Home Gaming Flamebait Friday Debate : Is the Game Buying Public Killing Creativity?

Flamebait Friday Debate : Is the Game Buying Public Killing Creativity?

1 min read


Call of Duty : Black Ops was released this week – and it’s done exceptionally well, eclipsing the previous Call of Duty to become the highest grossing entertainment launch ever. It’s actually pretty damned good, but let’s face it though – it’s not very original, is it?

Yet another first person shooter and the 7th in the series – but this is the sort of game people buy. 5.6 million people, in fact – who picked the game up on day one. Although it’s not a very good example of creativity – being pretty derivative itself – compare that to sales of Enslaved, which managed to shift just 800 000 copies in a month.

With gamers mostly buying multiplayer shooters, game publishers take some pretty big risks introducing new IP’s with original fresh ideas. Why should they take those risks, if people just end up buying the same rehashed multiplayer shooters? Katamari creator Keita Takahashi who recently left Namco put it this way :

“I find it quite boring that if a company creates one thing that sells really well then obviously the company is going to work on almost similar types of things to make more profit.”

With developers pretty much having to churn out sequels and  commercially successful titles for the sake of publisher profit are we, as the game buying public, killing creativity in the video game industry?

Last Updated: November 12, 2010


  1. al360

    November 12, 2010 at 12:41

    damn never thought of it that way but so so tru !!
    stoopid MW players hahahahahha just kidding
    i myself have had enough and did not pick up a copy for the first time in my life i just didn’t see the need to
    same ol same ol sh$t


  2. Fred

    November 12, 2010 at 12:50

    Yes , we love to kill things including creativity and originality.


  3. Syth

    November 12, 2010 at 12:50

    For sure! It is almost as bad as hollywood. You make things people enjoy. Here and there you get a gem of a game that is actually new and creative AND a commercial success, but it is not always good business sense to churn out new and creative IP’s.

    I also enjoy a “known winner” like the COD games. I’d rather buy a game I know is going to be enjoyable with my hard earned money than a game that may be something creative. There are enough proven franchises to ensure that you will always be able to buy a AAA game that will be good. COD, Fifa, Halo, Assassins Creed, NFS, Rock Band/ Guitar Hero and a few more.

    For singleplayer, the developers will have to innovate at some stage otherwise people will stop buying and the genre/franchise will grow stale (music games is a good example). But for multiplayer, people will for the most part just keep on buying each new itteration on the market.

    I for one, haven’t bought COD:BO and won’t even be considering buying. On the other hand, I won’t be buying Enslaved either (even though I really want it) I will be saving my money for GT5 because I know it will be a success.

    Like Fred said, you sell at that the people are willing to pay. Furthermore, you sell what you know people are willing to buy.

    Is it wrong? No. Is it a shame for gamers in the long run. Most definitely.


  4. Geoffrey Tim

    November 12, 2010 at 12:52

    Yeah, I agree. even though I do like my quirky, original games- there’s a certain comfort in knowing that your hard earned money is going towards something you know you’ll like – even if it is the same or similar to something that came before it.


  5. Fred

    November 12, 2010 at 12:57

    I also did not get Black ops by the way … but will get AC brotherhood in stead.


  6. lans

    November 12, 2010 at 13:04

    Spell race car backwards i double dare you!!!
    Spell it!!!!!!


  7. hayted

    November 12, 2010 at 13:25

    Hi there Cloud Strike :biggrin:


  8. Aequitas

    November 12, 2010 at 13:27

    Yes, publishers can kill creativity by milking a franchise, but there is more space for creativity than just ‘new IP’.

    Even in Black Ops, the ‘contracts’ and wager match systems are a creative way of solving a problem that the recent CoD games have had, and they add to the game immensely.

    When CoD4 was first released, the idea of ‘perks’ was pretty damn creative.

    The issue however is that big publishers don’t want to blow tons of cash on a game that might not do well … that’s where indie studios come in.

    Indie developers can often make a great game, which is probably not AAA, but is still worth your money, and they can do if for a *fraction* of the cost that it takes to make a AAA game. Thus, even if the game sells way less copies, because the initial investment is lower, the dev/publisher can still turn a profit.

    So if you’re looking for creative games, buy an indie game. often they are quite cheap R100 or so) and they definitely aren’t cash-ins.


  9. LordKhaan

    November 12, 2010 at 13:37

    IMO, I dont know how you can compare the 2.
    Enslaved while the idea of it was good, I found to be a mediocre game. It was short, offered virtually no re-playability (again opinions will vary), while something like black op you will be able to play easily for the next 2 years.
    I think I said this in one of the other threads too, in terms of marketing Enslaved was launched completely at the wrong time. Most people can only afford to buy 1 game a month, now from the same point of view, are the gamers willing to risk that one game from something new (that quite possibly could be absolute drivel) or buy something that they know they will love and have absolutely no regrets about buying? (much like syth just said)
    The guys that were handling the launch should have seen what else was launching around the same time and thought about delaying or launching early to miss the onslaught of great games that released sept/oct/nov.
    A game like Enslaved also isnt a brand nor does it have the following like something of Call of Duty. And while I didnt expect it to push the figures that it has, I knew it would be a big seller.


  10. Chainedfly2002

    November 12, 2010 at 14:06

    that’s why we have Indy Games, they can take chances with games that are out of the box of conventional games (Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress and Super Meatboy just to mention a few), if a big company makes a game that’s not attractive to mainstream audiences and it bombs, it usually leads to job cuts and in extreme cases, the closure of the company


  11. Aussious

    November 12, 2010 at 14:11

    Well this is by no means a new trend, I mean original or unique games rarely ever do well unless they made by Nintendo… I mean you still remember Ico, Planescape,Sacrifice,nomad soul, Shadow of Colossus, The world ends with you? these and many more have gone unnoticed in favor of the staples such as GTA’s, COD’s,FIFA’s Need for Speed etc. Its sad because what I like today I most probably won’t be into in 10 years… To me GTA is a good example I loved it on PS2 but I thought it was rather meh when the 360 came out. Same goes for FIFA on PSONE on PS2 never touched it! So imagine if we still playing COD and Halo 10 years from now, LAME….


  12. Philip

    November 12, 2010 at 14:19

    Quite frankly, I don’t look to the big name developers and publishers for creativity anymore, because with the insane production costs associated with pumping out a AAA title, they can’t afford to risk being creative. Oh, sure, they might take a chance once every couple of years or so and release something completely brand new and refreshing, but for the most part it’s a very narrow field of sequels and rehashing within strictly defined genres.

    Creativity is largely the domain of the smaller independent developers these days.


  13. Philip

    November 12, 2010 at 15:21

  14. Ndibu

    November 14, 2010 at 08:29

    Well, this week’s topic was just about as heated as a wet T-shirt contest at an old age home!
    How about for next week the article be this: Hugh LOL @ GT5 Car List!
    Out of the 1031 Cars there are
    100 Nissans with 40, yes 40, Skylines lol
    99 Hondas,
    17 S2000’s lol

    95 Mazda’s
    17 RX-7’s
    71 Mitsubishi’s 25 Lancers and 11 3000 GT’s

    98 Toyotas
    10 Celica’s
    Only 12 Ferrari’s and NO F50, FAIL
    No Saabs
    No E30 M3
    Bugatti Veyron given the Standard treatment yet there are THREE Suzuki freaking CAPPUCCINO’s that are PREMIUM!! What the H??? What in the world is a freaking CAPPUCCINO and why would any self respecting game studio put THREE in a game and make them ALL PREMIUMS! OVER A BUGATTI?!!
    They might as well change the name of this game to Gran Turismo Japan. More than half the car list is from Japan and the list is inflated with repeats, I mean come on, 40 skyline GT-R’s…why?
    Who needs that many S2000’s? I didn’t even mention the lack of the world’s most awarded racing car manufacturer, Porsche. If Forza can have them, why can’t GT?…LAME


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