Posted on January 16, 2008, Shawn Sines Where Have All the Heroes Gone
The Escapist has an article on the disappointment of one man in his quest for a Hero in a field of fallen icons. Contrary to what you might expect, columnist Andy Chalk isn’t speaking of the protagonist of a videogame, but the companies that have dared to risk it all in the pursuit of truly great and innovative game play.
It’s obvious early on that Chalk is primarily a PC gamer from the titles, like Bard’s Tale and Starflight, and companies he references. Some his fallen heroes are EA that he says moved into the safety of the mainstream, Microprose which tanked and his latest disappointment, BioWare, which has tarnished its image by moving into the console and MMOG market.
Chalk is looking to studios like GSC Game World and Arkane Studios to reignite the fire within him for games.
It goes without saying that the mystique and wonder of the early days are irretrievably lost to me. Everything has changed. Both the industry and I have grown older and more cynical, and like an old married couple, we don’t seem to have as much interest in impressing each other as we used to. But maybe, at this point, actually knocking my socks off with unmitigated genius has become less important than an honest attempt at doing so. Heroism comes from the effort, not the result.
And I want my hero. GSC Game World shows some promise. Arkane Studios has an outside shot, assuming their continuing failure to make commercially successful games doesn’t result in their unfortunate demise. Or maybe it will be someone else entirely, an unheralded studio who steps up and shows the world that game design is not stagnant and that risk is meant to be embraced.
Although I do understand this is entirely an opinion piece, I believe Chalk is short sighted. He has discounted console games and MMOs out of hand, when those areas seem to be the one developing the furtherest and fastest at this time. One must be willing to change with the times to truly appreciate them.
via The Escapist