Dishonored dev: Games industry lacks variety

There are too many sequels and established IPs ruling the games market, says Dishonored and Half-Life 2 developer Viktor Antonov.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Antonov (who works for Bethesda-owned studio Arkane) believes it has been a poor five years for fiction in the industry, and there was now a lack of variety for consumers to buy into.

It follows recent criticism from E3, with some corners of the media and developers criticising the traditional games market’s reliance on big name sequels.

Antonov added this also had the adverse affect that developers trying anything new would be compared to traditional concepts, and that players would not readily be able to grasp new ideas.

"It’s been a poor, poor five years for fiction in the video game industry,” said Antonov.

"There have been too many sequels, and too many established IPs that have been ruling the market. And a lot of them are war games. And they’re great projects and great entertainment, but there’s a lack of variety today.

"So, when you step out of this established genre, people cannot grasp it, or the press tries to find a match."

Antonov went on to say that many shooters had now become a genre of their own, rather than separated by any distinct features, with much fiction often focusing on modern day or near future settings.

He also felt that whilst Dishonoured had little to do with Bioshock, it had been compared to the game because it was one of only a few titles to enter a retro-futuristic setting in recent years.

"We’re doing a historical piece, a retro-futuristic piece, which has pretty much nothing to do with BioShock except for the fact that it doesn’t take place in the far future, but has references to the past,” said Antonov.

And, unfortunately, BioShock and Dishonored are the only two games that go into that fiction for the past – how many years?

"So, lack of variety in what’s in the market leads to associations like this. There should be more historical realistic worlds out there. And too bad there are not; I was expecting there to be 20 games like this."

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