The easy mode dilemma

With the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, I was reminded of a longstanding dilemma about games: the “Easy Mode” dilemma. Speaking broadly, consumers of games can be grouped by those who want easy mode in games, and those who do not.

Proponents of easy modes argue that the consumer bought the entire game and is entitled to see all of it. They claim that denying a paying player access to parts of a single-player game is unfair, and they argue that since there is no direct effect to other players from an easy mode existing, the developers have no reason other than spite to leave out a method for even the most inexperienced to complete their game. On the other hand, opponents of easy mode contend that completion is not promised, and all that is promised is the experience. In their opinion, the existence of an easy mode cheapens the achievement of finishing such a demanding game.

I’m curious: which side does everyone lean towards? Do you guys want games that have the option for reduced difficulty, or do you prefer it when games are unforgiving and demand your best efforts?

2 thoughts on “The easy mode dilemma”

  1. I personally lean towards games have more accessibility options. While in the case of FromSoftware games like Sekiro or Bloodborne, I wouldn’t use them, I think providing people who do not have the time or physical ability to master the games’ intricate and punishing combat systems a way to attain the same experience as more entrenched players is a great idea. I know there was some controversy surrounding some comments of this nature made by the creator of Celeste (https://screenrant.com/sekiro-celeste-creator-easy-mode/), and I think his suggestions for accessibility options are interesting.

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  2. I would say that having more options is better. While some people may find playing in the easy mode is boring, other people may not be as experienced and would like to have an easier way to play the game. After all, having an easy mode option won’t affect hardcore gamers in any way. Younger audiences may prefer playing in easy mode because they are less experienced. Also, having the easy mode option will get them interested in the game without being so frustrated, and, once they get better they will always have the option to challenge themselves with harder modes in the future.

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