For whom games are made

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My memory deceives me. I swear it was not too long ago that the first edition of iDÉAME was held, the meeting of young videogame developers. Actually, four years have already passed. The IV edition of iDÉAME took place last weekend.

There I was, on Saturday, attending some of the talks, chatting with old friends and colleagues from the sector and also with young creators like Rob Álvarez de Lara , of Over The Top Games, reponsables of the fantastic Nyx Quest and Fancy Pants Adventures.

On this occasion, Roberto did not go to iDÉAME to present a project or give a talk. He was another assistant, like me and like many others who could verify that, with more or less success, with more or less resources, in Spain there are good ideas and a lot of potential for the production of videogames, and not only for consumption.

As every year, on one side were the aspiring professional videogame developers and, on the other, the already consolidated figures of the sector. At this point, I had the opportunity to listen once again to Enric Álvarez, the visible head of Mercury Steam, who gave an interesting talk in which he told how a Spanish studio has come to take over such an emblematic franchise as Castlevania .

Enric told the attendees how his beginnings were in the business, what steps he was taking, what were his biggest setbacks and what he learned from each mistake. There was no shortage of advice for young developers. One of them – on which we were discussing several colleagues later press – I found especially remarkable: it is vital that a video game creator is clear that the people who will buy your product (responsible for large companies, not the final consumers ) they are not developers.

Enric emphasized the fact that the people responsible for a company that wants to sell a project do not have to know how to make video games. They will not appreciate the hard work done , the hundreds of hours invested, they will not see what it has cost to build what is shown to them. They will only see the defects, what the product lacks to be perfect. For that reason, the important thing is to be gimmicky and to teach something that comes quickly through the eyes.

Turning to this idea, I have come to the conclusion that, at present, this idea can also be extrapolated to the direct sale to the consumer. With the ‘casualization’ of the videogame market , it is becoming more and more common to find the renunciation of great complexities in favor of simple mechanics, which immediately catch potential inexperienced players.

From this point of view, we could say that the bulk of videojuegadores of years ago was adjusted to a profile closer to the developers (with a taste for detail, appreciation of good ideas, adjusted valuation of the technical level of the game …) while the bulk of gamers of 2012 has an affordable profile to the businessman who does not have much interest in the work itself and just looking for something that hooks directly and forcefully.

If my hypothesis had some validity (something I am not sure about, since it is only an opinion), the outlook would not turn out to be anything negative. The similarity of opinion between the “businessman” and the consumer would mean that almost any product that the first bet on would be very well received by the latter. Fortunately, the situation is not so simple that the market is reduced to this and, unfortunately, it is not so easy to obtain good sales, as reflected in the latest sales figures revealed by aDeSe.