Niche Games and the Mass Market

TV is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests. — David Foster Wallace

Everyone likes boobies. Everyone likes huge phallic swords that burn with purple fire. Everyone likes blowing up the bad guy.

Once you get past the “everyone likes” options, you are eliminating portions of your potential playerbase. You may be making a better game, but it is better only for those subsets of the world that like that sort of thing.

As we get more games, we see more refined and aesthetic options, as games find their niches. We also see more games trying to be that lowest common denominator superstar in the center.

So hey, your game’s population is tiny not because it sucks, you are just more refined and noble than the market leader. Now that other niche game, yeah, it sucks, and so does everyone who plays it. What a bunch of losers.

: Zubon

H/T: Ben Casnocha via Marginal Revolution

2 thoughts on “Niche Games and the Mass Market”

  1. Fair warning…. my KB (or my skills using it) sucks… so there may be spelling errors….

    I’ll take a niche game any day as long as there are enough subs to support it… hell, even the small companies, that basicly depend entirely on sub payments just to keep the lights on…

    guys like that, they tend to make a game from love, not greed… and they tend to be more focused on it, and more responsive to the few that play it…

    you give me a game with say 50-100 subs, and I’ll show you a game where the devs listen intently to what the players have to say… and seriously care how things run as well… good luck finding that in games that claim 1 mill+ subs… as they are on “PIMP” mode at that point…

    PIMP= Paying In auto sub, Mostly Pwnd already…

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