Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden has criticized recent gaming acquisitions, warning against excessive consolidation. Layden was an accomplished executive at Sony Interactive Entertainment, where one of the biggest highlights of his career was the acquisition of Marvel’s Spider-Man studio Insomniac Games. But Layden says there comes a point where usurping companies stifles creativity.
Are gaming acquisitions going too far?
During an interview with Lan Parties podcast (via Kotaku), Layden said that acquisitions are a positive thing in some cases, but they become a problem when smaller teams become answerable to large organizations with different goals, killing “creativity urge” and stifling voices. He also thinks the industry has become stagnant as developers hover around the same few genres to sell games.
“If we continue to coalesce around the four or five genres, then we won’t get the new players because those people have already said we’re not interested in your genres,” Layden said. “Don’t kid yourself that someone who’s said ‘no’ to Call of Duty for the last 15 years is going to start suddenly saying ‘yes’ to Call of Duty.”
Elsewhere, Layden said that the industry needs to start taking game preservation seriously because the multi-million dollar games being produced aren’t “throw-away stuff we’re making.” “This is stuff that should be around for a long time because future generations will enjoy it in the same way that we have, and it’s criminal that we’re not doing more to protect it,” he concluded.