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New Video Game IPs Are Crucial

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Note: This piece is a direct response to Rob Faraldi’s Gaming: A Stagnant Puddle of Mediocrity.

Rob’s desperate cry for innovation is heard in every corner of the gaming world. The sign of new intellectual properties is a positive one, not one of an industry refusing to change. There’s a key point here that Rob brings out, but fails to make his point on accurately:

This industry has been around less then four decades and it’s already drowning in a stagnant puddle of mediocrity

It’s been drowning in that same puddle since they began. Pong was copied so many times by so many different knock-off companies, collectors are still trying to sort through the real and fake ones. Pac-Man rips were constant, Space Invaders would have been better off never being made, and Mario has been challenged by more human-like animals bouncing off each others heads since the NES days than we can ever count. When the general gaming populace is tired of something, the developers move on.

Lack of innovation is nothing new. The start of new IPs is a sign of a slowly turning shift towards new content. You can’t expect to walk into an EB tomorrow and see 100 games that are completely different from each other. There’s a bigger hurdle to face, and that’s getting the mass public to buy into things they don’t see as familiar.

With the world’s biggest games publisher pushing new titles, it’s forcing a general gaming populace into trying something new. That’s what we need to get them familiar with (and get them as far away as possible from): game titles they already know. Once the transition is complete, we have an audience outside of the die-hard followers willing to accept something different, even better than slipping out obscure things like Okami.

New interfaces like the DS and the Revo… err, Wii, are great. As of now, without a transition, people won’t know what hit them. The DS still has face buttons and a d-pad. Most games rely on those because trying to shock an audience with anything else is financial suicide. Innovative titles are slowly bringing with them mass acceptance. That’s how it needs to be done.

We’ve always seen this style of getting the public into trying something new. Even we, as hardcore gamers, have gone through this. Back in 1995 when the Playstation first hit, could you imagine being handed Halo with its dual analog controls and being asked to play through even a single level? Of course not, and that’s why we went through Doom into something like Turok and then into Halo.

Game design itself has been training us through progression, just like the slow inflation of new IPs will slowly move the wider audience towards picking up something they’ve never heard of. The DS signals innovation to come while still offering gameplay experiences we’re all familiar with. However, there’s nothing wrong with multiple Burnout sequels until that happens, and the journalists out there have no reason to dismiss a game like that because it offers more of the same.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • RF

    “There’s a key point here that Rob brings out, but fails to make his point on accurately”

    I don’t see how inaccurate I’m being when you agree with me.

    There’s no denying there’s been “me-too” titles since the industry began. One fact that seemed to slip past you is that Pong was actually ripped off from Ralph Baer’s work. Including interesting points/facts like this would help add to the validity of your opinion. You did know that Pong was a clone didn’t you?

    “When the general gaming populace is tired of something, the developers move on”

    That’s not exactly true. Judging by sales of the Genesis and Super NES they weren’t tired of 2D experiences until they were presented with something new by developers. Leading up to the Saturn and PS being released there was a huge shift in the development community towards 3D. New hardware and developers forced change.

    We’ve discussed this a bit through email leading up to your “direct response” to my little piece. I’m still not convinced you understand the point of my article.

    I’m not calling for radical change over night or to abolish conventional styles of play. I love old school and old style gaming.

    My cry for innovation is no more desperate than you trying to create debate on this website (which i’m cool with).

    “The start of new IPs is a sign of a slowly turning shift towards new content”

    Really?

    “Pong was copied so many times by so many different knock-off companies, collectors are still trying to sort through the real and fake ones. Pac-Man rips were constant, Space Invaders would have been better off never being made, and Mario has been challenged by more human-like animals bouncing off each others heads since the NES days than we can ever count”

    I’ve got news for you Matt, all those knock offs esp. the “Mario Clones” were new IP’s. Bubsy was a new IP at one point. TY the Tasmanian Tiger was a new IP. Looking back they didn’t really offer any new content that we hadn’t seen before.

    I can’t fault you for trying and I look forward to your lengthy response.

    -R

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    Rob, correct me if I am wrong here, but wasn’t the point of this point-counter point going to be a series of articles. In saying that, wouldn’t the above comment you made be better suited in a follow up article?

  • http://www.myspace.com/lololol Jiminy Shitwald

    omg that is so cooling!! lol i love `vidoe gams hahahaha :):):)lol!!!1! I like mario 2! he he, jump on the mushroom!! ha, you go spidr man1!

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    ^^^ I’ll have what he’s having.