Thursday, 16 December 2010

open letter to games developers who want to make games like films

Why do you want games to be more like films?

There are a lot of films. Hardly any of them are taken seriously. The big blockbusters are often derided by critics, who praise the more personal, or artistic, to use a semi-bullshit phrase, works of Peter Greenaway, Ken Loach or Terry Gilliam.

What is it you want from games? We already have blockbuster games, and they’re still looked down upon, if anyone looks at them at all, generally. A lot of people know almost nothing about, for example, the Call of Duty franchise. Even less know anything about fucking Limbo or any of the indie games.

Do you think any of this is to do with the fact that most people think video games are for kids because they’re played mostly by kids?

I mean yeah, if you’re male and aged 20-30 you might play games. But more killing, more explosions, more weapons aren’t going to make games be taken more seriously. That is all impulse attention grabbing bullshit, which is some MTV technique used to grab the attention of young people, kids, the same as the summer blockbuster films. Is it any wonder, then, that people think games are for kids since they seem to be designed for kids?

Games already make money. You don’t need to churn out blockbuster games.


The total revenue from first day sales in the U.S. and the UK was $310 million, making Modern Warfare 2 the biggest entertainment launch in history, surpassing (in revenue) its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto IV,[84][85] as well as items from other media types.

No one really cares about those big films either, they’re almost always just brief entertainment.

Why not let films be like films, because they’re films, and let games be like games?

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