The Niche Gaming Conundrum

Game Developer magazine's Brandon Sheffield (pictured) has a thoughtful editorial on the realities of the changing video game industry. As the market continues to mushroom at a rapid rate, things are bound to change. According to Sheffield:

Right now, Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, and World of Warcraft are considered our blockbuster titles, and flagships for the industry in popular culture. But when you think about it, it's still just shooting aliens, playing gang banger, and swinging your sword in the forest.

Boiled down to their essentials those things appeal to a very limited group of people, and the complexity of game controls prevents even blockbuster movie attendees, whom we should be attracting, from playing these things.

At least, that's the common line. But is that really the case? Do aliens, wizards, and soldiers really make a piece of entertainment inaccessible? Many millions of people went to see the Iron Man movie over the past two months, and a large percentage of them have probably never picked up a comic book in their lives.

Why is it that people will go see The Lord of the Rings' movies, but many of them will not play the games?

Put on your thinking caps, we've got stuff to think about. Dammit.

The Hardcore Niche [Gamasutra][Pic]


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