Admit It: Digital Game Downloads Suck

Remember when we were kids and you had to cram a cartridge into a console created by one of two competing Japanese video game companies? Those were the days.

The Year 20XX

Today though you’re stuck with a limited selection of physical titles and the rest is straight to digital indie developer cash grab garbage. Of course there are exceptions but they are few and far between.

Back in the heyday of consoles the boxed versions came with all kinds of cool bits including loads of extras, box art and pre-order bonuses – heck they even usually included manuals! Nowadays I’ve never once seen or received a manual for any of my games, instead they say HEY MOTHERFUCKER, DOWNLOAD THIS PDF AND PRINT IT. They say it as they barely contain their laughter. No one is printing the manual for your shitty indie game, I promise you.

Thanks for rushing your game out the door with a fancy marketing campaign and abandoning your early access title and moving onto the next game. I guess those game developer dreams really can come true! Now you’re making your snake oil salesman of a grandpappy proud!

Let me tell you about polygons kid

Back in the PS1 era, every time you added a game you would hold it above your head and declare yourself king of the neighborhood. Now you get 400 Steam games for $1 and they’re all jigsaw puzzle games. Yeah you own 2.5 quintillion games but do you play any of them?

Everyone seems to only talk about and play AAA games with embracing the indie market for flirting with themes or concepts too daring for big video game to take on. Can you imagine Electronic Arts making Factorio? Hell no! For every Factorio is 100 shovelware titles and it’s impossible to find anything distinctly indie like you saw in 2012. 10 years later and the market is so saturated with shit you might as well call Steam by it’s true name ‘Sewer’.

Back to the past

Take a moment to think back to what gaming used to be and look around you today. Forget about the Rise & Fall of a Classic Console and Console 2. Forget Super Mario Bros or Metroid 2; these just fill the remaining pages of video game history. It was the hype, the fact that these companies were pushing the envelope.

Now consider your latest excitement for yet another Humble Bundle. Yawn, I gotta take a nap now. Where was I? Ah yes…

Digital media is a lifeless husk

No one is saying digital is dead but it is lifeless and without any enthusiasm. Hell it isn’t even fun anymore! You’re playing League of Textures and finding your new favorite version of The Sims to pump it full of real body models this time making your favorite over-sexualized zombie Sims run a coffee shop before transitioning into a career in law.

Everything looks so bumpy and real but it’s not fun to play. DLC after DLC, Season Pass, Expansion Pack, Map Pack, Skin Pack, they keep on fleecing us with microtransactions making the games much much worse.

I’ll play it for 5 hours max. Then I’m done for life. It’s all one homogeneous blob anymore like that shitty restaurant’s soup of the day. It’s uninspired, boring and you’re selling leftovers as fresh!

It’s like every company got together and decided how to monetize a game before they decided to make a game, this has always been the case but it’s never been lazier. In the days of arcades you had to make quarter stealing game that was worth people’s time. Today you can bamboozle them with clever art and buying payola reviews from dead-eyed influencers.

It’s all disgusting and when I’m trying to unwind I don’t want your game soliciting me like it’s some lady of the night promising me a good time if I pay up. I already paid for the game, stop trying to sell me the full experience for extra you fuckers!

Early Access To Scams

Like everything else these days expect more broken promises, expensive beta and half-finished games. Reboot, remake, remaster, has everyone run out of ideas completely?

As far as Itch.IO is concerned it’s a shovelware garbage dump for the most part. Come on, I bought that stupid web browser game where you have to fly on a piece of space gum. Now what!? The UI is cumbersome and this is hardly the savior of indie as it’s billed by its users and the media.

Remember Indie Game The Movie that made development out to be a couple of rag tag guys trying to fight against an industry owned by AAA games? Yeah well mobile phones came out and everyone is now involved in making as terrible of games as possible.

Could you imagine buying and idle game for your Sega Genesis? I can’t. They’re a byproduct of laziness by the users and the developers. Oh you don’t want to play a game but you want progress? It’s called life asshole!


Although many gamers will spit out their Doritos to tell me I’m wrong, there is nothing intrinsically better about waiting for a physical copy of my game over downloading it through Steam. The big box era was the best, maps, figurines, tons of extras for people who put their hard earned money into a product a company put their hard earned time and skill into. It was a fair trade.

Contrast to now were a million shitty developers are fighting over the 5 minutes a day we get because our work pace is dictated by the demands of the stock market robots who want quarterly profit at all costs! Fuck 4 months release cycles, no quality assurance testing, an actual review process and retesting them if your beta is rejected.

These foolish indie developers stopped wanting to make great games and decided to make these Early Access campaigns with enough broken promises that it’d make Peter Molyneux blush.

Future gamepocalypse

What happens when all of these digital platforms shutter? Does anyone remember MPlayer and Those were the biggest contenders at the time and it wasn’t just lack of bandwidth that killed them but also the hubris of the quarterly earnings cycle. Indie developers can be isolated from this prison but they choose to crank out a million crap games instead of making a few good ones.

Here’s a question, did the C64 break your brain? Was that shitty little machine considered awesome? Guess what? It still is! People are still developing games and software for it. No one is using DOS to make games anymore but these retro machines are standing the test of time. The C64 community loves quality within the machine’s limitations.

Contrast that to the PC market where the amount of computer power has more than doubled and people are squandering their role as game developer. You see when we buy games we want to be entertained not play a clone of a more popular game that your mom is proud of. I want to know you or a small team of you put a lot of thought into this game, it doesn’t have to be much, just don’t make it insult me as a gamer.

If you need me I’ll be playing Skyrim: Supercool Repackage Edition. Skyrim is a modern title that would have stood the test of time if the parent company didn’t repackage the legacy edition 4 times and call it amazing.

I’ve had it with gaming and gamers in general. I’m tired of these companies big and small pissing all over my expectations and longing for the halcyon years where if you decided to be in the entertainment class you actually had to entertain people! Is that so hard?

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Writer/Contributor. Scholar of life.