warmbluelasers wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 00:11:
Having grown up when Wing Commander and X-Wing/Tie Fighter were released, the control issue isn't an issue anymore. Both Elite and Star Citizen are incredibly playable with KBM to the point it's a matter of preference. Thrustmaster sells very affordable sticks from a basic throw-away stick at $30 to a full stick/throttle/pedals for $140 (with Amazon Prime).
I think the lack of resurgence is a combination of today's gamers (not capable of 3D spatial sense) and big publishers playing it safe.
I can't speak to Star Citizen, but I mentioned Elite -- I think it's more of a space trucker than a shooter, and I don't think an X-Wing/Wing Commander/Freespace game with its kind of action would go over very well. It's designed more towards the mouse's strength, precision shooting, than towards flying, while the old style space action games leaned more heavily on targets suddenly swinging behind or in front of you, with way more giant turns to re-orient on your target. I think War Thunder encapsulates this if you compare its arcade and realistic modes. It's not that developers have gotten better about designing mouse controls, they've intentionally redesigned the gameplay to make it more amenable.
I don't think the affordability of the stick is a major factor. There have been good $30 sticks for a long time now. But they're only really good for flying games. For pretty much everything else a gamepad is more relaxing to hold and puts more controls within reach.
I also doubt yesterday's gamers were really all that superior to today's. I feel like the majority of gamers always wanted to be playing multiplayer FPSes, it just took a while for the technology to get there. Once it did, a lot of genres became a lot less viable.