It all goes back to a saying I’ve had for at least the past few years: Don’t trust paid multiplayer-only games.
In a prior post, I had compared the then-recent Fall Guys to the then-about-to-be-locked-to-Epic Rocket League, trying to resolve some urge to play a game that would defy my own advice which was formed in part as a result of the other. It turns out that the habits of Epic to buy out the developers of a not-as-popular multiplayer game struck again as now both games and their respective developer companies are in that money pit. Given that Fall Guys was published by Devolver Digital before, I don’t know if that’s going to change to “self-published” in quotes so they can more freely “not change the game” also in quotes.
If the past case is anything to go by, I give it about two years before Fall Guys has been moved completely off of Steam and resides on the Epic store as a free-to-play thing. And before that, within this year, it will require an Epic account to link progress cross-platform as well as to actually be able to play the game. At least with the game having only a Windows version on PC, they skip the step where they ditch the supposed less than a percentage of Mac and Linux players. That whole scenario, of course, depends on if Epic doesn’t just dissolve the company sooner than that to work on something else.
Of course, since the release of that game, another bean-focused game stole the spotlight and is still somehow somewhat relevant currently. Among Us, the social deduction game that spawned a dozen clones, bootlegs, and a VR recreation with its developer team of people who seem to live in a college dorm, or at least gathered in one to accept several awards. If you’re looking for indie, that definitely looks indie to me. They sold their hit game for 5 bucks American, or even free on phones. Fall Guys was asking for four times that. Clearly that’s one way to really get people on board, the old “I’ve spent more on worse” argument. Even with the cute bean characters, though, I still don’t know that I’d get a lot of play out of the game, but that’s just me, the person who keeps arguing against paid multiplayer-only games out of principle while still looking at gameplay in a somewhat interested fashion sometimes.
And of course with my apparent stance against platform exclusivity, even though I still look at Nintendo games sometimes, I don’t really get what Epic is trying to do that would benefit anyone but themselves, seeming to drag the PC platform into its own console war to emerge the monopoly it claims to be removing. I’ve long since decided to not buy any of the games they pick out for themselves, either. You know that one list of games that’s somewhere on the site and isn’t any kind of recommendation list? That’s not even the whole list of games, there’s another one I keep off-site at the moment which just lists the rest of the games that didn’t even act like they were coming to anywhere else to begin with, as far as I could tell. And in honesty, I’m not even fond of games only being on Steam either in many cases.
For the games I don’t want to buy, there is Game Pass, a subscription option. But I don’t really want to pay for subscriptions either. At least on the current Game Pass three month trial, I found a way to use rewards points to get the offer at no out of pocket cost. I’m seeing about playing some games I normally wouldn’t, or would be on the fence about, or wouldn’t even buy to begin with. Instead of risking my machines and settling for downloading copies acquired through unofficial means, I can use the effective free trial to do things like murder everyone in The Outer Worlds, do whatever the hell Observation is about, and maybe even look at Control and see if I can like it for any reason. I wasn’t a fan of Alan Wake turning out to be a clunky third-person shooter/brawler than a survival horror. I also wasn’t a fan of Dishonored’s style of “here’s all this cool stuff you can do, now only do silent non-lethal takedowns or else things just get worse” but I’m willing to give the Prey reboot a try.
Long story short, if the state of games is going to be so volatile and risky to even look forward to anything anymore, I still have plenty of older options to turn to. They’re also often cheaper, unless they’re really old and beloved. Waiting a year or two seems to be what to do for anything coming out these days, unless someone really likes to play broken or incredibly mediocre games. And some people do, and others like to watch. Perhaps we really do like the pain.
I still also don’t like social media. As you know, nothing’s changed there, just getting all my complaints out I guess. Well, some at least. I could go on for a lot of pages. I already have.