Indie games to the rescue as physical games dwindle in numbers

The PlayStation 2 has nearly 4000 games, and there’s no way we’ll ever see a system harbor such a monstrous library again.  When you consider the amount of downloadable content that was available during the PS2 era, which was next to nothing, you may wonder how the system got by. It’s probably safe to say it got by because a lot of those games were fun, and still hold up today.

Now we’re engulfed in a gaming community where microtransactions reign supreme, and are necessary in order to provide games with added longevity. Other games are released with leaf-thin amount of content, then expanded upon with well-timed DLC. If you want to know more about this cunning technique known as robbery, check out Marvel VS Capcom 3 and it’s successor Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3. Basic functions like an online theatre-mode were completely absent in MVC 3, that is until the “Ultimate” version came to the rescue and included this basic feature that any online-fighting game should include. It’s mighty unfortunate that games giving it their all right out of the box are a thing of the past.

Not only that, but games are becoming more expensive to make, so we’ve seen less and less of them hit shelves. The PlayStation 3 has around 800 games, a significant drop from the PS2’s massive library. Should we expect to see this number drop during the next phase of the PlayStation’s legacy? Yes we should, and for those saying quality over quantity is going to make it all worth it, are you really saying better graphics will make up for the lack of games? I’m not sure about that, the last time I checked, Shinobii 3 on the Sega Genesis (random pick I know) was a more enjoyable hack n’ slash game than Ryse is, despite the launch game’s technical superiority. We’re still within the launch window, so no doubt the potential of these next gen consoles haven’t been fully realized. It’s just a little disheartening knowing these systems will never accumulate such  a huge number of games once their times come to an end.

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Indie games should fill this gap admirably however. There’s so many of them out there, and they often deliver fascinating stories that convey strong emotional responses big budget titles struggle to accomplish sometimes. Others, simply fulfill the most basic need any game requires, and that’s to be fun and addictive, like Super Meat Boy. They’re also wallet-friendly, a trait many admire about indie games. To date, the Xbox 360 has nearly 1000 games under its belt, however there are 2,250 indies found on the Xbox Live marketplace. This pattern should grow with the Xbox One and PS4, moreso with the PS4, which seems to have a firm grip on the indie market.

Though we’ll never be able to boast about the PS4 or Xbox One’s expansive list of games – games that hit shelves remind you – there’s a lot of room for indie games to grow and fill that emptiness, while they sidestep the onslaught of DLC and micro-transactions big companies  overuse at times.