Thursday, March 31, 2016

Gaming Industry: Lack of Creativity

I'm going to be honest when I say this. I think great chunks of the Gaming Industry today suffer from a lack of creativity in the way that companies go about making new video games. Instead of thinking outside the box (hence the picture I posted) and finding that possible new gem of a game concept that can take gamers to places where they haven't really been to before, some game developers have become content with the idea of remaking and rehashing game concepts of yesteryear, making very few to no changes to original game concepts that were cool years ago but are now of the norm.

This has been a reoccurring problem for years now. It doesn't just involve the changing hardware consoles. No matter what console or gaming platform you put your game on, you have to present something to the people that will get their attention, something that will get them talking, raise an eye brow and applaud. Big name companies like Nintendo can get away with tactics like this because they know that at the end of the day Super Mario is going to sell no matter what concept they throw out to their gaming audiences. Nintendo could even put out a new Mario game on the Nintendo NX called "Super Mario Jumps the Shark" and hardcore Mario fans will still eat it up. (Forgive me for being silly.)

It's easy to get comfortable with concepts and tactics that have led to success in the past. I understand that feeling. I get it. As a game dev you don't want to make too many drastic changes to a game series where you saw initial success with. Blasting Commandos (this is a random title) was an amazing hit with fans and you don't want to alienate them by doing a 180 on the core gameplay mechanics when you make Blasting Commandos 2. Totally understandable.

When it comes to yearly installments of games like Call of Duty, sports games, simulator games, etc. that's when things get a bit muddy. You know why these games continue to come out with little to no changes being made to them. They sell. That's a sure thing, but is that the right thing? The core gameplay mechanics have pretty much stayed the same for games like Madden Football, where you just need to press a button to have your quarterback pass a football to a receiver. You don't need to keep getting updated versions of Madden to know how Madden plays at this point.

Creativity is something special in the Gaming Industry. Either you have creativity or you don't. Either you have that passion to create new stuff or you don't. Either you're going to work on the drawing board and try to develop a new gaming concept or you won't. That's how people like Shigeru Miyamoto, Yuji Naka, the late Satoru Iwata and the like get to where they want to go. They have that willingness to create something the majority of people aren't considering at the moment. Selling is one thing and selling helps. Creativity is something you need to have inside you in the Gaming Industry before you sell anything.