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Does Anyone Care About Creativity and Innovation Anymore?

Are you getting sick of the same old movies that just focus on building franchises, cinematic universes and spinoffs? Are you sick of video games bombarding you with micro-transactions, DLCs, and multi-player options? If so, you know who to blame right? Us! The Fast and Furious, Transformers, and even our beloved comicbook movies generate billions of dollars at the box office and Triple A games like Call of Duty and Destiny generate millions and millions of dollars in sales. Hollywood and the video game industry keep making the same stuff over and over again because it’s all about the moneySigh. Is this the end of creativity and art in movies and games?

As you may or may not know, EA has shut down the video game company, Visceral. They’re the company behind the action-horror franchise, Dead Space. Unfortunately, the Dead Space franchise did not sell enough copies in 2013 to meet EA’s unreasonable sales targets and Visceral was now in charge of developing a single-player, Star Wars game. However, after four years of development, EA has closed down Visceral for several different reasons. However, I have a strong feeling that EA would rather develop multi-player Star Wars games with micro-transactions (look at Battlefront 2) instead of single-player campaigns because guess what, they make more money.

I miss killing necropmorphs

The Dead Space franchise was one of the best things to happen to the action-horror genre. Dead Space was everything Resident Evil 5 & 6 should have been: compelling narratives, haunting environments, and intense gameplay. So if the Dead Space games were so good, why isn’t there a Dead Space 4? It’s simple: money. Video game publishers all want Call of Duty or Destiny sales numbers, otherwise these IP’s just aren’t worth their time and money. EA even forced Visceral to include a glitchy co-op option and micro-transactions into Dead Space 3! It’s no wonder it did so poorly! This sad truth of video game publishers prioritizing money over quality and innovation is a disgusting trend that is taking over the video game industry. But EA isn’t the only one guilty if this. It’s the entire video game industry.

Let’s take a look at Sleeping Dogs by United Front, published by Square Enix. Sleeping Dogs is an amazing video game that blends the mechanics and open-world scope of GTA that takes place in Hong Kong. But the developers took the time and effort to make this video game an incredible experience that makes you feel like you’re in a Hong Kong police thriller. They hired A-list Hong Kong and Chinese actors to do the voice recordings and added an incredible amount of detail to provide an immersive experience (e.g., eating pork buns to regain health, singing at Karoake bars for fun, and competing in Martial Arts tournaments). Despite how wonderful this game is, Square Enix shut Unit Front down and any possibility of a sequel. Again, it didn’t reach sales targets. But who is to blame here, the publishers or the consumers?

Bleeding from a knife wound? No problem, just eat some pork buns!

And now, one of saddest things to happen this year, Blade Runner 2049. This movie was a brilliant, thought-provoking, and innovative movie that just bombed at the box office. This was easily one of the best movies of the year and definitely one of the best sci-fi movies in the last decade. But what does the poor box office performance mean for the future? It means movie studios will invest less time and money on directors who challenge themselves to create unique movies, and instead will fast-track Fast & Furious spinoffs with Dwayne Johnson.

This is what it’s all about folks, money!

Is this really what the majority of people want? The same multi-player videos games loaded with micro-transactions, and DLCs instead of single-player games that offer powerful narratives? Do most people really want the same action movies with the same actors over and over again instead of films that make you think about what it means to be a human being? Unfortunately, money talks so I guess the answer is yes? Even so, I’ll gladly say no and be in the minority. Join me and take chances on innovation and watch Bladerunner 2049. Show the video game publishers that single-player games that focus on quality are important to you by buying games like Horizon Zero Dawn. Afterall, art and innovation are still important in movies and video games right? I hope so…

Until next time, nerd out.

 

 

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