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But the #1 reason that CRPGs aren't dying...


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...has nothing to do with any imaginary approaching triumphal comeback awaiting the CRPG genre. The number one reason that the popularity of consoles as RPG platforms, over and above the present popularity of PCs as the same, does not herald the end of the CRPG is that PCs were never as popular as consoles as an RPG platform.

 

At no point in history was the PC, either measured in sales or in popular opinion, as widely successful an RPG platform as the consoles of the same era.

 

It seems to me that a lot of people are coming off the massive successes of the Infinity Engine era with a general sense that RPG predominance is the birthright of the PC platform and that history began when god created the earth in 1999 with the release of Baldur's Gate. While I am apt to treat the initial collaboration of Black Isle and Bioware as the defining event in modern human history, the fact is, never before BG's release had PCs managed to dominate the RPG market, and never during or after did they manage to, for that matter, either.

 

So, me, I'm a lot less worried about the popularity of consoles and the success of the major console platforms in snagging up RPG licenses and releases for this generation and the next, because while I'm a huge CRPG fan, I've never conceived of CRPGs as the dominant sector within the wider RPG market. When I see that they won't dominate the next generation either, I just kind of shrug it off and go on following the genre with the same central PC focus I've always had, despite the same niche status the PC platform has and has always had.

 

The pivotal RPG release of the mid to late '90s as far as popularity goes was not Daggerfall, or Albion, or Lands of Lore II, or Ultima VIII or Ultima IX or even Fallout. Like it or not, it was FFVII. Go back a couple more years and see how many people were playing Betrayal at Krondor and Ultima Underworld by comparison to the number at the same time playing Final Fantasy VI or Secret of Mana.

 

And as critical as I am (as are many people nowadays) of the hype that surrounded FFVII, that was the way it was, and there's no erasing history. PC RPGs were never as big and as popular as console RPGs. So when I see that they aren't going to be as big and as popular in the next generation, I somehow find myself not all shocked or disturbed. That's the way it's been, for the most part. It doesn't seem to have shattered my gaming reality so far. Why would it now?

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At no point in history was the PC, either measured in sales or in popular opinion, as widely successful an RPG platform as the consoles of the same era.

 

This is unfortunately very true. :-

 

It seems to me that a lot of people are coming off the massive successes of the Infinity Engine era with a general sense that RPG predominance is the birthright of the PC platform and that history began when god created the earth in 1999 with the release of Baldur's Gate.

 

Pssst...

It was 1998, not '99

 

 

 

While I am apt to treat the initial collaboration of Black Isle and Bioware as the defining event in modern human history, the fact is, never before BG's release had PCs managed to dominate the RPG market, and never during or after did they manage to, for that matter, either. 

 

Who is saying that PC RPGs ever dominated the RPG market? I do prefer CRPGs over console RPGS but I think most of us on this forum don't have any delusions of grandeur in this matter. CRPGS have always been a niche market and probably always will be. I doubt even the most staunch CRPG fan would argue the contrary.

 

 

So, me, I'm a lot less worried about the popularity of consoles and the success of the major console platforms in snagging up RPG licenses and releases for this generation and the next, because while I'm a huge CRPG fan, I've never conceived of CRPGs as the dominant sector within the wider RPG market.  When I see that they won't dominate the next generation either, I just kind of shrug it off and go on following the genre with the same central PC focus I've always had, despite the same niche status the PC platform has and has always had.

 

It is just sad IMHO that the "average gamer" prefers cute and cheery anime RPGs and pokemon to the more serious, adult (in general) counterparts on the PC. It is unfortunate and backwards IMHO, but then again, I know what I like and don't care too much if the guy next door prefers FFVII or Chrono Trigger over Planescape:Torment.

 

That said.. Anything Final Fantasy bites the big one.

 

My only concern is the PC RPG market dwindling to the point where developers no longer find making games in the genre lucrative. As long as there is a steady fanbase, I don't care how the console RPG industry is doing in comparison.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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This is a good response to some points under discussion in some of the other threads. Good points.

 

I agree whole heartedly with one particular idea:

 

It's far better to look for good CRPGs than it is to rail against folks who enjoy console titles. It's just silly. The point isn't that console lovers should suffer, only that the PC side get a share of fun and games.

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The point isn't that console lovers should suffer, only that the PC side get a share of fun and games.

 

Very true. I think we can always expect indie studios o put out CRPGs. What bugs me though is the thought of the real cream talent getting put to work on games with lesss depth and production values. Kind of like seeing your favourite classic chef flipping burgers.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

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I agree with that. I like both KotORs, but think they could have been even better had they initially been designed for the PC.

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I like both kinds of RPGs. I grew up with a SNES in my bedroom, so other than D&D, Console RPGs were my first introduction to the Genre. Frankly, I don't think one can really compare console and PC RPGs, as they are designed completely differently to one another. If you ask yourself whether Torment or Chrono Trigger is the best RPG ever (I believe botha re considered to be the best examples of their respective styles), the only way to answer that is based on which one you enjoyed the most. There is no objective way of quantifying whihc is the better game. Is Planescape:Torment more "adult" than Chrono Trigger? Well, that depends on how you choose to define adult. Is a serious game better than one designed simply to be fun? One might argue that if one wanted a serious RPG, one could go and play Real Life. :p"

 

It all depends on what you want from a game. Personally, when I play a game, my intention is to have fun. I like Pokemon, Chrono Trigger, Zelda and Mario. Personally, I find the seriousness and the (relative) realism of games like Torment to be rather boring at times, and it is my opinion that it was Planescape:Torment, and not Final Fantasy VII that is/was massively overhyped. In the years that I've owned it, I've played and completed Final Fantasy VII more times than I can count (and every Final Fantasy up to VIII at least twice), and it has given me hundred of hours (literally) of enjoyment. Torment, on the other hand, I've never been able to complete because it eventually becomes interminably boring. Some people like a game that causes them to think, or to be serious. I read books or watch (intelligent) TV when I want to think, but when I play a game, be it on a board, a console, or a PC, be it a Platformer, a Strategy game or an RPG, all I want is simple escapist fun.

 

And I don't think that that simple escapist fun is childish.

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Folks who ridicule console players as childish put their own maturity in question. This isn't about how folks who enjoy consoles are substandard. Another term I hate is the "average gamer" tag we see thrown hither and yon. Lancer has some great posts, but the idea that we can blame our woes on the average gamer is just a little too convenient. The average gamer might get the most attention from publishers and developers, sure, but that doesn't mean that we're right for no other reason than being in the minority.

 

Still, if we get away from being defensive about our tastes, it's still true that consoles have inherent advantages over computers when it comes to the gameplaying crowd. I like Diablo. One of the reasons I've enjoyed the Diablo franchise is the ease with which I can start, play, and finish a game. The learning curve is quite low for Diablo. It's even easy to play over the lan or online. With all of those factors in mind, how is it so hard for "serious" RPG players to understand? I wasn't a huge fan of the FF series. I played my first game years ago and thought it was fun. Still, I'm the opposite in that I've had many more hours of fun from PS:T than from all FF games combined. Exponentially more. That doesn't mean I'm better than you, just different.

 

That's why I like to see these things in terms of getting what I want rather than preventing you from getting what you want.

 

So, when I say I think KotOR would have been a better game had it been designed first and foremost for the PC and then the X-Box, that's with my own tastes and interests in mind. I'd expect no less from a console fan. We argue for what we want on message boards.... at least I do.

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It all depends on what you want from a game.  Personally, when I play a game, my intention is to have fun.  I like Pokemon, Chrono Trigger, Zelda and Mario.  Personally, I find the seriousness and the (relative) realism of games like Torment to be rather boring at times, and it is my opinion that it was Planescape:Torment, and not Final Fantasy VII that is/was massively overhyped.  In the years that I've owned it, I've played and completed Final Fantasy VII more times than I can count (and every Final Fantasy up to VIII at least twice), and it has given me hundred of hours (literally) of enjoyment.  Torment, on the other hand, I've never been able to complete because it eventually becomes interminably boring.  Some people like a game that causes them to think, or to be serious.  I read books or watch (intelligent) TV when I want to think, but when I play a game, be it on a board, a console, or a PC, be it a Platformer, a Strategy game or an RPG, all I want is simple escapist fun.

 

And I don't think that that simple escapist fun is childish.

 

Some people seem to think that games that are serious and make you ponder and ask philosophical questions aren't as "fun" as those that are more lighthearted in tone.

 

Simple, lighthearted games aren't the only ones capable of providing escapist fun.

 

That said I didn't find Torment boring at all. Even though Chrono Trigger is by far the more cheerful of the two, Torment was by far more enjoyable for me to play.

 

I've played a lot of action packed, comedic games that weren't fun at all.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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Folks who ridicule console players as childish put their own maturity in question.  This isn't about how folks who enjoy consoles are substandard.  Another term I hate is the "average gamer" tag we see thrown hither and yon.  Lancer has some great posts, but the idea that we can blame our woes on the average gamer is just a little too convenient.  The average gamer might get the most attention from publishers and developers, sure, but that doesn't mean that we're right for no other reason than being in the minority.

 

I didn't ever say that we should blame the average gamer. It shouldn't matter what the "average joe" prefers to play, as long as cRPG developers continue making games to satisfy their niche market... us.

 

Things like Troika calling it quits and Bioware making the move over to consoles because that is "where the money is" concerns me.

 

EDIT: Conversely, I don't see Square-Enix going out of business or going to computer-style RPGs anytime soon.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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Things like Bioware making the move over to console because that is "where the money is" worries me.

 

It only worries me because that means I'm going to have to purchase these consoles in the near future.

 

Other than that I'm really indifferent. I have no actual preference for playing games on PC vs. console.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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So you don't care if in the foreseeable future the only RPGs around are linear JRPGS?

 

That's not what I quoted of yours. I quoted your BioWare comment. They're not making JRPGs.

 

Their last two console games were KOTOR and JE, both of which I was happy with.

 

And if that's the case, then yes the only problem I have with it is I'll be made to buy whatever console these new games come out on.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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That's not what I quoted of yours.  I quoted your BioWare comment.  They're not making JRPGs. 

 

Their last two console games were KOTOR and JE, both of which I was happy with. 

 

And BGDA?

 

KOTOR and JE both had strong JRPG elements, although, I admit that KOTOR was very good. KOTOR especially was designed to appeal to both types of gamers so it is no surprise it would have fans on both sides.

 

How about games with a more computer RPG feel than KOTOR? How about traditional open-ended cRPGs like the Fallouts, Arcanum, and Ultima VII? How about a cerebral game like Planescape: Torment?

Do you think that developers would make those type of RPGs on a console?

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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How about traditional open-ended RPGs like the Fallouts, and Arcanum? How about a cerebral game like Planescape: Torment?

Do you think that developers would make those type of RPGs on a console?

 

That's not a console specific problem. Those types of games just aren't being made in abundance, period. But I don't think that's to be blamed on consoles. I think that's just a general business philosophy companies have adopted since the days of FO, BG, PS:T, etc.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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That's not a console specific problem.  Those types of games just aren't being made in abundance, period.  But I don't think that's to be blamed on consoles.  I think that's just a general business philosophy companies have adopted since the days of FO, BG, PS:T, etc.

 

They wouldn't be made at all if for some reason the remaining cRPG developers either went out of business or went over to consoles. Developers would have to adapt their game-making strategy to reflect their new fanbase of console RPGers that don't play games like Torment and the Fallouts.

 

And I am not blaming consoles.. I just realize that the console market is composed of gamers with a very different perspective on what constitutes a good RPG.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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Developers would have to adapt their game-making strategy to reflect their new fanbase of console RPGers that don't play games like Torment and the Fallouts.

 

I don't necessarily think that's the case. I'm just as much a console gamer as I am a PC gamer, yet I enjoyed games like PS:T and FO, as well as games like KOTOR.

 

Besides which, they already are adapting. They have been since about the time the last IE game was released and the trend started to go towards shorter, more "interactive movie" type games such as KOTOR, JE and VtMB.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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They wouldn't be made at all if for some reason the remaining cRPG developers either went out of business or went over to consoles. ...

So no new developers will ever create games for the PC? :thumbsup:

 

You remember Duke Nukem? It was shareware to begin with.

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I don't necessarily think that's the case.  I'm just as much a console gamer as I am a PC gamer, yet I enjoyed games like PS:T and FO, as well as games like KOTOR.

 

You are an honorable exception. But I am willing to gander that most console RPG players don't play CRPGs. This is why it would be a problem if cRPG developers decided one day to pack their bags and do what Bioware did.

 

Besides which, they already are adapting.  They have been since about the time the last IE game was released and the trend started to go towards shorter, more "interactive movie" type games such as KOTOR, JE and VtMB.

 

KOTOR and JE were both console games. So that is not surprising. And that actually serves to prove my point about Bioware slowly adapting to the JRPG mold.

Just contrast KOTOR and JE with Bioware's earlier PC titles like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate. You see the difference?

 

I haven't finished VtMB yet but from I have seen so far it is very much a computer RPG. Unlike KOTOR, it had no character with a pre-generated history (from what I can tell), the character creation system is open-ended like Arcanum or Fallout. It has more or less open-ended gameplay with your stats and skills affecting outcomes... It is rated mature because there is much violence, language, and adult themes that you just won't find in a console RPG..

The only thing truly different about VtMB from older computer RPG games is its FPP. But, yes, there is a push to abandon the isometric view in favor of the FP and Third Person views. That push, however, is one I have nothing against.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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KOTOR and JE were both console games. So that is not surprising. And that actually serves to prove my point about Bioware slowly adapting to the JRPG mold.

Just contrast KOTOR and JE with Bioware's earlier PC titles like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate. You see the difference?

 

I guess I just disagree with calling games like KOTOR and JE a trend towards JRPG style games.

 

Admittedly I'm not very familiar with JRPG except for the FF series, but don't KOTOR and JE allow a LOT more flexibility in terms of character creation, and open endedness in comparison to actual JRPGs?

 

I haven't finished VtMB yet but from I have seen so far it is very much a computer RPG. Unlike KOTOR, it had no character with a pre-generated history (from what I can tell), the character creation system is open-ended like Arcanum or Fallout. It has more or less open-ended gameplay with your stats and skills affecting outcomes... It is rated mature because there is much violence, language, and adult themes that you just won't find in a console RPG..

The only thing truly different about VtMB from older computer RPG games is its FPP. But, yes, there is a push to abandon the isometric view in favor of the FP and Third Person views. That push, however, is one I have nothing against.

 

Just wait until you get to the last third of the game. It becomes quite linear, and desolves into one big fight fest with very little story remaining (in comparison to the first 2/3 of the game).

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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So no new developers will ever create games for the PC? :huh:

If there are no more cRPG developers then there wouldn't be any more cRPG games.

Non sequitur.

 

I was stating my incredulity at your statement that no cRPGs would be made if all the [current] developers were forced into receivership or console platforms.

 

It beggars belief to conclude that no-one would develop a cRPG whilst there is stil a PC on which to develop one.

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I guess I just disagree with calling games like KOTOR and JE a trend towards JRPG style games. 

 

Admittedly I'm not very familiar with JRPG except for the FF series, but don't KOTOR and JE allow a LOT more flexibility in terms of character creation, and open endedness in comparison to actual JRPGs?

 

In KOTOR, which tried to appeal to both gamers I thought the JRPG elements were quite clear...

 

1)A pre-generated character with a determined history (BlS' Torment did as well)

2)Many emotionally-driven cinematic movie sequences and cut scenes typical of JRPGS.

3)It even had the typical "min-game" (Pazaak) that is a trademark of console RPGs.

4) Like PS:T (which also had some JRPG influences) there was a heavy emphasis on the PC's interaction with his fellow party members. And in JRPGs, this fleshing of the PC's supporting cast is ubiquitous. You didn't really start seeing this trend in modern cRPGS until Torment. This was kind of started with Ultima VII but was not capitualed on until 1999. This trend toward improved character interaction, however, is something I deem good that we borrowed from JRPGs.

 

Baldur's Gate only had #1 and Icewind Dale had none of the above. Although BGII had a little bit of point 4 continuing what Torment had started.

 

Get this...KOTOR had even more JRPG elements than Torment did... And in Torment's credits the designers even admitted that the game had been influenced by the Final Fantasy series.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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I was stating my incredulity at your statement that no cRPGs would be made if all the [current] developers were forced into receivership or console platforms.

 

It beggars belief to conclude that no-one would develop a cRPG whilst there is stil a PC on which to develop one.

 

 

Let's put it this way.. If the cRPG market "dies" it would make no business sense for a developer to continue pursuing a dead market.

 

Certainly that doesn't stop someone from trying although they wouldn't stay in business long.

 

Unless you want to make them. :huh:

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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1)A pre-generated character with a determined  history

 

Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale had none of the above. Although BGII had a little bit of point 4 continuing what Torment had started.

 

Pre-generated? Yes, you were Revan, but you could customize your character as male or female, different ethnicities, and different classes. How was that any different from Baldurs Gate where you were the Child of Bhaal regardless of whether you wanted to be or not? Or FO2 where you were the Chosen One regardless?

 

I'm just not seeing this one since I don't see the difference.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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