THEFUTUREIS INCREATOR INNOVATION
Hardware isn’t everything. What you need for real innovation is new ideas, and that can just as easily come without a big technological leap as a catalyst. David Braben OBE, for one, believes that the relationship between new ideas and tech is one we’ve left behind us now. “There are new media – currently VR being the most obvious one, and AR too – where specific games or play styles are enabled (or at least augmented) by the hardware, but these are not the norm,” the Frontier founder and CEO tells us. “Most games are not closely tied to hardware now as they once were.”
Jean-francois Major, co-founder of Tribute Games, maker of Mercenary Kings and Flinthook, seems to agree. “The evolution of games seems to be tied to what developers can tinker with and the gamers’ appetite and desire to try new things,” he tells us. “Recent hardware innovation did not bring us MOBAS, battle royales, or even all those [insert boring day-to-day activity] simulators.”
Certainly the biggest breakout moments of gaming in more recent memory have been around genre or mechanics rather than technical prowess. The hardware has been a base, but not necessarily a big deciding factor when really all we’re seeing is incremental improvements to performance. “Games have continued to improve, enabled by the hardware, but I wouldn’t say it is necessarily tied to hardware innovation, in the same way I don’t think TV or film are tied to improvements in consumer hardware like 4K, 8K, 3D, HDR, Dolby
Atmos, 7.1 etc – even though it does improve the quality, and might create some good marketing opportunities,” Braben adds.
And some of the best examples we’ve seen of real innovation venture way outside the usual genres or mechanics we expect from games, as Major points out. “Innovation comes from these games you can’t put into any genre. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes comes to mind, or My Summer Car (what is up with this game?!). These games are venturing into unknown territory.”
“RECENT HARDWARE INNOVATION DID NOT BRING US MOBAS OR BATTLE ROYALES”