“Live-service” is one of those terms that just makes your shiver with disgust. It’s a model of gaming that was popularised roughly when the original Destiny was out there making the formula of playing every day for new quests, items, and events more mainstream. Games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars had been doing the whole “live-service” thing for years when Destiny launched but taking those principles and applying it to a shooter without all the endless UI text made for an experience that players really took to. It’s easy to understand, generates loads of content, and keeps a game alive for years if done correctly. It’s also a term that we throw around pretty often now even if there’s no rock-solid definition of what it means. For example Godfall, a game that by all accounts looks like it would be a live-service experience is apparently not.
The Godfall Twitter account posted this weekend, prompted by someone asking the question, that “Godfall is not a service game, but does require an internet connection to play.” Okay then, so players still have to be connected to the internet at all times even if they’re playing solo and have no good reason to be? Sure, that’ll go down with a community that historically dealt very well with intrusive DRM in their games! As speculated by PC Gamer, the always online aspect is to probably prevent people cheating by tying loot and character progression to the server. Still, pretty lame for folks that don’t have the luxury.
It’s just a weird turn of phrase to describe a loot-based game that requires a constant internet as not a “live” game. What is it then? Is Godfall a once off purchase that won’t see expansions on the existing content or seasonal events? Is that even what “live-service” means? I don’t know but this is the burden of trying to expand a lexicon, I guess.
Last Updated: October 5, 2020