The lack of unique intellectual properties (IP) in gaming industry has been getting more apparent over the last few years.
A number of analysts have pointed out the lack of variety when it comes to video game experience and emphasised on the need for creativity in order to keep the industry from dying.
The developer of Dishonored and Half-Life 2 Viktor Antonov has also spoken out against the lack of innovation in the industry, bluntly calling the last five years for fiction in the industry poor during an interview with Eurogamer.
Antonov, who is currently employed at Bethesda-owned studio Arkane, said that because of the lack of variety, the consumers are pretty much stuck with games that offer a very similar experience.
Developers have been holding on to ideas that have proven to be successful firmly and then converting it into sequels to milk the idea to the max.
“There have been too many sequels, and too many established IPs that have been ruling the market. And a lot of them are war games. And they’re great projects and great entertainment, but there’s a lack of variety today,” stated Antonov.
They have also been hesitant to get innovative because of the fear that players will not be able to grasp the new concepts and thus reject them, putting the studios in danger of incurring heavy losses.
If a studio did dare to step out of an established genre, the press immediately got busy finding a match or a source of inspiration, thus stripping the developer of the credit that they deserved for their creativity.
Antonov pointed out that many first-person shooters had become a genre of their own, clearly pointing out to the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield franchise. Rather than showing distinct features, these games were initially collectively focused on World War scenario and then moved to present and near-future settings.
With Arkane attempting to break away from the pack through Dishonored, the press responded by comparing the features to Irrational Games’ BioShock. Antonov said that the two games had very little in common, except for the fact that they portrayed retro-futuristic settings.
“We’re doing a historical piece, a retro-futuristic piece, which has pretty much nothing to do with BioShock except for the fact that it doesn’t take place in the far future, but has references to the past,” said Antonov.
While the comparison between Dishonored and BioShock is indeed debatable, there is no denying the fact that the scarcity of creativity is becoming obvious. The gamers have very few options to choose from and thus forced to empty their pockets for an experience that is hardly unique.
Hopefully developers do not wait too long to realise that while their current strategy is successful in bringing them huge profits, it is causing severe damage to the video game industry in general.