Interviews

American McGee part one

We join one of gaming's most renowned and influential designers to talk Bad Day LA and much much more...

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You are also outspokenly in favour of in-game advertising. Could you explain how this could improve development as a business proposition but without alienating dedicated gamers?

I feel that the current publisher dominated finance and distribution model has done a disservice to innovation in the game industry. Once publishers found "safe" genres, they were loath to experiment - and you can't blame them, a high percentage of new game concepts fail upon launch. Add to that the fact that the current model doesn't support the creation or distribution of smaller, experimental games, and you've got a system that can make a lot of money, but not generate a lot of innovation.

Advertiser funded game content is a means to producing smaller, more innovative games, of getting larger games funded and distributed outside the current publishing model, and for establishing new development models. All of this is good news for gamers, as it means more choice and more freedom.

Zoom

It's understood that advertising content can be annoying. But we're already soaking in it. Why is content funded by an advertiser and given away for free any more "evil" than content you have to purchase from EA? It's just a different model. We shouldn't be afraid of it. And if you really don't like it, don't play advertiser funded games. Pretty simple.

How important is outsourcing when developing games in the 21st century? How is your Vykarian enterprise progressing?

As I mentioned before, the industry is now absorbing 40% of typical game development budgets. As games grow increasingly complex and content-heavy, I think we can expect that number to grow. Being in China, riding the crest of the game art outsourcing wave, makes it pretty clear this is going to be a huge industry. Vykarian is attracting the best talent and growing rapidly.

That's your lot for now but be sure to tune back in on Monday Part two of our talk with American where among other highlights he'll be discussing the latest on Oz and Grimm, the balance between publishers and developers, episodic gaming, the future of the next gen and why he thinks Wii is the only true next generation console.

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