GDC: Lack of games variety 'down to everyone'

GDC: Lack of games variety 'down to everyone'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 12th 2012 at 3:33PM

Customers, developers and the press are all responsible for 'an appetite for sameness', says Chris Hecker

If the industry wants variety in gaming, it must be proactive in demanding it, says former Maxis dev.

Speaking at GDC during his ‘The Dysfunctional Three-Way’ presentation, Chris Hecker explained that customers, developers and the press are all responsible for a lack in genre variety.

He said that the relationship between all three sides of the industry were broken, as they all demand, develop and cover the same games repeatedly, which he called “an appetite for sameness”.

Hecker suggested that customers need to demand more of developers, whilst the press also needs to cover and promote different styles of games, and let users know when a title was not innovating and shaking up the genre, touting the media as “the conscience of the industry”.

He said that as far as Call of Duty games, the bad parts in press reviews only focused on the short campaigns, “not that you bought the same fucking game”.

“We all need to be proactive, and what does this mean? Players have to request and purchase true variety,” he said.

“Variety is not a turret mission in the middle of an FPS.

He added: “The press play all the games, you have the 50,000ft view on our industry, you have to provide that context, you have to say did we need another one of these games, you have to provide that context, you have to hold players and developers accountable. You’re kind of the conscience of our industry.

“For developers, there’s this truism in development where all the best studios in fact say we make games we want to play. Well can you please want to make and play more varied games?”

Hecker said that if the industry stays on the same path, it would not die out as an entertainment form, but would be “a shame and waste of our potential for us and our children”.