The new trailer for the Payday 2 web series revealed many ways in which video game design may develop over the coming years. Being the online video game design school that we are, we’re naturally going to dissect the design of PayDay 2 right now.
PayDay 2 ‘s Contribution to the Future of Video Game Design
Socio-Political Commentary: Only twenty years ago, video game design had one emphasis: escapism. Games were made about unrealistic character (Mario, Sonic etc) in unrealistic worlds going through unrealistic plots. Then games started becoming somewhat realistic, with FPSs being made around real wars. Now, with PayDay2 and other similar games, were seeing true socio-political commentary in video game design.
The commentary of PayDay 2 , of course, revolves around banks. In the days of bankers getting big pay offs for doing bad jobs, every working class / middle class / lower class individual is angry with banks. PayDay 2 looks to harness that anger into sales figures. We could very well see many more games doing the same, taking on hot themes like class warfare and human rights. One things for sure: games are beginning to talk more maturely about political and social affairs. This will in turn lead to games garnering more respect from non-gamers and may well lead to more people, both young and old, taking to games.
The Web Series: PayDay 2 is not the first game to have a web series made after it, but the way in which 505 Games are approaching the PayDay 2 web series is fairly unique. Games have always been a hotbed of multi-media (emphasis on the multi). Where video game marketing has usually revolved around trailers, however, we’re beginning to see more inventive ways of using media to market games. Expect tons of character-specific Twitter and Facebook accounts in the future, along with games branching off into mini-TV series leading up to release.
Video game marketing has been the biggest development in gaming of recent years and it’s not about to stop. With the relative ease and inexpensiveness of producing web-shows and using social media for marketing, you can expect to see every part of a game, from its character to its guns etc, to be represented in individual Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Youtube videos and more.
Payday 2 : Speedy Sequel! : One negative that definitely needs to be said of Payday 2 is that putting a sequel out so early does very little for the video game developer and publisher’s PR. It smacks of greed. Many people found Pay Day The Heist to be unfinished and needing work (metacritic score 76%). To go from the state of Pay Day The Heist to a new game so quickly may very well ruin both the series itself and the public image of the game developer and publisher.
Sooner or later games publishers and developers are going to learn that gamers demand high quality for their money. Profit hunting with a quickly released sequel isn’t going to do their PR any favours.
While the business marketing of PayDay2 is high quality and will lead to interest, the fact that it’s been released so soon after a mediocre game won’t help it’s commercial success, nor the image of the developer or publisher.
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