Monday, June 24, 2013

A video game grosses more than a movie - Opening weekend.

 I recently started playing (and subsequently recently completed) The Last of Us. Which was a rather intense, emotional video game experience. I loved it. But I saw this news post that caught my attention: (This game is a one console exclusive too - Imagine it cross platform)

The Last of Us (video game) beat Man of Steel money wise on the opening weekend.

The beauty of this is that Naughty Dog (The Last of Us) whilst having publishers, gets a good amount of money from their game. The VFX industry however barely makes a profit for their films. 

I hope this is a new trend. I hope the game industry looks at what Naughty Dog have achieved here and start realizing that THIS is what people want. Story, emotion, beautiful design and art.

I rarely watch films any more personally. It's all about TV seasons, because they get so much time to tell a cool story, over smaller episodes. So you don't have to have that big time investment of a film, but you get a lot more from that world. I hope that this carries over to video games now. NO MORE CALL OF DUTY'S WITH NO STORY OR SUBSTANCE!

Kind of related to this, but unrelated at the same time. Here's an interview with the creator of Heavy Rain and later in the video, Shenmue.

He talks a lot about story in games, and how too many gameplay mechanics makes it very hard to tell a compelling story.

Anyway, if you haven't yet; do check out The Last of Us.


  1. Nice post Jon. There have been a few big budget games lately that have demonstrated similar levels of tact. Bioshock and the like. Indie games have been much more rewarding and creative in these aspects. Hopefully it'll be a step forward and talking / discussing video games won't be an embarrassing notion. There is definitely quality out there, it's just overshadowed by a huge number of very dumb ideas which seem very popular.

  2. To be fair, a ticket for Man of Steel sells for £10 (if you're not a greedy piglet who buys an XL tub of salted popcorn and a jumbo Coke) while a game these day costs £40!

    Personally, I've never found a story in a game good enough to justify the length they drag them out for. That's why I stick to retro games these days. Stories in those games are nascent. They get created from personal experience through gameplay. Not force fed by some B-grade Hollywood wannabe, who can't write a realistic character to save his or her life. I find games nowadays boring precisely because the gameplay experience has to be so tailored to justifying the story, they end not being games at all. And because of the need for precision (by necessity), any sort of emotional subtext I want to apply is lost because ultimately the game has to be control of whatever I do. That defeats the point of the medium if you ask me. It's regressive, because it's just resorting to imitating other mediums and not taking advantage of it's own unique qualities. Not saying it's the rule for every story-driven game, but there are only very few exceptions.