I have a theory about game industry execs…most of them are pretty dumb. Sure, I’ve met a lot of really smart guys that “get it” and are just totally awesome. There are a few that I look up to and I try to follow their example in business, design, etc. But there are so many idiots out there that have either gotten their position by dumb luck, the ideas and work of others, or simply being in the right place at the right time, that the joke about the stereotype is actually pretty right on the mark in a lot of cases.
This is pretty self-evident in the industry. How many times have you seen a press release that has left you scratching your head and thinking “wtf?”. This usually happens when someone cancels a project or title that everyone is just dying for, or some stupid concept is greenlighted and given an outrageous budget, and the list goes on.
But I digress, lets talk about Nancy Drew for a moment, and then on to EA.
The NPD Group reports the top 10 PC games for the week of Oct 13 are as follows:
1. Half Life 2: Episode 2 The Orange Box
2. Nancy Drew: Legend Of The Crystal Skull
3. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask Of The Betrayer
4. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage
5. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
6. World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
7. World Of Warcraft
8. The Sims 2 Deluxe
9. World In Conflict
10. World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest
Yep. Nancy Drew is in #2. You can make an arguement (weak though it may be) that Nancy Drew is more popular than World of Warcraft. Obviously, this is only for this particular week, and who knows what happens if you add 6 and 7 together. But given our industry’s habit of thinking something is popular (for whatever reason) and then trying like crazy to duplicate it in 50 different ways. I half expect a rash of announcements of games similar to Nancy Drew…girl + detective = massive success! And then of course, the marketing types and execs will jump on the bandwagon with charts about how women gamers compose more than half of the market in some segments and how we all need to make more games for women…so, it HAS to have unicorns, princesses, and fairies in it! Ok, Girl Detective that is also a Princess and has to find her missing Unicorn in the Fairy Kingdom! It will be a hit! Now, all we need is someone on the team that used to work for Blizzard and we can get $50M to make the game. Its almost guarenteed to be a hit! After all, Nancy Drew is more popular than World of Warcraft.
I’ve been procrastinating on ranting about THIS for a while now. It just stuns me. EA Exec wants a “one console future”. It’s called a PC, DUH.
I’m not going to get all ranty over why I think consoles are a waste of time, or how the industry has screwed itself, stunted its own growth, and missed out on many opportunities because of the console or the propaganda about the PC being a dead platform. I should though.
Anyway, there is a lot of meat in this article to chew on. I sincerely doubt that there will be one generic platform in the future…the differences between a PC, a box in the living room, handhelds, and mobile phones is just too dramatic. I mean, geeze, PC vs Mobile alone. Even if the OS and everything else was the same, there is nothing that could ever be so generic that you only have to make the game once. Just the difference in screen sizes makes this anything but feasible.
“It will take some time, but Florin is convinced that the industry will eventually adopt a single platform. “I am not sure how long we will have dedicated consoles – but we could be talking up to 15 years,” he said.”
What the hell? 15 years? And why did he say “dedicated consoles” as in plural. I thought he wanted a single “do everything” dedicated console… Psht. While you are at it, we only really need one publisher, one developer, one kind of car, one political party, and one health care plan. Who needs variety?
“Moreover, this kind of future would seemingly put the focus squarely on content – the real competition would come from the quality of the games themselves.”
Psht. Isn’t that the case now? Technical issues aside, developers already make games for most (if not all) the platforms. EA for example “produces games for more than 14 different gaming platforms, including consoles, portables, portable devices and PCs.” When people choose what game to buy, the important thing is the GAME. How many times have you heard someone say they were going to buy a console just so they could play a specific game? You don’t buy a game solely because it runs on one platform.
Anyway, EA should know better. Design great games and people will buy them.
Is anyone else getting tired of blowing wads of cash every few years on a new set of consoles? Personally, Id rather just pay to upgrade my PC. It’s cheaper.