Up For Debate - Is it Becoming More Difficult to Discover New Games?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, May 5, 2018 4:02 PM

We live in a golden age of gaming. There has literally never been more games of all shapes and sizes releasing each and every day than there is today. We take it for granted sometimes, but there’s a breakout indie to get involved with just about every week, while the games that are out there are also endlessly updated with new content and new reasons to play.

Like anything though, it’s human nature to be overcome by the choices available to us. The paradox of choice is well established, in that the greater the number of choices offered to us, the greater our indecision. It’s an effect known as choice paralysis, and it means when faced with hundreds of potential options, we often find ourselves naturally falling back on what we already know and like.

This issue is made even more complex on stores like Steam, where not only are given unparalleled choice, but it’s also becoming more difficult to pick through the games available to us. The list of best selling games is typically filled with AAA titles of one-in-a-million breakout indie hits, while the most played games are all the usual suspects we’ve been playing for years - the CSGOs, DOTAs, Minecrafts, and Rocket Leagues of this world. These are games which are consistently pushed back onto the front page due to major updates and ongoing support, providing the gift of eternal life.

And yet beneath this glossy layer, Steam is filled with hundreds of unsung heroes. Indie delights with just a few dozen reviews that never have a chance of being unearthed. Every sale I seem to get the same names appear in the storefront and my recommendations tend to bubble up a fairly similar list. The one reliable method I’ve found to discover these games is in exploring the queue, but even then it’s only surfacing games in genres it thinks you’re interested in, rather than trying to give prominence to games that fall outside of norms and genre conventions.

This isn’t a problem that’s exclusive to Steam either. Visibility is a problem on just about every platform. This includes the Switch, which has been heralded as an indie haven. The issue with having a label like that means it inevitably can’t remain an indie haven for long, as every dev and their dog looks to join in the gold rush. On a typical store update day, there are now 30-odd new games on Switch; enough to bury the last week’s releases forever, with no decent way to resurface them.

So with the same games being talked about year in, year out, the thousands of new releases, and the dominance of AAA, is it becoming more difficult for you to discover new games?

Is it Becoming More Difficult to Discover New Games?

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08:27 May-12-2018

Dont you think its up to the taste of individual.It is easier for a noob gamer to find new games but not for an experienced one.
Also game debates helps us a lot.:)

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13:47 May-12-2018

that's what I been saying to people cause im a semi older gamer (im 26) not as old as some farts on here but my tastes are very different then most of those my age and younger then me people keep asking me if im excited for the new triple aaa game (insert name here) and im like no its not very good mostly recycled ideas and they get upset lol!! the newest game I own besides a couple indie games is gta 5 haven't bought a triple AAA game since besides cod ww2 but me and my cousin split that. you know how people say they don't build stuff like they use to well I feel the same way about most games they don't make them like they use to so I often find myself playing games most of them that released late 90's or 2000-2010 lol besides a couple exceptions but 90% of my time playing games is games made in those time frames

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11:02 May-11-2018

Not necessarily discovering NEW games, but GOOD games is the difficult task.

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06:11 May-08-2018

I don't think you're asking the right question - it should be more like "Why are AAA publishers & other high budget developers NOT making more new games??" . And, ofc, by new games I don't mean another copy-paste sequel, so don't get smart with the answer here...
Sure, a lot of indie-based developers are doing their best, but with all this high-paid reviewers marketing crap & especially the steam green-light BS, how can ya even find out about them

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11:10 May-11-2018

High paid reviewers? lol. I doubt many people are getting into writing game reviews for the big bucks, aside from dodgy YouTubers taking sponsorship deals

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11:59 May-11-2018

By High-paid reviews I meant that unless its a popular title (and a AAA publisher additionally benefits you for promoting it to people), very few people will wanna see your review of a game they never heard of. And as you said - since noone will wanna benefit you, why even bother to review it. This is, at least, today's situation - it wasn't like this before or not at such an excessive degree at least...

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15:26 May-06-2018

When lootboxes were implemented in the game. Most major companies have switch from making good games into making money! This is the reason why there isn't much of the game on any platforms that is worth the time playing unless its a MOBA.

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07:59 May-06-2018

I wouldn't say it's difficult to find new games, but finding a game worth investing time in that's the difficult part

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06:07 May-06-2018

I don't know if it is hard to discover new games.


But it's definitely not hard to find games with microtransactions and/or loot boxes. I know it's out of topic, but it is true.

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02:54 May-06-2018

I don't think it's hard to find a new game, it's just hard finding a game that suit your taste and at the same time interesting

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21:58 May-05-2018

Yes and it splits to two issues.Big and popular releases overshadow others and everyone only talks about those, making it less likely for you to notice smaller release of great game.And there is more games coming out than ever, which creates a lot of noise and makes it easier to miss great game in sea of just ok games.

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22:22 May-05-2018

And steam allows all sort of garbage to be on the platform and even promotes it... -_-

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16:10 May-07-2018

yeah there is to many games that are almost identical they just buy assets paint a picture on it and sell it its a shady business practice for sure

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21:35 May-05-2018

For me its hard to find new games to play bec i played almost everything that i saw others playing and talk about but there is always a rly good games that are not so popular so i discover them much lately

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20:13 May-05-2018

Epistory - Typing Chronicles is an interesting game that requires skilled typing as a game mechanic. The art direction is phenomenal. I just need to get back into it, however, it didn't cost much. I will say, PC gaming has lead me down to games that I otherwise would never have played or known to exist.

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20:20 May-05-2018

Also, I posted this on youtube.


Can we all stop calling all games with big budgets AAA games!


New Structure:


AAA games are relatively bug-free, are complete when it goes gold, do not suffer from microtransactions, and revitalize the industry as a whole. With expansions, they collectively cost $60 adjusted for inflation, $78.52, so around $80 now.
B titles suffer from microtransactions, are plagued at launch with bugs, are slight copies of better...

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20:20 May-05-2018

...titles, do not revitalize the industry, and the starting price is cheaper than AAA games.
A-B titles are a mixture of AAA and B games.
C games are play to win, have an unbalanced skill vs grind systems, or use algorithms to pit players against one another to increase profit for the company.
B-C titles are a mixture of B and C games.


Rankings are not based on how fun a game is.?

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21:43 May-05-2018

the "AAA" stands for the budget of the game and thus the price standard for it, NOT how big it is, NOT how good it is, NOT how much content it has, NOT how good the graphics are NOTHING like that.
AAA games -> big budget -> base price 60$
AA games -> medium budget(usually portable console games nowadays) -> base price 40$
A games -> lowish budget(concept is gone now) -> less than 25$


And the budget keeps growing, so what was AAA 10-15 years ago is now considered cheap.

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21:44 May-05-2018

all and all "AAA" is NOT any sort of indication for quality, content, technology or gameplay of a game, it was made to indicate the budget and the base price standard it sells for.

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23:36 May-05-2018

I guess i was mistaken about what AAA means. Thanks @PSYchoman

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08:54 May-06-2018

No problem, glad I helped.


Also if we want micro-transactions gone devs need to raise the base cost of the games. Many people do NOT realize how much it costs to make a game and then how a big portion of the game's price is taken from other sources that are NOT the dev studio and publisher. And on top of that the average price a AAA game sells in it's first year is 45-48$, NOT 60$. Yes micro-transactions make companies too much money and much more money than their profit goals, but without them they wouldn't make enough money.

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08:57 May-06-2018

So if a AAA game costs 100 million USD to develop and sells at a 45$ average for the first year, from that 45$ if the game was made in the USA the taxes per copy sold are between 10-20%, then if it sells on steam, steam takes 30% per copy sold, on consoles it's 20% for PS and 25% for Xbox, then most companies get 3rd party game engines as they take a price cut from the game 10-15% per game sold depending on the contract and features, instead of paying during development to develop a private engine which costs as much as or more than the game itself 99% of the time. Then Physics 3rd party engines take 5% cut per copy sold.

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09:00 May-06-2018

that's 45$ - 15%(average tax) - 25%(average platform cut) - 15%(engine price cut) - 5%(physics engine price cut) and I'm NOT sure if the percentages are a take from the base price of the game or each is calculated after each other, the former is worse for the developers, but let's say it's the latter, that's 23.16$ on average per game sold in the first year on average for an average AAA game(too many averages XD).

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09:02 May-06-2018

For a game with a 100 million USD budget they have to sell 4.317 million copies just to break even, and that is NOT enough, they usually have to grow the studio by hiring more people for the more expensive sequel or next game, have to get new IPs, have to have growth to please the investors, have to have growth to please the publishers, they have to have enough profit to compensate for other possibly failed projects and then there are salary raises, new buildings to be bought/leased and equipment for them...


And they can NOT wait for a game to become profitable, the game NEEDs to become profitable in the first 3-4 months.

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09:07 May-06-2018

So, in the end, they need to sell about 50% more than what they mark to break even at the very least, so 4.317 to break even and around 6.5 million copies sold to reach their goals or around that within the first few months at that. And yes the most popular games do manage to do that, but they are less than 50 every year out of the hundreds AAA games released every year.

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09:09 May-06-2018

P.S. I took a short course(4 lections 2-3 hours each) in SoftUni(private software university I go to) where a guy that worked at the management of Haemimont Games studio(Made tropico, tzar surviving mars) in Sofia explained a lot about on how a dev studio functions and most of the costs around it, building cost, salaries, software, equipment, insurances here and in other studios in general and he basically confirmed what I had gathered from my research and added quite a few more variables I did NOT know about or missed... so to all who say I'm talking bs, shove it... I was mostly correct and you can predict how much everything costs

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19:17 May-05-2018

I think its also the marketing tactics used, for example you will see games being advertised at an insane level, and equally as good games will be advertised very little...

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18:50 May-05-2018

I still play Skyrim because of that

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18:45 May-05-2018

idk when people tend to buy game series without looking at what actually are in them that's tend to happen publishers can just rebrand the same game idea and sell better with less cost CoD, NFS ,ASC they just sell more

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18:21 May-05-2018

Way 2 much of them

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17:59 May-05-2018

Yes, on Steam tons of great indie gems get lost under loads of ''garbage'' and very few of them gets on ''New and trending'' page.

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17:19 May-05-2018

To discover new games it is not hard. To keep playing new games is hard for me. I play new games. Then I stop playing them for a couple of days and I abandon them.

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17:45 May-05-2018

haha true

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21:30 May-05-2018

My Problem Never Buy to AAA Games u will regret it

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16:24 May-05-2018

Industry leaders setting a shining example of switching to 'Games As A Service' model and ignoring new game development in favor of hammering out the same old stuff but with innovative methods of monetization :)

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16:22 May-05-2018

Well yes actually, i was just thinking about this. I find it very hard to find something to play these days. Mainly because Steam is filled with all kinds of games that don't interest me at all. so 99% of games that i get recommended, i don't even want to play.


plus it's just more and more of the same thing over and over again. only once every few months i find something truly unique.

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16:13 May-05-2018

Titles You Marked As 'Not Interested': 7770 ... so for me Steam recommends same 10 games over and over ;D. Other than that I have basically 0 games in backlog cause I have already completed more than 250 and practically every game which looked interesting. Hard to discover anything new worth playing. Most games left are open world ones which just don't interest me...

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16:13 May-05-2018

We are just chewing the same gums over and over again it's just either a different brand or another flavour of it :)

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