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Movies Media Music The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Video Games Find Their Voice with GTA 20

GamesIndustry.biz editor Rob Fahey has an editorial discussing how the games industry is beginning to find its own voice alongside the move and music businesses. He uses the hype and launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as an example of the increasing popular culture acceptance of games and gaming. From the Article: "The videogames industry is fond of comparing itself with the movie and music industries - as long as the figures show it in a positive light, of course. For years, a host of slightly dodgy statistics have been dragged out at the drop of a hat to prove that videogames generate more revenue than rival mediums, usually missing such crucial points as the fact that movies generate both box office and DVD/video revenues."
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Video Games Find Their Voice with GTA

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  • by hab136 ( 30884 ) on Friday November 05, 2004 @04:52PM (#10737594) Journal
    Wow, a games industry editor for a games industry magazine says that the games industry is great?
    • I agree, the article could have used more than one example to back up his statement. Plus his example is from the UK, not the main representative of the english speaking movie industry.
      • Okay, I'll bite. 1) The article was *about* San Andreas. It wasn't just using San Andreas to back up a statement, it was making a comment about the importance of this particular game and the mainstream public reaction to it. 2) GamesIndustry.biz is a UK publication. The media industries here are actually a pretty good microcosm for the world at large, but that's not the point really - GI's audience is largely UK-based, and our staff (er, me. and the other guy.) are in the UK. It's worth pointing this out
    • I do think he makes a good point though.

      I'm 36, and I'm a gamer. I talk about games- when people come to my house I will have them playing games. I write about games, etc. etc.

      I am a gamer who was never really in the closet about my hobby, but a lot of people are. But the more that the world sees that games are something that is mainstream, the easier it will be to get out and talk about them- without people automatically thinking: nerd! geek! comic book guy!

      So articles like this, even though they c
    • No kidding. I think there's a huge shift going on where games industry editors have lost a LOT of credibility, and fans are noticing.

      For all the other issues they have, the NY Times has at least been good about mentioning the background of someone if it might cause some conflicting interests. Game review editors could learn something from them on journalistic integrity. God, never thought I'd be saying THAT.

  • Video game fans have endured too much in the past. Geeks, freeks, you name it... I am surprised there is no constitution approving video gamers equal rights in society.

  • Innovation factory (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zareste ( 761710 ) on Friday November 05, 2004 @06:02PM (#10738210) Homepage
    Is anyone else annoyed that game developers are now being called the game industry? It's bad enough that they remain nearly anonymous while the company takes most of the credit, but now the innovations and individuals are being blobbed together as part of a mindless industry?

    Yeah it's not the most on-topic statement, but I'm sure quite a few people are thinking the same thing.
    • Is anyone else annoyed that game developers are now being called the game industry? It's bad enough that they remain nearly anonymous while the company takes most of the credit, but now the innovations and individuals are being blobbed together as part of a mindless industry?

      You prefer the egos of people like John Romero and George Lucas?

    • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <aaronbabb@gmaLAP ... m minus math_god> on Friday November 05, 2004 @06:30PM (#10738425) Homepage
      Yeah, see, here's the thing: It IS an industry. It is a large number of people and corporations all engaged in producing products which they then sell for a profit. Further, NO game sold for the PS2, Xbox or Gamecube is the product entirely of one person. Even low-budget games have staffs of at least 20 people and usually many more. I recall that even during the time Sid Meier was making games for Commodore 64 (and the other home-computer platforms with 64k RAM or less to work with), he had a lot of other people working with him on his games.

      We're long past the days when you could isolate a single person and identify them as the sole creator of a game, responsible for every nuance. There are still some great individual designers and they're just as well known in this industry as Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton are in theirs (though obviously the film industry receives wider recognition), but the truth is that without the rest of the people on their staffs their games wouldn't be what they are.

      • The last "one man game" i heard about was "Another World" on the Amiga (and later ported to several platform, including Genesis). It was all done by Eric Chahi, except for the music. He did programing, art and even the box design.

        But at the time of the 64k computers, most games were the brain childs of very small teams (1 to 5 people). Now, you need a bigger team, as the public expect content.
      • Right, so? Congrats on realizing it's an industry but industries don't create things. People create things. Focussing on some big name means you don't know who does what.
      • Even low-budget games have staffs of at least 20 people and usually many more.

        Well I guess that statement is true in about 99%, one excellent exception to it is Chris Sawyer's Locomotion [atari.com], which is a brand new game and was made by juste one person (well to be honest I recall that Chris mentioned that for the first time he contracted some of the graphic work to an artist, but still that's at most a 2 man team).
        Now granted it's distributed by a large publisher, and they might have done some Q&A on it bu
      • Prince of Persia (the original)
    • I'd be tempted to agree with you in the fact that developers often do not get enough credit for the work that they do on projects, but quite honestly, the gaming industry has done a terrible job in terms of large scale productions which honor those that make the games possible. Usually what we get is a TV network which produces a low-rent, half-assed recognition/award show production that acts more as an free adverisement for the kiddies at home. Remeber Spike TV's gaming awards?

      And even if an means of a
  • Not so sure... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by igrp ( 732252 ) on Friday November 05, 2004 @06:26PM (#10738400)
    Frankly, I'm not sure viewing TV, the music and video industry and the video game genre as strictly seperate and independent businesses is all that smart.

    Just look at the major video game releases: one of GTA Vice City's major features was its licensed soundtrack. Halo 2 has not just one, but two official soundtracks. The Halo franchise rivals most Hollywood blockbusters with regard to its script, its score and its marketing.

    Remember the Wing Commander franchise? Wing Commander 3 (which was a three CD release, IIRC) had professional grade blue-screen cutscenes that were groundbreaking at that time. Remeber the movie [imdb.com]?

    Remember Resident Evil [imdb.com]? There have also been rumours about an movie studios being more than willing to bring "The Sims" and the Halo franchises to the big screen.

    That's why I'm inclined to believe that it's not really fair to compare different forms of presentation any more - at least when it comes to major blockbuster titles. They become less and less separable. Video games incorporate technology that just a decade ago was unavailable to anyone but major movie studios. TV is becoming increasingly interactive (the American Idol type of shows being one example). Video game background music is produced by professionals.

    There's really no point in doing "we're doing better than you are" comparisons. We're talking genre cross-over here (at least at the high end of the spectrum).

  • by g-san ( 93038 ) on Friday November 05, 2004 @10:56PM (#10740049)
    The article mentions the game beating the release of a harry potter movie. that got me thinking. when you buy a movie ticket, you get a two hour experience for about the same price considering what a large popcorn costs.

    When you buy a DVD, you get that same experience, only on a smaller screen and for the same two hours. and unless it is a film, you will get less and less out of the movie each time you watch it. so maybe 20-30 hours at the most of duplicate entertainment.

    With GTA SA I get hundreds of hours of playing time. each time you play it, whats happening on screen will be completely different. when you discuss it with your friends, it's the same people and locations but the story is different. There's a familiarity in the discussion as there would be between two people that have seen the same movie, but there is also a new story you haven't heard.

    I for one welcome our new entertainment overlords.
  • Maybe it's the cynical gamer in me, but I don't think that the game industry is being accepted on its own terms simply because the GTA games are so successful.

    Popular culture loves the GTA games, but the games themselves are products of the popular culture. Massive soundtracks from top artists in each respective era, situations and characters based on popular movies, Hollywood voice talent...these are all things that, aside from the game mechanics, make the GTA games distinct from other games.

    Would GTA b

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