Even with modern gaming systems coming with large hard drives, they are almost completely unable to accommodate the large sizes of modern video games. But what is the reason behind this? Well, there are a few theories of why video games are getting bigger in size.
However, before we dive into them, let’s first take a look at some of the more popular video games out there. For example, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. This game takes up 90GB of space, X-Plane takes up 70GB of space, and Final Fantasy 15 takes up almost 150GB of space. So to answer the question, “are your video games increasing in size?”, when it comes to AAA 3D games, then the answer is yes, they absolutely are.
Now let’s explore a few reasons why.
1. Improved quality of the game
Image Credit: Epic Games
Let’s be completely honest. The graphics in some of the more modern video games are rapidly changing and are light years ahead of video games you’d find 10 years ago. For instance, the FIFA 12 video game was once downloadable on your PC and at the time it was about game 2.3GB. But if you take a look at the most recent FIFA game, FIFA 20, it takes up 50GB of space.
One of the main reasons why FIFA20 takes up more space than FIFA12 is an amazing improvement in the graphics. From the realistic-looking players to their effortless movement during the game, it’s evident that the most recent version of the game is a complete work of art. Art, unfortunately, takes up a lot of space in the world of video games.
Another example to look at is Forza Motorsport 7, with a file size of just over 100GB. Now if you’ve never seen this game, you should totally check it out once you’re done reading this article. If you observe the lighting, models, and textures of this game, you’d be amazed at how much it mimics reality. The high-quality experience and complex graphics included here contributes to its very large file size.
A spokesperson of Turn 10, the developing company that produces Forza, said that the improved materials and textures of this game come at 60 frames per second. Now if you take into consideration that this game has over 700 cars in it, all of which look very different from each other, then it becomes a bit clearer why it takes up so much space.
2. Improved audio
Image via BioWare
It really doesn’t end with improved game quality. More than complex graphics and 3D texture, another contributor to the large size of games is the audio. The sound in modern video games has improved thoroughly over the years and has equally become more complex. The cartridge games you probably grew up with came with basic notes and soundtracks that, worked well to mimic a good range of music but were still able to fit in file sizes that were a lot smaller than any typical image that you’ll find on the internet.
These days, the very precise music and soundtracks that you find in modern games are much bigger in size, gigantic even. Also, consider all the dialogue you hear in these modern video games. Final Fantasy VII Remake is a game with some of the most amazing dialogue out there. Even the random grunts from the characters contribute to the overall storyline of the game. It takes up to 90GB of file space.
Also, sometimes, the audio and sound files of these games come uncompressed, so the sounds and music are a lot clearer and sharper. Uncompressed sound files are also great because they ensure that your PC or console doesn’t have to go through the extra effort of processing the sound alongside running the game.
Of course, this comes at a cost, as uncompressed sound files also contribute to large game sizes. For instance, the Titanfall PC version game comes with an additional 35GB of space that was allocated solely to uncompressed audio. When you take all these things into account, you begin to see the bigger picture. The good news is that thanks to developments in the audio and visuals of video games, you enjoy a more immersive gaming experience than ever before. On the flip side, you have to pay for it in the form of large file sizes.
3. Bigger game worlds
Apart from the actual visuals and audio of modern games, the actual game worlds are growing rapidly. Take, for example, The Elder Scrolls game. It was first released in 1994, with a file size of 8.8MB. One of the more recent versions of the game; The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall comes at 900MB (a small size compared to a lot of recent video games, but a lot larger than the 8.8MB of the original version) and features the largest gaming map in the world, a 62,00 miles square.
You could also take a look at the GTA series. GTA III, in 2001, was seen at the time as one of the biggest free-roaming games to exist in the gaming world. However, 3 years later, developers of the game have tripled its size with the GTA: San Andreas version, and now, its most recent version, the GTA V, includes a map that is at least 10 times the size of San Andreas.
More so, a lot of development goes into expanding gaming worlds, and each place on a game map has to be further developed to look as realistic as possible. The Just Cause 3 game not only has an impressively large map, but its bigger map requires more data to develop the visuals of each area.
So there you have it. These are three major reasons why your games are increasing in size. So, the next logical question is, what can you do about it? Well for now, unfortunately not much. Consoles can’t fit multiple games anymore, so the best thing you could possibly do is consider purchasing an external hard drive to store your data files. There’s a great list for you to check out on bestexternalharddrives.com. Apart from that, you’re going to just have to enjoy bigger and more complex games while paying for it with the ultimate price of large data sizes.