John C. Dvorak article on gaming

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

"Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp

This guy is always a good read: sometimes he's right on
the money, sometimes he's completely off his rocker. I
thought this was worth posting here because it touches on
something we've all been waiting for ever since I started
reading this group: another big crash.

To back himself up, Dvorak cites the lack of innovation and
originality in games, saying that all we get are the same old
games with new backgrounds. Interesting observation. Certainly
the bargain-bin Atari games were a sign of that in the 80s, and
today, I personally can't imagine why we need so many racing games.

Something else he said that I'm inclined to disagree with is that
what little innovation does exist today is actually just re-hashed
gimmicks from the past. On that, I'd contend that it's worth
re-visiting old ideas when technology provides new ways to use them.
The NES Power Pad wasn't a great seller, but everyone loves DDR.
The light pen is all but forgotten, but the DualScreen's stylus is
catching on.

A lot of us agree with Dvorak, and think a crash is inevitable.
Others seem to think a crash is now almost impossible, because
the industry is big enough to sustain itself, even if some companies
go under.

Just thought I'd share.

--

Aaron J. Bossig

http://www.GodsLabRat.com
http://www.dvdverdict.com
15 answers Last reply
More about john dvorak article gaming
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    "Aaron J. Bossig" <linkvb06@SpammersWillBeExecuted.ptd.net> wrote in message
    news:Xns964AED02DE6CElinkvb06SpammersWill@204.186.200.105...
    > "Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
    > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp
    >
    > This guy is always a good read: sometimes he's right on
    > the money, sometimes he's completely off his rocker. I
    > thought this was worth posting here because it touches on
    > something we've all been waiting for ever since I started
    > reading this group: another big crash.
    >
    > To back himself up, Dvorak cites the lack of innovation and
    > originality in games, saying that all we get are the same old
    > games with new backgrounds. Interesting observation. Certainly
    > the bargain-bin Atari games were a sign of that in the 80s, and
    > today, I personally can't imagine why we need so many racing games.
    >
    > Something else he said that I'm inclined to disagree with is that
    > what little innovation does exist today is actually just re-hashed
    > gimmicks from the past. On that, I'd contend that it's worth
    > re-visiting old ideas when technology provides new ways to use them.
    > The NES Power Pad wasn't a great seller, but everyone loves DDR.
    > The light pen is all but forgotten, but the DualScreen's stylus is
    > catching on.
    >
    > A lot of us agree with Dvorak, and think a crash is inevitable.
    > Others seem to think a crash is now almost impossible, because
    > the industry is big enough to sustain itself, even if some companies
    > go under.
    >
    > Just thought I'd share.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Aaron J. Bossig
    >
    > http://www.GodsLabRat.com
    > http://www.dvdverdict.com

    It was an interesting read, but I don't agree with him. The factors which
    led to the initial market crash in the early 1980's--no license control by
    game console manufacturers, the ability for a small company to produce a
    game quickly and on the cheap, a glut of discounted titles once the
    fly-by-night companies went under, the indifference of publishers regarding
    the quality of the games which they licensed (well, maybe that is still true
    today!), the use of cartridges which were expensive to manufacture and not
    able to adjust quickly to demand, the public perception of videogames as a
    fad, etc--are not present today. Companies have come and gone, but that is
    always the case. The industry continues to earn more money with each
    passing year.

    Claiming that the industry will die because all games fall into a handful of
    genres is just like claiming that the motion picture industry will die
    because every movie is either a comedy, a drama, or an action/adventure.
    While we will continue to see contractions and expansions, a widespread
    market crash just isn't going to happen.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    I haven't read the article yet, but the crash is already here for some
    publishers and many developers. Look at how many have closed up, been sold,
    or gotten out of the business. It won't happen the same way again because
    the market is so much larger now--dollar-wise for the companies, and in the
    number of game players.

    Dane.

    "Aaron J. Bossig" <linkvb06@SpammersWillBeExecuted.ptd.net> wrote in message
    news:Xns964AED02DE6CElinkvb06SpammersWill@204.186.200.105...
    > "Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
    > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp
    >
    > This guy is always a good read: sometimes he's right on
    > the money, sometimes he's completely off his rocker. I
    > thought this was worth posting here because it touches on
    > something we've all been waiting for ever since I started
    > reading this group: another big crash.
    >
    > To back himself up, Dvorak cites the lack of innovation and
    > originality in games, saying that all we get are the same old
    > games with new backgrounds. Interesting observation. Certainly
    > the bargain-bin Atari games were a sign of that in the 80s, and
    > today, I personally can't imagine why we need so many racing games.
    >
    > Something else he said that I'm inclined to disagree with is that
    > what little innovation does exist today is actually just re-hashed
    > gimmicks from the past. On that, I'd contend that it's worth
    > re-visiting old ideas when technology provides new ways to use them.
    > The NES Power Pad wasn't a great seller, but everyone loves DDR.
    > The light pen is all but forgotten, but the DualScreen's stylus is
    > catching on.
    >
    > A lot of us agree with Dvorak, and think a crash is inevitable.
    > Others seem to think a crash is now almost impossible, because
    > the industry is big enough to sustain itself, even if some companies
    > go under.
    >
    > Just thought I'd share.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Aaron J. Bossig
    >
    > http://www.GodsLabRat.com
    > http://www.dvdverdict.com
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    In article <P_CdnTucdM3HhurfRVn-rQ@comcast.com>,
    Android <androvich@NOcomcastSPAM.net> wrote:
    >It was an interesting read, but I don't agree with him. The factors which
    >led to the initial market crash in the early 1980's--no license control by
    >game console manufacturers, the ability for a small company to produce a
    >game quickly and on the cheap, a glut of discounted titles once the
    >fly-by-night companies went under, the indifference of publishers regarding
    >the quality of the games which they licensed (well, maybe that is still true
    >today!), the use of cartridges which were expensive to manufacture and not
    >able to adjust quickly to demand, the public perception of videogames as a
    >fad, etc--are not present today.

    Don't forget the home computers that were very console-like--they were cheap,
    there were only a few models of each (which affected development a lot), they
    used cartridges, and they even ran on TVs.

    PCs nowadays aren't so much like consoles, and the PC games market is itself
    almost crashing.
    --
    Ken Arromdee / arromdee_AT_rahul.net / http://www.rahul.net/arromdee

    "You know, you blow up one sun and suddenly everyone expects you to walk
    on water." --Samantha Carter, Stargate SG-1
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    To follow up my on post, I just read today that Namco and Bandai are
    merging. Recently, it was Sega and Sammy. Both of these mergers cited
    increasing development costs, decreasing margins, and diversifying their
    activities to include gaming and non-gaming elements. Back when the crash
    occurred, most of the companies that caused the crash were non-gaming
    companies trying to make a quick buck on the cheap. That can't happen today
    with high up-front costs for development equipment, high production costs,
    licensing, etc.

    Dane.

    "Dane L. Galden" <chigroup(at)ix.netcom.comCHANGE(at)TO@> wrote in message
    news:1fEde.2914$pe3.1595@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
    > I haven't read the article yet, but the crash is already here for some
    > publishers and many developers. Look at how many have closed up, been
    sold,
    > or gotten out of the business. It won't happen the same way again because
    > the market is so much larger now--dollar-wise for the companies, and in
    the
    > number of game players.
    >
    > Dane.
    >
    > "Aaron J. Bossig" <linkvb06@SpammersWillBeExecuted.ptd.net> wrote in
    message
    > news:Xns964AED02DE6CElinkvb06SpammersWill@204.186.200.105...
    > > "Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
    > > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp
    > >
    > > This guy is always a good read: sometimes he's right on
    > > the money, sometimes he's completely off his rocker. I
    > > thought this was worth posting here because it touches on
    > > something we've all been waiting for ever since I started
    > > reading this group: another big crash.
    > >
    > > To back himself up, Dvorak cites the lack of innovation and
    > > originality in games, saying that all we get are the same old
    > > games with new backgrounds. Interesting observation. Certainly
    > > the bargain-bin Atari games were a sign of that in the 80s, and
    > > today, I personally can't imagine why we need so many racing games.
    > >
    > > Something else he said that I'm inclined to disagree with is that
    > > what little innovation does exist today is actually just re-hashed
    > > gimmicks from the past. On that, I'd contend that it's worth
    > > re-visiting old ideas when technology provides new ways to use them.
    > > The NES Power Pad wasn't a great seller, but everyone loves DDR.
    > > The light pen is all but forgotten, but the DualScreen's stylus is
    > > catching on.
    > >
    > > A lot of us agree with Dvorak, and think a crash is inevitable.
    > > Others seem to think a crash is now almost impossible, because
    > > the industry is big enough to sustain itself, even if some companies
    > > go under.
    > >
    > > Just thought I'd share.
    > >
    > > --
    > >
    > > Aaron J. Bossig
    > >
    > > http://www.GodsLabRat.com
    > > http://www.dvdverdict.com
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    "Ken Arromdee" <arromdee@green.rahul.net> wrote in message
    news:d577cu$22j$1@blue.rahul.net...
    > In article <P_CdnTucdM3HhurfRVn-rQ@comcast.com>,
    > Android <androvich@NOcomcastSPAM.net> wrote:
    >>It was an interesting read, but I don't agree with him. The factors which
    >>led to the initial market crash in the early 1980's--no license control by
    >>game console manufacturers, the ability for a small company to produce a
    >>game quickly and on the cheap, a glut of discounted titles once the
    >>fly-by-night companies went under, the indifference of publishers
    >>regarding
    >>the quality of the games which they licensed (well, maybe that is still
    >>true
    >>today!), the use of cartridges which were expensive to manufacture and not
    >>able to adjust quickly to demand, the public perception of videogames as a
    >>fad, etc--are not present today.
    >
    > Don't forget the home computers that were very console-like--they were
    > cheap,
    > there were only a few models of each (which affected development a lot),
    > they
    > used cartridges, and they even ran on TVs.

    More significantly, the computer games were easily copyable.

    >
    > PCs nowadays aren't so much like consoles, and the PC games market is
    > itself
    > almost crashing.
    > --
    > Ken Arromdee / arromdee_AT_rahul.net / http://www.rahul.net/arromdee
    >
    > "You know, you blow up one sun and suddenly everyone expects you to walk
    > on water." --Samantha Carter, Stargate SG-1
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    "Ken Arromdee" <arromdee@green.rahul.net> wrote in message
    news:d577cu$22j$1@blue.rahul.net...

    > Don't forget the home computers that were very console-like--they were
    cheap,
    > there were only a few models of each (which affected development a lot),
    they
    > used cartridges, and they even ran on TVs.
    >
    > PCs nowadays aren't so much like consoles, and the PC games market is
    itself
    > almost crashing.

    That is the key point. PC's aren't consoles. The demands on system resources
    get higher and higher with every iteration of FPS's. I haven't bought or
    even downloaded a demo of any of the recent crop of PC games. My below $200
    Xbox will run something just as amusing fine. I'm not really given a good
    reason to jump to a dual-proccessor P4. The sales on PC games are likely
    down due to: 1) People in the 90's buying first time PC's. 2) People in the
    00's figuring out they didn't need to upgrade when really their box is good
    enough to websurf and work on Word Documents, which they do 90% of the time
    anyway.
    Consoles will keep selling The industry has gotten too big for it ever to
    disappear with three companies flush enough to keep several generations
    alive. Although "crash" is the accepted term, I would qualify it more as a
    temporary slump.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    Aaron J. Bossig wrote:
    > "Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
    > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp

    "There are four or five simple game categories and nothing really
    new or different. The categories are shooters, puzzles and mazes,
    adventure games, sports games, and simulations."

    So: GTA, Final Fantasy, and Spyro are all in the same genre, I
    gather.

    "Some of today's games are ridiculously hard to play—unless gaming
    is your so-called life—and so daunting to casual players that they
    will quickly reject them. Who needs to devote themselves to a game
    just to play it once in a while? I'll take Spider Solitaire instead."

    So: Mr. Bossig is a wuss who can't handle Spyro.

    --crymad
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    ron saarna wrote:
    > That is the key point. PC's aren't consoles. The demands on
    > system resources get higher and higher with every iteration of
    > FPS's. I haven't bought or even downloaded a demo of any of the
    > recent crop of PC games. My below $200 Xbox will run something
    > just as amusing fine.

    Yup, I'm really enjoying Doom3 on Xbox presently. My brother is
    still waiting to upgrade his videocard to play his PC copy.

    > I'm not really given a good reason to jump to a dual-proccessor
    > P4. The sales on PC games are likely down due to: 1) People in
    > the 90's buying first time PC's. 2) People in the 00's
    > figuring out they didn't need to upgrade when really their box
    > is good enough to websurf and work on Word Documents, which
    > they do 90% of the time anyway.

    This post is brought to you by the power of a PIII 600Mhz machine,
    capable not only of web and Word, but also burning CD's, Mp3 fun,
    vinyl-to-digital conversions, digital picture and image editing,
    FTP to my Xbox... I don't play games on my PC, so where's the need
    to upgrade?

    --crymad
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    crymad <crymadSPAMBLOCK@xprt.net> wrote in news:117j4qk6bnfcn00
    @corp.supernews.com:

    >
    >
    > Aaron J. Bossig wrote:
    >> "Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
    >> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp
    >
    > "There are four or five simple game categories and nothing really
    > new or different. The categories are shooters, puzzles and mazes,
    > adventure games, sports games, and simulations."
    >
    > So: GTA, Final Fantasy, and Spyro are all in the same genre, I
    > gather.
    >
    > "Some of today's games are ridiculously hard to play—unless gaming
    > is your so-called life—and so daunting to casual players that they
    > will quickly reject them. Who needs to devote themselves to a game
    > just to play it once in a while? I'll take Spider Solitaire instead."
    >
    > So: Mr. Bossig is a wuss who can't handle Spyro.

    Um, I didn't write the article.


    --

    Aaron J. Bossig

    http://www.GodsLabRat.com
    http://www.dvdverdict.com
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    Aaron J. Bossig wrote:
    > crymad <crymadSPAMBLOCK@xprt.net> wrote in news:117j4qk6bnfcn00
    > @corp.supernews.com:
    >
    >> Aaron J. Bossig wrote:
    >>
    >>> "Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?"
    >>> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1784975,00.asp
    >>
    >> "There are four or five simple game categories and nothing
    >> really new or different. The categories are shooters,
    >> puzzles and mazes, adventure games, sports games, and
    >> simulations."
    >>
    >> So: GTA, Final Fantasy, and Spyro are all in the same genre,
    >> I gather.
    >>
    >> "Some of today's games are ridiculously hard to play—unless
    >> gaming is your so-called life—and so daunting to casual
    >> players that they will quickly reject them. Who needs to
    >> devote themselves to a game just to play it once in a while?
    >> I'll take Spider Solitaire instead."
    >>
    >> So: Mr. Bossig is a wuss who can't handle Spyro.
    >
    > Um, I didn't write the article.

    Oh my, I'm so very sorry.

    Attention: Mr. Bossig is NOT a wuss. I repeat, NOT a wuss.

    Mr. Dvorak, however, is a both wuss and an impostor.

    --crymad
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    "crymad" <crymadSPAMBLOCK@xprt.net> wrote in message
    news:117j5t4nhtah267@corp.supernews.com...
    >
    >
    > ron saarna wrote:

    > > I'm not really given a good reason to jump to a dual-proccessor
    > > P4. The sales on PC games are likely down due to: 1) People in
    > > the 90's buying first time PC's. 2) People in the 00's
    > > figuring out they didn't need to upgrade when really their box
    > > is good enough to websurf and work on Word Documents, which
    > > they do 90% of the time anyway.
    >
    > This post is brought to you by the power of a PIII 600Mhz machine,
    > capable not only of web and Word, but also burning CD's, Mp3 fun,
    > vinyl-to-digital conversions, digital picture and image editing,
    > FTP to my Xbox... I don't play games on my PC, so where's the need
    > to upgrade?

    You've got 100 more Mhz than me, and I get along just fine too. The only
    thing I have done even close to an "upgrade" is add a router, more USB
    ports, and a larger hard drive (8 Gigs wasn't cutting it anymore). Nothing
    game related (except for more disk space) and that is arguably a console
    upgrade for my Xbox. Oops, forgot the DVD burner...
    But certainly nothing related to the processor or graphics card.
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    ron saarna wrote:
    > "crymad" <crymadSPAMBLOCK@xprt.net> wrote in message
    > news:117j5t4nhtah267@corp.supernews.com...
    >> This post is brought to you by the power of a PIII 600Mhz
    >> machine, capable not only of web and Word, but also burning
    >> CD's, Mp3 fun, vinyl-to-digital conversions, digital picture
    >> and image editing, FTP to my Xbox... I don't play games on my
    >> PC, so where's the need to upgrade?
    >
    >
    > You've got 100 more Mhz than me, and I get along just fine too.
    > The only thing I have done even close to an "upgrade" is add a
    > router, more USB ports, and a larger hard drive (8 Gigs wasn't
    > cutting it anymore). Nothing game related (except for more
    > disk space) and that is arguably a console upgrade for my Xbox.
    > Oops, forgot the DVD burner... But certainly nothing related
    > to the processor or graphics card.

    Yes, I slapped in a USB 2 card as well. As for hard drive space,
    my 8Gb C: drive is still in there, augmented by an external 80Gb
    for storage. Oh, you know the stock Xbox hard drive? That's
    in there too, now my D: drive! All 7.5Gb! My Xbox got the real
    upgrade of a 120Gb drive.

    --crymad
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    In article <117j5t4nhtah267@corp.supernews.com>,
    crymad <crymadSPAMBLOCK@xprt.net> wrote:

    > This post is brought to you by the power of a PIII 600Mhz machine,
    > capable not only of web and Word, but also burning CD's, Mp3 fun,
    > vinyl-to-digital conversions, digital picture and image editing,
    > FTP to my Xbox... I don't play games on my PC, so where's the need
    > to upgrade?

    I'm in a similar situation. I am on a vintage Beige G3 at 350 Mhtz. I
    can play iTunes, Quicktime at 30 FPS (only full screen .mov's don't play
    right). The only thing I am running into is I find I cannot do video
    DVD burning, so I am now looking to jump to a B&W G3 and upgrade to a 1G
    G4 cpu to get around this limitation. I just can't justify the expense
    of going with a new machine.

    As to games, I can play MAME and over 700 roms on my curent machine, so
    I am content. I don't feel any draw to PC games. I like game I can sit
    down to for a few minutes a couple times a week like a Spyro or Mario
    Sunshine. any game that demands continued focaus for many hours loses
    me as I don't have the time to devote to it.

    jt
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    In article <117j7ke1tug8e9e@corp.supernews.com>,
    crymad <crymadSPAMBLOCK@xprt.net> wrote:

    > Mr. Dvorak, however, is a both wuss and an impostor.

    I fail to see how he is an impostor. He is not impersonating anyone or
    anything, but rather is a long time respected pundit of all things
    computer. He is a early name of respect in the Macintosh world, but has
    established himself in the PC/DOS/Windows world with greater success.
    Read some of the linked articles at the end of the article this thread
    is discussing and you will see he is a well thought writer.

    I have to agree with some of his thoughts on the gaming industry.
    Today, so many games are first person shooters with FMV stories to tie
    them together that just don't hold my interest, or RPGs that require
    wandering various fields and maps looking for monsters to fight in
    fancifully graphic dice throw manners pioneered by the great Dungeons
    and Dragons. To be certain, there are still plenty of games that are of
    a more immediate, graphical nature such as a Spyro or Crash Bandicoot,
    but then there are also the Sports games which are annual rehashes with
    the then current rosters before injuries and trades change things around
    again. Or perhaps you like the fighter games where you have to discover
    and memorize the button press and joystick moves that make a character
    do a really funky punch, throw and/or kick combination. For a casual
    gamer, this is not fun because in trying to discover things, the
    experienced opponent or computer has already wreaked havoc against the
    player.

    As to the business models that lead to the previous gaming crash, I
    don't see things reacting so harshly. Video games today are an embraced
    facet of pop culture, and although things have pared down, I don't see
    the market fully collapsing in the foreseeable future.

    Mr. Dvorak sites the forthcoming ps /// and XB Jr. and an unnamed future
    Nintendo console, and asks how long the public will put up with this?
    My response is that the public in general goes for newer as better, and
    will buy the newer machines as they become available just as they buy
    the tomato soup with the photoshop enhanced label and leave the leave
    the corel drawn label even though the only difference in the two is the
    artwork on the label. The image makes it better, regardless whether the
    quality is identical or perhaps even inferior.

    jt
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    jt august wrote:
    > As to games, I can play MAME and over 700 roms on my curent
    > machine, so I am content. I don't feel any draw to PC games. I
    > like game I can sit down to for a few minutes a couple times a
    > week like a Spyro or Mario Sunshine. any game that demands
    > continued focus for many hours loses me as I don't have the
    > time to devote to it.

    PC games have no attraction to me either, but my current fixation
    on Xbox is Doom3. Strangely, the Half-Life meets Silent Hill
    gameplay turns out to be perfect for taking in small spurts. The
    reason is that Doom3 is just simply too exhausting to play for any
    extended period. The concentration required and the tension the
    game forces upon you just wipes me out after about 90 minutes.
    But I opted to play on Hard my first go, because lately games have
    felt just too much like kid's play on Normal.

    Speaking of which, the game I was playing just prior to Doom3 was
    the latest Spyro, Hero's Tale. While it didn't quite measure up
    to the Spyro's on PSX, it was still good fun.

    --crymad
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