This week Salon published an especially depressing The Year in Games article, full of various commentators saying obvious and, for the most part, untrue things.
My favorite had to be the “he’s usually smarter than that” Greg Costikyan talking about how there’s “no indie games industry.” I’d be willing to bet that any random game by Ambrosia software has sold more copies, than, say, any Nokia N-Gage game. Would it be accurate, therefore, for me to say “there’s no mobile gaming industry?” Or is the metric for whether an industry exists not whether you book any revenue, but just whether a company is spending money?
The other aspect of the article was how it’s pretty clear that pretty much none of the commentators — except for Costikyan — have ever played any game that wasn’t given to them by some PR flack as a freebie. Halo this, Half-Life that, and their version of being “edgy” was recommending Namco’s Katamari Damacy . And the guy who said the best game of the year was the unplayable — but oh so corporate — Ninja Gaiden made me weep bitter tears of blood.
Stop asking why games aren’t innovative. They are. It’s just that the games you’re choosing to play aren’t innovative.
And if you want to know why that is, just look in the mirror.