I love this thread on Slashdot which pretty much sums up my thoughts on games and gaming in general. The thread is inspired by this article which takes a view on the current state of the nation in gaming. We all know what a huge business gaming has become in all aspects: in browser, on mobile, on console, on computer, on handheld. The argument has always been that the more money comes into the business the more that gameplay and game longevity suffers. This argument has been around as long as video games have.
My take is that big games companies are lazy, risk averse and profit-driven and that independents are so confused by the panoply of platforms they can target that they become paralysed by anxiety. Additionally the third-party tools that aim to ease the confusion are the only true winners at the moment. Either you need to be a focussed independent or a major label looking to try something new.
Now, this doesn’t always work. Remember Mirror’s Edge? And check out The Unfinished Swan. Great looking games with great feel don’t always succeed at the box office. Innovativation hardly ever assures success, gameplay is golden, and gold as we know is impossible to synthesise. To make a great game today you must combine graphics, environment, interaction – find a balance – sprinkle on that fairy dust.