Gamer expectations curb innovation - Jade Raymond

Ubisoft Toronto managing director says audience demands perfection, leading developers to create what they know will sell.

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According to Ubisoft Toronto managing director Jade Raymond, gamer expectations limit innovation in today's industry. Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine UK in a new interview, Raymond claimed that the business has come to the point where gamers expect such high quality in every aspect that developers can only create what is proven to sell.

Raymond says gamers' purchasing habits are hurting innovation.
Raymond says gamers' purchasing habits are hurting innovation.

"One of the things I see that's different [about the industry today] is that our audience expects perfection," Raymond said. "Before, there were only, say, 2 million people playing games--they were real fans and they were playing every game. They were willing to forgive bugs, and try things that weren't as much fun because they were different."

"Now, there are 30 million people buying and they only buy the top five," she continued. "They expect perfection. I think that growing up with everything being so good, so easy to use, there are certain expectations."

And it is these expectations, Raymond says, that have hurt developers' abilities to try new things.

"It's not very forgiving," she said. "It does limit innovation, because if something isn't working as you get towards shipping, you have to cut it or revert back to what you know does work."

Raymond is not the only developer to speak about efforts for innovation in the industry. Quantic Dream boss David Cage said in July that games will die without new ideas, with Tekken boss Katsuhiro Harada saying just last week that a one-console future would allow for a greater potential for fresh thinking.

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