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(Den Of Geek)   The 1983 videogame crash: what went wrong, and is it about to happen again?   (denofgeek.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, video game crash, Missile Command, consumer choice, third-party developers, Space Invaders, thriving, video game industry, PS Vita  
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7233 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 19 Feb 2013 at 8:52 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-19 02:32:57 AM  
A thriving games industry was brought to its knees 20 years ago. Ryan looks at what happened, and whether it could do so again...

30 years, motherfarkers. Goddamnitsomuch.
 
2013-02-19 02:49:21 AM  
no it's not.
 
2013-02-19 02:57:35 AM  
It was interesting to learn that the NES was an insufferable biatch of springs, latches, and monotone colors because us kids would somehow be tricked into thinking it wasn't a game console. Jokes on you, Nintendo! Now I expect every console to look like puke and break shortly after I buy it! Mwahahaha!
 
2013-02-19 06:32:11 AM  
Anything can happen in the world of business.

It is constantly evolving.

I see the next thing that kills the video game business like it was in 83 when quantum computing becomes mainstream
 
2013-02-19 08:55:20 AM  
after Aliens: Colonial Marines, I bought my last $60 game.
 
2013-02-19 08:58:56 AM  
Wait, so somebody remaking the ET game for the Atari?  I can see how that would be a problem...

/obv. sarcasm
 
2013-02-19 09:03:06 AM  

cman: Anything can happen in the world of business.

It is constantly evolving.

I see the next thing that kills the video game business like it was in 83 when quantum computing becomes mainstream


I dunno, if the rumors of games being locked to one system for the next generation consoles are true, that could do it.
 
2013-02-19 09:06:12 AM  
For consoles? Yes. In fact it already happened (just try to get a gig as a console developer these days).
For F2P? Absolutely not.
 
2013-02-19 09:06:30 AM  

Msol: A thriving games industry was brought to its knees 20 years ago. Ryan looks at what happened, and whether it could do so again...

30 years, motherfarkers. Goddamnitsomuch.


Looks like they've fixed it now.
 
2013-02-19 09:08:28 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: cman: Anything can happen in the world of business.

It is constantly evolving.

I see the next thing that kills the video game business like it was in 83 when quantum computing becomes mainstream

I dunno, if the rumors of games being locked to one system for the next generation consoles are true, that could do it.


Think about it

Quantum Computing

Do you know the implications of those being massed produced?

Having computers that tap into the resource of our universe will mean the ability to finally end scarcity and capitalism itself as we will have the power to research amazing technologies like replicators and the like.

As for your point, games are always gonna be there. Locking it down to a console wont put a dent in it as there is a huge demand for games. Quantum computing, however, could give us the ability to have real holodecks.

It is amazing what is on our horizon
 
2013-02-19 09:12:09 AM  
I'm currently reading the history of Atari, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2013-02-19 09:16:17 AM  
You know, I remember those days fondly and while the article says the activision games were 'poor quality' I found them to be the best games.  It was ataris own games that were lacking, IMO.
 
2013-02-19 09:19:34 AM  

paulleah: after Aliens: Colonial Marines, I bought my last $60 game.


If only that movie buy-in were destined for the landfill.
 
2013-02-19 09:20:20 AM  
What game will be buried next to ET and what unholy evil will be spawned from it?
 
2013-02-19 09:23:00 AM  
I dunno, maybe they should make games fun again. Just a thought.
 
2013-02-19 09:23:05 AM  

You Are All Sheep: You know, I remember those days fondly and while the article says the activision games were 'poor quality' I found them to be the best games.  It was ataris own games that were lacking, IMO.


There were some knock off games that were better than the real Atari.  When I got my Atari, I got two games to go with it, one of which was Jawbreaker, a sort of pac-man like game.  I also got Pac-man.  Guess which one I played more?  Jawbreaker played better and the graphics, such as they were, were better.

I do, however, remember some really bad knock off games, including ones that simply wouldn't work when you got them home because there was zero quality control.  Most of my games came from KB Toys, and it wasn't uncommon to get a game, get it home, find out it didn't work and have to take it back.  Fortunately they almost always had a million replacements, and eventually you got one that worked.

The funny thing is, as a kid of 9 or 10, I didn't notice a "video game crash" because home systems were just the thing you played when you couldn't go to arcades or were out of quarters.  Arcade games were still being made, with newer and better graphics, and people we plugging quarter after quarter into them.  It wasn't until arcades began to vanish that a lack of consoles would be noticed, and by then we had the NES and Super NES, and the Playstation was around the corner.
 
2013-02-19 09:29:53 AM  
Excessively bloated development costs, too-big-to-fail publishing houses and a consumer base that's slowly being eaten away by mobile gaming.

Not to mention a slew of disappointing and cookie-cutter AAA releases infested with micro-transactions, online passes and pay-to-win multiplayer. Or developers committing borderline fraud and releasing outright garbage. I'm looking at you Gearbox!
 
2013-02-19 09:30:42 AM  
I always thought it was ET's fault that the gaming industry crashed back in the 80's. I wasn't born till 3 years after the crash.
 
2013-02-19 09:30:43 AM  

paulleah: after Aliens: Colonial Marines Mass Effect 3, I bought my last non-Bethesda $60 game.


ftfm

Never again until Fallout 4.  I almost pre-ordered Dragon's Dogma on hype, but then I played the demo and hated it.
 
2013-02-19 09:31:00 AM  

Dr. Whoof: You Are All Sheep: You know, I remember those days fondly and while the article says the activision games were 'poor quality' I found them to be the best games.  It was ataris own games that were lacking, IMO.

There were some knock off games that were better than the real Atari.  When I got my Atari, I got two games to go with it, one of which was Jawbreaker, a sort of pac-man like game.  I also got Pac-man.  Guess which one I played more?  Jawbreaker played better and the graphics, such as they were, were better.

I do, however, remember some really bad knock off games, including ones that simply wouldn't work when you got them home because there was zero quality control.  Most of my games came from KB Toys, and it wasn't uncommon to get a game, get it home, find out it didn't work and have to take it back.  Fortunately they almost always had a million replacements, and eventually you got one that worked.

The funny thing is, as a kid of 9 or 10, I didn't notice a "video game crash" because home systems were just the thing you played when you couldn't go to arcades or were out of quarters.  Arcade games were still being made, with newer and better graphics, and people we plugging quarter after quarter into them.  It wasn't until arcades began to vanish that a lack of consoles would be noticed, and by then we had the NES and Super NES, and the Playstation was around the corner.


For me, the crash was a wonderful thing. I was picking up games like Star Raiders and Atlantis for a couple bucks a pop at my local drug store. By time I'd finally exhausted all of those cheap games, the new systems were out. I chose poorly, though, and got a Sega Master System instead of an NES.
 
2013-02-19 09:31:00 AM  

Dr. Whoof: The funny thing is, as a kid of 9 or 10, I didn't notice a "video game crash" because home systems were just the thing you played when you couldn't go to arcades or were out of quarters.


Interesting observation.  For me the buffer to the game crash was the Atari 800.  By the time the crash happened I was playing most of my games on it.  As a matter of fact, after the 2600 I wouldn't by another dedicated game console until the Playstation.  I didn't feel like I needed a Colecovision or NES because the 800 met all my gaming needs in addition to being a damn good computer.
 
kab
2013-02-19 09:33:11 AM  
That wasn't a 'crash' in anything other than the financial sense, and an ushering in of various other, better systems.  As a gamer back then, you probably hardly noticed anything going on.

Unlike the early 80's, video games are much more intertwined in our overall culture... so no, I don't think you're going to necessarily see a repeat of this particular scenario.  If there's a supposed crash to happen now, it will be the yelling of "zomg mobile games are the future angry birdzzzzzzz!', while the rest of us chuckle and simply continue playing.
 
2013-02-19 09:40:30 AM  
kab:   If there's a supposed crash to happen now, it will be the yelling of "zomg mobile games are the future angry birdzzzzzzz!', while the rest of us chuckle and simply continue playing.

I think the "casual" market that bought the Wii and the Kinect have gone to mobile games and aren't coming back.   I was surprised to find that some people are fullfilled by playing Temple Run and Angry Birds for hours.
 
2013-02-19 09:41:57 AM  
I just hope the Ebay prices for older games don't go shooting up too much.

I decided to stop bothering with new consoles after this generation, and just pick up an older game online every couple of weeks or so, on and on pretty much forever.

It's fun switching between all of my previous generation systems. Like, I just finished Viewtiful Joe, for the Gamecube. Right now, I'm playing Lollipop Chainsaw on the XBox 360. Next, it might be Bayou Billy for the NES, or Syphon Filter, on the PS1. After that, I shall buy a Turbo Grafx 16....

The world is my gaming oyster. I'm not tied up in staying current anymore!

So, yeah. I don't really care if the console market crashes in the next generation, as long as older titles don't skyrocket in cost as a result. I do suspect, however, that consoles as we know them are indeed going away. That's why I bowed out.
 
2013-02-19 09:47:30 AM  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlpIw789EcE

I loved this game.  Are there any good shuttle sims they made for more 'modern' equipment?
 
2013-02-19 10:07:34 AM  
They need more first person military shooter games.
 
2013-02-19 10:08:27 AM  
Valve's Steam Box and Linux.  its coming, biatches!
 
2013-02-19 10:09:55 AM  

doczoidberg: I just hope the Ebay prices for older games don't go shooting up too much.

I decided to stop bothering with new consoles after this generation, and just pick up an older game online every couple of weeks or so, on and on pretty much forever.

It's fun switching between all of my previous generation systems. Like, I just finished Viewtiful Joe, for the Gamecube. Right now, I'm playing Lollipop Chainsaw on the XBox 360. Next, it might be Bayou Billy for the NES, or Syphon Filter, on the PS1. After that, I shall buy a Turbo Grafx 16....

The world is my gaming oyster. I'm not tied up in staying current anymore!

So, yeah. I don't really care if the console market crashes in the next generation, as long as older titles don't skyrocket in cost as a result. I do suspect, however, that consoles as we know them are indeed going away. That's why I bowed out.


Smart gamer with a backlog of good older gen titles is smart.
 
2013-02-19 10:10:04 AM  

WhippingBoy: They need more first person military shooter games.



yea, those games really produce results!!
 
2013-02-19 10:10:14 AM  
Considering the game selection is 'meh' and the games cost $60.00 each...I buy very few games anymore. There seems to be very little variety anymore...everything is either a first/third person shooter (done poorly), a 'sequel' to a game or some sort of MMPORG.
 
2013-02-19 10:13:24 AM  

paulleah: after Aliens: Colonial Marines, I bought my last $60 game.


It isn't as great as I expected to be, but I'm still having fun with it.  I did get hit with the savegame wipe bug, so that was annoying.
 
2013-02-19 10:13:35 AM  

ferretman: Considering the game selection is 'meh' and the games cost $60.00 each...I buy very few games anymore. There seems to be very little variety anymore...everything is either a first/third person shooter (done poorly), a 'sequel' to a game or some sort of MMPORG.


"Meh" is polite.  There's a reason I keep playing Dark Souls ... outside of Dishonored and XCOM (and Skyrim somewhat), I can't think of any games I've played in the last year or so that I truly enjoyed.  I went about three or four years without a console system, and, really, without playing any games at all, because of the crappy selection.  Right now, I see nothing on the horizon that even remotely interests me (other than Dark Souls 2 ... next year!).  I may just drop the console stuff altogether again and wait a few years.  At least then I'll have a selection of cheap games.
 
2013-02-19 10:21:29 AM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: ferretman: Considering the game selection is 'meh' and the games cost $60.00 each...I buy very few games anymore. There seems to be very little variety anymore...everything is either a first/third person shooter (done poorly), a 'sequel' to a game or some sort of MMPORG.

"Meh" is polite.  There's a reason I keep playing Dark Souls ... outside of Dishonored and XCOM (and Skyrim somewhat), I can't think of any games I've played in the last year or so that I truly enjoyed.  I went about three or four years without a console system, and, really, without playing any games at all, because of the crappy selection.  Right now, I see nothing on the horizon that even remotely interests me (other than Dark Souls 2 ... next year!).  I may just drop the console stuff altogether again and wait a few years.  At least then I'll have a selection of cheap games.


Problem is that it's the end of a generation, so most of the major developers are probably too busy with next gen products to really bring their A games for the current ones.  It's slim picking all around till they get officially announced.
 
2013-02-19 10:23:44 AM  

imontheinternet: paulleah: after Aliens: Colonial Marines Mass Effect 3, I bought my last non-Bethesda $60 game.

ftfm

Never again until Fallout 4.  I almost pre-ordered Dragon's Dogma on hype, but then I played the demo and hated it.


You're missing out. I haven't played a game as much as Dragon's Dogma since Fallout 3/New Vegas. We're talking hundreds of hours.
 
2013-02-19 10:26:22 AM  
MORE LEGO GAMES
 
2013-02-19 10:26:57 AM  
I'm kind of cautiously optimistic. Graphic fidelity is quickly approaching photo-realism, meaning that fairly soon all games will have good graphics, and they'll have to resort to actual good game design and/or art design to stand out.

This could either be the gaming renaissance or the gaming dark ages. But I have a nagging feeling that the big game publishers (especially EA) are going to ruin everything for everybody.
 
2013-02-19 10:27:22 AM  

kingfismit: imontheinternet: paulleah: after Aliens: Colonial Marines Mass Effect 3, I bought my last non-Bethesda $60 game.

ftfm

Never again until Fallout 4.  I almost pre-ordered Dragon's Dogma on hype, but then I played the demo and hated it.

You're missing out. I haven't played a game as much as Dragon's Dogma since Fallout 3/New Vegas. We're talking hundreds of hours.


The demos for the game were terrible, I can't blame people for not taking a look at it.  It does sound like the full game was much improved though.
 
2013-02-19 10:28:31 AM  
I stopped buying new games after being utterly disappointed with the N64 and PS1. I tried playing many of the newer games from each console that was released from then on but found maybe three games remotely decent in the past fifteen years. Even the ports of older games tend to be awful. I still play the same NES SNES I got when they were released and my console collection has expanded to about twenty systems. I tried playing more modern games again after winning a PS2 in a raffle. It soon became a DVD player and I eventually gave it away. There are bad games from every generation but I would still rather play ET than Call of Duty.
 
2013-02-19 10:29:29 AM  

PanicMan: paulleah: after Aliens: Colonial Marines, I bought my last $60 game.

It isn't as great as I expected to be, but I'm still having fun with it.  I did get hit with the savegame wipe bug, so that was annoying.


I have not gotten that bug in Aliens.. But I got nailed with that one in Halo 4. Went to continue my campaign and it said I had to start a new one. Lucky it kept the unlocks for the levels I completed. But it took a bit for me to get back to where I was.

But I agree, I am having fun playing Aliens. And I hate the sewers... and the chase sequence after it.
 
2013-02-19 10:31:29 AM  

texdent: MORE LEGO GAMES


notsureifserious.jpg
 
2013-02-19 10:31:35 AM  
The problem is that video games just ain't improving much. Compare gaming on a ZX Spectrum in 1982 and a Commodore Amiga in 1987. You had a huge difference in quality on all levels. That's the same time period between now and when Portal was launched.

Which is why I generally wait a year or two to get games. This year's stuff just ain't much better than last year's stuff.
 
2013-02-19 10:34:51 AM  
just blow on the cartridge contacts and insert it again.  maybe it won't crash this time.


unrealitymag.com
 
2013-02-19 10:36:14 AM  

bark_atda_moon: kab:   If there's a supposed crash to happen now, it will be the yelling of "zomg mobile games are the future angry birdzzzzzzz!', while the rest of us chuckle and simply continue playing.

I think the "casual" market that bought the Wii and the Kinect have gone to mobile games and aren't coming back.   I was surprised to find that some people are fullfilled by playing Temple Run and Angry Birds for hours.


I can't prove you wrong, but I won't be convinced that such a move occurred unless I see documented evidence of people actually switching, as opposed to simply a big increase in phone-gaming that naturally comes with a big increase in smart phone owners.

Who in their right mind (and plenty of people aren't, I know) would drop the money for a wii or an xbox for the purpose of being so casual a gamer that the four inch touch-screen gaming was a suitable replacement?

Were there people who said "I'm going to throw down hundreds of dollars for gaming, even though I never game.  Additionally I'm only going to buy the most simplistic and content-empty games"?  Because that is what you'd have to be to switch from a wii to a smart phone for your gaming needs.

Maybe I'm just missing something,but I've yet to see any evidence of such a switch occurring, except for things like "x million downloads of angry birds zomg consoles are dead!" I would rather have NES games and nothing else for the rest of my life than the quality of games for my galaxy s2. Even final fantasy dimensions is about on par with FF1.
 
2013-02-19 10:36:26 AM  

facisto: I dunno, maybe they should make games fun again. Just a thought.


Ever notice that people who play repetitive shoot-em-ups and fantasy grinds pejoratively refer to fun games as "casual."
 
2013-02-19 10:36:28 AM  

Minktastic Mink!: I stopped buying new games after being utterly disappointed with the N64 and PS1. I tried playing many of the newer games from each console that was released from then on but found maybe three games remotely decent in the past fifteen years. Even the ports of older games tend to be awful. I still play the same NES SNES I got when they were released and my console collection has expanded to about twenty systems. I tried playing more modern games again after winning a PS2 in a raffle. It soon became a DVD player and I eventually gave it away. There are bad games from every generation but I would still rather play ET than Call of Duty.


gaming might not be for you.  Maybe you're just nostalgic.
 
2013-02-19 10:42:49 AM  
As an adult gamer, it has been difficult to justify the investment in a system or game when you've got other things to pay for. I know, I know, a game is as expensive as one cheap night out, or maybe a tank and a half of gas, but that's the rub- unless you're getting the whole game upfront, you're spending $60.00 for the framework plus $10.00 for the DLC, then $10.00 more for an add-on, then $10.00 for the special skins, then...etc., etc. Seeing as I'm on XBLA, there's my annual re-up of $60.00

Damn, man...suddenly I've dropped $150.00 for the game and online capabilities.

Suddenly it's not a hobby, it's an investment.
 
2013-02-19 10:45:26 AM  

thecpt: Minktastic Mink!: I stopped buying new games after being utterly disappointed with the N64 and PS1. I tried playing many of the newer games from each console that was released from then on but found maybe three games remotely decent in the past fifteen years. Even the ports of older games tend to be awful. I still play the same NES SNES I got when they were released and my console collection has expanded to about twenty systems. I tried playing more modern games again after winning a PS2 in a raffle. It soon became a DVD player and I eventually gave it away. There are bad games from every generation but I would still rather play ET than Call of Duty.

gaming might not be for you.  Maybe you're just nostalgic.


I too find it strange that someone couldn't find ANY examples of fun games with the PS1 library.  I was a bit disappointed with the n64 myself, but there were still good games. Mario 64, the Zeldas, etc were fantastic.

Also, I never played ET, but isn't that renowned as like the worst game ever?
 
2013-02-19 10:45:56 AM  

kumanoki: texdent: MORE LEGO GAMES

notsureifserious.jpg


They're fun.
 
2013-02-19 10:46:46 AM  

Smackledorfer: Also, I never played ET, but isn't that renowned as like the worst game ever?


It may be tied with Superman 64
 
2013-02-19 10:48:30 AM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: It was interesting to learn that the NES was an insufferable biatch of springs, latches, and monotone colors because us kids would somehow be tricked into thinking it wasn't a game console. Jokes on you, Nintendo! Now I expect every console to look like puke and break shortly after I buy it! Mwahahaha!


Why would the Nintendo Entertainment System condition you to expect game consoles to break soon after purchase? The Nintendo Entertainment System was so rugged that it could survive being run over by a truck and continue functioning.

/I wish that my Playstation 3 were so durable.
//Attempting a reflow later this week.
///It won't last, either way.
 
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