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Videogames saw a boom in independent game growth but are now going back to being mostly corporate-consolidated, this is why I think that.

Gamingtodaynews1f - Videogames saw a boom in independent game growth but are now going back to being mostly corporate-consolidated, this is why I think that.
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Over the years, videogames have become easier and more accessible of a medium to create/consume than ever before. There are more videogames produced and distributed than ever before, and the videogame industry is at an all-time high in profit. Yet, there's a startling trend regarding newer games that I think has mostly gone unnoticed. Take a look at this graph:

Jy8yUom - Videogames saw a boom in independent game growth but are now going back to being mostly corporate-consolidated, this is why I think that.


https://i.imgur.com/Jy8yUom.png

This is how many wikipedia articles dedicated to individual games released on any given year, and as you can see, the number is going down each year for the past 11 years. In fact, it's at it's lowest since the videogame crash of 1983. Why is this? Well, in order to receive a wikipedia article, a game has to be notable to a degree in which it receives media attention. This includes but is not limited to, reviews, interviews, pre-release news, controversies, etcetera. Further, it's not a matter of "time" as wikipedia articles are written on subjects almost immediately after release, or if something has gained enough cult-status to have post-release articles written after them. Even obscure videogame mods like Project M have their own wikipedia pages for this reason, or fangames like AM2R.

Further, if you look at itch.io, you'll notice they have a total of about 330,000 games released since 2013, meaning that there should be 40k games per year.. but less than 1% of those are even represented by this list.

Have you ever had the sensation that an indie game you like gets way too little attention? For me, there's stuff like Library of Ruina, Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass, and for the sake of this post, I'm going to talk about La-mulana 2. La-mulana 2 received little to no media attention to warrant it's own wikipedia page, only serving as a footnote of the La-mulana page. If you take information from Steamspy, you'll notice that La-mulana 2 has anywhere between 0-20,000 sales and La-mulana has 300,000-500,000, despite there being a 6 year time gap between them. Why? It's not like La-mulana 2 is a worse game or anything, in fact, it's essentially comparable to the original in quality, if not better. So why did it do so poorly? Simply put: It received little to no media attention whatsoever upon release or afterwards, and what few articles and gameplay videos it has were not favored by advertising algorithms. This is especially in spite of the fact it was able to make enough money to raise a kickstarter back in 2014, four years before release.

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Given the last few pieces of evidence, we can then assume that there aren't fewer videogames being released nowadays, but fewer notable videogames. While it may be true that videogames are a diverse medium that has something for everyone, there's just such a market oversaturation that it's nearly impossible to discover the gems that do exist for every individual. Even if the best game ever in my own opinion were somewhere on Steam or itch.io, the lack of notability or information available on it means that it'd be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Which is what I had to do in order to find those games that I liked from the past few years.

Which leads me to my final point: Journalists and videogame coverage mostly consists on mainstream works now, more than ever before. Smaller indie games have become too oversaturated that no journalist wants to sift through every single one of them just to put out a review, especially when user reviews exist. User reviews are way more biased and unreliable than critical reviews, however, because they tend to be vague about why something is good or bad instead of saying what the game does and if they like or dislike that about the game. Sure, videogame critics in general have a bad wrap at having the "wrong opinion," but they atleast tend to outline what a game does well. The exceptions to this, of course, are indies played by social media influencers that receive enough attention that people buy/play them.

I could go on and on about things like "Streamer-bait games" and so on, but by this point I think you get my point. The consequence of all of these factors is that the only videogames that are successful either fall into Category A: Corporate funded games, or B: Algorithm favored indie's (which is essentially a lottery). The question is, how can we fix this? How do we make it so that games like the ones I've listed, which certainly deserve an audience, are able to receive them?

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