What Is The Real Cost Of Shovelware?

There's no secret behind why we get terrible games based on popular properties — the companies behind those properties just want a quick buck and are more than happy to get the job done as cheaply and quickly as possible. There are exceptions — such as the Batman titles from Rocksteady Studios and South Park: The Stick of Truth from Obsidian — but has there been a real shift in "shovelware" in the last five years? With the explosion of mobile, the answer appears to be "yes".

The cost to develop on consoles and the PC has increased over time, leaving platforms such as Android and iOS a safe harbour for poorly-made licensed games.

As the Extra Credits video above explains, while shovelware might be less prevalent on "dedicated" gaming systems, it's coming at the expense of a new generation of gamers who are growing up with Candy Crush Saga and abominations like the rebooted Dungeon Keeper:

Shovelware is more profitable than ever and it might be causing more damage than ever before too. Mobile platforms are generally far easier to develop for than our major AAA platforms, which makes them the perfect marketplace for shovelware. Games are cheaper to make and take less time to crank out, which makes it way easier to hit those crazy deadlines. And, perhaps most importantly, mobile presents a whole new customer base to sell too, one that isn't necessarily as up-to-speed on games as the core AAA audience.

Extra Credits - Shovelware - The Causes and Consequences of Bad Licensed Games [YouTube, via Dorkly]


    heck, i remember those old shovelware discs you used to be able to get. "500 games for windows 3.1 volume 8" and sosuch. Only thing was OCCASIONALLY you would find a real gem on there!

    Oh mah gawd! Extra Credits! xD

    It's been so long since I've watched these guys!

    You've probably just made about 85% of the Australian Game Industry misty eyed just now.

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