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There are too many open world games being made

Are gamers getting burnt out with the amount of open world games being released.

There is one genre of games that we've seen a lot of this generation: open world games. There have been a TON of sandbox games released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. This year alone we saw releases for Dying Light, Mad Max, Metal Gear Solid V, The Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Batman Arkham Knight and Fallout 4.

And the industry isn't planning to slow down anytime soon.  Just Cause 3 is right around the corner. No Man's Sky, Far Cry Primal and Ubisoft's next Assassin's Creed game will be out next year, and Horizon Zero Dawn and Crackdown 3 might also be joining them. 

That's just too many open-world games to play.

It's not as if these are quick, linear games that can be finished in under 10 hours. All the games I have mentioned have massive worlds to explore, with loads of content jammed into them. Some are shorter than others, but even the short ones have a good 40 or 50 hours of gameplay to go through.

I think we are fast approaching open world fatigue at this rate. A lot of gamers just don't have the time to play through all these, especially if they have a job or are in college. 

At the moment, this fatigue hasn't hit yet. The games I have mentioned are doing really well in terms of sales. But by next year, people might already be sick of open world games and we'll start to see a shift in those numbers. 

By contrast, the sales of games offering a short linear experience should go up

Gamers still want to play games, and if we are fed up of these massive 50-hour plus games, the short linear experience will be a breath of fresh air. This will end up being a win-lose scenario when it comes to sales.  We'll probably see sales of open world games will go down while shorter games rake in the cash.

If this happens, though, I wouldn't be too surprised by the end of this console generation, I'm writing about why there are too many short linear games on the market. With that being said, there is a trend at the moment when it comes to too many games br=eing made for a genre.

During each generation of consoles, there is one particular game genre that is made in an abundance. Last generation we had loads of shooters being made. Go back to the PS1 era it was 3D platformers. The gaming industry has this cycle where certain genres are made to the point of over-saturation and then move on to the next genre.  

This kind of game making needs to stop. Sure companies want to make games on a genre that are popular to get better sales, but when multiple companies have the same idea it gets a bit out of hand. Hopefully, in the near future we won't have to deal with this over-saturation of game genres. Until then, we just have to deal with all these open world games being made. 

Published Nov. 11th 2015
  • MarquisToken
    Contributor
    Placing all open world games in the same boat seems wrong to me.
    Their only consistent trait in common, is that the worlds are big. This trait alone does not necessarily provide gamers with the problems you portray.
    Big worlds does not mean long stories, huge gameplay and loads of content. More often than not it provides you with a mostly empty world, optional filler content and a rather short linear main story.

    Also many of the games that are open world, just wouldn't be possible to do in a smaller game environment. Could you imagine Far Cry as a corridor-esque shooter? Or Mad Max?
    Not every game has to be open world, some just shouldn't be. But most of the ones that are, absolutely have to be.

    Sure, open world may be trending, but it's far from new, and I wouldn't really say overwhelming either.
  • Shiroe_5543
    I see a writer that wants us to go back to the flat templet and just play games on our cell phones. I'll stop using my pc when i have net gear... but open world is an evolution of desire (in essence open world just means more game content. which if you look at ffxiv warframe and dragon age you will see what true open ranges of world there are.) you can't turn back. what you will see are games getting more competitive for the market.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    I think that this trend of open world games is sorta the new "thing", sorta like how gritty, colourless games was a thing for next-gen systems in the 360/PS3 era. The reason back then was because graphics was what they wanted to show off, and now it's about who has more processing power. Big worlds need big machines, and this is the result.

    Hopefully it ends soon. Zelda U is going to be open world as well, and I'm worried it's going to be yet another "lots of space, nothing in it" game - which is terrible for Zelda.
  • Si_W
    Just don't buy them all at once, wait until you finish one before buying another - you'll get it cheaper and any early bugs will be sorted as well.

    Sorted.

    Nothing wrong with stacks of content and open world.

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