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Thread: Where have all the shooters gone?

  1. #1

    Post Where have all the shooters gone?

    No, this has nothing to do with shots of tequila, although I will not deny it played a part in the writing of this post.

    No, my latest question is aimed at FPS shooter games. Where have they gone? Why are they so scares?

    Don’t believe me? Well look at this chart:

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    This shows the decline in a number of FPS shooter games released each year. And think about it, besides COD and Star Wars BF2, Wolfenstein and Destiny, there aren’t that many other FPS shooters out there today. Are they just out of style? Do people not want to play FPS shooters anymore?

    Of course not, is the right answer. Currently, 4 of the 10 most played games on Steam are all FPS games. A really big chunck of time spent gaming is spent on FPS games. Think about all the hours spent in COD and BF and CS:GO and all those other acronym games. It’s a lot of time spent shooting other people.

    But new games in the genre are scares. Fewer games are being released in this format. And I believe there are a few factors that influence this fact:

    1. Games are not one genre anymore.
    Think about the games you've played that came out this year. How many of them can you really classify into one single genre alone? There aren't a lot of games that are that genre-specific anymore. It's the problem with FPS games as well. They are not anymore just confined to shooters only. Stealth, RPG, Action, Adventure, even tactical games all use the FPS view. It means that a lot fewer games are made to focus only as FPS shooters. Most games try and diversify themselves to stand out from the crowd

    2. Established franchises make it difficult for new titles to succeed.
    The big shooter games, Battlefront, Battlefield, COD, they are all behemoths. They rake in cash hand over fist. And a lot of shooters tried to get into the action over the years. But the masses still flock to the same old franchises every year. It makes it much less viable for developers and publishers to take the risk within the FPS shooter genre. It's much more financially viable for them to stick to other genre style games, or diversify their genres.

    3. FPS Shooters are not "in" anymore.
    Times change, and so do peoples tastes. So it is that games like Quake and Unreal Tournament cannot command the same audience they used to. FPS games have been surpassed in popularity by other styles of games. Mobas and 3rd person action games are where "it's at" at the moment

    Do you agree with me on this? What do you think about the decline of the shooter?

  2. #2

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    Wow you make good threads.

    But yes, I really like FPS shooters and it's surprising how few of them are released these days. I really enjoyed the last two Wolfenstein games and look forward to the next one.

    And you are right about the mixed genre games. There's more and more of those kind of games being released. It almost feels like most games are RPG hybrids of sorts these days.

  3. #3

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    Thing for me, I'll take twitchy shooters like Quake and Unreal over realistic style ones like COD and BF, but the latter are the more popular ones, and probably has a lot to do with consoles (although why anyone would want to play an FPS on console is beyond me... although I did play the snot out of ME:A MP 3rd person shooter on PS4 before they announced dropped support... wonder what they have in store for N7 day)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solitude View Post
    Wow you make good threads.

    But yes, I really like FPS shooters and it's surprising how few of them are released these days. I really enjoyed the last two Wolfenstein games and look forward to the next one.

    And you are right about the mixed genre games. There's more and more of those kind of games being released. It almost feels like most games are RPG hybrids of sorts these days.
    Hahah it's almost like I'm secretly harbouring fantasies to be a writer...one with no concept of grammatical rules, but a writer nevertheless.


    And on a personal note, twitchy shooters like Unreal and Quake have been the games I grew up with. They were the best way to spend time playing games I could think of. A lot of my all time favourite games are all FPS shooters.

    But I think [MENTION=9148]murfle[/MENTION] has a point as well. Consoles played a definite role in the slow death of shooters. Sure Halo was, and probably still is one of the biggest games out there, but consoles aren't really the best place for FPS games. While it's possible, it's not the ideal. And I guess developers started realising that.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieGrootHammer View Post
    But I think [MENTION=9148]murfle[/MENTION] has a point as well. Consoles played a definite role in the slow death of shooters. Sure Halo was, and probably still is one of the biggest games out there, but consoles aren't really the best place for FPS games. While it's possible, it's not the ideal. And I guess developers started realising that.
    I have always hated Halo. However, games like Gears of War, designed around a controller, pulled it off really well.

  6. #6

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    I agree that point 2 is a big factor:
    2. Established franchises make it difficult for new titles to succeed.
    The established shooters have that critical mass in that there are plenty enough players to fill matches. These brands also give a familiar experience that people are comfortable with. Also with the elements of progression and ranking people are invested in these games and the prospect of having to invest all over again in a new game can put people off.

    It is very difficult for a new MP FPS to gain that critical mass to continue being sustainable - Law Breakers, certainly fell victim to this.

  7. #7

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    The other issue is also that the source material has become a bit stale.

    Take most modern military FPS series/titles like Battlefield, Call of Duty, Spec Ops, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, etc etc etc

    It's the same weapons with similar looking enemies shooting at you with the same firearms. Rinse and repeat. You can see the shift now as the publishers are pushing World War I (as WWII has been a little overdone) and futuristic shooters. Neither seem to have much impact on the steady decline of the traditional FPS title though. I think the industry is just suffering from FPS fatigue.

    Something similar happened with RTS titles, it was all the rage in the late 90s and early 2000s. Every second title was a C&C clone of sorts and the genre pretty much peaked with Star Craft II and subsequently died a very slowish death. Only to be replaced with MOBA titles.

    Who knows, maybe the future isn't in another FPS title. It could be something completely different.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieGrootHammer View Post
    1. Games are not one genre anymore.
    Think about the games you've played that came out this year. How many of them can you really classify into one single genre alone? There aren't a lot of games that are that genre-specific anymore. It's the problem with FPS games as well. They are not anymore just confined to shooters only. Stealth, RPG, Action, Adventure, even tactical games all use the FPS view. It means that a lot fewer games are made to focus only as FPS shooters. Most games try and diversify themselves to stand out from the crowd
    There will always be sub-genre's of sub-genre's in all and any form of media. It's just up to you to decide where you want to draw the line. I order to be a FPS one requirement needs to be met; First person viewpoint. DOOM is a FPS, but is it not a RPG? Because you gain upgrades and to be honest, you play the role of another character which, is role playing in itself.

    Developers and Publisher have to be smart about bringing out games today. They need to take more unique approaches in doing things, Spec Ops the line was a brilliant game because of how it was made to give you a sense of boredom in the game play, which in turn helped you understand the characters development and the horrors of war. Borderlands series hinged on silly humor and a graphical aesthetic which stands out amongst other games.

    PsychFish sums it up;

    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoFish View Post
    It's the same weapons with similar looking enemies shooting at you with the same firearms. Rinse and repeat. You can see the shift now as the publishers are pushing World War I (as WWII has been a little overdone) and futuristic shooters. Neither seem to have much impact on the steady decline of the traditional FPS title though. I think the industry is just suffering from FPS fatigue.

    Developing FPS games is no easy task either, I recall reading a few reddit posts from Jeff Kaplan, stating that the reason why Heroes of the Storm received more characters than Overwatch was because, Heroes characters have a vastly smaller different polygon count. Additionally, they are vastly different specially in ways of interacting with other players and the environment. Then there is the problem of development time and testing.


    Quote Originally Posted by DieGrootHammer View Post
    2. Established franchises make it difficult for new titles to succeed.
    The big shooter games, Battlefront, Battlefield, COD, they are all behemoths. They rake in cash hand over fist. And a lot of shooters tried to get into the action over the years. But the masses still flock to the same old franchises every year. It makes it much less viable for developers and publishers to take the risk within the FPS shooter genre. It's much more financially viable for them to stick to other genre style games, or diversify their genres.
    If anything, established franchises make it easier for new titles to succeed. Rise and repeat games are going to start taking a knock. Ubisoft took a break from making AC annually to bring out the new one (which seems to be a success). The Call of Duty and Battlefield series are getting more stale every year with nothing new to give players. Despite this they will still draw in a large portion of the market as they always do. This is because I believe people feel 'ok' and 'safe' with familiar concepts and are not very easily moved to new things. - Plato, sums it up nice in his allegory of the cave.

    Additionally, there comes a time in a publishers life cycle where they no longer exist to publish games. Their modus operandi is to push out products to increase their share prices and get rich. EA and Activision come to mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by DieGrootHammer View Post
    3. FPS Shooters are not "in" anymore.
    Times change, and so do peoples tastes. So it is that games like Quake and Unreal Tournament cannot command the same audience they used to. FPS games have been surpassed in popularity by other styles of games. Mobas and 3rd person action games are where "it's at" at the moment
    Just to add onto this; The first person shooter genre has gone through an evolution of sorts in the past couple of years. Online focused competitive multiplayer is now ruling supreme but, there are still many who enjoy a offline or single player focused game. While not as popular at the moment, it will always be there to fall back onto. There is also how people grew up on specific types of games and grew accustomed to them, I grew up on UT and Quake but have since moved on. There is no longer an interest in that genre and I have adapted to the markets trends. One can't forget how the rise of access to faster and more stable internet had a massive influence on gaming, which has been evolving ever since.

    As an example I'll use the decrease in popularity of the area shooter genre to show how trends change. Quake Champions barely breaks 500 people a day. Toxikk which is Free to play has less than 50. In comparison, Insurgency which is also most 4 years old pulls almost 3000 players daily. Another example; Squad almost 3 years old gets around 2000 players daily. The trend for semi-realistic online based shooters seems to be holding. Even Battlefield Bad Comapny 2 has around 1000 players daily. (The best battlefield game there ever was)

    Switching to a more modern release; Lawbreakers while it did many things wrong, it's biggest downfall was launching into a over-saturated market which no-one really had an interest in anymore. The game barely pushes 100 daily players on PC (29 at the time of typing this) and, it came out around 3 months ago.

    Counter Strike, Player Unknowns Battle Grounds, Overwatch and Rainbow Six. They are over a year old and, still bring in hundreds of thousands of players daily.

  9. #9

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    [MENTION=9789]DieGrootHammer[/MENTION] can you collate the data to show if the decrease of FPS is related to the most played FPS being online vs single player offline, it feels like FPS has moved away from single player to online, which adds a more long term value to the game which means the studios don't need to release new FPS with new stories when they can keep milking their existing player base with that sweet sweet loot, just like with many mmorpg's

  10. #10
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    The fps genre needs an overhaul, ive been saying so for years.
    they can start by overhauling the viewpoint, make it more like ArmA instead of having a gun stuck to your face and essentialy being a tank turret.
    I think they should probably look into utilising more motion control tools like TrackIR as well, maybe make it more accessable with webcams monitoring your head movements or something.

    Open world is must too, no more funneling down linear corridors. Play GTA V exclusively in first person, that's how it should be.

    I think also really good and interesting stories will go a long way. Does anyone ever pay attention to the political/militaristic back stories of most shooters?? They are all boring as heck, even Bad Company 2 which is the greatest fps ever created had a hohum forgettable story. It's saving grace though was outstanding character development and gameplay.

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