There’s a Game for Everyone
There are many niche games out there for niche audiences, and every so often one of them becomes popular. For example, when I first started playing Demon’s Souls I found something within it that filled a need I didn’t have before, and then to my surprise the concept really took off with Dark Souls (see ‘Why I Love Dark Souls‘.) It’s also no surprise that once a game does start to grow so do the number of people that don’t like it (it’s impossible to please everyone after all.)
A while back there was a dispute over whether or not Dark Souls should include an easy mode which could make the game more approachable to a wider audience. This makes sense from a business perspective, but one of the things I like about Dark Souls is that it doesn’t feel like they sacrifice trying things in favour of pleasing the audience (if you build it they will eventually come.) Many fans aren’t keen on the idea of the game including an easy mode (myself included), for lots of reasons I’m not going to go into. The important thing here is that while it’s good to try and make the experience enjoyable for more people there’s a limit to what you can change without accidentally changing the things that many people loved about it in the first place. I believe that if we were to only ever try to please everybody all the time, we’d also only end up with a lot of generic games. So maybe that means that regrettably some people will never enjoy or come to understand the experience, but at least games like Dark Souls aren’t the only things we have available to us (As much as I love the game, I wouldn’t want every game to be like it.) Just within the RPG genre alone there is a lot of choice.
It can be all too easy to end up focussing too much on what we don’t like instead of just enjoying the things that we do like. I think it can be difficult to feel like you are being left out of the loop, especially when everybody else seems to be able share in the love of something that you just simply can’t understand (Guild Wars 2 is an example of this for me – I just couldn’t get into it and I tried for a very long time.) The thing is, we all want to play for different reasons and as a result of this we all find different things fun (see ‘My Poor Assumption About Fellow Gamers.’) It shouldn’t really matter whether a game is popular or not so long as you feel like you are getting value from the experience. It feels good to realise that you don’t have to keep up with what everybody else is playing or always have the latest releases. It’s ok to pass up on something if it doesn’t look suitable for you (only you can know what’s fun for you.) There should be a wide variety of games available so that we can all find something that appeals to us.