I actually posted the following message on another forum, but nonetheless felt like sharing it with everyone here:
I kept the November 1998 204 issue of Computer And Video Games in which the magazine interviewed Capcom’s General Manager, Noritaka Funamizu. When he was asked if the arcade business would come to an end due to the fact consoles are becoming more and more powerful, his response was surprising to say the least:
“No, that’s not the reason. The problem is that the ‘game era’ has gone. The days when people really loved playing computer games has ended. Nowadays, there are many other forms of entertainment, and computer games are just one of them. This is mainly because of Sony. Because of the widespread Playstation market, the way people think about games has changed. Sony has created a new era of light users who consider games to be just an everyday form of general entertainment - nothing special. This is both a good thing and a bad thing…”
Was Mr Funamizu of Capcom right? If games are merely reflecting what mainstream gamers in general want, then why don’t games companies just publish porn? Hell, it’s what we all want.
Seriously, the spirit of gaming has been lost somewhere along the line because all games companies fix their sights on now is how much money they can squeeze into their bank accounts. What’s wrong with that you ask? Nothing of course, only there should be more to making games than making money. That’s Camelot’s philosophy: we make games, not money. What the hell is so inherently bad about that, I ask you?
Interplay’s old philosophy before the French company Titus devoured it alive was: “By gamers, for gamers”. Sure, Interplay once focused on the niche market of PC RPGs, but they gave the gamers belonging to that market what they wanted, and now the company has become all but a flickering shadow of what it once was. One more gentle gush of wind will help Interplay on its path to oblivion. Interplay was consumed by a company that held a very different philosophy.
Mainstream games are the way to the future and nothing can stand in their way. When I attempted to put myself into the mind of a mainstream gamer I found myself wanting to buy whatever everyone else was. Lol. Mainstream games can be fun, but popular mainstream games aren’t necessarily popular merely by virtue of their greatness. By that logic, all great games should sell by the truckload. Would anyone be so kind as to illuminate the truth for me? Can anyone provide an answer to the mind-boggling question of why great games go unnoticed by mainstream gamers even when they are advertised? Could it be because these gamers only buy whatever’s popular at the time? Being popular doesn’t automatically mean a game is awesome beyond words, or does it?
So, what’s your opinion on the games industry? One day I hope to meet people who actually love making games for the sake of it, however unlikely that may be.