Ted Price: Industry today is a 'different world'

Insomniac Games CEO says developers have been lucky during the past 20 years with stable industry, but things have now changed.

The video game industry in 2012 is an entirely "different world" from what it was just five years ago, Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price told VentureBeat in new interview. Responding to a question regarding whether or not he believes the industry is in dismay presently, he said no, adding that the game industry is a reflection of the wider changes happening in all of society.

"The industry reflects society right now," Price said. "Society is evolving extremely fast in terms of how it uses technology. Our industry is experiencing that change as well. We’ve been very lucky over the last almost two decades to have a stable, predictable industry. But now we’re in a different world. That change has come upon us and everyone else in the world in the last five years. So it’s not just us. It’s the internet. It’s sales. It’s traditional media. Everything and everybody is feeling the effects of this accelerated change in our world."

Price and Insomniac Games are currently working on multiplatform squad-based shooter Fuse. It is the company's first multiplatform title and is due out for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 during March 2013. A PC version is not planned. For more on Fuse, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

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

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Discussion

0 comments
dogpigfish
dogpigfish

This is the same article every few months since 1981, I'd say it's stayed the same... Just a different person saying it.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

This generation, more than 240 million home consoles have been sold. Where is the issue exactly?

tightwad34
tightwad34

So things change eh? I believe all this technology is going to bite us in the ass hard. What, I don't know, but it's just my gut feeling. Although it does seem like an easy prediction.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Just keep putting out good games, and nothing will change. Start trying to put out games that people seem to be buying, and your world will crumble.

Not that hard.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Ted Price: Mere, mortal game developer by day; Captain Obvious, er, also during the day...when he gives interviews!

nate1222
nate1222

Gaming is doing just fine. It's the console scene that's in trouble.

 

People can now game on devices that they already get multiple, practical uses out of. Casuals have smartphones. Core gamers now have Steam and GOG accounts for their PCs. People now have more and better options than just propietary devices that're planned for obsolescence.

Elem3nt
Elem3nt

A very thorough in depth opinion piece...

arsefacey
arsefacey

The major change that i've been hearing about for the next gen consoles is that you're no longer able to get games second hand. I am really against this actually because i get a lot of games second hand. In my country, there's no rental places for games and so you either get them brand new or second hand. And, to be honest, not all games require a day 1 buy, so i just wait a few months or so and i grab it cheaper second hand. I've been a console gamer since the NES and i feel that this will be the biggest change to the industry that I recall from, like, ever.

 

Maybe it has something to do with the state of gaming today. Like how portable gaming and whatnot is starting to get bigger than console gaming, and the consoles are becoming a thing for more of the hardcore gamer, and maybe the gaming industry is just trying to make the most of its market by making sure every one of the dwindling console gamers are getting their games from them. I really don't know what it is, but I am not a supporter. a lot of times, you can't tell what kind of game it is just from the videos you see online, or the cover or whatever. you have to play it for yourself to really get the feel of it, or to know what you're actually getting. And in countries like mine, with no rental places (wich will also be fading out when they put this in effect by the way), it's becoming more and more difficult to be a gamer on a budget

AndrewII
AndrewII

I've been around the gaming industry ever since the 80's(as a gamer) can I can tell you from what I've seen only few changes have occured.

 

First of all the arcade scene is no longer part of the industry as staple, which is very disappointing. Another thing is the fact that games are become less of a game(with more of a focus storylines) and trying to compete more hollywood, the end result is the fact we're see less of a focus on gameplay and more of an effort becoming the alternative to hollywood. Finally games are ridiculously too expensive to make(which I blame the industry for) with budgets that are comparative to mid-range hollwood film, this in term is destroying both originality and innovation in an industry becoming too overruned by sequels and copycat games.

 

Overall if anything, I've been disappointed by the last decade and  half with the current state of the game industry and it doesn't help that developers are turning thier backs on the old school/hardcore gamers.

jayjay444
jayjay444

For me the gaming industry has been great this gen up to two years ago then it started getting bad. I loved playing game's like Halo 3, Gears 1 and 2, MGS4, Resistance 1 and 2 I adore GOW, but they seem to mess things up now a days they add day 1 DLC, DLC already on the disk, online activation codes ETC ETC and they wonder why people are getting pissed off. It's gone that bad in order to be entertained by gaming I have to go back and play old games on my PS2, PS1 and original Xbox, games like FFX, FF7 halo 1 and 2 etc. If this keeps up I will never get a next gen console PS4 or the Xbox 720, for me the last great game i played this gen has to be Skyrim, I hope they take there finger out there ass and start making some worth while game's because people are getting sick of it and i'm one of them.  

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

There aren't enough games that really want me to sink my teeth into and enjoy for long periods of time. Only a handful of games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Skyrim have done that. Then there's games like Assassin's Creed, MGS4 and Uncharted that oozes production quality but don't last nearly as long as the other games I've mentioned do. Or a rare underrated gem like Dragon's Dogma pops up now and again. I agree with previous comments that I haven't purchased nearly as many games this gen than I did last gen neither.

 

What I find funny is one of the only FPS I truly liked this entire gen was the first Resistance, and this guy is talking about how everything changed, yet the other Resistance games fell victim to being too much like other FPS's. And now this Fuse game? It's essentially an AI team-focused Gears of War clone, based on what I've seen.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"The video game industry in 2012 is an entirely 'different world' from what it was just five years ago" That's true from my point of view, since I am 5 or more years behind when it comes to playing games. No DLC, no always online DRM, no F2P, no big digital distribution market at the expense of retail sales. That's where I am right now with my games from 2000-2006. The industry has always been moving forward, but now it has also began to move in several different directions and that's something that's not going to stop. I don't lament the path the industry has taken, though there are some things that could be better, both when it comes to new conventions and old ones.

spammehardo
spammehardo

Industry has gone the wrong direction and only made to appeal to the mass market (like halo 4, gears of war, cod) and is worse off because of it. Insomniac made some of my favorite games during my childhood (<3 Spyro and ratchet&clank) but now they have taken r&c and made a crappy multiplayer focused game out of it and their next game FUSE couldn't possibly be more generic with another coverbased shooter that has been done to death in every possible manner with a generic story/characters. So depressing what it has come to. This generation of consoles has single handedly killed of many of my favorite developers or corrupted them beyond repair.

USAPATRIOT21
USAPATRIOT21

I'm happy that the game industry is better than ever right now. Who could have made over 200 million dollars on day one like Halo 4 did a decade ago? Or that a company like Gamefly would rent unlimited games through the mail? Heck, even Redbox has cheaper game rentals than stores had 10 years ago.

Video game sales dwarf the sales of the music and movie industry. We now have huge stables of AAA games, indie games, casual games like Angry Birds and can even play our favorites from long ago with digital downloads. This is the golden age of video games and we are lucky to be in it.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

I'm tired of what AAA games are doing. I just find them boring. It is the same sh1t all the time and I just not going to dump hundreds of dollars supporting such insipid products. I look at Q1 of 2013 and there is almost nothing that I want among what has already been anointed a "stellar" Q1 lineup. DMC, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Tomb Raider, Gears, God of War, Army of Two, Fuse and unfortunately from what I saw on the VGAs, Bioshock Infinite has now joined the list of "stellar" looking AAA games that look like completely rehashed sh1t to me. 

SolidTy
SolidTy

Not much reported there...kind of a very tame article.

However, I do hope Insomniac and Ted Price stay with us making great games for a great many years to come.

tz233
tz233

I sort of miss pc gaming in the 80's and early 90's.  I'd open a game box and there'd be a comic and extras like that.  It felt like a niche industry.  These days there's none of that.  Just one massive big title after another drenched with over the top, over dramatic plots.

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

Lol, it's because of prettier graphics and all these awesomely powerful graphic cards that developers have to take a serious hit before they even start coding a damn game. Then FPS becomes the "it" thing on consoles and everyone and their mama is making a damn FPS to play it safe and still make some money. So where does that leave us gamers? Lost in a market of casuals who have much more disposable cash and there are a whole lot more of them than there are us...so these guys' wallets speak louder than ours. Gaming got to big for it's britches and now it's barely even noticeable as gaming anymore, it's now some social stuff because you play with other online people. So now developers have to try to come up with the next big thing and catch that Angry Bird wave. This is a more of fly by the seat of your pants world for developing gaming, you literally don't know when your next check is coming, if it ever is. 

All this for prettier pictures and other useless stuff that still leaves us unable to interact on levels developers theorized would happen in the next gen...shallow promises mean nothing to me anymore. Crytex are worst offenders of this trend, lets make games so pretty and using all sorts of physics that we need to create a next generation just to run it suitably, screw those idiots, I thought great programming was actually making things run to it's best without taxing the shit out of your machine? Gaming is infected and it is dying a slow painful death being egged on by stupid developers who have no sense of duty, just push more pixels and hope someone can find the cash to build a rig to run it let alone enjoy how it plays...generic but pretty as ....

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I'll tell you why the industry is so shaky right now.  Dev costs of an AAA game are through the roof, and the cost of a game when you factor in DLC is higher in general than it used to be.  Games in general need to sell more for the company to break even on it, but people have less to spend when you look at things like MMORPG subscriptions, free to play addiction raping wallets, and DLC bumping up the total cost of a game far over $60.

 

I truly think that we as consumers are playing less games than we used to.  We may be playing them for longer periods of time, but I think we're playing less games overall.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

When was the industry predictable? When all you needed to surprise people was better graphics?

 

You bet it has changed. I wouldn't expect a company that is so scared of progress that they don't even release on PC to be up to the challenge.

xwestsdeaznx
xwestsdeaznx

EA ruined OVERSTRIKE. Now it's all grrrr my face is in dirt and I shoot enemies in a dark brown setting. And look at my cover it's all orange and blue/blackish, please take me super serious guys! I'm super serious! And I curse because I'm hardcoreeeee and only hardcore gamers play these sorts of games.

Nitrous_18
Nitrous_18

I can't believe the same developers who gave me Spyro the dragon and Ratchet and clank are making generic shooters like resistance and fuse. It seems to me insomniac are only interested in following trends instead of setting their own standards when it comes to their games nowadays. The change in direction from overstrike to fuse is enough for me to see that. 

dylan417
dylan417

There are still people out there that prefer Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, Spyro, Crash, Rayman, and Ratchet & Clank over run and gun shooters. Fuse looks so generic and probably will not do well. Where's the creativity Insomniac? Looks like we lost another great developer to the shooter genre.

muppen
muppen

Overstrike looked like a very fun game before they changed it to FUSE. Now it looks generic as hell.

megadeth1117
megadeth1117

Insominac needs to stop trying to make games with a "serious" tone. The Resistance series have proved they are terrible at it, and Fuse looks no better.

 

It's a shame, because the first three Ratchet games are, to this day, fantastic.

visionedorange
visionedorange

er hur, we has the best graphics, the pc people said. yea, well we have all the good games, the console people said in response. :D

ZetA_LatA
ZetA_LatA

A PC version is not planned eh? Oh well.

Andrak_Vol
Andrak_Vol

 @nate1222 Still reckon the consoles will be around for quite awhile, but they may have to evolve in a manner that makes them more than just a game machine.

realiamnot
realiamnot

 @arsefacey Gaming has changed so much since the NES (which was awesome) The reason its changing so much in my opinion is mainly because more and more kids are becoming interested in gaming, so the devs have to make games more simple.

 

I miss the the old days of gaming where a fair amount of games took time and effort to finish.

nate1222
nate1222

 @AndrewII

 

"...Finally games are ridiculously too expensive to make(which I blame the industry for)..."

 

Thank you. I very much agree. Those budgets leave almost no room for creative risks.

 

I'm 36 (37 on December 22nd). I've been gaming since 1989 (8bit NES0, and even remember playing my uncle's old Atari 2600. So I've watched alot of these changes come about.

Skyrim25
Skyrim25

 @AndrewII

 

Ive been a gamer myself since 1988.

  Remember also Andrewllf that the industry is STILL growing even more rapidly then it has EVER been. This means that the "Newbees" of gaming are going to be focused on the simplistic games like shooters instead of hardcore games that are much more advanced and take longer.

 

As these "newbees" to gaming evolve they will turn there backs on short simplistic games for more hardcore ones like we did over time.

 

Point being is that the industry is trying to catch up with the senior gamers and is taking a long time as more and more people flock to gaming!

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

 @USAPATRIOT21 The things you mentioned deal more with price and distribution of games, but outside of indie titles, the quality has not improved much. If anything, as others have mentioned, games have been ruined by health regeneration, DLCs, short single-player campaigns, quick time/scripted events and focus on making a game play like a movie. 

spammehardo
spammehardo

 @USAPATRIOT21 No the golden age is when games were made for people who actually liked games. Games are now just glorified interactive movies and lack the dedication or real challenge with budgets that are out of control.

Nitrous_18
Nitrous_18

 @jinzo9988 I can relate to this. Ten years ago I was buying new games day 1 without hesitation with no review or anything, if the game was good it was good if it sucked then I didn't play it. Now it's so different, in 2012 I have bought 2 games Borderlands 2 and Farcry 3. I feel too many games today have no longevity and are produced only to last you a year at best with DLC included until the next sequel drops. Which is why I often wait till a price drop or GOTY editions are released. These business practices by these devs and publishers have played a huge role in me reducing how much I spend on games today. 

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

 @jinzo9988 agreed - i tend to spend less on games, but look for games that will get a good play through and have real value.. i never spend money on basic titles. companies are hemorrhaging money through expensive graphics tech. gameplay wise little has changed apart from in-app purchases being a big part to make up the funds.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@LonerCat Annoying comment is annoying.

jorge69696
jorge69696

 @Nitrous_18 It's a job at the end of the day. You can't force an artist to make art just to sell it and get the moneyz. That's not how it works.

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

 @dylan417 It looked to be a great mix of humor and seriousness when they first advertised as Overstrike, someone (probably EA) ripped the heart out of it it seems.

Rifqi_Hb
Rifqi_Hb

 @muppen I don't know the difference between Overstrike and Fuse. Could you tell me?

mr_azim
mr_azim

 @megadeth1117 Up your Arsenal was one of the funniest games I've played..... it's the only non-M rated game I have.

Andrak_Vol
Andrak_Vol

 @realiamnot  @arsefacey yeah, but you have to admit some games wouldn't have been developed if not for the increase in gamers... not enough profit to be feasible and what not.