A couple developers, most notably EA (Electronic Arts), have come out recently with announcements that they’re going to quit being so reliant on licenses and pursue creating new IPs (intellectual properties) aimed at blockbuster status. At first I was excited. Holy shit! Developers get it finally! A new renaissance of gaming will be upon us in a few years. This is going to take a while after all. Then it hit me: new IPs don’t equal new experiences.
The industry does not need new IPs per se. Instead we need innovation all around. We need new ways to define gaming, to create games, to report on gaming. This industry has been around less then four decades and it’s already drowning in a stagnant puddle of mediocrity. So what the hell do we need?
It’s obvious that the standard controller on a PS2 (Playstation 2) or Xbox 360 limits what developers can do. There hasn’t been significant innovation on home consoles since the introduction of Shenmue on Dreamcast. Grand Theft Auto 3 may have popularized the “3D Sandbox” genre but Yu Suzuki and AM2 did it first! Hardware manufacturers need to follow Nintendo’s lead. They don’t necessarily need a DVD remote akin to the Wii’s centerpiece for success, but they need something more than the status quo controller. How can a system be “Next Gen” if it’s basically the same shite as older consoles? A new interface is a partial answer and it does help drive innovation. Play the DS to catch my drift.
Developers and the press need to treat gaming differently. It starts with developers pumping out new experiences of course. It ends with journalists objectively reporting facts to the public. Gamers hardcore and casual will become far less reliant on the press in years to come thanks to the ability to play demos with little effort. The press will have no choice but to change the way they do business or go out of it permanently. Please die!
So fuck the new IPs. Playing the same game with a different character is not what anyone involved with gaming, developers to gamers, needs. We need innovation all around. Innovation exists. There are those out there that believe it’s all been done before. That way of thinking needs to go six feet under.