by ‘TheArabGamer’

Bayonetta 2 has been getting high scores across the board with both Destructoid and Gamespot giving the game a perfect 10. Now keep in mind that Gamespot hasn’t given 10 for the past 4 years and are usually the stingy type. Even big budget games such as GTA V only scored a 9 on its site.

Now why is this all surprising? Because, let’s face it, no one saw it coming. This was a game that was almost cancelled had it not been for Nintendo to pull it back from the dead and thankfully it turned out real well and not some deformed Duke Nukem Forever mess. But besides amazing review scores, Bayonetta 2 has proved something quite clear: next-gen or current-gen games are all hype and no substance.

It’s no surprise that current-gen players have been disappointed by recent games that were promised to be the next step in video games. You know which games I’m talking about: Destiny, Titanfall, Watch_Dogs, and more recently Driveclub. Why have these games been massive let downs? Previously I mentioned a lack of good story (excluding Driveclub of course) would effect immersion but I think it comes down to the core of the industry which is Game Development as a whole rather than just part of it.

Ever since the start of this generation there has been something quite off about how games have been marketed. Let’s look at Driveclub for example; the title actually features a hashtag. Now who in their right mind would consider naming their game starting with a Twitter feed? The answer: marketing people. The biggest issue I see or should I say feel, while playing games is that it’s all now become some form of marketing exploit. Even the PS4’s share button, while is still really cool, is just another way of making us market games for free. It’s obvious that designers in major publishers no longer have control over their own games and must now bend their will and creative mind over to the marketing department. It almost feels that game designers who enter a project full of creative ideas need to constantly filter their mind through marketing and that’s usually a recipe for disaster.

“The graphics need to look better.”

“How can we add multiplayer to the story”

“How can we make the gameplay feel more similar to COD”

“Do we have room for microtransactions”

These are but some of the conversation I imagine happen while these developers sit and plan their next big block buster.

Now what does this all have to do with Bayonetta 2? Because it manages to prove everyone wrong. It didn’t need to work closely with a marketing team to design its game. The game doesn’t have some tacky online that forces the player to experience the game with the friend. Heck, they even gave us the first one free and that’s without even pre-ordering it! And most importantly they simply designed it based on what makes a game fun instead of simply addicting. It was also advertised, although barely, properly by actually showing a lot of gameplay rather than just relying on cutscenes and huge marketing texts. Even when playing it felt genuine and didn’t feel off or like a chunk of it was missing a day-one patch or DLC.

I hope that as the industry moves forward it doesn’t forget its roots. Of course I could be speculating on this but it’s quite obvious that major publishers are letting its marketing department manage its game development. That needs to shift back and let the designers do what they do best. It shouldn’t be about the 1080, flashy text, or things you can put on the box. The game experience itself should be the priority first and foremost.


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