Traditional Old-School Ideas Forced To Go The Kickstarter Route
Yeah, I know exactly what you're going to say:
"Of course old ideas should be relegated to the world of independent gaming. Not enough people want it anymore and besides, the new stuff is obviously better."
I'm not going to argue with any of that. I'm really not because despite the implied sweeping generalization in the second part, it's basically true. However, I do find it a little sad that some of the industry's most accomplished designers are being forced to take the Kickstarter route just because they want to make a game that "old" gamers will enjoy. Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno, for instance, has a new Kickstarter campaign for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, and it sounds fantastic.
That's hardly the only example, though. Some campaigns work; some don't. They tried to get a new Mutant League Football off the ground but that didn't fly. On the other hand, I think a surprising number of old-school projects get the funding they require, which says something. It says that while those veteran gamers may not have as much time as they once did, while they freely acknowledge the advances the industry has made, they still have a soft spot for certain forms of gameplay you just don't find anymore. This isn't about irrational nostalgia for crappy graphics; this is about nostalgia for a form of interactive entertainment that, while indeed outdated, is absolutely dying away. Sad but true.
I just wonder if it ever feels somewhat demeaning to these legendary icons of gaming. I mean, if I worked for decades in an industry, only to be rewarded with publishers who don't want to fund my "old-fashioned" ideas, and I was forced to beg for money (let's face it, that's what Kickstarter is), I'd feel just a tad bitter. In a lot of ways, I think they deserve better treatment. But where are they to find it in an industry that is dominated by mainstream appeal? Things have just changed so drastically.
1/15/2014 10:21:20 PM Ben Dutka