Let’s Discuss the Opportunity Cost of Hades 2

I’m enjoying Hades 2 despite my criticisms, as it provides valuable insight into Supergiant’s development process. The studio is known for taking risks and trying new things, and I can’t help but think about the potential alternative creations that could have emerged. Despite some negative feedback from TheGamer readers, I find it important to be critical of the things I love. Currently, Hades 2 is unbalanced and unfinished, but this is expected as it is still in early access.

The opportunity to witness Supergiant’s game development process and observe the changes between updates is akin to a roguelike within a roguelike, where storylines may be removed if the developer deems them beyond the game’s scope. On the other hand, Hades 2 essentially feels like more of the same. While this isn’t necessarily a negative, it does mean that Supergiant is not venturing into entirely new territory with this release. Given the studio’s track record of creating narratively and mechanically distinct games like Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and the original Hades, it feels like a missed opportunity not to see another wholly original game from them.

This dilemma presents the concept of opportunity cost; not only are we judging the game we currently have, but we are also comparing it to the game we could have had if resources were directed differently. While we cannot predict the specifics of what this alternate game might have been, Supergiant’s history suggests that it could have been something truly innovative. Looking at the wider industry, it’s apparent that established brands and sequels dominate the game industry, with only a few outliers breaking from this trend. This reliance on tried-and-tested intellectual property often stifles creativity in favor of ensuring quick profits.

This issue is not confined to the triple-A space, as Hades 2 exemplifies the penetration of this feeling into the double-A space. This leads to a call for more games that take risks and push boundaries, with a need for developers willing to create new experiences. While I sympathize with Supergiant’s decision to create a sequel for financial security, it emphasizes the broader issue in the industry. In conclusion, while Hades 2 shows promise and has the potential to be an excellent game upon completion, it’s hard not to lament the other games that Supergiant could have produced.

The studio’s innovation in previous titles has left me yearning for their exploration of other genres, as they are adept at playing with genre constraints and crafting inventive experiences. Ultimately, while more Hades isn’t necessarily bad, it prompts us to envision what else could have been created.

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