This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Johnny Kilhefner on topics ranging from reactions to Shenmue 3's Kickstarter to Tale of Tales' decision to take a break from game development.
What’s Old is Shenmue Again
Stu Horvath explains how the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) surrounding both Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Shenmue 3 are two sides of the same bad penny, but David Carlton has a different outlook, choosing to refute several opinions of Yu Suzuki’s Kickstarter:
Of course it’s true that there are other funding models possible for the game: doubtless, in a many-worlds version of the universe, there are universes where Sony decides to pay for it out of pocket, universes where a collection of fans somehow scrape together money to buy the IP, universes where Warren Buffett is a huge Shenmue fan and decides to pay for it himself!
It’s Business, Not Personal
Getting away from Shenmue 3, Austin Walker slides into his new role at Giant Bomb nicely with a thoughtful piece on public funding in the games industry:
Yet every year, around E3, I feel like we have this conversation: "Why do so many games feel so focus tested, so same-y?" And the answer is (again and again) the same: "Because it's risky to take chances." So I find myself wondering: What if there was more consistent, predictable funding? What if small studios had access to the same sorts of public support that some major developers do? And hey, what if those major developers had more support, too? How might that encourage a little bit of creative risk taking? A new IP instead of another sequel? The adoption of new, expensive technologies like VR? Maybe (could you imagine?) a little less 'crunch.'
While at Gamasutra, Michaël Samyn and Auriea Harvey talk about the liberating feel of trying and failing to make a game for gamers.
Josh Bycer looks at game development from artistic and business viewpoints, and Rob Fahey examines Bungie's decision to produce Destiny content without a subscription.
Elsewhere, Stephen Winson looks back at World of Warcraft's gold economy:
But what is true in the rest of the world is true in the world of gold farming: reducing your labour costs is a fast and easy way to increase profits in the short term.