourney, or the top tier DF 1v1 competitions.

          The average player can be involved in a fleet battle, the average player will never hit 2200 arena or come close to a top-tier DF PvPer. The average player CAN join AV or WSG though.

          On top of all that, the 2200 arena teams have ZERO impact on anyone but other 2200 teams, while the top fleet commanders or DF PvPers are key members of their communities, and so their actions are not isolated in some ‘side game’ like the arena.

        • sid67 says:

          What we were we talking about again? Not sure exactly what we are arguing about anymore.

          All I can say is that if you take the ‘negative-sum’ nature out of EVE combat, it’s about as exciting as watching a cow piss on a flat rock.

          It’s boring as hell, man. Case in point.. this video.

          That’s distinctly different than any DF video I have ever seen.

          I mean, from a pure entertainment standpoint, it doesn’t even hold a candle to doing the same raid boss for the hundredth time.

        • SynCaine says:

          I believe we are debating how I’m right and your wrong… or something.

          EVE videos are terribly boring though, I agree. On the other side of the coin, kinda hard NOT to feel the excitement of something like this.

          edit: Ok more boring, watching that raid video or listening to the guy talking during the video?

        • Dblade says:

          You’d be surprised how boring listening to a FC is, and videos tend to strip out the 30 minutes plus of the FC going through, system by system, listening to the scout and then warping the fleet. The actual battle is the tiny part, and in EVE it can be over in seconds.

          Plus, tactics really boil down to:

          1. Have more ships
          2. Have bigger ships
          3. Have ECM jamming.

          Look it this way, the most populated systems in EVE are ones where PvP isn’t easily done without a wardec, and the biggest corps are the starter ones that can’t be wardecced. That should show you how “fun” EVE PvP is many times.

    • Willee says:

      “I’ve also been playing Darkfall for a while now and I don’t think that game is any more difficult than WoW”

      I’ve seen a lot of wow players make this claim and all I can say is I want some of what you are smoking.

      The only way this is remotely true is if you are talking end-game raidng…which it doesn’t look like you are. The pve in darkfall is so much harder than 95% of the pve in wow. You have an almost zero chance of dying in wow before level 10 (which is being kind) vs a 95% chance of dying in darkfall before level 3. And in darkfall you don’t use death as a travel mechanic because it is so trivial.

      And that’s without even mentioning the pvp.

      Sure you can point to some things like crafting and say they are equally dificult or mundane and I’d agree. But for the vast majority of players the pve/pvp is the meat and potatos of the game and in that area there is no comparison IMO until you get to end game raiding which a lot of people never ebb see.

      • gooney says:

        The fact is your only guessing, I never said one way or the other if I meant raiding, PvP, instances, running a guild or whatever else you can occupy your time with in WoW, but even if I did how does that invalidate my statement?

        Do you really consider DF to be difficult? Whats so hard about it? Syncaine insists that “player skill” affects play to a greater extent than in WoW, how is that even a supportable statement? Are we even comparing Apples to Apples here? I don’t think so.

        I do question the merit of arguing whether or not one MMO is “easier” or “harder” than another? Just what does that mean?

        I’d argue that the whole notion is specious at best and self-delusional at worst; especially if you are trying to draw some sort of level of relative self worth from participating in one game or the other.

        I prefer playing DF to WoW now, but thats not due to any inequity in WoW itself, its because I enjoy the challenge that DF presents me and find the challenges presented by WoW to not be as compelling as they once were. DF too will eventually loose its ability to compel me at some point too.

        Thats just the way games are, you go from noob to competent player, to mastering the system, eventually to boredom.

        PvP will extend this in the same way that Chess with a human is always more compelling than chess vs a machine.


  10. Mordiceius says:

    It does seem though that with MMOs if they try to go the route of “more difficult without becoming more complex” they just make it more twitch based.

    How do you keep an MMO simple, challenging, and not twitch-based?

    • SynCaine says:

      Well for starters twitch-based works. Mario sells a ton of copies, and connection speeds are now good enough to allow such gameplay (online SF was impossible due to lag when UO came out, it works near-flawlessly now).

      And then you can always start with low complexity and build up. The major problem with traditional design today is all of the complexity is front-loaded. Stats, gear, classes, all of that is thrown at someone at level 1. Find a good way to space it out (while still having fun gameplay) and you can start people low and build them up.

      • Bhagpuss says:

        I think you might be making the mistake of thinking that an orange out to be more like an apple because both are fruits.

        I didn’t come to play MMOs from playing video games. I don’t like video games. I played RPGs and Adventures. Some of those needed a computer or a console to play them, yes, but I never thought of them as “video games”.

        In the 1980s I briefly reviewed games for a magazine called “MicroAdventurer”. It was dedicated to RPG and Adventure games played on computers. It was clear even back then that the audience for that type of game was very different from the general “video game” audience. Adventure gamers, as we generically referred to them, didn’t like anything that required fast reaction times. They did like to read a lot of text. They liked to take things a step at a time and think a lot.

        MMOs seem to me to be the natural evolution of that subgenre. Rather than move further towards the kind of fast-reaction, pixel-precise action of platformers or racers, MMORPGss would be better served adding complexity. If they get “harder” it should only be by requiring their players to think more. And not by playing the silly Simon Says games of “guess the developer’s fancy” that Scripting brings, either.

        Games like Darkfall, with their focus on both PvP and “action” combat based on player-skill are another sub-genre again. By all means let’s have more of them for those that enjoy them. I don’t think, though, that they are in any way appealing to the same market segment as a game like EQ2 or Wizard 101, and they really shouldn’t be considered to be in direct competition with them.

  11. Adam says:

    World of Warcraft (and games like it) makes very few demands on your manual dexterity, compared to the majority of other games.

    Most people defend this by saying it’s not “twitch” based as if anything that was is somehow only for 12 years olds.

    Somehow the “mass market” requires this non-demanding game style.

    The reality is that many/most popular games are twitch based and most gamers are adult. Look at the top ten pc and console games.

    I see FPS, Racing, Sports, and platformish titles.

    All requiring hand-eye coordination (kind of like driving down the road in your car does actually).

    WoW, Sims, and lets say “Railroad Tycoon”(flavor of the month slow sim) are generally the only non-twitch games.

    It’s really great that there are non-twitch based games are out there.

    What’s deeply sad is that people have combined an extremely casual and undemanding gaming style with a long grind of thousands and thousands of hours of gameplay.

    People shouldn’t pretend like the thousands and thousands of hours of playing a casual undemanding game like WoW are challenging or making them a more competent gamer (yes, I’ve pvp’ed and progression raided in WoW.. its not difficult in any real sense).

    I would like to see more MMO, like Darkfall, that actually require hand-eye coordination and some work at mastering them. It would even be better if more new MMO were sandboxes and thus -socially- demanding as well.

    With the number of low intensity casual gamers that are in the the MMO market I’m not hopeful.

    • Drew says:

      I find it highly amusing that you refer to WoW as a non-twitch game when most actions are taken inside 1.5 seconds (Global Cooldown).

      Look, WoW isn’t “hard”; I get that. But to lump it in with the Sims and Railroad Tycoon is just ridiculous and shows your hatred-bias.

      Darkfall is more twitchy; so is Fallen Earth. That doesn’t make them inherently harder unless you’re not used to that style of play. So, to someone who’s only played WoW, you’re spot-on. But for someone coming from an FPS or Action title background, I dare say they’d find those games easier than WoW – at least from the combat point-of-view. That aspect would be familiar to them.

  12. logandilts says:

    i think it’s important to note the difference between skill and knowledge… DF takes skill (twitch based mostly if you want to be specific).. EVE requires Knowledge… you must have an intimate understanding of how the game works in order to be successful…

    most games require a certain amount of both knowledge and skill… WoW requires a decent amount of knowledge, and a little bit of skill… DF requires a fairly decent amount of knowledge also, and a higher amount of skill… Eve requires a very high amount of knowledge, and a low amount of skill.

    the above example is just a start.. but if you really want to get to the root of the difficulty issue in MMOs… then you need to break down difficulty into the smaller parts that make it up… you can’t just say “this is hard, this isn’t”… you have to think deeper and figure out WHY or WHY NOT something is hard.

    • DrPest says:

      I think it mainly depends on how you define skill. For example setting up some POS in EVE to do reactions and earn a few billion ISK per month doesn’t require much skill as in twitch. It takes a fair amount of knowledge on how to set up a POS and how to link the reactors and silos. And last but not least it requires the ability to do a lot of market research and calculations to determine if you will earn or loose a few billion ISK per month. That is what a lot of people do not have. This is the true skill needed to be successful in EVEs economy.

      As for PVP, yeah fleet PVP seems boring from an outsiders point of view, but for the participants it’s quite interesting, but it doesn’t require that much skill (Warp in, align out, lock called targets, fire, manage your energy, warp the hell out when ordered.) On the same time while doing small scale PVP you have to take your own fitting, the assumed fitting of the opponent(s), you speed, their speed, your transversal speed, their assumed next actions and a shitload of other factors into account and all of that while managing you different modules, capacitor and most probably overload. I think that is a lot twitchier than many people assume. Good and skilled PVP isn’t about “set orbit, activate weapons and watch ’em die”, it’s about squeezing the last bit out of your ship to shoot ’em in the face and humiliate them.

      • Dblade says:

        Problem is small-scale PvP is kind of rare. The sort of small scale, semi-equal fight that can show skill isn’t done much, and usually it seems to be massive numbers or wildly imbalanced to where the only skill the defender can show is escaping from the fight.

        It’s just too easy to reduce skill’s impact by multiplying force in other ways.

  13. Dblade says:

    BTW syncaine, Madden only sells because other games can’t use the NFL License, and can’t let players simulate real-world games. Easy works: I notice you forgot about the game from which the blitz series originated, NBA JAM. It easily rivaled more complex sim games in terms of popularity, cause it stripped the complexity out while retaining fun back-and-forth gameplay.

    Sports games actually have become too complex for anyone but their target audience, which is why EA tried to dumb down Madden and their whole line of EA sports games for the Wii. Madden survives more as a cultural artifact imo.

    • SynCaine says:

      The above would be accurate if NBA Jam was still a franchise, and if the Wii versions of the EA-Sports games sold well, neither of which is actually true. And of course games like Mario or Halo are incredibly popular as well. Point being, in console-land easy!=fun or mass market.

      • Dblade says:

        NBA Jam doesn’t existed because Midway filed for bankrupcy and isn’t making games-instead they are selling off the assets to people like Southpeak. The reason why is not because NBA Jam-style games failed, but because they bet on a lot of games that did.

        As for easier in console land, I’m not sure what you mean, since the main markets have both of the same games. Console has hard too, Demon Souls, Ikaruga, any SNK game, and Ninja Gaiden come to mind. They just don’t sell even in niche amounts though.

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