Hard games don’t sell anymore. Look at tribes vengeance, its a perfect example. The core game play is lots of fun. Many reviews rated it higher then unreal tournament. Its a fast, action packed game that also has great graphics. But why didn’t it sell well? I would like to blame the noobification of gaming. Now all you see is “pick-up-and-play” types of games instead of the “get-your-ass-owned-until-you-learn-how-to-play-you-stupid-newbie” type games and it makes me sad.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Name some of the top shooters out there. Counter-Strike, Quake, Unreal, Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield. All of these games are pretty easy to pick up and play. Sure there is huge amounts of skill involved in these games. Those high skill level quake players are amazing. Whats different is that you can grab a controller and know everything there is to know in a few minutes. Even the Tribes: Vengeance developers knew this and tried to scale back the game a bit to make it more “intuitive” and easier to learn (The phrase “easy to learn, difficult to master” was said a lot in developer interviews). Unfortunately tribes has that stigma of being extremely difficult to get into. Which is actually true because of the hardened fan base. But what the Tribes games have that other games don’t have is that huge amount of gratification as you get better and better at the game. No other FPS I have played gives me that sense of accomplishment.
Its too bad the Tribes series is not more popular. Many of the popular games out there borrow core elements that Tribes pioneered back in 99. Now, because of the noobification of gaming, I doubt I will ever see another Tribes game.