This is a topic that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while. Although I’m pretty new on both this site and the whole blogging experience, I’ve been talking about this to anyone willing or unwilling to listen to me rambling about it. Today I want to talk about something I like to call “suicidal innovation”.
The idea of suicidal innovation is fairly simple, it is the idea that innovation kills itself with the people it inspires to be “inventive”. Still don’t know where I’m going with this? Let’s try with an example,… We all remember goat simulator, right? Goat simulator in itself wasn’t a good game in my opinion , but people accepted it, because it did something new, sort of. Now look at the amount of shit the sprung up in its wake, grass simulator, rock simulator, water simulator, black screen simulator,… the list goes on.Now why does this happen? Developpers just seem to see a new concept, get “inspired” by it, and then just do the exact same thing, most of the time without realising what made the original product as good as it was. You could compare it to seeing a piece of art, thinking that you could have made it, and then do it without any taught or creative process involved. We’ve been seeing this more and more in our games and it needs to stop.
As if things weren’t bad enough as they were with everything having to be franchises nowadays, cause yes let’s not pretend this is only a problem on the indie scene, we’ve been seeing it in our AAA games as well. Exoskeletons, pretty popular in Titan Fall, Call of Duty has to have them to, and you better believe they will keep using them until there focus testers grow tired of it. Uncharted, pretty damn popular, let’s make tomb raider feel as close to it as we possibly can, or make the same brown gritty shooters that keep popping up everywhere, not to mention the amount of zombie survival games, cause lord knows it was popular in dayZ.
Now it’s easy for me the point fingers at everyone and say it’s all their fault, but it’s not. But us, the community and the developers have allowed it to reach this point. But face it, were not going to stop buying our call of duty’s, halo’s and assassin’s creeds, because we know exactly what they are, and what we are paying for. They were once innovative, so they can’t be anymore. And it’s this paradox that keeps games stuck in state they are in now, a state in which innovation is only necessary when the well runs dry.
Let’s applaud a few people who do it differently, let’s be thankful for the likes of Splatoon, Journey, mirrors edge, and I’m just going to put it on here Wolfenstein. Wolfenstein is on this brief list for a reason, I wanted to show that it is indeed possible to be inventive without reinventing the wheel. Wolfenstein was able to set itself apart from other games in the genre by not taking itself to serious, adding dual wielding and a cool setting, that’s all it took, just a bit of imagination.