What are the most difficult genres for game developers to work in?


Working among the video game industry’s top game developers is one of the best ways to flex your creativity, but it can also be one of the most difficult. After all, you have the chance to create full worlds for people to explore, and this can be rewarding, to say the least. But creating games like this is not without its challenges.

MMORPGs, open-world PvP present unique challenges

MMORPGs are without a doubt, one of the hardest games for a developer to build out. New developers are often excited to tell people about how their game is going to have many different character classes to choose from, with each one having three distinctive fighting styles and ways of interacting with other players. These fluid mechanics are meant to match up with vast, open worlds that invite players to explore.

With that being said, the sheer amount of development and content required makes them a challenge. This genre has the biggest failure rate out of any, as very few MMORPGs manage to capture enough audience to sustain themselves. When you add the fact that you have to create an untold number of unique quest lines, dialogue bits, and even different potential outcomes depending on player actions, it’s not hard to see why it is so difficult to bring games like this to market.

The success of games like World of Warcraft means that MMORPGs will likely always be tempting to developers and publishers alike, but seeing success through these games is a tremendous challenge.

Games with intricate AI systems and complex algorithms 

AI has progressed by leaps and bounds over a relatively short period of time. But the hardest part of making a game based on AI remains making it fun to play with and against.

When you look at slot games in particular, you will see that the outcome of each spin is based on random number generators, which are powered by complex algorithms to ensure fairness. Games such as Action Bank also give players the chance to take advantage of free spins and special bonus features, which must be considered when coders and developers are sorting the game’s functionality. Games like this can be more complex to create than one might think, as you don’t just need to ensure smooth animations, you need to make sure that the games as a whole are fair and fun.

That fairness isn’t just a consideration that must be made with players in mind, either; it also extends to potential regulatory authorities, whose requirements raise the stakes for creators.

For developers, AI as a whole adds a layer of difficulty when creating new titles. But it’s not an entirely new challenge, as video games have always had a degree of thinking coded into them to challenge players.

AI has often been criticized in fighting games ranging from Street Fighter to The King of Fighters. With games such as these, you need to make the AI fun to play against, as it will always have the potential to be faster when making decisions than do the human players. Programmers have to create models that can crush your character in a matter of seconds, while also giving you the chance to emerge victorious from the fight. Difficulty levels also add a layer of complexity as the algorithm then changes.

When it comes to fighting games that have the most complex algorithms, AI has to ensure elements of randomness in addition to sound strategy strategy. The computer-controlled character shouldn’t be throwing the same punch over and over again, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be able to read and counter every move you make. 

As a developer, this can be a bit of a minefield to navigate, as it becomes very difficult to strike the right balance between challenging the player and frustrating them. Taking into account the average person’s skill level when developing these algorithms is important, as publishers want the game to appeal to those who are new to the genre just the same as seasoned gamers who want to utilize all of the game’s mechanics that are on offer.

Games that are open-world with multiplayer elements and games that use complex algorithms are some of the most difficult titles to create for developers. And when you break each down, it’s not hard to see why.

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Written by Jose Tellez

Jose Tellez has spent much of his career working in and around the gaming industry. His favorite games are in the Call of Duty franchise, and he has a history as both a competitive Call of Duty player and as a COD team manager. Jose's previous experience includes stops at both Amazon and at WIN, where he led business development efforts for multiple gaming websites. Beyond video games, Jose has a strong passion for soccer.

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