How SaaS is Transforming the State of the Modern Gaming Industry
What is SaaS?
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a modern standard for the modern gaming industry that utilizes the modern network to deliver software digitally instead of using traditional methods such as CDs.
This implementation means that companies are able to consistently provide online updates to released products and flesh out bugs as well as provide later updates (Commonly known as DLCs in the gaming industry)
While all this is very convenient for both the user and the companies, it has also led to new problems which we will examine now.
The Waterfall Methodology vs Agile Methodology
One term that is very ubiquitous with the traditional gaming industry (Which in effect is still relevant now) is the game development process known as the ‘Waterfall’ methodology. The modern counterpart of the modern waterfall methodology is the ‘Agile’ methodology.
Here are a quick summarization of the two contrasting development methodology:
Waterfall: The waterfall model is a breakdown of project activities into linear sequential phases, where each phase depends on the deliverables of the previous one and corresponds to a specialization of tasks. Waterfall methodology typically involves a larger amount of resources put into RnD (Research & Development) which may take up to years and cost 10s of millions of dollars.
Agile: Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a “big bang” launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.
The reason the agile methodology is detrimental to consumers is that it incentivizes companies to focus on sharp models that prioritize on large streams of incomes as opposed to making fleshed out products.
The core of it is that: Why spend five years on a project that might no necessarily pan out when you can hasten the process and release a product in two and a half years, and only flesh out the game if the customer feedback turns out favorable?
State of Modern Gaming Industry
As it is, primary monetization model for modern video games micro transactions and loot boxes are present in most modern video games, even if they are single player games (This is done via implementation of ‘Season Pass’ that unlocks more content in the game) to the point that not having them in a game is considered big news and unlike traditional video games.
This means increasingly large but barren games that consumers complaint of being ‘soulless’. The endless criticism of modern games and comparison with past games has more to do than the nostalgic factor, it is a very real and present problem occurring as the industry is becoming dominated by profit-driven large companies.
The act of releasing unfinished games with the promise of further polishing later on has led to an increasing decrease in the general gaming experience. This has led many to speculate on the crash of the modern gaming market.
However, the glimmer of hope is the emergence of indie games. With the rise of dedicated gaming communities, indie games have been getting more popular than ever, with some of the largest indie games of the last decade seeing incredible performance (Supergiant’s Hades reaching one million sales, Chucklfish’s Stared Valley reaching 20 million sales)