Gaming Legend Sid Meier Warns Devs ‘Focus More on Gameplay, Not Monetisation!’

Sid Meier is undoubtedly one of the most respected names in gaming. Well known for his highly-popular ‘Civilization‘ franchise, when he has something to say about the current state of the industry, you know it’s probably not just worth listening to, but what he has to say is probably going to hit the metaphorical nail right on the head!

So, with this in mind, what are his thoughts on the gaming industry at the moment? Well, following a report via the BBC, he’s bit concerned that developers are spending too much time attempting to figure out how a title can be monetised rather than concentrating on what he considers to be a far more important aspect of their design. Namely, gameplay!

Sid Meier Warns About the Effects of Monetisation

Speaking in an interview celebrating the 30th-anniversary of his Civilization franchise, Sid Meier has said that he worries that modern gaming development places too much of a focus on attempting to find more and more means of monetisation than actually improving the overall gameplay experience:

“The real challenge and the real opportunity is keeping our focus on gameplay. That is what is unique, special and appealing about games as a form of entertainment. When we forget that, and decide it’s monetisation or other things that are not gameplay-focused, when we start to forget about making great games and start thinking about games as a vehicle or an opportunity for something else, that’s when we stray a little bit further from the path.”

What Do We Think?

Well, in a sentence, he isn’t wrong. In fact, just take a few minutes to think about the number of gaming titles that have, at the very least, seen an innovative stagnation, or worse, have been absolutely ruined due to microtransactions, loot boxes, and/or pay to win mechanics. – Just to list a few off the top of my head:

  • Star Wars Battlefront 2 – Pay to Win (until EA sort of toned it down around 6 months after its release)
  • FIFA – Pretty much the same old same old for the last 10 years – Microtransactions-a-plenty though!
  • Dead By Daylight – Way too much focus is placed now on cosmestic skins and slapdash DLC than actually improving, innovating, or dare I say, ‘fixing’ the game

A recent prime example of this failing is clearly seen in Battlefield 2042. The game was released unfinished, and, at this point, might be broken beyond a realistic timeframe of repair. Rest assured though that the ‘ethical surprise mechanics’ largely work perfectly. Given how crap the gameplay is, however, hardly anyone is playing it making EA’s clearly huge focus on microtransactions merely an aspect that has added to the overall failure this title has represented.

Put simply, if you make a decent game, generally speaking, the players will come. And as long as it continues to be good, monetisation can be a hugely lucrative secondary venture. As Sid Meier rightly points out though, unfortunately, too many developers tend to put the latter before the former!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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