Very Easy Mode: Why the Discussion Matters

   News came out rather recently that Hideo Kojima confirmed that his latest game, Death Stranding, would have a Very Easy mode. The reason for this was because he wanted Mads Mikkelsen fans to play the game as well as his usual audience of Metal Gear Solid fans. Now this was not that much of a surprise. Metal Gear Solid had Easy modes the entire time. The major point, though, was that Hideo Kojima made a Very Easy mode because he wanted to, not because he was forced to. That’s what makes the fans happy, when the developer makes a decision on his own that he believes will make the experience better for audiences. However, the large crowd of Game Bloggers that don’t play videogames arose from the ashes once more to push their argument that every game should have an Easy Mode. The last time they tried this was in Sekiro, and it failed dramatically because not only did the game already succeed beyond the boring-ass live service shooter The Division 2, but it already had raging 9-10/10 scores on most major game journalist platforms. They wanted to bring up the argument that more videogames should copy Hideo Kojima and make a Very Easy mode because apparently so many games doing this already isn’t enough?? There are three arguments in favor of it, the first one being “It will attract more players and therefore make more money” and “Muh Disabled People” as a shield to disguise that they can’t play a videogame. Although adding such modes do not harm the game whatsoever, it’s becoming increasingly annoying to force devs to recode AI and restat every single enemy and enemy boss in the game for a new mode just to try to appeal to an audience that has absolutely no interest in playing videogames at all.

   I’m much less subtle with my thesis because I do want to stress that the Easy Mode does not harm the game, it harms the vision in games that don’t need to have it and it brings further annoyance to devs that must rework the game for a new mode. Take Sekiro for example, the purpose of the beautiful artistic design, much like Dark Souls, is to reward the player after boss fights. There is no hard mode or easy mode because it’s unnecessary to the game. Plus, it’s already pretty fucking easy because you can 2-shot or even 1-shot half the enemies with your finishing move. The fact that players were crying out for an Easy Mode just showed that they did not understand the game nor From Software. Games Bloggers then tried to make it about disabled people for whatever reason. Now I understand that the specific controllers for disabled people are absurdly priced right now. However, what will lowering the difficulty do to this?  they wouldn’t want to play a game like Sekiro anyways, much less play an easy mode of it. It was very clearly a Whataboutism to distract that this is about Games Bloggers trying to make videogames “more accessible” despite that anyone can pick up a controller or keyboard anyways (for people without arms and just hands, I highly recommend a Keyboard and Mouse, it’s pretty easy to control them for console if you have the right adapter and your feet get used to it).

   Videogames, in general, are accessible by everyone. But that doesn’t mean every single videogame needs to appeal to every single player. Much like Ice Cream flavors, different games appeal to different players. Obviously you can disagree with Nintendo games, they attract everyone no matter what, but when it comes to different companies, they do what they want with their genres and different games, and that’s how it’s worked for so long. Blizzard makes their RTS games much different than, say, Ensemble Studios does. They appeal to completely different audiences in different ways. There’s plenty of TPS games other than Dark Souls to play. Dark Souls will attract its specific audience and will gain its success. There is no reason to care about it’s “easy mode” for sales, especially if you’re A. Pissed about it not having an easy mode and B. Wanting to take away from the “Gamer ChudsTM” that are its core audience, and resulting in the game’s fail.

   But what about these “gamer chuds” that are angry that Hideo Kojima made a Very Easy mode? Ignore them, they’re idiots. They take away from the real discussion at hand and the ones arguing for every game having an Easy Mode use them as pawns to distract you. Things like “Gamers” “Chuds” “Dudebros” etc. are just boogeyman words to distract from real issues. The ones that unironically act that dumb aren’t to be given attention or they’ll gain more power.

   Both of the arguments I addressed above really boil down to Accessibility. To which videogames already are. But like icecream, different games are different flavors, and they attract different people. I emphasize on Different because it must be stressed that not every videogame needs to be a FPS MOBA Live Service. And not every game needs a Very Easy difficulty. If they were to add an Easy mode to Sekiro, it wouldn’t harm the base game but it’d ruin the point of challenge and the lesson of overcoming adversity. It also proves to your audience that you spent money, resources and time to appeal to a demographic that isn’t the core audience. It comes off as disingenuous. And for those of you who cry about not getting an easy mode? Don’t like it? Don’t play it.