Monday, 17 June 2013

Innovation of Goliaths.


After watching the big reveal about the XBone, and the Play station 4 I have been left underwhelmed by the offerings for this next generation of console. Don’t fear though, I’m not going to write a blog bashing the creative choices of multi-billion dollar corporations, that would be redundant.

To hold hate or contempt for Sony or Microsoft for doing what they do best would be like hating a monkey for eating banana’s, or give a cow crap for eating grass.

The offerings from both companies are a hot topic all over the internet but what no one has discussed is that the problem does not sit on the shoulders of the console manufacturer but with the developers of software.

Gaming has been stagnating for a while now with most triple ‘A’ developers churning out ‘safe’ bets. EA are a great example of a company afraid to venture far from the path. It wasn't always like this though. For a brief shining moment EA stood tall with new ideas like Dead Space and Mirrors Edge. Then quickly they reverted back to old habits like Madden.


Dead Space did well with sales and they made Deadspace 2, a bunch of animated movie and comic book spin offs and another game then a Wii game, mobile games and a whole bunch of other things.

Meanwhile, Mirrors Edge sold less, not badly but less than the EA behemoth expected. It was promptly forgotten by them, even though it was a solid game with many gamer's hailing it as an important new sidestep within the FPS genre.

Its only now that new ideas are few and far between as well as the sudden drop in sales across the board that EA are talking about revisiting the Mirrors Edge franchise.

A new idea of any sort within business is a gamble. While the standard and expected concepts and products make money what is the incentive for developers or even console manufacturers to produce new things that gamer's actually want?

The real innovation, genius and interesting things are happening where money comes second to creativity. There are literally dozens of indie (as well as smaller) developers doing wonderful things such as 'Thomas was alone', Little Inferno, Hotline Miami and countless more.

'Indie game the movie' even proved that there in an interest that goes deeper than the games themselves and more into the minds of the developers. maybe its not even that much about the games but instead about the process and open dialogue that these people have with the audience that is appealing.

I wonder how long before we begin to see 'indie consoles' turning up on kickstarter and other crown funding sites.

1 comment:

Laurence Cook said...

I think it is telling from the Sony Side that at their conference they had 15 indie devs on their stage playing their games and they have confirmed indies can self publish on the ps4.