BIGGER EQUALS BETTER?
The economic and manpower realities of independent development are in part responsible for these actionless adventure games. They’re cheaper to make than a game with tons of 3D characters fighting in complex worlds, for instance, and the lack of the corporate structure necessary to make large-scale productions generally allows more room for the forms of personal expression that colour these stories. Steve Gaynor notes that some publishers have already noticed potential in the style, though. “I’m really looking forward to
Alien:Isolation,” he says. Made by Creative Assembly, it’s a game that’s “really focused on being at least combat light, you know, if not totally combat-free.”
But Wreden doesn’t believe the genre’s distinctive flavour will be retained in the hands of the bigger publishers. “By the time you get up to that level, [the genre’s] so commonplace that it’s not even notable, right? You’re not going to get Ubisoft putting $100 million into a combat-less game until the culture and market is already so saturated with actionless games that it’s a safe bet. By the time this is happening a lot, then who cares? We’ve got a lot of games, so it’s not like we need Ubisoft making another.”