Hot take: Live service games are incompatible with artistic ideals

In the "Hot Pick" content series, we are going to share a series from the words of Yahtzee Croshaw, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced critics and satirists in the game field. Let's take a controversial view of the current state of the game industry and see if there is a problem in the game industry, where its roots go back to. Stay with us.

BingMag.com Hot take: Live service games are incompatible with artistic ideals

In the "Hot Pick" content series, we are going to share a series from the words of Yahtzee Croshaw, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced critics and satirists in the game field. Let's take a controversial view of the current state of the game industry and see if there is a problem in the game industry, where its roots go back to. Stay with us.

Do you know Sisyphus? The same character who was condemned by the gods to lift a boulder from a slope forever and then be forced to repeat the same task the next day. AAA is currently in the cycle of producing the next big game like Sisyphus, and for this reason, news has leaked that a new game in the Assassin's Creed series will be released next year. : Assassin's Creed Mirage If we lived in a more reasonable world that hadn't let me down so many times before, I might have wondered how Ubisoft expected me to get excited about the game's release. What does it mean to release a new Assassin's Creed game? The quality level of the games in this series has been up and down in recent years, and the slope of the graph has been mostly downwards. Even if this new game breathes new life into the series, Ubisoft will get too excited about the success it's had, repeat the same formula, and cause that new life to wither and die. An example is the shipping mechanism in Assassin's Creed 4, which was repeated so much in the sequels of the series that we lost any taste for it.

BingMag.com Hot take: Live service games are incompatible with artistic ideals

Other than that, this collection has almost completely lost its identity. Previously, this collection was about the secret circle of assassins who had their roots in the historical Hashashin circle in medieval Iran and disagreed with the Knights Templar on the importance of discretion in achieving peace. Now what is this series about? Basically, good guys versus bad guys. This is not a unique identity. This is simply one of the basic stereotypes of storytelling. It is not that the gameplay style is unique. I said this before. If they called Ghost of Tsushima Assassin's Creed: Samurai, I would have no reason not to accept it.

It is said that this game is going to return to the "roots of the series". This statement can mean anything and cannot be trusted, as experience has shown me that there is no guarantee that a claim made during the development of a first-rate game will find its way into the final version of the game. My point is that announcing a new Assassin's Creed is like announcing you're making a new game. A game that will be released in 2023. We hope you enjoy it when we add it to the drinker. "Back to the roots" carries with it the implicit meaning of appealing to nostalgia. If so, I have to remind Ubisoft that you can only be nostalgic for something that hasn't been around for a long time. Please tell the makers of the star wars kofti as well. If you don't take five seconds to make a spin-off of something, people will never miss it.

Read more: What is Assassin's Creed Infinity? Ubisoft Says It's the Beginning of a New Era for the Series

However, it's possible that Assassin's Creed: Mirage is worth your time, but the same can't be said about Assassin's Creed: Infinity. brought up Infinity is another game of Assassin's Creed that has been announced to be a Live Service game, one of the plagues of the game world that seems like it is not going to end soon. The fact that publishers freely and unabashedly admit that they are making live service games is one of the many sore points about modern society. I personally blame myself. When Diablo 3 was released and it didn't have an offline section, I started a ruckus. When Dead Space 3 came out and sold building resources for in-app payments, I made a fuss. But the publishers continued with these nonsense policies and I didn't have the energy to make a fuss anymore, so it's completely normalized.

BingMag.com Hot take: Live service games are incompatible with artistic ideals

Like I'm not immune to nostalgia either, because I miss the days when most people bought games physically off the store shelves, because back then games had to be complete at launch. There were no day one patches and if your game didn't work, you had to answer people. These days, publishers feel too comfortable releasing half-baked games. This is probably the worst aspect of the internet world; After your grandma turns into a Facebook Nazi, of course.

The idea behind the Live Service is that games They are no longer an entity with a fixed identity and need to have a constant, changing and fluid presence, which is discouraging to me. Of course, this process may not be objectively bad, but it certainly annoys me. Because when I review a live service game, there's no guarantee that the game I'm describing will exist in the same form in a year or two (or at all; see Babylon's Fall). That's why I swore to myself that I would never review a game that is in Early Access so that I don't have to review Fortnite before it becomes the most popular babysitter in history.

BingMag.com Hot take: Live service games are incompatible with artistic ideals

I don't want to sound like I'm falling off the elephant's nose and say that all game developers need to make sure that every game is perfect upon release, because that way of thinking contradicts another way of thinking that I have: That people shouldn't feel like they have to play every game when it's released. This is how they use the unpleasant feeling of "Fear of Missing Out" (FOMO) against us. The truth is, my distaste for live-service gaming has deeper roots than my distaste for corporate greed and the very specific problems with game reviews. Get your oven mitts ready, because I'm about to make a hot take: the idea of gaming as a service is incompatible with the idea of gaming as art. I am also a big fan of the idea of games as art. I have been promoting this idea for decades. I consider myself an artist, and video games are the medium I enjoy talking about more than any other medium.

A while ago Marty and I were talking about Bioshock on the Slightly Something Else podcast and I realized that one of the reasons BioShock shines so well as a work of art is because it's about a certain theme. The game is about the failure of the philosophy of Objectivism in practice, about the fact that the attempt to build a utopia is fundamentally at odds with the freedom of human will and agency. Having a clear theme, central theme, or philosophical stance is rare in today's mainstream games. For example, what is Fortnite about? nothing. This game, like other live service games, is a conveyor belt for non-stop action. There isn't even a coherent visual theme. Your character's skin can be anything from a hotdog outfit to Darth Vader's armor. The game has no position, does not deal with any deep themes and does not reach any conclusion. It's hard to come to a conclusion, because the game is never going to end.

BingMag.com Hot take: Live service games are incompatible with artistic ideals

Does this make the art not count? It can be discussed. Maybe art is not supposed to have a special intentional meaning at all; Perhaps its meaning depends entirely on the interpretation of the audience. But there is another problem. Another purpose of art is to be a capsule that contains the history of humanity. One of its uses is to provide enough references for future historians who are going to look down on us to judge us, but another purpose is to be a mirror in front of us. All works of art have something to say about the human condition at the time they were created. But if this process of being made never ends, they will be unable to do this. If a work is constantly being updated, it will not belong to a specific moment in time. If da Vinci had repainted the Mona Lisa every year to fit the fashion of the day in Renaissance Italy, it would not have been of particular importance to the world. He probably had to burn it in the end, because he couldn't pay the rent for the gallery anymore.

Philosophers can argue about this forever, but in my opinion, the problem with live service works and collections that are never allowed to die. What they don't do is that art is largely defined by criticism and analysis, and until a thing stops moving, it cannot be properly analyzed. This statement is true of both video games and excited dogs taken to the vet for a check-up.

Read more: Is Is Assassin's Creed Valhalla a real RPG?

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