Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Creative License

I would be talking about the Halo: Reach beta, but there's one huge, gaping problem with that.

I don't have a beta code. I never even played ODST (except for maybe an hour of firefight where I just sprayed everything in sight with the Warthog machinegun), let alone bought it, despite the minor reunion of characters from Firefly and Serenity. (Why, oh why did it have to get cancelled!!! Ah well, I'll just have to stick with Castle and Chuck.)

In lieu of that, I'm going to be talking about something inspired by something the creators did.
You probably know already, but Bungie has signed a DECADE long deal with Activision! You know, the publisher who just completely messed up Infinity Ward, who have made what was probably the most commercially successful game in a VERY long time, Modern Warfare 2. But, wait! There's a catch here. Bungie owns whatever it is they're making, outright. (Tell me what it is, ASAP!!!) The problem with the IW-Activision (#FallOfDuty) thing is that Activision owned IW and MW and could tell them what to do. Not so with Bungie, they own this new IP and will completely determine what they do with it... for the next ten years...

So I'm going to be talking about the importance of owning the IP (Intellectual Property) for the development of the game.

Bobby Kotick made a speech a little while ago, where he said that Activision wanted to take the fun out of making video games. That is very, very stupid. It is an acknowledged fact (to me, at least) that work you don't believe in end up... well, bad.

Think about it. I'm going to take a general example from school. You have a project, and you think "Hey, that's actually pretty cool!", you work on it and enjoy it and do an incredible job.
The next week, you get a project in another class, maybe one you don't like as much. You think "This is so stupid...", you don't really work on it, and it sucks. How often do you do really well on something you care absolutely nothing about?

This concept applies to almost everything, but especially well to video games. If you're not having fun making it, how is it supposed to be fun for the people playing it? With the best games you can tell there are a labor of love by the developers, cutting no corners and polishing it to perfection.

In short, you MUST want to play the game you are making, or no one else will want to play it either! Don't force people to make games when they want to make something else, you're just depriving us as the consumers of the opportunity to play whatever it is they DO want to make.

P.S. And, happily, we WILL play whatever it is that West and Zampella want to make at Respawn. Sadly, not for several years...

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