AI_No_More_Games_Feat

Unlike previous Awful Ideas, this isn’t so much a recommendation for what could or should be done in gaming. Rather, it’s a thought exercise that asks what you would do if something truly awful happened. Namely, what if there were no more new video games coming out – ever? Do you think you could remain a “gamer”?




For the purposes of this experiment, existing games would be unaffected. In fact, games that are out now could still receive patches, updates, expansions, and so on, but they’d still essentially be the same game. There would be no major engine overhauls and no graphical improvements – which might not be as bad as it sounds at first. After all, if a game is the prettiest game around right now, it would still be the prettiest game in 10 years because nothing new would have come out to make it seem outdated.

And while we’re in the realm of fantasy, let’s even go so far as to assume that the games that exist now will be around forever and will essentially keep doing the same thing they do now from a financial/cash shop standpoint. In other words, a free-to-play game won’t suddenly jack up prices (or drastically slash them, except during the occasional sale). In a way, the games industry would be “frozen” in the overall state it is right now, except for new content releases.

So the question is: How long would you remain satisfied with just what exists right now? It might seem truly awful, but my belief is that you’d do better than you think.

Everything Old is New

A lot of you probably have a game you play continuously, like an MMO, MOBA, or shooter. It’s something you’ve played for years and while you may take breaks from time to time, you always go back to it. That would still be around, and you could enjoy it until… well, until you die.

That probably seems… unappealing. I mean, I like my MMOs just fine, but I don’t know that I want to play them for the next 50 years or so, assuming I live that long. Eventually, I’ll probably want to move on. Even if I still like the game, playing it for the next several decades seems tiring.

This is the point my doomsday scenario hinges on: Is there enough stuff out there currently available to keep you entertained until you croak?

Well, the first question is, how many games would you need to make you happy? Let’s say that you can get into a new game and explore pretty much all it has to explore every month. That’s less time than a “service” game like an MMO should probably hold your interest but longer than the time it takes to get through most single-player games – though it might be assumed that you’ve got something else to play during that time as well, or that you’ll spend more time savoring the game rather than just racing through to the end.

At that rate, you’ll need 12 “new” games a year. I’ll admit to being a slow player, the type who likes to “savor” a game, but since signing up for Raptr in July of 2011 – nearly four full years ago – the service has tracked me as playing 55 games for five hours or more, and 46 that I played for the first time after signing up for the service, so I’ve dedicated significant time to about 12 new games per year. Some of those were games I checked out for review purposes, and not because I had any genuine interest in them, but I’ll count them anyway.

This means we’ll need 600 games over 50 years, which I’ll pencil in as how long you’ll go before you expire. Steam lists 4,500 games in its library, so even if you only had Steam games to choose from, you’d only have to find good entertainment value from about 13% of its total library. Toss in non-Steam games, especially console titles without PC ports, and classic games – which would probably see a resurgence in popularity in this dystopia – and you’ve probably got a few thousand more.

AI_No_More_Games_Runescape

Concerned about quality? Metacritic lists 454 games with a Metascore of 90 or higher and 3,260 ranked 80 or higher. Yes, there are some repeats in there, owing to multiple platform releases, and Metacric isn’t the do-all and end-all of ratings, that’s still a lot of decent-or-better games to choose from.

For me, at least, a number of those 55 Raptr games are games that I liked well enough but didn’t get into because I had other things to occupy me or that I liked more. Once I’m done with those games, maybe I’d go back to the games that I was semi-interested in. I’d wager many of you have a handful or more games where you think, “I like that, but I just don’t have time for it.” Well, what if you did?

Live for the Moment

Sure, we’re all looking forward to new games, but I think part of the reason for that is because it makes it easier to dismiss whatever flaws we perceive in the games we have now and move on from them. A game that hasn’t been released yet is still perfect – we haven’t played it, been frustrated by it, raged at it, been angry at how our favorite play style was nerfed by the devs, etc. All of those will happen, as they happen in the games we play now, but for the moment, an unreleased game is still in a pristine, shiny bubble, full of expectation and potential without any of the flaws that come with actual, real-life products.

If we didn’t have those to look forward to, maybe we’d realize that the games we have now… well, maybe they aren’t so bad. Yes, they have their issues, and we’d like to see various things changed or fixed, but maybe we’d appreciate what we had more if we didn’t have an unrealistic ideal to compare them to. How often have you said, “I’m sick of Game X. I’m going to wait until Game Y comes out, it’ll be so much better.” Maybe Game Y was better, but before too long, you got fed up with its little problems and started looking forward to Game Z. And after Game Z came out… well, you get the idea. If that cycle was broken, then what would you do? Would you realize that Game X wasn’t so bad after all?

Even if you did consider yourself completely done with games you tried and then walked away from, you’ve only played a very small percentage of what’s out there. Five-year-old games might not exactly be “new,” but if you haven’t played them, they’re new to you. That’s why Steam, GOG, and others make good money by sharply discounting old games. Even something that sold millions has people who haven’t tried it yet.

Thankfully, short of some kind of global apocalypse, we shouldn’t have to worry about there never being any more new games. But the next time you find yourself thinking, “There’s nothing to play,” take a moment to realize that there’s a mountain of solid games out there, games that you’ll probably never have the time to play – and that mountain keeps growing larger.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

15 Readers Commented

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  1. xgfbhch on June 11, 2015

    “What if there were no more new video games coming out?”
    Yea, imagine that every single videogame for the last 5 years, was so bad, that it doesnt even qualify as a videogame for you…
    Just TRY to imagine THIS absurd scenario… #storyofmylife

    Seriously, as someone who played about 10 hours of new games in the last 5 years, i’d say that playing brainless stuff like WoW and LoL for all eternity works pretty well…

    Kinda sad how gaming jumped the shark, and the best games in all genres have already been made. Some might say “but in the future consoles have more potential”, but they said that 10 years ago too. Do we now have the gigantic game worlds that we imagined 10 years ago? No, worlds are STILL tiny and “unexplorable” as hell… Still the SAME invisible walls in EVERY game, that we had 10 years ago.

    Gaming just doesn’t evolve anymore, only the graphics get better, while the controls and even the visuals are getting worse in many ways (experimental controls like 6 axis, massive input lag on new tvs)

    Wish i would see a single sequel to a popular franchise, where the developers didn’t put 90% of their work into the graphics, or other ridiculous stuff, like nintendo, who puts time and work into “forcing the players to play the game how the game designer wants it”. The creator of (i think) Smash Bros, was FURIOUS, when he heard that people play the game competitive, without items. Just imagine this… Developers get MAD, because people like to play the actual good part of their game, without the added bullshit… Imagine that in YOUR favorite game. Imagine in world of warcraft, you use the /roll function, to play a game of dice with a random guy, and then the wow launcher shows you an article about “how bad gamers are, that dont do actual content!”.
    Imagine you own a basketball, you play football with it, and then the factory owner, who produced the ball, gets mad at you for using it as a football…

    THIS IS GAMING TODAY LADIES AND GENTLEMENTLEMEN!

    The only entertainment in new games, is to see the idiots who made them, lose their jobs and get shamed in public. Ever since i saw the Final Fantasy series being sold to money grabbing bastards, my opinions is that everyone who makes a sequel to a famous game just for the money, can go straight to hell. Perfect example is this… Warhammer 40k game… EVERYONE knows that Warhammer 40 is RTS… People that take Plants versus zombies, change the Plants into Space Marines, the zombies into Chaos, calls that crap Warhammer 40k and sells it for a billion bucks per copy on steam… can go STRAIGHT to… superhell… seriously… so mad… Imagine i make a game called Final Fantasy 17, but its a dating sim, which you can’t see on the pictures, because the actual dating sim pictures, look like they belong into an RPG… Can’t believe that such bullshit is legal…

    Really wish i had no soul either, then i could just take a few photos of my home, tell steam that this is the newest hyperreslistic zombie shooter, ask for 60$ for beta access, and then after 5 years just add another picture, call it v1.0, and be happy with the million dollars that i got for uploading 5 pictures to Stream and call it a game, while telling people lies…

    SUCH LAW!!! MUCH U.S.!
    Many many wow!!!1

  2. Merkadis on May 30, 2015

    “Namely, what if there were no more new video games coming out – ever? Do you think you could remain a “gamer”?”

    It would seem you sir missed something rather crucial.
    Life is a game too.
    And now that you know, feel free to re-think your views.

  3. xCROOKEDx on May 22, 2015

    Imagine all the emulated games that I could catch up on =0

  4. tribal on May 21, 2015

    Yea most of games released or in development bring nothing really new …..

    Kickstarter, etc … all i see is “early access” “ideas” “concept” but where are the promised game ? everyone sells his alpha,beta, years past, and the ” revolutionary” game never comes to life.

    And as you said “niche” … mean even if something good comes out, it lack the playebase, or don’t make enough money to go further ,to the next level…

    Big companies play it safe(no real innovation), 90% of time, and good games often comes with stupid business model … Overall it’s pretty boring, me too i am playing on PC for ~15 years, i rarely find something exciting to play, and most games i play only a few hours , because it s all the same… i am bored before the end of tutorial, because i can see this and that, ok , did this kind of game 120x, no thanks.

    • tribal on May 21, 2015

      + now people have problem with “balance” , on lot of game this is topic n*1 … because if something “OP” , 80% are going to do that,and nothing else!! …. that’s another reason why it is often sad …and most concept fails .Many players do what works(or what others do), rather than what they like, or what they want to do .

      • tribal on May 21, 2015

        really i do believe not only games maker should be questioned, but also and mostly players.

  5. Buggy on May 15, 2015

    Do not judge the gamer community by a brass tacks logic of giving us new games will occupy our time. it’s a give and take we take a game and give more on it ex: sharing it with friends, etc now instead of if game which is all about itself and now caring for it’s community it’s a dead game which it’s community will dwindle. Kind of like the aspect of a King and Country sort of thing would the King be the right or the Country that chooses it’s king. Neither or less basically there are older games and we can make good upon like modding but we can also try older version of games and go down sweet memory lane. I prefer playing some text based choice adventure games sometimes instead of playing a mmo for a example.

  6. fallen on May 13, 2015

    I only read half or a quarter of the post, just encase it was brought up farther down. First idea I thought of when you say no new games. Is the previous big hits, like skyrim or divinity: original sin. That supported community mods would get more support. With lack of new games I think mods would get more light.

  7. HoldThatThought on May 12, 2015

    Well, I´ve been following and waiting for Star Citizen since November 2012. And I will probably be waiting for another 2 years.
    However, this game could very well bring something really new and innovating and as for what I have already seen and played, my hopes are still up that it´s going to live up to the promise.

    As soon as this game goes gold, this dystopia can very well come to pass, as I will be blissfully happy sitting at my pc and playing this game until I die 😉

  8. Curty on May 12, 2015

    When I was a child, I played a game called Breath of Fire IV, but couldn’t finish it. Now, I’m playing it again, and enjoying it alot. If I can enjoy a game that is more than 15 years old, then there must be alot more games that I could enjoy. So yeah, we do have enough games to play, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if there were no more new games… still a awful idea tho.

  9. Clint Eastwood on May 12, 2015

    Isn’t that whats happening now anyways? all the asshole game devs that re-sell a remastered old game? how many games in a YEAR are “new” that have refreshing new storys and features these days?! one call of duty black poop shit spamm after the other, same old chinease f2p garbages every month.. i dont know what to say man… i have been playing on the PC for almost 14 or 15 Years, and i am getting very bored. And i kinda think the best time of gaming is past us, where you paid arround 40 bucks for a game like Sacred, DAOC, Diablo 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or hate it or love it WoW which is still in my oppinion the best bet if you want something long-lasting these days, and you could immerse yourself for over 300 hours or even more. If you were done you could get a Addon for a few bucks and get annother 300 hours ( Addons = these days called DLCs which are just shorter for you young folks ) and here we are 2015 where everything is just about the money, paying 60 bucks for a 2 hours “pretty graphics but no story game” and the oh so lovely DLC spamms with like Evolve for 15€ for a god damn annother Beast.. this is all just so damn dumb, or look what the hell EA is doing.. all just tedious and stupid…

    • asfadgart on May 12, 2015

      Thankfully there is kickstarter and stuff! Niche games can still be made and succeed.. But yes i agree, people are spending money on shit asian p2w games and not funding people who actually want to make good stuff.. I know 2 devs who are trying to make niche mmorpgs and doing it with almost 0 funding (out of their pockets) and failing kickstarters because they aren’t putting the words “sandbox” “worldpvp” etc in the game description… What’s with everyone suddenly hating themeparks and looooving sandboxes.. Sure they can be good but very hard to balance and so usually can’t have both good pve and pvp.. (see archeage, go dungeon, lock boss in place, keep killing him xD)

      • rakko on May 15, 2015

        the problems is that the market is full of themeparks, people want to be free to what they want, they have singleplayer for a great themepark experience…

  10. Kenpokiller on May 12, 2015

    Flowerpoker was so epic in Runescape

  11. anere on May 12, 2015

    well, there’s wow so all questions are answered already. with good marketing and responsive game development you can turn anything into long living zombie, wow, again.

    imo, there’s a lot of ideas and in-game-unique-systems that would make nice games with updates, but it’s not games themself, it’s publishers that tent to ruin even most humble ideas in gaming, especially in f2p.

    so jason, nice thought, but i don’t the problem is even close to something you are describing.

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