Analyst: sequels, annualization may be killing creativity

Dollars - Image 1The game industry may be getting swamped with sequels, remakes, annualization, and all manner of money-raking tactics. That’s bad news, an analyst says, because creativity among developers is often compromised. He says, however, publishers are better off in the long run by breeding talent among the minds behind the medium. Get his full take in the article after the jump.

Game library - Image 1In an industry populated by a swamp of sequels, remakes, annualization, and all manner of money-raking tactics from game publishers, an analyst says classics are hard to get by. Unless developers are treated as artists, he says, true innovation will be a long shot at best.

This is a message conveyed by Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson in an email interview with MTV Multiplayer. He says that today’s gaming scene is so restrictive to creativity that it takes a Will Wright or Hideo Kojima pedigree most of the time to really get what you want done.

Case in point, he says, is this analogy: Ken Levine can drop out of the BioShock team and the series would go on. Publishers think of developers as parts to a greater whole which can be interchanged. It’s not the same as in the movie industry wherein if George Lucas died today, the Star Wars series will probably see an end as well.

“There are very few people in this world who know how to create hits,” he said. “Not create a hit, but create multiple hits.”

The key for long-term success, Wilson says, is enriching talent with time and investment. If publishers realize that game makers are the stars of this business, they wouldn’t have to be pressured to come up with flat sequels and expansions on an annual basis.

Wilson didn’t miss the chance to take a swipe at Electronic Arts, known for its sequel-churning ways to generate fast returns to its investments. “IÂ’ve been critical of EA for the last few years and it is common knowledge among gamers that their brand has been tarnished due to deteriorating quality,” he comments.

“Name a groundbreaking new piece of software that has emerged from one of the large U.S. video game publishers in the last few years,” he concludes. “Spore could be a rare example. Any surprise it took a ‘Will WrightÂ’ to create it?”

Via MTV Multiplayer

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