Dishonored co-director Harvey Smith has stated that gamer fatigue has led to the development of several formulaic and near-identical experiences that do little to inspire. Giving players freedom to approach goals as they see fit, and a move away from stereotypes is the key to bringing innovation back to the industry.
Speaking with GI.Biz, Smith commented on the lack of new IP in the industry as well as diminishing numbers of studios taking risks, “You could attribute it to gamer fatigue. How many games have been released now where you’re a soldier, or a space marine, or you’re surrounded by elves and wizards, or you’re robbing a bank in L.A.?”
“I’m still an optimist,” Smith added, “and I still have a great time playing games, but the truth is I play two AAA games a year, I probably really enjoy two indie games a year, maybe a couple of mobile games a year, because most stuff is just variations on things we’ve seen before. If you’ve been around a while you’ve seen it over and over and over.”
Smith also cites the dependence on cinematics to tell a story, rather than simply acting out scenes and plot points yourself as a negative in today’s industry, “We think about the player experience we want and we go for that – not a cinematic experience, but an interactive experience. The goal is cinematic action, which is a terrible goal for games. Really, if you’re making a game the goal should be improvisation.”
While he believes everyone is following suit on this issue, Smith stresses that it isn’t in Arkane’s nature to do so, “You can be completely rock ‘n’ roll about it and say, ‘F**K it, we’re gonna do everything different from everyone else. We’re driven by this one impulse creatively.’ You can be successful, or fail, either of those ways. ”
“At a certain point, I came to mistrust formulas, because I’ve seen so many examples of people failing or succeeding by following a certain blueprint.”
You can read our full interview with Dishonored developer Arkane right here.