A big announcement at Sony’s press conference was that the PlayStation 4 would be able to easily handle free-to-play games and that dozens are already in development. You could almost see the tumbleweed blowing across the stage. Core gamers don’t want to hear that. Core gamers, weirdly, cry for innovation then cheer loudest for old stuff they recognise. You know, when games were games and you paid once and they were yours forever.
It is no wonder Sony and Microsoft are crawling over each other to sign the indies. No wonder they’re looking at the procedurally generated space game No Man’s Sky and Capy Games’ adventure Below with awe and wonder. These are innovations they understand - they’re not about business models, they’re not about new audiences who are hard to predict, they’re about new ideas within the scope of traditional games. Indie developers are nostalgic but they have the freedom to take the mechanics forward and play with them, just as Tim schafer played with the idea of point-and-click adventures in the 1990s.