Publisher-owned devs 'can't take creative risks'

Publisher-owned devs 'can't take creative risks'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 15th 2012 at 5:00PM

Independent studios are in a better position to follow their unique vision, says CCP's David Reid

Many publisher-owned studios can’t afford to take creative risks the way that independent developers can, CCP’s David Reid has told Develop.

Speaking in a newly published interview, the Eve Online developer’s CMO said that many big in-house studios were held back because of their large teams and the need to please publishers, and in some cases, public shareholders.

He added that whilst taking creative risks could be a difficult proposition for any kind of studio, being independent allowed developers to follow their singular vision through to the end.

“I think that’s true. It’s a business at the end of the day, and I don’t think its crazy to look at what’s happened to some of the marquee developers in our industry as they’ve become part of larger companies,” said Reid.

“It just is what it is that when you’re part of a bigger team and a bigger company, and have public shareholders and things like that, you have a lot more things to answer for. That’s not necessarily good or bad, it’s just different.

“That can be an environment where it is hard to take big creative risks. And creative risks are risky, things haven’t always gone well at CCP, and they won’t always go well at every independent developer.”

He said that whilst there were many benefits to being part of a bigger publisher, he felt that games such as Minecraft, League of Legends and CCP’s own Eve Online would have turned out markedly different had they not been developed independently.

“It’s not hard to imagine that Minecraft would have looked completely different if it had been built within the confines of a larger publisher,” he said.

“Think about what League of Legends or Eve might have been like. It’s not hard to see how these things just by their nature change the outcome of what your development process provides.”