there's no middle ground because most of the publishers dropped support for the middle ground when they were chasing the topAndy Chalk said:It's a bad thing (and I argue this point primarily as devil's advocate) because it hollows out the industry: You have major triple-A launches like Titanfall on one end, and low-budget indie stuff on the other, with no sustainable middle ground. Indie devs are effectively forced to sell their games at sub-$10 prices almost from the day they launch, and while some of them have done quite well for themselves that way, it's not entirely clear what the long-term effect will be. But it's not unreasonable to suggest that at some point, when these prices become the de facto norm, they'll no longer have the impact they do now. And then what? Free-to-play everything? That's where we're headed already, and it's not a future many people care for. So what's the alternative? What happens to indie devs when gamers finally decide that nobody is worth more than 99 cents?
don't even try to put this on the players, i would have been willing to purchase many of the classics (most of them middle ground titles) from the 90s if i wasn't a kid without any allowance at the time, and the main reason that market went away is because budgets spiraled out of control and pushed for mammoth releases with the sale consuming power of a thousand games, while the average performers were sucked dry to fund them
and still do to this day, because anybody with an even remote smell of success on them is easily bought out by a bigger name with promises of "improving their potential" and the lure of more capital to work with, and without any incentive for an actual legacy of game making excellence besides what can be milked out of an idea, promising groups of developers are systematically juiced for all they're worth, and discarded at the end of the cycle to fend for themselves at another company which will do the same thing until they burn out and retire from the industry, or return to their roots with their hard won lessons
it's only now that ascended indie studios are returning to the middle ground, but they're going to have to fight the f2p industry for that spot