GDC Day 3

The first session I really attended was the “Death of 3-in-a-row” panel. It was about casual games and whether the Bejweled clones had run their couse. Microsoft, EA, Real, Shockwave and Yahoo were represented, but not much interesting was said.
I then went to a roundtable about censorship. It dealt mostly with how the industry and the public perceives the ESRB (game ratings board). Basically the developers view the ESRB as a pseudo-enemy that will censor their games, but the public thinks that the ESRB is in the pocket of the developers and does really mean much. Interesting.
Then came the best moment at the GDC. At a panel titled “Buring Down the House: Game Developers Rant,” five major names in the industry ranted about how the way mainstream games are made now really sucks. A standing-room only crowd cheered over and over. At one point I thought we were all going to charge down to the expo floor and wreck the place.
Eric Zimmerman made some great point and pulled no punches. Then Greg Costikvan whipped everyone into a frenzy. Brenda Laurel made some truly stinging remarks.
I hope to find a transcript or recording of the panel somewhere soon and point to it. But basically: as game budgets get bigger the risk gets greater and what little innovation there is right now will go away completely as the publishers just want clones of old games. Another panelist, Chris Hecker, said that he’d doesn’t mind piracy and wouldn’t mind the publishers collapsing because of it and something better springing up in it’s place.
It was quite a way to end the show.

Posted on March 11, 2005 at 9:35 pm by site admin · Permalink
In: General