Video Games

Video Game Analysts Discuss The State Of The Industry…And Pop Culture

Recently, one of the editor of the video game magazine Game Informer left his job because, and I’m paraphrasing here, he “didn’t recognize the industry anymore.” It’s a sentiment that I, and I’m sure many of you, can relate to. The video game industry has changed dramatically in the last few years, and as someone who loves to play big action game on consoles, I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to find games to play in five or ten years. But at the same time, there are new avenues for gaming that are opening up every day.


What got me thinking about this was that my pal Raymond, who you may know better as RPad of, did some interviews with Michael Pachter, an industry analyst with Wedbush Securities, and Greg Essig, the head of business development at FunPlus, in which he briefly chatted with them about their upcoming talks at DICE Europe 2015, in which they’ll be discussing these very topics. Though he also asked them about Game Of ThronesThe Avengers, and Sigur Ros.

Anyway, I thought you might want to check them out. You can see Raymond’s story here.


2 replies on “Video Game Analysts Discuss The State Of The Industry…And Pop Culture”

“… sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to find games to play in five or ten years.”

For me, Paul, this conundrum has already arrived.

Oh, there are always good games: in recent times the Witcher series, The Last of Us, Bethesda’s offerings, the various “Souls” games from From Software. There are even unforeseen indie genre-innovators like Terraria.

But a sameness and a safeness long ago settled in. Franchises churn out their offerings with smaller differences in each iteration. Genres are so well defined anyone can peddle clones — and thanks to Flash aggregators and platforms like Steam, anyone will. For AAA titles, a kind of Hollywoodization is now firmly in place, their narratives leaving little to ambiguity or interpretation. Bad disposable movies are now bad disposable games. The banal multiplex culture that holds little interest to me has found a foothold in my life after all, it seems, through my game console…

Paradoxically, there is more to play than ever before and less that I have any interest in playing. Part of this will be down to the industry serving a lowest common denominator more than in its halcyon days. Another part is down to experience — to having seen what can be done in the form when someone actually tries. I’m harder to impress now, and games are trying less.

So I find myself wishing not for rendering breakthroughs but design breakthroughs. Better, more adaptive, more surprising AI. New conceptions of gameplay. New aesthetics. Deeper narrative involvement. Any kind of advance, and not another bloody EA retread…

Lucky for the industry this isn’t a common complaint. Yet.

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