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Is the Games as a Live Service Concept Still Valid in 2021?โ€‚by@wheeljack84

Is the Games as a Live Service Concept Still Valid in 2021?

Jeffrey Harris Hacker Noon profile picture

Jeffrey Harris

LA-based entertainment journalist & 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast host.

This Slack discussion by Limarc Ambalina, Jack Boreham, and I occurred in Slogging's official #gaming channel, and has been edited for readability.

JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 22, 2021, 10:23 PM
Is the games as a live service concept a valid one in 2021?
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 22, 2021, 10:26 PM
Over the last 10 years we saw the emergence of the idea of games as a live service concept. It gave way to major publishers trying to package major blockbuster AAA titles as a live service. Games that you would buy into and would continue getting support and content for years and years. But does this concept work in the long-term? While Destiny from Bungie and Activision had some early success, Anthem was a complete failure.
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 22, 2021, 10:27 PM
Meanwhile, Activision ultimately separated itself from Destiny and Bungie early into the run of Destiny 2. Does trying to keep a game alive for years and years really work instead of spending all those hours, money and labor into creating one truly amazing game experience?
Limarc AmbalinaFeb 23, 2021, 12:00 AM
It's an interesting question and issue in the industry right now Jeffrey. Would Fortnite, and Warzone, and any game that is free with a battle pass fall under this category of games as a service?
Jack BorehamFeb 25, 2021, 3:13 PM
Yeah, I think it is. From an economic perspective, games as a live service is a no brainer. Developers and publishers are making a lot of money from this service type games. People like to have constant progression in their games and invest money and time into their characters. I cant see games as a service going anywhere. I think they will get more prominent within the industry.
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 25, 2021, 10:22 PM
Under this argument, I'm not counting games that are Free-to-Play.
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 25, 2021, 10:22 PM
I'm specifically referring to major AAA game releases that you pay full price for that are meant to serve a "live service."
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 25, 2021, 10:23 PM
EA has now opted to pivot on the new Dragon Age game which was originally going to be live service
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 25, 2021, 10:23 PM
Not long ago, an EA executive said gamers no longer like single-player games like they used to.
Limarc AmbalinaFeb 25, 2021, 10:44 PM
AHH so other examples of this would be like Morrowind Online, Final Fantasy XIV, these game models right?
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonFeb 28, 2021, 2:03 AM
If you pay for them upfront, yes.
Limarc AmbalinaMar 1, 2021, 2:21 AM
Then yes I definitely believe that these games have a place in the market. World of Warcraft likely being the biggest example of this game model making millions every year, I don't think this part of the industry is going anywhere soon.

Especially once VR becomes even more mainstream, I can see these games as a live service models becoming an even larger part of the industry.

The other question is do they improve the industry? I tend to stay away from these games just because I hate updates. i hate downloading them. I'm old school and want my game on a disc or cartridge to work from start to finish without patches. i don't want half the game on the disc and the rest needs to be downloaded.

Therefore, this model just isn't for me. However, I definitely understand the appeal
JeffreyHarris-HackerNoonMar 2, 2021, 12:13 AM
As an update, BioWare has killed all development of Anthem and any hope for a successful relaunch of that IP. Also, Dragon Age 4 is dropping live-service elements. At least for Dragon Age, fans are seeing this as a win. But it seems more and more that BioWare is not the studio to successfully marry deep, in-depth RPG gaming with an online multiplayer, live-service experience.