"The whole world of selling average games is gone," THQ says
While I find this notion absolutely absurd, I’ll hold off on that thought for a second. Danny Bilson, a VP at THQ made that comment in an interview with gamesindustry.biz.
“What I think that means is less games, more focus, more care and then more crafting in the marketing to make people care about them more,” Bilson said.
“What we do is we have a bunch of guys who love video games wanting to make the games that they love the most, and if that’s your mission I think we can make great games and succeed,” he said. “The other thing is that you’re not going to see us buying studios, you’re going to see us acquiring talent. Very different.”
Read more at gamesindustry.biz. My thoughts are after the jump.
OK, so this idea, that you’ll get better games by putting more time and effort into a few games and putting together really talented teams to do that, is good one. But isn’t that what developers already think they’re doing?
Look at Alpha Protocol. Yes, part of the problem with the game is the huge number of bugs plaguing it. But even if the team at Obsidian were given more time to polish it, the game has fundamental flaws that would prevent it from ever being “great.”
Look at Heavy Rain. That game was given tons of time and love and energy, but the game still ended up with gaping plot holes and terrible voice acting.
Look at Final Fantasy XIII. It had super high production values and polish, and it was still a waste of time.
Good developers make mistakes, and in the new world of gaming, a game’s quality is not a mathematical equation. You can give an extremely talented studio plenty of time and money, and they’ll still fart out Halo 3: ODST.
Here’s the lesson: No matter what you do, you will never be able to guarantee that a game is good. Never. Bilson’s mindset is a good one, as I said, but you just can’t account for quality. Time and energy and love and care will never be able to compensate for a bad vision.
In the end, what Bilson is saying is a step in the right direction, as long as he recognizes that operating that way won’t keep them from making bad games.