Opinion: Gamers Want more “Ori”
A new wave of developers is taking over the consoles and they are releasing polished and interesting games. Some companies do it from a central office – Image and Form Games is based in Sweden, and are best known for SteamWorld Dig and the upcoming SteamWorld Heist – while others are pulling from the best talent around the planets, such as Moon Studios, the company behind Ori and the Blind Forest.
These companies are getting help like never before, benefiting from the tools and expertise of specific staff from Nintendo, Xbox, and Sony. While this market has previously been dominated by Sony, with big name, small scale games landing on their systems, Microsoft and Nintendo have decided to not be on the outside looking in, especially as gamers continue to embrace cheaper, independent titles.
A number of things is pushing gamers towards these smaller games, although I believe two trump all.
Games cost more to make, and generally, the generation playing these games is making less than before. AAA releases in Canada are slated to rise another 5.00, pushing a big budget title to the crazy 74.99 price point. Sure, as fans of franchises we might buy one or two of these, but surely not more than than that.
Not only are AAA becoming more expensive, but they are also becoming further and further apart, and generally are clouded in uncertainty over a release date. When will we see Uncharted 4, will Halo 5 or the new Legend of Zelda hit in 2015? This isn’t to say indie games don’t have the same issues, but since so many are coming out, there is always something new and refreshing to play.
As media, I subscribe to emails from Evolve PR, a firm located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They have high profile clients – most notably the team behind the Witcher series, but also do work for many small and independent companies. I get multiple emails a week about new titles, updates to titles, or titles coming soon. Indies are everywhere, and it is good for gamers.
Tired of 2, 3, 4…
Halo is a great series. Call of Duty is a great series. Forza is a great series. However, they have been around a while, pilling up the titles on a nearly yearly basis. While they continue to sell well, veteran gamers are looking elsewhere to get new excitement and different entertainment. Big, AAA developers are just not bringing it anymore. They are milking their biggest cows, and good for them. New IP means risk, and especially in today’s economy, why risk when established franchises will yield huge rewards.
This is not to say big companies aren’t experimenting with new ideas. They are, but it is not their primary focus.
That brings me back to a game like Ori and Blind Forest – which we gave 10/10. The Ori team comes from countries around the world: coders from Austria, artists from the Netherlands, ID@Xbox support from Seattle, and more. Some of these people met for the first time at E3 last year, but that didn’t stop this global development team from creating something special.
Moon Studios focus was Ori. The best developers worked on it, the best artists created and designed for it, and the best musicians scored it. Moon Studios went out and found the best people available and brought an amazing, inexpensive project to the table. That is what gamers want.
Gamers want more “Ori.”