The sudden closure of Visceral Games kickstarted a whirlwind of emotions in the gaming industry and what seems to be a war of Us vs. Them regarding EA and the rest of the gaming community. This was incredibly apparent at this year's Game Awards and PlayStation Experience as big names in the industry made it clear that they did not agree with Electronic Arts' grand statement that players "do not want" linear, single-player games. That very narrative from the mega publisher lead to the Visceral Game closure, where they were working on a highly anticipated linear Star Wars game. EA scrapped it saying there was no value, and is currently restructuring the given material into an online experience.
Dead Space team member, now at Sledgehammer Games, Michael Condrey, a game by Visceral, sat down with Game Informer to open up a little bit about his thoughts on the closure and the gaming industry as it is today:
“Dead Space was an important part of my career. So I hate to see that studio close since there was a lot of talent there. I know that there’s a lot of other things happening now that are pushing the industry forward. So, it’s sort of bittersweet if you will. In general, I love to celebrate great games, and the more the better for fans."
He's definitely correct about that - the closure definitely acted as a catalyst for a huge shift happening. In recent times, gaming as a whole seems to be drifting more towards a mictransaction farm approach, with many publishers caving into the idea. The closure of something so anticipated caught the eye of many, and definitely put a bigger spotlight on the industry as it is currently and the direction it seems to be headed in. As far as Condrey's thoughts on the gaming industry, he told GI:
“My general thoughts on the state of the industry is that the games that are being offered today are incredible. It’s a very dynamic industry, and a lot of things are changing. The Game Awards were last night, and there were incredible titles out there for fans, including Call of Duty: WWII, which was up for best multiplayer. To me, as a gamer, I want great content. I want as much of it as possible. I want as many great films as I can possibly see, as many great books as I can read. So, anytime there’s a studio that delivers something great, I view it as a celebration of the industry.”
You can read more on Condrey, and his thoughts, in the full interview here.