• Welcome to ZD Forums! You must create an account and log in to see and participate in the Shoutbox chat on this main index page.

Is Appealing to a Wider Audience Really Appealing to Anybody?

Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Hey guys. So recently I bet you have heard game developers on interviews talking about how they would like to have their games "appeal to a wider audience." This can have good or bad results. An example of a bad result is survival horror becoming more fast paced and action packed to "appeal to a wider audience" (*cough Resident Evil 4,5, and 6 *cough*) or stealth games where going around guns blazing is an equally viable option for the gamer. I am somewhat conflicted about this. While I do think that it is good to introduce more fans to a franchise every now and then. I think that if a company flanderizes their games into something it's not, it'll just lose all its fans. If you try and please everyone you might just end up pleasing no one. It may just be better to please a small circle of loyal fan boys and girls than everybody and their dog. What are your thoughts on this? And do you know any games that did appeal to a wider audience and were successful because of it?
 

Blue Canary

Your Friendly Neighborhood S***poster
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Location
Right Behind You
Gender
Trash Can
I think it is good on a small level, but after awhile they should stop trying. Of course, their goal is to make money. And if making things something their not makes money, well, frankly, it's a pretty good idea. Also flanderization is the exact opposite of this. This is not flanderization. Mario games are flanderization...
 

DarkestLink

Darkest of all Dark Links
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
No. And this is why only the Wii is the only system that has done well for Nintendo since the 3D era kicked in.
 

Triforce Hermit

Praise the Sun
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Location
Bionis
Just make the best game you can and if it is good, it will sell. If you try to appeal to one side, then you screw the other over. If you try to appeal to both, then you piss both off. Companies need to stop trying to appealing to a single crowd or all the crowds. Wanna know why Dark Souls is doing so well? Because it isn't appealing to any crowd. It is made with the intention of improving the game for everyone. Not just for whoever cries the loudest or the most popular gimmick at the time.
 

ihateghirahim

The Fierce Deity
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Location
Inside the Moon
i don't know. It's hard to put into a single easy answer. A game needs to be able to sell units, so that future games like it can be made. Companies also need to avoid becoming part of a cramped niche market that doesn't allow for expansion or new customers. You also have to keep making enjoyable art that appeals to your fans. It's not easy line to walk. There are examples of failing by going to either side of that line, so there's no easy fix/



Also, I found RE4 to be a good evolution of the franchise, can't say the same for 5 and 6
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
Skyrim isn't the best Elder Scrolls game, but you'll be hard-pressed to find ANYONE who outright hates the game other than the most devoted Morrowind and Daggerfall fanboys.

Definitely partial to Morrowind myself, but Skyrim is one of my favorite last-gen games. It's also so watered-down as an RPG that it seems to be popular even among people who don't like RPGs.

I think the Elder Scrolls series provides a pretty strong counterargument to the idea that appealing to the widest audience possible is a bad thing. Each game after Daggerfall became increasingly simplified, and the series managed to pull in new fans in the process.
 

misskitten

Hello Sweetie!
Joined
Jun 18, 2011
Location
Norway
I think everything in moderation. Wanting a game to appeal to more is not a crime, but watering down the concept and making it so general that it loses its identity is equally bad for developer and fans together. Generally the motto they should aheed to is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". If enough people love the game as it is, enough to make back the development costs, and then some and guarantee support for future titles, then you take a risk by making any big changes. If it just doesn't have a decent enough following, however, then it might be worth it to experiment a little.

Change can be anything, good, bad or a mixture of the two. But it's a game of chances that could pan out or it could flop so much that you lose your initial fanbase because of it.
 

Isaac

Doesn't have internet
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Location
Michigan
Skyrim isn't the best Elder Scrolls game, but you'll be hard-pressed to find ANYONE who outright hates the game other than the most devoted Morrowind and Daggerfall fanboys.

Definitely partial to Morrowind myself, but Skyrim is one of my favorite last-gen games. It's also so watered-down as an RPG that it seems to be popular even among people who don't like RPGs.

I think the Elder Scrolls series provides a pretty strong counterargument to the idea that appealing to the widest audience possible is a bad thing. Each game after Daggerfall became increasingly simplified, and the series managed to pull in new fans in the process.
I agree with this. My favorite was oblivion, but I find myself playing Skyrim more than eny of the others.
 

Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Gender
Shewhale
It's always a big risk trying to appeal to everyone as you don't really focus on a specifc target market meaning that essentially you get a game that doesn't really specialise in any specific department. You try to widen your audience by switching things up, adding more elements to the game, making it more user friendly etc. and you end up with a watered down version of what the game originally was. It may be a much more diverse game which may appeal to different demographics; however you may lose a lot of the dedicated fanbase, or a certain section which enjoy a more niche segment of a specific genre.

It can pay off great and this isn't necessarily a game, but a great example is the Nintendo Wii. They decided to broaden their target market by catering the console more so to the casual gamer, the new gamer, and the gamer that wasn't a gamer before. It worked wonders marketing wise and that had a very positive affect on sales. Now even though, by definition, this console was hugely successful, it still falls short on the quality side of things as far as a Nintendo console goes. We had to put up with a hell of a lot of casual cash in games and every so often there would be a diamond in the rough like: Twilight Princess, Okami, Super Mario Galaxy 1&2, Brawl just to name a few. Point is that even of if the product is successful it still may not be considered a great product by those who know it best.

I guess it's a case of either being a jack of all trades or a master of one. You can try to appeal to the biggest market possible or you can go down the more niche route (niche markets can also be rather big by the way). In my eyes a game should always cater towards its fanbase, but sometimes business decisions do get the better of game companies when they want to broaden their horizon and, in a way, I can't blame them.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
No. It's TRYING to appeal to anyone. Widening the demographic increases revenues, or so it is believed. If the demographic is too compact and confined to one age group, sex, or whatever, then the game is often considered as a niche title...
 
Joined
May 4, 2014
Location
California
I think it is good on a small level, but after awhile they should stop trying. Of course, their goal is to make money. And if making things something their not makes money, well, frankly, it's a pretty good idea. Also flanderization is the exact opposite of this. This is not flanderization. Mario games are flanderization...
What does flanderization mean?

anyways, sure I'm all for it, there will always be certain games that appeal to certain people e.g I like action movies a lot, but like a classic Disney movie there has to be something almost everyone can enjoy too.
 
There are two methods I mainly see developers use to appeal to a wider audience. The first and less successful method is mentioned in the OP. It's when developers abandon the cornerstones of a franchise in order to emulate a more commercially successful franchise hoping they'll see greater profits themselves. Although this approach can bring financial benefit ,it usually alienates long time veterans leaving them bitter,

The other approach, as Hanyou described referring to the Elder Scrolls, is to cut out some of the franchise's deeper and more cumbersome mechanics to allow a lower learning curve for newer players, while still including content and features that appeal to the series' dedicated audience.

Too many companies skip the thought process of assessing what satisfied their fanbase in the first place. Gamers don't want a homogenized industry and even in popular genres like Action-Adventure or FPS new ideas are being produced and accepted by the gaming community such as Demon/Dark Souls and Borderlands, respectively.
 

Turo602

Vocare Ad Pugnam
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Location
Gotham City
How did Resident Evil have a bad result? What they did ended up appealing to a wider audience and saving the franchise. It may have lost everything it used to be in the process, but they've been selling well.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom