Home > 'Journalistic' Malpractice, Video Games > Hardcore Goes Soft Serve

Hardcore Goes Soft Serve

Sam? Sam?!
Et Tu, Sam?

Ruh-roh:

“I think it’s a subject that is very touchy right now because as an industry we want to grow,” he told Industry Gamers. “We need to stop making games that are super hardcore. But we’re afraid because we don’t want to lose the hardcore people!”

He continued: “At the same time, it’s a challenge because the journalists – the people that rank us – are usually hardcore. So it’s a real challenge to find a balance and make your game [appealing to all]. I don’t like the word accessible because it makes it sound like you’re dumbing down your game. But to me, Call of Duty is very accessible. So yes, it is something we want to do – I’d love for 10 million, 60 million people to play the games we make.”

I don’t think anyone would argue that the Splinter Cell series is pretty much hardcore gaming epitomized: sneaking around, snapping necks and committing the generalized mayhem that is the hardcore gamers’ stock-in-trade (though there is a disturbing lack of scantily-clad females in his adventures), it was one of the games that, ultimately, put the original XBOX on the map and actually gave MS a lot of cachet with the ‘core’. But now…hooo boy, watch them turn on Mr.Fisher with all the fury of a woman scorned.

Of course the, err, upside of Sam’s sudden, um, lack of tumescence is that it shows that the hardcore press is probably going to, err, bang them for making Sam less…hard, thus exposing, in minute degrees (say, at the inches level), that the gaming press is basically holding back the progression of gaming because devs are terrified of making too many, sweeping, changes for fear of incurring premature…evisceration. (Ouch!) In other (non innuendo-laden) words: the hardcore press still has enough pull to get what they want, but it’s clearly trending decisively against them.

And, to that, well, all I have to say is: how about another game of WiiSports Resort, boys? Or, perhaps, Professor Layton? No? Um…NSMB Wii? (Which, only in the tortured hearts of the hardcore, has become ‘casual’ since it’s on the benighted Wii.)

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