Phil Harrison is a bright man, tall as the PS3 is heavy, and full of vision and a knack for hitting the nail on the head when it comes to what gamers really want. Like no more single-player games from Atari. Wait, what?
I don't see that we're going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't have ambition to do really incredible games that have high quality, high execution, and high innovation, but they won't be one-player, narrative-driven, start-middle-end games.
The byte comes from a fascinating interview about Alone in the Dark, the company's last big budget title that, if not for tech issues and other factors, could have been an episodic series. Given his enthusiasm as an ex-Sony man over LittleBigPlanet, we can't help but wonder if he's hinting at only producing online casual games of the like for consoles. Dr. Phil is prescribing a social element to the strugging company:
Atari is part of an industry in some transition from pure packaged media to an online business model and social communication and community model. If we are part of that transition, perhaps we are going to take a slightly aggressive, leading-edge role in that transition.
Atari hasn't been on the leading edge in multiplayer games since it published Combat on the 2600, so we'd love to see it happen. I kid, I kid. We have a lot of respect for the guy's work in the industry, but like many enignamic leaders, Mr. Harrison also has a history of making black and white statements that annoying little bloggers like to pick apart. Let's hope no golden single-player publishing opportunies ever knock on his doorstep, shall we?