Friday, November 23, 2007

Space Giraffe Author Having a Cow

Just read this gamasutra piece about Jeff Minter's latest ranting about XBLA. Last time it was the "soul crushing" approval process (aka Minter learns what shipping on consoles is like), this time it's the threat to abandon game development because he's disappointed in the sales of Space Giraffe, especially that it was outperformed by Frogger.

I have mixed feelings about this.

One the one hand, yes, its disappointing that gamers don't "vote with their money" and reward indie development and original content. I too find it frustrating that Pac man or Frogger outperform some original fare.

On the other hand, its their right. Its also just the reality of how things are, so get over it. Same thing exists with movies, music and books.

I think he'd do well to also point a finger or two at himself. The game is good, but it's hard, it's far from accessible, and the point it tries to make isn't immediately apparent (if your game takes someone as bright as Jon to explain it, then you have a problem).

To borrow Jon's comparison, if you write Ulysses, don't be disappointed if it doesn't sell like Harry Potter.

One other thing that is an important point to note in today's try-n-buy world: People will try the game. So Jeff (or others for that matter) can blame Frogger or other games all they want, but at the end of the day, if you build a game that really is all that, then people will try it, and hopefully buy it. If the trial doesn't hook them, then that's not Frogger's fault, is it?

No comments: