“It’s just not true” that what’s “popular” isn’t good, id Software co-founder and lead engineer John Carmack has said, calling for “snooty” devs to make games people want to pay for.
“I am pretty down on people who take the sort of creative auteurs’ perspective,” he told IndustryGamers. “It’s like ‘Oh, we’re not being creative.’ But we’re creating value for people – that’s our job!
“It’s not to do something that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s to do something that people love so much they’re willing to give us money for.”
“So I do get pretty down on people that – you see some of the indie developers that really take a snooty attitude about this. It’s almost as if it’s popular, it’s not good. And that’s just not true.
Carmack said it’s a “mistake to discount proven formula[e] that people like”.
“As long as people are buying it, it means they’re enjoying it. If they buy the next Call of Duty, it’s because they loved the last one and they want more of it,” he said.
Id Software’s next game Rage, like all its games, is a first-person shooter – a genre often accused of over-saturation. But at one point, Carmack though the genre might lose popularity.
“Once FPS kind of got out of being the sole property of id, it seemed clear to me that when we reached a certain level of visual fidelity, that third person was going to have certain significant advantages because you can use the tools of the director,” he commented.
“I was more or less expecting third person to be the more popular set of genres and indeed it was looking like, with Gears’ success, that even in the serious action [genre], that it might end up trending more that way.”
Carmack noted that the success of a 60 fps game like Call of Duty revalidated the cinematic and story-telling abilities of first-person games.
“Seeing the huge success of that, it has been great to see it swing back towards people really seeing the advantages of first person perspective, the immersion that you get in the game – that you may be watching a kick ass movie in the third person view, but you’re in the kick ass movie with first person.
“But there will forever be first-person shooters and third-person shooters and all of that. They’re stable genres that will continue to be polished and improved forever after.”