Epicenter Studios (Critter Round-Up, Real Heroes: Firefighter) cofounder Bryan Jury sent us a heads up about an interview he did with GameCritics.com's Brad Gallaway. While I found his email references to himself in third person a little odd, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt since the interview was pretty good. He described it as "a former Call of Duty producer-type from Activision, talks about starting up an independent studio, kind of trashes Gears of War in an answer about games being art, and explains how they got their first game deal", which more or less hits the nail on the head. On 'games as art,' he's got this to say:
I'd like to think that gaming is still in its infancy stage and will have a chance to grow. I just think there are a lot of factors against that happening. As an interactive medium, there's really nothing else that's comparable. Sports perhaps, and I think there's an argument to be made that some sports or sporting events can be considered art, but again, I'd like to think that gaming is deeper than just competition.
I do think the day will come where games as a medium can be considered art, but we're going to have to solve some pretty big issues before that happens. We need to find ways of financing games other than through the traditional publisher/developer relationship. He who controls the money controls the power, and all too often that power is tied up into market research whitewashing innovation or making copy-cat titles that chase the latest hot trend and not with the creators trying to put their ideas on the screen.
The rest of the interview — on starting a new studio, developing Critter, and talk about the studio in general — is an interesting and reasonably quick read.
Interview with Epicenter Studios [GameCritics.com]