Playing it safe


Saw this tweet from the BBC Tech guys this morning

VIDEO: Are new games lacking imagination? bbc.in/oRnkM3

Which links to a BBC Click page and a short video that they describe as “If you play a lot of video games and have thought that they are starting to look very similar, you are not alone.”

It doesn’t look very indepth in to the subject but even so does on a shallow way look into the reasons why mainstream developers (with the odd exception) stick to the tried and tested, what sells, more of the same formulas for their games.

But is this just a symptom of the modern games industry? An industry that is becoming more like hollywood everyday, becoming risk averse, because development costs are so high.

I think one of the reasons I like the Indie games so much, and also mobile apps, is that there is a lot of risk taking, a pushing of the boundaries, exploration of ideas (whether in game play/mechanics or storytelling). Granted these may not always work, but they are trying, and that counts a lot in my book. Of course there is the argument that the Indie developer can afford to take these risks their production overheads are less, blah blah blah.

Another worrying trend with the mainstream developer is the lack of thought being put into single player modes these days. It seems that more and more with games like Home Front etc that the single player mode is almost an after thought and added at the last moment. How can they justify a single player mode that is less than 10 hours of play? Not everyone wants to play multiplayer all the time, I don’t, and a game less than 10 hours is not worth the £40 asking price.

But this just ties in on the above originality theme of the post.

What I’m hoping is that this is the beginning of a debate, that we can discuss this in the comments, and expand and look into why this is happening.

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