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Opinionated! : Is innovation dead?

by on November 22, 2012
 

Welcome to Opinionated! We here at VGU have a fair few thoughts about the games industry and how games are designed, so, what better way to tell the world then by putting these thoughts on paper?

Remember, these articles are only opinions of the writers and do not reflect the opinions of VGU as a whole!

A lot of you will have heard the internet screaming and complaining about the influx of repetitive games in recent years. Yes, we are looking at you Call of Duty.

But has anyone bothered to look at what the problem actually is?

Let’s take a step back in time to when the latest generation of consoles were released. The year is 2007, a new generation of consoles has made its debut and innovation is everywhere. We have a new type of FPS with Call of Duty 4, an increasingly popular series of music based simulations, such as the Guitar Hero/Rockband series and even RPG’s are coming back with Elders Scrolls: Oblivion leading the bunch.
It was a playground for innovative games, from Brain Training to Assassins Creed, new gameplay experiences were everywhere! So what changed?

Well, you did. That’s right. We, the gamers,changed. We loved all those titles so much, Gears of War, Call of Duty, Pokémon, Guitar hero and many more. So, that’s what the industry gave us. The same again. And again. Everything came to ahead with the next release in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is not an overly bad game, but let us be honest, it was just dudes shooting dudes.  Before you flame, hear me out. I thought this game was rather interesting, I liked how it played, I liked its looks I even enjoyed its narrative to a point but something was niggling me. Haven’t we seen this before?

I loved Call of Duty 4, I was so pleased they took the FPS genre out of the World War era’s, I enjoyed playing it online and with friends but Modern Warfare 2 just felt like more of that. It felt like an expansion pack. That I paid £40 for. And everyone was fine with this because heck! Call of Duty 4 was awesome right? So more of the same can’t be bad! But that’s when we sealed our fates.

The industry sees that the Call of Duty series releases another game, exactly like the previous game except for a few small additions, and makes outrageous amounts of money and they start to think, “Hey, if they can do it, why can’t we?”

Just look at game releases from 2009 onwards, sequels EVERYWHERE. I mean, just LOOK at 2011! Little Big Planet 2, Two Worlds 2, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Killzone 3, Warhammer 40k DOW 2, MLB 11, Total War 2, Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, Shift 2, Fable 3, The Sims 3, Dirt 3, Infamous 2, Dues Ex: Human Revolution, Madden 12, Gears of War 3, Just Dance 3, Tropico 4, Battlefield 3, Fifa 12, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Assassins creed Revelations, Mario Kart 7, Trine 2…
And they are only off the top of my head!

Despite this however, we cannot blame the industry because they are honestly just doing what they need to do, which is make money. That’s fair; they have to make money to make more games.

So where does innovation fit in? Well it’s not dead despite popular belief, it has been put on the shelf, swept aside for a while and waiting to crawl out again when a new opportunity arises outside of the thriving indie market. The WiiU may be the console to bring back innovation with its new control scheme and interesting line up of games and developers have barely scratched the surface of what to do with the touch screen handhelds.

2013 is already looking good with its game line up with such title as Beyond: Two Souls and The last of us looking to be innovative and fantastic. Even some old titles like Devil May Cry and Luigi’s Mansion making a glorious return look better and more interesting than ever. I can’t wait to see the new stuff that the industry produces and I want them to prove me wrong next year, prove to me that innovation is still there!

A quick reminder, this article is only the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinions of VGU as a whole!

Do you agree? Any input? Or am I just a moron who doesn’t know what he is talking about? Leave a opinion below!


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  • November 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Your article is bad and you should feel bad. Fair enough if you think there is no more innovation. In some ways, I agree. However, there is no argument here. You’ve told me that there is no innovation, then listed sequels. Okay? Tell me why sequels are bad, and argue why they aren’t innovative.

    Also, stating that sequels exist only to make money is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time. I mean, seriously, ever heard of supply and demand? Yes, Call of Duty makes plenty of money via yearly releases, but it’s only sustainable because *that’s exactly what people want*. This is going to keep happening until this isn’t the case, similar to how Guitar Hero eventually stopped. If anything, it’s a good thing. Allow Activision to make piles of money with CoD on one hand, and watch as they have the money to experiment with the other.

    Mentioning the Wii U is a good idea. Mentioning Devil May Cry and Luigi’s Mansion straight after moaning about how sequels aren’t innovative really isn’t. You pretty much just shrugged at your own argument.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want to see change in the industry as much as the next guy, but I’d like to see a well structured arguement with theoretical solutions, not someone saying ‘Call of Duty sure does come out a lot, right guys?’.

    Also, a spell check will do you the world of good.


  • Unknown
    December 28, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I don’t think it is dead


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