The Player Experience
If a game is to be sucessful it must be developed with it’s audience in mind, if a game fails to act in accordance to it’s audience it can be a complete failure even if the game itself was very well made. There are three main types of audience, mainstream, niche and cult. A mainstream audience is the broadest audience as it consist of a decent percentage of people, many people will be aware of titles with mainstream audiences even if they have not played them, examples include the Call of Duty series and the Halo series. A niche audience is the opposite of the mainstream audience, a very small and interested group. Outside of these people the game may be much less well known. A cult audience is one that grows over time, for instance a game that wasn’t highly successful upon release however as time went on it became far more popular until it was commonly considered a success.
Minecraft is a great example of a game which had a cult audience, it was initially a niche game with very few features, however over time the game became a mainstream title due to continued support and additions, the game is now considered to be among the most sucessful games in history. I believe that a lot of the success can be due to the developers paying attention to what the audience wanted and regularly updating the game with these features, the audience were drip fed regular and appealing content which expanded the audience over time. Their communication and regular updating kept those already interested coming back to the game whilst more people became exposed to it over time, leading it to become the sucess it is now.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is infamous for being one of the worst games of all time, it released with a huge number of glitches, oversights and mistakes that the developer was undoubtedly aware of before releasing it. To name only a fraction of these; the words and numbers in the UI went outside of their boxes, the vehicles had no top speed when reversing (they could accelerate backwards infinitely), the bridges and buildings were not physical (the vehicles passed straight through them as if they weren’t there) and when racing the AI vehicle does not move and there is no time limit. Due to these and many other problems the game was a complete failure and did not even have a niche audience who supported the game.
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) is the third Battlefront game, this title is a mainstream game, created by Dice who develop the Battlefield games which are also mainstream. The series itself could be thought to have a cult audience as the games grew popular over time until they were considered popular enough to be developed by a highly mainstream developer. Opinions of the game are very mixed as the game has an astounding visual appeal and the game itself is generally made to a high standard, however there has been controversy due to the developers announcing that the game did not include popular aspects of the previous titles such as a single player campaign and certain game modes. The developers also announced DLC for which the season pass’s price rivaled the games’s own which only gave more reasons to those already against it to dislike it.