The Games Industry Needs More Competence Not ‘Innovation’
I’ve fallen into that train of thought myself a couple of years ago during the period known as ‘The Time of Brown Military Shooters.’
Gradually, I came to another realization, what I really want to see is more good games, that the game is ‘innovative’ is secondary to the fact that the game must be good.
One shooter that was innovative is Kill.Switch. It came out in 2003 and was the first game to make heavy use of cover based gameplay. Yet games that copied the game mechanic like Gears Of War and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune had both higher review scores and outsold the innovator.
When most people say they want innovation, they actually mean they want good games that are also innovative. Making something innovative isn’t the hard part, making something great is a much bigger challenge. Thomas Edison defined genius as 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, I would say making a great game is 1% idea and 99% execution.
So if you really want more innovative games, the solution isn’t asking publishers to ‘take more risks’ or asking the developers to be more ‘creative,’ the solution is for developers to do the much harder task of becoming better at the craft of making games.
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