Every month, invariably, a good portion of those subscribed to PlayStation Plus shun the free, instant games the subscription affords, many of whom disregard them because they aren’t AAA games with 10 septillion dollar budgets.
Because, you know, a small team of dedicated (almost craftsman-like) developers, smitten by the idea of an adoring crowd and having lovingly crafted every nook and cranny of their darling project, couldn’t possibly hope to compete with bags of money thrown around when developing a AAA game.
For those who haven’t caught on, that was sarcasm.
I absolutely understand that it takes huge sums of money to produce a title like The Witcher 3 or the upcoming Uncharted 4, but that doesn’t take anything away from games with more modest budgets, and it’s that general assumption that really gets my goat.
I mean, have you ever actually tried Super Time Force Ultra, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, Rocket League or Super Meat Boy? All 4 of those titles are superb, and all of them were offered as free downloads for anyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription.
I can guarantee you that these games, indie though they may be, are a heck of a lot more enjoyable for the general populous than a good deal of the bigger games that released this year, many of which are generic, offer genuinely negative experiences or are lacking any sort of x-factor.
Need some examples: Batman: Arkham Knight barely worked, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was more of the same; Evolve raped our wallets with its nickel and diming DLC; The Order: 1886 was about 10 minutes long; Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 was an atrocious wreck; and Battlefield Hardline was a gimped, less exciting Battlefield.
I know what you’re going to say, then Sony should offer the most popular or well received titles of the year. My question to you, then, is: are you high? Have you recently bumped your head?
You are aware that someone has to pay for those games; Sony isn’t getting them for free, and their developers sure as heck aren’t going to give them away at a loss, which is what’s required when consider how little you pay for a subscription.
In fact, thanks to a fairly conclusive analysis by Polygon of PlayStation Plus for 2015, we know that those subscribed got more than $1, 000 worth of content, and for less than $50.
In South Africa, you pay around R700 a year for a PlayStation Plus subscription, and you’re complaining when you get more than R10, 000 worth of games, which doesn’t include any of the additional benefits or server upkeep Sony is paying for.
You forget that the AAA freebies offered in the days of the PS3 were possible because there was a massive library of games, many of which you otherwise wouldn’t have purchased.
That’s not the case with the PS4, which is still a young platform.
Developers and publishers invest stupid amounts of money into these games, so can you blame them for not selling them at massive discounts to Sony who likely pay developers based on predicted downloads of their games.
And, actually, isn’t it a little hypocritical to expect to pay next to nothing for titles with large production values when that is exactly why they can’t afford to offer them via PlayStation Plus.
But, you know what, that really doesn’t bother me. If Sony managed to score a few high-class, AAA titles, then who am I to complain? And I’m happy to admit that PlayStation Plus in recent months has been fairly puzzle and platformer heavy, and a little variety wouldn’t go amiss.
Requesting a little more variety is perfectly reasonable. But arguing for a lack of value for money, when that’s clearly been offered, is really just an absurdity.
That said, it’s when gamers are arguing for Watch Dogs over the likes of Guacamelee that I start to question their value to society.
The time invested in Guacamelee is of a much higher, more enjoyable quality than that offered by the generic, ultra-clone of GTA that is Watch Dogs.
Moreover, Guacamelee offers a far better aesthetic and overall presentation, even if it’s not the most advanced game, graphically.
It’s more fun, more exciting and, critically, the better game.
Perhaps I’m just frustrated at the association between indie titles and being last generation or time sinks between the “real” games.
That’s the sort of lowly, poorly thought-out drivel that has me questioning a good portion of the vocal community.