Former Sony CEO Chris Deering recently said “currently only 3 in 10 games recoup their development budgets. … So developers will have to turn to new revenue sources to cover their losses.”
There is little doubt that developing games is becoming harder and harder for so many reasons. It seems to me that the amateur game development community produces incredible work. Therefore I would like to pose a question that should generate much discussion, if few votes…
Is it time to merge amateur and professional game development?
It goes without saying that a LOT of the amateur mods released are total crap but that may be less to do the the skill of the modders than with mod-management and other administration-type skills. There is also a lot more to releasing a game than just making maps, models and other artistic assets.
But I can’t help thinking that the amateur gaming community is a vast resource just waiting to be exploited. I use the word exploited in a positive way.
The ramifications of somehow using the amateur community to provide content for retail games could be both good and bad. Games could be cheaper and more numerous. But on the other hand managing the financial aspects, putting full-time workers out of work and replacing them with many part-time workers are just two issues off the top of my head.
I certainly don’t think it would be easy but that shouldn’t stop somebody from trying and who comes to mind? Valve, of course. The HL community is probably the most suited for this type of project.
Valve could set up a section that designs and manages the major aspects of a modest game and then offers the detailed work out to the community. Strict rules and controls would need to be set but it would definitely be an interesting project.
You could sight Gmod as an example but that was different because that was made and then sold, same as Counterstrike etc.
I have said before that Steam should be used to “sell” maps, models, skins etc. I would pay for some of the maps I’ve played and I am sure others would too.
The point I am trying to make is that the community is giving to the community but perhaps the developers could try and get involved in a way that benefits everybody: the developers, the modders and the players.
19th August 2008
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