Dishonored dev says industry lacks variety

Viktor Antonov says there have been "too many sequels" dominating the market today; attributes BioShock associations to "lack of variety."

The industry lacks variety, claims Dishonored artist and Half-Life designer Viktor Antonov. Speaking to Eurogamer, the artist plainly stated, "there have been too many sequels, and too many established [intellectual properties] that have been ruling the market."

Antonov calls for variety in an industry full of sequels.

He said many of these are war games, and while he praised these titles for being "great," he said there is a "lack of variety" in the industry today.

Antonov went on to claim games that break the mold by attempting new things are often misunderstood.

"So, when you step out of this established genre, people cannot grasp it, or the press tries to find a match," he said. "There's a place for thousands of different sub-genres and genres."

Lastly, Antonov lamented the associations people are drawing between Dishonored and BioShock. He said the false similarities being drawn between the two franchises are a result of a dearth in variety in the market.

"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. And, unfortunately, BioShock and Dishonored are the only two games that go into that fiction for the past…how many years?"

Set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 9, Dishonored is a first-person action game that puts players in the boots of Corvo, an assassin tasked with protecting the empress of a stylized steampunk city known as Dunwall. However, the empress is soon murdered, with Corvo framed for the killing, and sinister forces grant the accused assassin supernatural abilities to pursue his revenge.

For more on Dishonored, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

0 comments
deadpeasant
deadpeasant

I don't know about this. I mean, isn't it a normal psychological process to try and better understand something unknown by finding similarities with what we already know well?

TheTNWrestler
TheTNWrestler

Giving such statements are rather curious at this time.  It will be interesting to see if this game does well and we then see a sequel.  Bioshock was a major development for the first game, and it was groundbreaking with its system, interface and world.  Now with this game, they have directly taken the health and mana parts, the artistic design, and even the interface with the weapons and abilities.  The funny thing is that I'm most excited about this game for the  year and have it pre-ordered, so I'm not being overly critical.  I love the demo videos and the numerous ways to complete the same objectives.  Hate saying this as well, but the game also grabs from Hitman (now that I think about it) but has a better look to it and is in first person.  WIth this being said, the developers need to relax, create a great game that can hopefully create a sequel and pull in more money for the company.  The more that the develop tries to state that this game is truly original and that others are not creates more questions to the developers themselves than answers.  Hurry up and allow me to possess a fish already! (watch the stealth demo if you don't know what I'm talking about)

pidow
pidow

IP, etc., I am interested only if a game is worth my interest and money period.  I could care less about the rest..

Atheosis
Atheosis

I totally agree with him.  And the way every new IP gets habitually marginalized due to any perceived similarities to established series really does get tiresome.  Bioshock and Dishonored clearly have some common themes, but watching Dishonored clips you can tell it does a lot of things very differently. 

Scottisme
Scottisme

@evil_m3nace thats arguable I would say Half life was more innovative, Deus Ex plus more those are just my favorite 

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@1337hackz You mean the very company that helped make Bioshock? The most innovative FPS of our time? 

smurfdamurf
smurfdamurf

Bioshock and Dishonored APPEAR to share many similarities.  It's not critical, but an example would be something like the right hand uses a weapon and the left hand uses powers.  The games both have steampunk influences.  They are both first person perspective.  They both have rpg elements.  If you were to make a list of similarities between the two games, it would be quite extensive.  But that doesn't mean that Dishonored won't be original and it sure as hell doesn't mean we've already seen what Dishonored has to offer.

1337hackz
1337hackz

No one cares what you say dishonored dev.

lily_tiger
lily_tiger

"there have been too many sequels, and too many established [intellectual properties] that have been ruling the market."

 

Said Viktor Antonov, a credited designer to the video game Half-Life (which we should probably reiterate is NOT an established IP with a sequel and did NOT impact the market in any way).

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

He went on to say: ".....and too many first-person.......f***, never mind. Can we edit that part back out?" Great. Let's roll that back and do another take.

jamieNERO
jamieNERO

I see the point, bit extreme but i get where he's coming from. The games that are released year on year with minor updates and no inovation/variety really is getting boring now. Look at all the creative minds out there surely we can have something a bit different?

ManB3arP1g
ManB3arP1g

PREACH! this is nothing but the truth

WestWalker2010
WestWalker2010

I assumed that there won't be a game called Dishonored 2.

ElJefeDeMedios
ElJefeDeMedios

Wow - he is worked up!  You would think that he knows that most creativity comes from what we all experience and do - and therefore as a game creator, influences of other games are sure to play a part in their final product.  That said - Dishonored does have very positive aspects that look similar to Bioshock and others.  He should be happy with the association, and then be extremely happy when the game is out and it can stand on its own as its own unique product.

mtouchprod
mtouchprod

It's funny what people choose to care about. I get that he thinks there's not enough diversity in gaming or whatever, and maybe he's right. But is comparing his game to another game really enough to make him get out the soapbox and climb right up to start preaching?

 

When the game comes out and every other reviewer mentions Bioshock, the poor bastard is going to have an aneurysm.

Maxor127
Maxor127

That's a terrible way to word the title.  At least italicize Dishonored.

uncle5555
uncle5555

To me getting in the same company as Bioshock (and be extension) System Shock, and Deus Ex is the highest compliment, they should take that hype and run with it, I know he doesn't want the game to get "labeled", but you could do worse.  Those games stand pretty high in people's opinions, so why fight good company like that, seems kinda silly if you ask me.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

I agree completely. I wouldn't worry too much about the comparisons, people just have that weird need to compare stuff to know if they'll like something, or to hate it for no reason. Just your typical fanboy/hater activity.

The way he talks and worries about the matter seems good for Dishonored though :)

SpacePirate6
SpacePirate6

Currently a large part of my faith in the modern gaming industry lies exclusively  on the shoulders of Dishonored and Thief 4.  I actually heard this Bioshock comparison from a Gamestop employee just days ago and didn't understand where exactly he was coming from.  Dishonored looks like one of the few breaths of truly fresh air to come along in a long time.  Such spectacular art direction from Antonov certainly won't hurt ;)

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Agree 100%, and particularly with the part concerning Bioshock.

 

This is why I'm loving what I see of Dishonored, it looks like something new (like what "new" meant in the late '90s). People are just grasping at straws drawing parallels between this and Bioshock, and, understandable though it may be, it's just not accurate.

okassar
okassar

Let's see the 10 best selling games of 2011 (this guy is right):

 

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)

2. Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)

4. Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)

5. Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2)

6. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC)

7. Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)

8. Gears of War 3 (360)

9. Just Dance 2 (Wii)

10. Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC)

zpluffy
zpluffy

Really, games are lacking varieties. Really?! No they are not, there so many different games out there being made that can apply to anyone's wants compare to back then. Back then your stuck with zelda, top view, magic wizards etc.. and tetris looking games. Now we have so many choices. If you want side scrolling, you have rayman, braid, and much more interesting you can find in the arcade live, indie games, or psn.There are alot of creative games also out there. If you  like adventure with traveling you got skyrim or something. Then we got mass effect with crazy choices that affects all the way to third sequel. "Ohhh only shooting war games are being made" Really, that's only the media.  So much more varieties you can find if you ACTUALLY explore instead of relying to medias to help you find games. What the REAL problem is ya'll CONSUMERS are NEVER CONTENT.

nyran125
nyran125

Spec ops:the line, is a fine example that the gaming industry is becoming flat and uninteresting.

 

But theres always some developers doing interesting things.but you just have to wade through all the garbage to find them.

 

If you like variety, i recommend ditching your consoles and buying a PC, From Total War, to Half life 2 , to Street fighter and Dead space and sht 3rd person action games like Residient evil 6 are all there. But you get games that break the mold on PC. You get Amnesia, cool little games like SLENDER then you have major sims like ARMA 2 adn interestinf FPS's like STALKER. games that stray away from the AAA boring same ol same ol 3rd person run to cover boredom fests.

 

If you want variety, get a PC.

Zaika
Zaika

The gaming industry is not lacking of variety, it's lacking of creativity. It's just FPS war games are targeted to the fans of  that genre and it's easily over-hyped because it's easy to play. Another problem is that the greedy publisher companies like to milk a game dry to maximize profit which is resulting more clones of the former games.

ferna1234
ferna1234

bioschock + thief + dark messiah + deus ex + saboteur + your mamma = Doshonored. :pStill im waiting for this one like i havent for anyone in a looong time.

wiouds
wiouds

The problem I have is that there is a good amount of variety in this gen and large companies are coming up with new ideal and level design. It is just lazy to say otherwise in hope people will think your game is one of them.

EctoSpartan
EctoSpartan

The only similarities between Dishonored and Bioshock I see is the art style and graphics. I guess that's because of the lack of variety in the game industry. There should be more games that look like Bioshock.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

 @lily_tiger What? Really?....Really???? Um...how to put this nicely to you...It made such a impact on the market, even the control layout in almost all FPS come from Half-Life....

Angel_Grigorov
Angel_Grigorov

 @lily_tiger ..and also was NOT , absolutely NOT one of the most innovative shooters ever. Remember that gravity gun or the spore.

cjf187x
cjf187x

 @jamieNERO But he is right, there is a lack of variety in today's industry.  When you see games like CoD rake in $1 Billion+ that takes a lot of money out of the "gaming economy" for games that are new IPs or aren't sequels.  A lot of people buy what they like and what is good.  People buy CoD every year because its tried and tested.  It works for them.  However, what makes company like Rockstar different is that they don't release a GTA every year.  They make a ridiculous product that lasts.

 

In reality only the big companies can afford to create new IPs because the cost that goes into them and the chance of getting a return isn't the same.  That's why Watch Dogs got such a huge reaction at E3.  (Granted it looks sweet and it's a first day buy for me).  A new IP that uses old things and brings in new elements is something people like to see, but it doesn't work unless you have the finances to put in a lot of work creating new engines an environments and also the finances to take a huge hit.

kohle36
kohle36

 @WestWalker2010 If it's commercially viable there is roughly a 4000% probability there will be a sequel.

topsemag55
topsemag55

 @Maxor127

 If you're following the game you already know it's for Dishonored.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

 @SpacePirate6 art direction alone isn't enough. to me Bioshock was a nice experience as a virtual tourist trip but as a game it was weak.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @zpluffy There was never a point in gaming history that reflects what you're saying. There has always been a wide variety, always. Now however, we have a glut of war shooters, which is not to say we ONLY have war shooters, we just have an imbalance. If you had "explored" beck then, you'd notice variety was alive and thriving.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @nyran125 I agree with the bulk of your statement, BUT... Have you read much into Spec Ops: The Line? From a certain point of view, it's quite refreshing (especially being a semi-adaptation of a "Heart of Darkness"). It is, mechanically, a tad old, but it generally succeeds in feeling like a nice fresh look at modern military shooting (particularly in how it looks at moral and psychological aspects of whats happening).

Blinded_Colony
Blinded_Colony

 @nyran125 And you can even play some great older games on a PC. You can't do that on a console.

lily_tiger
lily_tiger

@evil_m3nace Sarcasm, my dear Watson. Sarcasm.

hombreg1
hombreg1

 @PrpleTrtleBuBum  @SpacePirate6 it wasn't weak, the semi-rpgish gamplay is really good and being able to use only the wrench, with the correct tonics, is something i found awsome. Plasmids work as intended and really help in battle. The story completely enthralled me and if not spectacular, it is atleast very satisfactory.

uncle5555
uncle5555

 @alpha_unit97 **scratches head** looks at list again....#3 Skyrim, someone needs some glasses mate. ;-)

zpluffy
zpluffy

 @parrot_of_adun Umm there are really not alot of WAR shooters that creates imbalance that exist now. Like I said if you explore the game library, war shooters are very small percentage of gaming. They are just the most popular and generates the most money. And like I said the media advertise war shooters more. Don't let the media fool you that war shooting games are the only games out there.

ElJefeDeMedios
ElJefeDeMedios

 @parrot_of_adun I agree - and have played SpecOps through twice.  Having played all of the other shooters religiously, I can honestly say that the storyline experience is very different.

 

lily_tiger
lily_tiger

@evil_m3nace Right now I find you to be the most adorable Gamespot poster ever. And I don't even mean that sarcastically. You are absolutely, positively adorable

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @zpluffy I'm really quite aware of what all is out there, and there are a disproportionate number of modern military shooters. I don't even pay much attention the "media" you refer to, but, being aware of a wide variety of games (and I DID in fact admit that there is a wide variety out there), it's easy to see that shooters generally dominate the industry landscape, and among them, modern military shooters currently hold the highest numbers and popularity.

 

But my main point was that there is, and has always been good variety. There was no point in history where you were "stuck with zelda".