Industry is ‘dazzled by bling’ according to Conduit developer

Eric Nofsinger, chief creative officer at High Voltage, has criticized what he believes to be the short-sightedness of game developers. He’s accused games of having bloated budgets with little regard to the future, claiming the industry has “stars in its eyes.”

‬”I think that we,‭ ‬as an industry,‭ ‬have become dazzled by the bling,” claims Nofsinger. “We’ve all got stars in our eyes for Hollywood,‭ ‬with twenty,‭ ‬thirty,‭ ‬forty million dollar budgets over night and hundred-person teams working for years on titles without ever running a P&L to see if anything could support that.‭”

Nofsinger, whose company is currently working on Wii FPS The Conduit, also adds: “What we’re seeing right now with the number of layoffs and the numbers of studios closing‭ [‬is‭] ‬the repercussion of that very short-sided view where all we wanted to eat was candy.‭ ‬Everybody rushed towards the candy house and now we’re getting eaten by the witch.”

He also used the Wii to illustrate the same mentality, suggesting that everybody rushed to put half-hearted crap on the system thanks to the “big old dollar sign” hanging above it. ” As long as the‭ ‬360‭ ‬and PS3‭ ‬are seen as the lead SKU,‭ ‬it’s problematic,” he warns.

As a technological industry, it’s natural that videogames would want to embrace current machinery and make the most visually impressive titles out there, but Nofsinger is right when he suggests that budgets are running out of control. With the next generation of systems making a threatening silhouette on the horizon, one dreads to think just how far beyond studios’ means the price tag will get. 

A price tag that will, of course, be transferred onto us.

Jim Sterling