Minecraft Rebooted Graphics Arms Race – Brenda Romero
Industry veteran talks about the impact Minecraft has had on the gaming industry.
Whether you’ve played it or not – and there’s no way you haven’t heard of it – Minecraft is the most successful indie title of all time and arguably the most played title worldwide. The addictive nature of the gameplay, crafting mechanics and dollops of creativity it inspired has made Minecraft famous but game designer and industry veteran Brenda Romero believes its success had more far reaching effects.
“Minecraft was the reboot of the graphics arms race – it literally reset projects,” Romero said in conversation with Games Industry International.
“There were massive projects in the works that got rebooted entirely because of Minecraft. Gameplay matters. What’s happening in the player’s head matters. Minecraft at least in my experience is just shockingly unprecedented.”
It’s also a case of more gamers looking past a game’s visuals in favour of the gameplay. “And players are much more willing to explore things whereas in the past the reaction may have been ‘look at the shitty graphics.’ I feel like we’re past that point.” Thus far, more companies have been “taking lots of smaller bets in the 1-5 million dollar range, which is still a large amount but nothing compared to a AAA title.
“I’m seeing game publishers taking lots of smaller bets, knowing that maybe of these 10 bets one is going to pan out. That’s happening now. People look at things like say, Minecraft, like FTL, and you can potentially have the same return on investment.”
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