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Decline The Demise of the American RPG: Why So Few Top US RPGs?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Humanophage, May 4, 2018.

  1. Humanophage Arcane

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    Here is the Codex top for 2012-2016: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...OU54a4aImTEdR8pIXNDs0rPyAA/edit#gid=180679672

    Top-50 games with the country where the key developers reside:
    There may be some mild inaccuracies (i.e., I presume there is an unspecified amount of international cooperation), but you get the picture.

    To add 2017, ELEX - Germany, Battle Brothers - Germany / International, Expeditions: Viking - Denmark, Dominions 5 - Sweden, Grimoire - Australia (ex-US?), Nier: Automata - Japan, Nioh - Japan. There are also Torment: Tides of Numenera - US (California), South Park: The Fractured but Whole - US (California), and Mass Effect: Andromeda - Canada, but they are poorly rated.

    As you can see, there are only three American games in the top-20, and two come from the same company (FTL is hardly an RPG, but move it to strategies if you wish). It gets somewhat better below the top-20, but it is still profoundly underwhelming, especially compared to the amazing historical output of the US until the mid-00s.

    It seems to hold true for other genres well-liked at the Codex, such as intelligent strategy games. Most released games with non-tiny threads from the first and second page of the strategy section:
    Show Spoiler

    GalCiv III, Starcraft II, Banished, Civilization VI, Offworld Trading Company - US
    CK2, HoI, Victoria, EU, Stellaris, Dominions - Sweden
    Rimworld, Homeworld, Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander, Dawn of War 3 - Canada
    Gary Grigsby's War In The East, Total War: Warhammer 2, Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach, Total War: Rome II, Field of Glory II - UK
    AoWIII, Oriental Empires - Netherlands
    Factorio - Czech Rep.
    King's Bounty, Eador - Russia
    Cities: Skylines - Finland
    SpellForce 3 - Austria
    Endless Space 2, Endless Legends - France
    Ultimate General: Civil War - Ukraine
    HoMM7 - Germany

    Age of Empires, Heroes of Might and Magic II & IV, Warcraft III, Alpha Centauri, King of Dragon Pass are American, but pretty old.


    What do you think are the reasons for such poor performance from the US? It appears that it has never really recovered from the decline.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
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  2. KyivAfter12am Savant

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    The rest of the world caught up.
     
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  3. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Now do Anglosphere/Rest instead of US/Rest (you can put Montreal/Quebec under Rest)
     
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  4. Father Foreskin Learned

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    The rest of the western world will catch up in retardation eventually. Some selected reasons for the decline in rpg and million other things

    1. Death of viable public education
    2. Instant gratifacation culture
    3. A diet consisting of sugar and grease blocking the thought process
    4. Glorification of airheads such as Mama June and Kim Kardashian
    5. "Gender" redefined fat cows with pink hair and soy-fed homos.

    The downfall of intelligent gaming is not some separate issue from the downfall of everything. United states is just the flagbearer.
     
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  5. Humanophage Arcane

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    But why? The point is that something is amiss in the US specifically, and it is far less bad in Canada and the UK (which does well with strategies), whose input is commensurate with their size and perhaps even impressive in Canada's case (though mostly thanks to VD). In fact, the Pacific Northwest is doing somewhat well, which makes the total lack of anything else even more dramatic. I mean, sure:
    Show Spoiler

    20% top-5 are Anglo
    33% top-15 are Anglo
    44% top-25 are Anglo
    56% top-50 are Anglo (due to Thea and the unknown developers of Paper Sorcerer, which I put down as 0.5)

    There aren't any Quebec games there, by the way (unless VD is from QC). Montreal seems about 50% Anglo to me, too.

    I'd argue that Canada is more of a flag-bearer for some of that, but it is doing reasonably well, even though it does also produce spectacular ideologically wrecked rubbish like Mass Effect. Sweden is also famously flawed, but a strategy superpower thanks to Paradox.

    I think it is more to do with shaming, perhaps, so that if you are intelligent, you must be doing something business-oriented with it rather than indulge in cultural pastimes. This was less palpable in the past when the 'US nerd' culture was less exposed to the business world and generally shielded from public opinion through its arcane status. Nowadays, if you are already not doing 'something useful', it is irrelevant whether the game you are playing is smart or dumb; you are just 'playing video games', like 'watching movies' (regardless of whether it is Eisenstein or the latest Iron Man). That is a wild guess.

    I do think it has to be something cultural in addition to the obvious economic argument that people in poorer Eastern Euro countries had to play older games due to worse gaming rigs, so games grew outdated at a much slower pace. In addition, it is possible that they had a better selection of games due to piracy, so indie games were almost in the same position as AAA games. However, while it does explain elite East Euro gaming habits, it does not fly for Germany, Sweden, or Canada, which are producing good games in spite of economic similarity to the US.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
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  6. Iznaliu Arbiter

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    I think part of the explanation is that US developers became complacent with their success and failed to take risks; and when they realised they were behind, they took risks that were ill-advised (a classic example would be New World Computing) However, let's also note that US developers are making RPGs that do have an impact (e.g. Skyrim); it's just that the Codex aren't huge fans of them, though this line of reasoning isn't that strong as the gulf between Codex opinion and public opinion isn't as strong as people here would like to think.

    Another prominent factor is the increasingly global nature of the gaming industry; in the early 80's, the European gaming industry was largely seperate from the US's and didn't produce much in the way of RPGs; however, increased exposure to RPGs, inspired by American trends (though with a local touch), changed that, leading to games such as Gothic and the Realms of Arkania series, along with JRPGs. Even still, these weren't that well-known in the US, and it's only within the past 5-10 years, with the advent of digital distribution, that gaming has became truely global. This links back in to my initial point about complacency; lack of foreign competition was arguably one of the key drivers of this.
     
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  7. Mexi Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

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    LOL at Age of Decadence being there. Underrail was badass, though.
     
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  8. Lhynn Arcane

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    US games are garbage. The rest will follow soon enough.
     
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  9. Lyric Suite Converting to Islam

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    More like the rest of the world didn't catch up with the decline yet. It will happen though.
     
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  10. Ellef Deplorable

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    Decent RPGs are such a bad financial prospect that europoors are much more equipped to keep afloat with their $2 a week wages.
     
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  11. Azarkon Arcane

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    1. Console gaming took over the US market. CRPGs never recovered, because they were designed with a mouse in mind. In Europe, the console revolution wasn't nearly as complete, and in Germany and Eastern Europe specifically, PC gaming remained significant for decades after it became irrelevant in the US.

    2. The console revolution in the US also killed off mainstream strategy games, except for a few companies like Blizzard who can release almost anything and it will sell.

    3. Corporate culture in the US is much more cut throat than in UK and Canada. Investors and suits only care about profits and returns. Until crowd funding came along, publishers believed CRPGs were dead.

    Basically, CRPG developers in the US could not transition successfully to the console space, because their game design formats and philosophies were heavily dependent on a personal computer environment.

    By contrast, JRPGs survived the console transition just fine because they were, in a sense, always designed for consoles in mind due to the gaming culture in Japan.

    You'll find that, except in the case of multiplayer games, console gaming practically controls the US market. In recent years, mobile gaming has also become popular, but this is casual gaming, not the sort the Codex would care about.
     
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  12. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

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    Lol only a third of the listed US games are good. Tranny and Wastetime 2 are hardly a top 50 games.

    The reason why is that america is a dumpster fire of higher magnitude. Father Foreskin is pretty much on point.
     
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  13. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Soon, the Codex will be a haven for niche Azerbaijani game developers, the only ones who still know how to design any gameplay mechanic other than QTEs
     
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  14. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

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    US RPG developers died in the 90s. What we've had since then are Bethesda and the shadows of Black Isle/Interplay's RPG division.
     
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  15. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    As a programmer, I can speculate at least partially why. The salary for a programmer at a game studio is absolutely horrid. I'd be looking at less than half of my current salary at a medical devices company if I were to take a senior developer position at a game studio, along with worse benefits and likely a lot more stress. If you look at pretty much any other tech company list, USA will completely dominate the top companies.

    OTOH, salaries for programmers outside of USA are typically far lower across the board so it might not be such a significant difference.
     
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  16. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

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    Kinda sad that there's no Brazilian RPG on that list now that I think about it, but AFAIK there are no brazilian RPGs at all:dealwithit:
     
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  17. InD_ImaginE Cipher

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    Simple answer is there is no market of "good american RPGs" or just good RPG at that.

    Most of the video games companies in USA are big. Why bother creating a masterpiece that sells for 200k copies in 2 years while FPS and action games could sell millions? Not to mention the RPG crowds are the most bitchy of the video games crowd, being literally un-pleaseable, with most of them being old farts (30+ in age) where there is no future market for them, developing good RPGs arent as profitable. You need to realize that when creating products in big corporation you don't only think "Hey this game could sells" but "Hey do these kind of games for these gamers segment will be sustainable for the next 5 - 10 years?"

    If you see the Top 50 lists, Japan is there because of Japan. jRPG is a genre for a reason. Even then Japanese (or Asian in that regards) are moving more on mobage instead of premium console/pc games.

    With few exceptions (TW3, Deus Ex HR) most of the games in the top 50 are by indie or at most AA developer who've been developing these games for a long while on found their niche (inxile, Obsidian).
     
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  18. Azarkon Arcane

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    As sad as this may sound, this isn't a problem, because there are always programmers who will throw themselves at game companies even with the low pay, for no reason other than the desire to be involved with the genre they love. You are paid twice as much in a medical devices company because the demand doesn't match the supply - programmers don't want to go to medical devices companies, because they figure it's boring and they wouldn't enjoy their work. They'd rather join up with game companies and work 12 hours a day with no over time pay, and that's how the industry worked.

    Besides which, most development companies these days don't even make their own engines. They use engines developed by third parties and those companies take care of the advanced, demanding technical work. So the standard for programmers is also lower, more guys get hired directly out of high school or college, leading to naturally worse benefits.

    Tell kids to stop dreaming about becoming video game developers, and this might change, but as it is, too many desperate graduates out there. It's almost like a drug. You get kids addicted to video games, and later they go into programming or art to try and join the industry, and then you work them like slaves. Ever heard about the concept of doing what you have passion for? That's what most people in the US grow up hearing. That's what leads to the huge supply of people trying to enter entertainment - and the corresponding low demand, and poor treatment.
     
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  19. Gaius maximus Arbiter

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    no more americuntland trash,instead european incline gaymes which imitate 100% the americunt trash.
     
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  20. Cael Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

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    American, Russian, all made in China!
     
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  21. laclongquan Arcane

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    I blame the SJW movement, specifically the SJW writers for game. The SJW in other departments are bad enough but writings can be insufferable.

    That's right.

    Writing in RPG is something that is impossible to fix once it's released. Simply impossible.

    And SJW writers alienate the right-wing gamers, even discounting the bad writings.

    So good games become mediocre, mediocre become outright intolerable. Just because we dont like some shithead texts.

    As for SJW-bias decision in non-writing aspect of the game, I refer specifically to Mass Effect Andromeda. The first thing coming into the game hit you between the eye is that you can NOT make a non-negroid character face. FUCK YOU! I dont want my char has negroid features. It is built in and you can not edit it out despite doing the customize. Even a pure asian design, or pure aryan, still show some of that.

    It irked me to be force fed SJW propaganda. I refuse to play that piece of shit until we can mod some custom face in. Something that is not containing negroid features, just to spite those fuckers.
     
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  22. Cael Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

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    Why bother buying then modding it? Hit the bastards where it hurts most: in the hip pocket. Boycott not only that game but every offering coming out of that developer until they die a horrible death.
     
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  23. laclongquan Arcane

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    Dude! Explore in another universe! Alien planet!

    It's like something very fun.

    Until the SJW start flying right and left.
     
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  24. Cael Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

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    Go play Planet's Edge. Now. And don't come back until you can at least tell me where to find your first set of ship plans.
     
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  25. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

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    [​IMG]


    Show Spoiler
    Joke aside i agree with you .
     
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