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The chicken or the egg

La gallina y el huevo

These last days, Bilbao has been the hot spot of our geography as video games are concerned: as already for six years, the Fun & Serious festival has brought together a handful of prominent names of game development nationally and internationally, or vice versa. This year’s record, as explained in press release: 30,000 people came to the festival to «play the latest releases of the market, try Virtual reality, attend high level sports competitions and listen to interesting lectures of important personalities from the sector and creators of titles which have been a milestone in the history of electronic entertainment». Is an event with ease for return is problematic, perhaps happily, but that each year advances (at least, that is the feeling that have from outside) to convert actually those slogans that speak of the greater and more important festival of Europe.

This year’s Edition has generated a piece press which has been especially stimulating to me. I refer to this agency Efe entitled, to everyone’s surprise, the Spanish video game industry “does not exist”. I’m going to focus on this text, written from an interview held in the Fun & Serious and important because it talks openly about something that is often discussed much in private, although not so much in public, and also because he is brave enough to propose solutions, although it considers that they are not suitable.

Am in accordance with it critical to the «triumphalism harmful» of reports as the famous book white of the Association Spanish of companies developers of video games and Software of entertainment, more concerned by the large figures that by its meaning. The message of Arturo purse, of Delirium Studios, not has changed since you could interview more or less makes a year: not matter many hundreds of studies has in Spain if a majority are doomed to die prematurely. Is complaint purse of that there are «very little product that of truth is unique, unforgettable and recognizable», and it easy that is talk of exceptions to that standard when are reviewed the production national is signal of that not goes wrong. That not is rare see sections within them magazines dedicated to them video games Spanish is test of that not them see as something of here, equal that in Netflix it section of film alien actually wants to say film not American, or, film that not is the normal.

La gallina y el huevo

Where I see a problem is in the solutions that are proposed, already say. It is true that a game development Studio is a company and that involves responsibilities that have nothing creative. As you remember wallet, ‘not just games, must know how to sell them’; There is a part of truth in that phrase, obviously. «I have heard people say that the Candy Crush is a shit breaking video games», says Jon Cortázar, relay Videogames. «Now would I have done “.

I guess that part of the blame for my interpretation of what they say purse and Cortázar same fragility of the Spanish video game industry has it (I agree with wallet in the of that “If there is a good cycle of finance, publishing and marketing, there would be enough oxygen balloon to develop big games»), but your words make me think a possible confusion between creation and sale. Put it another way, as it’s the chicken or the egg, is not enough to know sell games: need to know why we make them. If there are so many studies of development in Spain is precisely because there are less people interested in making video games in which a figure as high as 480 (20% more than last year, according to DEV) can give to understand. To make a game «that truth is unique, memorable and recognizable» should have one intention more than wanting to hobnob with Candy Crush and family in the App Store rankings. The case of Virtual Toys is a recent example of the helplessness that can lead the clash between creativity and market.

I understand what you mean Cortázar with the escape of that of “art for art”, but honestly I can see that that is the case of Spain. I do not think that the problem of many of the 480 studies active in 2016 which are mentioned in the white paper is wanting to live the art; in fact, I think that the opposite is true. If not, it is possible that there was more unique, unforgettable and recognizable games. While in Spain we finished not deciding if it is the product that makes market or if the immutable laws of the market are that make games, reality has passed like a steamroller over all: now or art for art or business by business, for the only thing that has been so tremendous that video games are art is because for promotional hashtag of a foreign production company. It is clear that there is a conflict between art and the market, and the blame for this market, which has only has room for one’s own.


The Guggenheim already is preparing for the Titanium awards gala, this evening at 20:00. Follow her at https://t.co/ImexIYZXQa direct pic.twitter.com/9vrdFXQScH

-Fun & Serious GameFest (@funandserious) November 28, 2016

Basically I’m optimistic, and I think that what he says Antonio Santo, one of those responsible for the Fun & Serious at the end of the article by Efe has a positive reading: the Spanish video game industry “must melt it from scratch”, because it does not exist, so I have time to avoid making damaging triumphalism defeatism and that leaving is guided by the dictates of the market (a creative level (, but also institutional and business) hinders more than necessary the creation of videogames, cultural products to the end and Cape, important and memorable. Little by little you can correct a serious defect: not all games can be indies, but yes in them the responsibility to innovate and break new ground even if the balance is deeply unbalanced; the big blockbusters, with sufficient resources to be leaders and create a diverse and healthy market seem tied hand and foot by the alleged intransigence of the public, who neither eats nor leaves to eat, so to speak. The truth is that video games are art, and are also a business, and largely that double-sided is problematic for reasons that perhaps escape the control of the people who form the Spanish industry. It is reasonable that there are alternative circuits that try to go beyond the standards that establish the commercial superexitos, because the exercise of any art tends to arouse curiosity, and it is also reasonable to try to make a living doing it, because that is the goal of any professional activity; as a strong sector cannot be supported on the word “indie”, nor should depend on something as volatile and unpredictable as “petal”: «[Cortázar], both wallet considered crucial that the Spanish industry has large companies that “peten it” and generate success stories that make of tractor», read in Efe. When one of these 480 famous Studios pete it, the other 479 is going to cost to celebrate it, which would be natural, if not even clear that they will continue active in six or seven months.

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