Is AG going downhill?
Posted Oct 14, '13 at 11:15pm
I've been a long time fan of AG for at least 5 years. I enjoyed this website over any other sites across the world. It doesn't matter if I just got the biggest titles on my console, busy with MMO, piled with work, I would always reserve a portion of my time to AG. I don't usually go to the forum, I just play the games. Recently, I've noticed several intriguing changes. I am not pleased personally, but that is ok. I just want to know am I the only one taking this seriously?
1. Increased amount of MMO.
To be honest, this is a good change. It is always good to have more options. However, one should realize that MMO should not taking away spaces for regular games. I can't stand the fact a random MMO pop out of no where taking the space reserved for flash games in front page. Heck, MMO is taking over the "new game" section, displayed as default in categories. MMO is not a game that you play as much as you want, most people only have time for one. It is the flash games that deserve to be displayed as priority.
2. Increased amount of advertising.
Ads are not evil. They are there to award devs with money, who made such amount of quality games. However, they now display in every games. How about only display them while loading? How about add a skip button? How about limiting them under 10 seconds? I know Youtube have done a good job with ads, so can AG.
3. Decreased game quality.
One year ago, I can find a great game every week. Gemcraft, Kingdom rush, Sonny, those are classic games I never forgets. I am seeing less and less of them, in fact, I can barely see a game rated above 90 these days. I know rating isn't everything, but it does speak something when every games are like that.
4. Decreased game quantity
This is not as significant as the others, but it is noticeable. I wonder what happened. Shouldn't AG update more often with increased publicity and funds from ads? I do not understand this.
Will I stay here? Yes. Will I be content with the changes? Maybe. Would I want this trend to continue? Definitely not!
Posted Oct 15, '13 at 2:47pm
I agree, MMOs are not a welcome addition. They are a complete waste of space and they need to stay in their own darn spot at the bottom of the page. Dumping a 6-month-old MMO in front of the brand new "Experimental Shooter" game is not cool.
Ads are the developers' choice. It's not an AG problem.
Meh. I see what you mean, but... again, why is this AG's fault? Games are getting bigger. I suppose AG has relaxed its quality control, but it should allow new developers in. Even if they're not great now, they might be after a year's practice.
Posted Oct 15, '13 at 6:58pm
You are certainly not the first to complain about these things, nor will you be the last. The staff (especially Ferret, our community manager) listens to a lot of the complaints that come through. They do try to fix things, but there are a lot of things they don't control. I'm going to let you know what they do and don't control later in my post.
Or rather, the very presence of MMO games.
If this is a good change, then why would it contribute to making a website go 'downhill'? I understand that you lay down some thoughts later, but I probably wouldn't post a stream of consciousness and call it an argument.
Not exactly true. When AG accepts games from developers, they don't limit themselves to quantity. They limit themselves to quantity. If there are two games of equal value coming in, one being an MMO and the other being a single player game, AG is not going to automatically accept the MMO. They're going to accept both games.
On the other hand (you weren't very clear on this), if you're talking about website layout, then, yes, MMO games do take up more space. But I personally don't see it being excessively cluttered. Is it really that much more cluttered?
It's understandable that you like Flash games and want the site to take in only those types of games, but you have to understand that AG needs money. MMO games give AG more money (not to mention attention). Plus, people are actually playing those and are enjoying them. It seems a little selfish to ask AG to remove things that people love, justified only by your personal desires, doesn't it?
Like I said, not a big deal. And one square being filled by a game doesn't really change anything. I'm positive you'd hate it if there were an ad there instead.
You can play MMO games as much as you want. Unless, of course, a specific MMO has a time limit, but that's for the developer to decide; not AG. And some people do nothing but play MMO games. How can have more time than that? And every game appeals to a different person.
Your whole paragraph failed to convince me whatsoever.
Which we all see everywhere anyway.
Then what are they? Annoying? Good? A mixture?
No, the ads on AG are for AG. Without ads, AG would not be able to function economically as a business, and thus there would be no AG. They don't award third-party developers with ad money, I don't think.
AG awards developers for their games. That much is true, but not directly from ads. I suppose you could say that AG uses some of the money it gets from ads to award third-party developers, and indirectly ad money would go to developers, but certainly not directly.
Oh, those ads! I think the preloaded ads are for AG and the in-game ads are for the developers. But they are all necessary, because game devs gotta eat too!
Many games already have this feature, and if not then that is the developer's choice.
I thought most of them had this.
Most of them are pretty short, and if they go over 10 seconds then I think a skip button should appear.
By putting 30 second ads on every game? No thank you.
I already know this is going to be rough.
A lot of people would consider the games on the homepage right now to be great games. Tastes change, trends change. Just because you dislike the games there doesn't mean others dislike them too.
Harder critics? More realistically, maybe it seemed like 'good' games were being released within shorter time periods then, when in reality they weren't. It takes a lot of them to build great games. If you want something good, i recommend you check your Quests, because a lot of very good games receive Quests.
There are a lot of old games that have some pretty terrible ratings too.
Watch as I knock this one out with one punch.
Games seem like they were being released faster in 'the good ole days' when in reality they were being released at the same speed as now.
And most of what Nerdsoft said looks good to me. I'd check out his post too.
Posted Oct 15, '13 at 7:47pm
No, you're wrong. Ads are evil, maybe a necessary evil in small quantities, but definitely evil, and AG is becoming over run with them!
Posted Oct 15, '13 at 10:16pm
This isn't the case in the ads on the main Armor games page. You also have to take in mind the ads that like to clog up the space under games you play.
Posted Oct 15, '13 at 10:22pm
Explained in OP.
Nope, I just hate to see several month old MMO take space for newly released game.
Not deal to you, most people are not like you. It is not one square, but several squares. Yes, it does affects user friendly level. I would hate anything that is not an actual new game take the space. I don't mind MMO, but it need to be new, just as every other games to be listed on "new game" lists. To me, MMOs are no different from ads.
No, it is not my personal judgement, but as ratings to games as a whole. To you, a lot of people may think is ok, but there use to be much more that "a lot of people" that prefers older games.
If I want to find a MMO, I only need a few MMO to fill my day for the entire year. I can find one I like in a few glance since MMO pages is much smaller. Flash games in other hand have hundreds of pages. Even if I can find games I like instantly, I would need to find like 30 to fill my entire year. That is why flash games need to be the priority for display.
They are good when distract the user minimally while provides income to AG. They are evil when distracting users too much, like now.
I meant "devs" as "AG devs" in my enire post.
AG got enough without preload ads before. They now have more than before with MMO added, not less. No problem about in-game ads, they are fine so far.
The in-game ads are by AG, not game devs.
I think 5 seconds before skip is pretty good on Youtube's parts, unless dictated on uploader's part. Even 30 seconds every game is better than now.
I have seen none below 40 seconds, with the most ridiculous one nearly 5 minutes.
Players last month is the mostly the same as now. I am the same as I was last month. Being lasted for three years, it is enough to say it is the standard speed. They were not above "standard".
I am not talking about absolute number, but relative number. There are less games with bad ratings than now.
Not even gonna argue. Not that I care about pure quantity anyway.
Posted Oct 16, '13 at 9:48am
I honestly think that AG is going a bit down, the thing is, AG looks like it's trying to get bigger, enhance make more money, (Advertisements, MMos) It's just that, Kongregate happens to already be better than AG, it has a nice website layout, great search system, a Chat system and a private message and regular shout thing.
Posted Oct 16, '13 at 12:50pm
The quality of (new) games is going down, yes. AG should ensure a minimal level of quality.
Posted Oct 16, '13 at 2:41pm
Doesn't kill you, makes money for a free service, some people appreciate it. Not seeing the big deal yet.
Some days they take up 3 square while other days they might not take up any. Keep in mind that these games make a lot of money for something that is free. You're repeating yourself a lot.
He hits it spot-on in his post. I'm not going to reiterate what you (hopefully) just read.
I sorta agree. Yes, the amount of Flash games is relatively huge compared to MMO games, but you can't look at it from one perspective. There are a lot of people playing those MMO games and they make a lot of money. From AG's position, it would be stupid to not do what they're doing. They're making money to provide a great service for you and me.
You initially said they weren't evil. But I do think the whole ad situation is a little exaggerated. Other Flash games sites do it too.
How do you know they "got enough"? There's no way of knowing that unless you actually work at Armor Office. Hell, for all we know AG could be on the verge of bankruptcy and Ferret missed his annual flea medicine this year.
If a developer advertises a product within the game's structure, then it's their doing. If an ad appears before or during loading of the game, it's AG's doing. In-game ads could technically be classified as either, I suppose. But we both agreed that they aren't a big deal anyway.
I have come across YouTube ads that lasted 30 seconds and didn't give me the option to skip. And I really haven't come across anything like that here, unless I decide to play some super popular game. Even then it isn't as bad as some of the stuff I've seen on Vevo.
Wow, that's insane. Never saw a 5 minute ad myself.
1. I doubt you can speak for every user on the site.
User preference, trends, etc. It's all pointless banter unless you go through and actually count the ratings. Personally I think you're suffering an overreaction and surplus of nostalgia.
You explicitly said there were less games.
I agree, actually. I think AG is growing a little too much in the wrong areas. MMO games and ads are great, but we aren't being compensated. I understand that they don't owe the average user anything because this is a free service, but in terms of relativity and considering what Kongregate gives to its followers, AG is slacking. We are missing some features that are socially considered necessitous for business growth. At least in the digital world, anyway.
They do ensure a minimal level of quality. Kongregate doesn't. Kong accepts any game as long as it's playable and in one of the appropriate formats.
Posted Oct 16, '13 at 5:59pm
I've never seen this happen. I've seen the five minute ads, but it always has the skip button after 5 or 15 seconds. I've never come across an ad longer than 30 seconds with no skip button (on Armor Games or YouTube, which look like they use the same ad company .)
It is frustrating to see more ads, but it may be necessary. My explanation for additional ads is that the heyday of flash games is over. Steam offers free games and there are plenty of free 3D MMOs. So there is some competition there with the flash games. Also independent developers are going to mobile, steam, Xbox Live, and other platforms to put there games out on wider market places, make money, and get there names known. Also independent developers are using Kickstarter and Indiegogo to get funding for their projects. Because of these factors, less independent developers are turning to flash games as the source to break into the gaming world and build their reputation and name (in hopes of later joining a larger gaming company or starting their own). So, we see less flash games and less quality flash games and more ads, because people are going to many other platforms for similar gaming experiences (iPads and Smart phones all have games that are similar to flash games.)
First, most "flash MMOs" shouldn't considered MMOs. Would you consider Farmville and MMO? While by the naming standard of such games, Farmville would easily be an "MMO". These "flash MMOs" are no where near as complex as World of Warcraft, Everquest, Guild Wars, Tera, Neverwinter, Lord of the Rings, etc. yet still call themselves MMOs. Not to mention some of those real MMOs I listed are free-to-play, just like the flash MMOs, only with much more to offer (although, even the real MMOs will have similar in-game purchasable items, skills, characters, etc.)
Flash MMOs should be called Social Games (as some of them are played on social platforms and most of them require player to player interaction.) not MMOs.
Second, "flash MMOs" feel like a dirty deal. You're roped in with the fact it's free, but then handicapped so badly, that it is extremely helpful to pay for items. That would be fine if items didn't cost 20 to 100 (more or less) real dollars. I know the real free-to-play MMOs do the same thing, but at least they're 3D and have large expansive worlds. Not a game with a basic interface and still images of art as the game world. So pricing in "flash MMOs" is ridiculous.
Third, the "flash MMOs" secretly beg you at every turn to purchase something. You'll see items advertised on the main screen of the game. The forums will continually have updates from DEVs about new pay-for items coming out. Most games have some sort of limiting factor (like energy that runs out but is necessary to have in order to play the game) that you will be prompted to refill or buy more of all the time. A "flash MMO" is like a game turned into an AD.
Last, look at how Armor Games pushes MMOs. This has been hard for me to deal with. Armor Games is a great site, I don't mind seeing lots of ads, but the way MMOs are pushed, it feels so underhanded, very unlike Armor Games. This is why I get the most frustrated at this.
Look at the above image. There are 12 places where MMOs are being pushed.
1, 10, and 11 - These are banner ads that are for MMOs
2 - The background of the site is an ad for an MMO
4 and 7 - MMOs in the new games spots. Sometimes they are new, sometimes they are put in there when they are old, just to promote them more.
3 and 6 - Promoted game. This used to be random game, it is now an ad. (Strangely on my brother computer I noticed that the promoted section was missing. I found it odd. Turns out my brother uses adblocker and that program sees this section of the site as an ad.) The promoted game is always an MMO
5, 8, and 9 - Most Popular games, yet 3 of them are MMOs. Most popular games used to be the highest rated games on Armor Games. However, MMOs don't have ratings, so how can you determine if they fit in this section, aside from number of plays. Guess what? The top six games with the highest number of plays are not MMOs. So again, this games are here basically as ads.
12 - Notice that the default game genre selected is MMO. Another form of pushing MMOs.
Also, MMOs can't be rated because that could lead to an MMO getting a poor rating, then it wouldn't be played and money wouldn't be made.
It's fine to have ads, but when MMOs are pushed to the extreme and in these secretive ways, trying to pass it off as just part of the site, it is frustrating and annoying. We are hit over the heads with MMOs every. And as mention prior, MMOs show up in other game categories. I understand that some MMOs may have action or strategy. But you almost never, if never, see an Action game that is also in the strategy section. So again, another way to push MMOs.