Let’s make the ”Best” type of game the modern gaming era has to offer. To help us design our modern cash making game, here is Mr. Cashman, CEO of the gigantic video game company named ”Moneysoft” We see him having a meeting with his team to show them his latest and greatest plan to ” get them dollah dollah bill yo”.
Step one: Pick a series to Reboot
”Look guys (and girl), we don’t have time to think of a new IP here. I’m not made of money, the cash I have is reserved for getting coke... Moving on, I got the perfect series to Reboot: Prince of Persia.
The team looks at him with anticipation to continue.
” People loved those games! Well, most of them... The thing is, the last good game from the series came out years ago. So we got to have a good name for the game to make people get interested. It should be Prince of Persia: insert cool title. It should be something that people will think sound cool and hip, something mysterious Anyone got any ideas?”
One of the designers raises his hand and says ”Maybe…Darkness Awaits?”
Mr. Cashman smiles bright and says, ”That’s perfect!
Step two: The story of the game
So the brilliant Mr.Cashman is now planning with the team on how the game will be designed.
”Okay, we all know that to make this game successful, we got to make the game appeal to as many people as possible. So how will design our main character? Anyone got any ideas?
A designer says ” Well we shouldn’t mess to much where he comes from and how he looks, so I suggest that we make him Persian” Mr.Cashman responds ” That’s probably a good idea, but we need to spice things up a bit. I know! While we can’t really have any terrorists in the game due to controversy, we should make it so his family has been a part of something dangerous, like a big organization. But what…?”
” The Illuminati!” A programmer shouts. ”His family should be heavily involved with the Illuminati, but he himself doesn’t know it. In fact…He’s an orphan, or so he thinks he is. His parents will have been killed by the Illuminati and he finds that out late in the game. ”
Mr Cashman decides that having Illuminati as the main antagonist of the game will be a great plan. ”You see all these crazy ideas on the Internet about stuff that the Illuminati does, this is perfect” Now we need to have something more to make our hero have a reason to attack the Illuminati.
An artist yells loudly. “He should try to save his wife from the Illuminati, but in the end he has to kill her. She should be a super hot stripper that can handle a gun(if you know what I mean). She will cheat on him with the Illuminatis head boss, Mr.Jakolvich.” The majority of the team cheers at the idea, yet the teams only female designer, does not approve of the idea.
”I’m not usually one to get all mad at stuff like this, but isn’t it kind of boring to have him rescue his wife? Isn’t that a bit degrading to female players? And if she has to cheat on him fine, but why does she have to be super sexy and all that? Does that she is a stripper ad anything to the story at all? Isn’t taking down the Illuminati enough to carry a story? What does it ad, that’s my concern.”
One of the designers quickly responds to her. ”Oh look who’s talking, the big party pooping FEMINIST. You always try to ruin everything for us guys. Ruining the fun for everyone. Why are you even here? Go get naked and protest about equal rights or something” But Mr.Cashman decides to throw out the foul talking designer instead.
Mr.Cashman answers to the shocked designer ”Look, I as a businessman understand that female gamers are very important, is growing in numbers and most important of all, has a lot of money. So I changed my mind. She will not be a super sexy stripper, however she will have a nice rack and have a sassy attitude to appeal to the male gamers. But you know, if we changed the part about a man saving his wife, we should slightly change something with the wife as well, so we with little effort will seem al cool to feminists and so on. Yet we will still appeal to the hardcore gamers. We make it so that his wife actually a big part of the Illuminatis plan and that she pretends to get ”kidnapped “. In the end, after the player defeats the Illuminati, he will have to make a choice either to take her apology and love back, or to get her in jail. I am so understanding to women!” The female designer, while not to keen on all aspects, accepts the decision.
Step three: Gameplay and setting
So after Mr.Casman had a ”Coffebreak” the team is assembled to decide what type of gameplay Prince of Persia: Darkness Awaits will have. Mr.Cashman says, ” If we look at what is selling right no, we should make the game a first person shooter. But we can’t change the game to much as it is kind of well known. So we’ll make it a 3rd person action game with a heavy amount of combat and gun mechanics. Basically we take Gears of Wars shooting and cover system, takeke the hand-to-hand combat from the Batman Arkham game and baboom we are done.. But because we have the Prince of Persia, he will use his sables and swords instead. And guns with arabian sounding names that in reality are just basic weapons.”
The team knows they only got 6 months to make the game so they agree with Mr.Cashman.
A designer brings up the setting of the game. ”I think the game should take place first in let’s say Iran in the 1980’s, where our hero will grow up in a tough environment where he himself learned to survive. That will be he first half of the game. Then he will find out one night that the Illuminati has ”Taken” his wife away to New York, and then the later half of the game will take place in the modern balls to the wall bad neighbourhoods of New York. The final battle shall be between him and his parents, that have as previously mentioned been apart of the Illuminati the entire time.” Mr.Cashman approves of the idea. ”Brilliant! And we can have it so when he returns to Iran after defeating the Illuminati he has some unfinished business, as dlc! Speaking of which….
Step Four: Downloadable content and marketing.
The team’s last step and the most important, is the step that will make the most money of them all, Mr.Cashman knows this very well.
”Alright, you know the drill. We take ordinary weapons and re-skin them and ad Arabic sounding name to them, then we will have them as a pre-order bonuses for Gamestop. Then if you pre-order on Steam you will get a 10% discount + a goofy hat for TF2 to go with it. Is there something I forgot?”
A designer points out the idea of a season pass. Mr.Cashman smiles all so bright, for the wrong reasons.
”How could I have missed that? Ofcource, we must have a season pass. In reality they will only save about 2 dollars buying the season pass instead of buying the separate content individually. I also got another great idea. Let’s say someone’s wants to unlock a cool weapon yet doesn’t have the skill/patience to get it. Well you can with REAL MONEY buy it instead. In fact, all upgrades for weapons can be bought instead of hard earned and difficult to get in-game points, buy it for REAL MONEY. I AM A GOD”.
A programmer asks how they will market the game. Mr Cashman has the answer.
”We will first create a rumor ourselves, then letting all the gaming sites building up anticipation for it. Then on a big convention like E3, we will announce it with a trailer that shows little to no gameplay. Gameplay testing of it will be restricted to specific gaming websites that have taken braids to say positive stuff about it.”
The meeting was finished and 6 months later, Prince of Persia: Darkness Awaits was realised. It received decent reviews and sold surprisingly well, made fans angry and most importantly made Mr.Cashman even happier (by that we mean richer).
I made this little story to mock not only the industries shady practices, but also ones who generally believe that ALL gaming companies act like this. That some people believe all of modern gaming is terrible. That ”back in the day” games were made not for profit. I am sorry to break your dreams, but companies are created to make said money. There has always been sneaky ways to get them, its just different now. But what I think is important, is that we as consumers can tell companies that we do not want these kinds of practices.
Hope you had fun reading this sarcastic/comedic work, please give me your constructive and positive comments.