Interface keeps RTS out of the mainstream, says CoH 2 producer

Monday, 28th May 2012 07:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The RTS genre is primed to go massive, according to Relic’s Greg Wilson, but has to shake its control foibles first.

Speaking to MCV Pacific, the Company of Heroes 2 producer said it’s “very possible” RTS could become as mainstream as shooters.

“People love playing that kind of game. I think the success of Starcraft II (or really even Starcraft I) shows us that it’s possible for these kind of games to take off and be exposed to a broad market type of consumer,” he said.

“And I think that with the new advances in technology (all these touch-devices on slates and tablets that they’re talking about for the new consoles) RTS games will be able to break into that kind of mainstream because it’s really the interface that’s so challenging for people, what with so many buttons to press, left and right clicking, trying to manipulate the camera, multiple units to control, and that’s in addition to all the gameplay elements they need to master.”

Wilson said that the general level of complexity in strategy games is confusing enough without the difficulties of keyboard and mouse controls, but that he expects improvement over time.

“I would hope that in the future we can look to bring RTS in general to a broader market. I think the quality of gameplay and the experience is on par with any other type of genre out there. The only thing in our way is that interfaces, so as we get better there, we’ll reach more people,” he concluded.

Company of Heroes 2 was announced earlier this month; we had a look at it and liked what we saw.




    It’s nothing to do with the controls. It’s the game itself which is necessarily complicated.

    There’s a reason it’s called RTS, and that’s because you need to use your brain as quickly as you can.

    It’s not Sodoku.

    Although, to say it can’t go mainstream is a bit strange, because it’s definitely mainstream in South Korea, which is an entire country (with ultra fast Internet).

    In fact, SCII has arguably done more than any other game around. There are pro SC II tournaments all the time with big, cash prizes, and I don’t know any other game that has it’s own TV channel anywhere else in the world.

    Also, as far as I know, the only thing that challenges CoD in terms of YouTube viewing figures is SCII.

    I don’t think the RTS genre is in need of Wii mom’s money, just yet…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. GrimRita

    I am getting a bit worried when studios make sweeping statements like this. Look at the Total War series. Its been stripped bare and turned into an utter pile of shit.

    Some of the things that made the series great have all but gone and despite having a hollow game, they still cant release it without leaving giant things missing(like DX11 support at launch, working sieges)

    Instead of stripping away the basics, why dont developers actually look at having some kind of multiplayer tutorial about essential options in the menu? In most cases, when you play against the AI, it simply doesnt prepare you for what happens online.

    With the power of social media, maybe its time this was introduced, with tips, guides, videos etc.

    #2 3 years ago

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