Zipper Not Adverse To Trying Something Different
Really, everybody should usually stick to what they're good at. Venturing outside your comfort zone usually results in a less-than-impressive product.
However, unless some developers do this every now and then, stagnation will occur. This is why no good studio is entirely adverse to making something different; something "outside the box," so-to-speak. Take Zipper Interactive, for example: they've just announced SOCOM 4 and they also released the massive online shooter, MAG, at the end of January. Obviously, their milieu is shooters and they're quite aware of that fact. But it doesn't mean they'll never make anything different; just refer to what Zipper Senior Community Manager Jeremy Dunham said in reply to a question in the Comments section at the PlayStation Blog:
"We stick with what we’re good at and like to make. That doesn’t mean that we’d never consider something else… except Mahjong — a Zipper Mahjong game just isn’t in the cards."
That's okay; we really don't want a Mahjong game. But the poster mentioned that he was getting a little tired of all the shooters on the market, which is what prompted Dunham's response. The question is, what might it take for Zipper to "consider something else," as he said? I mean, provided you're doing well with your chosen genre and everything moves along smoothly, where's the incentive to try something fresh and new? At that point, it only becomes very, very risky and you can bet that Sony would be a little skittish on the matter. Even so, just the idea that developers remain open-minded is helpful to those of us who crave some fresh air every now and then.
3/5/2010 10:30:19 AM Ben Dutka