Written by erik kubik, kube00 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 06:00
2011 has come and gone. I could sit here and list the top 10 games of 2011 or why 2011 was the best gaming year in the last 10 years. 2011 was a good year for gaming, but I think 2008 was better. As other gamers have noted there were a few trends this year. Some were good and others were bad and unfortunately it looks like both types of trends are here to stay.
The best trend this year was that almost everything was on sale on release day. Whether it was Kmart and their spectacular $20 off coupons or the B2G1 sales and B1G 50% off that a lot of retailers had. Most gamers could get new games for far less than their $60 entry price. As for the day one deals on games, I’m sure those are here to stay. Anything to lure the consumer in and get them to spend more money is a good thing.
3D gaming was another big trend. This really seemed to take off this year. Sony had bundles for the perfect 3D set up. It will be interesting to see where 3D goes in the next few years.
Another noticeable trend was that Onlive really took off this year. Onlive continued to give out Micro consoles at events and with game purchases, have incredible game discounts, and they further expanded their services to tablets and Android phones. I cannot recommend this service enough to mainstream gamers. Ed Note: I have also recently read that OnLive is coming to GoogleTV. At first it will be to only view games, but it is only a matter of time before you'll be able to play OnLive games through GoogleTV. Word is still out if this feature will be available on the Logitech Revue for GoogleTV.
Here are the worse trends of 2011. As the used game market continues to grow, publishers want more and more from gamers’ wallets. Enter project $10. This was the idea that new games come with exclusive content. Buy the game used and you won’t get this content. Pay $10 and its yours. Project $10 also included games with online play that requires a pass of some sort. If a gamer buys the game used, then they have to pay $10 to play online.
Other trends included services like Uplay and Origin creating more headaches for gamers. Some people have account issues, others can’t access their games. Why can’t they just follow Steam’s example? PC gamers have it the worst. They need a constant Internet connection to play the single player game. I’m sure this is to combat piracy but there has to be a better way.
I'm not certain where "lack of innovation" falls. 1up went into details about this. In the spring and over part of the summer gamers received unique games. Including titles like Bastion, Catherine, Bulletstorm and Child of Eden. All-in-all gamers did see some new IPs, as well as revitalized old franchises throughout the year. But into the fall it was sequel after sequel. There is nothing wrong with games copying a previous entry in the series. The big question is, will developers and publishers stop taking risks if they feel an innovative game or new IP cannot do well along side Modern Warfare 5?
Well, it looks like 3D gaming, and day one discounts are here to stay. Onlive will continue to expand. But this also means project $10 is going to stick around. Uplay and Origins are not going anywhere. Hopefully, the next year brings more positive trends.