Take-Two Interactive Maligns Strategy Gaming

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Take-Two InteractiveIt's outrage time again on the internet. MCV interviewed Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K Games (and part of Take-Two Interactive). The interview ranged across many topics, but happened to touch upon the return of the X-com franchise as a first-person shooter. That's where Hartmann raised the collective bile of strategy gamers. Read on for more details...
In the interview, Hartmann said, "But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing - strategy games are just not contemporary.... That's what we are trying to do. To renew X-com but in line with what this generation of gamers want." He also made an odd Ray Charles analogy, but we'll just hum Charles' greatest hits to ourselves and get on with life.

The problem is simple and obvious enough – gamers aren't just a rolling pool of 18- to 25-year-olds. The average gamer is nearing 40, and a huge fraction of gamers still enjoy (and purchase!) strategy games. In fact, one of 2K Games' most important franchises is the Civilization series. Even Hartmann's own portfolio highlights his mistake.

Let's be frank – Harmann said something stupid. His own bosses (not to mention Firaxis) will surely point that out to him. The problem is that the interview highlights a problem in the industry – strategy games (particularly turn-based strategy titles) are viewed as having a limited appeal. That may be true on consoles (although even that is debatable), but in an era when good turn-based strategy can be developed for a lower budget than a typical AAA first-person shooter, and distributed online more profitably for PCs, ignoring the genre is foolish. Yes, turn-based strategy games might gross less in sales receipts, but have the potential for decent net profitability and certainly not the same risk of a massive loss.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on July 13, 2011 10:27 PM.

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