Insomniac Games is responsible for beloved video games like Marvel's Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and part of the reason those games have been successful is because they manage to appeal to a wide audience; both games have their challenges, but they also allow players to skip over some sections. Apparently, this is an intentional move on the developer's part, and Insomniac is moving away from pleasing what it calls "elite gamers." In an interview with Axios Gaming, Rift Apart game director Mike Daly told the outlet that Insomniac is looking for ways to make experiences easier and more enjoyable.
"We have sort of shed this conventional wisdom that games kind of need to be a hardass in order for you to get satisfaction out of it," Daly told Axios.
In Rift Apart, players can choose to skip over puzzle levels, a move that programmer Mike Fitzgerald says "would have been unthinkable three to five years ago." It's worth noting, however, that Marvel's Spider-Man similarly offered players the chance to skip over puzzles in Otto Octavius' lab. Rift Apart clearly takes this a step further, but it seems that Insomniac has been moving towards this approach for a while now.
"We no longer think about, like, 'What will make the most elite players feel good about themselves?' And more like, 'What will enable everybody to have the experience they want to have?' Because that's sort of the most important thing to us," Daly told Axios.
Different types of games appeal to different crowds, and some players do prefer games that offer a steep challenge. However, the majority of players look at video games as a form of escapism, and prefer to enjoy the hobby without spending several hours frustrated. It seems that Insomniac will continue to offer challenges, while also appealing to those that want something easier.
Interestingly enough, Insomniac's parent company seems to be heading in a similar direction. Earlier this year, Sony filed for a patent that would use AI to determine a player's skill and adjust the difficulty accordingly. It remains to be seen whether that patent will go anywhere, but clearly Sony and Insomniac are trying to appeal to the biggest possible audience, regardless of skill level.
Are you happy that Insomniac is moving away from "elite gamers?" What do you think of the developer's games? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!