Half-Life 2's City 17 creator bemoans 'lack of variety' in games industry
Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:24 PM
Victor Antonov, the man behind Half-Life 2's dystopic City 17, believes it has been "a poor, poor five years for fiction in the video game industry".
Pulling no punches in an interview with Eurogamer, the Bulgarian bemoaned the amount of sequels and war games circulating currently in the games market (I think he's looking at you COD) - "there's a lack of variety today," he claimed.
Referencing his own efforts on forthcoming game Dishonored, which will feature a city called Dunwall modelled on London and Edinburgh in the mid-1800s to 1930s, Antonov urged more designers and studios to follow his lead.
"Artists and art directors should make their own life a little bit harder by pushing management to take more artistic risks. That's what I've been doing and suffering by," he said.
However, cynics could argue that Antonov, by criticising games of COD's ilk, is merely trying to drum up publicity ahead of Dishonored's October release, especially as it appears he is quite keen to create some follow ups of his own. But, of course, these will be different.
"There's so many opportunities to develop without repeating itself within Dunwall because we've created, actually, a whole universe. We are only showing one little chunk of it," he explained.
"We are not against sequels," Dishonored's art director Sebastien Mitton chipped in. "What we dislike is that each sequel looks like the prequel."
What are your thoughts? Is there a lack of variety in the industry today? Should there be more games like Dishonored?
It will be interesting to see how the game performs when it comes out this autumn followed by two big blockbuster sequels, Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
Ultimately, it will come down to sales. If the games that irk Antonov keep selling by the shed load, studios will keep on making them.