Wed, May 25, 2011 | 09:30 BST
Levine on apps, mobile gaming: Complaining won’t change anything
Devices like the iPhone have taken the gaming world by storm as of late, but we’d be lying if we said the tiny tech titan hadn’t made a few enemies along the way. BioShock creator Ken Levine, however, thinks that those who view this as some sort of industry-damning app-ocalypse need to pull their heads out of the sand. Like it or not, the future is now. Adapt or get left behind.
“Look, what’s the point of saying something people like is ruining something? Whether that’s true or not, it’s happening, and you are kidding yourself if you think complaining about it is going to change anything,” Levine told VG247 during a recent interview.
“There are lots of things that make my life more complicated. It’d be great for me if people loved to buy triple-A games and nothing else. And if they only liked to buy first-person shooters with story elements and RPG elements, that’d make my life a lot easier. But that’s not the case.”
This is, after all, a consumer-driven industry. Sad to say, times change and so do tastes. Levine, then, sees this as a natural progression. Jabbing the blame finger at everything with a face won’t fix your problems. Instead, he says, the key is to learn what presses your audience’s buttons when figuring out what buttons you want them to press.
“You always have to give the audience experiences they’re going to find worthwhile – whether it’s for their time or their money. It’s not their job to like my game; it’s my job to make something that people are going to connect with. And I take that responsibility seriously,” Levine said.
And really, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before. For instance, those consoles some gamers very nearly worship? They didn’t exactly receive a warm welcome either.
“Most of this keeps me on my toes,” Levine added. “It keeps things interesting. If I didn’t ever change, you know, I started out making PC games. There was a time when people said, ‘Oh, console games are going to ruin everything.’ Now I think we realize that console games can be as deep and interesting as a lot of PC games.”
“But I like everything. I’m quite omnivorous. I like making the kind of games I make. And if one day, people don’t connect with the kind of stuff I make anymore, well, maybe I’ll make something different.”
We also spoke with Levine about his next opus, BioShock Infinite, which – if we’re being honest – looks pretty darn incredible. Heartfelt moments of character interaction and robo-pterodactyls? Often in the same scene? Sorry, other videogames. At least you had a good run. You can check out our impressions here.