Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski doesn’t see much disruption or innovation coming from consoles and AAA titles.
The new consoles from Sony and Microsoft are now only a little over a month away. While much of the industry is gearing up for the arrival of these next-gen systems, there are plenty who are less enthusiastic about what the platforms mean for next-gen gaming. You can count former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski in that camp.
When asked by the [a]list daily what he thinks will define the next-gen era of games, Bleszinski gave an answer that was decidedly in a direction away from consoles. “Things like the Steam Box and the Oculus Rift, honestly. I’m friends with a lot of folks in Microsoft. Microsoft has been very good to me throughout my career. I’m friends with the folks at Sony. But when I think about my gamer instincts and where I’m going to see a lot of the most disruptive and innovative gaming I don’t see it in the $250 million budgeted game that cost $100 million to market. Because when you have that high of a budget the amount of risk being taken decreases exponentially,” he said.
“I was more excited about playing games like Gone Home than any console release. I am thoroughly excited to dive into Grand Theft Auto V, but it’s sitting on my desk looking like War and Peace to me right now. I’m going to have to clear out a good two weeks of doing nothing in order to just deep dive into it. In the meantime I’m on my Nintendo DS and I’m on my laptop playing Steam games. I got to fire up Two Brothers and I finished Thomas Was Alone and Gone Home. I don’t know if it’s because I’m rubber banding and rebelling against my AAA background, but I will buy a Playstation 4 and an Xbox One. Am I more excited for that than the Rift and Steam? I think Sony and Microsoft are going to do just fine and it’s a known entity. A known entity is not that exciting to me. It’s the disruptive things that are exciting to me.”
Bleszinski is confident that Oculus Rift can become a solid platform, but it needs games designed specifically for its VR interface and not just some console ports. “They know what they’re doing over there (at Oculus) and I think Rift could eventually be its own platform. Putting Team Fortress 2 and Half Life on it is a mistake. The experiences that are going to be the best ones are the ones that are custom made for the pacing of that kind of experience. I got more excited by the trailer for EVE Valkyrie on the Rift than anything I saw at E3 this year,” he commented.