What's so bad about minigames? 04.05.2007

Ars Technica’s Opposable Thumbs has an open letter by Frank Caron about the influx of minigame collections.

The primary complaint seems to be that each new collection doesn’t offer anything substantially new over it’s predecessors in terms of gameplay. But why this important?

This sort of recycling and evolutionary inheritance is evident in pretty much every single genre in gaming. Almost everyone has lamented on the stagnation of the RTS and FPS genres — how each new game is just an old game with some new paint.

Frankly, I think it’s time for developers to ease up on these types of games. I’ve focused on Nintendo, but all the platforms are guilty of the criminal overuse of this genre. Unless the collection is going to give us a completely diverse set of revolutionary new minigames, please don’t bother.

The market will support what the market will support. Asking developers to please now release anything unless it’s revolutionary is just silly. The vast majority of games released and purchased offer nothing remotely revolutionary.

Why do people buy games? Do we buy games to experience something revolutionary with each purchase?

No.

We buy games to have fun.

And as long as the market thinks that minigame collections are fun, I see no problem in developers releasing minigames.

We may as well as that they stop making FPS games, or RPG games, or RTS games, or any sort of game unless it brings something truly revolutionary to the table.

There’s an intense double standard here.

Because apparently Frank doesn’t like minigame collections, he’s targeted that genre specifically for a set of attributes1 that’s common to every category.

Tell you what, Frank. I’ll take your letter seriously if you stop buying any game that offers something revolutionary.

This open letter is really just whining disguised in formal attire. It can be summed up quite succinctly as:

Please, developers, stop making games I don’t like.


  1. I don’t really think of them as problems. The market will support what the market will support. If people want to play minigames, and are having fun, I don’t see why this should be an issue. Other than self-ascribed “real gamers” feeling threatened.