Video games are absolutely teeming with orcs, goblins, demons, trolls, and vile, bloodthirsty parasites that cry out for a good slayer to come along and free the land of their evil influence.
And that’s just the industry executives we’re talking about.
No but seriously, it is actually quite impressive to see the process unfold: The bigger the video game industry gets, the more corrupt and exploitative it seems to grow too. The cliched nature of it all is almost painful. Why don’t you try being original, and get more virtuous the more power you acquire, eh, Nebulous Industry Avatar That I’ve Constructed To Address? Now, as the video game industry rakes in more money than the film and North American sports combined, it operates on a truly heinous level of capitalist bullsh*t.
Whether it’s worker exploitation, bad consumer practices, or systemic sexism, racism, and abuse—to name just a few—there really is no shortage of inexcusable nonsense to be found in this landscape. I touched on some of these issues last year in my piece about the botched release of Cyberpunk 2077. I didn’t realise that around the same time, YouTuber Ryan George released a video titled ‘If video game companies made jigsaw puzzles’, which perfectly skewered the business model that is currently so in vogue in the industry: Releasing a broken, unfinished product at full price and then—if the backlash is significant enough—promising to release patches and fixes at some later date, maybe for free or maybe at a cost; and finally maybe never even delivering those fixes in the end anyway. Here’s Ryan with his great video, because in the wake of the disastrous release of the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy, it’s exactly what I needed to se:
Header Image Source: Rockstar North