Disparity Between Low and High Profile Games is Increasing, Splash Damage Comments

May 14, 2011Written by Jonathan Leack

One trend that has become particularly concerning over the past few years is the increasing success of big-name titles, and the polar opposite for the smaller games looking to make an impact. For example, both previous Call of Duty titles have sold increasingly large numbers of copies (Black Ops is still a top five title many months after release), while many games with smaller budgets aren’t able to capture even 10% of that crowd. However, this trend hasn’t exactly been quiet, so discussion can help reverse its effects.

Richard Ham over at Splash Damage, the company who developed Brink, had the following to say in response to a question regarding negative trends in the past ten years:

1% of the games make 99% of the profit, leaving everything else to wither on the vine. This can be bad for innovation. We’ve got to find ways to get people interested in some of the other stuff out there, because a lot of it is REALLY good and deserves to succeed, otherwise risk-taking will become rarer and rarer.

He’s right. The disparity between the “big” and “small” games has evolved into a growing hurdle for developers that don’t have as much funding to develop their game. Now that the gaming industry has grown into a multi-faceted, increasingly successful portion of the entertainment sphere, there is such a large supply of AAA-titles that gamers can just hop from one to the next, completely avoiding the games that don’t get nearly as much attention but could possibly be just as entertaining. It also doesn’t help that games are becoming increasingly more difficult to develop as graphics evolve, the bar raises, and consumer expectation grows.

How do you feel about what Richard Ham said? Do you ever purchase low-profile games? If so, which ones? Post your response in the comments below.