Cliffy B: Nobody buys horror games

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Heeeeeere'sCookie!

Dead Space and Resident Evil have both completed their transformations from survival horror to all-out-action romps. Silent Hill is quickly becoming a forgotten memory and Alone in the Dark is best left exactly there. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find “horror” games in the AAA retail space. the last one I played and actually loved was ZombiU – but that was more “tense” as opposed to scary. Gears of War Designer Clifford Bleszinski says that’s because nobody buys scary games.

Speaking about his own experiences with Dead Space 3 and its “evolution” from horror to shooter, he said horror games are the sort of things that people would rather rent than buy – and he could be right.

"In the $60 disc-based market horror doesn’t fly," Bleszinski said on his personal Tumblr. "It’s the ultimate ‘Campaign Rental’ that’s played for 2 days and traded in and I’m sure EA knows this."

He said that "true horror" games do still exist – citing PC specific games like Slender and Amnesia: The Dark Descent – but they’ll only become “big” again when the whole industry goes digital.

As for Dead Space 3?

"At the end of the day, this franchise feels like it’s starting as a solo experience, a solitary and confined horror game, and now it’s evolving into much more than that," he said. "You can either fight it or embrace it. I choose the latter, as at the end of the day it’s FUN."

I don’t care about current trends, how the markets perform, or that people like shooting things – I would happily pay for a damned good, proper AAA horror game right now.

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Last Updated: February 13, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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