13 June, 2011

Why we shouldn't care about the Videogame Industry

Sometimes, a game is released that print its name in history. I'm not talking about good games and not even about wonderful games - i'm talking about state of the art games. 

I'm talking about games like ICO or, say, Katamari Damacy.These are games people play and realise they are experience something wonderful: something that did not exist before and that they know is to change their view on videogames forever. Sometimes, it will be an expansive and daring project like Shenmue, sometimes it will be an independent production like Braid; either way, it will be a breakthrough and will create a legion of gamers who will always admire them.
Is ICO the best game you've never played?

And, of course, sometimes these games will not sell as much as these gamers expect. Most times, actually, because these games are not necessarily meant to be a fun experience, or to amuse the player, just like many good books, movies, songs etc are not necessarily easy to enjoy: sometimes they provoke the public, sometimes they intentionally irritate the public, because sometimes this is what must be done. (Obviously, it is easier to understand if you believe that games have potential to be an art form.)
The way most specialized websites see videogames today, the low sells are a problem which concerns said gamers, because a game that doesn't sell is not to receive sequels or to influentiate future releases. This is due to most of the specialized media viewing games as a market. They talk about the game industry and weekly sales and they are oblivious to how much Uncharted, for instance, owns to Shadow of the Colossus or how much the Wii owns to Katamari and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Blockbuster games receive sequels; state of the art games leave a legacy. And that's why they'll never cease.
Don't let yourself be fooled: great games will continue to exist no matter what happens to the industry.
If the WiiU tablet-like control fails, we'll still have great games. If Sony finds itself unable to make a competitive hardware (which i highly doubt) for the next gen, we will still have great games. The industry will determine if these games will be played in 1080i or not, if they will have online gameplay with videochat, if they will rely on complex gamepads or on gestures. But great games will live on.
"Fuck off, VGChartz!"
Cinephiles do not need to care about Hollywood movies openings audience. Book lovers do not need to anxiously check the Top Sellers sections of bookstores. They can do it, if they feel like it, but they know it will not determine the quality of what they'll be watching or reading next. Similarly, gamers have gone through decades playing amazing games. Gamers have seen Atari's rise and fall, they have seen Nintendo losing the leadership and taking it back, they have seen SNK, SEGA, SONY, MICROSOFT etc, all appearing as new challengers, all bringing novelties to the industry, and they should know by now that it doesn't matter.
The industry has tried to convince us that touching is good, that movement is cool and that it's fun to play with only your body as a controller. It is true, or it could be. Personally, i don't give a damn.

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