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

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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

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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