Social games 'distracting' from quality content

Shadows of the Damned director Massimo Guarini says gamemakers must maintain focus on content, not business models.

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Gamers worried that shallow social games will take over the industry appear to have a champion in Shadows of the Damned director Massimo Guarini. In a post to his blog today, Guarini urged developers to not get sidetracked by buzzwords like "social," "freemium," and "in-app purchases" and instead maintain their focus on creating excellent content.

Ovosonico has a stated goal of creating
Ovosonico has a stated goal of creating "original, unconventional, and artistically crafted" games.

"Excited as little kids, we are literally distracting both users and investors away from the core of our industry, in favor of an obsessive and simplistic analysis of some business development trends," Guarini wrote. "Ultimately, it's all about the content. That's what our customers are paying for."

Guarini said that shallow social games run the risk of undermining the future of the game industry because once the novelty of immediate reward wares off, there won't be anything to keep players around.

And even though Shadows of the Damned proved to not be a stand-out commercial success, Guarini argued that high-quality original content is the secret to lasting success.

"Original, quality content is what will eventually maximize your studio's success rate and sustainability, over time," he continued. "And this is what counts in a business. This is what makes you stand out when talking to investors."

Released to critical acclaim in 20011, Shadows of the Damned told the story of Garcia Hotspur, who goes on a trip to hell to save his true love, Paula. His travelling companion on the road through hell is a foul-mouthed demonic skull named Johnson that can morph into a variety of guns but is also effective as a torch. It was developed at Suda 51's Grasshopper Manufacture studio in conjunction with Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami.

Guarini's new studio, Ovosonico, currently has no announced projects.

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