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Diminishing Returns in Digital Interactive Entertainment


Since the dawn of digitalized interactive entertainment, there’s been a constant push to create the biggest and most visually impressive experiences. Such a development makes sense, as a highly competitive market will often favor that which brings the most spectacle. After decades, however, the various digital interactive entertainment industries have reached a place of seriously diminishing returns. Those who strive to push the envelope to new horizons increasingly find themselves overextending, where a new age of simplicity continues to gain steam.

Moore’s Law

Since 1965, digital devices roughly improved along the lines of Moore’s Law, as explained on the website Semiconductors. This term referred to an observation that transistor count in integrated circuits tended to double every two or so years. Though not technically accurate, especially in the modern day, this idea still represents the concept of ever-improving computer hardware. More transistors meant more speed and more potential for the software which was reflected in, among other programs, digital interactive entertainment.

Catching Up

In practice, Moore’s Law meant that the constant influx of more powerful machines would mean more potential power to leverage. For developers of interactive entertainment, progress manifested as going from simple interpretations of ideas to more accurate representations.

One of the best illustrations of this idea could be found in the landscape of online casinos. At first, games like slots and poker existed as rough translations of their physical counterparts. Eventually, however, better hardware and software would extend the games far beyond what was possible with physical games alone. Not all forms of interactive entertainment are as simple as casino games, however.

Much more problematic were the issues faced in the video game industry. Rather than relying on smaller and self-contained experiences, video games were on a constant path of one-upmanship. Pushing for bigger worlds, better graphics and more advanced physics meant the development process grew larger, more expensive, and more difficult to maintain. Despite how big the worlds grew, players would eventually have issues with the gameplay. As Forbes explains, chasing realism would mean abandoning smoother systems in favor of clunkiness. All that extra time and cost, and improvements only diminished in the newer generations.

Substance and Style

For many developers in the interactive entertainment space, projects exist within two schools of thought. One of these is best illustrated by the online casino market, as is demonstrated by Bonus Finder’s review of various different places to play in Ontario. Happy with what is already a broad and growing range of quality products, this industry now competes through the likes of game selection, bonus options, payment systems, and usability.

The other school of thought, endless expansion, is best illustrated by major video game releases like Cyberpunk 2077 and Star Citizen. Rather than releasing a focussed and quality product and building outward from there, these newer efforts succumb to bloat, chasing a path of overpromising and underdelivering. While it needs to be noted that there are many exceptions in the gaming industry (especially thanks to indie releases), these two different paths show just varied modern responses to tech improvements can be.

The successful developers, retailers, and services know when they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. As the modern age continues to show, with the potential of modern systems, you don’t always need to set your sights on the stars. Success is found on Earth, on knowing what works, sticking within established frameworks, and making projects based on passion over profit. As for how long it will take the greater interactive entertainment industry to acknowledge this reality, that much is eternally in doubt.